That is the stage at Starlites, a club in Cubao where I ended up after spending part of the weekend watching a gay pick-up artist on the prowl.
By the time we ended up at Starlites, which is bar none the scariest videoke bar* I have ever been to within city limits, Q. had tried and failed to pick up one friend I was hanging out with.
Not shaken at all, he also tried and failed to pick me up. By the time I stumbled into a taxi, it was light out and he was clinking glasses with yet another random dude at the next table.
It was beautiful to watch, really. Lionesses on the savanna had nothing on Q.’s ruthless determination or, for that matter, his beard.
He came up to our table at Future and basically just stood there until we had no choice but to acknowledge his presence and invite him to join us for shots.
A round of Coffee Nipples later, he was on the couch next to my friend. A few minutes after that–before our beers were even served–he had gone on the offensive,going in for a kiss that met little resistance.
We wanted to give them space and privacy, so another friend and I hit the dance floor where they soon joined us. Q. had been rejected (but less a no than a not tonight), so he put his arm around me and I proceeded to study my shoes with the intensity of a Biblical scholar finding a new and unauthorized Gospel.
Sensing I was not interested in him, or, for that matter, in men, he moved back to my friend. “Why aren’t you flirting with me?,” he said, immediately putting my friend on the defensive. He had no choice but to blurt out, “I already told you that I want you. Just not tonight.”
Someone else used a similar line on the same friend later that night. “You don’t like me, ‘no?,” he said from pretty much out of the blue, making me wonder how many trysts were caused by our urge to be nice (or at least not hurt other people’s feelings) rather than actual attraction. At any rate, it didn’t work that night but the way it was used suggested it does on most nights.
But, man, they kept trying, and rejection did not faze them at all. “You see, game has nothing to do with gender,” my feminist friend, who was also watching the whole thing, said. It may have something to do with beards, though.
*Mainly because it was not a videoke bar at all. I mean, it was, after hours.
At night, though, until not-as-wee hours of the morning, male models danced on stage. They were milling around the restroom, which, because of my small bladder, I had to visit often. I learned that night that male strippers remain stripped even when their shifts are over.