August 29th, 2011

The Death Of The Gay Bar

Two or three times a year a new gay bar opens up in Montpellier and then promptly closes for lack of business about three months later.

This has always mystified Rome Girl - because Montpellier has a larger per capita gay population than San Francisco, so you'd think that it would be able to support more than the three gay bars that have been here for ages.

But there's a reason they fail - and it's the same reason why I think a lot of gay bars will start to fail in western countries in the next few years. Here's why.

One of the members of the Usual Drunkspects we hang out with is a gay dude who chills with us in the Vert Anglais on most evenings. About two months ago his main fag hag turned up with her office mates including the office intern ("intern" is not exactly the right word, but it's the closest translation of the French term I can come up with) who was about 19.

The drunkspect was immediately smitten with him and spent the next few hours buying the dude tons of drinks only to get shot down at the end of the night with the dude essentially saying "Thanks for the drinks, but I'm straight."

Now, 10 or 20 years ago this might have played out differently, with the guy getting pissed off or things being awkward or the drunkspect not even trying to pick up a guy in a straight bar.

But, instead we all just gave him a clap on the back, told him our stories about buying drinks for girls all night only to have them finally mention they have a boyfriend at the end of the night - because it was the exact same situation and none of us felt like he was any different than us. It was just a moment of "dude that sucks."

And, that's the thing. Gays and gay sexuality are becoming so mainstream that there really isn't any difference between a gay guy in a random bar trying to hit on a dude who is way younger than him and clearly out of his league and a straight guy hitting on a girl way younger than him who is clearly out of his league.

We all do it and we all get shot down 95 percent of the time, but it's just life in bars. And, once homosexuality is that normalized then the need for gay bars starts to cease to exist.

It used to be that gay bars were the only places that dudes could go and get a few beers and hit on other dudes. Now, it's becoming socially acceptable to do that in straight bars. Therefore, gay bars in general are losing their purpose for being.

Of course, there will always be some gay bars, but their function will change. Two of the three gay bars in town that make money are ones where they have "back rooms" where dudes can go into the darkened area and have anonymous sex and the third is surrounded by small dark alleys where dudes can do the same.

That's never going to happen in a straight bar, so when gay dudes want to just get a random blow job from a stranger they'll have to go to those bars. But, what that means is that they'll become the gay equivalent of strip clubs. Yes, they'll always be bars for straight dudes who want to see the tits of girls who are out of their league and they'll always be gay bars that function as places to suck and fuck without having to bring anyone home or exchange numbers.

But, they will be marginalized. Just as most straight dudes don't go to titty bars every night they go out (or even most nights) gay dudes won't go to hook up bars every night. In both cases on most nights out they'll just want to go to regular bars to have a few drinks, talk to their friends and flirt if they find someone flirtable.

And, that's why gay bars will start dying in droves - and why it doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's just the effect of mainstreaming.

Lady Ga Ga

As I'm sure most of you know Lady Ga Ga did the entire MTV Video Music Awards last night in drag (essentially dressing and acting like Andrew Dice Clay.)

The reactions on the Internet have, to say the least, been mixed, with Ga Ga supporters thinking it was creative genius and others saying she was being a complete douchebag who in Gawker's words has "jumped the shark."

Anyway, here's a clip that is a fair example of how she behaved.

It's only a few minutes long and totally work safe, so check it out and let me know your opinion.

In This Clip Lady Ga Ga Is....

Being A Complete Douchebag

The Force Is Strong With This One


If I'm reading this blind item right, Star Wars fans aren't the only ones sending hate mail to George Lucas.

"Which blockbuster director is getting hate mail left on the front gate of his California mansion because of his proposed compound expansion? Neighbors are at war and forcing the sci-fi movie mogul to scratch his plans for a mini-film studio."


For the second time this summer a bat flew into our apartment last night.

Rome Girl hid in the bathroom and my cat and I teamed up to chase it out a window.

What concerns me is "what the fuck are we doing to attract bats?"

I've lived here for ten years and this summer is the first time I've ever had bats fly in and we've had two!

(Not that the bats bother me particularly. I think they are sort of cute and when it was defying gravity by sticking to the living room wall I thought it was sort of adorable. But they terrify Rome Girl and I'm also worried Squirt will kill herself by trying to jump at it, missing and jumping out the window instead.)

Climate Change

(AP) -- Leading GOP primary candidates and their representatives yesterday attacked upstart primary challenger Rick Perry for his comments calling climate change a "myth."

"Despite the governor's irresponsible rhetoric it has been clear for quite some time that winter is coming," said Lysa Arryn, the recently appointed director of Michele Bachmann's campaign. "We feel that the governor's comments are simply meant to stir up the far right of the party and curry sentiment against limousine liberals from Winterfell. Our campaign will not stoop to that level."

In a rare moment of conciliation Khal Drogo, who currently has a slight lead in the campaign, agreed with Arryn.

"Climate change is real," Drogo said. "It is known."

Drogo's main opponent, Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport and Warden of the West, flew into a rage when asked about Perry's comments.

"Rick Perry is a traitor who threatened to pull his bannerman out of service to the seven kingdoms," Lannister said. "His head belongs on a pike next to those of the socialist traitors who supported Eddard Stark after his betrayal of our once proud nation. Rick Perry hates freedom and should be stripped of his land and titles."

Perry said the attacks didn't phase him.

"Appointing Lady Arryn as campaign director is clearly nothing but pandering to the La Leche League," Perry said. "Khal Drogo has yet to provide a birth certificate proving he is a citizen of the seven kingdoms and Lannister represents exactly the type of irresponsible lending practices that created our current national deficit."

Perry then repeated his assertions that money currently being used to study climate change would be better spent fortifying the wall that separates the country from the unknown hordes south of our border.

"Climate change is junk science," Perry said. "We need to follow the traditions and beliefs that made this country great and be prepared for the zombie hordes who will one day attempt to climb the wall and take jobs away from the living."