New Aged Gays and Current Club Scene

  • mrsmithers

    Posts: 213

    Nov 22, 2014 4:18 AM GMT
    I know I've posted something like this before, and was surprised that I didn't get very much replies on this subject.. Or really any kind of intelligent replies.. I'll try this again in hopes to see some intelligent input and others point of views...


    I started up going to bars and clubs back in 1999 and 2000, and in those times, the bar/club business was during extremely well, and us gays had their own format of music, which was Circuit, Tribal, some trance depending what club you were at.. I started to DJ during those times and got into the whole circuit scene.. Now that seems to be gone, or very limited.. The current house music that is coming out is not good at all.. Most music in my opinion is very ghettoized, some decent tracks coming out, but that's a rarity.. I talk to some people that have moved away to other places and they also said that bars are not doing well, NYC use to have a BIG scene, now I hear nothing about NYC.. I kinda think this Everybody's a DJ has pretty much killed it, but I think there are other issues such as gay marriage is killing the club scene too.. If anyone's married I don't think they are going to want to go to a club, seeing how it's a risk of being cheated on.. I don't think online dating or phone apps are a problem. I think people would rather meet in person than behind a online profile and pics, at least you know what you are getting into meeting someone out, as you see them and know what they look like the minute you start talking.. Also some have mentioned that we don't need a gay bar anymore to be excepted.. And people are now going out to straight bars.. I don't know to believe that or not... I live in a suburban area, and we use to have one or two gays clubs and was always that way going back into the 70s from what the older people say.. It's been since about 2008 when the bars have shut down.. Now we only have 3 small bars, and one of them is not doing good at all.. But I've slowly noticed how the bars here got very unprofessional, and a one gay night a week place will pop up here and there.. And those always fail within the few months.. Another issue is that alot of these smaller bars are doing alot of drag shows, to the point to where it's burnt out.. I don't mind drag shows my self, but I don't go to places where the whole night consists of drag shows.. Some have also said that it's like this throughout the country.. I would love to hear what people have to say about this and their point of views...
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    Nov 22, 2014 4:23 AM GMT
    I guess gay bars are becoming less of a freak show.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Nov 22, 2014 4:28 AM GMT
    mrsmithers saidI know I've posted something like this before, and was surprised that I didn't get very much replies on this subject.. Or really any kind of intelligent replies.. I'll try this again in hopes to see some intelligent input and others point of views...


    I started up going to bars and clubs back in 1999 and 2000, and in those times, the bar/club business was during extremely well, and us gays had their own format of music, which was Circuit, Tribal, some trance depending what club you were at.. I started to DJ during those times and got into the whole circuit scene.. Now that seems to be gone, or very limited.. The current house music that is coming out is not good at all.. Most music in my opinion is very ghettoized, some decent tracks coming out, but that's a rarity.. I talk to some people that have moved away to other places and they also said that bars are not doing well, NYC use to have a BIG scene, now I hear nothing about NYC.. I kinda think this Everybody's a DJ has pretty much killed it, but I think there are other issues such as gay marriage is killing the club scene too.. If anyone's married I don't think they are going to want to go to a club, seeing how it's a risk of being cheated on.. I don't think online dating or phone apps are a problem. I think people would rather meet in person than behind a online profile and pics, at least you know what you are getting into meeting someone out, as you see them and know what they look like the minute you start talking.. Also some have mentioned that we don't need a gay bar anymore to be excepted.. And people are now going out to straight bars.. I don't know to believe that or not... I live in a suburban area, and we use to have one or two gays clubs and was always that way going back into the 70s from what the older people say.. It's been since about 2008 when the bars have shut down.. Now we only have 3 small bars, and one of them is not doing good at all.. But I've slowly noticed how the bars here got very unprofessional, and a one gay night a week place will pop up here and there.. And those always fail within the few months.. Another issue is that alot of these smaller bars are doing alot of drag shows, to the point to where it's burnt out.. I don't mind drag shows my self, but I don't go to places where the whole night consists of drag shows.. Some have also said that it's like this throughout the country.. I would love to hear what people have to say about this and their point of views...

