In the bitchy, gay world of Melbourne no one wants to turn up to an empty gay bar.
Veronika Surovtseva - 123RF
It's about as close to an existential crisis as gay clubbing can get you.
Your fag hags groan and your gay mates turn to hunt on Grindr leaving you with the deeply unsettling question of "How?" How is it that every other gay guy KNEW not to come to this one but I didn't?
Rest assured, there is a tried and proven method for avoiding having to complete such a thorough self-examination. Over the past couple of years, three clubs have come to dominate the gay weekend: uni student IQ (Thursdays), south-side Greyhound (Friday) and serious clubbing Poof Doof (Saturday). Stick to these three and you will never be short on friends.
IQ ( A Bar Called Barry's): 64 Smith Street Fitzroy VIC
If IQ is anything to go by there are a lot of gay guys at university. A lot of gay guys who don't have classes on Fridays. When people talk about college being spent 'finding yourself' they are clearly talking about Monday to Wednesday. Come Thursday, the uni gays descend upon IQ to dance to current pop hits like a horde of boozy Libertines. Don't be misled by the name 'IQ' though (standing for 'Indie' and Queer), this club pumps out Top 40 hits like there is no tomorrow. Of all the popular gay clubs IQ is the most relaxed in terms of dressing and crowd. It also has the cheapest cover charge ($5).
Greyhound: 1 Brighton Road St Kilda VIC 3182
Greyhound prides itself on its burlesque shows that bring in large Friday crowds. By burlesque I mean of course choreographed routines performed by drag queens and buff guys. Getting into Greyhound is pricey, at $15, but if you go before 9pm on Friday you can enter for free. The trick however is to dress as if you had every intention of coming later. The crowd here are a bit more polished than at IQ, and a bit more snobby. This is a sleek club that caters towards party goers who enjoy dressing up as well as having a good night.
Poof Doof (The Bottom End) 579 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC
By Saturday, the weekend is in full swing and Poof Doof provides pretty much what its name suggests: an electro dance party that rages well into the early morning. This club is packed on a Saturday and The Bottom End is a great venue. Expect to see a lot of podium dancing at this club. Also, don't expect to properly talk with anyone - the music is ridiculously loud - and you could be forgiven for thinking that they are playing the same dance track on repeat. At $20 entry to Poof Doof is pricey, but it seems like almost all of Poof Doof's promoters are on Grindr so one quick trawl through 'nearby gay men' once you hit the entrance should find you someone with a cheaper entry list. A big drawback with Poof Doof though is how stringent they can be with girl patrons. When I went one of my female friends was rejected, yet after entering Poof Doof we noticed there were other girls inside. Lesson of the story: if you have female friends be prepared for them to possibly get knocked back.