A Slightly Bitchy Field Guide To Straight-Female Behavior In Gay Bars

We’ll never forget the night we stumbled into The Cock at 3am looking for a little… companionship. As we squeezed our way over to the coat check (the site of fabulous group gropings back in the day) we were startled to see a gaggle of girls who looked like they stepped out of the basic-cable version of Sex & The City. (Remember Lipstick Jungle?!?)

As the ladies started to peel out of their Forever 21 trenchcoats, one looked around and wisely uttered, “Um, maybe we shouldn’t be here?”

Girls have been a part of the gay-bar scene since some prehistoric cavefag poured the first cosmo in Lascaux. Until fairly recently, though, they understood they were what our friend would call “the parsley, not the entree.” But thanks to Carrie Bradshaw and her successors, a new generation of women think all eyes are on them when they walk through the door of their local queer watering hole.

Not that Queerty readers need to be told, but that is not the case.

This isn’t to be sexist or heterophobic. When we don our protective garb and enter a straight bar, we cool it with the dead drops, three-snaps-and-a-twists and declarations that “Jesus is a biscuit!”

We wish we could sit here and rattle off all the things that certain women—not all by any means—do wrong at the bars, but frankly just thinking about it exhausts us.

Fortunately, our pal Brian Moylan did it for us in Vice magazine: In An Etiquette Guide for Straight People in Gay Bars, Moylan channels his inner Miss Manners and lays out certain rules of engagement. Here’s a small sample:

* Yes, you are a second-class citizen: “Women, while fun to have around, are practically invisible at a gay party. They have to wait for the one tiny restroom (which has probably been co-opted by boys and drag queens anyway), they don’t get to annoy the DJ to request songs, and the (probably shirtless) bartender is going to take their order last… Just deal with it for one night.”

* Avoid hook-up joints: “They are usually bars where boys go late at night to make out with strangers and engage in a little slap and tickle in a dark corner… Also, leave anyplace called The Eagle alone, unless you really want to see a bunch of bears in harnesses and other leather gear giving you the stank eye while grinding each others’ jockstraps.”

 * Don’t be a cock block: “It’s better to go to a gay bar with a gaggle (the scientific term for a group of gays), so if one of the boys is about to get lucky, you can shift your attention. ”

 * Keep your mitts to yourself: “OK, ladies, we will make a deal with you. We won’t touch your boobs if you don’t touch our cocks. Is that fair? ”

Do you have a tale of woe about a lady person harshing your buzz at the bar? Are you a Female Friend and Ally of Gays  (F-FAG) who hates how you get treated just because you don’t have a Y chromosome?

Share your stories in the comments section.

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  • Riker

    I’ve never seen stuff happening in the coatroom there. That little nook past the bar of course and the back wall by the bathroom, but never the coat room. Have I been missing out on action with famous professional bloggers?

  • Bob

    The last couple of times I hit the bars in Philly there were WAY TOO MAY fish for my group of friends so we just left. Please stay in your own waterholes!!!! Let us biys be with other boys at least iin our clubs! We don’t want you there!

  • Raquel

    I’m a gay woman and out of all the shitty behaviours that I see happening at gay bars, straight women are anyone’s last problem. Also this post is only proving once again that gay man love to complain about everything. Talk about acceptance !

  • Trent

    I was at my local gay bar and there was a girl in way to high of heels and a short enough to see her underwear dress and she kept trying to get guys to compliment her on her outfit: . It was really annoying and then she pulled move number one and was getting pissed because the bartender didn’t serve her first.

    Also another annoying thing… I had a girl grab me and not say anything to me and the first words out of her mouth were, “Hi, your gonna be my new gay best friend.” I just ripped my arm away and said, “No, I’m not.” I am not a fashion accessory.

  • kouros

    Lol I really don’t see why everybody keeps complaining about the girls at gay bars. I’ve honestly never seen them be evil attention whore queens in fact i love having girls at the bar. Because having girls at a gay bar is like having a wingman at a straight club. Everytime i go to a gayclub i feel WAY more comfortable with girls there, I have safe dance buddies that i don’t feel pressured to do anything with other than dance all night. Honestly its not like my girl friends or my straight guy friends tell me the straight club is not “my scene” and tone it down and act as a second class citizen. At the end of the day its not like they are playing with our barbies and our kens, they are just there to play with us.

  • Kamuriie

    A gaggle is only the scientific term for a group of gays if they’re 30+. Younger than that, and they’re a “flair.” :P

  • Auntie Mame

    Stay out of bars. They’re immoral.

