I’m going to write about what I wish I had read or known about before I first stepped inside a macho dancer bar or gay bar. Girls and ladies, I hope this helps.
First, establish why you and your friends are off to a macho dancer bar. Do you just want to have a different kind of girls night out? Something risque perhaps? A hint of adventure? Or are you there to scope out the place for a potential bachelorette party? Or are you there to actually find an MD (let me remind you again: MD stands for macho dancer, not medical dcotor) to hook up with?
Whatever your reason is, things will proceed from there. I cannot give accurate advice to young women who want to hook up with an MD since that has never been the agenda the times I’ve been to macho dancer bars. The subsequent stuff I’ll be writing about may not apply either for a girl looking for a hook-up. This post will apply to girls who just want to see what macho dancer bars are all about—-girls who want to have (a somehow innocent) fun.
Money is the next factor. You cannot enter a macho dancer bar expecting to pay what you would for a McDonald’s value meal. Uh-huh. Assuming that all you want to do is watch the dancing and you have no intention to table an MD, it is still safe to bring at least 1,000 pesos per person. Some macho dancer bars have cover charges. Once you are seated, you’ll have to order drinks. Some bars have obligatory twin drinks meaning you have to order two drinks for a price. Chances are you won’t end up spending the full 1,000.00 pesos especially if you go to a bar without cover charge but better safe than sorry.
It is another issue altogether if you have the intent to table an MD. Macho drinks, the drinks you are obliged to order for the macho dancers to keep them seated in your table, are quite pricey. It varies from one bar to another but I would advise a lady who intends to order four drinks for her MD and about three drinks for herself to have no less than 3,000 pesos in her purse–exclusive of tip money for the MD. It is customary to give tip money to an MD at the end of the night especially if you enjoyed his company. How much should the tip be? It depends on you. Jess gave 1000 pesos as tip money a couple of times. Once it was 2000. Ella suggests 500. I would agree that 500 would suffice unless you could afford more. I would not advise giving more than 1,000 pesos.
Ladies, if you want to know the going rates for macho drinks, entrance fees and customer drinks plus lots more, I suggest that you visit this ever dependable site of The Gonograd Resident:
The Gonograd Resident has visited every macho dancer bar/gay bar (or nearly every) in Metro Manila and has given his review on each one. Us girls can learn a lot from him and his experiences. I myself intend to message him one of these days and maybe share what I can about the whole macho dancer bar experience.
Another question is: what bar should a first timer go to? Again, I would ask you girls to refer to the Gonograd Resident’s blog to pick among the gay bars listed there. Factors you should consider include location, prices and the review of the Gonograd Resident itself. Pick a place you can easily go to and from. Timog is a good location if you want to gay bar hop since there are four bars quite near each other.
The macho dancer bars I mentioned in this blog are all included in the list found in the Gonograd Resident’s blog. The only difference is that I used code names for this blog.
Trust me when I say that there are no macho dancer bars that have MDs that are all good-looking. That’s asking for the impossible. There will always be a handful of good-looking MDs in every bar and a handful with toned physiques. Majority of the boys will be average looking. Some will be flabby. But then again looks are subjective. An average looking dancer for me could be appealing to someone else.
So now you have a purpose, a bar in mind and a budget. What time do you go? What do you wear?
I would advise you ladies not to go earlier than 10 in the evening unless you’re down with being among the first customers in the bar. Ten or past ten in the evening will suffice for first timers. If you’re in the bar to witness AllTheWay performances, that won’t be till past midnight. You might as well stay till past 2 in the morning or until closing time, if you can.
As to what to wear, I would advise ladies to come in comfortable clothes. Do not arrive in a gown or a cocktail dress especially if you’re just commuting to and from the bar. Jeans and a top that makes you feel good about yourself (but still comfortable) will suffice. Macho dancer bars are casual places. It’s usually going to be hot and dark inside the bar so no need for winter clothes. Heavy make-up will just melt as well. Worse, your MD who gets to refresh his foundation now and then might have better make-up than you. Your clothes, girls, won’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Even if you table an MD while you’re in your house clothes, he is still obliged to treat you well. Actually, a good MD will help make you feel better about yourself. As Ella says, Francis makes her feel beautiful. Ella is beautiful to begin with but I guess a little ego boost from Francis doesn’t hurt either.
