From my past 3+ years of experience in this colorful and blaring loud world, I think I've figured something out: the FOUR core reasons that people get involved in it. From what I can tell, EVERY person in nightlife is involved in it for TWO of these reasons. One is the CORE reason, and the other is the SECONDARY or SUPPORTING reason.
Want to debate me, and add another? Leave a comment or write to me. I'd love to discuss.
THE FOUR REASONS PEOPLE WORK IN GAY NIGHTLIFE
It's very easy to see the sexual effects of working in nightlife. Whether you're the DJ, the promoter, the bartender, or a dancer - suddenly you're a lot more sexually interesting. Whether you were blessed by the Pretty gods beforehand, or if you look like a bewigged pile of gelatin, chances are, more people are going to want to sleep with you. Because you are the Keeper of the Drink Tickets. Or the Cutter of the Line Outside the Club. Or That Guy With His Name On The Flyer That Thousands of People See Every Week.
Those who have gotten into nightlife for sex as their core reason are easy to spot: they're making out with and going home with a different guy every night. They may have multiple boyfriends who either know or don't know about the others. They're flocked by gorgeous guys and you, yourself, have no idea how that could possibly be.
If you're doing nightlife correctly, you're getting paid for it. Some of the top promoters in America, with multiple successful parties under their wings, stand to make a pretty nice weekly paycheck. Sometimes in the thousands of (sometimes untaxed) dollars. DJs command high prices per hour. Bartenders make enough tips to turn into a Cher wig every hour.
Yes, Nightlife is a great place to make money, so long as you're professional, dedicated, and business-like about it. You can tell if someone has Money as their core reason because, well, they're making money. If ANY of the other reasons are their core reason, chances are they aren't making money, or are blowing it away.
Fame, fame, fashion baby. Like I said, nightlife can deliver you a certain spotlight rather quickly. Wherever you're throwing your party, and however many people are showing up, if you have enough popular people screaming about how you're important, chances are that most people will believe it. Promoters are the face of the party, and can get a lot of cred for it. DJs gain international notoriety. Go-go boys get followings that literally will go wherever they may be dancing. Bartenders can win Glammy nightlife awards.
You can tell when someone has Fame as their core reason by the way they behave. If you see them arrive at a club with a squadron of gays, waiting to be escorted to the front of the line, orspend the entire time in the VIP of their parties, or don't seem nice if you ever approach them. They may not even GO to their parties. That's a sure sign.
Technically this could ALSO be Drugs/Drinking. Because, lord knows, once you get deep enough into nightlife, both are easy to get your hands on for close to nothing. This is the reason I can speak the least to, since the hardest drug I've ever done was pot, and that was many, many years ago.
Needless to say, I feel that this can be the most destructive/dangerous. Many a nightlife personality has fallen into this core reason, and never crawled back out of it again. Of course, self-control is important. I, however, know nothing of self-control, which is why I stay the hell away from this.
Oh, except the drinking. I do plenty of that.
So, where do I feel I stand on this scale? I'm sure you have your own opinion (I hope it isn't mean). But, from watching myself over the years, I'd peg myself as:
MY PRIMARY REASON: Money
I am trying to turn this into a career. I would love to one day make enough money to do that. I also come from a day job, and corporate life, so profits and losses and budgets and spreadsheets are coursing through my veins.
MY SECONDARY REASON: Fame
And the only reason the "fame" aspect is important to me is because it's allowing me to build platforms for my other projects. This blog. My debut gay novel. My gay web comic. My radio show.
And all of these, of course, go back to money. Because as soon as these things start making money, the sooner I can exit day life and plunge into a fabulously creative and profitable Not-Waking-Up-Weekdays-At-7-Fucking-AM life.
Oh, and let me add a 5th reason that I believe is a default for ANYONE working in nightlife: FUN. Whatever we each define as "Fun" may vary, and that "Fun" probably connects to our core reasons for working here, but it's a given. If you're not having fun in nightlife, why the hell are you doing it? It's tough work. It's long hours. It's exhausting and filled with unsavory (and very savory) temptations.
Yes, we're all here because it's fun. Because how can we sell fun to others, if we aren't having fun ourselves? We can't. It's that simple.