  • WillBFair

    A story and an observation.
    The eagle used to be racey. But straight couples started arriving, and the theory is they ratted the place out to the city. Now it’s vanilla and a snooze.
    The thing that bothers me is how some ladies order. In a crowded line, you should order a shot or a beer. Period. Instead, some women order drinks that need seven mixers, various herbs and spices, and a butter churn. She then pays with a Bank of Estonia credit card. While everyone waits.

  • MEJ

    That’s the problem with hets–we’re not welcome at their bars, and they’re always pushing us around at our bars. It’s like a disease with them; they always have to stick their noses in our business.

  • WillBFair

    This is a good place for some kissing up. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You guys who run Queerty are the wittyest queens on the net.

  • the other Greg

    Gay guys’ #1 reason for being at a gay bar: to get laid. (And most of us figure out quickly that getting TOO drunk tends to interfere with this.)

    Straight girls’ #1 reason for being at a gay bar: to get hammered in public without getting hit on.

    No wonder there’s a disconnect.

  • Spike

    @Raquel: Now seating, angry lesbian, party of one.

  • Spike

    I love seeing str8t chicks at gay bars! There faces are hilarious when they push their boobs up to a bar only to realize that no one is offering to buy them a drink and the bartender for the most part ignores them.

    Str8t chicks should stay out of gay bars and gay guys should stay out of lesbian bar, the latter being pretty much DNA guaranteed.

  • JayKay

    Gay bars should just start charging women a $45.00 cover, and make them pay $27.50 per drink. I have a feeling most of these problems wouldn’t be problems for much longer.

    Best part is, they couldn’t do anything to stop it since it would be based on the same logic that allows straight bars to blatantly discriminate against men.

  • IzzyLuna

    I’ve noticed that when a queen is performing her number a straight girl will tease her with a dollar for attention in the spotlight. She wiggles the dollar in front of the queen giving a “come hither” motion, then puts it in her boob or mouth ordering the queen to take it with her mouth. Of course, the queen is usually irritated by this and just swipes it from her quickly and tries to move away from her.

    Moral of the story: Girls. Let the queens entertain us. It’s not about you. We don’t want to see you dance half-drunk. Be respectful, tip the queens and sit the fuck down.

  • bodilove

    As a straight woman that enjoys the company of my gay friends and going to gay bars, I think it is just bloody ridiculous some of the comments on here…………Yes, we will stay out of your bars, as well as your lives….as long as you are planning to exclude women from your bars, don’t expect me to be ally in society for your causes…… Good luck living in your bar….

  • sickofwhiners

    From the other side of this–I once had a female boss who loved to hire hot gay guys. She was horrible, practically an alcoholic and what did these gay guys do? Fawn around her & compliment her & act like your average sycophant. You get loud, noisy obnoxious, boozy women in gay bars because that’s who you suck up to in real life if only to get your endless breaks & undeserved promotions. The average, nice plain unfashionably dressed women who wouldn’t dream of putting their fun bags on the bar to get a bartender’s attention or even going to gay bars in the first place–these kinds of women the gai boyz sneer their noses at. So suck it up boys in the bars, it turns out the problem with women invading your space may be you.

  • Homomofo

    @ Raquel Couldn’t agree more and at the same time less. Everyone on here’s comments are equally right sad to say down to the angry straight lady bodlove. I’ve seen Dykes get up in arms over the behavior of straight men visiting their bars, I’ve seen fags in Dyke bars act pretty much the same way that straight girls are being accused of here, and I’ve seen all range of behavior from heteros invading gay spaces. @Bodilove you can come to my bar any night lady and I’m sure we can find somebody, gay, straight, or whatever to bitch about. Let’s not allow the actions of a few caddy girls who watched too much sex in the city, or a few fags who think that flattering a lady who wants to have a fun night somehow detracts from his sleazy hookup, ruin what could be a lovely evening.

  • Bob

    @bodilove: If we have to make deals with you people to get our rights, then screw you!

  • Pitou

    Why the fuck do you call yourselves Fags?
    I just don’t fucking get it.
    It has no place in a Gurls vocabulary…
    Call me a Fag to my face and you’ll walk away missing a few pearly whites!

  • Charlie in Charge

    Just remember guys, your female friends will probably be with you longer than the guy you take back to your place for one night. Treat them well.

