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Opinion

Partying goes from classy to trashy

Don’t try to deny it—college students like to party.

But why?

There are numerous theories swirling around trying to justify the acts of power hour, beer pong and Everclear. Whichever argument you choose to side with, it probably involves some sort of risk. Risk of drinking too much. Risk of getting caught. Risk of anything.

I have no problem with underage drinking—to an extent. In fact, I was a huge partier my first semester of college and my GPA from that semester can prove it. I went to the Dublin almost every night it was open and loved going to after hours. But that’s the culture of Drake’s social scene—you go out to the Drake-dominated bars and have a good time with friends. The bouncer can probably count on two hands how many people in the bar are actually 21.

What I do have a problem with, however, is when area non-Drake-infested bars cater to the underage people. Case in point: Le Boi. For those of you unfamiliar, it’s the newest gay bar in Des Moines and it’s getting out of control.

Not only is Le Boi proud of its reputation for being scandalous but the bar owners keep finding ways to attract the young, underage crowd to the bar. The bar’s newest addition is showers on the side of the dance floor where people “shower”—or dance in their underwear under a showerhead. Think of it like a wet t-shirt contest but for the gays.

If you’re connected to some of the gay men of Des Moines on Facebook, you’ll have no problem finding countless pictures of underage guys (both in college and not even old enough for college) running around in their underwear professing their homosexuality in some less-than-classy fashions at Le Boi.

As a gay man trying to break the stereotype that all gay men are provocative and, well, sluts, I find Le Boi’s antics hard to swallow (no pun intended). Apparently, the bar owner wants his bar to resemble one from LA for New York City. Let’s face it, people—Des Moines is not close to being either of those cities.

I used to like going to the gay bars because of their “hometown values” and acceptance of anyone who walked in the door. Walking into Le Boi feels like walking into a scene of Mean Girls and not knowing how to react.

We all know underage college drinking happens in college and it’s not going away any time soon. Socially drinking with friends is a time to unwind from the stress of the week and have fun before classes start again on Monday. When the drinking turns into softcore porn—complete with boners, booty popping and bathroom blowies—is when we should start to be concerned. Next time you drift away from the Dublin underage on a Saturday, be conscious of your actions. Not every bar condones slutty behavior.

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15 Comments

  1. beau fodor September 1, 2011

    As a 42 year old patron of le Boi, who also has catered & hosted parties there, and filmed footage for a reality show in production, the writer of this story is ignorant & obviouly a prude, who also is also unattractive… just sayin’… but all that aside, le Boi is like any other gay bar, except allittle more like STUDIO 54 WAS BACK IN THE DAY!!! Get over it Alex… and get to a gym!

  2. le boi patron September 1, 2011

    Sounds like Mr. Masica is jealous he can’t fit in with the cool kids. Maybe he wants his dance clubs to be boring, but there is a reason the bar is doing well–it’s fun.

  3. tyler September 1, 2011

    “I find your opinion absurd and quite frankly rediculous. I love that you stand on your soapbox preaching about how Le Boi has underage drinkers and should be looked at as some heinous entity and yet you admit to drinking underage in all the bars around Drake. Furthermore, you say the bouncers can count on their hands the number of legal individuals there! Obviously the issue here isn’t underage drinking. The issue is that you went to Le Boi hit on some boy that you though was underage and were denied. So now you are a bitter queen who wants to sit behind the anonymity of the internet and complain. Well I work at Le Boi and I for one am appalled by this. We have a straight door man who does his job. What does he get out of allowing underage boys into the bar? Also Le Boi is a GAY bar. A place to get away from a heteronormative society and let loose. You want to have a hometown feeling stick to the Drake bars. Le Boi is a place to have fun and be who you want to be! And on one final note, gays come in all shapes, sizes and types! I for one am proud of being a stereotypical gay man. Maybe you should learn to tolerate those who are different and aren’t afraid to be who they are! Especially as a gay man.

  4. Ben Childers September 1, 2011

    So you’re ok with underage drinking and, in fact, even seem to support establishments that knowingly cater to underage patrons only if these establishments are filled with students from the same school? It seems you’re being a little hypocritical. If you don’t like the atmosphere of a bar or the actions of the guests within… guess what? THERE ARE OTHER BARS! I’m sure the owner of Le-boi would be happy for you to not be in attendance. I’m also sure these bars appreciate you publicly calling them out in regards to their ID’ing habits. It seems as if someone feels a little ostracized by the clientele at Le-boi and took their bitterness public. Now, go ID everyone at every bar everywhere.

