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April 9, 2010

Why Do Sorority Girls Come To Gay Bars?
FILED UNDER: "Gay Men's Health & Culture"
TAGS: Detroitgay male culturegay menMichiganstraight people
By Trevor

sorority-girls.jpg

It's actually a serious question, and one I found myself pondering last night on the dancefloor at Menjo's in Detroit. I was surrounded by a sea of women - I almost thought perhaps Maxime and I had made the mistake of coming on ladies not. But no, this was not ladies night. It was a run-of-the-mill twinkfest "College Night" at Menjo's, yet at least 1/3 of the attendees were of the female variety.

Let me clarify a bit: These weren't just any version of the straight girl. They're not even classifiable as "fag hags." These women were more like sorority girls than they were fagalicious hipsters. These are the kind of girls who bop up and down on the dance floor enthusiastically with their long hair swishing from side to side, making ridiculous attempts to rub their asses against gay men's crotches while grinning "mischievously" from ear to ear. They're dressed in their finest Forever 21 and Wet Seal garbs, with some generic hoop earrings to boot. You'll find them stocked in gay bars across the country. The come in packs, typically with at least one gay friend in tow -- but on occasion they arrive sans-homo.

So with that specification in mind, I have to ask: Why are they here? And I mean that question quite seriously. The obvious answer is that they came to party with their gay friends, but that seems like a curious answer: We don't generally show up in packs to straight clubs to party with our straight friends. And even when we do, we certainly don't comprise nearly a third of the crowd. No, something more systemic is happening here, something more interesting.

"Straight men are to me what tribal communities along the Amazon must have been to 19th century riverboat Anthropologists. They fascinate me, but I have no interest in getting off this boat to find out more."

I'd imagine being a straight girl has its ups and downs. You get access to dumb straight dick, but then again that dick is attached to a less appealing person. Straight men are to me what tribal communities along the Amazon must have been to 19th century riverboat Anthropologists. They fascinate me, but I have no interest in getting off this boat to find out more. Straight women don't have the luxury of tourism as I do, it seems. They have to find some way to get along with and, god forbid!, cohabitate with these people. If you've ever seen an average straight boy's college dorm room, you'll understand why this could be challenging: Empty Doritos bags strewn across the floor, half-empty PBR cans laying on top of desks, the smell of manscent and stale beer filling the air, a knee-high stack of Playstation 2 games beside the TV.

I'm always amazed when I go to straight clubs on campus here at UM and see how highly sexualized these spaces are. On any given Thursday night, Rick's here on campus will be slammed with 19 year olds with fake IDs, gyrating against each other frantically while sloppily making out against the wall. There is a certain desperation in their efforts, which is likely not unrelated to the fact that they have to get blackout-drunk to be able to explore their sexual desires. Growing up in Michigan doesn't exactly prepare you to feel good about your bodies or your desires, it seems. Getting wasted may be one strategy for managing that shame.

Which leads me back to my initial question: Why are a certain number of these girls MIA from Rick's on Thursday, instead opting to make the trek to College Night at Menjo's? I think the answer has to do with them searching for a place to have fun without the looming gaze of straight men. I know that's a simplistic account, but I think they're faced with a certain amount of pressure at straight bars to smile and flirt and be generally accessible to straight men. I don't mean this to say that straight men are bad people, but rather than straight girls may just want to party without them sometimes. To have fun, without the weight of hetero-sexual tension. So instead of heading to Rick's, they come to Menjo's.

I don't know what to say about their presence. Personally, I find them pretty annoying -- to be perfectly frank. They are not socialized as gay, and thus utterly clueless about gay culture except for what they learned watching Will & Grace. They are the ultimate cockblock, jerking their friends away from potential tricks to scurry to the dance floor -- and keeping those tricks at a distance by pseudo-humping to the music. They are here to party, not get laid, and thus get pissed if their gay friend ditches them for a make-out session. And the worst of them have the temerity to walk into a gay bar and judge its patrons and the establishment itself.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not against letting straight women into gay bars. But the straight women I like to see at gay bars have a sense of what it means to be queer. They may not be gay themselves, but they have their own sense of faggotry within. These women may be referred to as "fag hags" or "fruit flies." They appreciate what makes gay culture gay, and don't just come in from time to time to release some steam. In my book, these women are more than welcome at gay bars. So while I certainly understand what makes the girls I've described in this piece show up at Menjo's -- and I have a lot of compassion for the crap they have to put up with in their homeland -- I'm begging you, ladies, please don't turn your problem of straight men into our problem of putting up with your drunk asses. You may be having a blast, but most of the gay boys around you are secretly wishing you would leave.

PERMALINK | Posted at 1:05 PM | Post a Comment (1)

1 Comment

Interesting...sort of. I think that you're creating a one dimensional straight male that rarely actually exists.

I think a common truth is that a straight male and a gay male have different values. While maybe most of us look down on keeping a messy room that is evident of poor hygiene and a bad diet, to them, it just isn't as important as say...writing down that song that just popped into their head or calling their girlfriend to tell them something special (many of which are these sorority girls referred to).

And in reference to "straight clubs on campus here at UM and see how highly sexualized these spaces are"...isn't that true of any college influenced club? Isn't college life what most people view of as their carefree, experimental days?

What do I think these women are up to? Well, quite possibly they're dating on of the "one-dimensional" straight boys and maybe that particular Thursday was the night before a tough exam and they were studying hard. Or maybe even a boy's night out ( no speculation here ;-)). So...what do these girls do when they want to have fun but don't want to be bothered by the "highly sexualized" atmosphere of the typical straight club on UM? They go to a gay bar where they know it's safe. Hm, that's a pretty good reputation for "us" if you ask me.

HOWEVER, as a self proclaimed misogynist (I know it's bad! I have mommy issues), I'm not defending these girls but just creating another dimension as to which this could be viewed. Again, we're steering what women (and it seems everyone else) does towards what the straight male does. Maybe it's time to change that?

--JD

Author Profile Page Rikker User Profile | April 10, 2010 1:08 AM


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