  • DenverBarbie

    Anymore, I’d rather just go to a mixed hole-in-the-wall than an archetypal circuit party. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little mix, they say diversity is the spice of life, and I like my homo thugs and punks as much as I like my Louis Vuitton-totting twinks as much as I like my drag queens as much as I like my sisters!

  • Homomofo

    lol, as if this series of posts weren’t hostile enough Pitou. *shrugs* Well I like Fag I find it empowering to use the word, though I wouldn’t be so calm if someone other than another queer called me a fag. Oh and I have about the same reaction you do to fag to being called “Gurl”or anything like that so *shrugs* You go be a girl, I’ll be a fag, and we can have a drink sometime at this bar where everybody seems to be so pissed off :P

  • Spike

    @bodilove: Ahh, so your support of LGBT causes, stuff like equal marriage rights, are contingent on your feeling welcomed in gay bars?!!? Wow. In that case, I don’t feel welcomed in str8t bars, where’s Rick Santorum, no more contraceptives and abortions for you missy, I’m going Republican!

  • Trent

    I have no complaints about straight girls going to the gay bars. I guess I need to point that out. I have a problem when you come in acting entitled. I have a problem with anyone acting entitled though. I dance with the straight girls and the guys at the bars and have fun with them all, but we have all seen the straight girl at the bar who gets pissy because she doesn’t get the attention she thinks she deserves; that is who this article is written for. To our fag hags or flame dames or whatever you wish to be called, we are not talking to you. You are our wingmen and friends. Try and take the article in a little bit that it was meant, not directed at you.

  • kouros

    As I said before some of the comments from guys on here are horrible. Its like you are asking me to strictly have gay male friends because if i have most girl friends i shouldn’t bring them to the bar with me. And to whoever said ” I’m not an accessory” take a second away from the heterosexual tv shows aimed at females and gay men where men are the “accessories” and try watching gay oriented tv shows and all of a sudden its the other way around, they are our accessories they are a girl that NEEDS to be there so we can dump everything on and she serves us at our beck and call.

  • bodilove

    @ spike and @Bob:
    Not even on your best day darling….lol!

  • bodilove

    @Charlie in Charge:
    This is what I meant, although I guess i could have been a bit diplomatic in my wording.

  • bodilove

    Really….You are joining the Repubs? You Americans are odd….lol!! well I am joining the Nazi party….I guess we showed each other!!!

  • Ryan C

    @Bob: Bikestop… it’s pretty clear usually. Stay away from iCandy if you’re not in the mood to mix.

  • MEJ


    Right, hon. I understand you’re used to having your pet gays fawn over you, but you need to realize not all of us are interested. And if you’re pinning your support of the gay community on how well we pander to you, then you’re welcome to take your support and leave our bar. With friends like you…

  • MEJ

    @Charlie in Charge:

    If you treat your one stand stand well, you don’t need faghags.

  • MEJ


    This is what I meant, although I guess i could have been a bit diplomatic in my wording.

    I’m sure the way you act here, is exactly how you act in gay bars. And you wonder why we don’t want the likes of you around.

  • MEJ


    So the fat ugly girl is pissy because the gays in the bars ignore her? Too bad, so sad.

  • sickofwhiners

    @MEJ: Well I never mentioned fat ugly girls in bars, just fat boozy bosses but if they’re there it’s probably from some implicit or explicit invitation (from a gay dude) so take the blame. These are the kind of women they love–loud & obnoxious.

  • Spike

    @bodilove: Yep, all the gays here in America have joined the republican party in the last two hours due to your comments. Until you str8t girls stop go to gay bars, no more abortions for you!!!! Funny how sarcasm is totally lost on some people.

  • Rawrzellers

    It might have not been a bar but my first time at a gay club I have never ran into so many catty girls before. There were a particular group of girls that had a ginormous stick up their ass the entire time. They would constantly leave the dance floor pushing everyone literally an arms length away as if to part the sea of gay of men so they could exit, and come back with these sour looks on their face. People got annoyed after the 3rd time those two girls kept pushing people on their way out and just started pushing back. All in all not all straight girls that go to these places are terrible but there are the few that just need to stop acting like they own the place.

  • Dean Lowry

    Definitely noticed this when I was in Philly. Too many bachelorette parties – seriously, a gay bar is one of the only safe spaces where gay men can express their sexuality openly without fear of recrimination, and it’s very annoying when they’re overrun by women who are there because they think it’s exotic/different. I love my hags and they love me, but there’s a happy medium to be found that doesn’t involve trains of little ladies taking up real estate in a gay bar.

