How To Survive Your First Visit To a Gay Bar
Going to a gay or lesbian bar or club for the first time can be intimidating. This step-by-step guide will show you the ropes.
written in 2002
- Choose a place. Consult your local LGBT newspaper or an online guide to find bars in your area.
- Choose a day. Note that some bars are LGBT only on certain days of the week. Others have theme nights like ‘latex night’ or ‘hoe-down night.’ Dress appropriately.
- Go to the bar, but not too early. Most places don’t get going until 10 or 11 p.m. or even later.
- Unless you go to a neighborhood-type bar, expect to pay a cover charge.
- Once inside, take a deep breath and look around. Not as scary as you expected, right?
- Buy a drink. Be nice to the bartender — they can be your ally.
- Choose your spot. Stand in a place where you can see and be seen.
- Be approachable. Smile. Make eye contact with others. Try not to look like a wallflower, but try not to look desperate either.
- Move around. Mingle.
- If someone seems interested, approach them and make small talk.
- If they seem interested in you, ask for their phone number. If not, there are other fish in the sea.
- Know when to leave. When the troll you saw on your way in starts to look good to you, it’s time to go home.
- Remember, you’re there to have fun, not necessarily to meet Mx. Right (or even Mx. Right Now).
- If you can, go with friends. There’s safety in numbers.
- Don’t drink too much — it will impair your judgment. If you feel the need to keep your hands busy, try a club soda or tonic water instead.
- The bartender has pen and paper if you need to write someone’s number down.