The other night I went to 챔피언 나이트 클럽 (Champion Night Club), a so-called “booking club,” with some friends of mine who were celebrating a birthday and an anniversary. Having never been to a night club in Korea, let alone a booking club (부킹), I was pretty interested to see what all the fuss was about.
It was a pretty ordinary night club in most respects; there were private karaoke rooms, a stage and [small] dance floor, etc. The one major difference between a night club and a booking club is that with a booking club, socialization between genders is forced. So women hanging out in booking clubs are often taken by waiters to sit at tables occupied by men. It’s kind of like a big, drunken game of musical chairs. Anyway, we didn’t have to mess around with that (thank god!) as our group had reserved a private karaoke room for the night. After eating and drinking copiously, we decided to hit the dance floor. Unfortunately, three of us had apparently worn the wrong foot apparel… so the manager came out and asked us to stay off the dance floor unless we changed into high heels. No, really, that happened. And of course it happened to be the one day that all of us forgot to pack an emergency pair of heels in our purses… Well, as it turns out Champion Night Club was prepared! Like a bowling alley, they keep a well stocked assortment of variously sized high heels on the off-chance that some unsuspecting, neon-sneaker-wearing women want to party at their club. Ugh. But of course we all changed into these hideous shoes, grumbling and laughing at the stupidity of it all.
I guess the real reason I want to write about my experience at the club doesn’t have much to do with the “booking” aspect of it or even being required to wear heels on the dance floor. Mostly it was because I was amazed at how the club catered [in a hetero-normative sense] to its [mostly] female audience, in a manner of speaking. Champion Night Club brought in a well-dressed “boy band” to perform for the club, and perform they did! The men were all stereotypically attractive and danced quite, uh, provocatively for the crowd of women. They suggestively flicked their tongues at us, rocked their hips to Psy’s “Gentleman,” and generally worked the audience like pros. Wow… It seemed that they were there for the sole purpose of being oggled… some might even say objectified… by the [female] audience. Let me just say that as much as I hate notions of female sexualization and objectification as portrayed in adverts, music, movies, etc., I still couldn’t help but think that western women are missing out!
tl;dr: Sydney went to a Korean booking club and was thrilled that men were used as a means to generate [sexual] excitement in the audience (as opposed to women!!!).