  • Dean Lowry

    Also, while on the exoticism problem, it’s frankly offensive when bachelorette parties gawk/grope us in our safe space. If you want to come, be respectful and don’t treat it like a zoo exhibit. Also, don’t bring 20 people. Kthxbai.

    xoxo Dean

  • magsmagenta

    I’m a straight woman but I’m at an age now where I don’t get any special attention from men whether they are straight or not, so what’s the difference to me if the gay men at a bar aren’t interested? I don’t know why we can’t all party together any way.
    I’ve never been the flashy feminine type who expects men to buy drinks for her either.
    Not that I’ve ever been to a Gay bar, but I’d like to try it one day, just for the hell of it.

  • xixax

    God Hates Fag Hags.

  • DouggSeven

    If you are over 30 and STILL going to the bars as a means to meet people, it’s time to get a POF account…not Grindr, POF.

  • Red Assault

    @bodilove: And there it is… You don’t do anything because it’s the right thing to do, you do it because there’s something in it for you. I equaltiy for African Americans. Does that mean I think they owe me anything? No.

    There’s nothing more annoying than some straight bitch telling us that we have to let them throw their bachelorette parties in our bars or that we have to hear them scream “woooo” every time they have drink and if we don’t, they won’t vote for basic equality for our relationships. Like we have to dance for them if we want a candy.

  • James T.

    @Bob Way to be misogynistic and hetero pho bic. The term fish just shows that you’re one of those gay men who hates women.

    I agree that the article itself is hetero pho bic.

  • Tomas

    When we don our protective garb and enter a straight bar, we cool it with the dead drops, three-snaps-and-a-twists and declarations that “Jesus is a biscuit!”

    Nobody wants twinks or flaming queens like the writers of this misogynistic and hetero ph_obic guide in GLBT bars or clubs anyway.

  • Raquel

    @Spike: angry? I find it amusing how bitchy you all are. Hence why you’re all single.

  • Mk_Ultra_Again

    I love going to the gay bar with my straight female friends. Usually, they know other gay guys, so it’s not like they’re crowding on me all night.
    If I’ve too much to drink (mind you I don’t drink anymore but when I did) and am about to make a mistake with a guy who’s…not right for me, my girl friends will be there to say “I don’t think you’ll like this in the morning”
    They’re not going there to be the center of attention, they’re going there to have fun like the rest.
    But I do know the type of straight girl you mean. The ones who are used to going to a straight bar and being the center of attention and having everyone fawn over them.
    It’s like, Gurl, unless your hot brother is with you nobody cares about your skanky ass and your face full of clown makeup, and that cheap weave you think passes for real.

  • Robert Miller

    Gay bars are all about sucking and fucking, with other men, or the desire to be involved in that. Women have no place there. Besides assuming they are accepted, they take up “ball space.” My quarrel is with all these bar owners who pride themselves on being “welcoming”. Of late I have been seeing straight couples at the bars. Gay bars should not be a refuge for straights. I walked into The Eagle in San Francisco less than a year ago and it was half sreaight. It is now closed. I wonder why……

  • Sam

    @MEJ: Really? “Hets?”

  • Rooney

    @bodilove: We don’t exist for your entertainment, you homophobic piece of shit.

  • queen please

    Rooney way to be a hetero pho bic piece of shit and total misogynistic hypocrite.

    Robert Miller, the Eagle in SF closed because the owners sold it for condo spaces, didn’t care about keeping it open at all, and just didn’t give a shit about the bar at all.

  • DouggSeven

    @Robert Miller: Wow, now reverse everything you just said and sit in a corner and be ashamed. And for the record, I have never been to a gay bar with the hope of ‘sucking or fucking’, not all of us live the ho lifestyle. Bars close all the time dude, while I am not familiar with the one in question, I do know that we’re in a recession and socail establishments are quite common for closure.

  • Geoff B

    I don’t really go to gay bars much anymore, but never minded women being there when I did as long as they weren’t acting like a sloppy drunken fool (but then, sloppy drunken fools of all types are annoying). I run a straight bar, but I don’t care if you’re gay,straight, male, female or any combination thereof the same rules apply. Be respectful of the staff and fellow patrons, tip (not tipping is the best way to get ignored), save the complicated drink orders for a slow night, and if you do get to that sloppy, drunken fool stage,call it a night or switch to water or soda (we won’t think you’re lame). If you do all this and still get treated like crap, you’re in a shitty bar. Take your business to someone who’ll appreciate it.