Girls, always take compliments with a grain of salt. Remember that it’s the MD’s duty to make you feel good about yourself. Take the good words easily but don’t let yourself hang on to it.
When to go?
Fridays and Saturdays are a macho dancer bar’s peak nights. Expect it to be more packed then but also expect that the dancers are all present and at their best. Weeknights are slower and not all the dancers report for work. Bars often have special shows on Saturdays. Some bars have it on a Wednesday or Thursday occasionally. Special shows include special production numbers from the MDs and from impersonators as well. Some bars charge differently for special shows.
I would personally recommend that you first timers go watch a regular show on a Friday night. Save the special shows for later.
What to watch out for
Ahhh. This is a good topic. First timers have a number of things to watch out for when they step inside a macho dancer bar. One is the floor manger. The floor manager will usually be the one to welcome you to the bar and escort you to your seats. He or she will also encourage you to table a dancer. Some floor managers can be pesky. However, I must point out that it’s important that you befriend the floor manager if you intend to return (or become a regular) to a certain bar. The floor manager can provide you with information about who to table and who not to and can definitely help make your stay more comfortable. The floor manager will be grateful if you tip him or her especially if he/she helped you choose an MD to table. How much you tip the floor manager is up to you. Bear in mind though that in most bars, the dancer you table will also tip the floor manager, the waiter and even the disk jockey. I have learned to make sure that the tip I give the dancer is substantially more than the tip I give the floor manager. If you choose not to tip a floor manager (especially if you didn’t table a dancer), just learn to firmly say no if he/she asks you for a tip. Being firm is a skill you must have or feign to have when you’re in a macho dancing bar.
Once a pesky masseuse starts to offer his massage service, be firm about saying no unless you really want to avail of his service. Just say no firmly. I have not tried getting a massage from one and I have no plans of doing so in the near future either. Ditto with Ella and Jess. See what I mean about being firm?
Another thing you have to watch out for is how much of your personal details do you divulge to the MDs and floor mangers you meet in the bar. It’s all up to you. You can opt to give them your real name and personal details. Ella is comfortable doing that, actually. Jess is more strict about not wanting the MDs in our lives outside the bar.
I personally am selective about the information I choose to share about myself especially the first time I meet an MD. I am there to learn about them and to be entertained after all, not to share stuff about myself. One of my favorite bloggers who blogs about his times in macho dancing bars admitted having different identities in every bar he enters. I personally use a different name in macho dancing bars. I am not Andrina when I’m there. I would suggest the same to you, first timers. Be selective with what you share about yourselves. Don’t go around blabbing your whole personal details. Perhaps things can change if you establish a personal relationship (friendship or otherwise) with an MD. Still, better safe than sorry.
Are you really prepared to go to a macho dancer bar?
Girls, this is a good question to answer before you head off to a macho dancer bar. Just because you’re of legal age doesn’t mean you’re emotionally prepared to go to such a bar. If you read my earlier posts about my first time in a macho dancer bar, you’ll understand what I mean. Do you get scandalized easily? Will seeing scantily clad men gyrating likely traumatize you? The questions I posed may seem silly for some but these are valid question to ask sheltered school girls and the like who want to go to a macho dancer bar. Please read my post entitled Pre-Earthling: Kelots for more information about my first time in a macho dancing bar.
Emotional connection and staying in touch outside the bar
Establishing an emotional connection with your MD is something you should watch out for especially if you table the same MD a second time or more. A lot of guests end up sharing with their MDs their work concerns and other personal problems. I suppose holding a bottle of beer in a dimly lit room next to a good-looking stranger helps loosen tongues. My advice is for you girls to guard your hearts (and your purses). You’re in the macho dancer bar to have fun, not to have your hearts (and bank accounts) broken. I don’t want to sound like a skeptic but I probably do anyway. Just watch out for yourselves.
To give or not to give your mobile numbers and networking account details? Again, it’s up to you. I have no problem being friends with people in Facebook but I don’t give my mobile number easily. If your number is a prepaid number you can easily get rid of, I suppose it’s less harmful to give it then. Of course, if you didn’t table an MD in the first place, this would not at all be a problem for you.
How to pick which dancer to table? Ahhh. That deserves a whole post to itself. Till next time, girls who just want to have fun.