Berlin was one of the leading cities for the gay cabaret life of the 1920s, and that rich culture is back with a vengeance. In Berlin, the gay community is vast, diverse and welcoming. It has boasted an openly gay mayor, a gay museum and a long-overdue memorial to homosexuals who died in the Holocaust. 

Berlin is made up of several districts easily accessible by public transportation. All of them are gay-friendly, though they each have their own unique style. Schöneberg is home to the long-standing traditional gay male community that has existed for nearly a century. There is a large community center here, and this is a great area to walk around and explore. Kreuzberg is a bohemian district known for its history as a haven of political dissent, and it has a more edgy, grassroots feel to it. Prenzlauer Berg is a former East Berlin neighborhood and it hasn’t lost the workers district feel. It offers a unique look into East Berlin life and an integrated, if scattered, gay scene. Friedrichshain and Mitte are newer, more commercial areas that also cater to gay life.

Berlin’s nightlife is vast and diverse. There are hundreds of gay bars, clubs and cafes, and there is a strong gay presence at many straight venues. There is no closing time for bars and clubs in Berlin, so the party can continue all night long. Don’t get so busy partying that you miss Berlin’s Schwules Museum, an institution dedicated to showcasing homosexual history, art and culture. Besides exhibitions and an impressive library, it also hosts lectures and film screenings.

Berlin is a bright mixture of a cutting edge city plus the depth and grace of its baroque history. You’ll be impressed by the huge, friendly gay scene and all the cultural vibrancy Berlin has to offer.

Lab-oratory at Berghain – About as cool as it gets.

The sweaty crotch of former East Berlin industrial power-station-turned-club-extraordinaire the Berghain, the Lab-oratory (aka the Lab) is an exquisitely detailed sex club and bar staging unhinged themed fetish nights catering to those turned on by rubber, leather, athletic gear, naked flesh and/or just about every bodily function you can imagine.

Darkroom – Dirty dirty dirty party party party 

Small and remote (by Schönberg standards) bar committed to unrepressed sleaze, hosting regular underwear, naked and piss parties. Funnily enough the bathtub in the darkroom does not come with a bar of soap.

Apollo Splash Club – Expansive gay sauna

Huge sauna featuring a generous supply of specials and events such as masquerades and regular foam parties.

Treibhaus Sauna – Modern facility with bar

A full-amenity men’s spa for a steam, sauna and/or one-on-one workout. Whirlpool, darkrooms, smoking lounge, Finnish sauna and private cabins.

The JAXX – Berlin’s premier sex cinema

Quietly positioned in the middle of Schöneberg’s gay-gay-gay Motzstraße is this popular and well-maintained porn cinema with a rather discriminating door policy. The JAXX is a sexually liberated space that feels uniquely northern European, and there certainly is much feeling that goes on here. Marked by its black and white checkerboard flooring, the place is a hot den of cruising spaces and lockable cabins, each with screens for showing any of the 20 or so porn flicks on offer. Drinks are dispensed from a machine, smoking is allowed, and conversation is kept at a minimum in favour of maximum man-on-man proximity. Great music too. Store is well stocked with sex supplies. In short, the best of its kind, and the closest Berlin has to a gay aquarium.

Der Boiler – Heat, steam and power

Known locally as ‘Beula’, this steamy Kreuzberg hot spot has swollen in popularity since opening in September 2011. Combines traditional soothing spa amenities with more hands-on activites of a darkroom nature.

Gate Sauna – Relaxing men’s sauna

A sauna that straddles the relaxing and the spicy. Whirlpools, steam rooms, massage and tanning beds are all available, plus 15 private rooms, double cabins, slings and playgrounds.

Club Culture Houze – Liberated home of sexual expression

An all-embracing Kreuzberg club for all genders and sexual types to get embraced, tied up, fisted, flogged, fucked etc. Two floors of hanging out areas, cages, slings, mattresses nooks, crannies, with an intimate and near-cramped feel. In short, a playpen for the unrepressed and, at times, the unhinged.

FickstutenMarkt at KitKatClub – High-concept monthly meat market giving new meaning to horseplay

Making a good thing out of the concept ‘just put a bag over its head’, Berlin’s ultra-now FickstutenMarkt (Horse Fair, though ‘fick’ is translated as you might expect) rounds up a pool of naked/chaps-wearing mares (Stuten), literally covers them from the neck up in a bag (white for safe sex, red for less so, and worn for the entire evening), then opens its stable doors to cocky stallions (Hengste), who are then given free and easy access to the arses of their liking. This monthly direct-action enterprise — which bestows awards to the most prized stallions and mares of the moment — comes equipped with scaffolding, slings, black-PVC-covered mattresses and slightly quieter and less exposed play areas. All very quaint and organized.

 Triebwerk – Leave your coat – and everything else – at the door

Unstylish, seedy Kreuzberg institution whose fetish is unapologetic sleaze. Bar operates an efficient system in which clothing and cash are left behind for a boot-only trawl through its extensive, moist and festery basement that is well-equipped with slings, cabins and a St Andrew’s Cross.



If we missed anything be sure to bring it up in the comments section below. As well as recommendations for the next city we dive deep into. 

1 comment
  1. Berlin was the city that freed me from fucking evangelical Christianity and where I learned to bb, piss fuck and so much more !! The devils paradise !

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