In New York City gay nightlife, there is one very common complaint I notice, whether it's scrawled on a Facebook wall post, texted to me at three in the morning, or screamed out loud on Ninth Avenue...
THE BOUNCER/SECURITY/DOOR GUY WAS SUCH AN ASSHOLE!
Oh, you'll hear this one all the time.
Seriously. You don't even have to go looking all that hard to find an example.
Let's put it this way: if everyone was telling the truth, it would seem that clubs and bars must be putting out classified ads in newspapers that say
Must be a HUGE Douchebag. Inquire within.
Right. Except this isn't what happens. And guess what? As one of the only sober people at two or three in the morning at the club/bar/party, I am happy to stand before you and tell you the truth behind the common security guy complaint. As Joe Biden would put it, this complaint, for the most part, is Malarkey.
Listen, security is at a club or bar for a REASON. And that reason isn't to ruin your night and be a shitbag to you. They are at the door, or in the corner, or by the bathrooms to make sure that nobody gets hurt. As a business, we are required to ensure the safety of our guests. Lines need to move. People need to get in. And everyone needs to have fun.
Unlike most businesses, however, we are peddling in magical liquids that make you more and more stupid with every sip you take. Hence the need for more security than you'd find elsewhere.
I have been witness to many gay boys dealing with security mere seconds before they took to Facebook or Twitter or YouTube or XTube to whine and cry about security. And let me tell you, what they write, and what I see are two very different things.
Security will only ever deal with you minimally. They aren't paid to stand in the way or obstruct your good time... just to keep order.
Security's main jobs are to:
1. Keep the line outside the club orderly
2. Keep volume to a minimum outside of the club
3. Ensure no illegal substances or objects are being brought into the club
4. Minimizing bottlenecks at key points in the club (bathrooms, corridors, etc)
5. Keeping the peace
6. Guaranteeing no one hurts anyone, including themselves
If you are doing something that puts you in one of those six aforementioned areas, chances are you will get to deal with security.
I will say this once, and honestly: the majority of security guys are puppy dogs. They are friendly, talkative, and will happily chew the rag with you... as long as you are not interrupting them from doing their job.
Usually what happens is the complete opposite. A security guy may ask you to step back. Or to throw something in your bag away (a water bottle with an unnamed substance in it, for instance) or to form a single line, or to stand behind a rope. They will do it nicely. Loud enough so you can hear it, but no louder.
What happens from there is what gets the security guys the shit end of the stick: the gay boy in question, especially if drunk, will probably yell at the security guy. Oh man, they do this all the time. They screech. They talk about how some member of their family is a lawyer. They call the security guy a homophobe. Or a racist. Or a sexist. Or an asshole.
USUALLY the security guy continues to keep his cool, and repeat what he said. At any point, if the gay boy (or girl) in question were to LISTEN to what security said, the interaction would be over.
And what ultimately happens is the equivalent of a chihuahua yapping at a saint bernard. The gay boy screams, sashays, flings things, points fingers, and the security guy stands there, doe-eyed, hands at his sides, allowing the gay to have his day.
Physical force is ONLY used as a preventative measure. And the security won't punch you or shove you. They will wrap their arms around you to subdue you so you cannot attack. The day of bouncers taking a shot at you ended twenty years ago. These days, security is well aware of lawsuits and dangers of engaging. They will ONLY physically act in a manner of restraint. Because if they wanted to punch people in the head, they would be boxers, not security guys.
Let me say this again: security is there to do a job. Which they are being paid to do. They're not here to hurt people or be mean. And remember that they are dealing with loud drunks all night long when you interact with them.
I would say that 9 out of 10 times, the "asshole" security guy didn't actually do anything assholeish. He is merely an asshole because he didn't let someone cut a line. Or he told someone they had to leave because he found them sleeping on the floor in a corner from being too drunk.
That's not being an asshole. That's being security at a nightclub or bar.
So, next time someone tells you about HOW MUCH OF AN ASSHOLE the security guy was at the club the night before, feel free to ask the complainer about the situation. Make them tell you the story.
And next time you interact with a security guy remember he's just doing his job. If you listen to what he says or asks, no problem will arise.
So do us all a favor: don't come too drunk, don't try doing anything sneaky, don't scream and cause a scene. If you do everything we as a human species are expected to do, you will NEVER have a problem with security. Ever.