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Photo by Kipras Štreimikis
October is a funny month. Both pride season and the end-of-September freshers madness is pretty much over and all I have to show for it is a killer hangover and a huge dent in my personal finances.
Now all the messy, proud and getting-to-know-you stuff is out of the way, it’s back to partying the carefree, shameful way – without any of the ‘fresh meat week’ discounts.
Now we’re left to get feral the way they do in those late-night crime-on-the-streets reality TV shows. Or the way the people in those Binge Drinking adverts got feral about five years ago. You know, the ones that presumed to know how you like to party: ‘You wouldn’t start your night looking like this, so why end it this way?’ Etc, etc.
Well, um, actually, why wouldn’t I start my night looking like that? It means I have to put in less effort and there’s less risk of ruining outfits I rather like. Those can be saved for my nights in and any red carpet appearances (dream on, Dan!).
And if I’ve not got in from my night out yet, why not haul myself over for brunch at The Richmond Tea Rooms in whatever I was wearing last night? Sometimes I wear the stains like badges of honour.
I know some friends for whom the stains help them identify what exactly they’ve been up to. Neon purple means VKs and then vomit. Red means S&M – unless your clothes are torn too, in which case check you still have your wallet and phone. Green grass-stains mean the great outdoors.
Pride is a lot of effort. You’re expected to be happy and proud all the time. In actually, the booze and overspending probably leads to good doses of guilt and shame, too.
Freshers’ week is fine, and there are usually lots of drinks offers on, but you have to deal with lots of confused teenagers hogging all the taxis and getting paralytic.
There are opportunities: namely people who haven’t popped up on your Grindr cascade yet.
In order to be a good fresher, of course, you’re meant to be game for anything. (Read our survival kit for some key tips.) There are all those faux bonding rituals.
Hardcore lechers (lechers, not lectures) will often be found camped outside the nightclubs like particularly ardent festival fans waiting for the gates to open. Then, as soon as the first fresher crosses the threshold, they’ll snap into action, slapping fake tan across their limbs, powdering their noses and tangling their hair up into greasy topknots – ready to strike. They’ll dash inside, tongues waggling, and fall over themselves (and each other) to deliver cheesy chat-up lines and offer to buy them £1.50 drinks.
If you’re into twinks there has to be a more effective (and less tacky) way, though.
Well here’s my suggestion, perverts: I’ll host freshers’ week at mine. I’ve put up the posters, paid for the ads and sent out armies of boys to flyer and promote. Doors will open at 8pm on the Monday before term starts and will close sometime around June 2018. Bring your wallet, a bottle, your best outfit, a change of pants and seventeen or more friends. I’ll merely be there for reporting purposes, you understand, and you’ll all be free to do as thou wilt.
I’ve heard it argued that freshers’ week is the most important time of year for many LGBT+ scenes. It’s that one week of the year guaranteed to bring in new faces and new shags, without which the bored scene queens would erupt into civil war. I guess there’s some kind of truth in this. How many times can we visit the same five or ten venues – week in, week out – without going mad? (I’ll give you a clue: we scene queens already are mad.)
Actually, scratch all the above. Next year I’m locking the doors and staying in with that Breaking Bad boxset I’ve still not got round to watching.