To The FemmeMobile! Away!

{June 3, 2010}   Gay two-stepping, and other bar-like things

Hi! I’ve been busy. CRAZY busy.

Anyway, among the busy things I’ve been doing lately is going two-stepping with Q. Gay two-stepping, to be precise. (Q is very butch, and one of the things that cracks me up to no end is when the gay boys hit on her. I can’t help it. It slays me. Besides, I agree with them, sort of: she makes an awfully cute boi, as well as an incredibly handsome butch, and a really hot Q. Heh.)

Gay two-stepping occurs at several bars in the San Fran/East Bay area, most of which I haven’t gone to. Now, I have something to confess, here: I’d never been to a gay bar before we went two-stepping. I know! I’m sorry. Don’t take away my gay card! I’m making up for it now! πŸ˜‰

A few weeks back, Q joined me and my friends for K’s birthday. We went wine tasting and then pub hopping, but there aren’t really any pubs in my area, so really it was bar hopping. And we got tuckered out, so it wasn’t hopping so much as just bar. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, while we were in this (straight) bar, or as we came out of it, or maybe just various times, Q mentioned that it felt very predatory.

It felt normal, to me.

Then I went with her to the gay bar, and it was strange. I didn’t feel like I had to watch my drink against all comers (though I still kept a close eye on it), or like I needed to go to the bathroom with a small, private army of fellow females, or keep an eye on what was going on around me at all times.


It was more like being at a backyard BBQ than a bar. It was awesome! I could relax! People were friendly without me feeling like they had an agenda (which was doubtless to get in my pants)! It was craaaazy.

Something else happened, too, that was also crazy! I totally had my legs cut out from under me. “That sounds painful,” I hear you cry. It was certainly disconcerting! More than a few times I glanced around and thought, “No one is looking at me. How the heck am I supposed to act when I’m not acting for the people who are watching?!”

Tell you what, there’s a lesson in the male gaze and how women are trained to respond to it, right there. WOW. It left me a bit adrift at times, but luckily I’m never one to stay adrift for long, and whenever I had that uncertain feeling it was a reminder to just check in with myself, and do whatever I wanted to do for me rather than to engage the people who (weren’t) watching.Β  More crazy!

Also, a lot of fun. I might have to get some people together and go check out the gay bar near me. Maybe it has pool tables! It’s a lot less threatening to go with just one other person when the atmosphere isn’t, well, threatening. Which is funny to say, because while I was always on guard at a bar, I didn’t feel threatened. (Oh, Neeezzzuuuu… You mentioned wanting to go to a bar… :D) So, the difference between gay bars and straight bars? I’m not so worried about lesbians following me out the door and attacking me on the street.

…That’s an overstatement. Sort of.

(I wonder if men still feel like it’s a meat market for other gay men? Hmmm.)

Oh yeah, and Q went bull riding again! I have to brag about her. She stayed on much longer this time! Check it out! πŸ˜€ That would be my extremely awesome narration, btw. But if you just want to see the ride, skip to the minute-twenty mark. πŸ˜‰

The good news is, she was MUCH less sore this time so we were still able to have sex. (Okay, to be fair, we had sex last time, too. There were fewer ‘ouch!’ moments this time, though. *grins*).

Back to the subject at hand, though, I do find it interesting that the atmosphere is so different at a straight bar than a gay bar. Tell me, ye who have more experience with this, is that true of all gay bars? Do they just tend to be more relaxed, less predatory areas? Or did I just find the awesome cowboy gay two stepping bar?

It also makes me wonder what it is I’m sensing at the straight bar, if it has to do with sexism and a male gaze, or if it’s just that society has deemed bars dangerous/sexual/pick-up places. But then, wouldn’t that hold true for gay bars, too?

I guess I have more questions than answers after this, and therefore it’s more of an observation of what I’m feeling than any true analysis. Sometimes, writing things down gives me a clearer idea, but right this moment I still don’t know why I react that way. I hesitate to say, “It’s straight men,” because while that might be true, that gets blamed for a lot of things, so I would prefer to be sure before I think that. Maybe it’s a combination of factors: sex appeal, alcohol, the male gaze, packs of predators, knowing there’s danger… Most of these factors happen at a gay bar, too, though.

I think I need to run an experiment. I think I need to go to more gay bars, and see if more club-like ones have the same danger vibe! That will give me more information. Yes. I like this. I’ll visit bars in the name of science.

…I love my life. ;-D



I went to a gay bar here recently. And I’ve been checking out the websites for the few we have, but my question is it just a bar for gay men? These really seem to be. Places where the bears and the leather guys hang out. So far (I’ve only gone to one) this is what they seem to be. I’d like to find one where it’s a little more eclectic: butch, femme, gay men, whatever. Could be just too small of a town. I really need to move up to SF. *sigh*

Sounds like you guys had a rockin’ time though! Awesome.

JB says:

I think it depends on where you go. There are bars around here that are just for men, bars that are just for women, and co-ed bars. Most of them say on their websites (if they have websites!) but I’m finding that really, you have to ask other gay people in the area to find out where to go.

I totally did have a rockin’ time. *grins* Good luck finding one in your neck of the woods!


aneke says:

Well I think gay bars can be predatory too, but somehow it feels.. safer? I’m not so on guard the whole time, I don’t feel like I constantly have to be watching out. I agree, there’s definitely a more laid back atmosphere (yaygay)

JB says:

Yes, exactly! I still haven’t had my great experiment. I’m eager now to see if these ones feel predatory, too, if so, how it’s different. *grins*


G says:

Aneke used the phrase I was going to use: on guard. That is how I feel in most straight bars. I always feel like I can take care of myself, but I feel much more tense, depending on the crowd and who I’m with at the bar. It’s just a different feeling at gay bars. Not everyone is nice all the time, and there’s still some drama and bullshit that you have to tolerate – but overall, there’s that underlying feeling that it’s a safe place for everyone.

And don’t be afraid of the boy bars! Some of my favorite dance clubs have been the ones that cater to the guys.

JB says:

*nods* Exactly re: safe space for everyone. Though, I had a bizarre run-in at the gay rodeo the other day, with an obviously gay man saying something I’d expect a sexist hetro guy to say to me, which threw me much more because I wasn’t expecting it. So now I’m thrown for a loop. *wry smile* Eh, I’ll figure it out.

*grins* Well, maybe I’ll have to try a gay guy bar, then. Assuming I ever get OUT to a bar, which still hasn’t happened!


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