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Kick Off Summer Early with Atlantis Events (21-Apr-2016)

The world’s largest gay and lesbian holiday company, Atlantis Events, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year in style with the largest all-gay charter of 2016 – Royal Caribbean’s 4,200-guest The Anthem Of The Seas. “Our guests have been asking us for ...

The world’s largest gay and lesbian holiday company, Atlantis Events, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year in style with the largest all-gay charter of 2016 – Royal Caribbean’s 4,200-guest The Anthem Of The Seas. “Our guests have been asking us for this incredible ship since she was first announced and we’re thrilled to be the first to charter her,” says Atlantis President, Rich Campbell.

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God’s Gift To The Gays?

Despite the economic upheaval in Greece and refugee turmoil across Europe, idyllic Mykonos remains a sanctuary of peace and a party playground. Marc Andrews makes a pilgrimage. Photography Marc Andrews; and courtesy of XLsior.


Space Cadet

Astronauts, robots, rocket ships and futuristic gizmos and gadgets – Phillip Portman has a boy’s own space adventure at NASA.


Austin: Join The Queue

On-trend dining, hipster culture, a bad-ass music scene and gay boys everywhere – is this really Texas? Phillip Portman touches down in Austin.


Bliss Below Zero

Grab a warm pink onesie and some bunny ears and take your party to the piste for Austria’s Gay Ski Buddies Week. Story and photos by Marc Andrews.


Wilting Manors

Oasis or overkill? Fort Lauderdale’s sun and sea, clothing-optional resorts, and gay mall give Marc Andrews pause for thought.


20 Reasons To Love Sweden

Art, design, natural beauty, blonds… Sweden effortlessly mesmerises tourists and keeps some, like Xav Judd, coming back for more. He explains why…


To Morocco – And Back!

Travelling to countries that are hostile to gays is always risky but, with the right knowledge and some street-smarts, you can still have an amazing and safe experience. Make the most of Morocco, for example, with these six enticing tips. (Gracefully riding a camel is not one of them!) Story and images by Riley-McFarlane Photography.


Colombia Redux

Sexy guys, sly security guards and curious cows. Photographer West Phillips discovers the colour and character of old and new Colombia.


Homeward Bound

On a journey to Far North Queensland to meet the in-laws, Samuel Leighton-Dore finds his partner’s past is prelude...


At A Gay Glance: Madrid

¡Que fuego! The Spanish capital sizzles.


Moonbeam Trippin'

Way up in the Arctic Circle at the very top of Norway, solar storms spin the celestial magic we call the Northern Lights. Marc Andrews falls under their spell.


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Top 3 New York City Gay Hangouts

Heading to the Big Apple soon? Not sure where the hippest gay hangouts are? Have no fear, because we've got the top three covered for you. First on our list is Industry Bar, located ...

Heading to the Big Apple soon? Not sure where the hippest gay hangouts are? Have no fear, because we've got the top three covered for you. First on our list is Industry Bar, located on 355 West 52nd St. Junior and Ryan are two of the hotties that bartend here. They suggest going into Industry on a Thursday Night. Before becoming the hottest bar in Hell's kitchen, Industry Bar was an old parking garage.

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High Tea in Brighton

High Teas are becoming hugely popular again throughout Brighton and London, particularly on a Sunday afternoon (although you can enjoy one at any time). We went to Metrodeco for our ...

High Teas are becoming hugely popular again throughout Brighton and London, particularly on a Sunday afternoon (although you can enjoy one at any time). We went to Metrodeco for our final day in Brighton, where we were pampered with a wide assortment of yummy sandwiches, scones, petit-fours and some fabulous teas. Highly recommended is the "Pink Pride" white tea blend with rose petals.

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Holy Brighton

Methinks the world capital of hot guys with ear extenders and expanders must be Brighton. They also host one of the world's biggest tattoo conventions every February. It seems that ...

Methinks the world capital of hot guys with ear extenders and expanders must be Brighton. They also host one of the world's biggest tattoo conventions every February. It seems that the average age here is pretty young. I can only imagine what all of those holes and all that ink are going to look like when they're older. Actually, best not to imagine. Let's just enjoy them while they're young, shall we?

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London- Room Service

No other party is SEXY, GAY and COOL all at the same time, according to our Visit Britain hosts. We tend to agree after experiencing Jodie Harsh's exciting Room Service club in Soho. ...

No other party is SEXY, GAY and COOL all at the same time, according to our Visit Britain hosts. We tend to agree after experiencing Jodie Harsh's exciting Room Service club in Soho. Inspired by a combination of the New York club scene and the glossy table service of Chelsea's lounge bars, Room Service feels like a VIP space from the moment you enter. And there's the men…hot, hot and a bit more hot.

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The Ultimate James Bond day out in London

If you want to get in touch with your inner fashionable and sexy international spy, then you can design the ideal James Bond day yourself. Start off by taking a power boat ride on ...

If you want to get in touch with your inner fashionable and sexy international spy, then you can design the ideal James Bond day yourself. Start off by taking a power boat ride on the Thames, then race up to the 50th Anniversary James Bond exhibit at the Barbican.

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East London Boogie Nights - The Joiners Arms

Just a few minutes walk down the road from The George and Dragon, you'll find The Joiners Arms, a place where your East London party will continue with a fantastic mixed crowd. ...

Just a few minutes walk down the road from The George and Dragon, you'll find The Joiners Arms, a place where your East London party will continue with a fantastic mixed crowd. From the outside it looks like a typical East End boozer (apart from the rainbow flag and iconic Manhattan-style Christopher St road sign that pokes out above the entrance). This makes it really easy to find when you've had a few.

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East London Boogie Nights - The George and Dragon

When you plan your party itinerary for London, make sure you save a few nights for the increasingly popular East London venues. You need to start with a visit to The George and ...

When you plan your party itinerary for London, make sure you save a few nights for the increasingly popular East London venues. You need to start with a visit to The George and Dragon in Shoreditch.

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The Royal Rocks

It's the Diamond Jubilee which means that the "must do" tour of Buckingham Palace includes a special exhibit of the Queen's rarest and most impressive diamonds and the 200 year ...

It's the Diamond Jubilee which means that the "must do" tour of Buckingham Palace includes a special exhibit of the Queen's rarest and most impressive diamonds and the 200 year history of the Royal Family and bling. In particular, you'll be blown away by the Cullen Diamonds, all cut from the largest diamond ever discovered, back in 1905.

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World Pride London- Soho Street Party

After the parade, thousands of people descended on Soho and partied late into the night. The streets were filled with all types of beautiful people (and some not so beautiful ...

After the parade, thousands of people descended on Soho and partied late into the night. The streets were filled with all types of beautiful people (and some not so beautiful people), sex shops had half naked men dancing in the windows and the array of bars had various performers entertaining the crowds.

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World Pride After Party- HustlaBall

HustlaBall is one of the most popular circuit parties and was all anyone who attended the event could talk about. It celebrates hustlers, trannies, dancers, porn stars and even ...

HustlaBall is one of the most popular circuit parties and was all anyone who attended the event could talk about. It celebrates hustlers, trannies, dancers, porn stars and even includes live sex acts on stage (cameras were welcome).

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The Dame Edna Experience at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern

Your trip to London won't be complete without a Sunday afternoon at Vauxhall. Have lunch at the Black Dog before heading to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern for the Dame Edna Experience. ...

Your trip to London won't be complete without a Sunday afternoon at Vauxhall. Have lunch at the Black Dog before heading to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern for the Dame Edna Experience. Some songs will make you cry while others make you shout for joy. Because it is such a popular event, it is recommended that you book your tickets before lunch.

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World Pride Parade (10-Jul-2012)

Despite the controversy and rumours about whether World Pride London would go ahead, more than 25,000 participants still came together and marched in the parade – although none of ...

Despite the controversy and rumours about whether World Pride London would go ahead, more than 25,000 participants still came together and marched in the parade – although none of the 55 registered floats were allowed to enter. And despite a few huge downpours, thousands of people lined the route to celebrate.

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Kissing Bobbies

No trip to Brighton is complete without exploring the great street art throughout the city. The most famous is the Kissing Policemen by Banksy...


The Beat in Brighton

The tunnel in Sussex Square's private gardens leading to the beach is said to have inspired the opening sequence of Lewis Carroll's famous children's story Alice's Adventures In Wonderland – the author spent time exploring them when staying with his sister at ...

The tunnel in Sussex Square's private gardens leading to the beach is said to have inspired the opening sequence of Lewis Carroll's famous children's story Alice's Adventures In Wonderland – the author spent time exploring them when staying with his sister at number 11.

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Meeting The Locals

Our group was entertained by the local Gay and Lesbian Business Association, where we got to meet local business owners and the organisers of Brighton Pride (which has been moved to September this year instead of ...

Our group was entertained by the local Gay and Lesbian Business Association, where we got to meet local business owners and the organisers of Brighton Pride (which has been moved to September this year instead of August because of the London Olympics).

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Brighton Dome

Any Eurovision devotee will know that the ABBA won (and our dear Olivia Newton John came second!) when the UK hosted the competition at the Brighton Dome in 1974.


DNA In The UK: Brighton

Brighton in July is normally quite sunny and lovely. Not today, and our hosts from visitbrighton.com couldn't stop apologising as we braved harsh winds and sideways falling rain. None of that would stop our adventure ...

Brighton in July is normally quite sunny and lovely. Not today, and our hosts from visitbrighton.com couldn't stop apologising as we braved harsh winds and sideways falling rain. None of that would stop our adventure through this beautiful city with such a rich LGBT history.

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Darwin: A visit to Australia's Top End

With Australia’s most youthful population and tropical climate, Darwin is acclaimed for its energetic and fun-loving vibe. The tropical city has a relaxed attitude and has a vibrant gay scene. Spend the day lazing in the tropical sun at Darwin’s sleek ...

With Australia’s most youthful population and tropical climate, Darwin is acclaimed for its energetic and fun-loving vibe. The tropical city has a relaxed attitude and has a vibrant gay scene. Spend the day lazing in the tropical sun at Darwin’s sleek Waterfront area, or explore the many Indigenous art galleries in the city’s centre.

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Pearl in the Top End's crown: A trip to the Northern Territory

Shopping for a pearl necklace in Darwin in something you won’t want to miss, with these babies having an international reputation in high-end European fashion houses for their exquisite beauty and quality.


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A gay old time on the Gold Coast (6-Jun-2011)

Beach Boy

As they say, Queensland is beautiful one day, perfect the next. The Gold Coast is no doubt the jewel in Queensland's crown (fit for a queen!) and it is rapidly becoming a must-see ...

As they say, Queensland is beautiful one day, perfect the next. The Gold Coast is no doubt the jewel in Queensland's crown (fit for a queen!) and it is rapidly becoming a must-see destination for gay travellers in Australia.

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Aussie Aussie Aussie ...

If you're planning a trip to (or around) Australia, there's definitely one site you should check out before you head off. Gay & Lesbian Tourism Australia is a not-for-profit network of ...

If you're planning a trip to (or around) Australia, there's definitely one site you should check out before you head off. Gay & Lesbian Tourism Australia is a not-for-profit network of tourism professionals who are committed to making sure you have a good, safe and - above all - fun time when you travel.

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Gay Travel Brasil

Their motto, “Why just travel if you can gay travel?” isn’t exactly catchy, but Gay Travel Brasil is a good place to start if you’re thinking of taking a trip to South America. They ...

Their motto, “Why just travel if you can gay travel?” isn’t exactly catchy, but Gay Travel Brasil is a good place to start if you’re thinking of taking a trip to South America. They can help you find gay-friendly accommodation, flights, tours, information and everything to make your journey an unforgettable experience.

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10 things not to do in New York City

It's the home of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Wall St, Central Park as well as Sex and the City. The Big Apple is a must-see for any gay man travelling, but how do ...

It's the home of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Wall St, Central Park as well as Sex and the City. The Big Apple is a must-see for any gay man travelling, but how do you avoid the tourist traps and make the most of your time in the Big Apple?

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Naked Hungry Traveller

Photography by Michael Snell

If you’re thinking of travelling anytime soon, or just like to read about what’s happening around the world and fantasise about being there, there’s a new website you must check out. Naked Hungry Traveller...

If you’re thinking of travelling anytime soon, or just like to read about what’s happening around the world and fantasise about being there, there’s a new website you must check out. Naked Hungry Traveller is for those who, according to the web page, “view the world and its wonders with open minds.

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Amsterdam Pride

Amsterdam

Amsterdam Pride, one of the best and most fun pride festivals in the world, kicks off today. Amsterdam Pride runs from August 5-8 and, as always, the highlight will be the Canal Parade ...

Amsterdam Pride, one of the best and most fun pride festivals in the world, kicks off today. Amsterdam Pride runs from August 5-8 and, as always, the highlight will be the Canal Parade where 80 boats will navigate the city's waterways and in a colourful flotilla.

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We're going to Ibiza

Those of you who have danced to the Vengaboys (and aren’t too embarrassed to admit it) will remember that Ibiza is the place to party in the Mediterranean Sea. It is, undoubtedly, one ...

Those of you who have danced to the Vengaboys (and aren’t too embarrassed to admit it) will remember that Ibiza is the place to party in the Mediterranean Sea. It is, undoubtedly, one of the best travel destinations for gay tourists and well worth checking out.