    Oh my. I will cling to my husband the whole time.icon_sad.gif
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    Nov 22, 2014 4:31 AM GMT
    Perhaps the decreasing number of gay bars in many areas is related to the increasing acceptance of gays in society at large. Gays no longer have to go to bars to meet. There are gay softball leagues, gay bowling leagues, gay cruises (I mean, on real ships), gay film clubs, gay groups for playing board games, card games, you name it. When it comes to going out to bars, many gay men are choosing to go to straight or mixed bars in resort hotels, local restaurants, etc. We're not "freaks" who have to hide in darkened bars, segregated by our sexual orientation.
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    Nov 22, 2014 4:37 AM GMT
    Smartphone apps may also be a factor.
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    Nov 22, 2014 5:07 AM GMT
    Forty years of building community, demolished in just a few years since the advent of the apps.

    Thanx grindr.
  • mrsmithers

    Posts: 213

    Nov 22, 2014 5:13 AM GMT
    RPearson saidPerhaps the decreasing number of gay bars in many areas is related to the increasing acceptance of gays in society at large. Gays no longer have to go to bars to meet. There are gay softball leagues, gay bowling leagues, gay cruises (I mean, on real ships), gay film clubs, gay groups for playing board games, card games, you name it. When it comes to going out to bars, many gay men are choosing to go to straight or mixed bars in resort hotels, local restaurants, etc. We're not "freaks" who have to hide in darkened bars, segregated by our sexual orientation.


    I don't think that's the case.. I still think that people would rather be in there own a bar.. It's more of a culture thing.. You don't see Mexican and hations, going into country bars..
  • mrsmithers

    Posts: 213

    Nov 22, 2014 5:16 AM GMT
    theantijock saidForty years of building community, demolished in just a few years since the advent of the apps.

    Thanx grindr.


    I still don't think it's websites and apps, if anything Grindr would help the bars, you can see whose close to you and talk to them and then set a specific location in the bar to meet.. I still think it's the economy.. Even though numbers are looking good, there are still alot of people that can't afford to go out and drink..
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    Nov 22, 2014 5:22 AM GMT
    I'm sorry, did you say something? I was too busy watching my cell.....icon_razz.gif
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    Nov 22, 2014 5:35 AM GMT
    bon_pan saidI guess gay bars are becoming less of a freak show.


    YESSSS!
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    Nov 22, 2014 5:49 AM GMT
    Dunno. Go to clubs where there used to be crowds of shirtless guys dancing (and, ahem, other things) and now there are just fat guys standing around drinking beer and staring at a sad gogo boy.
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    Nov 22, 2014 5:57 AM GMT
    mrsmithers said
    theantijock saidForty years of building community, demolished in just a few years since the advent of the apps.

    Thanx grindr.


    I still don't think it's websites and apps, if anything Grindr would help the bars, you can see whose close to you and talk to them and then set a specific location in the bar to meet.. I still think it's the economy.. Even though numbers are looking good, there are still alot of people that can't afford to go out and drink..


    It might be part economy but even that might defer somewhat to apps because part of that is the expense of getting to the bars. So you've got car use, petrol, bar costs for the possibility of striking out vs a phone bill that you probably pay anyway for I guess what people find to be more of a sure thing.

    I don't think it is websites because we had those for years with no noticeable disruption to the bar scene. The big change has come since just after the bubble crash which is when the apps came in and now of course we're getting our human rights so add that to the mix. I think that combo has stopped new gay ghettos from forming and will destroy existing ones. But I think even as the economy continues to improve, apps will continue to take their toll on the bars. And I've spoken to a few bar owners and tenders about that.

    Your point on drag shows is interesting because that's how it originally cranked up. Back in the 70s, many of the bars had at least some drag, even the Copa. Small towns certainly had it. But then techno took over and drag was more relegated to smaller venues. Maybe it reverts back to the 70s now.

    I don't know for how long you've been in WP but that area never really supported much of a bar scene. I assume you still have Roosters. Lake Worth had a few storefront bars now and then. Boca had a good bar for a while, long since gone. Downtown WP had some spurts of bars but never anything like Lauderdale. And now Tampa has lost a ton of bars and Orlando is nearly dead. Key West is dead though that was more a migration issue and a re-gentrification, if there's such a thing, than a phone disconnect.

