Straight Clubs and Holiday Fashions
So after a recent and scary experience, I’ve decided upon a new legislative proposal for the government. Official warnings that must accompany all straight clubs warning of the horrors that lie within.
Those people who have read my back catalogue of Helios articles (Queer Concern has appeared as a Helios Regular since Helios 4!!) will recall, I first came out as openly gay at uni. This has numerous advantages, university, while not necessarily liberal is usually a very tolerant and accepting place. Not to mention that most of the people of my generation have very little issue with gay people and those that do are usually chivvy scum and unlikely to appear at uni. Back on topic, before going to uni, I had very little experience of any kind of club scene. While I’d been 18 for a while, several of my friends were among the youngest in my year, and most of the nightclubs in my hometown were red hot on IDing people.
So here’s me a fresh faced gay going off to uni, and coming out. Unsurprisingly, I spent a lot of time in gay clubs. In fact by and far the majority of my nightlife has been spent in gay clubs. The one other place was the students Union, and the SU has no comparison to any other type of nightclub, it’s a unique university experience.
All this is (slowly) leading up to me saying that I have very little experience of the straight scene. Until recently, the last time I had been out in a straight nightclub was about 4 years ago, A-Level results night the summer before uni started.
So when a new nightclub opened in Chester and Chester Conservative Future decided to pay it a visit I thought that this would be an exciting new experience for me.
Oh dear no. This club is branded as Chester’s biggest and best. In terms of looks it certainly achieves. It comes with several stylishly decorated themed rooms designed to cater for a variety of tastes. Entry is expensive and so is the bar, but that’s par for the course. Any student, once back in the real world, considers alcohol too expensively priced!
No, the problem was the people. Firstly, lets talk fashion, or lack of it. I have NEVER seen such a total lack of originality. When you see a football match, you see everyone wearing the same thing and expect it, at a nightclub, I expected variance. How do you lads expect to stand out and attract women if every one of you us wearing jeans, shoes and a white shirt (stripes optional)? Yawn… what a bore. I know some night clubs expect smart dress, but have you ever heard of colour. And has no one ever told you brown shoes don’t go with a black belt, and definitely not black jeans!
Not to mention the number of people wearing shirts that didn’t fit them! Word to the wise, a tight shirt and bulging belly is a TURN OFF not a major ticket to a night of fun. If you’ve spent your youth drinking the most fattening beers and ciders around, do yourself a favour and wear a shirt that’s loose fit, that way you don’t end up doing a jabba the hut impression.
You get plenty of fat people in gay bars of course, straight people don’t have a monopoly on fitness, but at least gay people know how to dress to suit their bodies. Which brings me onto the next point. Women. Revealing dresses may be the in thing (I wouldn’t know) but dressing like a cheap street lady won’t help you get laid if it makes you look like your muffin top’s been fed on a steady diet of baking powder. The fleshy hang overs I saw were enough to make any self respecting person throw up.
Appalling fashion and dress sense aside, I always thought the purpose of a nightclub was to drink and dance and dance and drink. I was initially puzzled by why so many of the rooms in this place seemed designed for people to chill in while listening to different types of music. Only 2 of the many rooms actually had dancefloors. Then it struck me, nobody really was actually dancing. Everyone was sitting/standing around talking – a situation that didn’t improve throughout the night.
Come on people, if you want to do that – go to a pub or a bar – that’s what they’re for! Why pay loads of money to go to a place and do something that you can do for the cost of a cheap pint elsewhere? What on earth is the point.
That said, based on the performance of those people making fools of themselves on the dancefloor, its probably best that they stayed off. In a gay club its not just the official dancers who can strut their stuff, plenty of normal punters have the beat in their feet and the moves to match. Alas this talent seems to escape the majority of straight men.
Finally, old people do not belong on the clubbing scene. Again, this is what pubs are for. No matter where you go, you always get a selection of older men and women hanging around the scene. In a gay world, they’re usually their to get a piece of the younger audience. In the straight world, these are more likely to be drunked fat 45 year olds who havn’t caught onto the fact that their not 18 anymore. It’d be a terribly depressing sight if I’m not absolutely surrounded by smelly fat sweaty poorly dressed old men in a club of all places. The proportion of old to young people was almost half and half – a terrible thought and a terrible sight. Plus, old men have no stamina. A decent club night has to last till at least 3am, for preference 5am at a bigger venue. 2am is just poor, but much later would be beyond the capacity of the old (tired) and the young (paralytic).
I can think of worse nights I’ve had out, but that’s largely been due to my results in trying to pull that night. For a night out purely for fun, I strongly recommend people come to a gay club, and we’ll show you what a real party is.