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World's best nude beaches revealed

Travelers' Digest has listed the top five nude beaches of the world and one of them is right here in Australia. Tulum Beach in Mexico came in at number five and Perth’s Swanbourne ...

Travelers' Digest has listed the top five nude beaches of the world and one of them is right here in Australia. Tulum Beach in Mexico came in at number five and Perth’s Swanbourne Beach got the second-highest rating.

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Melbourne Wants You

It seemed a good idea. For our travel issue we’d send our senior writer, Nick Cook, to Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia, for a sensible, sophisticated travel feature. What we got was a crumpled pile of alcohol-stained receipts from gay bars and ...

It seemed a good idea. For our travel issue we’d send our senior writer, Nick Cook, to Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia, for a sensible, sophisticated travel feature. What we got was a crumpled pile of alcohol-stained receipts from gay bars and sex-on-premises venues, and a rambling account of a wild weekend that featured amyl, ABBA and arse-flashing. If you’re down that way and see him, please send him home.

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Compass Points

If you’re looking for luxury, adventure, thrills or just chills there’s a place for you... The travel industry now recognises the need for gay-specific options and here are few of the best on offer.


Gay Ski Weeks Galore!

It’s Gay Ski Week time in the southern hemisphere, hurrah! And that means Queenstown in New Zealand or Hotham Valley in Australia, where you can ski (and apre ski) with like-minded ...

It’s Gay Ski Week time in the southern hemisphere, hurrah! And that means Queenstown in New Zealand or Hotham Valley in Australia, where you can ski (and apre ski) with like-minded snow bunnies!

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Win a trip to Europe!

As an Aussie that has travelled to Europe, there's something a bit Harry Potter (in a good way!) and maybe even a little romantic about hopping on a train and being in a completely ...

As an Aussie that has travelled to Europe, there's something a bit Harry Potter (in a good way!) and maybe even a little romantic about hopping on a train and being in a completely different country in a couple of hours.

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Around The World In One Minute: Mykonos

Mykonos

Whitewash, windmills, Petros the Pelican: we must be in Mykonos, legendary party capital of the Mediterranean; mother of Ibiza. Apparently, Madonna owns a house here but your chances of spotting her are pretty slim as she probably wouldn't hang out here ...

Whitewash, windmills, Petros the Pelican: we must be in Mykonos, legendary party capital of the Mediterranean; mother of Ibiza. Apparently, Madonna owns a house here but your chances of spotting her are pretty slim as she probably wouldn't hang out here during the mega-crowded peak season and even if she did, you'd be way too busy at the beach or at the bars to worry about bumping into her. In any case, the island's most famous resident is another crotchety old bird, Petros the Pelican, who hangs out at the main pier, grabbing at calamari and fish pieces thrown to him by camera-toting tourists. Little fishing boats will take you from the main town to any beach on the island.

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Paris Pride Parade 08

The Sun Came Out Story and photography by Owen Carmichael The morning of this year's Paris Gay Pride dawned chilly and overcast. Up and down Rue St Jacques hundreds of people attached bunting to their floats, blew up ...

The Sun Came Out Story and photography by Owen Carmichael The morning of this year's Paris Gay Pride dawned chilly and overcast. Up and down Rue St Jacques hundreds of people attached bunting to their floats, blew up balloons, stapled on artificial flowers and adjusted their sound equipment. The doctors and nurses hung multi-coloured drips from the rails of the hospital float, the gay firemen checked their extension ladder. Over by the Long Yan Club float ten Thai dancing boys couldn't wait to strip off their tight jeans and let their boyfriends dress them up in brocade shorts and glittering stage jewellery, specially imported from Bangkok. Half an hour before the scheduled start a sudden shower sent everyone scattering for shelter under porticoes. Then, at the head of the column in Place Denfer-Rochereau, the Gay Choir from Amsterdam sang 'All You Need is Love'. They sang from their hearts and the sun came out. The gay Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, stepped forward holding the banner to announce the start of the march. Bertrand was elected partly on the strength of his commitment to fight discrimination. He personally set up the brand new LGBT Centre at 63 Rue de Beaubourg, near the Pompidou Centre. Over 600,000 people filled the streets for the Marche des Fiertés, as it's called in Paris. Jean-Benoit Richard is webmaster for the event (www.gaypride.fr). He says, 'I'm happy to see so many not hiding, openly celebrating their sexuality. This parade changes the opinion of people in the street, too. Young people come along to have fun doing tecknotik dancing to the music in the sunshine.' That was clear from the crowds that surrounded each of the floats, making it difficult for them to force their way through. David, 31, one of the ten marshalls surrounding the Long Yan Club's float, says, 'Every time we stopped our two leads in front were mobbed. At one point all the boys came down from to perform around the truck and I had to physically push the crowd back. It was wild.' Of course the march is more than just a show. Jean-Marie, 28, is a counsellor for the unemployed. He's an enthusiastic member of the gay swimming group, Aquahomo, and has been in their team of dancers for the parade for eight years. For six weeks before the big event he and his mates rehearse their special choreography. Jean-Marie says, 'I grew up in Normandy, where no-one dared even to pronounce the word gay. I thought I was the only one. So for me to take part in the Pride Parade is a huge liberation and it gives me a wonderful sense of joy to be one among so many. I think it's possible to have fun and make a forceful political statement at the same time.' It takes three hours for the whole procession to pass by. Nicholas, 36, works in a bank. He and his partner, Christophe, have been together for 14 years. They've been to Gay Pride Parades in San Francisco and London. Nicholas says, ' I like to go along to the Paris Gay Pride Parade to get an eyeful of the costumes and the dancing. The great thing for me is that it brings together guys from so many groups within the gay community - leather, drag, you name it. 'I usually join in and march along, because the spirit is so infectious. Then we all swing into the Place de la Bastille together - well, you know what resonances that has for freedom in France. It's just a wonderful, fun time.' By 5pm the Bastille was already throbbing, with thousands of spectators waiting for the parade to arrive. This being France, its progress was delayed by an incident involving rowdies from two rival political parties throwing bottles at each other. However, by 8pm all was well and the last of the floats arrived in a flurry of excitement. Then it was full on into the concert, with everyone having a ball until the early hours of the morning. Paris at night can be pure magic. Further info: marche.inter-lgbt.org

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Summer In Seville

See the world with DNA travel

With its chequered history, carnival flavour and soaring temperatures, Adam Fry kept his cool in Seville for part two of DNA’s Spanish tour.Home of the bullfight and flamenco, Seville embodies many of the elements of Spanish culture that the world has taken to ...

With its chequered history, carnival flavour and soaring temperatures, Adam Fry kept his cool in Seville for part two of DNA’s Spanish tour.Home of the bullfight and flamenco, Seville embodies many of the elements of Spanish culture that the world has taken to heart. It is, after all, the home of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro. It’s also the largest and most vibrant city in southern Spain with over 700,000 residents.Way back to Roman times, Seville was considered the most civilised part of the empire west of Italy and has since been a major Muslim, Christian and finally, Catholic settlement. As with much of Spain, this chequered past offers the visitor a wealth of attractions.Tight, pedestrian streets painted mustard and white with tiled business names and murals on every wall will strike you as the most memorable aspect of the city within minutes. Seville is a sun-loving city with average summer maximums of 36°C making the stunning, tiled patios throughout the city a welcome escape from the heat.The people have taken advantage of the perfect climate for growing palms and lined the city streets with them, notably the 3km long Paseo de Cristobal Colón flanking the Rio Guadalquivir. There are also Sevillan orange trees everywhere, but the bitter fruit is strictly for show! This unusual environment makes wandering the streets on balmy evenings something of an occasion.The prime attraction in Seville is the Alcázar. Often overshadowed by the better known Alhambra in nearby Granada, the Sevillan Alcázar may not be as grand a palace complex, but it is every bit as beautiful and benefits from attracting fewer tourists.Originally built as a fort in 913AD, the Muslim and Christian rulers in subsequent years enlarged and developed the Alcázar leaving their distinctive mark on its architecture. Countless, cool courtyards and tiled patios with their soothing water features surround the complex while the royal quarters and their ornate plasterwork will astound you. And just when you didn’t think it could get any better, you reach the gardens, which feature plantings and water features dating back to the 16th century and are undoubtedly some of the most spectacular in the country.Across the Plaza del Triunfo from the Alcázar is Seville’s Cathedral and it’s tower, La Giralda. Built by the Christians in the 15th century, legend has it that the church authorities wanted to create a building that would make future generations think they were insane! They certainly achieved some bizarre architecture and the views of the city from La Giralda are the highlight of the cathedral (although the walk up it may require a Nutri-grain breakfast)!Speaking of which, breakfast in Spain is the typically European coffee and a pastry, so if you hanker for something a bit more substantial you may have to resort to McDonalds who, by the way, will also gladly serve you a beer!Spain is renowned for its fiestas and if you’re in Seville during April, there are two spectacular festivals on offer.Semana Santa or Holy Week takes place around the time we celebrate Easter. It is a religious festival where hooded marchers (symbolic of the Spanish Inquisitors), lead processions of floats on which sit images of the Virgin Mary or Jesus Christ. The following week, the Feria de Abril takes over with a week-long party of drink, food and dance full of elaborate costumes celebrating the culture of the region from the Andalusian horses to flamenco. Just be sure to book accommodation well in advance or you may be sleeping in the local park!Other Sevillan highlights worthy of a mention include the Plaza de Toros or bullring, one of the oldest in Spain (1758), and Plaza de España. Built for the 1929 Exposición Iberoamericana its heart is a semi circular group of buildings featuring tiled mosaics depicting a characteristic feature of each of Spain’s largest provincial cities. There is a moat full of pedallo boats and the standard central fountain combine to give the plaza the air of a water theme park and is a great attraction for all ages.Despite being a smaller city, Seville has many gay venues, not least of which is the largest sauna in Spain, Termas Hispalis (Calle Cefiro 3). This place has a very ‘Roman baths’ feel to it and it’s size makes a visit more of an adventure than the obvious attraction!The clubs and bars are roughly found in two areas, to the north and west of the city centre. The latter area is on the river and the bars there make use of the space outside to enjoy the warm summer evenings. You certainly can’t miss the gay bars in this area as there are often more patrons sashaying around outside than in!If you can avoid the blistering heat of the peak summer season, Seville is the perfect destination to experience a lot of Spanish culture in a short time. And the men are just as hot as the air!

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Rome… If You Want To!

Rome

On a visit to The Eternal City, we have discovered the bars, clubs and saunas of one the world's oldest gay cities (and a few buried secrets, too).Your Ancient History teacher may have failed to mention it but Julius Caesar was a big queen, and during ...

On a visit to The Eternal City, we have discovered the bars, clubs and saunas of one the world's oldest gay cities (and a few buried secrets, too).Your Ancient History teacher may have failed to mention it but Julius Caesar was a big queen, and during the golden years of the Roman Empire he certainly wasn't alone. Officials, politicians and emperors alike were only too happy to keep a boy on the side, and there's a millennia of art, poetry and recorded history to prove it.

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Berlin’s A Babe

Berlin

If Berlin were a person, she’d be a movie star. She’s had her highs and lows, fame and infamy, personal tragedies and triumphs, and she’s rarely out of the news. Now, she’s on the comeback trail and looking good. Juergen Schindler recaps her career so far.For ...

