The Guy Bar: An Endangered Species?
Not that long ago, guy bars were a refuge from nerdy bosses, bitchy women, and young boys who sucked their fruity drinks through a straw. You know, where guys dressed Basic Butch (a ten year old tee-shirt, 501 button-fly jeans -no underwear – and boots). Now when I go to some sleazy, stand-up watering hole, there’s spiked hair youngens drifting around ogling at the Daddies. Or drag queens as tall as basketball stars rummaging through the crowds. Listen, I got nothing against you, girlfriend, but I don’t want to look at drag queens in a butch bar.
Or the other Saturday night in Ft. Lauderdale, my home, at what was supposed to be a “man’s” watering hole our local leather bar, the Ramrod, I felt they had just let off some tourist bus from Miami filled with giggly, hairless, pudgy boys and their girlfriends tittering at the matinee meat surrounding them. Maybe the bar was running some junket on behalf of the Fort Lauderdale Tourism Bureau: “You, too, can stroke a real live Hot, Butch Ho-mo-sexual!”
Even the attire worn by some of the guys no longer fits the mode. Leather vest, Bermuda shorts in floppies in a leather guy bar? Back in my day in the now sanitized, once seedy West Village of Manhattan, you would have been castrated right on the street. And in my last visit to Manhattan last November, the “new “Eagle” on the Westside advertised Thursday as “Code Night,” yet I found women and sneakers strutting the bar. Huh?
Although I blame some younger gays for corrupting our bars by bringing in girls even to heavy leather bars, in the end I think they’re only accelerating an inevitable trend to “blended” bars and the demise of the truly pure gay bar.
So what are the real reasons why butch bars are fading almost as fast as the Nehru jacket did? (See Wikipedia> 1960’s> Men’s Fashion Trends.)
- More guys today are either partial to the dance circuit or chi-chi bar where they can feel all festive and bubbly, often with some hip straight girl on their arm, and coke up their nose, and check out the local butch bar to be titillated, not seduced.
- More seasoned folk who remember the old days don’t go out drinking as much as they once did. Hell, most of them won’t admit they’re in bed on a Saturday night by 10.
- Whatever our age, most of us are doing our “cruising” and a lot, lot more on the internet in our underwear, or our smartphone on the run, at work, in the gym, on the beach, even in the supermarket.
Bottom line, despite all this bullshit about bars supporting our grandiose “bear community,” or “leather community,” bars are businesses first, out to sell drinks where the profit margin is higher than the national debt. So, butch or not, leather or not, if some sweet young things or girl tourists stroll in and put their money down on the bar, that’s all that counts. Otherwise leather bars would enforce dress codes.
If dogs could drink, they’d run free dog biscuit nights.