There is a song by Damien Rice that goes something like this:
“We might kiss when we are alone
When nobody’s watching, I might take you home.
We might make out, when nobody’s there
It’s not that we’re scared, it’s just that it’s delicate.”
That’s pretty much how I feel about kissing a girl. Or sex and relationships in general. I’ve never really been one for Public Displays of Affection, or sucking someones face in the middle of a dance floor for all to see and comment on. It’s not to say I’ve not done it, it’s just that…well…it’s delicate. Not so much in a gay bar in San Jose.
He follows me everywhere. Probably something to do with the church he belongs to…After arriving at the hostel last night I became aware of a skin headed presence lurking over my shoulder as I entered my passport details. This could have gone a couple of ways, but in the end I suppose I was quite thankful that it was my friend Miguel, who just happened to have arrived at around the same time. I just can’t get away from him.
After a few beers the night previous, a relaxed day was in order, but it feels strange to be in a big city. I’ve tread slightly off the gringo trail here, as nobody stays very long in the capital. It’s just used predominately as a stop off for transfers and catching flights. We’re pretty much the only white people walking the streets, which actually feels pretty good. I lose myself in the relative normality of shopping and try to find a nose trimmer and hair straighteners.
Yes you read that correctly. I’ve got a little garden up both nostrils, and for those that don’t know, I iron my hair. The cat is out of the bag. I’m a big poof. It’s a little too expensive here anyway so I’ll wait for Panama City. I’d kill for some travel GHD’s. Or Cloud 9’s. I’ve heard they’re the new kid on the block, aiming to usurp the GHD crown.
I need to get out more.
Which coincidentally enough I do this evening. We take a taxi to Club OH, San Jose. Which, also coincidentally enough happens to be a gay bar. Miguel was quite sick of wing-maning me at The Black Whale in San Juan Del Sur, so now I have to partner him to the rainbow scene in Costa Rica. By all accounts, and judging by the amount of openly gay men in the club, this country is certainly the most liberal and tolerant in all of Central America. I guess it fits well with their “Pura Vida” slogan; Pure Life. It’s interesting the way countries force people across borders. Costa Rica is the most expensive country in Central America, yet, by contrast, neighbouring Nicaragua is pretty much anti-gay. It’s a shame for the gay community at large, and all those dollars they could be spending in more tolerant, cheaper nations.
Now I’ve had some top nights at gay bars back home. I attend such establishments for a number of (mostly selfish) reasons. Not only do I have a lot of gay friends, a welcome fall out from training as an actor, I also enjoy having my ego boosted on nights out. Straight women simply don’t chat me up, or rarely give me a compliment. I can’t be in a gay club for more than a few minutes before someone has pinched my arse, or told me they think I’m beautiful. Most guys wouldn’t like this at all; but I love it. I politely tell them I’m straight, and even their disappointed face makes me walk on air. It’s flattery. And it will get you everywhe…well…maybe not everywhere in this case. I’ll just leave it at flattery.
The other reason I enjoy such nights out, is for the women. There are always plenty of attractive women tagging along for the ride, tired of the creepy advances from men in straight bars. They join their gay friends because there is no animosity, no idiots breathing in their face demanding their clothes off, and no filthy ass grinding. Well maybe still the last one, but it’s just being gay friendly, and because they know the guy isn’t after sex.
Finally, at the end of the night, these women want a straight man who is comfortable in his sexuality enough to be there in the first place. Let’s do the maths. In San Juan Del Sur for example, I was one of maybe…lets say…forty straight guys in the bar, compared to perhaps fifteen girls. Clearly not good odds. In the gay bar, there are easily well over one hundred gay men, and probably about the same amount of women as the straight bar. Lets say there’s twenty here for arguments sake. Yet suddenly I’m one of only a handful of eligible straight men. A significant improvement. Lord help me if the rest of the heterosexual population ever figured this out.
Here however, I’m in new territory. It takes me a while to loosen up, and realise that these bars are the same all over the world. Nobody is going to force themselves on you if you decline their advances. You don’t need ‘bums against the wall’. It’s the same as it is back home; and it’s wonderful. The club is huge, with a free bar until one am. For some reason, emblazoned across the far wall in large, shiny, silver, solid letters; is the name; ‘Charlie’. I’ve no idea why, or what this means.
We’re treated to a really bad drag show half way through the night. I almost fell for the girl that was second up, before I realised she was a man. I’m going to have to be really careful in Bangkok.
Long story short it was one of the best nights out I’ve had…probably this year. Probably in the past couple of years. Not only did I enjoy sharing that with my friend, it just did exactly everything it said on the tin. If only every bar was a gay bar. If only I was the last straight guy on earth. If only I went to bed earlier than ten am. I keep saying it, but I’ll never learn. Yet so long as nights out are as good as this one, I hope I never do