  • magsmagenta

    @Geoff B: That sounds like the most sensible attitude yet, it’s always best if the same rules apply to everyone.

  • Lane

    I don’t mind women in gay bars, god knows I have gone with my straight women friends and had a blast dancing and drinking. I will say that recently in Philly the more popular bars have had an inordinate amount of women. I still go and still stay, if they are accepting of me I am going to be accepting to them. I have friends who disagree and refuse to go to some places because too money straights. I think how 20th century of them.
    Come on guys move forward and enjoy life and differences of each human..

  • Corey


    If the tradeoff for YOUR alliance is behavior you KNOW would get you ignored or even booted out of a straight bar, don’t bother. Be very careful how you use the term “live” when it comes to Gays and our bar scene. You are dead wrong if you are TRYING to imply that bar hopping is all we do. If that is all you think of the gays that take pity on your boring life enough to allow you to tag along, then you SHOULD be the first one charged extra for wasting space. Until you find me an article telling gays how to act in straight bars, you need to sit down. If you treat the gay scene like visiting a zoo on a whim, you truly have NO respect for the outlet so many in our community need to feel comfortable and accepted. It’s a CHOICE for you …. A TRUE ALLY understands the history behind the scene, cultural significance and the struggle we still face for equality. SHAME on you for having the unmitigated nerve to feel entitled to be inappropriate while you “tolerate” us in our bars.

  • Bianca Lynne

    @bodilove: I’m a straight woman with quite a few gay and lesbian friends. I had a long detailed reply to your “take my ball and go home” comment, but really, just fuck right off. My support for gay rights isn’t contingent on gay men fawning over me in a club, or even making me feel welcome in a space that for many is the only place they can let their guard down.

  • zuluaskono

    @bodilove: As a fellow Gyno-American I’m with Bianca. I had some long ass thought provoking reply but in the end, I have better things to do than type out what would probably go right over your head anyway. So, all I have to say about your snippy attitude is…..meh, please just go to TGI Friday’s I’m sure there’s one near you.

  • David

    People! We need to get creative in solving our differences! I suggest some craftsy person create a gay-bar version of those round star-finder astronomical maps with basically 3 axes, 1) who you are (straight guy, straight gal, gay twink, gay daddy, and so on), 2) what time of day/night it is, and 3) what kind of gay bar it is. So, around the edge you could select the hour of the day you plan to go, then you could move a pointer to select who you are and type of bar, and it would tell you whether to go to the gay bar or not! Straight girl, local gay sports pub at 6:00 p.m.? “Girlfriend, where have you BEEN?!” Same girl, gay leather s&m club, 1:00 a.m.? “Don’t go there, girlfriend!” Maybe that would increase the levels of peace and harmony in the world. Or perhaps an app for mobile phones would allow additional variables, like degree of intoxication (“sober as a Baptist minister on Easter Sunday” or “high” or “drunk as a gay aristoctrat on holiday”), and style of outfit (punk/metal, preppy, cowboy/cowgirl, etc.).

  • Tomas

    If you kept hetero women away from bars, the GLBT bars would not stay open since nobody that’s bisexual, gay, lesbian, or trans would go to them! Bars are actually closing since people don’t like them, there are ways for LGBT People to meet even if it’s just for hooking up that don’t involve going to a bar, and a lot of LGBT people myself included had fun in bars when we were younger and first coming out but now that we’re older we don’t like LGBT bars, the cliques, gossip, etc. or the whole bar scene.

  • John

    Woman should be welcome at any gay bar, so long as they behave respectfully and understand that they are visiting the provenance of gay men. It’s the Sex-In-The-Cityfication of hetero-female/gay-male relationships that has led to the obnoxious behavior of certain women (attention whores vying for ‘safe’ gay male attention, obsession with being “fabulous” or “fierce” and acting the way straight men behave at hetero bars in general).

  • Shannon1981

    @bodilove: The reverse discrimination argument simply does not work when there is no equality. Straight people have the whole planet to do your thing on without fear of discrimination or worse. We don’t. Is it really too much to ask that in a lesbian bar I have the reasonable expectation that the women I hit on be queer, and that there be no boorish straight men there telling me I just need a good dicking?

    Sorry, but I don’t think that, considering all we go through, that is too much to ask for at all.

  • Drew

    @Shannon1981-I’m glad I don’t live in your world where everyone that’s LGBT is a professional victim like you are.

  • Shannon1981

    @Drew: Professional victim? PUHLEASE. I am a realist. And I refuse to be an Uncle Tom.

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