The History of Sex: Berlin -- Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Phallus: Queer as Volk since 1897 -- (Chap. IX, Pt. 1)

Chapter Nine
Queer as Volk since 1897

'Oh, if only you had never gone to Berlin!' 
--the sister of gay-rights pioneer Karl Ulrichs, 
when he publicly 'came out' around 1862

It's one a.m. on a sticky summer night in Berlin, and the annual Gay and Lesbian Street Festival is still going strong, marking the first night of Pride Week in the gay capital of Europe.

Over in the postcard part of town, between the Victory Column and Brandenburg Gate, the mainstream 'Love Parade' has long since come and gone, a techno-bacchanalia full of whistle-tweeting kids.

The Prussians erected the Victory Column, or Siegessaule,
to celebrate their military conquests;
it's now an adopted symbol of Berlin's triumphant gay community

But here in the leafy bits of Schöneberg, or 'Beauty Hill,' the party vibe is much more relaxed—grown-up, even.

Men, women and those in between are cavorting under the streetlights to salsa, disco and allsorts.

And if you venture into one of the many bars radiating off Nollendorfplatz, the atmosphere suddenly becomes very adult indeed.

In one hardcore hole-in-the-wall, the de facto dress code is rubber and leatherwear.

Guys with shaved heads and facial hair slug beer and eye each other up, surrounded by black bondage gear strung across the walls.

Handcuffs adorn the wood-beamed bar, along with a plastic statue of a man wearing a dog collar and an erection.

And if you tire of admiring that, a screen above the liquor is showing a cartoon of a clean-cut blonde playing with himself on a sofa while a couple of hard-bodied uniforms deliver a new PC.

The blonde guy climaxes just as they're walking by, and a splodge of ejaculate happens to hit one of the deliverymen in the face.

Rather than beat their customer to a pulp, he and his black co-worker start beating each other off.

The blonde begins taking it in turns to fellate the black guy and the brunette, and the trio end up humping in a daisy chain, with cartoon cum rocketing across the screen.

And if you turn your head—or, in my case, avert your eyes—another TV shows a live-action film of a woman slicing off a man's ear.

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