Second in the ‘How to dance at a club’ series is ‘Practicalities when Clubbing’. Despite it’s general feeling of impulsiveness, going clubbing -well, successfully anyway- requires a wee bit of planning, without it you can find yourself in a lot of pain, barred from venues, very thirsty, drugged, sexually frustrated or simply feeling quite sorry for yourself from overheating.
- Step 1, Dress appropriately: Otherwise known as ‘Why leather pants aren’t the best idea’.
I’m not talking about dressing to your skin tone or something daft like why dark blue is better than black for shoes. No, I’m talking about basic physics. It goes like this:
Enclosed space + body heat (x increased metabolism from dancing) + increased hormone levels + diuretic substances = VERY HOT
Yes, clubbing is hot (and not just in the colloquial sense), therefore you need to dress appropriately. This is why most clubbing patrons wear very little clothing, although I imagine the sex appeal helps too. But trust me, fully clothed people can look pretty damn sexy too.
*Ahem!* Here are some handy hints for apparel:
- Wear cotton instead of synthetics. These allow better air flow and moisture release, meaning you can sweat and have it cooled off. Synthetics tend to trap the moisture in, stopping the sweat doing it’s heat exchange thing and cooling you down. As your body isn’t the brightest candle on the chandelier, it tries to fix the lack of cooling by sweating more, meaning you get very dehydrated and overheated - while swimming in your own secretions.
- Leather is also not the most permeable substances, and it chafes. So unless you are either wearing very little of it or are going to a ice bar, I suggest regulating it to the accessories department.
- Don’t wear something that will show sweat stains, these are not sexy or particularly photogenic. Colours like greys, whites or reds are particularly bad.
- For the ladies, some gents, and those who reject gender binaries
and substitute their own!: Unless you have A-cups (For which I am jealous, being a F-cup), or possibly even B-cups, for whatever higher power’s sake Wear a goddamn bra! The more you don’t wear a bra, the more your skin stretches from the weight of your bosom. This is why your Grandmother can cheerfully do the actions to the "Do your boobs hang low, do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow?" song. If your boobs already dangle, then wearing a good bra will make them look perky again and stop them from hitting your dance partners in the face when you jump up and down. Keep that for the bedroom
- For the lads, and anyone else with a block and tackle, don’t wear boxers. There is nothing more off putting than a sweaty peek-a-boo ball (Or worse) hanging out your trousers. As with boobs, a good pair of briefs will allow good airflow and stop any painful bouncing. Remember, if they are flying about then they are more likely to be kicked by another enthusiastic party-goer. *Insert cringe here*
- Consider the dangers of jewelery that flies about too, it’s not fun to have a lump of pewter in the eye.
- Shoes. If you are willing to do repeated jumping jacks in them, then they’re good. Otherwise, no. Also keep in mind that they will be trodden on. A lot.
- If you choose to wear a short skirt, you will be groped in inappropriate places. While I don’t think it’s particularly right to do this, people do it anyway. Again, beware thigh chafing.
- Make up: Be it stage or discreet, sweat is not your friend.
If you choose to wear make up when clubbing, keep in mind that it will be partially washed off by your sweat. You may want to wear water-resistant cosmetics (Or as they advertise them ‘Water-proof’) and retouch it whenever you go to the loo. If you feel uncomfortable doing this in front of other people then try using the disabled toilets, they often have a separate sink and mirror to the rest of the room. If the place you go doesn’t have disabled toilets, then make sure to pack a small mirror with your make-up, or you can even use your cellphone’s blank screen or inner camera in a pinch.
As the saying goes “Glitter is the herpes of craft materials”. If you chose to wear it (and who can resist the shiny?) then be aware that it will go everywhere. Even if you don’t wear it personally, chances are that fellow patrons of the establishment will be. Basically, expect to come out of a club with some level of glitter.
- What to pack: Keep your limits, and needs, in mind.
There’s a fine line between being prepared, and being over-laden. You’ll be toting this stuff around all night, so watch the weight of stuff you’re carrying. Here is what I suggest carrying:
- Most clubs have a entrance fee, so you’ll need money. Especially if you want to buy drinks. Those usually cost at least double the price of usual retail value, you have been warned.
- Clubs -should- check I.D., so have a (legal) one ready. This is also good for teh drinkies.
