Generally speaking, it goes without saying that women have it easier than men when they go to nightclubs. Clubs and promoters share flyers on Instagram, toting “Women free until midnight” and “Free drinks for women before 11pm.” Furthermore, men are known to buy drinks for women in hopes of getting their number or possibly taking them home. General assumptions would lead you to believe that I am one of those girls who gets free drinks from interested men. You’re wrong — I don’t. A conversation I had last week, with one of my male friends inspired me to share why it isn’t the case that all “good-looking” women get free drinks at the club.
While my friend and I were having casual banter, he assumed that I probably have it easy at the clubs. He said that I probably get approached all the time and have never had to whip out my credit card for anything. I laughed…hard… and told him he was so misled. He didn’t believe me and joked that I was being too modest and I looked at him with a serious face and said that I truly don’t get approached.
To clarify, I’m not saying that a man has never offered to buy me a drink or that I’ve never been invited to join a VIP section. It has happened a couple of times out of my hundreds of times going to clubs or bars. And though I don’t necessarily enjoy being courted at the club– it usually ends in my phone number being entered in the phone of a man who will store it into his inventory, and then months later send me a “wyd” text. It’s always nice to feel like someone’s interested. However, on an average night out with my girls, I’m not the one who “pulls” men for drinks or VIP sections. In fact, out of my friend group, I’d probably be the last to pull anyone for anything! Here’s my breakdown:
Men tend to approach women who are their height or shorter…
I stand at 5’7″ which makes me taller than the average woman. The average height of my girlfriend group is about 5’5.” And I refuse to ever go out in anything shorter than a 3-inch heel. So, it’s rare that I don’t look like the skyscraper within the group — even if they wear heels. Immediately upon entering the club, I scan the room. If there are any eyes from the opposite sex that can reach my gaze, I figure they may approach me. Otherwise, I figure I’ll be left alone. This isn’t to say that I don’t entertain men shorter than me, because that’s not true. But, men tend to approach women who are their height or shorter — intimidation, I suppose.
Dressing up is my thing. When I look my best, I feel powerful and sexy. And thus, I dress up when I go out. In college, while all my friends were wearing flats, leggings, and a boho tee-shirt to the bars on Route 1, I wore heels, a bodycon skirt or dress, and a fancy top. There was a running joke in my college friend group where they would all ask me, “Tanaye, are you wearing heels tonight?” They already knew the answer. I guess it always seemed strange to others that I would dress so nicely for the dive bars. I don’t compromise my style for my surroundings! Nevertheless, the same applies in my adult life. I’ll dress the same way whether its Adams Morgan (a dodgy dive-bar haven of D.C.) or DuPont circle (a nicer side of the city that enforces dress codes). I’ll see men wearing dirty sneakers, baggy jeans, or a wrinkled tee immediately divert their eyes from mine, eliminating themselves from the opportunity to meet me.
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I have strong resting bitch face. It runs in the family. Though my face can be tense, I’m usually deep in thought, replaying the latest episode of Black Mirror in my head or debating what food I’m going to eat after the club let’s out. But, of course, people — men, in this case– can take this stern look for disinterest. Yet, sometimes if the music is bad, or if the crowd is too rowdy, or if my feet hurt, my R.B.F. will reflect my true mood. But, I’ve always admired the man who approaches me when my R.B.F. is on 100%. I’m more likely to give my number to that man because they immediately reveal to me that they’re not intimidated by me. In the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”
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I’m not saying all of this as a feel-bad-for-me pity party. I’m just sharing my truth and trying to break the misconceptions that many people have about me, women and their life experiences. I’ve heard people say, time and time again, “I’m sure you get hit on alot” or “I’m sure you’ve heard all of this before…” But the truth is, I haven’t. I’ve only had a drink purchased a handful of times (as a single woman). And fewer than that were from men who I actually found an interest in. To be honest, sometimes not getting hit on can be a blow to my ego. I begin over analyzing my outfit, my R.B.F., my height, my skin color, my hair choice, and any other thing I decided to wear that night. I sometimes feel like the ugly duckling in the group. I know it’s not true, but how would you feel if every single one of your sexy friends got hit on, a drink, or a number and the most action you had all night was sharing life stories with the bathroom concierge? Exactly.