What do I do at a nightclub?
August 30, 2006 5:49 PM   Subscribe

There's a dance club in town I want to go to. How do I avoid embarrassing myself?

I just moved to Boston, and I've been looking for somewhere to go on the weekends -- specifically, a gay dance club that's not too sketchy. I think I've found one (Machine, if you're curious), but now I'm not sure how to go there without making a fool of myself.

For example, I can't find anything about a dress code, or even photos or something to suggest what people generally wear there. I'm afraid I'm gonna show up in jeans and a t-shirt and have to turn around because it's way more swank than that. Or vice versa.

And then I suspect there's all sorts of nightclub etiquette that I'm just not hip to. And none of my friends are into the gay dance scene, so I can't really ask them. So, good denizens of AskMe: what should I do to make sure I have a good time?

posted by brett to Grab Bag (16 answers total)
You can always call and ask if there is a dress code. I've been to many a gay dance bar (as a straight woman), and I don't know of any etiquette for simply going to dance. Just tipe your bartenders and don't act like a fool. Cruising, however, seems to have a complex set of rules which are a mystery to me.
posted by kimdog at 5:56 PM on August 30, 2006

Citysearch says Dress Code: Casual, and the pictures look like your pretty typical gay club dress code. Jeans and a t-shirt should be fine (and I'm sure some gay Bostoners will reply to confirm).

So, good denizens of AskMe: what should I do to make sure I have a good time?

Be yourself, have fun, and don't get trapped into the gay nightclub "etiquette" of how you should act. If you want to dance, dance, if you don't, don't. If you want to go up to someone, go up to someone. Confidence is incredibly attractive.
posted by gramcracker at 5:57 PM on August 30, 2006

Machine, if you're curious

Jeans and t-shirt are just fine, as is most any attire. Machine caters to a college-age/20 - 40 y.o. crowd. Since it is downstairs from Ramrod, a few denim and leather boys sometimes wander down.
posted by ericb at 6:01 PM on August 30, 2006

I've never known what to do at any nightclub.
posted by unSane at 6:09 PM on August 30, 2006

You should also check out Buzz@Aria (Saturdays, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.), Avalon (Sundays, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.) and dBar (Fridays and Saturdays; 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.) for dancing. For more of a lounge/bar scene check out Club Café. Folks congregate there before heading out to the dance clubs on the weekend. Thursday night it is packed!
posted by ericb at 6:09 PM on August 30, 2006

Oh, musn't forget Chaps/Vapor for dancing, especially tea-dance on Sundays.
posted by ericb at 6:16 PM on August 30, 2006

from personal experience, unfortunately:

- if they play madonna's 'vogue,' don't give in to the temptation to do a faithful step-by-step recreation of said video's choreography on the dance floor

- if you see some really cool fruity-flavored non-alcoholic drinks and decide to have one, don't talk about how cool it is to go out to a club and find something fun and healthy to drink as an alternative to alcohol; those drinks are for people doing ectasy or tina or whatever the kids are calling it these days, and are sold for the purpose of extending the drug's effect

- beware mirrors that reside at tool-level at the community urinal, unless you're into that kind of thing (these days i like to put a pez dispenser down there, just for laughs and to determine who is checking me out)

- poppers are not another name for jello shots
posted by troybob at 7:03 PM on August 30, 2006 [3 favorites]

You can always wear a (usually dark or coloured) collared shirt, open, over a t-shirt. If it's dressier than you expected, tuck it in and do up the buttons, if not, don't - it's a casual look, or take it off. Be a dress-Transformer that can adapt to the situation :)
posted by -harlequin- at 7:15 PM on August 30, 2006 [1 favorite]

Re: Etiquette,
I don't know if this is considered overt etiquette anywhere, but when the dancefloor is starting to get crowded, I personally think it's obnoxious to hang out there when you're neither dancing nor trying to move through it to get someplace.
At a (non gay) place I go too, when some especially cute girls go to dance, a bunch of guys will often wander over to watch them, sometimes from on the dancefloor, and as the first onlookers make onlooking (from on the floor) seem acceptable, more people tend to wander on the floor to watch, the people trying to dance are packed into a smaller space, restricting their dancing.
(It's especially obnoxious when people are on the dancefloor not to dance, but to obstruct other guys who are dancing from getting too close to whichever girl/s the obstructer has his eye on).

I totally support looking at the hot scenery of course, it's just that when dance space is at a premium for the people dancing, it's best to watch from the sidelines, not encroach onto the dancefloor.

posted by -harlequin- at 7:36 PM on August 30, 2006

You can't go wrong with loose leather pants and a tight t-shirt.
posted by Vindaloo at 10:41 PM on August 30, 2006

Drop a bomb or two and you won't care who thinks you're a fool. Not condoning it, but I'm just sayin'.
posted by DefendBrooklyn at 10:57 PM on August 30, 2006

I think white tie is nice on occasions like this.
posted by oxford blue at 11:42 PM on August 30, 2006 [1 favorite]

Machine is a great club. Good music and lots of folks dancing. Be prepared to be cruised. Fairly standard comfortable club wear. Good fitting jeans and a nice shirt - Tshirt or otherwise. Be prepared to take said shirt off if you feel like it. I speak from the perspective of a female who used to attend with her male gay friends.

Manray is gone, but I'm sure Avalon still has it's gay night - Sundays maybe?
posted by Constant Reader at 5:03 AM on August 31, 2006

It's all about the gold chains and chaps.....
posted by Mr. Gunn at 6:40 AM on August 31, 2006

It's all about the gold chains and chaps.....

Maybe in San Francisco and New York in the '70s.
posted by ericb at 5:56 PM on August 31, 2006

Or, Trenton these days!
posted by ericb at 5:57 PM on August 31, 2006

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