Nov 30, 2009

Discreetionary: blue bar

blue bar [BLOO bahr] noun 1. an establishment targeted to gay and bisexual men. 2. an establishment for socializing targeted to gay and bisexual men that serves alcohol and often has a designated place for casual sex.

“Blue bar” is one term that is used in so many contexts that I really have no idea if there is a widely accepted definition for it. The broadest meaning is likely definition #1 above. This meaning encompasses bathhouses like Club Bath and Queeriosity Palace, gay bars such as Adonis, massage parlors like Hilom, and gay dance clubs like Bed and Government.

On the other hand, those aforementioned places have their own specific terms (bathhouse, gay bar, massage parlor, gay club), such that I think that we should reserve the term “blue bar” to a particular kind of gay establishment and that is the one described by definition #2 above. These blue bars are essentially drinking bars that serve alcohol where gay and bisexual men can meet and socialize. They don’t necessarily go there to dance and enjoy the music, unlike in gay clubs; or to wear towels and get laid, unlike in bathhouses. And prostitution is not encouraged, unlike in gay bars and massage parlors. Well, there may be dark rooms in the premises where casual sex is allowed (or at least heavy make-out sessions).

The most prominent example of a blue bar I can think of is Sanctum. Other possible examples would be D’ Tour in Mandaluyong, and one of the Palawan bars in Cubao, though I haven’t been to these places to be sure. I also think D’ Mansion in Pasay is a cross between a bathhouse and a blue bar. Interestingly, “blue bar” seems to be a Filipino term as I haven’t seen a reference to such in the States when I searched in Google.

What do you think? Does my interpretation of the term “blue bar” match yours?


Anonymous wrote on December 1, 2009 at 12:34 AM:

There used to be more blue bars before... if you want to go old school there are the likes of mr. piggy's, cine cafe, cine musika, nota republic and mint. Typically a bar with a predetermined dark floor that people go to for a quickie.

It is really just a bar where you can grab a drink and someone along with that drink to head on to a darker area without the need to change.

There are a lot of blue bars overseas and no, this is not only a pinoy coined phrase. :P

Vince wrote on December 1, 2009 at 9:46 PM:

Tony, hehe, thanks for sharing. I was late Malate bloomer, so to speak, so I never experienced those blue bars. :-)

Anonymous wrote on December 2, 2009 at 12:14 AM:

lol. Only two of those I mentioned were located in Malate. The other three were in QC.

I never really got into the blue bar scene myself. I was young, idealistic and romantic, not to mention attached at the age of 16 onwards. Though a lot of my circle did frequent them. lolz. :P

Brings up an interesting question though...why the scarcity of blue bars now.

Vince wrote on December 3, 2009 at 12:33 AM:

Tony, care to put up one? :-D

Anonymous wrote on March 27, 2010 at 2:45 PM:

any bars in Manda?

Anonymous wrote on August 24, 2010 at 8:33 AM:

Hey, where's the exact location of D Tour? Need direction guys :D. I'm planning to go there maybe this weekend.

rico wrote on April 3, 2011 at 3:58 PM:

does anyone know where d'mansion is?