  5. sharika lovegays September 1, 2011

    irst of all you should really be ashamed of yourself , making such bold and general statements about leboi , how dare you act as if you are some authority figure / underage police for leboi , I for one have been to leboi many times and the enviorment is nothing like the slander you are wrting about , how irresponsible of you to write an article based on what is most likeLY jealousy and your own sense of self hate , get it together sweety underage drinking happens all the time and you shouldn’t make such defaming statements like the one in your article , if you have a problem with underage drinking than have a problem with that , but don’t hate on a place that welcomes people of all orientations ! do you know how you look talking about a place that was meant to make people like you and the countless other gays feel welcome… wow and by the way lets face it sweety , the reason you don’t like leboi is because you don’t fit in .. no pun intended”

  6. Concerned citizen September 1, 2011

    So are you saying that if it was in the Drake area it would be ok then?

  7. Corey D September 1, 2011

    From your picture I can see how you don’t fit in with the young, attractive, hip crowd at Le Boi. You should go back and re-read your article. Bit of hipocrisy going on.

  8. Tyler September 1, 2011

    Having read this article, I am amazed at the amount of hypocracy. I cannot even begin to fathom how this author justifies his critique of a bar, that he has probably only been to once in his life, especially after having previously admitted that the bars in the Drake neighborhood are no better, if not worse. He sits on his pedestal thinking that because the Drake neighborhood is a college area this somehow justifies underage drinking in those bars and then can pass judgement on other establishments not in the area. In his article he states, ” The bouncer can probably count on two hands how many people in the bar are actually 21,” and yet continues to berate Le Boi with accusations of underage drinking. I find this thought thoroughly comical. The door man at Le Boi is a rather large STRAIGHT man. Explain to me the rational of a straight man allowing an underage gay boy into the bar? Obviously, there is none. I do apologise if you came to Le Boi hoping to find a young guy to take home for the night only to be rejected and now you are bitter queen whose only outlet is the internet to degrade a place because you were denied. Moving on, I find the authors blatant intolerance toward other homosexuals who happen to be more risque and flamboyant in their behavior disturbing. Gay man have enough trouble being respected in the heteronormative society we live in to yet be bashed by others in our own community. I’m sure they author of this article himself is less than innocent. Finally the author talks about how Le Boi is trying to be like a larger city gay bar. I ask: What is wrong with that? If you don’t like the feeling of an upbeat and social bar, when gay boys can go and have fun, you do not have to be there. It is a GAY bar for a reason. You can find your wholesome neighborhood gay bar by going to The Saddle or The Garden. On a final note, I would just like to add as a personal note to the author, If you felt that Le Boi made you feel that you were somehow in a scene from Mean Girls, I’d just like to say, maybe you should gain some confidence and talk to someone and then you wouldn’t feel like so much of an outcast. I am a frequent patron of Le Boi and have always felt welcome and safe to be who I am: an out proud and flamboyant gay man who has nothing to hide or be ashamed of!

  9. And You Are?!? September 1, 2011

    Oh I get it so people who should be more concerned about passing classes, getting drunk at the drake bars is okay. But if people wanna be comfortable with them selves thats a whole different story. Do people take there clothes off? Hell yes. Do they do that at other bars even at the beloved drake bars. Most deffinently. Next time you really need that attention maybe read what you write before you post it. Think it through, dont jsut go balls to the wall slandering people. Its deffinently not going to get you the attention you apperently want.

  10. Doesn't matter September 1, 2011

    I for the most part completely agree with this article, but I feel the message came across much more vengeful than initially intended. I, as both a homosexual and Drake student, feel that many of the points made in this article are fully warranted. I think that underage drinking is an issue for all establishments as a liability (and of course legal issue), but that is not something we can even pretend to resolve through a college newspaper article. Another issue surrounding Alex’s particular stance on underage drinking is that it is rather ambiguous; you cannot apply restrictions to only some establishments and not others. In order to be taken seriously as both a writer, and more simply an individual with strong convictions, you must stay  true to your arguments. Anyone can argue that underage patrons drink at the own risk and make their own decisions, however I doubt they make similar decisions outside of such an environment. LGBT youth should have a community to understand, support, and identify with. However, a group of individuals supporting irresponsible, yet supposedly fun, behavior are only feeding stereotypes and negative opinions of which keep gay rights and marriage a controversial issue. Yes, you can say that we shouldnt change who we are to be accepted, but there is a large disconnect between being true to ourselves, and shoving our lifestyle down others throats (don’t even get me started on pride parades). I am not trying to rain on everyones parade (no pun intended), but if we want to gain respect for ourselves and from others, this is simply not the way to behave. I am all for having fun, but everything has a price, and there’s no free lunch, we should think about what we give up every time we act irresponsibly (our actions always have ripple effects and consequences) If le bois goal is to be a provocative establishment, who uses showers and half naked underage shot boys to draw business-then own it! There is room for strip clubs and other such establishments in Des Moines, but claiming this establishment “creates a welcoming, friendly atmosphere for all LGBT youth” (paraphrasing) makes le boi’s patrons sound slightly delusional. If you (le boi) want to take a victim stance and say you are nothing but welcoming (which many of your patrons claimed in their comments below) then maybe you should not take such a negative, derogatory, and offensive stance to Alex for voicing his opinion. Teaching underage LGBT to drink an Irishman under the table, dance on a poll, and shower half naked is not gearing them up for a successful future. Yes you can say that they are gaining important social skills, but last time I checked you don’t need to be naked and wet to attain those. I feel like le boi may need to install mirrors for their patrons to take a good hard look at their attitudes and behaviors. Responding to Alex’s claims with “weight jokes” is pathetic and shows that he has made valid points. Assuming that all people are jealous of you (those that have commented) because you can fit into a size small jockstrap is incredibly naive, don’t flatter yourself. Heaven forbid if we as gay men look deeper than the 2-xist boy shorts you are wearing to assess your level of attractiveness. (these are all my opinions and personal accounts of events that I have experienced) 