If Berlin were a person, she’d be a movie star. She’s had her highs and lows, fame and infamy, personal tragedies and triumphs, and she’s rarely out of the news. Now, she’s on the comeback trail and looking good. Juergen Schindler recaps her career so far.For the duration of the Olympic Games in 1936, the government allowed the re-opening of gay venues and foreign visitors were exempt from being punished under the anti-gay law, paragraph 175.The Apollo City Sauna is very much like most saunas except it has a bowling alley! Seeing is believing.
In the 1920s, the whole Western world looked to Berlin. The city was at its cultural and social peak. Europe regarded Berlin as its capital. Forget New York, Berlin was the city that never slept. It was the place to be. Berliners were full of life, and fun was the main item on everyone’s agenda. Cabarets opened up all around town. The soundtrack of the city was the jazz of Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington, and the Charleston was a dance floor fave as Berlin rocked to the blared of the gramophone. The first black bands performed in dance halls and hotel bars, making Germans swing their stuff. Men wore make-up, ladies wore suits, and anything went. The old moral and cultural values of the emperor Wilhelm II era were swept aside by Modern Berlin. (Although, Wilhelm himself was said to have had been homosexual.) New and exciting bars, restaurants and nightclubs opened where no one cared whether a man asked another man to dance or a woman kissed another woman. The high moral ground became an unfashionable address.Literary cafes were a crucial part of the culture. Poets, painters, actors and journalists met to discuss their ideas and the avant-garde mixed with the culture of the masses. Theatre productions and naked dance acts made scandalous headlines for being “improper” – but were the hottest tickets in town. Christopher Isherwood made Berlin his home at this time and penned his famous Berlin Stories which were later adapted as the screenplay for the bisexual musical Cabaret.By the early ’30s, however, life in Berlin had taken a turn for the worse. The after effects of the First World War lead to an economic crisis. High inflation and chronic unemployment quickly took their toll. The reactionary National Socialists surfaced and Berlin shook with disbelief at their violence and political extremism. Ironically, Berlin became the centre of Nationalistic power and those who had other political opinions, or those in minority groups were terrorised: the cabarets were closed down, jazz, swing and “permissive” foreign music styles were forbidden, and books were burnt. Fearing for their lives, many artists, among them, actress and singer Marlene Dietrich, fled to other countries. The exodus included gay men and lesbians who saw Berlin’s once famous tolerance evaporating. The Magnus-Hirschfeld Centre, founded in the ’20s to study human sexuality, and which advocated homosexuality as a natural condition rather than a disease, was not only shut down, but destroyed. Among the books burnt by the Nazis were Hirschfeld’s pioneering studies on gay and lesbian sexuality and psychology. For the duration of the Olympic Games in 1936, however, the government allowed the re-opening of gay venues and foreign visitors were exempt from being punished under the anti-gay law, paragraph 175.But tragically, gays and lesbians who stayed were viciously persecuted in the following years, and thousands were killed during World War II in concentration camps.By the end of the war in 1945, Berlin had been heavily bombed and many parts of the city had been totally destroyed. The victorious allies, England, France, the U.S.A. and the former Soviet Union shared the administration of Berlin and the years of rebuilding began. But the ensuing Cold War between the Soviet Bloc and the West did little to return Berlin to its former glory. The city of Berlin was now “an oasis”, separated from West Germany and surrounded by Communist East Germany. The Soviet Union attempted to take control of West Berlin in the summer of 1948. The Western nations resisted the blockade, and used airdrops to supply the inhabitants of West Berlin with food and medication. While the eastern part of Berlin became the capital of the newly founded German Democratic Republic, West Berlin remained with the allies. Berlin was divided by ideology yet engulfed inside the Eastern Bloc.By the ’50s, Germany, and especially Berliners, began rediscovering the joys of life without war. Local film production began with an emphasis on comedies, and films celebrating the beauty of Germany filled the cinemas. Escapism and the pursuit of happiness became a priority as people tried to forget the past. As more and more citizens of the GDR realised the changes occurring between east and west, they fled west, hoping to escape growing political oppression. The flood of people reached crisis point in 1961 and climaxed with the construction of the infamous Wall. Berlin was now physically divided by a wall of concrete four metres high that ran the length of the border between east and west. To cross unlawfully, especially from east to west, meant almost certain death and hundreds lost their lives in the attempt. In June 1963, American president, John F Kennedy visited West Berlin and during a speech made his famous statement, “Ich bin ein Berliner”. This translates as “I am a Berliner” but in German can also mean, “I am a doughnut”. His wisecrack was both hysterical and historical and was widely interpreted as a kind of nostalgia for, and endorsement of, the liberalism of old Berlin. The city was soon to embrace its radical past with vigour.Political activity in the West increased markedly over the next 20 years. There were student demonstrations in the ’60s, a “squatting scene” developed in the ’70s, and the alternative movement took over in the ’80s. Many young gay men moved to West Berlin from West Germany to avoid national service, thus turning Berlin into a secret but thriving gay city. In November 1989, as the Soviet Union collapsed, the Wall came down, literally. Nobody thought it possible, but as the concrete fell a whole nation was reunified. Berlin became whole and, once again, the capital of Germany.The late ’70s marked a low point in Berlin’s youth and club culture as heroin became the drug of choice and the notorious Zoo station became the epicentre of the scene. The book, Christiane F, which told the story of one addict’s life, became one of Germany’s best-selling book of all time. Today’s drug of choice is ecstasy and goes hand in hand with a still vibrant techno scene. Both ecstasy and techno are directly responsible for the now famous Love Parade. It started as a small “demonstration” with a few hundred techno-loving, loved-up people taking to the streets for a party in year?. Now, each July up to 1.5 million happy party punters throw their hands in the air and party like there’s no tomorrow. Unlike Mardi Gras in Australia, The Love Parade is a very mixed event and attracts a young, ravey crowd. There are however, definite pockets of gay and lesbian partying and many clubs are extra active over the Love Parade period – definitely one of Berlin’s cultural highlights.For the last decade, Berlin has been undergoing a massive makeover. An area called Mitte is again the centre of town, which is what Mitte actually means. The Potsdamerplatz features one of the biggest building sites in Europe and is the new address of the German government and the many global corporations who now base themselves in Berlin. Buildings that were left untouched in the East are now being restored to their former glory: the Dom, Reichstag and Gandarmenmarkt as well as the castles and parks in the suburb of Potsdam. The new style of architecture of the city is breathtaking – its sleek modernism suggesting a city truly looking for a brighter tomorrow. Berlin, with as much history and culture as London or Paris, is back on the map.Berlin has also, unsurprisingly, become Germany’s gay capital. With an estimated 300,000 gay and lesbian inhabitants, Berlin boasts one of the biggest and most fascinating gay communities in Europe. The best way to find your way around the many restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs is by checking out the local press (Siegessäule and Sergej) or the internet (www.sergej.de or www.ebab.de) Following are a few selections that are not to be missed. However long you plan to spend in Berlin, add a few extra days. There’s an old German saying that sums it up best: “Berlin is always worth a journey.”Schwules Museum Berlin Established in 1985, this museum concentrates on the research and portrayal of gay life.Connection Techno is big in Berlin and this club is perfect for those who love it. Those who don’t want to dance can create their own fun in the sex maze basement. Friday is for boys and girls, Saturday is boys only.Die Busche The only gay club of the former GDR, it’s a wild mix of people and music. The DJs are from the old school and still announce the records!Kitkat Club Named after the famous nightclub of old Berlin (watch Cabaret) this is the weirdest and friendliest club in Berlin. Sundays is “naked sex party” night. Why try to find your man in dark labyrinths when you can see it all here?Hafen A small bar, but a good start for your nightlife adventure. Located at Nollendorfplatz, where a lot of gay bars can be found.Tom’s Bar For the leather crowd. Darkroom included.Apollo City Sauna Very much like most saunas except for the bowling alley! Seeing is believing.Cazzo-Film Short of cash during your stay in Berlin? If you’ve got a big cock are drop dead gorgeous, why not apply to star in a porn movie? Cazzo-Film are Berlin’s most innovative porn filmmakers and are always interested in seeing new talent. (www.cazzofilm.de)Mann-O-Meter This agency can help you find reasonably priced B&B accommodation. (Phone +49 30 216 8008) or try Enjoy Bed & Breakfast (+49 30 215 1666).Berliner Truppe Like a bit of rough? How about uniforms? Find like-minded friends at www.berliner-truppe.de Who knows, maybe there’s a sexy war game going on during your stay.

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Where The [email protected] Is Favignana?

Forget Ibiza! Dirty dancing on Favignana, a gay island off the coast of Sicily, is where it's at. Amanda Woods walks us through the time of her life.When I first saw the movie Dirty Dancing at an RSL club in a small country town, I wished I could ...

Forget Ibiza! Dirty dancing on Favignana, a gay island off the coast of Sicily, is where it's at. Amanda Woods walks us through the time of her life.When I first saw the movie Dirty Dancing at an RSL club in a small country town, I wished I could be taken away to such a place. To an exclusive resort where people took dancing lessons, played dress ups by day, put on skits for the other holidaymakers and then snuck out at night to bump and grind. Even that ridiculous scene where they bunny hop in an exercise class looked like great fun to me.

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Sydney

Jason wears Rufskin swim brief.

Though not the capital, Sydney is Australia’s largest and oldest city and home to many of its most iconic sights- such as the Harbour Bridge, Centrepoint Tower and the world famous Sydney Opera House.The Sydney CBD is served by a network of subways, buses and ...

Though not the capital, Sydney is Australia’s largest and oldest city and home to many of its most iconic sights- such as the Harbour Bridge, Centrepoint Tower and the world famous Sydney Opera House.The Sydney CBD is served by a network of subways, buses and ferries, making it easy to get around on foot.Gay visitors cannot miss the districts of Paddington and Darlinghurst and Oxford Street, home to the city’s gay and lesbian community and nightlife, and of course the annual Mardi Gras parade and festival.Circling the inner city, the gay friendly neighbourhoods of Newtown and Glebe have a more relaxed alternative vibe and Newtown hosts a number of gay venues as well.On the top of your to do list will be a trip across the harbour by ferry to Taronga Zoo, a walk around the Opera House and then lunch in the neighbouring Botanical Gardens (where you can see a wild flying fox bat colony at roost in the trees of the Palm Forrest), and a crossing of the Sydney Harbour Bridge- you can either walk across it or if you’re brave enough you can climb over its arch on a special bridge climb tour.For art lovers, a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art in the historic Rocks district and the nearby Art Gallery of New South Wales will also be a must.Anyone seeking an insight into Australia’s settlement and convict past should visit the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, one of the first prisons built to house the colony’s convict population and located on Macquarie Street near the historic New South Wales State Parliament Building.

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“If Madonna Calls, I’m in Miami.”

See the world with DNA travel

Male models on heat, pristine beaches, Deco hotels, a big gay dance party and one dead designer. Miami has it all!Miami. To many Americans it’s known as “God’s waiting room” or “retiree central”. To others it’s a place where undercover cops in pastel suits ...

Male models on heat, pristine beaches, Deco hotels, a big gay dance party and one dead designer. Miami has it all!Miami. To many Americans it’s known as “God’s waiting room” or “retiree central”. To others it’s a place where undercover cops in pastel suits chase drug-dealing criminals in Ferrari sports cars. The reality is far more interesting. Miami is a thriving multicultural city and a unique holiday destination.With a population of 2.1 million people, Miami sits at the south-eastern tip of the Florida peninsula, bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Gulf of Mexico.With half the population being Hispanic, the city prides itself on being the Latino capital of North America. The immigrant communities take as much interest in the news from Cuba and Brazil as they do from Washington DC. Spanish is as widely spoken as English. For the tourist, this makes Miami a destination peppered with Latin food, music and culture – and beautiful Latin men. The passing parade of buffed beauties leaves no doubt about why Miami has long been a favourite location for porn director Kristen Björn and the home of many American modelling agencies.To really experience the best that Miami has to offer, your first stop should be the rental car desk at the airport. What you require is a convertible. A Ford Mustang is great for cruising around South Beach and the perfect transportation for day trips to other South Florida attractions.Your first destination, like the majority of Miami’s tourists, should be Miami Beach. Unless you have a desperate need to see locations from the ’80s cop show Miami Vice‚ avoid the CBD and downtown areas. Drop the roof on the convertible, jump onto the highway and head south.Miami is on the mainland while the city of Miami Beach occupies a thin barrier island about six kilometres east across Biscayne Bay. For a city beach, it is one of the best around with clear, warm water and generous expanses of white sand.The South Beach area or SoBe (it’s okay to use the abbreviation in print - just don’t verbalise it) is the epicentre of all that is hip in Miami. Pastel-hued Art Deco buildings line the streets, creating the perfect backdrop for the parade of G-string-clad beach bunnies on rollerblades, sun-tanned geriatrics, artists, celebrities, Euro trash, fashion models and the few regular folk that inhabit the South Beach universe. SoBe is a compact area that is easily navigated on foot and safe to walk, day and night. The Historic or Deco district officially stretches north-south from Fifth Street to Dade Boulevard. The highest concentration of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and shops are found on three main thoroughfares - Ocean Drive, Washington Avenue and Collins Avenue. The 800 bright pink, lavender and aqua buildings date from the 1920s and are one of the major reasons for Miami’s rebirth as a tourist destination. The unofficial centre is the ten blocks along Ocean Drive that run between Fifth and Fourteenth Streets. Here is where you find the best examples of the architecture and where the majority of sunbathing, shopping, dining and drinking takes place. The sand dunes and sport courts of Lummus Park occupy the eastern side of the strip, separating the white sandy beach from the bustling throng of Ocean Drive. The winding boardwalk is the perfect place for a sunset stroll or just to hang out and watch the beautiful boys rollerblade or play volleyball.The beach is punctuated with six lifeguard stands, all decorated in funky individual styles. One sports a roof crowned with astroturf while another resembles a large purple UFO. For a unique view, go for a swim at sunset, look west and take in the passing parade of flesh and cars cruising the strip under the coloured glare of the neon signs.

Cafés, bars and restaurants nestle beneath Deco hotel facades opposite the boardwalk. One of the most popular spots is News Café, located on the corner of Eighth Street. Open 24 hours, it is the breakfast haunt of tourists and locals alike. Many come here to relax and refuel after partying in the nearby clubs of Washington and Lexington Avenues. Miami’s rebirth began in the early ’90s when many of the old South Beach hotels were bought up and renovated back to their former glory. With the year-round sunshine and beautiful light, the city became a favourite of fashion photographers who helped generate international interest in the area.The once dowdy Miami Beach area suddenly became one the major fashion centres of the USA and South America. Many locals are blasé when it comes to the throngs of leggy girls and square-jawed boys hauling their portfolios around town.South Beach became the place to be and be seen. Celebrities and their entourages arrived en-masse. Madonna and Gianni Versace bought up real estate and became co-owners in hotels and clubs, while long-term resident Gloria Estefan capitalised on her profile as Miami’s unofficial First Lady and opened her own restaurant, Lario’s On The Beach. Crowds can always be found outside Versace’s palazzo on Ocean Drive. It has become a morbid tourist attraction, similar to the Dakota Building in Manhattan where John Lennon was shot. People can be found lining up for a photo on the spot where the designer was gunned down after breakfasting at the News Café.Of the renovated hotels, it is the Delano – Ian Schrager’s shrine to minimalist white, Art Deco architecture - that is the place to stay. Other hotels such as the Beacon and the National are equally hip but no matter where you decide to rest your head in South Beach, a visit to the Delano is a must.The hotel is a great place to start your evening. With double-story walls draped in white muslin and a long view out over the pool and beach beyond, the Lobby Bar is a great place to check out the beautiful people before heading on to dinner then a club.