    It would be interesting to do a survey of bars, especially their receipts, if they would fess up to that, or at least their closings which can be tracked, and see if that is in fact in decline in time to apps, to the bubble, to gaining our rights, etc. We certainly do seem in a period of transition in socializing even as we come to a waypoint of gaining rights and acceptance. That's a curious mix.
  • mrsmithers

    Posts: 213

    Nov 22, 2014 6:01 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidDunno. Go to clubs where there used to be crowds of shirtless guys dancing (and, ahem, other things) and now there are just fat guys standing around drinking beer and staring at a sad gogo boy.


    Ya that's the way it around here.. That and in your face drag...
  • mrsmithers

    Posts: 213

    Nov 22, 2014 6:09 AM GMT
    theantijock said
    mrsmithers said
    theantijock saidForty years of building community, demolished in just a few years since the advent of the apps.

    Thanx grindr.


    I still don't think it's websites and apps, if anything Grindr would help the bars, you can see whose close to you and talk to them and then set a specific location in the bar to meet.. I still think it's the economy.. Even though numbers are looking good, there are still alot of people that can't afford to go out and drink..


    It might be part economy but even that might defer somewhat to apps because part of that is the expense of getting to the bars. So you've got car use, petrol, bar costs for the possibility of striking out vs a phone bill that you probably pay anyway for I guess what people find to be more of a sure thing.

    I don't think it is websites because we had those for years with no noticeable disruption to the bar scene. The big change has come since just after the bubble crash which is when the apps came in and now of course we're getting our human rights so add that to the mix. I think that combo has stopped new gay ghettos from forming and will destroy existing ones. But I think even as the economy continues to improve, apps will continue to take their toll on the bars. And I've spoken to a few bar owners and tenders about that.

    Your point on drag shows is interesting because that's how it originally cranked up. Back in the 70s, many of the bars had at least some drag, even the Copa. Small towns certainly had it. But then techno took over and drag was more relegated to smaller venues. Maybe it reverts back to the 70s now.

    I don't know for how long you've been in WP but that area never really supported much of a bar scene. I assume you still have Roosters. Lake Worth had a few storefront bars now and then. Boca had a good bar for a while, long since gone. Downtown WP had some spurts of bars but never anything like Lauderdale. And now Tampa has lost a ton of bars and Orlando is nearly dead. Key West is dead though that was more a migration issue and a re-gentrification, if there's such a thing, than a phone disconnect.

    It would be interesting to do a survey of bars, especially their receipts, if they would fess up to that, or at least their closings which can be tracked, and see if that is in fact in decline in time to apps, to the bubble, to gaining our rights, etc. We certainly do seem in a period of transition in socializing even as we come to a waypoint of gaining rights and acceptance. That's a curious mix.


    Well said.. I think the economy is the number one problem and people are using the apps, as it's free and you don't have to go anywhere and buy drinks.. There was dating websites and hookup sites even in the late 1990s and like you said, it didn't effect the bars and clubs.. But I think it all comes down to the economy being the number one problem and then everything else becomes a problem due to the economy.. I see alot of bar owners making very bad choices.. Drag has always been around, and it's was always a secondary thing as far as being apart of the entertainment.. But now they base the everything on it.. And alot of the young drag queens around here are very stage hungry, they always want to be in the spot light.. It's more about drag around here, more so than DJs and music.. And it was never like that 10 years ago.. I've been to the Copa before the hurricane destroyed it.. It was a great place.. But I'm hearing there even doing drag in places like mans bars now too.. Someone told me The Eagle in California is even involving drag shows.. It's shocking being a leather bar..

    We still have Roosters and the Mad Hatter Lounge, and Ft Dix.. Roosters seemed to be more of a Latin bar now, and alot of drag.. But WP always had a dance club through out the 80s and 90s..

    As for Tampa and Orlando.. I heard Orlando is still doing good as far as a club scene.. They do still have the Parliment House.. I hear Ft Lauderdale has aged as far as the gay population.. I heard Tampa still has a few clubs around...
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    Nov 22, 2014 6:12 AM GMT
    mrsmithers said
    mindgarden saidDunno. Go to clubs where there used to be crowds of shirtless guys dancing (and, ahem, other things) and now there are just fat guys standing around drinking beer and staring at a sad gogo boy.


    Ya that's the way it around here.. That and in your face drag...


