It’s a what-bar?

March 18, 2006 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Personal | 6 Comments

This is a post about a gay bar that I hung out in for four years.

I started writing it because something came up about being on the receiving end of men’s sexual desire in somebody else’s post. I tell you, when you’re a straight guy that spends four years in a gay bar, you learn a thing or two about men expressing desire.

I didn’t get around to commenting on that issue, but if you’re bored with staring at your navel, you may want to read it.

I’ve been reminiscing lately about a four year period in my life which I fondly think of as “The Dufferin Years”.

In my first week in Vancouver, I found a flyer for the Penthouse strip club which advertised Thursay nights as “amateur night”. The idea of watching non-professional women strip just for the pleasure of it really appealled to me, so I decided to go check it out. Most of the women were obviously professionals who were applying for a job, but there were a couple where it seemed plausible that they were doing it just for fun.

Anyways, as I was walking down Seymour Street to the Penthouse, I happened to look across the street and say a large sign on the Dufferin Hotel which advertised karaoke 7 nights a week. I thought, “Well, I imagine I’ll be spending a lot of time in there.”

So the next night, I did go back to the Dufferin. The Dufferin, at the time, had a small separate lounge, and that’s where the karaoke was. I went into the lounge. Even though it was a Friday night, there were only about 10 people in there. I sat down in a corner and started to puruse the song selection book to decide what I wanted to sing.

I guy came into the lounge through a door that connected to the Main Bar. His name was Morgan. After that first night, I never saw him again. He said, “Hello, may I introduce myself? My name is Morgan. I don’t think I’ve seen you here before. May I sit down for a moment?”

I thought that Morgan was very polite and charming, so I invited him to sit down and we had a lov-er-ly chat about this and that, and then he offered to introduce me to everyone else in the bar. He did introduce me to everyone else, and they were also friendly and charming. A few more people came in and I ment them too, and they also were quite nice. So within an hour, I, a complete newbie to Vancouver, had met about 15 people who all seems very nice, and I felt quite comfortable and relaxed in the Dufferin lounge, as if I had been a regular for years.

So I thought to myself, “Wow, what a great place and what great people. I could see myself coming here almost every night. *looks around* I wonder why there aren’t any women here.”

Well of course, the Dufferin is a gay bar – or as the sign (which I noticed the second time) said, this is a gay-friendly establishment. I always liked that – gay-friendly. It was inclusive. It meant that I didn’t have to be gay to be there, just gay-friendly.

But I was disappointed. Because I was looking for a place where I could, among other things, meet women to have sex with, and I didn’t figure that I would be meeting too many at the Dufferin. But after a couple of months I found myself coming back to the Dufferin. During those months I had made the rounds of all the bars in Vancouver that a guy is supposed to go to in order to get laid, and I was morbidly unsuccessful at all of them; so I figured, if I’m going to go home alone at the end of every night, I might as well spend that night in a place that I like.

During the next four years, I was a regular at the Dufferin, but I wasn’t a drunk. I drank coffee and gingerale. It was great. I made friends. I learned a lot about people. I sang almost every song in the book. And furthermore, the Dufferin gave me something that I had been lacking – it gave me an identity. For a long time, I was the token straight boy that some people refused to believe was really straight. I liked that a lot.

And as for women, that worked out surprising well, because on the rare occasion that a woman came into the Dufferin looking for a man, it was me or nobody. I didn’t have to lie or be charming or anything. It was fabuluth!

When I look back on the Dufferin, I look back on it that same way that I look back on the serious relationships that I’ve had in my life. In many ways, my “relationship” with the Dufferin was similar to a relationship with a lover, including the eventual break-up.

I started writing this because something came up about being on the receiving end of men’s sexual desire in somebody else’s post. I tell you, when you’re a straight guy that spends four years in a gay bar, you learn a thing or two about men expressing desire.

But this post has now become too long, so I’ll comment on that issue another time.

I enjoyed writing this post. Even though my “relationship” with the Dufferin ended on a sour note, it’s a set of memories that I cherish. If I had the opportunity, I would not go back in time and skip over my relationship with the Dufferin, and there aren’t many past relationships that I can say that about.

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  1. What a cool post 🙂 I’m really curious about the ending of that relationship now. Oceanstone has never had any issues with being hit on by men even though he’s straight. He summed it up once by saying “it’s flattering and usually well intentioned so it doesn’t bother me”. I always liked that about him.

  2. Well for me, it was more than I didn’t mind it. I did find it flattering and usually well intentioned, but I also got quite a bit out of it. It’s greatly affected how I deal with women.

    That’s the kind of thing that I was originally planning to talk about, but now – well, another time.

  3. What happened! What happened!

  4. Sorry. It’s a little too painful to talk about.

  5. I would love to hear more about what you learned about men expressing desire. This sounds like you’ve had some really unique and interesting experiences.

  6. Me too!
    (especially since I’ve lost touch with how I expresss desire.. *sigh*)
    I know I’d learn something.

    (and I find being hit on by guys flattering but weird. mind you for years those were the only people that hit on me (and hence the weirdness factor – I’m straight)…

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