Gay Meets Straight: Tips for Strips

Straight Guy,

Judith Martin, better known as the syndicated columnist "Miss Manners," had a gem of a column today. Here's an abbreviated version:
Question: I drove through my neighborhood's relatively new beer barn for the first time yesterday... You drive in, open a window and tell the girl in a bikini what you want.

...I assume part of the business model includes the girl in the bikini being underpaid and expecting tips from fellows who find her appearance compelling.

As a gay man... am I exempt from this? If a man of similar age, attire and friendliness served me in the same situation, I'd give him a dollar.

Answer: Is it any wonder that Miss Manners hates tipping questions?...

But the fact is that reasonable tipping is dependent not only on the price paid, but on such variables as the custom of the region, the degree of luxury of the establishment and the frequency with which the same service is used. It is therefore impossible to give a standard answer.

And now you go and add the element of how much erotic appeal the server has to the customer. Thanks. Miss Manners doesn't doubt that consideration of this might apply to some, but perhaps not to the etiquette-conscious.
I'd never heard of a beer barn before, much less been to one. Especially one with bikini-clad sales women.

The theme of bikinis and tipping reminds me of your bachelor party, SG. What a memorable night. Readers, in brief, GG had a plan to celebrate, many years ago, SG's upcoming wedding with a modest evening at a comedy club and a round of beers. (Imported, bottled, of course.) That plan fell apart as soon as SG's high school buddies got involved. It turned into the traditional sitcom of a bunch of drunk guys being driven around from strip club to strip club. As a gay man, temporarily -- and uncharacteristically -- sober, it was especially frightening/amusing for me.

My favorite bit: At about the third stop, I was barely containing the urge to pull out a Wet Wipe and give the poles a good rub down. The cocktail waitress approached. She was firm, spangled, bikini-clad, dyed and scary.

"What'll you have?" she asked with the rasp of a thousand cigarettes.

"Oh, just a glass of water."

She gave a look that was as gritty as her voice.

"Buddy, let me tell you how it works. See all these people here? They're drinking and tipping. When I come back around, you'll be ordering or leaving. Understand?"

It was a delicious Bud Lite. Plus tip.

I loved that night, SG. It's given me more than a decade of stories that never fail to amuse.

--Gay Guy

I'm glad you were entertained, GG. Tell me, which aspect was most edifying? The spontaneous fist fights? The crazed van driver-for-hire? Or, the humiliating write-up in the next morning's newspaper? As I recall, you slipped quietly away sometime after midnight, and any pretense of decorum left with you. That was a good move, and I should have followed you. (Don't worry, readers. Nothing tragic, no lasting shame, and absolutely no need for a visit to the free clinic, just a lot of unnecessary nonsense.)

Back to the question at hand. There's a fine line between working and workin' it.

I'm not sure how many gay men find themselves at bikini drive-throughs or car washes, but yes, extra tipping is required. But maybe these ladies will allow you to give them fashion or style tips, instead.

Look, I've never even been to a Hooters. But I know the deal. It's the same deal at a trashy "Bikini Brew Through" and at a swanky Vegas lounge. It's a proven system: straight guys are suckers. If an attractive lady gives us flirty attention, we will tip for the privilege.

And if you ever follow through on your threats to take me to Drag Queen Brunch, I will keep these rules in mind.

--Straight Guy


Anonymous said...

Oh good lord. We've always known straight men were easily played.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Anon, but we didn't know how easily!

Oddyoddyo13 said...

As soon as I saw the title I KNEW there would be mention of a bachelor party. It's just an instinct, ya know? A sixth sense, if you will...

straight in upstate said...

Re SG and the two Anons (are y'all related?): the gay man who wrote to Miss Manners readily admitted he would have tipped a good looking scantily-clad man at the beer barn. Are straight men suckers, or all humans? I believe Chippendales' and male dancers work on the same principle as straight-guy strip clubs.

GG, is it true that many women are more comfortable with gay men precisely because y'all don't eye them like pieces of meat? I'd think that would count for a tipping exemption at the beer barn.

Dorn said...

Should you ever find yourself at a beer barn (loads of them down here in Texas) be sure you get margaritas to go.

As for the bikini...she took a job for minimum wage hauling cases of beers around while men ogle her. You don't tip, she's guaranteed to remark "he must have been gay."

Why try to prove her wrong?

Molly Louise said...

As a waitress, while I certainly don't walk around in a bikini on the clock, there is something to be had for having a nice smile while you serve someone their first round of cocktails. Or their fifth. In the end, though, they're going to tip how they want to tip regardless of how pretty you are.

Straight Guy said...

Thanks guys,

Yeah, I think we can all be suckered. But the numbers seem lean one way. The Chippendales are an anomaly.

For most folks, this is handled with grace. Pretty people sometimes gravitate to certain jobs, but anyone in a service position can increase their tips by being friendly and, yes, flirting with the right customers. Anyone remember Flo from "Alice?"

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive