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7 Ways to Rekindle Your Love of Gay Bars

7 Ways to Rekindle Your Love of Gay Bars

7 Ways to Rekindle Your Love of Gay Bars

If gay bars aren’t doing it for you like they used to, then read this.


If you were anything like me, you may have been overwhelmed when you first stepped into a gay bar. Never before, had I seen so many gay men congregating and interacting in a single space. Once my initial shock faded, I grew to love gay bars. It was a place where I would be accepted, could meet new people, and make out with guys in public. I didn’t have to be afraid of being beaten for acting too feminine, and I could booty pop like a champion. And instead of getting looks like, “What the hell is that guy doing?” I would get looks like, “God damn, I’m attracted to that guy.”

Gay bars have always been more than a place to drink. It’s a place where queer men and women are embraced. A place where we can love freely.  In that regard, gay bars are like sanctuaries to many of us.

Cut to seven years since my first gay bar experience. I’ve been to literally dozens of gay bars around the world. I’ve had drinks spilled on me, guys grope me without consent, and new shoes ruined by many drunken footsteps. I’ve vomited outside of gay clubs from drinking too much. I’ve been rejected by what feels like a million men. I’ve been side-eyed and judged. I’ve felt insecure and dissatisfied with my body after being in a club with shirtless muscle hunks

I think it’s safe to say the magic of gay clubs had worn off. But in the end, I was able to rekindle my love of gay clubs. It took some experimenting to change my perspective — but I’ve grown to love them once again. Here are seven things I did to regain a love for queer bars. 

1. Go out with your party friends

It may seem obvious, but I realize it wasn't something I was doing. Most of us have those friends who are usually too much to handle, but oh my god, they are so much fun when you go out with them. THOSE are the guys you want to be hitting up the club with. Go out with the guys who like partying and drinking. Go out with the guys whose excitement will be contagious. Go out with the guys who will encourage you to talk to that cute guy when you’re feeling insecure.

2. Find a night with the music you like

If you’re totally over top 40 remixes, then definitely do your research before heading out to a gay bar or club. Look up which DJ is playing. See if you like his music. Because odds are, if it’s the house DJ, he’s going to play top 40 remixes. So if you don’t like it, try to find an 80’s night or hip-hop night at another gay joint.

3. Pregame

The pregame is often more fun that the game itself. Have some friends over. Play the music you love. Drink a little. Help each other pick out outfits. This is the fun stuff. This is where the night begins. More importantly, this is where the tone of the evening is set. Don’t underestimate the power of a solid pregame.

4. Be okay spending money[iframe allowfullscreen="" class=^{{"giphy-embed"}}^ frameborder="0" height="662" width="480"]

There’s nothing worse than spending $80 on a mediocre night on the town. You wake up, hungover, and hate yourself for spending so much money on overpriced drinks. There’s a way to deal with this. One: only bring cash and no ATM card, so you’re limited in how much you spend. (And the moment you get drunk, you won’t be buying everyone in the club shots of Patron). Or two: save up some money for the night and have the mindset that you are going to spend $80 (or whatever amount you feel comfortable). That way, you won’t be annoyed with yourself for spending that much. And if you happen to spend less, it’s like you made money.

5. Focus on friends instead of boys[iframe allowfullscreen="" class=^{{"giphy-embed"}}^ frameborder="0" height="255" width="480"]

I get it. Boys are cute. They’re fun in bed. And there are a hell of a lot of them at gay bars. That’s all fine and dandy, but for now, while you’re trying to regain your love of gay bars, you need to focus on the people you’re with, not the boys you want to sleep with. The reason being, if the night is all about you getting laid, and you don’t get laid, then the night was a waste. That said, if a cute guy approaches you and starts talking to you, obviously, don’t turn him away. I’m just saying have your priorities straight (or gay… you know what I mean).

6. Don’t get hammered[iframe allowfullscreen="" class=^{{"giphy-embed"}}^ frameborder="0" height="415" width="480"]

Tipsy is fine. Drunk, honestly, is also ok, as long as you’re not an awful drunk. But sloshed? No. You don’t want to be that friend. You don’t want your friends to have to take care of you. And you definitely don't want to vomit and wake up with a hangover. That’s a sure way to fuel your hatred of gay clubs.

7. Try a fetish bar/club[iframe allowfullscreen="" class=^{{"giphy-embed"}}^ frameborder="0" height="259" width="480"]

If you’re tired of the same old bars and clubs, and all the bars and clubs you go to have the same looking twinks, then it’s time for you to switch it up. Go to a fetish night at a gay bar. It will be ... different ... to say the least. You may hate it, or it may be that change in the gay scene that you were looking for.

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Zachary Zane

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.