The coveted “Gay House Party” invite is one to be appreciated and not taken lightly. Once I was introduced to these events I quickly realized how much enjoyable they are over going to gay clubs and bars. Usually, they are not advertised online or plastered on flyers stuffed under windshield wipers. These are invite-only or word-of-mouth events that don’t come often but are usually worth the wait.
Through trial & error, I learned a handful of rules of etiquette to attending a “gay house party” that will ensure you get invited to many more over the years.
Step 1: Don’t Invite Everyone to Someone Else’s Party
Unless given permission by one or all of the hosts, don’t arbitrarily invite every gay person in your contacts. It can be tempting to forward that text message to all of your gay friends, DON’T DO IT! You never know who those people will forward the text to…Some house party hosts may not want random unknown people with more than a 2 degree separation from them walking around their homes.
However, people hosting parties do occasionally want a few new faces sprinkled into the crowd. So most of the time its okay to invite a close friend or two ONLY IF they arrive to the party with you, the person officially invited. This rule mainly applies to uninvited guests who do not personally know the hosts of the party. Another exception: Typically on major celebratory holidays like New Years Eve or Labor Day, this rule can be totally disregarded.
Step 2: Don’t Bring Your Complaining Nonsocial Friend
You know the type. This is the guy that complains from the minute he walks into the door. The music is bad. The crowd is “beneath” him. The men aren’t masculine enough. He’s more of a home body and would rather be somewhere else. No matter the reason, my response to them is the same: “Keep your lame gay fucking ass at home then!”
Seriously, why bring this anchor to a party just to have him drag down the good time of you and others. Most gay house parties aren’t like overcrowded white fraternity keggers from the movies where they are packed like night clubs. Gay house parties are usually intimate affairs with a group of less than 50 people, not hundreds. At “real” house parties, people stand out.
That stink-faced friend can typically be seen looking down his nose at the room full of people having a good time from across the room. If anyone dares try to speak to this fucker, he either gives short apathetic answers to innocent questions or he fills up the conversation explaining why he’d rather not be there.
Next time, leave him home with his Hookup Apps and Internet Porn while you have fun socializing in-person with actual people.
Step 3: Bring a Bottle
While real house parties typically don’t charge a cover, they still aren’t free. Someone actually spent time and money for the event and opened up their home for your enjoyment. The spoken and unspoken rule of Gay House Parties is to bring alcohol (or a dish if its a Dinner Party).
This still works out cheaper than most club experiences considering the cover charge and the cost of drinks you’ll pay in those venues. Walking into a House Party with a brown bag of liquor not only gains you good will admittance, it also helps to keep the drinks flowing even to the wee hours. I’ve been to Gay House Parties where men didn’t follow this rule and the alcohol eventually ran out mid-party.
Unless its a small party or you are close friends with the host and want to impress, don’t buy Top Shelf liquor. Its not necessary. But don’t get bottom shelf liquor either, you have to at least appear to have a fraction of class. So what should you bring?
If its a party full of young college aged black gays, grab a cheap bottle of Smirnoff and call it a day. All young black gay men drink Vodka & Cranberry because its all their inexperienced brains and palettes know. Well, that and fruity liquor filled daiquiris.
If its a party mixed with older black gay men (30+ years old), you can bring middle shelf Vodka, Rum or Tequila. I wouldn’t bring anything under $20 unless its a name brand on sale. However, you really get a lot of props if you bring something unique and atypical.
Ocky Williams introduced me to Tito’s Handmade Vodka and I haven’t gone back to Absolut since. What’s great about this liquor is that its unique, American made, highly rated (over Ketel One, Grey Goose and Belvedere) and only $20 for a 750ml bottle in most stores.
Here’s the most crucial thing about this rule. Always show or hand the bottle to the host of the party. This is the equivalent to waiting until the server behind the bar to SEE you place down the tip so that you can get credit for it. You want the host to know you added to the pool full of liquor, which will encourage him to not only invite you to his next party, but also invite you to others he hears about.
Step 4: Introduce Yourself to the Host
If you’re one of those unknown “friends of the invited friend” that we spoke of in Step #1, make sure you find out who the host is of the party and introduce yourself. You’re in another man’s home, respect him by making yourself no longer a stranger.
Again, this helps on multiple levels as he also may now be encouraged to personally invite you to his next party since you took the time out to speak to him. I follow this step without fail. Every party, without hesitation. Even if I don’t exchange information with the guy, I’ve now broken the ice making it easier to not feel like a party crasher for the rest of the night.
Step 5: No Snapping Wild Photographs
Seriously! Why is this not common knowledge?! We get it. You’re Out to the world. You march for gay rights. You’re even an aspiring Gaylebrity. However you must understand that not everyone is as “evolved” as you.
Some guys still have insecurities when it comes to their sexuality. This insecurity includes the oddity of being comfortable enough to GO to a gay club or house party but not being comfortable enough to be PHOTOGRAPHED at one.
Stop trying to sneak wide shots of the party goers or group selfies to include the handsome muscular masculine guy standing behind you.
If this keeps up, soon gay house parties will end up like many strip clubs where the rule is: Leave Your Camera Phones In Your Car.
Step 6: Wipe Up Bathroom Splash
Men are disgusting creatures. There is no better proof of this than the condition seen in most bar/club restrooms around 1 am on a typical Saturday night. Poorly aimed piss lines the floor around the shit and toilet paper stuffed toilets. Many men make the argument that since someone is paid to clean this mess, who cares.
This is not the case with Gay House Parties. There is no restroom, only bathrooms. Bathrooms that the person living in the home will likely want to continue to use long after the party. You’re in somone’s home. Show a little appreciation and courtesy by wiping up the urine splash (men know what this is) and any mess made by your tipsy visit to the john.
Step 7: Don’t Get “Wasted”
The only thing more embarrassing than watching your friend get overly drunk and loud in a club is to watch your friend get overly drunk, loud or passed out at a house party. Especially if said friend wasn’t even personally invited.
If you want to get that wasted, go to a straight up bar of club…not someone’s home. House Parties are much more intimate events, so if you or your friend becomes “That Guy”, everyone will notice. I’ve seen a couple gay fights break out at parties due to an overly intoxicated gay man misreading casual conversation for flirting with his Boyfriend.
Another unintentional consequence for not knowing your limits and being loud/obnoxious is you or your whole group of friends will cease to be invited out to these events as your reputation builds for a man that can’t hold his liquor.
Step 8: Leave Long Before the Host Starts Cleaning Up
Once the party dissipates from being completely full to half full, its time for you to either start prepping for your drive home or start finding out where the after party will be.
If you’re still around long enough to see people packing up the food or making to-go plates, you’ve stayed way too long. Time to go.
If you’re anywhere but the Tri-State area and the DJ begins playing the Reggae/Dancehall set, you’ve hit the Danger Zone in “take yo’ ass home already” territory.
Don’t overstay your welcome unless you either plan on helping the host cleanup or having sex with him once everyone else is gone.