Joe’s Stone Crabs at 11 Washington Avenue has been an integral part of South Beach for nearly one hundred years. This seasonal restaurant is world-renowned and plays host to the movie stars, politicians and local inhabitants who keep returning for the local specialty - enormous crustacean claws. If you are a seafood lover, you can’t beat Joe’s.For late night partying, Miami boasts some the best clubs in the United States. Ingrid Cesares is the reigning queen of South Beach nightlife. One of Madonna’s best friends (and apparently ex-girlfriend), Ingrid built her reputation with the club Liquid. Although she has recently sold it off, it continues to be one of the coolest venues to party. Find it on Washington Avenue. Some of the most beautiful boys and girls can be found here, dancing until well after sunrise. Madonna often uses the club to test new remixes with regular DJs such as Victor Calderone and Junior Vasquez. Ingrid’s latest venture, The Bar Room on Lincoln Road, has proved so popular with the international party crowd that it’s been christened the new Studio 54. Be prepared for a long wait if your name is not on the list.For the hardcore dance and gay crowd, head to Salvation‚ on West Avenue. Most serious party boys end up here on a Saturday night. With free entry and an open bar between 10 and 11pm, the place fills up early. Just avoid the temptation to over indulge during the hour of free alcohol.Prior to the current renaissance, South Beach was already a gay destination. Many gay men and lesbians had settled in the area taking advantage of the climate and relaxed lifestyle. Considering homosexuality is still a crime in Florida, there is a live-and-let-live attitude that has helped Miami become one of top gay tourist destinations in the world. The best information on clubs, bars, restaurants and all things gay can be found in the many free weekly and monthly newspapers that are widely available in the area.The most popular time to visit is from November to May. While the rest of the United States battles arctic freezes, much of southern Florida enjoys sunshine and average temperatures of around 26 degrees.Every November, Miami stages one of the most widely known of the US circuit parties, The White Party. A weeklong series of events and functions, The White Party benefits Care Resource - the HIV/AIDS service of Florida. As the name suggests, many of the events have a white theme with shops and local business dressing their windows accordingly for the run up to the final weekend party. With thousands of the hottest men from North and South
America attending, the atmosphere in South Beach is electric. The party is sold out months in advance so get in early. Event information can be found at www.whiteparty.net.Miami should be high on the list of any gay traveller who is heading to the Americas. At only three hours flying time from New York, the city offers a Latin escape from the rest of the United States. With unparalleled nightlife and pristine natural beauty, you can party 24/7 or just hang out at the beach and be in bed by eleven (am or pm is up to you).

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A Full Continental Package

Just some of the fabulous sights gay travellers may encounter on the way from London to Greece.

In a world first, the famous Contiki travel group are planning an all-gay tour from London to Greece.
Think Contiki and you think young, swingin’ single people on whirlwind tours through Europe and the Mediterranean.


Sanook With Elephants!

Thailand

Thailand boasts natural beauty, unique cuisine and ancient culture - and the only gay pride parade in the world with live elephants!Gay Pride in Phuket is a magnificent event. You will not find a gay parade in the entire world with costumes more flamboyant, ...

Thailand boasts natural beauty, unique cuisine and ancient culture - and the only gay pride parade in the world with live elephants!Gay Pride in Phuket is a magnificent event. You will not find a gay parade in the entire world with costumes more flamboyant, floats more opulent and a parade route more holiday-postcard kitsch.
Each February, the parade kicks off along Beach Road in Patong Beach, with the deep blue Andaman Sea as a marvellous backdrop. Even gay pride veterans like Skip Burns are totally smitten by it.

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Croatia Here We Come!

See the world with DNA travel

Perfect beaches, stacks of culture and art, a great exchange rate and some of Europe’s sexiest men. Time to discover Croatia.So, you’re a gay Aussie male planning your big trip to Europe. Italy is probably near the top of your agenda, right? Maybe Amsterdam or ...

Perfect beaches, stacks of culture and art, a great exchange rate and some of Europe’s sexiest men. Time to discover Croatia.So, you’re a gay Aussie male planning your big trip to Europe. Italy is probably near the top of your agenda, right? Maybe Amsterdam or Prague or Vienna?Consider this: warm, crystal clear oceans and deserted sandy beaches, unpolluted and uncrowded cities full of classic architecture, countless islands with histories spanning hundreds of years – and some of the most gorgeous men in Europe. No, this isn’t a fantasy, this is Croatia. Don’t be deterred by those images of the ’90s independence wars between Croatia and Serbia. The country has been rebuilt and reinvigorated with a sense of cultural pride long repressed under the regime of General Tito.Today, a traveler in Croatia will find safe, clean and spacious cities, world heritage listed national parks and plenty of friendly faces desperate to encourage tourists back to the region. Croatia is yet to find itself firmly back on the tourist trail, so crowds are something you won’t see.For gay travelers, okay, it’s not San Francisco, but for a predominantly Catholic country, Croatia is rapidly moving towards a greater acceptance of gays. Homosexuality is legal in Croatia (it was decriminalised in 1977), and the age of consent is 18. That doesn’t mean you can walk down the street holding hands with your man without mustering up a fair bit of Dutch courage, but in a country where the men greet each other with a kiss to both cheeks, much physical contact between men goes unnoticed.Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, is a one-hour flight from Vienna or Milan or a seven-hour train ride from Venice. This city of 800,000 inhabitants has its roots in two 8th century hilltop settlements. Fortified against the Turkish invasion in the 16th century, much of the old town remains as it was and an easy stroll around its churches and municipal buildings is not to be missed.If you can drag yourself away from the temptations of the Dolac market, a must-see is the 13th century Church of Saint Mark. Its tiled roof depicts the medieval coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia beside the emblem of Zagreb.Art lovers will be astounded by the Croatian museum of Naïve Art – an extensive collection of images depicting peasant life, painted in reverse on sheets of glass. Originating in Croatia, Naïve art is now popular in many European countries. Unfortunately, to buy a piece you need to visit the gallery on Trg Bana Jelacica (the main square) and most of these are well out of the average Australian’s price range. However, take a stroll up the café strip in the old town and you’ll find some young locals artists eager to bargain with you. Their work is often equally impressive.Zagreb enjoys an unexpectedly bustling café scene. The Grand Theatre café, just south of the city’s main square, is the most popular meeting place for Zagreb’s small, emergent gay community. However, you won’t hear Kylie blaring from the speakers or spot a drag queen anywhere in sight – it’s the ‘all-male’ tables that are the telltale sign!There is also a gay nightclub in Zagreb called Bad Boy. It’s located just north of the city in a residential precinct, but still within easy walking distance. Take the number 8 or 14 tram from Trg Bana Jelacica up to the Radicevo stop and follow the signs up the stairs between the houses on the left side of the road. It’s a small, cosy club decorated in warm oranges and yellows. The music is mostly pop and Euro-dance, giving Bad Boy an infectious, happy vibe. Entry is about 20 Kuna ($AUD4).When you consider the high value of the Australian dollar here, it makes a smart alternative to Ibiza or the Greek Islands. Believe it or not, the Croatian coastline boasts an incredible 1,185 islands. To reach them, you need to travel southwest to Split. Unusually named, Split is the second largest city in Croatia and has a youthful population. There are many cafes and nightclubs which are buzzing until the early hours, even on weeknights, and the palm-lined boulevards around the water’s edge make a perfect setting for year round partying. Check out the Metropolis Club and the Semafor Café - the closest you’ll get to a mixed gay/straight environment. Of course, in the height of summer, the city is packed and very hot. The best place to be is the beach and there are lots to choose from. The main gay beach is called Duilovo, just past the Hotel Zagreb toward Stobrec. Split is the starting point for your island hopping expedition around the real jewels of the Adriatic – the Dalmatian Islands. Choose from Hvar, Korcula, Vis, or Brac; all are within easy reach of Split via a Jadrolinija ferry. Each island has its unique attractions. Brac was the source of the stone used to build the American White House. Korcula is a fortified medieval town that claims to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. Hvar boasts 2,724 hours of sunlight a year, the highest in Croatia.Indeed, Hvar is perhaps the pick of the bunch with its traffic-free streets and Venetian styled architecture. Much of the town was constructed under Venetian rule and the arsenal, loggia, fortress and city walls remain as a reminder of this prosperous period. You’ll need to get your bearings around town pretty quickly though, as this place has no street names! Hvar is also home to the first European theatre which, in the 13th thirteenth century, was open to aristocrats and plebeians alike. Of course, if you’re seeking a more adventurous European experience, you can scuba dive off the islands, sail the lake-like Adriatic (definitely no need for sea-sickness tablets here) or take a short trip north on the mainland to Plitvice Lakes or Krka National Parks. The hiking and rock climbing opportunities offered here are second to none. In fact, Plitvice Lakes National Park, with is spring-fed turquoise lakes and countless waterfalls and cascades, is the ideal destination for those seeking a wilderness experience… and even for those who aren’t (there’s a four star hotel in the park!).Your final destination along the coast should be Dubrovnik. This 7th century, fortified town was such a political and economic stronghold that it resisted many attacks on its six-metre thick walls. One of the highlights of a visit to this town is the two-kilometre walk around the top of the walls which offer breathtaking views of the town and the ocean. Over sixty percent of the delicate terracotta tiled roofs of Dubrovnik were shelled in the 1991 conflict and the walls took over one hundred direct hits. All of this damage has since been expertly repaired though, and the city is once again a stoic settlement of remarkable beauty. From the marble lined Placa with its string of cafés to the Sponza’s Palace and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, there is also more than enough beauty within the walls to overwhelm you.The Placa is an amazingly cruisy area in summer. Packed with tourists seeking respite from the heat, people-watching from the café’s is the number one past time. Likewise, the beach to the immediate south of the city walls or further afield, Lapad Bay, can be enticing destinations for visiting gay men.Not only does Croatia offer all this and more (this is the free set of steak knives bit) but the Aussie dollar buys almost 5 Croatian Kuna and most prices are numerically similar to Australia, making them a fifth of the price. As the primary tourist destination for Germans, the accommodation standards are high and the shopping is terrific. The Germans are also big on ‘naturist’ beaches so it doesn’t matter which island you’re on, you’re likely to find one.The best time to visit is summer as that’s when most services will be operating, the weather is perfect and the lifestyle is second to none. However, avoid the peaks of July and August if you’re keen to dodge the hordes from Germany and Italy.And don’t worry about battling to speak Croatian. Learn the basics and then ask if they speak English. If they’re under 30, chances are high that they do.So, rather than battle crowded airports, $10 cups of coffee and polluted cities trying to see the best of Europe, escape and see it all rolled neatly into one country – Croatia.For more information, check out the excellent Croatian Tourist Information Service website with more than enough photos and information to whet your appetite – and it’s in English!There is also a gay Croatian web portal here.

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Caribbean Dreams

If you are going to holiday with the rich and famous in the Caribbean, you simply must stay at the best hotels!Many tropical islands intoxicate the senses, stimulate the imagination and offer the kind of paradise that dreams are made of. Of all the ...

If you are going to holiday with the rich and famous in the Caribbean, you simply must stay at the best hotels!Many tropical islands intoxicate the senses, stimulate the imagination and offer the kind of paradise that dreams are made of. Of all the sun-drenched islands that form the archipelago that sweeps from the southern tip of Florida to the east coast of Venezuela, the two most exquisite and exclusive must be the island of St Bart’s in the French West Indies and the lush Turks And Caicos in the British West Indies. These islands not only boast some of the world’s richest and most famous tourist, the most dazzling beaches in the region and the best cuisine – they also contain two of the finest hotels in the world.

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Comments (1)

Dave's Travels: Peruvian Gaydar

Like the rest of the world Peruvian men who are into men are thanking their Sun Gods for the internet, and as we all know too well way too many users of gay chat sites tend to use other people's pictures and Peru is no exception....

