Gay Scene

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by black_hung, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. black_hung

    black_hung Member

    Jun 27, 2004
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    I live in London, a great city. I've noticed in the last 2-3 years the dwindling numbers in gay pubs/clubs. I've never been one to spend a lot of time on the gay scene. It just seems that not as many people go there these days as in previous years. Do you think this is because of the recession? Or the internet. I mean why go out when you can cruise/ hook up from the comfort of your home? What do others think? What's it like where you live?
  2. Bbucko

    Gold Member

    Oct 28, 2006
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    Sunny SoFla
    Everything I've heard and seen is that this situation is pretty much ubiquitous, with the major exception of resort destinations such as Ft Lauderdale, Palm Springs, P-Town and Sitges (Spain). I work in a gay bar/nightspot in FtL, and if I had a dollar for every time someone from a large city up north (from San Francisco to Chicago to NYC and Boston, etc) decries the penury of a club scene, especially for guys older than, say, 35, I could fly there and see the wreckage for myself :cool:

    Though I'm sure that there are as many reasons as there are now-lost bars, it seems to come down to this:

    1) Property values have gone through the roof. If you were paying $650 per month for a one-bedroom apartment two floors over a bar, it kinda went with the territory. Now that that same apartment, with only the most minor and cosmetic improvements is a condo worth $650,000 or more, you suddenly have a legitimate concern about crowds, noise, and a hoard of drunks stumbling out after last call around the front door of your building.

    2) Rents for the street-level commercial spaces are astronomical, too. And although they've never been cheap or easily obtained, full-service liquor licenses have never been more expensive nor harder to obtain than right now.

    3) There have been deep shifts in the demographics of our traditional gay enclaves/ghettos. During the recent meet-and-greet in NYC, I was back in Manhattan looking for fun (instead of doctor's appointments) for the first time in a decade or so. The changes that have taken place in the West Village shocked me: there's now a rather chic dress shop on the same block of Christopher Street as Boots And Saddle, and Bleeker Street is now a slightly-upscaled version of a shopping mall :eek:

    4) Most of the current dance-oriented music (what I always called "gay bar music", whether there's any actual dancing or not) sucks, and it's played at a volume that makes conversation difficult, given our age-related hearing loss. And even though most cities have instituted smoking bans, I still read here all the time about people complaining about the lingering smell of smoke on the clothes and hair.

    5) Internet websites like Mancunt (excuse me, eliminate the awkwardness of qualifying roles and/or various kinks; it's much easier for some guys to check off a box expressing an interest in WS than it is to discuss it verbally, especially within earshot of others.

    6) Cost is also a major factor: even a simple night out can easily cost from $60 up into the hundreds. A bottle of domestic swill-brew can run $7, calling your favorite brand liquor can run twice that. Subscriptions to online hook-up sites pay for themselves immediately. An added bonus: the guys online tend not to be drunk. I don't fuck drunks (any more).

    7) Cabs are expensive, but DUIs are much worse, and transit isn't always convenient, available or safe.

    8) Online hookups are "cum as you are" :wink: There's no need to worry about what you're wearing because, hopefully, the clothes will be off immediately. That's another whole source of potential anxiety eliminated. They are also ideal for wall-flowers and other "shy" guys; no one else on the site can see whom you're talking with (or not) and public rejections and rebuffs are just not an issue.

    9) Having concentrations of nightlife in resorts and/or "gay destinations" just add to the feeling of having special, unique experiences unavailable in one's daily life. This enhances the appeal of a vacation even more; my last ex and I used to joke that we were only "gay" on vacation. We rarely went out when we lived in Boston and, when we lived in CT, there really weren't any near-by options that we found appealing, but when we went to Montreal or SoFla we'd go out every night.

    From my late teens right through my mid-30s (when I met my last ex), I was an inveterate party monster. I knew which place had which scene seven nights per week, and usually made at least token appearances nearly every night, whether partnered or not. Sometimes it was to see and been seen, sometimes it was because I (or we) was/were on the prowl. I was always very much a social creature and took great pride in my circle(s) of contacts and associations.

    Of all the reasons why I'm grateful to have my current job, the greatest is that I cannot indulge my increasing desire to isolate. It keeps me out, about and a known personality within the community. In this way I'm able to maintain an essential element of what always made me me, in contrast to the nine years I spent cocooning with my last ex.
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