Do most gay bars have regulars like this, or have I just had bad luck?
I'd be curious what Twin Cities gay bars these were, and when. I know most of them.
Gay bars have their own personalities, and their own group psychologies. And even more confusing, they can have multiple personalities, depending on the time of the day and day of the week you go. A bar or club that is sleepy on a weekday, and a hangout for old farts like me, becomes a roaring fuck palace on a weekend night.
Take for example the Minneapolis (Mpls) Eagle on Washington, and its companions the Bolt and the Underground. I used to go there around 3 or 4 PM mid-week, and the bartender was hosting a televised trivia contest for the 15 or so patrons. Win a round and you got a drink on the house. I always got a drink.
I also often got a score, an easy place to cruise. My beard attracted guys for some reason, who would come up and stroke it. I don't like being touched, but hey, I'm not made of crystal, my main concerns being how to keep him interested if he's a hunk, or get rid of him if he's a skag.
Be there that weekend, though, and it was leather dress code or jeans (not strictly enforced). The place was packed to where you could barely move, and you might see guys getting blowjobs out in the back outdoor patio. I watched guys getting fucked on the pool table inside (but that was during Pride). Downstairs in the Underground I attended bondage and waxing shows.
Now go to the Brass Rail on Hennepin and they had drag shows and bingo games, for a much older crowd. The Townhouse in St. Paul is a tiny little place, you can drive right past it, and a mecca for drag. I can't imagine anyone groping you there. Is the 19 still open? Just a quiet little neighborhood gay bar. I don't think anyone there knows the meaning of groping, a place that's too snoozy even for me.
And then there's the Saloon, on Hennepin. It used to have its own trick hotel right above it (the Amsterdam), where you actually put a deposit on the sheets they issued you at the desk when you walked upstairs and checked in. (A monetary deposit - you would likely be depositing something else on the sheets later) And believe me I did, sometimes for 3 and 4-ways, then check back out and return to the bar below.
The hotel's gone now, and the Saloon has tried to clean-up its act. There was also a back area that could be walled off with movable partitions, becoming "The Tank". It was too raw even for me.
Last time I was there the raciest thing they had was a raised plexiglass shower stall in the dance area, where a Speedo boy would dance wet for your enjoyment. It's a custom that the guys who can will dance shirtless.
That a long-enough list, but I've been to other TC bars. So a gay bar is what you make of it, and what you choose. Nowadays I choose mine to have a lounge-like, clubby atmosphere. And even if there I get fondled (not lately), you handle it with calm class. And maybe with some biting, queeny put-down wit that will make him wish he never touched you, gurl.