A Beginner's Guide to Surviving the Goth Scene

July 16, 2015Saskia C.

Never had I thought that I'd end up writing this post, yet here I am. I will try to keep the sarcasm to a minimum because my endless joking has in fact confused people in the past and I don't want to be the cause of yet another needless virgin sacrifice. Okay that was the last one, I promise.


If you're new to the goth scene, this is all you really need to know: the scene consists of people who like a particular kind of music and who enjoy parties and other events where this kind of music is played. Anything else is of secondary importance. There is no goth law that we all must follow on pain of death, so don't take any of the guidelines below too seriously. If you have read this paragraph really you know everything you need to know. Now, on to the part where I'm funny.

Pictured above: the flyer of an excellent party that you should probably attend if you're getting into the Belgian goth scene
So you have discovered goth, good for you! Now, how to make your way around your local goth scene without being chased away by an angry mob of goths? (Spoiler: you will never be chased away by an angry mob of goths.) Here are some guidelines.

  • First and foremost, do not read the Wikihow article on how to get into the goth scene. Just. Don't. 
  • Some people may refer to you as a  'babybat'. Generally it's meant as a term of endearment but you are allowed to stare people down for using it to describe you. Ain't nobody got time for patronizing jerks.
  • There is no goth religion nor is there a goth cabal. Don't let Tumblr fool you. Fortunately, there is also no goth card and no, there is literally nothing you will get goth points for, so stop asking.
  • Do your research on your local goth scene's events. Look out for posters and flyers or turn to the magical world that is the internet. In Belgium there's the Kagan kalender and the Peekaboo calendar. Alternatively, try Facebook. 
  • Go to parties to discover goth music or listen to it in the privacy of your own home. Last.fm is your closest friend for discovering new music. Browse the tags or stalk people's profiles. You can also try 8tracks if you're not into active listening. 
  • You're not obligated to like Bauhaus and The Sisters of Mercy, or any other band for that matter. There's much more out there. If someone asks how you like this or that band, just say you prefer their older stuff. Or just be honest and say you're just getting into goth music, what do I know.
  • Alternative clothing is not a costume. Repeat after me: Not. A. Costume.
  • You don't need to dress up to the nines just to attend a party. Anything black will do just as well. You won't get stared at for showing up in black trousers and a band shirt except maybe when there is a dresscode and it explicitly states 'semi-dark romantic hipster aristocrat kei'. Then just don't go, it's probably a shitty party anyway. 
  • Don't sacrifice virgins or babies and especially not in the center of the dance floor. That's just rude. On second thought, maybe just don't sacrifice anyone.  
  • You don't need to ban all colour from your life and no, you don't need to dye your hair black or any other colour. Likewise, wearing makeup is not compulsory. 
  • Don't buy expensive clothes just to fit in. You can find amazing things in thrift shops, and even mainstream chain stores have the occassional gem. Nobody is asking you to buy the entirety of Lip Service's new collection. 
  • Don't assume anything about people based on the way they look.
  • When you're attending a party, dance if you feel like it even if you think you can't dance. Spoiler: no one at goth parties knows how to dance and no one is looking at you.
  • At parties, don't try and strike up a conversation with people who are dancing. Don't use the dancefloor for talking in general.
  • Don't do anything that you're not comfortable with because some dimwit has suggested it's obligated. Except maybe paying the entrance fee of the party you're attending.
  • A group of goths is called a gaggle. Do with that information as you will.

If you still have a burning question about the goth scene, please let me know in the comments. For the older goths: is there anything you wish you'd known when you were only just getting into the goth scene?

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7 comments

  1. Shit, I wish I had known it was a gaggle of goths! I could have used that at a party to perhaps strike up a conversation on the dance floor ;p This was a joy to read and by that I mean in goth terms this was morbidly dreary to read.

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  3. You are _especially_ not obligated to like The Sisters of Mercy. Thank you a lot for emphasizing the NO talking one the dance floor rule; that shit should be taken more seriously. Perpetrators should be killed or maybe even glittered.

    I am not an older goth, so I shan't respond to thine request.

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  4. Omg that wikihow article. I'll be sure to get my dog-collar choker and bondage pants.

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  5. People who try to have full conversations while you are dancing yo your favourite song can be sacrificed though...

    I always like to joke with friends about losing Goth points lol.

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  6. doooont deny goth cards and goth points XD
    and woah, i think i just lost some points due to not knowing the word gaggles, or maybe that word did not make its way to germany yet?

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