When people think of Berlin they often think of sex, drugs and techno parties, and while this can be true, it’s also misleading. Berlin is a huge, diverse city that offers a variety of amazing experiences.
I’m a pretty lucky guy. I get to live between Los Angeles and Berlin, so I get to experience what I consider the two most exciting Western cities. (I haven’t been to Mexico City yet, but I have a feeling I’m gonna love it there, too.) I also think the two cities share a lot in common. Both are hyper-urban cities where you can still have some space, where you can find yourself walking down a quiet street and where there is room to breathe. Both are international and cultural and full of endless opportunity, and both are vibrant and creative — great cities if you’re young and an artist.
Also, both cities love to fuck and party.
When it comes to parties, I’d have to say one of my favorites in Berlin right now is Gegen. Almost every weekend there is some massive, non-stop, 24-hour (or more) party happening somewhere, but for me, Gegen — which happens the first Friday of every other month at the KitKat Club — is one of my favorite queer fetish parties.
Gegen is a celebration of individuality, of freedom of expression and of ‘artistism’ that isn’t always readily available in the mainstream-uniform way Berlin likes to party.
At Gegen you can bring out your inner freak, your inner leather persona, your inner slut. But you can also show up and meet friends, explore what is happening in the dark rooms, check out the staged shows, sit out by the infamous KitKat Club pool, or just come by yourself and dance.
I’m a fan of showing up somewhere by myself. That first time — when I don’t know anybody and I’ve never been to the party — always feels full of unimagined possibility. Going alone to a giant party can feel scary, even lonely, but what you learn is that the world has the potential to be this amazing place, friendly and kind, and that people are more open and welcoming than you would have thought.
Gegen is the kind of party where no one will think rolling solo is strange, actually. This is the kind of party that encourages strange. The promoters of the party have worked hard to create an environment that is accepting and sexy and fun, but also the kind of experience that welcomes a loner from out of town looking for something new, someone looking to see the world as an exciting adventure.
Just bring an open mind, because the same tolerance the party will show you, you will need to show the party.
If you aren’t looking for the massive, all-inclusive party experience but still want to go out for drinks, hear some great music and maybe fuck around a little, Ficken 3000 is a great option. There’s a great party that happens there called Ficken4Free that likes to play with sexuality, gender and art in a way I found surprising and inspiring.
Located in Kreuzberg, Ficken 3000 comes across as your basic queer dive bar, which it definitely is, but it has great parties, great music and a pretty intense and fun darkroom. What I really like about this place is that it can be your neighborhood watering hole, a place for a fun party and late-night adventures, a great music or DJ venue — and you can get your dick sucked, sometimes all at the same time!
Breaking away from the non-stop party scene in Berlin can be a hard thing to do as there are just so many options. I have friends who come to Berlin just to party at Berghain or CockTail D’Amore and never leave those events, and while I’m sure they have a great time, they’re also missing out on an amazing city full of secret surprises.
One of these little surprises I stumbled upon when I was in Berlin this past December was the Schwules Museum. (Odds are you won’t be getting your dick sucked here but, I mean, who knows?) You’ll definitely see pictures and art that celebrates cocksucking and all other kinds of queer, genderfluid, trans and lesbian sexuality. But the Schwules isn’t just about sex; it’s about queer politics and life in general.
My friend Marc Martin has an exhibit at the Schwules called Fenster zum Klo – Public Toilets and Private Affairs, through Feb. 5. If you’re in Berlin during its run I highly suggest you check it out. The exhibit is a nostalgic celebration of cruising public toilets. He uses old historical photographs mixed with new erotic photography and a reconstructed public toilet to capture the romance and beauty of public fucking.
Following an afternoon of great coffee and an amazing dinner in the evening, what else is there? Sex. Because there is no end to the amount of sex you can have in Berlin.
A well-known spot if you just want to fuck is Lab.Oratory, which is a men’s sex club in the basement of Berghain. A few years ago my husband and I spent our honeymoon at the event Friday Fuck 2-4-1. Lab is a huge industrial-type space where you can go and explore almost any of your sexual desires in a safe, welcoming environment. What I like about Lab is that while it’s definitely a sex club, it’s also a bar and has a friendly, social vibe. You can get your dick sucked or get fucked or fisted or whatever you want, but you can also have a beer and make a few new friends. How great is that?
If you’re seeking a spa vibe, Boiler Sauna is the perfect place to end up. Not only is there a super hot, cruisy labyrinth with private rooms and public spaces to fuck, there are saunas and Jacuzzis, massages and a bar, along with a heated outdoor space. This place is incredibly clean, modern and well-maintained. You’ll feel like you’re getting your dick sucked in high luxury, for sure!
I love Berlin, though I feel like I’ve barely touched on some of the more amazing aspects of what the city has to offer. Berlin’s parties and museums and cafés and restaurants and sex clubs and music all demand exploration. It’s also one of the friendlier cities I’ve traveled to in Europe, with a citizenry excited to be living in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.