Like the rest of the world Peruvian men who are into men are thanking their Sun Gods for the internet, and as we all know too well way too many users of gay chat sites tend to use other people's pictures and Peru is no exception. I did not meet a single Peruvian local who lived up to the Adonis pictures on his profile, not that that was an interest of mine, but it did lead to an interesting lead into each conversation I had with elusive new mates. It seems Peru is divided very strongly along racial lines and that is marked even in the usually inclusive gay community. The majority of Peruvians are of mixed Native and Spanish descent and the more Spanish you are the better you are treated and vice versa, with most clubs and bars in the larger cities actually barring those showing greater degrees of native blood from entry. So many of the more native looking men I spoke to told countless stories of blatant discrimination and those of mostly Spanish decent had a complete air of superiority and said that they would never be with an ‘Indian’. To say the least I was pretty shocked as the differences between how much native or Spanish blood was in these people wasn’t to discernable to me. I thought how opposite it was in the western gay world where city dwellers actually sought out the more rugged tanned rural types. Despite a population of 8 million, the capital Lima had a pretty tiny gay scene. Arranging to meet up with 3 guys I had earlier met from the net I checked out the one gay bar which reminded me a lot of Perth’s Connections night club. They even had a striper on the Thursday night who was actually of coastal native descent (my upperclass Spanish mates told me that ‘that’ was an acceptable group of ‘Indians’. Personally I think acceptable had a lot to do with what I saw after his pants went flying past my head). I couldn’t get over the fact that of the 3 groups I was talking to would not interact, as they each were of different backrounds. Life for the country guys was impossible outside the city and just as impossible inside. I will give it to the gay bar, at least they let in a mixed crowd; in the mainly straight places I went to even wealthy looking people with darker skin were not allowed entry which just seemed crazy for a country where the vast majority of people had darker skin. So fed up with the incredible divides and closetedness of the Big smoke I headed to the fabled paradise of equality deep in the Amazon, so named because the Spanish though all the natives were women

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Singapore, Swingapore!

Singapore

Singapore’s gays and lesbians are fighting for equality – very quietly. Rather than taking to the streets in noisy protests, they’re campaign for legal recognition by stealth. Tim Cribb reports.The beach, if you can call it that, is a dusty strip bordered by ...

Singapore’s gays and lesbians are fighting for equality – very quietly. Rather than taking to the streets in noisy protests, they’re campaign for legal recognition by stealth. Tim Cribb reports.The beach, if you can call it that, is a dusty strip bordered by barely lapping water of dubious chemistry. But the sun is hot and there is a breeze of sorts. Families are picnicking under the lush trees while young men in short shorts and gleaming with sweat hurl themselves about the dirty sand in a game of volleyball.Sid, a 19-year-old Singaporean Chinese who speaks with an American accent, swigs from a bottle of cold water and wipes a wet palm across his smooth brown chest. “Being gay in Singapore, you have to be discreet, but I’m enjoying life,” he says.This Sunday afternoon on the beach at Sentosa, a man-made islet and theme park in the lee of Singapore’s hulking oil refineries, some 30 gay men are belting around volleyballs. There are no banners announcing that this is a weekly gathering organised by Adventurers Like Us, a gay social group set up in June 1999.Less than a hundred metres away, the Ministry of Finance Family Day outing is oblivious to the fact that there are no women watching this group of men - though the shrieking might suggest otherwise to the near-sighted.“We’re just playing volleyball,” says Sid. “It’s not like we’re having a mass orgy on the beach.”Blocked at every turn by a stubbornly conservative government, Singapore’s gays are playing a subtle game of social subversion. They are working towards recognition and acceptance by stepping around their opponents rather than resorting to the confrontational clashes that have marked the fight for gay rights in the West.It is not actually illegal to be a homosexual in Singapore. However, Section 377 and 377A specifically make sexual acts between men a criminal offence, punishable by up to 10 year’s imprisonment.Thomas, sitting out this game, says, “there now appears to be an unwritten government policy that if it’s in private between two consenting adults then homosexuality will be tolerated.” And only if gays keep quiet about the laws.“Don’t think we haven’t tried to talk about it,” says Thomas, pointing to an attempt by the informal gay and lesbian activist group, People Like Us in May 2000 to secure official permission to hold a public forum on gay issues. The government denied the permit but the issue attracted local and regional publicity, effectively achieving its objective.“Homosexuality is a taboo in Singapore but people are opening up to us,” says Sid. “Right now, honestly, I’m pretty closeted. But I hang out with gay guys and we go to clubs and I don’t feel too restricted.”Sid is on weekend leave from the compulsory two-and-a-half years of national service in the Singapore armed forces. He hasn’t told the army he’s gay. To do so would have landed him in a clerical position and he’d prefer to be rappelling out of helicopters so he’s kept quiet.Nor has he come out to his parents and family. That has a lot to do with being Chinese. There are two major subjects that no one talks about in traditional Chinese families: death and sex.“I’m the youngest in the family and the only son, so it’s pretty difficult for me to say, ‘Hey Mum, hey Dad, I’m gay.’ It takes time. You have to plan certain things. I’m 19, so I don’t think it’s the right time to tell them.”Still, Sid doesn’t consider his parents to be conservative. “Generally, that’s the Asian culture. Chinese from the older generation expect you to marry. My parents are not that conventional. They are liberal about certain things. They don’t really push me about getting married and having babies and giving them grandchildren.”Singapore is changing, says Sid, but he reckons it could still take another ten years, at least, for the government to acknowledge that homosexuals actually exist. Meanwhile, he has no plans to move overseas unlike other gay Singaporeans who feel they would be more accepted in the United States or Australia. “I’m satisfied with Singapore. It’s my home. I don’t see why I should emigrate.”The official line in Singapore is that gays will be tolerated so long as they don’t openly challenge the conservative status quo that strictly regulates behavior in the tiny city-state. On the surface, at least.Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew is a founding father of modern Singapore and an outspoken advocate of ‘Asian Values’ on the world stage. He made his position clear during a CNN interview in 1998 when a gay Singaporean pressed him on the issue of gay rights.“It’s not a matter which I can decide or any government can decide,” said Lee. “It’s a question of what a society considers acceptable. But what we are doing as a government is to leave people to live their own lives so long as they don’t impinge on other people. I mean, we don’t harass anybody.”Stuart Koe is the 29-year-old publisher of the Asian gay and lesbian web magazine fridae.com. He says Lee's answer is “just an excuse” not to push for changes at the judicial or government administrative level.“There’s no reason to doubt what he says. That may be what he believes, but it isn't necessarily true about Singapore society, which is a lot more tolerant than you may be led to believe,” says Stuart.After seven year’s of education in the United States, Stuart returned to Singapore in 1995. One of the first things that struck him on his return was how young the gay scene was, literally. “They were all boys. There were no gay men. Everyone was in their 20s.“Now those people are in their early 30s,” Stuart says. “This is the first generation of gays and lesbians, that Singapore has seen, who are in a position to be out, who are in a position to be comfortable enough with themselves at an early age.”Stuart is also heartened by the fact that gay Singaporeans as young as 15 and 16 seem to be more accepting of themselves than previous generations. This is thanks, he says, in no small part to the internet. “The internet has helped show them that there is a whole world of gay people out there, even before they step into their first gay bar.“They don't feel the isolation that I and many of us felt when we were growing up,” he said. “This is in less than one generation after mine.”

Stuart believes that acceptance of gays in Singapore society will come with time. This thinking underlies his strategy for dealing with being gay in a country that technically makes him a criminal.“Gay life in Singapore is flourishing. It's far from being underground any more. Slowly it’s becoming accepted by the mainstream. And really, that’s the best strategy for the survival of the community in Singapore; to say, look, we have nothing hide. We contribute to the economy like anyone else. We just so happen to be gay or lesbian. Accept us as part of society because we are living amongst you anyway. Don’t shut us out because we are all citizens of Singapore and our sexuality really shouldn’t make a difference.”

The subtly of Stuart’s approach lies in not challenging the laws head on. Gays, he says, need to secure public recognition first. “Legal recognition will follow. But for now, I don't accept the counter argument that ‘society is too conservative’. Gays and lesbians are better accepted by Singapore society than our leaders care to admit.”Stuart acknowledges the efforts of political activists like Alex Au, head of the activist group People Like Us (PLU) who prefers a more confrontational approach.Au, who has stridently campaigned for recognition in the courts, has argued: “The further away you move from money towards speech, the more defined the restrictions coming your way.” Meaning, the government will tolerate gay businesses as long as they don’t draw attention to their gayness.Stuart says his approach, on the other hand, is “a very tai chi, Zen kind of thing. “It’s hard to describe – we’re using their weapons against them. You don’t want us to be in your face or make a public issue of it? Fine. You don’t want us to break the rules? Fine, we’ll play it by your rules. It’s impossible to have so many rules that homosexuals in Singapore are ‘ruled’ out of existence. We are law-abiding citizens in every way except in what we do in the privacy of our own bedrooms. And even then, it’s illegal only by archaic laws inherited from Victorian Britain when Singapore was a British colony.”He has a healthy respect for the government.“If the Singapore government is put in a position where they have to respond to pressure, they will probably not compromise on their principles even if they run the risk of appearing conservative,” he says. “They’re not shy about making unpopular decisions. And that’s been proven time and time again. I’ve been trying to tell people not to confront the government, don’t try to force them into action by using the media to pressure them. It won’t work.”

Stuart certainly doesn’t see the need for a Stonewall riot or a Sydney Mardi Gras type confrontation with the authorities. The violent clashes with police in the late 1970s that broke the early ground in the fight for equal rights for Western gays wouldn’t work in Asia. “It will be revolutionary in a different way,” he says. “We are revolutionary, but not in an in-your-face way. But it will still require individuals who are willing to push the boundaries.“This is something that is very peculiar to Singapore. We have so many perceived boundaries that we are told we are not supposed to cross. We have to overcome this. They say, ‘you shall not cross that line’ and so no one does. And then when someone actually does, hey, it’s okay because that line was imaginary.”One of the biggest obstacles is the fact that Singapore is, after all, populated and ruled by overseas Chinese. Travel writer Jan Morris calls it “one of the greatest Chinese cities.” Of its 3.5 million people, three-quarters are of Chinese ancestry, speaking Mandarin and the Hakka, Hokkien or Cantonese dialects.China and its 5,000 years of tradition has a far more powerful influence over Asia than the West can ever hope for and so, whatever happens in mainland China will have far reaching implications for Singapore.“What governs gays in China is the same thing that governs most Asian gays and lesbians, and that’s family,” says Stuart. “But what we are learning from the West is a growing sense of individuality, or individualism; of not being afraid to be yourself. The first major step we have to take is to understand that we are not making our families lose face because we’re gay.“That’s something I had to deal with in my family. The first time I was interviewed in a magazine there was a full-page picture and my parents said, ‘Why do you have to be so public about this?’ I told them it was because I think it’s my social responsibility to do it, because no one else is going to do it.“You can’t continue to hide behind a screen and expect people to accept you. I’m not looking for acceptance from my gay peers, I’m looking for acceptance from mainstream Asian society. And I want to show them and everybody else that we are not weirdoes, we are not perverts, we are really just like everyone else. I hate to be average, but we are really just like everyone else. Normal - whatever that is.”Stuart Koe has been quietly making a stand all his gay life.“I used to live in Minnesota and I went to school in Minneapolis which is pretty mid-West: lots of blondes and very conservative. It has its roots in the farming community. My boyfriend and I were the only gay couple among the whole group of friends that we had. “Many people didn’t realise that gay people have stable relationships and that gay people live normal lives. I think we changed many people’s perceptions of what being gay was about.“And similarly in Singapore, when I was in the civil service, everyone knew I was gay. I didn’t go around telling everyone, but I didn’t hide it and I didn’t deny it.“It’s about visibility. When we started fridae.com it was completely about visibility. We make no effort to hide who we are or what we do.”Hiding in the closet has long been a gay defense mechanism, no less in Singapore, where the mere threat of punishment can be enough.Eugene, an Australian-educated businessman in his early 30s, is not out to his family or his many straight friends. “It is very difficult, but life goes on,” he says.There is considerable pressure in Singapore to marry before the age of 30 and raise children. Eugene is still single. As average Singaporeans slowly learn more and more about gay communities elsewhere, there will come a point, Eugene believes, “when people will ask.“Of course, there are thoughts or suspicions. I’m sure that point will come with my closer friends. I expect some will accept me, some won’t. I have plans to move overseas, whether for further education or for the expansion of my business. It gives me a reason to avoid facing such questions.”Eugene, like Stuart Koe, puts his faith in the importance of ‘market forces’ in changing attitudes in Singapore - particularly as the country undergoes a self-examination about its future.“Internally, Singapore is already changing on a very large scale, not just in respect to the gay community but in many other ways – including how we are going to progress economically in the next 20 to 30 years. We are rethinking everything from our education system to our political system,” says Stuart.In purely economic terms, the government will have to decide whether it wants to retain the talents and skills of its well-educated gay community. “If they do want people like us to stay in Singapore, then some things will have to change. And I think the fear of the future, the fear of losing talent, the fear of losing out in terms of world competitiveness will lead them to rethink many things, including this issue of acceptance of gays in the community.”Morris, a native Singaporean, describes his city as “a purely modern, technological society, without slack or sentiment: semi-communal, half-brainwashed, materialistic to the point of Philistinism, but healthy, rich and enterprising.” He also adds that it’s rich in gay culture if you know where to look.Indeed, on the street, there is evidence of a large gay population. James, an expatriate Australian, says, “if you open your eyes, you’d be surprised at how many gay people there are in Singapore.”But for the former Sydneysider, who left to be with his Singaporean partner, gay life in the city-state is pretty limited. “It depends what you’re into. If you’re into clubbing its fine, there are lots of gay clubs, gay bars, gay saunas. Outside of that, there’s no real gay life as such. Singapore is unbelievable as far as cruising goes,” he adds. “It must have something to do with repression. It just makes it come out more.” Breakout
Head: Sex And The City-StateIntro: Two sections of the Singapore Penal Code criminalise homosexual acts.Section 377 (Unnatural Offences): “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence in this section.”Section 377A (Outrages on Decency): “Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission by any male person, of any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.”Gay Sex In Public: In recent years, Section 377 has been mostly used to convict heterosexual rapists. Section 377A has been used to convict same-sex acts in public places. In 1991-92 the sentencing norm was 2-3 months, but from 1993 onward it was set at 6 months.Oral Sex Is Out: “Oral sex is a crime unless it is followed by penile-vaginal sex,” Singapore's Court of Appeal ruled in 1997. “The coitus of the male and female sexual organs” is natural and "unnatural acts" are permitted only as foreplay.Lesbian Sex Is Riotous: Certain lesbian acts are punishable under the Miscellaneous Offences Act (Public Order and Nuisance) which refers to “riotous, disorderly or indecent behaviour” in a public setting. Punishment includes a fine of up to $S1,000 or one month in prison. No lesbians have ever faced prosecution.Sex With Police: Police entrapment, in which policemen entice gay men into sex in public, accounts for the majority of arrests. Police decoys arrest their victims the moment they are touched on the buttocks or genitals and the charge is usually, “the use of criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person.” The crime carries a maximum jail sentence of two years, a fine, a caning or a combination of any two.Even if the victim doesn’t touch the police decoy and only shows interest with a gesture he can still be arrested. Section 294A of the Penal Code covers the commission of any obscene act in any public place to the annoyance of others (subject to a maximum of three months jail, a fine, or both).Source: The International Lesbian and Gay and Association, World Legal Survey

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Darwin - One Night At Rick’s

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Darwin is like no other Australian capital. What it lacks in big city style, it makes up for with sexy spontaneity. David Skidmore went north and discovered a ‘top end’.Two years ago, when my friend Ann mentioned she was going up to Darwin in July, I managed ...