    1. Tyler September 2, 2011

      While I do agree with the beginning of your reply, I am again dumbfounded at your baseless accusations that Le Boi does not foster an understanding, supportive environment and shared sense of identity. Furthermore, the fact that you think that an individual expressing themselves in the way that they feel is shoving the “gay lifestyle” down heterosexuals throats is preposterous! How is being true to one’s self ever shoving their lifestyle in someones’ throat? I do not see you telling heterosexuals to restrain their own freedom of expression. Also, Pride is a time to celebrate the fact that we have achieved so much in such a short amount of time. Do you think that African Americans and Asian Americans shouldn’t have celebrations and festivals to celebrate their own culture? Homosexuals like yourself are in my opinion a detriment to the advancement of our culture and civil rights. To your claim about the provacative nature of Le Boi and their marketing strategy, I would like to state that all of the shot boys and dancers are of legal age and are employees of the establishment and legally able to be there. I take offense to the fact that you tried to compare Le Boi to a strip club. That statement is incredible inaccurate. In regards to your statement that Le Boi shouldnt be taking a victim stance due to some of the statements written by patrons, they are patrons, not the actual bar or a spokesperson for the bar. So I would ask that you make sure you realise exactly what you are saying. In addition, you blatant accusation that Le Boi “teaches” underage LGBT youth to drink, dance on a poll and shower half naked is slanderous. Have you even been to Le Boi? The partrons of the bar are not out on the dance floor or at the bar forcing these individuals to do anything against their will. You also assume that all patrons are either partially naked or dancing in the shower. You should really get your facts straight before making such inaccurate statements. I’d also like to add that had either you or Alex actually bothered to talk to someone who worked at Le Boi or even the owner for that matter I’m sure this article wouldn’t have even been written. On a final note, I am suprised that Drake would even publish this article not only online but in their newspaper as well. While I do realise this was an opinion article, I was under the impression that Drake’s Journalism Department prided itself on accurate reporting and this article had no accurate information at all.

  11. Max Crabb September 1, 2011

    I’ve spent countless Friday and Saturday nights at Le Boi. The people are fun and energetic. There’s never an ‘off’ night for the staff.
    If a straight guy can go there and have fun, i have to wonder what’s stopping you…

  12. I feel bad for the poster September 2, 2011

    Hey I think you are just jelous that you didnt have fun like the rest of us! you need to grow up and quit being a baby! just because you didnt have fun does not give you the right to bad talk a bar if you like the drake bars so much then go to them and stay out of leboi! ps… maybe if you didnt act depressed at the bar we would have talked to you but nope you just sat in the corner all by yourself pouting because no one will talk to you

  13. LovesBois September 6, 2011

    wow haha, okay so. you act like they put a gun to our heads the second we walk in and tell us to take our clothes off. people have fun there and choose to maybe loose a piece of clothing, if ya got it flaunt it. (producers reference) i’ll be honest, im there a lot, and ive never gotten or seen a bathroom blowie so im kinda jealous that someones not sharing the love haha and booty popping? girl, really? have you ever been to a dance club? guess not. then lets move onto the soft core porn and boners… uhm. tons of gorgeous guys in there. of course your gunna get a boner. you make it sound like you interviewed the owner when your indirectly quoting him. i talked to him last night. no one talked to him about any of this and when he found out about this was when he saw it on facebook. all in all i think this is great publicity, gorgeous boys in their undies dancing in a shower, these “bathroom blowies” (which everyone from the bar now has a huge inside joke about due to this article) you claim to happen, booty popping, and people professing their homosexuality in less then classy ways…sounds like fun to me!

  14. JJ WDM September 14, 2011

    From what I’ve observed and heard I think Alex makes some excellent points. Le Boi seems like a place where you can have ‘fun’ and not really grow up. There’s a saying that totally fits most of the people who go there. Gay men are like Mexico…TOTALLY HOT and TOTALLY boring. I know people who hang out here and I have to say, I think less of them.

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