Question of the Week: May 27th, 2014

Many people have strong opinions on bars.  How about you?  Do you have feelings about bars?

I feel like my image of a bar is a place where people meet strangers, but I have never used a bar for that purpose.  I always go with friends.  So I find bars fun.  As long as the music isn’t so loud that we can’t talk.

About Siggy

Siggy is a physics grad student in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and makes amateur attempts at asexual activism. His interests include godlessness, scientific skepticism, and math. While not working or blogging, he plays video and board games with his boyfriend, and folds colored squares.
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19 Responses to Question of the Week: May 27th, 2014

  1. queenieofaces says:

    I…don’t drink, and get really anxious around drunk people, so I don’t really go to bars. I occasionally go to izakaya (which…are maybe closer to British pubs than bars? There’s food and alcohol), but I think I’ve only ever been to two bars in my life.

  2. I don’t drink and am not really comfortable in places where people may be drinking a lot or that are focused around alcohol, especially given that I wear hijab. I don’t go to bars or have any interest in so doing.

  3. Mxtrmeike13 says:

    Am I allowed to guest write a response to this? I recently had issues related to bars and asexuality (I think this was included in a linkspam a few Fridays back) and would love to delve deeper into the subject. =]

  4. Sciatrix says:

    My impression of bars is pretty much where yours is, although I usually find the music a bit loud to hear people well. For this reason I generally prefer coffee shops to bars, despite the fact that I don’t drink coffee but I do drink alcohol.

    I must also admit that I really, really don’t care for country-western themed bars. Other types of bars are fine, though.

    • Siggy says:

      My problem with coffee shops is that many of them smell like coffee. Starbucks is the worst.

      • Sciatrix says:

        I don’t mind the smell of coffee, just the taste! I mostly rank coffee shops internally by how good they are at things that are not coffee, like the other drinks they have available or the quality of their pastries. My favorite one even sells fancy oversugared tea drinks that I can indulge in instead.

        I definitely agree that Starbucks is the worst, though. Everything there that isn’t actually coffee is terrible.

  5. I don’t like being in places that are loud or have a strong bar-smell, so I’m not into bars. I like some alcoholic beverages, but I prefer to consume them in a quiet place (like at home) with friends.

  6. Cleander says:

    I’m pretty sure my comfort level is bars is directly proportional to the percentage of seating space, the volume of the music, and the amount of food they offer. Pub-style place with mostly tables and seats at the counter, little to no music, and full meals available? Perfectly fine by me! Standing/dancing room only with like 3-4 barstools and no food options and music so loud you have to scream? Not so much.

    One thing I’ve also noticed is that when things happen at bars they immediately become more sexual (though maybe that’s a function of where more sexual people like to go to events). Like, I’ve been going to BDSM/Kink Munches (basically casual meetups with food) lately, and one things I’ve noticed is that I get way more aggressively hit on at bar munches than cafe munches. (And the bar with no seating was the worst; the bar with some seating and food was closer to the cafe mucnhes). The bar meetups also just had…a more sexual atmosphere? Like, it’s a kink event, so there’s going to be a lot of talking about sexual things, but the bar munches were sexualized in a way that made me uncomfortable in a way that cafe munches did not.

    And it kinda sucks because now that I’m over 21 and graduated and have less access to student group spaces, most meet-up-and-meet-people type events tend to be in bars, which are still a little uncomfortable to me (and many tend to have connotations of meet-other-singles-and-hookup). The hookup thing is another reason bars make me uncomfortable: when I go to meeting-people-events at like parks or cafes or anime conventions people don’t usually assume I’m looking to hook up – but at bars they do.

    And maybe it’s just my social awkwardness, but I don’t like the idea of a bar as a way to find people even if it weren’t for the assumptions that I want to hook up – yelling at drunk people over loud music is just not pleasant socializing for me. It might be enjoyable with friends, but strangers? Watching drunk friends spout ridiculous things is funny. Watching drunk strangers spout random things is tedious at best, damaging at worst. I’d rather meet people at cafes any day, and leave the drinking for at home with friends.

    • Siggy says:

      I feel lucky, because as a man, and one who already has a partner, bars are rarely sexualized settings for me. Clubs on the other hand…

  7. Sara K. says:

    I have been to very few bars in my lifetime because … they generally do not interest me. That said, since I started my long, long trip around Northeast Asia, I have wound up in a couple bars, and actually had a good time. However, those bars were very specifically geared for tourists, and as far as I could tell there was nothing sexual going on (not that I am the best judge).

  8. notunprepared says:

    I like bars, but it depends on why we’re there sort of thing. Bars which are more like pubs (food, seating, no dance floor) are great for relaxed socialising. But I also enjoy dancing and getting a wee bit tipsy with few mates, so bars which are more like clubs (dance floor, louder music, maybe they serve pizzas and hot chips) are fun too. I just glare or tell people to go away if they hit on me in ways I don’t like. I’m pretty indifferent though, if I were repulsed I think it’d be a different thing entirely.

  9. Brin says:

    I have a lot of embarassment squick about intoxication. I don’t like being around drunk people, and I don’t want people being around me when I’m drunk (which is probably the biggest reason why I’ve never been drunk). I also rather like having never been hit on*, and would like to continue this state for as long as practical.

    I’ve been in a bar all of once, when I was about fifteen. My family was looking for a restaurant to eat dinner at, and settled on a pub we’d never tried before. Well, we thought it was a pub. We realised our mistake when we saw how awkward the waitstaff were about having a family with children there, but we were desperate enough that we stayed. They gave us the most secluded table they could find, and served us chicken fingers whose spice level was tailored for tastebuds dulled by alcohol. (Or that could just be my wimpy spice tolerance talking, but “they’re trying to make it strongly flavoured enough to register through a drunken haze” was how I interpreted it at the time.)

    *At least not that I’ve noticed.

  10. Katie says:

    I’m from Northern California so there’s a really fantastic selection of brew pubs and quality places to get drinks that focus on the -drinks- rather than the strangers. My favorite bar (first name basis with the bartenders…) had 55 craft beers on tap and plenty more in bottles. No sexual atmosphere, just a lot of college graduates and young people going out with friends.

    It’s definitely an issue of class, though…it was a huge culture shock going from these favorited bars to some of the other places around where I lived. Also, the more club-type bars usually revolved around loud music and flashing lights, both of which I’m pretty sensitive to…which necessitated more drinking in order to dull my senses. I want to be able to drink because I enjoy it, not because it masks how unpleasant my surroundings are.

  11. I have been to a bar once in my life. Being a feminine-presenting trans* person with an abusive, alcoholic for a father, I only associate alcohol with very bad things. Even the smell of alcohol is enough to put me on edge. So, I avoid the placed like the plague.

    That said, I am actually fine with people drinking around me. Friends and family (apart from my father) having alcohol around me doesn’t actually set me off. However, these are usually in safer, more casual situations where these people are drinking responsibly. Often they limit themselves to one, maybe two, drinks. That seems to make all the difference.

  12. Pingback: Response Post: How Do You Feel About Bars? | The Asexual Agenda

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