Darwin is like no other Australian capital. What it lacks in big city style, it makes up for with sexy spontaneity. David Skidmore went north and discovered a ‘top end’.Two years ago, when my friend Ann mentioned she was going up to Darwin in July, I managed to invite myself along. Now Darwin is not usually regarded as a holiday destination for the average Sydney gay man. Although it does have the appeal of balmy, tropical nights, beautiful sunsets and a close proximity to Kakadu National Park. Like many gay men, I’ve generally been just as comfortable outside the gay scene as in it. So exploring the Top End as a holiday really appealed. In fact, I think most people would enjoy it, including those who are really into ‘the scene’.The trip up to Darwin, however, promised to be very ‘non-scene’. The plan was to drive there via Western New South Wales, Adelaide then up through South Australia and the Northern Territory, passing through Coober Pedy, Alice Springs and Katherine before arriving in Darwin. You might recall Coober Pedy from the film Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. It’s the town where Felicia (played by Guy Pearce) is nearly done over by gay bashers. Certainly not a place to go cruising late at night!So, at first glance, our trip to Darwin didn’t seem like a great opportunity for any hot male-to-male action.It took a week to drive to Darwin. Ann, enthusiastic about her newly acquired driver’s licence, floored it most of the way. We overtook road trains on the Stuart Highway and did the stretch of road between Alice Springs and Katherine in one day – a distance of 1,200 kilometres. In Darwin we stayed with friends of Ann’s, Megan and Mychal, a lesbian couple. We arrived just in time to see them play softball with their team, the Tigers. The team members were mostly lesbians and they made us feel right at home. They played appallingly but a good time was still had by all. Apart from being friendly and hospitable, Megan and Mychal knew a considerable number of people in the small Darwin gay and lesbian community. Perhaps things weren’t as unpromising as they seemed at first. That very night, in fact, promised to be a good time - the monthly gay and lesbian dance party (a Northern Territory AIDS Council fundraiser). It was an opportunity to meet Darwin’s gay men who I, ever the optimist, assumed would be good looking and ready for a hot interstate liaison. The party was held at the bowls club near Darwin’s airport. Maybe I could find the man of my dreams and whisk him back to Sydney on the next 747. Sadly, I didn’t get the opportunity - at least not that night. The night began with plenty of potential. There were a number of good-looking men but, by and large, they were attached. One young man I talked to, with the unusual name of Bandy, looked very attractive in a wholesome, country, boy-next-door kind of way. However, he had a partner – a fact I had initially overlooked in my lust. Another guy had moved to Darwin because his company transferred him. He sorely missed Oxford Street and as we chatted about his favourite clubs and dance parties I really thought he was going to cry at one point. But he too appeared to have an ‘other half’. Was every gay man in Darwin taken already? The only thing left, it seemed, was to enjoy the music, the drag shows and the new people. So we danced the night away until the small hours, eventually getting home sometime after 3am completely shagged out – but not shagged.A few days later, Megan and Mychal hosted a barbeque. The girls from the softball team came around, giving me an opportunity to learn more about them and gay life in Darwin. Afterwards, a few of us went over to Darwin’s only gay bar, the Mississippi Queen. Run by the legendary John Spellman, the Mississippi Queen consists of a couple of train carriages with an outdoor area. The other unusual aspect of it is that it’s situated in the middle of Darwin suburbia. We walked in the bar, ordered some drinks (as if we needed any more) and soaked up the rather interesting ambience of being in a stationary train carriage. As we were sitting and chatting I noticed a very good-looking man with a checked shirt and light blue jeans sipping a beer with friends at the table next to us. He was very easy on the eye but he had a younger man sitting on his lap. I assumed he was in the proverbial Darwin category of ‘look but don’t touch’. But as we were leaving, Megan and Mychal offered him a lift in the car. He was not, it turned out, with the younger man afterall. We all piled into the car and I sat closer to him than the situation warranted. If he didn’t like it I could have apologised and point out that the backseat was a bit squashy. Instead, he introduced himself as Rick and put his arm around me. It was obvious where the night was heading.It turned out that Rick knew my hosts which, given the pond-like size of Darwin’s gay community, didn’t surprise me. I didn’t go back to Megan and Mychal’s that night. I went back to Rick’s place. We had a beer together, then got down to business. He had a beautiful, average-sized cock and a smooth arse with a touch of downy hair. He enjoyed the sight of my cock but I’m sure his was harder. After I sucked it like I hadn’t had sex for years, then he fucked me senseless. Just as good as the sex itself was the aftermath. I asked Rick if I could just lie there stroking his bare bum. He said he’d enjoy that very much. He dropped of to sleep before I did but I kept stroking his beautiful butt until I nodded off too.The next morning we played around for a while, but I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. I just wanted to keep the memories of the great sex we’d had. As he dropped off to sleep again I kissed him, thanked him for the evening and headed out the door. I passed his housemate having breakfast on the balcony as I went. She asked if I needed a taxi but I said I should be fine. I walked out onto the street and thought, “What kind of a drop kick am I?” I had no idea where I was, having arrived at Rick’s place during the night. Fortunately, Darwin is such that it didn’t take me long to make it back to home base. I’ll always remember that night at Rick’s. Darwin has a special place in my memories. To me it’s a city of welcoming people, warm and relaxing nights and, despite its size, a place where gay men can meet and fall in lust or love. As it turned out, I chose lust and have never regretted it.

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Tasmania - Go South, Young Man!

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With the bad old days behind it, Tasmania has reinvented itself as a popular gay destination.Tasmania - scenically wild, sparsely populated and culturally rich. It's Australia's southernmost state and, let's face it, for most gay travelers, a forgotten state. ...

With the bad old days behind it, Tasmania has reinvented itself as a popular gay destination.Tasmania - scenically wild, sparsely populated and culturally rich. It's Australia's southernmost state and, let's face it, for most gay travelers, a forgotten state. This is primarily the result of the negative publicity the ultra conservative government earned on its unmoving stance against gay law reform.We've all heard the story: In 1988 the Hobart City Council banned a Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group from holding a stall in the Salamanca Market. The purpose of the stall was to collect signatures for a petition calling for law reform. The police arrested those activists who defied the ban because, it was stated, the stall was "promoting an illegal activity".After years of activism and still no change to the law, the Tasmanians took their case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in 1994, which decided that Tasmania's anti-gay laws violated articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Nothing changed until the May 1997 when the Tasmanian Upper House finally voted to support gay law reform, ending a grueling nine-year campaign.Tasmania is now the most liberated Australian state in terms of its equal opportunity laws and an extremely desirable destination for gay and lesbian travelers. It's not the sort of place to visit if you're looking for a gay ghetto or lively dance party and clubbing scene, but in Hobart, there is a small but thriving gay community and they are proud to live there.One day in Australia's second oldest capital city and you will understand why. Hobart is an exciting blend of historic Australia, a relaxed lifestyle and the convenience of city living. Sure, it may have a tiny population of 130,000, but Hobart has more sunshine hours than Melbourne and less rainfall than Sydney!If you're lucky enough to arrive in Hobart on a Saturday, head straight to Princes Wharf and Salamanca Place where most of the city's residents will be enjoying the weekly market. It's a colourful diversion set against an historic row of 1830s warehouses that has become as much a symbol of Hobart as the Derwent River or Wrest Point Casino! Once home to everything from grain to gunpowder, the Salamanca warehouses now host cafes, bars and shops and are a great destination any time of the week.From Salamanca Place, climb the original sandstone Kelly's Steps up the hill and explore Arthur's Circus, Hampden Road and the Anglesea Barracks - built in 1811 it is the oldest in Australia. A short stroll through Battery Point will quickly reveal why the tiny cottages and views of the river make this area prime Hobart real estate.Hobart is equally famous for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race that turns the wharves at Sullivans Cove into a celebratory arena between Christmas and New Year. Stroll along the waterfront and you'll find rows of orange bricks in the paving, each bearing the name of a race winner. Moored in the river nearby, you'll find floating fish and chip shops. These guys will sell their fresh catch to you straight from the boat and even cook up a take away lunch to enjoy with the local seagulls. The rest of the wharf precinct also has scores of restaurants and there's no shortage of choice here when your tummy rumbles.The Derwent River is as much a part of Hobart as the imposing, often snow-capped Mount Wellington which overlooks it. The peak is only 22 kilometres drive from the centre of town and the views are astounding. However, if you'd rather stay on the river, you can cruise the Derwent and marvel at the expensive real estate adorning its meandering shores. The more adventurous have the option of doing the tour by sea kayak.Two of Hobart's other prime tourist attractions are The Cadbury Chocolate Factory and the Cascade Brewery. Both run tours by appointment and offer a terrific insight into a couple of the biggest industries in the region. Oh, and yes, they both include product samples at the end.For a tour with a difference, the old Hobart Gaol in the town centre runs evening ghost tours. Locals will tell you that the city's full of ghosts and whether you believe them or not, there are some terrific stories to be told.Of course, if you have a car you can leave the city and explore the unique Tasmanian bush. In a state this size, nothing's too far away and the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur are a popular day trip. However, the highlights of Tasmania are its National Parks and the locals have a special fondness for Mount Field. Only one and a half hours' drive west of Hobart, this is the busiest ski field in the state and is home to arguably the most beautiful waterfall - Russell Falls. There are plenty of walks catering to all fitness levels and opportunities to camp and get away from the world.But if you'd really rather party, Hobart has a couple of gay venues. Every Sunday night, the back bar of the Bavarian Tavern on Liverpool Street holds a gay night. It's a relaxed, friendly environment and you'll have no trouble striking up a conversation at the bar with the cheerful locals. As for nightclubs, the only option is ICQ, a mixed venue best visited on Saturday nights. It's tucked away near the waterfront on Despard Street, an easy stroll from Salamanca Place.Several gay B&Bs have also sprung up around Hobart in recent years and are worth checking out if you'd rather stay with 'family'!All up, it's easy to spend a week in this charming, relaxed city and never run out of things to do. If you'd struck Tassie from your holiday shortlist in the past, it's time to think again, especially considering some of the cheap package deals offered from most mainland centres. For more information check out GayTas and Tourism Tas.

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The Enigma Of Egypt

Egypt

On a 10-day tour of Egypt, six gay Australians discovered a variety of impressive erections, old and new. Day 1 Cairo
Our party of six arrived at the Ramses Hilton, a five-star hotel in the heart of Cairo, located on the banks of the Nile. The group included T and J (a couple), the supposedly shy member of the group – let’s call him S. Our intrepid tour group leader K, a retiree B, and myself.


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Fails Of The City

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For 30 years or more, San Francisco could claim to be the gay capital of the world. It’s gay strip, The Castro, was famous around the world and known by gay and straight alike. San Francisco opened its arms to the outcast gay youth of America; nurtured the ...

