A bit of bait

22 Feb

I’m going to start by risking a generalisation: every now and then, singletons wish there was someone at home to givemanMap's dream: man_cooking them a hug after a tiring day. [I’d love to know if single guys feel this way.] They long to open the front door to be embraced by someone who loves them, so they can feel strong again.

That was how I felt last Friday. I wished I’d be greeted by a man holding glass of wine for me, while dinner simmered on the stove. Or one who had at least ordered takeaway. Actually, I would’ve just settled for just the man.

But I knew my wish wouldn’t come true that night. I’d open my front door and find my apartment just as I left it: covered in envelopes of surveys I need to enter in my enormous spreadsheet. I knew could either suck it up and head out to manMap in the hope of finding said man, or do what I really wanted to do and park myself on the couch. Cursing my self-imposed mission, I practiced my ‘cheer-leader’ face, stuffed my bag with surveys and tripped into the night. As I headed toward World Square, thinking I’d investigate the bars nearby, I reasoned that the odds of meeting the man of my dreams were high. Doesn’t the heroine always meet her future lover when she’s at her worst?

As I waited to cross Castlereagh Street, I was roused from my ridiculous musings by the buzz of a nearby pub called Strattons. I’d never been there before. I’d never actually noticed it before. But there was a significant gathering of guys hanging out the front, most of them in their mid-20s to early 40s. I happily changed tack, dreaming of a quick survey round so I could slump on my couch asap.

The pub wasn’t particularly thrilling, just an uncharacteristic local filled with the post-work crowd. The ratio of men to women was good though. Thinking back on last week’s experience when I met heaps of single guys at the Cricketers Arms, I felt a renewed faith in manMap. I summoned my flagging energy and got to work.

The night was a mixed success. Yes, I hit my survey quota and yes I met some nice guys. But alas, most of them were taken. There was no meeting of the future lover for me. As I walked home, I wondered what the difference was, other than obvious charm, between Strattons and a place like Cricketers. On paper, the pubs had similarities. Yet one attracted throngs of single men and the other didn’t. And then I realised.

It was all about bait.

Bait was the missing ingredient at Strattons. Most of the women there were in relationships, so there was no bait to lure the single men to the hook. There’d been single women at Cricketers. It was the sort of pub lots of women would enjoy. From what I could determine, Strattons’ patrons were only there because it was casual and close to work.   

Which brings me to the wriggling twist of wormy irony: there needs to be a bit of female competition to attract the men. A bar without women is of little interest to a straight, single man. Throw a few eligible ladies into the sea and the men will swim over.

I’ve heard that a number of ‘killer-heels venues’ (ie places where you have to wear heels and generally pay a cover charge) in Sydney that actually hire women to flirt with patrons. They dress like they’re there for fun and then chat to all the guys, hoping they’ll stay longer, drink more and return another night for more flirting. First of all, I say boo hiss to that, because it’s deceptive and potentially leads nice guys on. But secondly I say, well, there’s the evidence that you need a bit of bait, even if it ends up being competition.

So next time you’re in a pub ladies, do a quick recon lap (I always pretend I’m looking for someone/the bathroom so I don’t look too ridiculous). If there aren’t any other girls, you may need to relocate. But you should always stay for at least one drink, in case your pub is the exception to the rule.


7 Responses to “A bit of bait”

  1. Sebastian February 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    From my experience, venues give girls in the fashion industry etc. passes to nice places, sort of like a VIP card, where they can get in straight away without paying and then get two for one drinks and meals etc.
    It’s a marketing strategy used to keep some ‘bait’ (as you describe it) around.

    • Lucie Stevens February 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

      Ooo…sneaky! I can’t imagine anyone handing out passes to women working in the book publishing industry, which is a shame really because it’s a very female-heavy industry (any single guys looking for a career change might want to take this into consideration…).

  2. The Single Girl February 23, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    Good post, and I like the idea of this manMap…keep the information coming!

    • Lucie Stevens February 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

      Thanks for reading TSG! Are you a Sydneysider? Will have to check out your blog…

  3. Stuart February 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    I think most single men would feel the same way from time to time, although many might not care to admit it.

    “I know this room, I’ve walked this floor / I used to live alone before I knew you” as Mr. Cohen sang.


  1. Outside love « My manMap - March 8, 2011

    […] groups of guys were there, along with mixed groups and some nice but not stuck-up looking girls (bait, ladies, bait!). My surveys were done in no time, with one guy even pulling his work mates over to […]

  2. Size matters « My manMap - May 10, 2011

    […] Bar Zine’s Dan Kaufman is Sydney’s expert on bars. Kaufman spends his evenings exploring Sydney’s bars, new and old, and reviewing them on his website with an honestly that comes from working independently. Although Kaufman doesn’t question people about their relationship status à la moi, his knowledge of the Sydney bar scene means he knows what makes bars popular. And as I’ve said before ladies, it’s all about the bait. […]

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