This is still my favorite dance bar in San Francisco. The music IS reliable with vocals rather than that techno crap that drones on at so many gay events in The City or the rap you often have to endure at straight clubs. There are monitors around the dance floor and a video d.j. mixes the vids. I am not an alcohol drinker so can't say much about the drinks. My biggest complaint about Badlands is the same complaint I have had about other gay bars. All of us have our straight women that we love but is it really necessary to bring them to the gay club? It seems to me that a lot of young gay men are terrified of other gay men and it looks like they bring their girls to protect them? I don't pretend to understand the need of some gay men to bring straight women to a gay bar. It FEELS like they are "slumming," -a "zoo" mentality. The girls giggle & squeal at the gay men that were in the bathroom when they went to use it. OMG! Squeal. Giggle. It is really annoying. IF you are a gay man that insists on bringing straight women to a gay bar, I would just like to suggest some etiquette for you to convey to her. These apply to any gay dance bar, not just Badlands:
1. Tell your straight bff to leave her coat at home, in the car or CHECK IT! Do NOT put your coats in the middle of the dance floor. Do not dance in a group around a pile of coats!!
2. Do not bring a purse to a gay bar! Leave your purse, backpack, luggage or whatever it is that you are carrying, at home or leave it in the car. Someone trying to dance with a big purse under their arm just looks stupid!! (AND then you won't be whining about your cell phone getting stolen out of your purse! BTW, leave your cell in the car or at home too. You don't need it in a gay bar! You only need an ID and cash.)
3. Do not take your drinks onto the dance floor! Yes, you may see gay men bringing their drinks onto the dance floor but they really shouldn't either! Drink the drinks while your chatting with friends. There are little ledges & tables on which you can leave your drinks while dancing. You do not need those drinks with you on the dance floor! If you have a drink in your hand, are you really "dancing" anyway? (Some gay men are highly skilled at drinking on the dance floor but they have been practicing for years. YOU should not do it!!! You will spill it all over the floor and others near you!!)
4. Do not line dance, square dance, swing dance, ballroom dance or any other kind of dancing that entails holding your partners hand & swinging them around the dance floor, knocking over all the other dancers. This is considered sloppy and rude behavior! Contain yourself in your personal space on the dance floor and avoid throwing yourself into other dancers.
5. No "parking" on the dance floor. You are taking up space from those that actually want to dance.
6. Don't dance in group circles. It's really obnoxious.
7. IF you are a straight women & bring your straight bf to the gay bar, you are responsible for him & his behavior! PLEASE do not feel you have to prove to everyone that your bf is straight by sticking your tongue down his throat. If you want to make out with your straight bf, go to a straight bar or get a room. Look around- Do you see gay men making out in the gay dance bar? Probably not. So why would you think we all want to watch two straight people making out- AND PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you MUST have some tongue, at least get off the dance floor!!!
8. No slow dancing in a gay dance club. Yuck. No "break dancing!" No dancing that entails laying down on the floor. Save all of that for the straight bar, please.
9. We know how much straight women love coming to gay bars. There is a reason for this- they are GAY bars!! Hello? IF you are a straight woman that likes coming to gay bars, please don't come back by yourself with your straight boyfriend, regardless of how "liberal" he is or a group of your straight women friends! You should consider it a privilege that your "gay" brought you to the gay bar in the first place. You shouldn't think that it is now okay for you to bring all your straight friends to goggle the "gays." We are not there for your amusement. A gay bar should not feel like a zoo. Gay bars are not a place for you to "slum." There is nothing that ruins a gay bar faster than a lot of straight people! If you love hanging out with straight people, go to the straight bar where you can dance in a group around a pile of coats and purses and spill your drinks all over the dance floor.
10. Lastly, straight women should not dance like they are a stripper on a pole trying to seduce someone with their hotness. Remember, this is a gay bar! Nobody is interested in how your breasts heave and your ass twerks. Only gay men can get away with those moves in a gay bar because they look "cute" doing it. Straight women just look desperate. If you need a meat rack atmosphere, go to a straight dance club where all those "sexy" moves will be appreciated!!
In 2005, as almost always in my life, I was going out dancing. At this time, I was going to The White Horse in Berkeley pretty regularly. They had a pretty good dj at the time and decent dance floor. I went about once a week or so and danced by myself as I usually like to do. For me, it is the best way to burn calories. Eventually, I quit going to the White Horse because it seemed to be drawing more of a straight crowd. This is very typical of gay bars. Gay men bring their straight girlfriends. Straight women love to dance in gay bars if they are not looking to get hit on. Then they have such a good time, these straight women decide that they must bring their straight boyfriend to the gay bar so he can see how much fun it is. They think their straight boyfriend is so progressive that he will just fit right in. Maybe they bring a few of their straight girlfriends, too. They they end up behaving as if they are in a straight bar. They are rowdier than the gay people. They giggle about men in the women's bathroom. They pile their purses and coats in the center of the dance floor and then dance around the pile in a group. The straight girl has to prove her boyfriend is straight by making out with him on the dance floor. The straight people always want to take their drinks onto the dance floor to spill them all over the floor. Nobody that is actually into dancing brings their drink onto the dance floor!! Nobody that is actually into dancing, brings a purse to a gay dance club!! Anyone into dancing checks their coats with the coat check or leaves their coat in the car!!! Regardless, when you get too many straight people in a gay bar, the bar loses most of it's charm and becomes like every other straight bar.
Okay. That's my tirade. Anyone that knows me, has probably heard all this before! It is just the truth.
Regardless, I had been dancing at the White Horse on a re
gular basis. Back then, I was buying cheaper tennis shoes which didn't have much arch
support in them. Because of the lack of arch support, I bought some of those inserts you put into the shoe. While dancing, I came down on my left leg and could feel my foot slip with the insert inside the shoe and my knee tweaked. I continued to dance.
After this night, I started having knee problems in that knee. I got a knee brace and used ice and ibuprofen but the pain persisted. I kept putting off going to the doctor because I just assumed I had done something that would resolve on it's own. Milton and I had plans to visit Europe for three weeks that year. Finally, before the trip, I went to see a doctor and got an MRI and it turned out that I had a torn meniscus. I wouldn't be able to get the surgery until after our trip to Europe!!
I brought a knee brace with my on our trip and hobbled around Europe the best I could. Milton was very understanding of my need to go back to the room when my knee pain got to bad.
It must have been October 12th or maybe November 12th when I had my knee surgery at Kaiser in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, after returning from Europe, I had gone in to have my teeth cleaned and every time I get my teeth cleaned, my dentist comes in and checks my lymph nodes in my neck, my mandibular joint and the tissue inside my mouth. I was shocked and terrified when he pointed out a growth on my tongue!!!
Two days after my knee surgery, Milton drove me to a Sacramento Kaiser to be seen by an oral surgeon. I am not sure why we had to drive all the way to Sacramento except that Kaiser is all about managing health care resources and saving money for Kaiser so this must have been the cheapest option for them.
When i went in to see the oral surgeon, I overheard him talking to someone in the office about getting out of the office early. Apparently, I was going to be his last patient of the day before he headed out for vacation or something. He was obviously in a hurry.
He came in and swabbed my tongue with something that didn't affect sensation at all. If it was supposed to numb my tongue, he didn't give it enough time to do so. He got a pair of scissors from his assistant and started cutting on my tongue!! This was one of the most horrific experiences of my life!
Thankfully, it did turn out that the growth was benign. My knee recovered, too.