Berlin is the most interesting place on earth for a gay man. Some may hate me for saying that, but I’ve visited a lot of places and moved more than twice around the planet, so I have some experience on gay cities as a man-hungry man. Berlin is a gay paradise underneath the glitter of a disco ball.
What makes Berlin sexy?
The architecture is beautiful to gaze upon, a mix of old and new, dilapidated and chic, but oh so Berlin. The museums are world class, and the orchestras exquisite. The food is getting better and the drinking fun. But what makes Berlin so sexy are the Berliners themselves. The ones that grew up here aren’t pretentious and welcomed new Berliners with hedonistic zeal, because someone new is someone new to fuck (and have fun with). This lust for life is what inspired Iggy Pop and David Bowie who said, “Berlin, the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine.”
"Imagine that on any given night, and at any given establishment, Berliners from every slice of life are there: students in cut-off jeans, blue-collar workers with beefy arms, or a professional in a button shirt. Or that famous artist in town for a gig. "
Berlin attracted an eclectic mix of people from its history. West Berlin, before the wall came down, attracted Germans who didn’t care that Berlin would be the center of a new war, if one ever did break out. Or the students that came to cheap, unmodernized apartments in Prenzlauer Berg in the 1990s where they shared bathrooms with their neighbours, and joined Tuesday evening erotic readings at the local bar. Or now with nerds working in tech start-ups. Gay Berlin has attracted an even more eclectic mix. Berghain, Europe’s hottest club, is owned by two gay men. Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke is a straight friendly-venue owned by a gay man. In fact, there are 259 listings of gay-owned or queer-friendly businesses in Siegesäule, Berlin’s most-read city magazine (yes, the most-read city magazine in Berlin is a queer publication).
Bars, cafes, clubs, restaurants, hotels, sex shops, sex clubs, museums, cinemas, porn cinemas, beaches, pharmacies, health clinics, art galleries. The list goes on. Berlin is Europe's gayest city, if not the world's. Visit Berlin with this lust for life and you'll never imagine partying can be this fun.
/ BA LUONG, TRAVEL EDITOR