    ...that and phone in their faces, what a drag!

    I've no idea where it goes from here. And I do feel for you guys who would have enjoyed what we got to play with. From the 70s until just recently, the bar scene was a freaking blast.

    So if it's of any consolation, just know that you guys don't have to have any fun anymore. We had all the fun for you.
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    Nov 22, 2014 6:28 AM GMT
    There are probably a few factors you didn't mention.

    1) I do know DJ-ing. Something has happened in the music world recently that gay club goers might not know about. That is the artist(s) themselves and their new very stingy copy right hold outs. Since the rise of straight EDM and the HUGE payouts some of these DJs demand, the artists they spin and remix want in on their action and demand 'proceeds' just for playing their music.
    EDM's $46 Million Man: How Calvin Harris Became The World's Highest-Paid DJ
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2013/08/14/edms-46-million-man-how-calvin-harris-became-the-worlds-highest-paid-dj/

    1a) Gay DJ's or the ones that have spun our own parties, have never gotten paid like this, or recognized. Even the now deceased Peter Rauhofer, who is a Grammy winner, never broke out into the mainstream, his music and remixes stayed within the gay community. We, as a community, own the club scene since the 70's disco era which we know was destroyed by the straight rock scene. Therefore, DJ's who spun club, dance tracks went underground and it was difficult to get any dance artists music to get played anywhere. Just to get their music played, the artists didn't care if the DJ's played or mixed their music for free. We know this from hearing Madonna over the years and gay club DJ's spinning, mixing her music not heard on radio airplay. So, as far as artists now, I really blame the straight EDM scene. I have talked to many local or gay community DJ's and they all say the same thing, they have pulled the artists music or remixes because of copy right, it has become to expensive for our unrecognized and apparently, under paid gay-circuit, club DJ's who now have been undercut by the very high paid straight EDM DJ's who can afford to share their millions with the artists.

    2) Because of the above problem, the large gay dance/club parties are becoming Too expensive for the young adults the party and its headlining DJ is supposed to attract. Our parties are becoming not just for everyone anymore, but for the wealthy gays. A gay guy who is 21, who wants to attend White Party palms springs weekend will usually have to split the cost of the weekend with his 5-6 friends. If you are a young, working, in college 20 something with bills to pay, you are not going to be able to afford a minimum $1,500 weekend which is what I am hearing the average cost of WP Palms Springs weekend is up to. Therefore, those who can afford the weekend are the, dare I say, the 'older crowds' 30 years and older. Not only the patrons are older who can afford, but the DJ's themselves are also getting older, some into their 50's already.

    3) We are a 'business'. The promoters, the artists, the DJ's all want more $$$$$$ now and their cost keep rising for some odd reason (other than greed or keeping up with the jones'). Our self contained gay community is not large enough to sustain and keep up with the larger straight EDM 'business', just by the shear numbers of attendees or ticket sales. As stated before, we, gay community, created this outlet for ourselves many years ago and the straights, once again, have gentrified themselves and took it over

    4) The music itself might have changed. The newest software can make it easy to create all kinds of new tracks. The trouble again, comes from using other artists riffs, tunes, samples, vocals...etc within the mix. Again, I have to blame the highly paid straight EDM DJ's for crashing our turf and up-ing the price tag who then got the artists looking at $$

    5) Our gay community and its DJ's will be priced out of the fun if only older gay men in particular can afford it. It will just die slowly as it has been doing. You can buy a nice large LED HDTV for less than the price of White Party weekend and it will last much longer. Not just the large circuit parties anymore, but your local club, bar entrance seems to be a min of $20 door price for an average night. The cost of alcohol is regulated so its not like food prices going up, not sure what the excuse is.

