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Jude's avatar

What is it with the lesbian shield when you go to gay bars?

Asked by Jude (32112points) June 13th, 2010

Why is it that when you go to talk to a girl at a lesbian bar, her friends run interference and form a protective shield?

Lesbians ladies, you all know what I mean….

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9 Answers

MissAnthrope's avatar

I personally have never experienced this, but that’s just me. First, I don’t often have the balls to talk to girls at bars and, second, when I do, it’s usually the girl herself who blows me off.

I have seen this sort of thing at straight bars when a creeper is hitting on one girl in a group.. likely they think they’re helping their friend ward off unwanted attention.

Jude's avatar

**lesbian ladies, I meant to say.

Also, lesbian women at a gay bar? Crazy cliques. They’re are all afraid that you’re going to hone in on their woman, as well. They stay within their group and when you try to strike up a convo with one of them, they look at you as though you have 3 heads. This all happened to my girlfriend a few years back. My girlfriend is not some crazy ogre. She’s pretty cute and she was about to approach a lone woman, when her friends swooped in a pulled her away. Weird.

Maybe, it’s the bars in MIchigan? When we were in Toronto, the chicas were cool and partying/dancing with everyone. I love Canadian girls.

The gay boys on the other hand loved my g/f and I. They thought that we were a really cute couple of girls and sat with us.

MissAnthrope's avatar

As I said, I’ve never experienced the lesbian shield phenomenon, but I never have luck even platonically chatting with people at bars. I assume they think I’m hitting on them, when it’s really that they are near me, I’m alone, and just looking for someone to talk to. I don’t think I’m a crazy ogre, either, but I have definitely gotten that look like I have three heads. I just assume that a lot of people go to bars to pick up and be picked up, or they are with someone and are unavailable, but in either case are kind of defensive about rather banal social niceties.

I am not automatically good with social games (i.e. knowing how to behave in certain situations) and it took me quite a long time to figure out how to behave “normally”, how to be liked, what role in social groups I could play, that sort of thing. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t play the bar game very well. I apparently don’t look the part, nor do I play the part, either. I come out of bars generally feeling a little depressed, rejected, and not feeling great about myself. Honestly, I don’t want to play games, I just want to connect with people in general.

tinyfaery's avatar

I think that heterosexual men experience the same thing, at least that’s what I’ve seen in movies. Also, lesbian groups are notoriously incestuous and the smaller the amount of lesbians in the area, the more incestuous they are. Outsiders are not very welcome.

I rarely ever go to gay bars, and I went even less when I was single. I rarely drink and I hate the music. I can’t say I remember the phenomenon of which you speak. But then again I never really approached women at bars. IMHO, bars are the worst way to find a romantic interest.

bolwerk's avatar

Bars are horrendous places to meet people for romantic relationships because they are notorious for attracting creeps. Many bars, of course, do not attract creeps, but bars themselves still have the reputation. I think bars are good places to socialize, but I think it makes more sense to socialize on a Platonic, interpersonal level rather than waste effort to find meaningful companionship (or even sex, if that’s all you want).

Better places to land relationships would be networking and singles events explicitly intended for people to meet each other to form relationships. And there also is an easy cover if you’re shy about approaching people you feel attracted to; the pretense of your approach can be a common interest, such as work or a hobby or something.

Kayak8's avatar

I am not familiar with the shield you describe. That was not commonplace when I was frequenting establishments wherein such defense was necessary. I have been out for about 100 years,so I am of a different generation on these matters.

However, that is not to say that I have not stood next to friends who were being pursued with the intent of giving them some sort of protection from the masses who found them cute . . .

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’ve never experienced this either – usually I’m pretty good about pulling people out of their groups…and the only thing their friends do is give knowing looks…

gorillapaws's avatar

I recently finished listening an audiobook version of The Upside of Irrationality which is written by Dan Ariely. The book is a fascinating look at human behavior through the lens of behavioral economics. In his research they did some studies of the efficiency of dating/courting practices (using online dating sites as well as speed-dating) to draw some general conclusions about how we choose romantic partners.

Ariely’s research suggested that women tend to be very selective in who they approved of, but also weren’t particularly ambitious (women of average attractiveness didn’t pursue men of above average attractiveness for example). Men tended to use a scatter-shot approach, sending out requests to many women (even those that were out of their league).

I’m not sure if the results of these studies could be extrapolated into the lesbian dating world or not, but it would certainly be worth studying. It does seem to compliment the lesbian shield phenomena that you describe. Hope that was somewhat helpful.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I think the “Shield” is more generalized than just lesbians. Straight ladies will close ranks around a companion being approached by someone they consider “unworthy”.One advantage of having few social skills is that I spent a lot of time observing such things as an amused spectator.

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