I was honestly quite surprised that I was allowed to attend the gay bar observation for my social anthropology class since my parents are usually borderline overprotective in these kinds of situations – I almost objected when my mother insisted that I bring my driver, ate and even my sister with me just to be safe. Of course, I had no choice but to follow my mother’s requirements.
We arrived at Adonis a bit too early and parked in front of the entrance of the bar to wait until the opening time, 9:30PM. My block mates and a large number of other students began to gather in front of the entrance with our professor at around 9:00PM. After we all paid for our entrance fees, we finally made our way inside.
The entrance of Adonis really is as cavern-like as the reviews claim. Steps led us down to a counter and then through a small opening into the actual bar. The venue was actually much smaller than I expected. Further into the bar stood a stage with two poles. There were a good number of comfortable couches and tables that were strategically placed in the shady areas of the bar.
My sister, driver and ate had already gone in ahead of me and occupied a couch. My companions and I occupied one of the tables in the back with many of the other students. Other than our large group of students, not a lot of real customers had arrived yet since it was still early.
The first thing that was offered to our table was a menu of the drinks that we could order. The drinks were actually really expensive and frankly overpriced. The music for the night wasn’t too bad but in my opinion did not really suit the gay bar scene. Many of us at the table were familiar with the songs that were being played, which is why the dances came off more comical than sexy as they performed to songs like “Always” by Bon Jovi and other romantic ballads. To add, the voice of the ‘announcer’ was so muffled and barely intelligible.
The most interesting part of the gay bar experience was, of course, the gay ‘macho’ dancers. I must admit that most of the men that performed that night had very toned physiques and decent faces.
Occasionally, a dancer would perform solo but most of the time the performances were done in pairs. The announcer introduced song after song and dancer after dancer as the night went on. The choreography also started becoming a little repetitive and quite awkward to watch. The dancers would usually move in slow motion, spinning around, caressing their chests and stroking their lower region. Some of the other dancers would also sit on the couches near the stage and watch, cigarette in hand, as their fellow dancers performed on stage. Most of them returned to the back room as soon as their dance was over. (It was amazing that so many men could fit into the back room without overcrowding!)
The first set of dancers mostly wore very short shorts and tight muscle-shirts. A number of men danced with nothing but their colorful briefs on.
As the men were dancing, I started to feel sorry for them. My companions also noticed that there was sad look in most of the dancers’ eyes. I tried not to laugh too much after that – I didn’t want the dancers to think that I was ridiculing them, especially when their straight faces already seemed to scream “Save me from this humiliation!”
As for the customers – I was able to spot a middle-aged man seated over on one of the tables on the side. Some men were also seated on the far couches by the side of the bar. Something that surprised me was the number of middle-aged women that had arrived later on in the night. Three mature women were seated at the couch near the stage. One woman was seated alone in another couch near the back room. A dancer soon approached her and kept her company as the night went on.
There weren’t just middle-aged women present. Among the mature women, three Oriental-looking girls that looked to be around our age sat in the couch that happened to be right smack in front of the stage.
Towards midnight, two of my companions and I decided to be bold and sit in the couch right behind the couch of the three young girls. The dancers started becoming more daring. Two dancers went as far ‘humping the floor’ (for lack of a better term). By this time, my companions and I were already quite scared that we would be approached. Our anxiety was apparently so evident that one of the staff members approached us and quietly advised us to just sternly state “Huwag.” to anyone that was being persistent.
The most memorable dancer of the night was a solo performer that suddenly walked onstage wearing nothing but a towel to cover his lower region. He also happened to be sporting a very large “upright hotdog”. When he ultimately stripped the towel off, we looked away aghast. (But it was too late – we were able to catch a glimpse.) As soon as he wrapped the towel around himself again, he walked off the stage and approached the three girls in front of us. The girls were just as scared as we were, and moved away from him as he tried to whisper into their ears.
I had to leave a little after this scene took place, not because I was so traumatized that I had to leave but because my father was already calling my phone to remind me that I had to be home already.
Although my night was cut short, I definitely stepped out of the Adonis gay bar with more stories to tell than I would have ever expected.
Joey Castro, 100772
SA 21 – A