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Bars and clubs

Six ways to preserve your dignity at a gay club

Mobile phones, bar etiquette, mood altering substances and finding a hook up. Gay clubs can be a comedy of errors waiting to happen. Here’s some tips to make sure you have the last laugh.

Whether it’s your first man on man disco experience or you’re a proficient poof at your favourite doof, going to a gay nightclub with your mates can be a bit like a kid in a candy store moment — except we’re all grown-ups and the lollies here are mostly booze, drugs and dick.

Whatever you’re going for, here are some basic no-nos to keep in mind, even if you can’t wait to get out of yours.

1. Cellular addiction

With so many distracting Apples you might miss that tempting snake, and before you know it you’re just another mindless Android lost in the orchard of glowing screens.

I’d probably die if I left mine at home too, but there’s a difference between using your phone and being a slave to it. And did you really pay that cover charge just to shift your Grindr GPS location 3km down the road from your place?

Eyes up buddy! You really are cuter when you’re not up lit from beneath your chin. Save the hook up apps for later and notice who’s checking you out in 3D.

2. This is not CAM4

It’s Friday and I have earned this vodka. Please allow me the dignity of preserving the lies of my social brand on Instagram as somebody who mostly still has clothes on at 2am. Mostly.

Do me a favour and leave me out of the background cameo appearance in your immaculate selfies .

By the way, your hair is flawless – but tagged video evidence of this intimate soirée on Facebook is not conducive to a comfortable family brunch on Sunday.

Fine, we’ll do a group shot before midnight. After then I become a pumpkin in front of a camera. Oh, you turn in to an eggplant? Show me your emoticon in the bathroom later.

3. Did you just say “expresso”?

The bartender musters patience as you order three mispronounced, delicious Martini style beverages. I saw him think about spitting in one when you asked for a fourth halfway through shaking up the first batch. Credit to him for a formidably firm wrist technique though!

After fiercely guarding my place at the bar desperate for a stiff one, I’m finally up.

“I’ll have an espresso Martini and a gin and tonic, please… … … Shit! Can I get two Mojitos as well – and I forgot I was buying for Mario, I think he wanted one of those blue drinks, um… y’know it’s blue . Sorry… Really sorry. I’ll order all at once next time I promise.”

4. Sushi? Now?

Hmm… That tiny fish shaped soy sauce dispenser you’re waving in front of me sure looks mighty tempting. I’ve dabbled in the delights of GHB in clubs before. Even with years of experience on other drugs, the ease of having an “unprofessional moment” and dropping while on the juice still astounds me.

I’ll pass for now. Another night, maybe. You know I’ve knocked back more spirits than we had combined at your sister’s wedding. And much like her and the best man, the two do not mix well. The only ‘G’ I’m having tonight is just gin, thanks. I guess lying down in close proximity to a handsome man in a paramedic uniform would be a great way to end tonight… but I’d much prefer him to be checking out my butt, rather than my vital signs.

5. Are you done in there yet?

I don’t think you’re both peeing in there and I really need to go. I’m also a little envious I’m not the one getting groped right now.

FFS (literally!), if you’re horny take him home… I’ll even drop you off on the way back to mine, just please get out of the cubicle. Now!

6. That’s not a ticket

Did you check your back pocket? This is like the twelfth time you’ve lost your cloakroom ticket. I’m on sensible duty tonight – don’t laugh – so I don’t know why you insisted on not letting me look after yours. It’s not like I’d ever leave without you… Oh come on! That was just one time last year… The guy I vanished with was REALLY hot after all.

And maybe don’t get so shouty with the cloakroom chick. She’s actually being really nice about it. I can’t imagine security will be quite so compassionate.

See, there it is. It’s always in your back pocket. Why not make your phone obsession more practical and take a snap of your ticket next time we do this, huh?

It’s home time.

I doubt I’ll pick up on the way out, but you never know. What I do know is that we definitely took our meds this morning. When one of us is HIV positive and using treatment to manage an undetectable viral load, and one of us is HIV negative and uses Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as prevention it’s pretty cool that we have similar routines.

I guess it’s kinda funny how normal it is for both of us to use biomedical HIV prevention strategies now… But why don’t you grab that packet of condoms on the way out too? The guy you’re taking home is truly adorable, and if you want to maximise your chances to get more than a mouthful, I’m sure you’ll both appreciate having more options to continue what you started back in cubicle five. Have fun!

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