For 30 years or more, San Francisco could claim to be the gay capital of the world. It’s gay strip, The Castro, was famous around the world and known by gay and straight alike. San Francisco opened its arms to the outcast gay youth of America; nurtured the rainbow flag-and-freedom rings culture; and was immortalised in Armistead Maupin’s classic Tales Of The City series. But times change, and after a recent visit, Tim Hughes reports that old gay town she ain’t what she used to be.In San Francisco’s SoMo district, just along the street from the EndUp - a gay disco made famous by Armistead Maupin’s book Tales of the City - you’ll find the innocuous looking doorway of Blow Buddies. Inside, are a labyrinth of chain fencing and booths dedicated to the art of the blow job. Walkways and glory holes at different levels allow you to sit or stand while you suck some stranger’s cock or maybe get your cock sucked. On the night of my visit, a large cluster of glory holed booths were already filled by queens - who in turn were filled with anticipation - as guys cruised at crotch height above searching for a handsome face and an accommodating throat. It’s kinda ironic that such a landmark of ’70s homo-culture like the EndUp should exist so near Blow Buddies. In other ways they couldn’t be further apart. While the EndUp’s latest dance nights are, at least, reminiscent of the venue’s discotheque roots. Blow Buddies couldn’t be less like its ’70’s and 80’s equivalents. Despite the miles of erections raised there every night, there’s little of the sexual abandon you might have glimpsed in Al Pacino’s queer killer-thriller, Cruising. In Blow Buddies there’s a strict “no fucking” rule, and there’s no alcohol sold on the premises - in case you get too drunk to behave yourself. The bathrooms are heavily stocked with soap, paper towels and mouthwash containing hydrogen peroxide. There’s free HIV and STD screening, and even the hardcore porno films blinking out of the monitors only show safer sex scenes like jacking-off and blow jobs. This is highly sanitised sleaze.Even meticulous research in the backrooms of leather bars like The Lonestar, The Powerhouse and My Place uncovered little more than blow jobs, kissing and wanking. Over at the Power Exchange - an enormous multi-level sex club, a large sign spelled out the sexual etiquette loud and clear. Underlined several times in chalk are the words, “Do Not Ever: 1) Fuck without a condom. 2) Talk loudly. 3) Touch anyone without permission.” Inside the Power Exchange’s vast confines is a series of sex settings that includes a surreal-looking forest glade complete with painted trees and meandering path, lined with twenty or so tents and teepees. It’s anyone’s guess what was going on under the canvases, but on my visit, despite a maze of rest rooms and slings, there was little in the way of hardcore action. Mack, the sex club with the sleaziest reputation has closed down, and the recent visitor might think that the sex scene had cleaned up its act. Yet, a quick sprint through the city’s internet chat rooms reveals a growing underground culture of barebacking (anal sex without a condom). More and more gay cyber surfers are logging-on with names like Thundertop Bareback, Bareback Bttm and RawPig: “Kinky, horny, slutpig loves to get raw fucked by hung nasty tops.” All of which proves that risky sex hasn’t gone away, it’s just gone underground. These are guys who reckon successful anti-HIV-positive drug treatments make it okay to ignore the risk of infection, who are HIV positive and figure they’ve nothing to loose, or actually get off on the risk of infection.Raw sex has become a fetish in itself. Now a new San Francisco-based site, bareback.net, allows like-minded guys to meet and swap photos. “Hey boyz… I am a young dude (25),” reads the intro, “and I am starting this new site dedicated to what I love… fucking and getting fucked bareback. I know there are some of you out there that will tell me that I am stupid and being unsafe… fine… fuck off and go to another site. BUT I know there are a lot of guys that share my passion… this site is dedicated to you!’Gay San Francisco resident, Bob, told me: “The AIDS-is-over crowd seems to be a relatively small but persistent group. The community seems to be split on this issue. Some hardcore advocates of barebacking don’t like the idea of anyone telling them they can’t do something.’Midnight at a notoriously cruisey motel near the Castro. A hunk who could have dropped straight out of a porno flick prowls the corridors. He catches my eye through the door that’s been left deliberately ajar, pushes it open and comes in. He dumps a rucksack on the floor and without saying a word, empties out a line of white powder on the TV top and snorts it. Unfortunately, with him he’s brought the most unholy stench. Worse than I’d imagined another human could smell. It’s clear he’s been on a massive drug bender, unwashed for days - perhaps weeks. I pick up his rucksack and show him back out into the corridor. Unfortunately, the smell stays rather longer. As I watch him stumble up the stairwell to the floor above, he’s hardly able to stand up. A couple invite him into their room for a threesome, and the door closes behind him. Minutes later he’s pushed back out into the corridor.Like most major cities, along with San Francisco’s gay scene goes the dance clubs and inevitable drug culture. Right now, narcotics of choice include liquid X (GHB), ecstasy (X, MDMA), crystal-meth, special K, coke, and, a sometimes lethal cocktail of these substances - often topped off with amyl (for the rush) and Viagra (so you can get it up afterwards).Recreational drug use is far from new, but today, health officials are increasingly concerned about the affect these party drugs can have when combined with new HIV medications. Some of these medications can dramatically increase the potency of ecstasy and amphetamines, making the danger of an accidental overdose very real. In an attempt to address the problem, San Francisco’s Community Clinic Consortium created a cartoon character, Party Smarty Marty, with his own internet site to educate HIV-positive clubbers about the risks.Ironically, as public opinion is softening towards the smoking of marijuana for medical reasons, it’s toughening up for tobacco smoking which is illegal in public places including bars and clubs. The use of party drugs is also becoming increasingly taboo, with the split between those who take them, and the anti-drug sentiment of those who don’t, becoming increasingly conspicuous.When a friend asked a Muscle Mary where he could buy poppers (amyl), he was told with a sneer: “Why don’t you just sniff glue, if you wanna kill yourself!” As the steroid-pumped mass ambled away, we could only laugh at the hypocrisy.In San Francisco, local legend tells of a drunken queen who picked up a guy in the long dusky shadows of cruisey Buena Vista Park and began rimming him. The story goes that after a few moments it became obvious that the rimmee was a homeless man who couldn’t have visited the Body Shop for some time. It must have ruined a beautiful moment.The homeless are everywhere and the many parks provide somewhere to sleep undisturbed. With an estimated 10, 000 sleeping rough in the city, the nearby Castro, in particular, is a mecca for young gay runaways and assorted beggars attracted by the generous tourists and tolerant atmosphere. So much so, that when several local businesses banded together to move these panhandlers on with a poster campaign that read “Create change, don’t give it out”, activists picketed their stores. The signs soon came down.One of the issues perpetuating this vagrancy problem, is the rocketing cost of accommodation in San Francisco. That same problem is also changing the character of the Castro forever. Less affluent residents and small gay businesses are priced out of the area in favour of the huge retail chains who can afford the astronomical rents and leases like Starbucks, Walgreen’s, Pottery Barn and now Ikea.“San Francisco is ever changing - faster than I like,” confided another gay native, “and though we (the gay community) are greater in numbers than ever before, it’s becoming harder to find specifically gay areas, or neighbourhoods because we are spreading out all over the city, in every neighbourhood.”Today, the Castro is in danger of becoming more of a sight-seeing excursion for heterosexual tourists than a gay enclave.Despite all that’s good and bad about San Francisco, the high visibility and political strength of its gay community has, at least, insulated it from the conservative backlash that’s undermined other gay communities in America. However, a newly passed Californian state law has changed all that. Proposition 22 redefines marriage as being a union between a “man and woman”. This has been a surprise blow to the gay community, as it attacks their fundamental rights to equality. It means that gay marriages are not legally recognised and strips existing same sex couples of inheritance rights as well as the tax and health benefits that straight couples enjoy. Just how San Francisco’s gay residents will respond, and whether they can have the law declared unconstitutional it’s a little early to tell. But tourists expecting to find the liberal paradise enjoyed by Monica, Mouse and Mrs Madrigal of Maupin’s novels, might be in for a shock.

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Comments (2)

Raw Like Sushi

See the world with DNA travel

Don’t be fooled. Hidden from the casual tourist, Tokyo boasts a hedonistic underbelly of gay clubs, kinky sex hotels and drugs. Joseph Blow spent several debauched months with two of Tokyo’s queer pure pleasure seekers.It’s one of the cities in the world most ...

Don’t be fooled. Hidden from the casual tourist, Tokyo boasts a hedonistic underbelly of gay clubs, kinky sex hotels and drugs. Joseph Blow spent several debauched months with two of Tokyo’s queer pure pleasure seekers.It’s one of the cities in the world most people hope to see - though few believe they ever will. While attracted by the exotic (geishas, sumo, hi-tech, sushi, Issey Miyake, Endurance TV and karaoke), we’ve all heard the horror stories (insanely expensive, polluted, overpopulated and frenetic). I recently spent several months in Tokyo and found my preconceptions alternatively challenged and reinforced. Like London or New York, Tokyo is one of those truly great cities that doesn’t disappoint. Seventeen million people hemmed in by mountains on three sides and the Pacific on the other: in Tokyo, the most artificial of cities, one is, ironically, very much in touch with nature. Built over the intersection of three fault lines, fuck someone long enough and the earth is sure to move.From July to September the city is a sexy steam bath as the locals strip down to cope with the heat. Its many large parks and chic youth culture hotspots like Shibuya, fashionable Harajuku and Shinjuku are awash with sculpted, copper-toned torsos, hot butts and chunky crotches. Bar hopping, nightclubbing or just hanging out in the streets with friends, Tokyo’s moneyed Generation-X parties all night until the trains swing back into action at 5.30amThe longer I was in Tokyo the more I came to understand that things weren’t quite what they seemed. As a gaijin (foreigner) it was not only my lack of Japanese that limited my access to information: the locals decided what was appropriate for me to know. Shy, obtuse and constantly trying to avoid loss of face, the Japanese are masters of the indirect answer or feigning ignorance when this is judged to be in everyone’s best interests. Cute, but very frustrating.Despite the constant stimulation that being in this city affords, I needed to make contact with its gay and lesbian subculture. My only knowledge of anything remotely gay and Japanese were the sado-masochistic writings of Yukio Mishima and the sublime homoerotic art of the late Sadao Hasegawa. My attempts to find information on the queer scene seemed to be going nowhere fast until I downloaded a small list of bars from an English language website. Armed with this and a map, I headed into the labyrinth that is Shinjuku Station – they say 2 million people pass through it daily - and 15 minutes later was in the Nichome. This is Tokyo’s gay ghetto and, like Oxford Street in Sydney, is a kind of code word for anything gay. This low-rise neighbourhood of several blocks is tucked away behind some of the grandest department stores in Japan. It’s a warren of tiny bars, nightclubs and sex-on-premises venues. During the day its narrow streets are quiet and the buildings suggest a fading affluence – an occasional book-cum-novelty sex shop the only clue as to where you actually are. After sunset these same streets are packed with gay men and, to a lesser degree, lesbians, heading out to meet friends in their favourite bars. Each four-to-six-floor building contains three or four venues per floor, all competing for space in blinking neon or lurid fluoro on exterior walls. Whether its sushi, singing or just plain sex, these places are hopping. Cruisy, crotch-stroking rent boys jostle for space with those just out for of a night in a bar. Grotesque drags make their presence felt while muscle boys, some in traditional Japanese pyjamas and wooden sandals, chat at pavement bars. Despite the huge numbers of bars in the Nichome many do not welcome foreigners. Why? Who knows. Most gaijins agree that it isn’t worth forcing the issue. There are, after all, many places where you feel more than welcome. Bars such as GB, Arty Farty, Fuji and Dragon (an anything goes bar with porn on the monitors, a jock-strapped Korean muscle-boy barman and guys having sex in the dance area) are, as the brochures tell you, for gaijins and their admirers. You can walk out of any one of these bars and be in another within two minutes. Although small, they are big on atmosphere and proved to be the perfect place to meet the local men - two of whom were to be my intro to the less visible sides to gay life in Tokyo. Takuro, an insatiable 28-year-old muscle boy and his boyfriend, Yoshitaka, a Bruce Lee look-a-like S&M top, seemed to be on one big holiday with endless amounts of cash. To be honest, I first remember finding them asleep under my sweat-soaked and stained bed after a particularly over-the-top night out – apparently there had been a minor earthquake and they’d wisely taken cover. These two boys introduced me to a life of fun, excess and some of the strangest places in Tokyo, including Dock. Here, where Takuro tends bar and generally holds court, incredibly beautiful men wear no more than boots and jockstraps. Part bar, part back room, with cigarettes and several brands of poppers free for your use, it would be illegal in Australia. Towards midnight the bar descends into a montage of Pasolini’s Salo and Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboys. In another venue in nearby Takadanobaba, each Tuesday night there are workshops in fist fucking for the novice or the plain curious. It seemed strange to me that in a country where genitalia must, by law, be digitally edited-out on porn, that there are venues that would make Jean Genet (or Jeff Stryker) blush.On weekend nights Takuro, Yoshi and I toured the bars en-route to club nights at Ace and Deed (both in the Nichome) or the cavernous Liquid Room (10 minutes away in the colourful Kabuki-cho red-light district where the more futuristic scenes in Blade Runner were shot). In these venues Amex grunge and Versace collide: every outfit costs a bomb. Second-hand US clothing is in at the moment and an old ’70s T-shirt can easily set you back $300. Tokyo gays and lesbians take their music seriously and the DJ line-ups are rarely without a big name from Europe or America. Many of these uber-clubs make a weekend night at Australia’s hottest gay venues look like variety night at the RSL. It’s all pretty intense and fairly obvious that recreational drug usage in Tokyo is wide spread. Interestingly though, just saying you take drugs is enough to land you in jail or on a plane home. Magic Mushrooms aren’t yet illegal so we’d often make a trip to the sex shops on The Hill in Shibuya to stock up – sometimes renting a theme room in one of the many kooky “Love Hotels” to explore our trip and fuck in a flying saucer or a torture chamber. But any of the party drugs on offer in Australia are readily available in Tokyo if you ask the right person, albeit at some cost. It didn’t take too long to work out where Yoshi’s cash flow stemmed from and why he seemed to know so many different people. Post club we’d catch a cab to after-party venues like Maniac Love in Harajuku. Frisked twice and guided through the bowels of a high-rise office building, you arrive in a tiny corrugated iron-clad venue, totally going off. In the chill-out area there was always a motley collection of clubbers and, on one occasion I swear, Yoko Ono. Occasionally a spontaneous floor show would kick off – the most memorable being a girl in a Hello Kitty outfit giving a blowjob to a well endowed Atom Boy who provided a spectacular money shot. On a big weekend, Takuro would sometimes drive a few friends out to Hakone near Mt Fuji for an afternoon onsen (an open-air thermal spring bath). It’s impossible to describe the waves of sensation you experience emersed naked with twenty other men, staring out across dense forest and turquoise lakes to the perfect cone of Mount Fuji. Often we’d take the lazy option and spend an afternoon in the sun at the ultra-chic Meiji Jingu pool where Tokyo’s most beautiful people paraded the latest in designer swimwear. Formerly the venue for the aquatic events at the 1968 Olympic Games, the Meiji Jingu is two stops from Shinjuku on the Chuo (Central) line and backs on to the majestic Shinkuku Gyoen (park). The entrance fee is likely to bring on a mild case of angina, but a day at this pool is a glimpse into Japan at its most modern, glamorous and sexy. What’s more, a quick visit to a particular change room could easily lead to a hot and heavy encounter with one or two of the objects of your desire. At Meiji Jingu you are likely to spot the stars of the latest porn videos. This is a huge industry in Japan where there seems to be a particular fixation with S&M – the complex knots employed in Japanese porn have a long, macabre history relating to the different manners in which a condemned prisoner was to be publicly butchered. Charming! While both soft and hardcore porn are subject to frustrating and ridiculous forms of censorship, extremely graphic fisting videos are permitted. That’s Japan for you.The final installment for the serious raver is the outdoor Sunday Late Party in huge Yoyogi Park (Tokyo’s answer to New York’s Central Park and home to Tokyo’s most prestigious Shinto temple) where a mixed crowd trance until midnight every weekend. It was also here that in August 2000, over 5,000 sexy poofs and dykes screamed, bumped and ground their way across swanky inner-western Tokyo in the annual Gay And Lesbian Pride March. Part celebration, part political statement, I couldn’t help but think of Mardi Gras in the early ’80s. For my friends Takuro and Yoshi, this day was one of high emotion as they remembered two good friends who had died of AIDS earlier in the year. In Japan, many gay men are married or closeted and few like to face up to the issue of HIV/AIDS: even in sex venues it is usual to pay extra for condoms and lubricant – if they are available at all. As in Australia in the early ’80s, it is the gay and lesbian communities in cities across Japan who are raising the profile of HIV/AIDS through innovative sex education campaigns and by forming support ...

