Flunitrazepam – better known as Rohipnol. Oh, can’t recall what that is you say? It’s not a cold remedy folks nor is a pharmacy ingredient for your Meth concoction. You stalkers, creepin’ in the bushes, and even some of you Frotteurs know full well what we’re talking about here. For the rest of you, those are the scientific and commercial names for Roofies folks, respectively. Yes, the date rape drug. Chicks are terrified of the stuff and for legitimate reasons. It’s why you just about never want to leave your bevie unoccupied. There’s a company out there called DrinkSavvy, that’s out to accomplish nothing less than put the kibosh on all the dudes who are lacking game, resort to chemical “persuasion,” and unauthorized ports of call.
The only problem is that I believe their glasses – in particular – will probably never see the light of a commercial day. Right now, the company is in “KickStarter” phase, trying (and likely floundering) to secure enough financing for mass production, marketing, and distribution. They’re just not there yet. I understand the driver and the potential market for these products. I mean – everybody wants to make a Billie Mays buck, right? DrinkSavvy has got three products in the pipeline so far: (1) party cups (2) glasses and (3) stirrers, all sporting the same color-shifting technology. It’s pretty cool in theory. If I were a bar owner or G.M. responsible for ordering, I’d simply be leery of filling my establishment with these glasses. Aside from the obvious benefit of not being drugged, what does it say about my constituency, my establishment, and my operations? What kind of bar am I running if I expect my clientele to be bobbing for inanimate, non-consensual sex partners?
Is it a great idea in theory? Probably. In practice? I’m not so sure. As a patron (especially as a woman), I don’t know that I’d want to repeatedly frequent such an environment that feels it necessary to stock their bars with rape detectors. Besides, the frequency with which this happens – in my experience – is far less than mass media would have you believe. I once got called by Cosmopolitan magazine asking me about this very topic. They were querying NYC bartenders and wanted to know if they’ve ever heard of customers asking for Roofies or have been witness to the drugging practice. My answer was a big fat “no.” In 19 years, I’ve never once seen it go down or had customers asking me for a “helping hand.” As a fairly “normal” New Yorker who has spend years – not only bartending – but patronizing clubs, bars, lounges and restaurants, I’ve seen some extremely crazy shit go down.
That’s especially true of dance clubs where Ecstasy, Ketamine, and seemingly endless mounds of coke were commonplace in the late 80′s, 90′s and 2000′s. Roofies simply weren’t widespread at the time. So unpersuasive, unconscionable types were sticking to tried and true methods of trying getting their marks uninhibited.
I’m “old.” So I’ve spent countless evenings “enjoying” myself ’til 10 a.m. at big clubs like The Tunnel, Limelight, Sound Factory, The Roxy, Palladium and Club USA – just to name a few. Public, drug-fueled romps were apparently the norm, not the exception; more so at Limelight than any other club for some reason. Maybe it was due to Limelight’s little nooks, crannies, back rooms, and couches – not sure exactly. Not that many folks involved actually remember any of those incidents but that’s fodder for another article one day.
Does illicit drink drugging happen these days? Absolutely! However, I tend to believe the problem is very, very rare and even then localized to extremely raucous clubs, very late in the morning. I’m not saying it can’t happen at ye olde French/Italian, suit-and-tie restaurant bar. Your chances of getting Roofied are probably lower than the risk of your credit card being run through a Mafioso skimmer when you pay your bill. Just sayin…