They fuck lot in Berlin. There’s no denying that. It is a city where partying and getting laid is relatively easy. Six years ago I spent my honeymoon at Berlin’s infamous sex club, Laboratory, fucking and getting fucked and sucking dicks, and watching my husband, Alex do the same. I met one of my closest friends during a threeway while he tagged teamed me with Alex.
You can find almost anything you want in Berlin, and for the most part, no one will judge you for it.
But the City is way more than that. To come to Berlin and only take advantage of the endless dick, ass and 24-hour parties would be a mistake.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for 24-hour fucking, but there’s so much more to explore and experience in this amazing City.
I’ve been traveling from LA to Berlin every five weeks for the past nine months. My boyfriend, Noah, lives here, so in many ways, Berlin has become my second home.
I think there is something radical about travel, about leaving the safety of your known world behind for something new, something foreign. Going to all the different gay and bear parties around the world is awesome, but there is something really exciting and mind-expanding about getting on a plane all by yourself, or with a friend, and ending up somewhere totally new with no planned queer party agenda.
The first time I ever travelled by myself for real was in January 2017. I made the decision after Trump won the election that I didn’t want to be in the States for his inauguration. I booked a ticket to London, a City I had never been to, but one that felt relatively safe and easy to manage alone. I had a friend who lived in London who said I could have his apartment while he was out of town.
There was also a lot of personal turmoil going on in my life and in my relationship. I felt stuck, I felt disconnected from myself and from my life.
I needed something to shake me up, to force a change. Something that would take me out of my life in a way that would give me perspective.
I was 48 years old. I had travelled all over the world, but I had never really done anything like this before: just getting on a plane and going blind to a new City, no real friends there, no big gay parties.
It was January, a cold and dark month in London. But I wasn’t there for the sun. I was there because at that point in my life I was desperate for something that would knock me off the course I was on, something to help me find my way back to the life I had always hoped for: a life that was full of adventure and hope and wonder, a life of potential and possibility.
And I have found that travel is one of the best ways to do that. It upsets everything: your sense of time and space and how you interact in the world. And how you interact to yourself, the way you see yourself suddenly changes when confronted by this new world.
One of the things I learned was that technology was my friend while travelling. I downloaded an app called Citymapper which basically allowed me to get from the airport to my new home, and anywhere I needed to go across the City. If I wanted to get lost, something I kind of enjoy, I could just start walking, but once I was done being lost, I just opened the app and could get anywhere I needed to be.
I also like having the gay apps like Scruff and Growlr. I’ve made some pretty amazing friends on the apps (and sure, they are great for getting your dick sucked too…but sometimes it’s just nice to have access to a ton of gay guys…one of them will be down for a coffee or a beer or to tell you their favorite things going on).
I met Noah on Growlr. He was a German architect living in London. We had been chatting for almost six months before we finally met in London (where he was living at the time).
I had no intention of meeting Noah for anything other than a fuck. He seemed like a nice guy, I liked chatting with him, but at the time I was married and in a polyamorous triad with my husband Alex, and our boyfriend Jon. Falling in love and dating someone new was not on the agenda.
So when Noah asked me to meet him and a friend at the Glory, a queer bar in East London, I wanted to counter with, “Lets meet somewhere dark where I can suck you off!”, but the whole point of this trip was to be a different me, to do things counter to my instincts, so I agreed to meet him and his friend.
When I first saw Noah I remember thinking, There is no way this guy is gonna wanta hang out with me. He was so handsome. The way he smiled when he saw me, the way it felt when we hugged: connected, genuine. I found it hard not to find ways to touch him the whole night, and when his friend left I asked Noah if I could kiss him.
“Of course,” he said. “I want you to.”
He invited me home to “cuddle”. I was pretty sure that cuddle was going to mean fucking, but I was wrong. Noah was very serious about just cuddling.
We spent the whole week together after that. A week that would eventually change my life. I met Noah for lunch, and after work. We would go for long walks and he would show me his favorite places in the City.
Traveling shake us up, it can be lonely and disorienting, and sometimes it’s hard to make ourselves break out and take the risk, to go to that museum or club or book store alone, to risk being lost, to standing awkwardly in a group of people who know each other, to learn to reach out and say hi. It can also force us to look deep, to really come to terms with our fears and our expectations and to rise above them.
I spent a lot of time in cafes alone, reading, or walking endlessly, or exploring the Tate Modern (one of the best things about London is the museums are free which meant I could just end up in one and wander until I was ready to go back out and explore the streets).
And what I realized was that I was okay by myself. That if I could get past that initial fear, that feeling of being alone or lost, then suddenly I found that I liked being on my own, and I liked who I was, and that maybe the world was a lot friendlier and kinder than I had ever thought.
I was lucky I met Noah. He helped to build structure around my time alone in London. Not only did I get to have this amazing adventure in a City I had never been to, and to get to learn more about who I was, but I got to have this amazing affair that would turn into a deep and meaningful relationship.
In Part Two I will explore a little more about my relationship to Noah, and how we made a long distance relationship work, and about how I found myself traveling from Los Angeles to Europe every five weeks, and I will begin to explain an unexpected love affair I now have with being alone in Cities I don’t know, and falling in love with life.
Because that’s what it’s all about. When you think about it. Learning to be okay on your own and learning to love life, to have adventures even when you are scared. To learn to do the things that scare you because you have faith that life will take care of you.
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