Earmuffs, Deadmau5. This place is so sad and I hate it. It’s a breeding ground of insecurity and side-glances, everyone twerking and strutting in such desperate ways that I feel openly uncomfortable watching the self-esteem issues fester so publicly. The club is the land of the passionless: these are the people who have no hobbies, the people who are solely fixated on the notion of picking up a stranger because their daily lives provide them with no meaningful outlet through which to meet another with shared common interests. Even a sloppy college bar feels decidedly more organic and truthful than the sleaze shellacked onto the vinyl walls and the cheapness sewn into the velour couches of this place. In the club, I cannot even try to pretend that I enjoy shaking my ass provocatively while looking over my shoulder to make sure the sexy beard guy has noticed that I want him to jump up on it.
Any group of girls who go out saying “I just want to dance” are lying when they enter the club. If dropping it low was your night’s sole purpose, you’d have descended upon the dive down the street and danced by yourself because the vodka-induced rhythm inside you was just that hard to suppress (re: Snooki). Clubs are the living, breathing equivalent of online dating: people just desperately want to snag someone. The flashing lights and deafening thumping of bass are an equalizer too: to tolerate it for any length of time requires a certain degree of inebriation, which therefore improves everyone’s chances of getting laid. No one looks comfortable here though. Girls are vacuum-sealed into bandage dresses and dangerously teetering on shoes that make them resemble newborn baby fawns. Guys are clustered in groups and conspiring about prospective scores, even their desperation reeking as their eyes frantically dart across the room and watch the clock approaching closing time. And as if the insecurity wasn’t already dripping from the rafters, the club’s bathroom is always fluorescently illuminated as though specifically designed to further promote self-loathing and therefore boost liquor sales. The club is like gym class, where one’s personal validation derives from being “chosen” by another equally-as-lonely stranger who finds your physical appearance sufficient enough for a one-night-stand. Is this really how you want to meet people, based purely on the superficial pretenses of this murky techno-bleeding underworld?
I’m no nightlife elitist and I’ve certainly paid my fair share of ridiculous cover charges to get sh-tfaced with my girls on $10 vodka sodas, sweating through our makeup while busting moves to Akon. But in terms of the opposite sex, the kind of Saturday night that excites me the most includes regular conversation and laughing and all the awkward nuances that comprise getting to know a guy I like. These idiosyncratic pieces of dating disappear in the club. And what I’m referring to doesn’t even have to be in a bar at all; the simple act of sitting on the couch can be great, conjuring the jittery nervous feelings you hadn’t felt since high school. To me, this is the provocative stuff. I don’t think there’s anything sexier than flaws and wrinkles and moles and vulnerabilities, most of which you WON’T find obscured under the strategically placed darkness of the club. Of course physical attraction will always play a part in why we like each other, but I’d take chilling out with a six-pack of beers and talking about books and music and old stories any day over wobbling around on a pair of stilettos, hoping that I starved myself enough that week to catch someone’s eye under the strobe light.
If your night’s sole purpose is to melt into a faceless pulsing crowd and lose yourself in the anonymity of drunken lust, the club is your ideal destination. And hey, I suppose that every once in awhile it’s good to feel some liquor seep through your pores as you close your eyes and fist-pump. But you’ve got it all wrong if you’re looking for a meaningful connection in this place. The club makes no apologies for utilizing physical appearance and alcohol consumption as its primary matchmakers and therefore you cannot hold it accountable when you contract an STD from the candidate it pairs you with. The real deal’s usually found in your everyday life and so please stop complaining about being perpetually single if you’re spending every Friday and Saturday night at Bungalow 46.