So you want to go out on the night on the town, but you don’t have a wingman or a posse to join you? Join the (proverbial) club!
On Reddit’s r/AskGayMen forum, one person asked if it was weird to go to a gay nightclub alone. “All my friends are straight and in relationships, so I rarely get an opportunity for a night out, let alone to a gay club,” that person explained. “I’m also a bit of an introvert and don’t want to seem like a weirdo/loner. Any tips?”
Turns out, tons of guys could relate—or, at least, could dispense sage advice to this would-be clubber.
“Go with no expectations,” one commenter advised. “Go with the intention to stand at the bar and have a few drinks and see what happens.”
Related: 11 types of gay bars and why they matter more than ever
Another person recommended sticking around the bar or chatting with other people in the restroom line. “Look approachable, as in, make occasional eye contact with people and soften your expression (if your discomfort shows on your face like mine can),” that commenter added. “And secondly, remember the world is your oyster. You can walk in and walk out as soon as you are ready to go.”
A third commenter suggested that solo nights out could be an excuse to try out another persona: “You’re usually a little shy? Well, if you’re not there with anyone, then no one’s expecting you to behave any particular way. You can push yourself to be bolder than usual about approaching people and being outgoing.”
And speaking of personas, one commenter advised being the friend that you want to have: “If your brain tells you to avoid dancing because you’re focusing on yourself, think about what that super-friendly party friend would do. They likely wouldn’t care and [would] just be there to have fun and not take it so seriously. Looking silly is a joke everyone is in on, to them.”
Related: This TikToker just blasted straight women in gay bars. She’s totally going viral.
Farther down in the comments, one Redditor recalled going to a club with a friend who spent the whole night looking for a hookup. “I had enough money to buy two courage elixirs (vodka shots) and just went to the dance floor,” that person wrote. “I danced [for] like, four hours straight and then left. Honestly, best night of my life.”
And another Redditor said they finally went to a club alone last summer for the first time in their decade-long club-going experience. “And it’s my new favorite thing. What’s the point of waiting for other people to join you when you can have the entire night out on your own terms? If you’re embarrassed to be alone… don’t be. It’s loud and dark in there. Everybody’s drinking. Nobody knows or cares which friend group you walked in with. Order a drink and head to the dance floor.”
This is just one of those things you have to do.
When I came out less than ten years ago; I did not know anyone gay nor did I have any experience with hooking up or the apps. But I knew I had to go where the gay guys were.
So I forced myself to go to gay bars. It was hard at first. I have no game, but at least I felt comfortable because everyone there was gay. It felt like home. I also got my first kiss there from a dude on my first visit.
I was terrified. Just came out and met my first gay guy on line. Danny took me to the neighborhood gay bar. He disappeared somewhere and I took my drink to the corner and stood there without being approached. In time I made bar friends, and even played pool. Danny and I became good friends, educated me about everything. We met every Friday night and remain good friends.
The crowd at a gay bar can be vicious, intimidating, and quite rude to a shy, single person who dares to walk up to an individual or group and say Hi or try to start a conversation with a member of that group. The rest will sneer at the interloper with a “Who are you?” or “Why are you talking to us?” or “You are not pretty enough” look and either just ignore that “Hi” or look right through them and totally ignore that they are even there.
I know this because all these things have happened to me over the years, on many occasions. Mostly I just let these experiences just wash off me like water of a duck’s back and think I don’t need to know any of these rude and pissy queens in the first place. But after a while this sort of treatment can really wear at a shyer person’s self-esteem and really cause them to shrink and withdraw from even trying to talk to anyone at the bar.
Bad advice for young gay men, there are too many older gay men lurking in the bars ready to dose them and take them home. Gay bars are not the place for young gay men to make friends.
@DHT: Of course that NEVER happens with Grindr hookups. (eye roll)
@Heywood…Weird comment, of course it can happen with people you meet through apps, and I am sure predators like Buck, McArthur, Port, and all the others easily dose unsuspecting gay men in their homes. Notice though that the article is about going to gay bars solo, so try to stay on topic. The problem with the bars is that a lot of young gay men go to them and don’t expect to be dosed, and it is especially likely to happen to them if they are there alone. Generally I advise young gay men to stay away from the bars, but if they go they need to be very cautious. Young gay men just coming out go to the bars hoping to meet friends, unfortunately the only people left in the bars are dealers and the drug crowd. The bars are not safe spaces for young LGBTQs. I think this is one of the reasons, although not the only reason, why addiction is such a problem in the LGBTQ community. The bars now are filled with predators, victims, and enablers.
Truth is, gay bars are now filled with straight people watching the 8-nights-a-week, never-ending drag shows and straight women on batchelorette and birthday parties, both with their own serious risks should the solitary, shy gay innocently try to hit on the wrong person. The very concept of a “gay bar” is pretty much over nowadays, which I find very sad.
@DHT: Why do so many young gay men come to you for advice? Seems odd. Are you a college dean? Or do you just hang around colleges offering unsolicited advice?
My advice is not unsolicited, the opposite is true actually. It sounds like you found what I wrote objectionable. What seems odd is for someone to be on other side of a conversation about predators drugging young men in the bars. Enough said.