I’ve always wondered why you get so many straight people coming on to the gay scene. For the straight women, I know they feel safer in gay clubs, and the lads have previously told me that gay clubs are simply better and more fun. Now I know why. I have plenty of reasons to be glag I’m gay, but now I can add another to the list – straight nightlife is just depressing.
Moving on from the horrors of the straight scene, I today (well some days ago from publication date!) saw an article on the Daily Telegraph’s website (30/07/08) about holiday fashion faux pas. Apparently fashion experts at leading British store chain Debenhams have complied two top 10 lists of fashion no nos for men and women based on company research.
Some of these are so very very true, and one cannot urge people enough to avoid them at all possible costs and avoid embarrassing yourself, your friends, family and fellow country at home and abroad.
However, there are some items on these lists that I oh so strongly object to, and I simply felt the overwhelming urge to make my case!
1.Muffin Tops 2.Fat women with their navel pierced 3.Thongs on the beach 4.Henna tattoos 5.Braided hair 6.Saggy Bikinis 7.Middle aged women in mini skirts 8.Belly Tops 9.Bra-less women 10.Jelly Shoes
yes yes yes – especially the muffin tops, jelly shoes and mini skirts.
For men I have more of an issue
1. Speedos. 2. Socks and Sandals. 3.Sarongs 4.Handkerchief on head 5.Union Jack shorts 6.Bum bags 7.Men with nipple piercings 8.Football shirts 9.Cycling shorts 10.Crocs
How dare they. So long as the man/boy has the figure to wear them, go ahead, be proud, show your body off. I agree there is a serious issue with fat older men wearing skimpy beach things and looking terrible, but a recent surge in speedo sales of a variety of styles should not be discouraged. For a certain age and type of man, they are both an entirely suitable and dare I say attractive garment to wear.
Debenhams would like us to wear long shorts and linen shirts… why? What is this trend with wearing shorts longer and longer… Some of the shorts I was able to buy last year were so long they weren’t shorts at all, they were ¾ length trousers. Ankle length “board shorts” may be all the age for the teenage skater and surfer boys of California, but we don’t live in orange county here, so lets try and demonstrate that British fashion and British fashion chains aren’t dependant on the OC for its style tips.
Socks and Sandals – oh a very definite no, as I have so often told my father to no effect. Handkerchiefs on the head belong in the Victorian era, and bum bags went out last century…
Football shirts I can agree with on a personal level, as I hate them, but I don’t see how they are such a fashion error, save that they portray a certain stereotype of British football hooliganism when abroad. Sarongs should be left to the women, as Beckham has been told…
Cycling shorts and Crocs have their places, but I agree not as standard beach wear perhaps. But then again, referring back to the speedos, we’re talking clothes here that show off a persons figure, if you’ve got the body to wear such clothes well, by all means do so. There is no need to feel embarrassed about showing off your body. If you’ve got it, flaunt it! (As Ula told Max Bialystock…)
Male nipple piercings? Again, why? Body piercings when not done to excess do not detract from a mans physical beauty and can often improve it. There are limits of course, but so long as it is tastefully done…
Union Jack shorts? Another outrageous statement. These delightful garments come in a variety of designs from large and small logo embossed shorts to shorts and trousers made entirely in the design of our great flag (ala ian poulter and geri halliwell) If anything, in a time of emerging nationalism in our Union, we should be encouraging people to take pride in the flag of our great nation, not be embarrassed about it. As our government attempts to inspire a sense of Britishness among us and people are seeking to reclaim the flag from being a symbol of British right wing ultra-nationalism its outrageous that anyone could consider it to be embarrassing to be seen wearing the flag.
The trend of the article appears to suggest that all British holiday makers are either old, overweight, or both and should therefore at all times wear loose non clingy clothes and refrain from wearing anything in the slightest bit revealing or that shows their age. In some cases they are right, but by no means is that a description of the entirety of the British holiday going population.
If Debenhams is angling to provide fashion sense and style whilst restricting itself to the middle aged and above, no wonder high street sales are so low.
If the store thinks so little of attractive young women and good looking young men, then it’s perhaps no wonder that people like me shall refrain from going to the oldies shops and stay with the real fashionable brands, like Next, River Island and Topshop.
Finally, the Black Prince would like to announce that he will once again be spending the August bank holiday at Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend. (Aug 22nd -25th). Any other TWC members who might be in the area and looking to meet up/chat say hi or party from dawn till dusk should get in contact by PM, Facebook or email. Or you could stop by the stall of LGBTory at the Lifestyle Expo. If I’m not there, leave a message for Aden Lucas and the guys there will pass it on!