Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Go-to-Gay: It changes at every age!

Our Go-to-Gay, Keith Stewart, is here to talk about his nights on the town and how they've changed between his twenties and now. Most of us can probably relate to what he is talking about! Since he has a lot to say, we'll let him take it from here.

From the clubs to the couch

Nothing tells the world more about where you are in life than a night out. Night Outs vary from wild, wooly, raucous evenings to sophisticated, elegant soirees, and during our lifetimes, we likely experience each extreme and everything in between.

In my twenties, I lived in Daytona Beach, Florida. A Night Out during that period of my life started no earlier than 10:00 PM. I suppose on work nights—yes, I know, going out on a work night, God I miss those days—the evening would begin earlier with dinner after work. But absolutely anything that happened before 10:00 PM was strictly a preliminary affair. A warm up. A practice session. The night really began closer to 11:00 and wrapped up anywhere from 3:00 AM to dawn on the beach. A perfect Night Out included going to a club with loud dance music blaring, lots of drinks and whatever else I could find, dancing until I was wet with sweat, and a perfect outfit that had been meticulous planned to look not-so-perfect. To top it all off, I would wake up at 5:30 the next morning, grab my bag, head to the gym, working off the previous night’s indulgences and preparing myself for a long day of work.

In my mid-thirties, I moved to Lexington, Kentucky. I had settled down and was much more domestic than in those Florida days. I still had the urge to have big Night Outs, just not as often. The few times I tried to party hard like I had in Daytona, it took days to recover. Forget ever going out on a work night. WHO DOES THAT?! I started listening to my body telling me that I could no longer hang with the crowd that starts the evening at 10:00 PM, which was fine because I knew no one who did that anymore. A perfect Night Out during those years still included hitting a few clubs and, occasionally, dancing until sweaty. Instead of lots of drinks, however, dinner was always involved. And the clubs were ones that offered quieter spaces to have conversations away from the thumping dance floor, and I was usually on my way home by midnight, or 1:00 AM if I was having a great time.

My forties find me still living in Kentucky, but something dramatic has changed in my perception of a fun Night Out. For one, a Night Out must planned weeks in advance. All my friends who are in the same age bracket as I am are so busy. Calendars must be synced; sitters of children and dogs must be arranged. If an actual nightclub is involved, it must be one with a purpose, like a drag show or a cabaret. A nice dinner with great conversation MUST come first. And everything needs to be wrapped up so I can be in my bed by midnight.

To recap, my perfect Night Outs, by age:
• 20's: sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, start late, never stop, rinse and repeat
• 30's: special occasions, lots of people, see and be seen, dance a bit, don’t close down the club
• 40's: reservations for a nice dinner, catching up with friends, if feeling crazy see a show, home in bed by midnight

OH, one last perfect Night Out I have fallen in love with in my mid-forties: STAYING HOME. My word, I feel like this is a secret that you don’t learn until you are at least 45. Comfy clothes, a couch, some food, and a movie or Netflix? I can still party like a rock star in that scenario!

How about you? What is your ideal Night Out?

Keith Stewart is the author of Bernadette Peters Hates Me – True Tales of a Delusional Man. A native of Appalachia, he splits his time between his hometown of Hyden and nearby Lexington, Kentucky. His blog is You can find him on Twitter at @Shiglyogly and Facebook at @AMSCOT (A Strong Man’s Cup of Tea). He is a regular contributor to and the He lives with his husband, Andy, and their two dogs, Duke and Dudley.


Janine said...

I can totally relate to this post. I even got a job as a bartender when I was in my 20s so I could party while I worked. At 52, the memories are still there, but the desire to go out to a club are long gone. I wouldn't step foot in one for anything. I can't handle crowds or loud music anymore. We don't even do date night, haven't done it in several years. Mostly because even going out gets be expensive and we don't have the extra money to do it. A Saturday night movie on the couch is our entertainment.

Keith S. said...

I am so glad someone else can relate! A movie and the couch sounds perfect to me! If my 25-year old self heard me say that, he would laugh.

Janine said...

I hear you. My 25 year old self would have been calling me a wimp!

Audrey Clowers said...

At age 45 I have found that I just want to be invited. I'm not gonna go, I just want to be invited. ����

Keith S. said...

Yes! Being invited is PLENTY!