- You’ll need your house keys. Nothing worse than coming back knacked from dancing than to find yourself locked out from your shower and bed. Same goes if you’re driving.
- Taxi card. Some taxi’s do coupons that you can use for when you don’t want to carry too much money, other people suggest having a ‘Taxi Stash’ at home to pay for emergency taxis. Either way, you’ll need a number to call.
- A pen, one that writes well on skin and is hard to wash off. This is good for writing phone numbers, the address home on drunken friends taking a taxi, names for when you can’t hear and doodling on past out friends.
- Condoms. Don’t keep these in your wallet, that causes them to expire quicker (a combination of heat and constant wear from opening and closing the wallet). Carry them even if you aren’t personally sexually active or don’t use them, friends might need them and they’re good carry-alls in survival situations too.
- Painkillers. Headaches can hit at the most inopportune moments, especially when you’re in a environment of loud music, flashing lights and dehydrating situations. Basic Paracetamol (Also known by the brand names Panadol, Atasol, Dafalgan, Efferalgan, and Tylenol) is good, I would suggest the covered ones or ‘caplets’ because they are easier to swallow and don’t taste as foul.
- Some sort of carrying device. Choose something that has sealed pockets to make it harder to drop items or have them stolen. Should be comfortable to carry but not too eye-catching. I wouldn’t suggest anything by big brands as this marks you as someone with money, and therefore good prey for thieves.
You can also carry any makeup you are wearing (for touch-ups), a cellphone, rape whistle (Although shouting 'FIRE!' tends to get more attention), or -if you’re like me- a full survival pack with stocked first aid kit. If you are one who gets full-on pissed (drunk) often I would also recommend a slip with your name, address and any medical issues on it.
- What -not- to pack: It’s amazing how tetchy people get about these things.
Clubs have rules, and many of them you will know quite well. However daft they might seem though, you really should follow them otherwise you may get booted out or even have a nice free police ride to the station.
- Knives, not really on. This one irritates me, as I usually carry one for casual use of opening packages, cutting apples or slicing duct tape, as well as part of my survival kit. However, I fully understand that most people are not as mature with them and do stupid things like threatening people with them.
- Drugs, Party pills, illegal paraphernalia, whatever you want to call them, they’re bad news. Don’t accept any while you’re clubbing either, dosages aren’t measured, ingredients can be anything, bad reactions abound and you never know what you’ll end up doing while on them. If you have to do drugs, then do them in a safe environment, not a club.
- Unneeded electrical products. Mp3 players, cameras, Dictaphones, whatever. If you don’t need them and still bring them then you are just increasing the chances of getting them stolen or being mugged.
- Water bottles. Yes, this seems a big out of place, but most venues ban them. This is mostly due to people sneaking in alcohol in them, but also because they want to make more money by making you buy their overpriced products. Some countries have laws stating that bars must supply free water to any patron who asks, which I think is a great idea.
- Alcohol. Again, they want money, and you bringing in your own alcohol is stopping that.
- Intoxication. Not something you can pack, but you shouldn’t bring it anyway. Clubs will turn away anyone who is already intoxicated from the premises. If you see a bouncer letting in people who are already pissed then I suggest not going into that club.
- Final words of wisdom: Probably on par with teaching your Grandmother how to suck eggs, but I’m going to state them anyway.
Watch your drinks, unless it’s been opened by bar staff in front of you, then don’t accept it. They can be spiked as quickly as a single pass of a hand, so never leave your drinks unattended. Bottled drinks are easier to guard than open cups, but have a friend be aware what to do if you do seem to be overly intoxicated for what you’ve consumed. If you do think a drink has been spiked, then alert the bar staff. They will keep a eye out and replace any free-for-all drink sources on the bar. (Think things like punch bowls or giant bottles of Coke Cola).
Let someone know where you’re going and how long you think you’ll be out. This can be via social networking, text or vocal communication, just make sure there’s someone who will know where to begin checking if you disappear.
If you take a taxi, text a friend the driver details (this should be on a little card on the dashboard with the driver’s last name, photo, and ID number). There are some fake taxi companies out there and it’s better to be safe that sorry.
LASTLY: If you don’t feel safe, then get out of the situation. Otherwise, have fun!
As usual, any comments, questions or corrections are always appreciated.
This question mark is to allow people to ask questions on the post?