You! I want to take you to a gay bar!

The straight man’s guide to gay bar drinking

Tony Libera

Since the dawn of time, straight men have called upon the ancient magicks found in sweet, sweet alcohol to wile unsuspecting females into making the sex (or y’know, just, like, talking or whatever).

The archaic practice has trickled down through the ages to the present day, where, thanks to desperate suitors and the anathema that is ladies’ night, salacious women can get sloshed without paying for a single drink. Swell for them, but what about the poor Y-chromosomal among us? Do we not also enjoy a free drink? If you prick us, do we not bleed?

Fortunately, there’s a loophole for us dudes in the cosmic drink-buying scheme: the gay bar. There, straight men can drink themselves to oblivion on the free, provided they play their cards right. Here are a few tips for getting googly-eyed at the gay bar.

Step One: Quit being a homophobe

It’s the 21st century, folks; we’re mere months away from flying cars and food in pill form, quote me on that. So, if you’re still calling your pal Jonesy a “queerbo” because he likes watching “Gilmore Girls,” or if you’re still fervently avoiding gay bars like the house the plague, you need to look at the man in the mirror and ask him to change his ways. Seriously, sh’mon.

Step Two: Pick the right bar

Like a gay snowflake, no two gay bars are alike, so it’s important to choose one suited to your tastes. Otherwise you might accidentally end up at a hardcore leather bar watching some guy called Mr. Fister do his thing, which you may or may not enjoy.

Minneapolis boasts the 2nd-largest per-capita GLBT population, and that means there are a heck of a lot of gay watering holes in this town with plenty of fellows who could potentially buy you a drink. Gay 90’s and The Saloon are the old standbys, but a little research will uncover a bar that’s as cool and close as it is queer (Lush in Northeast is a solid choice.)

Step Three: Bring a wingman

Conventional wisdom applies here: Bring a good-looking friend that can help you make plays. Ask Jonesy to take some time off from his “Gilmore” marathon to accompany you out. That way you can work the field together, or divide and conquer. You can also bring a lady wingman instead. This has the potential to gay-moflauge you, which is sleazy in its duplicity, but effective if you lack morals.

Step Four: Dress for success

Take special note: You don’t need to wear a sequined Liberace cape or sashay about in some other absurd costume modeled on your limited knowledge of gay stereotypes. Chances are you’ll just look dumb or offensive if you play that game, so don’t try.

Again, locale comes into play, as different bars attract different clientele. But as with any bar — gay, straight or extraterrestrial — looking like a C.H.U.D. probably won’t help your cause. You don’t have to dress like Don Draper, but you certainly shouldn’t dress like Don Imus either (that is to say, bad.) Just remember ZZ Top’s famous line: Every [gay’s] crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man.

Step Five: Mingle

The simple key to getting free drinks is to just interact and have a good time. Meet some new people, dance a little, play some pool. You don’t have to try and act gay, whatever that means; gay men are fans of straight guys, too. Diversity is the spice of life, after all.

Even if you don’t snag a free drink, the ancillary benefits of certain gay bars make them wholly worthwhile for the straight man. For one, male bartenders generally make your drinks much stronger than their counterparts at not-expressly-gay bars. What’s more, plenty of hetero women go to gay bars with their homo pals to avoid getting hit on by sleazebags. If you get chummy with a gay dude, you could wind up in bed with his lady friend doing something that is definitely not gay.