I attended the Girl Action Christmas Party in London the other night.
If you didn't know, that's a special lesbian club night. Now as most of you might know by now, I am both male and straight, but one of my closest friends happens to be a lesbian and she REALLY wanted to go. So that was that. I was going. Apparently. I have to say though, it was easily the best night I've had out in a long time.
The evening began when I got a frantic phone call at work telling me our prearranged time was now null and void and I had to leave right then and there. I jogged to her house and scoffed a bowl of micro-rice at the speed of light, switched into a nice shirt and some jeans, checked my cash and ID and then we ran. With 8 minutes to get to the station (about a 10 minute walk), we ran down the icy hill that led to the station slipping, sliding and skidding every step of the way. Derrie gave up and ran in the middle of the road towards the oncoming traffic. I opted to stay on the ice my feet flailing about like those of a newborn calf. But we made it to the train.
Next up we did the totally cool thing of crashing some poor gimps private party at the only pub we could find in the vicinity. It looked fine, had a few weird looking people inside but we thought 'why not? It's cold out here and Mel's not here yet' so we went in. We never saw the tiny sign on the door that said 'closed for private party'. Ordered our drinks. Sat down. Started drinking and chatting. All the while we're getting weird looks which is strange because the people giving us evil eyes resembled a group of drunken hunters gone out to a neon rave, somewhere between the 60s and the 80s. Within 60 seconds the girl at the bar had clocked that we weren't meant to be there and we were asked to leave. So I downed my 2 pints of cider and we bust a groove right outta there.
The night in the actual club was amazing though. For one thing, they had an amazing cocktail list and if you wanted something else they'd just make it for you. For another, it was just a pleasant place to be. It took me a while to get settled in because I'm not a club person at the best of time and it takes me a lot of time to get drunk enough to dance. So abandoning my cider and cocktails, I opted for shots. Many, many shots. Turns out, I have more fun in a lesbian bar than I do any straight bar I've been to. After a while I realised that no matter how many women I clocked there'd be no-one in the vicinity who'd give me a second glance. That's when all my little insecurities disappeared and I was left to feel good about myself. So I danced like nobody was watching, I drank like there was no tomorrow and I interacted with people.
The moments that stand out in my mind were the more surreal moments. Such as within 20 minutes there was already a naked women stood behind me being painted. Then, eventually, what with there only being a maximum of 5 men in the club - and myself the only straight man - the women learned that they could get away with using the mens toilets. So the second time I visited them I had to queue to get in there. Then when I did I was very aware of there only being 1 cubicle and 2 urinals and a large group of women behind and in front of me...I found this slightly intimidating to say the least. The girl in front of me was chatting to me, having a laugh. "Go ahead love, just go, trust me, none of us are interested - no offense". So I was all geared up to go, then this little voice at the front of the queue chimes in..."actually, I'm straight so...".
I of course, being me, panicked, made a joke and stood very still. Then the moment she'd gone I hopped over to a urinal. That might have been the scariest moment of my life. I've bungeed, I've been white water rafting, I've walked along the top of a glacier with holes deeper than the Eiffel Tower is high, but all of that was dwarfed by how conscientious I felt having my knob out in front of a large group of women.
Then there was the striptease act. Two tall, leggy strippers who performed a little show. We were dancing on the stage at the time so rather than shove us off, they just nudged us to the back of it so we had the best seats in the house and could get a good glimpse of everything going on. In all honesty I didn't really watch much of the show, I was talking to my new friend who suggested to me after watching one of them pour hot candle wax on the others face and chest that "it's blatantly your fantasy". I looked back over at the wax stained duo as they took turns to spit things into each others mouths. "No" I said. A short while later, I made my way over to the DJ to see if he had any Pendulum (he did not. Nor did he have the Morrissey track we wanted) and one of the strippers emerged from the door. She looked at me a bit surprised, than says "fuck me you're gorgeous!". I thanked her, a little confused that I was being hit on in a lesbian bar. She grabbed me and pulled me in close, she told me how hot she was under her fur coat. Then as if a light had gone on over her head she went "oh fuck. Shit. You're here. You're totally gonna be gay aren't you?". When she found out I wasn't she got very excited, grabbed my arse and asked me if I saw the show and how much I liked it. I was too drunk to process all of this. I've never been hit on in my life and here's some stripper groping me - I made my excuses and left for the bar. I still do not know why I did this.
Perhaps it is that moral code of mine which has prevented things like this in my life thus-far and so far I have only met one person who shares that code - at least I am not alone.
So ultimately, after much deliberation, I have decided that lesbian bars are way better than straight bars for me because I'm not self-conscious, I can drink and dance with style. I meet people, I have the nerve to talk to people, I am more like the me in my head. I had a night I'll remember for a long time and that's a good thing to have.
I also learned that when all you have in the cupboard is sweet chili rice, a pita bread, an egg and some salad cream, a tasty meal can be concocted.