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Tasmania

See the world with DNA travel

240 kilometres off shore across Bass Strait, Tasmania is Australia’s largest island (large enough to be a state in its own right) and also its most southern.Separated from the mainland for millions of years, and from the rest of the world for millions more, it ...

240 kilometres off shore across Bass Strait, Tasmania is Australia’s largest island (large enough to be a state in its own right) and also its most southern.Separated from the mainland for millions of years, and from the rest of the world for millions more, it is home to vast forests, snow covered alpine ranges, mountain top lakes, and snaking river systems brimming with salmon and trout.Its separation from the mainland also means it is rich in unique flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world - from the last remaining stands of tree species that once covered Antarctica, to the Tasmanian Devil (the largest surviving marsupial carnivore- like a black and white wolverine with a pouch), the largest freshwater crustaceans in the world, and primitive "living fossil" ants that grow as large as your finger.Despite the all pervasive timber industry the state has more stunning national parks than could be named here, and hikers and campers will find any number of once in a lifetime experiences on offer.Elsewhere the more settled parts of the state are home to an abundance of wineries, and gourmet produce growers abound, so good dining should be within your reach the island over.Visitors to the state capital, the historic port city of Hobart will find friendly faces in the Hope & Anchor Tavern and in the city of Launceston at the VOC Bar, the state’s two gay drinking holes.

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Dave's Travels: Santa Cruz, Peru

DNA OutBack columnist Dave Graham kept a journal on his world travels and will be sharing his diary entries with readers over the next few months. Below is Dave's thoughts on the surprisingly queer Amazonian village of Santa Cruz.The Amazon hides many ...

DNA OutBack columnist Dave Graham kept a journal on his world travels and will be sharing his diary entries with readers over the next few months. Below is Dave's thoughts on the surprisingly queer Amazonian village of Santa Cruz.The Amazon hides many secrets but one I never expected was the total acceptance of same-sex relationships. Deep in the Peruvian Amazon about 3 hours boat ride from the regional capital Iquitos is the tiny village of Santa Cruz, a village made famous by the long stay of revolutionary Che Guevara (you may have seen it in the movie The Motorcycle Diaries where he swam the Amazon to visit the leper colony...and just for the record, the river is the swollen Sinchiquy River, a tributary of the Amazon). The first night there just happened to be the local party night and lo and behold in the thick of it were two mascara wearing young gents - I was speechless. It had been made so clear to us that homosexuality was not at all accepted in Peru, especially not regional and rural Peru and yet here were two very proud and very out young queens already ready for a big night out in the happening village discotheque. The town’s three clubs were galvanised iron sheds with portable but for a town of under 500 people, well, my travelling buddy Aje and I thought we had just stumbled into the coolest joint ever. After hours of conversation on the topic, the locals were mystified that we were so bemused by their acceptance of same-sex attracted people. The comment was repeated over and over…’it normal’ and it was. There was no issue for men to be with the ‘guys’ of the village, just as these blokes would be with women: sexuality here was very fluid. However as ‘normal’ as the Amazonians saw the ‘guys’ the Peruvian authorities did not and often police would come and the villagers would be very weary of and do their best to hide the 'guys' - those people who showed obvious signs of homosexuality. It is a young person’s choice here who they sleep with and there is no issue amongst the local people if that is a man or a woman. The reason the Amazonian people were so named is because the Spanish actually thought they were all women and hence must have been the fabled ancient tribe of 'Amazons' and to be honest it was hard to see the difference as they all had long black hair and grass skirts. Due to the humidity the natives used ornaments and red paint marks to identify a persons sex and marital status. Which kinda makes things a lot more simple if you are out to pick up I reckon. The contrasts between the attitudes of the Amazonians and the rest of Peru could not have been starker. I had planned to meet up with a few guys in Iquitos to talk to them about their sexuality however, we ran short of time due to our treks that led us deep into the jungle region, however with the chats we did complete on the internet it was made pretty clear that there were no gay bars in the area as there didn’t need to be because 'it normal'.

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You Made Me Love You!

Paris

More than just the city of romance.Paris is about lust, seduction, sex and gay bars where the staff shower nude on stage! A crowd of stunningly handsome men of a diverse range of ages stood next to a twice-life-sized poster of an Adonis wearing just a pair of ...

More than just the city of romance.Paris is about lust, seduction, sex and gay bars where the staff shower nude on stage! A crowd of stunningly handsome men of a diverse range of ages stood next to a twice-life-sized poster of an Adonis wearing just a pair of blue jeans. The Adonis, in real life, was announcing the re-opening of a newly refurbished bar, describing its new opening hours, its DJ line-up and its "douche". More on that later.Meanwhile, blue skies and 30 degrees welcomed us as we arrived at Gare de L'Est (East Station), one of the two inter-capital railway stations in Paris. We were impressed when our cab driver loaded our numerous bags into the cab then plugged the address we gave him directly into the car's GPS. It seemed the city-sponsored courses that cab drivers now take in how to treat tourists well have paid off.

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Around The World In One Minute: Las Vegas

Welcome!

For a city of two million people, many of whom are singers, dancers, designers and models and some of whom are named Celine, Siegfried, Roy, and from next year, Cher, Las Vegas has a relatively small gay scene. There's no end of glamour and mixed crowds at ...

For a city of two million people, many of whom are singers, dancers, designers and models and some of whom are named Celine, Siegfried, Roy, and from next year, Cher, Las Vegas has a relatively small gay scene. There's no end of glamour and mixed crowds at hotspots like Studio 54 at the MGM Grand and VooDoo Lounge on the rooftop of the Rio, and you can strut your stuff at Krave, regularly voted the best gay club in town and the very same disco where Nomi started a dancefloor fight in Showgirls. The visible-from-space neon blitz of the main drag at night is really magical and you can recover by day by taking your time choosing which of the Bellagio's seven different-temperature pools suits your hangover best. Drive a few blocks away from The Strip and you'll feel like you've crossed over into another planet. The side streets of Vegas are home to atmospheric gay saloons with names like Badlands, Buffalo and the Backdoor Lounge where country music plays underneath the click clack of the pool table. Slot machines are built into the bar in many places, and at the Eagle, you'll get free draft beer if you're in your underwear only on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Don't miss the Liberace Museum, a ermine and rhinestone stuffed tribute to the Great Gay who was one of the original Vegas powerplayers, right alongside Elvis and Sinatra.

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Remembering Auschwitz

Poland

A Poland trip should include a visit to Hell on Earth, where 5,000 gays perished, writes Anders Lindström.Poland is a country of extremes: it was one of the first in Europe to recognise homosexuality, yet it was the country's gay population that ...

A Poland trip should include a visit to Hell on Earth, where 5,000 gays perished, writes Anders Lindström.Poland is a country of extremes: it was one of the first in Europe to recognise homosexuality, yet it was the country's gay population that suffered during Hitler's quest for world domination; 95 percent of Warsaw was bombed during the Second World War, whilst Krakow was almost untouched; and while Poland was once one of the richest countries in Europe, it has only just recovered from being one of the continent's poorest.

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Around The World In One Minute: Shanghai

Shanghai At Night

Shanghai has no gay district and its handful of eclectic gay venues are scattered across a gargantuan metropolitan area that's bigger than London, Paris and Moscow combined. Take plenty of taxi money with you and you'll discover the red-lanterned intimacy of ...

Shanghai has no gay district and its handful of eclectic gay venues are scattered across a gargantuan metropolitan area that's bigger than London, Paris and Moscow combined. Take plenty of taxi money with you and you'll discover the red-lanterned intimacy of Eddy's Bar, where you can bring your own CDs and Eddy will put them on for you while across town at Bo Bo's you can test your Chinese chatting with a real life Panda (two-legged Chinese Bear). Shanghai Studio is an art gallery/bar housed in an old bomb shelter and then there's Pink Home, which boasts an "interdimensional transit corridor that transports you into the club" (it's a travelator with flashing lights.)What Shanghai's gay venues have in common are endless bowls of complimentary salted nuts and sky-high drink prices. A gin and tonic or a small bottle of beer usually costs around AUD$9, but you'll make most of that back in the money you'll save gorging on the local specialty, the dumpling, which is sold anywhere and everywhere and costs next to nothing. Don't miss the homosexual artifact section at the Museum of Chinese Ancient Sex Culture, Tongli District, and pay $10 for as many vodka martinis as you can drink between 5.30-7.30 each night on the 500-and-somethingth floor of the JW Marriott hotel, as the top-shelf drinks are great and the sight of the city's hundreds of space-age skyscrapers lighting up at dusk is unforgettable.

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Tips From A Seasoned Traveller

Hong kong

20 Questions For Out And About Presenter, Marc SavoiaDNA: You're presenting Out And About, a new travel show on cable. Tell us about the program and how you got involved.Marc Savoia: Out And About is a program showcasing the varied and interesting lives ...

20 Questions For Out And About Presenter, Marc SavoiaDNA: You're presenting Out And About, a new travel show on cable. Tell us about the program and how you got involved.Marc Savoia: Out And About is a program showcasing the varied and interesting lives of gay, lesbian and transgendered people on a global scale.
In each episode we travel to a different destination and highlight the beauty and uniqueness of that city.We visit the gay districts and go to bars and clubs.I get to interview people about what they do with their lives and what it's like to be a gay person living there. It's amazing to get an insight into people and how they live.I got the gig on Out And About following a nationwide search for a host/presenter. I previously had about five years' experience on Fox 8. Prior to that, I was all set to build a career on stage, having scored the lead role in the original Australian production of Saturday Night Fever. But the show ran aground before opening night and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to take my career in a new direction on TV. Is it true that there's a gay version and a straight version of the show?
Apart from shooting Out And About I also filmed a series called About which aired on Fox 8 in 2005. About was a travel show too, except it highlighted Aussies living overseas and kicking butt in their chosen profession.

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Coral Sea Resort – Whitsundays

Coral Sea Resort - Whitsunday

TRAVEL SPECIAL For DNA Readers
Coral Sea Resort is the perfect destination for those wanting to experience the stunning Whitsundays in tropical Queensland.


Skinny Dips resort and Spa - Cairns

Skinny Dips Resort and Spa - Cairns

TRAVEL SPECIAL For DNA Readers
Situated in tropical Cairns, enjoy the energy and friendly vibe of Skinny Dips, which features 21 guest rooms with a vibrant, masculine décor, most overlooking the saltwater pool and sun-drenched spa.





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