Gay Dance Clubs Essay

Gay Dance Clubs Essay

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The dance club is no longer an exclusive venue drawing together people with similar musical interests. Instead, it has become the commercialized superclub, where profit rather than music is the bottom line. As a space traditionally influenced by homosexuals becomes a major business opportunity, this commercialization has led to the inclusion of gay subcultures within mainstream American society. However, this process has served to reinforce social stigma and stereotypes. The advertising and club environment designed to “sell” the experience to the gay customer is founded on the overtly sexual club culture of the 1970s and early 80s. On the dance floor the constructed image of the club combines with the inherent sexual and mind-altering nature of the dance experience to create a space filled with the language of desire. However, the seeming break from the hetero-centric world sold to homosexuals through the club experience does not offer actual escape. The superclubs foster an environment where physical connection between two men is seemingly encouraged while mental and emotional engagement is suppressed.

Drugs, Rock and Roll, Badass, Vegas Hoes, Late Nights, Booty Calls, Shiny Disco Balls

As these lyrics by Subliminal Sessions, whispered in a hissing, syllabic voice, poured out of the speakers at 6:32 am, I realized this was a fitting description of clubland nightlife. The venue that night was Aria, an after-hours superclub located on St. Catherine Street in Montreal, however, the throbbing beat accompanying the words could have been found in any club from Moscow to New York City. Electronica, ambient, garage, hard-house and other forms of dance music are now mainstream. Gone are the days of disco where small groups of devot...

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Clendinen, Dudley (1999, 28 November). Anita Bryant, b. 1940, Singer and Crusader. St. Petersburg Times Online. Retrieved March 20, 2003, from http://

Ewen, Stewart (2003). Hard bodies. In Syracuse University Writing Program Committee (Ed.), Critical Convergences (pp. 235-238). Boston: Pearson Custom

Lee, Denny (2003, February 23). Flower district: a club is reborn, but critics say a landmark now looks cheap. New York Times, p. P6.

Owen, Frank (2003, February 26 – March 4). Magic carpet ride: clubland potentate David Marvisi gets the rug pulled out from him. Village Voice. Retrieved March 4, 2003, from

Weinraub, Bernard (2002, December 10). Here’s to disco, it never could say goodbye. New York Times, p. E1.

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