    6) 'New Age Gays' are finding the $5-$6 cover charge appealing, if they can find it. I don't know, the fewer people that go to bars/clubs and parties, the higher the prices for these venues will continue to climb to keep the promoter, artists and DJ's paid. Apps killed the bar? Maybe, maybe not. The 'gay bar' is still quite relevant in the small towns of America and without them, we still see the pre Stonewall days and treatment In these places. Our bars, clubs, parties, promoters, artists and DJ's are not dead yet, they are still part of our culture, we just need to take it back if we wanted to. Maybe we ourselves are evolving by giving up our safe haven(s) to the straights. Sounds a bit like what's been happening in San Francisco where the middle class gay is being pushed out because of the more wealthy people, including the wealthy gays. I think its the same problem, the middle class squeeze.
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    Nov 22, 2014 6:29 AM GMT
    mrsmithers said
    Well said.. I think the economy is the number one problem and people are using the apps, as it's free and you don't have to go anywhere and buy drinks.. There was dating websites and hookup sites even in the late 1990s and like you said, it didn't effect the bars and clubs.. But I think it all comes down to the economy being the number one problem and then everything else becomes a problem due to the economy.. I see alot of bar owners making very bad choices.. Drag has always been around, and it's was always a secondary thing as far as being apart of the entertainment.. But now they base the even on it.. It's more about drag around here, more so than DJs and music.. And it was never like that.. I've been to the Copa before the hurricane destroyed it.. It was a great place.. But I'm hearing there even doing drag in places like mans bars now too.. Someone told me The Eagle in California is even involving drag shows.. It's shocking being a leather bar..

    We still have Roosters and the Mad Hatter Lounge, and Ft Dix.. Roosters seemed to be more of a Latin bar now, and alot of drag.. But WP always had a dance club through out the 80s and 90s..


    Drag in the Rooster? I never would have guessed that.

    Drag was fairly primary early on. Especially in smaller towns. I was in Tampa and G-ville at school in the 70s and I remember making friends with a number of them. I still remember the name of one. Apple Love. She had a limp or something. Anyway, there was way more drag in the 70s and early 80s. Dana Manchester at the Copa. And I was with a bi/tri guy back then so we'd often bring the entertainment home. I even remember drag at Tackey's which was a pretty butch place. And then it seemed to fade for a while.

    Downtown WP started cranking up with str8 bars offering a gay night and then a couple of gay bars kicked in here and there but all of downtown, not just the gay scene, took longer to come into itself then I'd have thought it might. As that was developing we were cranking up Wilton and I think that drew in a lot of community. And at the same time, Delray started working on Atlantic so WPB had a lot of competition from areas already better established.

    I don't recall the Mad Hatter. I lived in Lake Worth for a while, right across from Lake Osborne where I'd go sailing just about every day after work. Just a little sunfish. Very fun though. I could ride that sail juat about horizontal to the water on a good breeze. But I haven't hit that area in a while so not real familiar with it lately.

    I also can't imagine drag at the Eagle. I'm not against drag but I tend to not mix my drinks. If I saw that there, I'd walk out.

    (EDIT TO ADD: real interesting info on the music scene Scruff. I wasn't aware of that.)
  • mrsmithers

    Posts: 213

    Nov 22, 2014 9:17 AM GMT
    Most of the house music today has got rap in it.. Most DJs who are still spinning house are going back into time and spinning stuff that's been revamped or thee classics.. My friend DJed at Tackies I think in the early 1990s.. The Mad Hatter is in Lake Worth, and is a very small neighborhood bar... I think it opened in the mid 90s... They get a decent crowd for what it is.. But other than that Roosters is the only other bar in town that still gets some what of a crowd.. But as mentioned above.. Its a rare thing finding good looking guys in the bars, at least in this area.. They are either way too young and flamboyant and are interested in Nicki Minaj.. or they are Very old and fat, or just unattractive period.... I just came back from a bar, and it's sad to say the only people that were good looking were two straight people who walked in that were from Wales, and didn't know it was a gay bar until they were already inside...
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    Nov 22, 2014 10:53 AM GMT
    Combination of things:
    1. More acceptance.
    2. Internet and dating apps combined with better connectivity.
    So people can spend more time on internet watching movies etc. They don't have to go to a bar just because they are bored because they have other means of entertainment at home.
    3. Younger guys struggling to have a good paying jobs.
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    Nov 22, 2014 12:01 PM GMT
    __morphic__ saidCombination of things:
    1. More acceptance.
    2. Internet and dating apps combined with better connectivity.
    So people can spend more time on internet watching movies etc. They don't have to go to a bar just because they are bored because they have other means of entertainment at home.
    3. Younger guys struggling to have a good paying jobs.
    +1

    And 4. Straight/mixed bars aren't as expensive. That's the #1 reason I stopped going to gay bars.
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    Nov 22, 2014 4:12 PM GMT
    Here are my reasons as to why I stopped going:

    1. Going to a bar/club has become like the chore you don't want to do. From taking an afternoon nap to making sure you choose the right clothes, there's preparation involved. I'd just rather not be bothered with it.

    2. Some bars/clubs still allow smoking. I don't smoke and I hate leaving bars/clubs where my clothes reek of cigarette smoke.

    3. The music is so loud, I have to scream at the top of my lungs just to talk to the guy next to me; which usually results in having to go to the patio/outside area just to have a conversation.

    4. And lastly and as I have aged, my definition of hanging out with friends has changed. In my early 20s, everyone went to the bar. That was the fun thing to do! Now, I'd rather go to friends' homes and play Wii games or Monopoly over drinks. It's become a lot more fun than having to deal with the hassle of going to the clubs.
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    Nov 22, 2014 4:15 PM GMT
    the music has definitely gotten worse over the years. long gone are the days of really good trance music. 1999-2003 was probably the best couple of years for it.
  • HndsmKansan

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    Nov 22, 2014 4:20 PM GMT
    RPearson saidPerhaps the decreasing number of gay bars in many areas is related to the increasing acceptance of gays in society at large. Gays no longer have to go to bars to meet.


    I think this is really the crux of the answer, it is a different environment out there with regards to gay men.. new and different way and places to meet and more of a mainstream approach.

    In Wichita (which probably never had that much of a "gay scene", except a club called "The Fantasy" which was part country western and part dance), the country western side is shut down half the time and more people go to a newer "metro" bar called "Rain" which is a mix of gays and straight customers. It appeals to those gay men who want to interact, but is considered mainstream overall.

    I think we'll continue to see this kind of shift..gone are the days of the exclusively gay bars and scene of the past.. definitely a change these days.
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    Nov 22, 2014 4:45 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    RPearson saidPerhaps the decreasing number of gay bars in many areas is related to the increasing acceptance of gays in society at large. Gays no longer have to go to bars to meet.


    I think this is really the crux of the answer, it is a different environment out there with regards to gay men.. new and different way and places to meet and more of a mainstream approach.

    In Wichita (which probably never had that much of a "gay scene", except a club called "The Fantasy" which was part country western and part dance), the country western side is shut down half the time and more people go to a newer "metro" bar called "Rain" which is a mix of gays and straight customers. It appeals to those gay men who want to interact, but is considered mainstream overall.

    I think we'll continue to see this kind of shift..gone are the days of the exclusively gay bars and scene of the past.. definitely a change these days.


    No, tbh it's because we're in the middle of a horrible social media era where people would much rather sit behind a screen than live their actual lives.

    I don't even see kids playing outside anymore like they did in the 90s and the early noughties. They must be indoors playing with their ipads.
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    Nov 22, 2014 5:30 PM GMT
    I'll mostly just stop in a local pub for a beer and to chat with whomever winds up next to me at the bar these days though rarely even that. I described in another thread my last time at a club which I think was a year or three back. It was horrible and I lasted probably less than 20 minutes.

    A quarter to a third of the people were on their phones. And by on their phones, I don't mean talking, just with their faces. It's the stupidest thing. There was hardly anyone near my age. Of those who were, they just looked up at me as I passed with such desperation in their faces, silently saying "get me out of here" that I couldn't even approach them. It was really sad especially because I used to think those places were so much fun.

    So I go to check out the dance floor. No one is dancing though it is surrounded by guys waiting to what? Look at people on the dance floor? I had trouble figuring it out. As I'm rounding that, I come up to a group of guys about my age, all three of them looking into one guy's phone. What are you people doing with your apps in a gay bar, looking for gay people? I can't believe how stupid this is.

    One of the three notices me and now I've got the three of them staring at me with the very same blank expression they use to stare into their app. News flash, I'm not an app. I'm a person. When I was a young in the bars I used to love being objectified. That was fun. This was not fun. This was creepy. This is being objectified under a touch screen glass that they still seemed to think was in the palm of their hand instead of being me, there, actually in person. Stop staring.

    It made me so uncomfortable that I put my drink down, flipped them the bird--they didn't even flinch--turned and walked out.

    Fuck that. Mario has left the gay bar.