Our gay bars and clubs are inclusive to everyone. But their marketing and actual attendance tell a different story. Gay men dominate the valley’s watering holes to such an extent that it makes one wonder: Why isn’t there a dedicated hangout for lesbians? Our research didn’t produce a clear-cut answer, but here’s a list of theories and observations to consider:
1. Girls night in: Lesbian culture doesn’t rely on nighttime socializing like that of gay men. Anecdotal evidence reveals that women like to go out to dinner, or meet up during the day, especially for outdoor activities (such as social group Betty’s Outrageous Adventures). Also, many of them prefer to entertain at home, or just stay in with their partners. For some women, not having a lesbian nightspot just isn’t an issue.
2. Girls night out: While Las Vegas doesn’t have a lesbian bar, traditionally, venues have recurring girls-only parties as part of their weekly or monthly calendars, such as BootyBar (Share), KittyBar (Krave Lounge), Ladies’ Night (Freezone) and Cream (Oracle Mansion). And when women-for-women event promoters do special events, they go big (such as the four-day Shedonism celebration, happening during Pride weekend).
3. Cruise control: Men favor bars and clubs because it’s the traditional place they socialize — and meet potential partners. Lesbians aren’t nearly so cruisy, and thus rely less on such meeting points.
4. We’re not alone: Many large cities also lack a girls-only drinking spot, and such places frequently come and go even in metropolitan centers like Los Angeles and New York City.
5. Boys only: You don’t see very many lesbians at gay bars and clubs — and we can’t blame them. The air of male sexuality can overwhelm at these spots, which might include male-only go-go dancers, stripping contests and aggressive cruising among the male patrons. And when the girls come to party, they tend to be ignored, subtly ostracized — or worse. Over the years, we’ve seen gay men say untoward and misogynist things near or directly to partying lesbians — even within earshot of the boys’ straight female companions. Gay bars provide sanctuary from homophobia. Now we just need a haven from sexism. MIKE PREVATT