FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “How does Mister/Miss Straitlaced keep up with the action in Berlin without burning out?”
First of all, I’m going to assume that you are jokingly using that nickname, because if you were really a prude you never would have come here or you’d leave at soonest opportunity.
(If you were born or brought here and you don’t have the money to get out, and you really do have non-Berlin-compatible morals, I’m sorry. I can imagine how painful it is, with the DildoKing signs and the swingers’ clubs and the dirty storytelling nights and what-not.)
But all jokes aside, I know what you mean. There’s a lot happening here, like, A LOT, and I too would probably be considered straitlaced in terms of what I’m interested in doing out in public with people other than my partner. So let’s look at how to help you avoid burn-out.
Figure out your priorities. Do you need lots of sleep? Do you not like drinking or drugs? Do you want more one-on-one time with friends, or do you like big, full-immersion crowd events? Does indoor smoking send you right up the wall? Do you have a lover who wants to explore more sexual things? Are you yourself intensely curious about a particular scene? Are you trying to network with people or be more visible in support of your artistic work? Basically, try to determine which parts of the Berlin nightlife are important or essential, or conversely utter deal-breakers, and then you can wade through the FB calendars with a little more focus.
Once you know your needs, doing the research becomes a lot easier. If you’re an early bird, then you can skip anything starting after midnight (or make sure you have an opportunity to nap the next day). If you are curious about a very specific kink, look for event listings where that is really the focal point. If you need to be visible, but otherwise don’t enjoy big crowds, include events in your diary like a to-do item for work, and reward yourself for attending.
Pace yourself, especially if your worries about burn-out stem from knowing your own energy levels. If you live here, you’ve got all the time in the world. If you’re just passing through, you don’t have to do every damn thing. You can always save up to come back again! I personally believe in quality rather than quantity; I’d rather do a couple of events or parties, and remember those events, than have a blurred memory of a social/sexual whirlwind.
Whatever your approach to Berlin—or whatever party-lovin’ city you find yourself in—have some social support in place. Go out with people who know about your limits and aren’t going to pressure you to break them. If your best friend isn’t there with you, tell them in advance what you’re up to and what you’re anxious about and that you might want to text or call at some point during your outing, just to get a little grounded.
And let me reiterate: you don’t have to do anything, just because you’re in Berlin and that’s how they do it here. With so much going on, you can find plenty of things to see and people to do and events and parties and XXX-rated performance installations to attend, on your own terms. You can set your own pace and bring your true self to the party or the kink munch or the rave, and have a good time just the way you are.
Damn, I sound like Mr. Rogers there, but his advice works for grown-ups, too. Like this:
“It’s our insides that make us who we are, that allow us to dream and wonder and feel for others. That’s what’s essential. That’s what will always make the biggest difference in our world.”
It’s who you are on the inside that will help you have a great wonderful time out there. If you try to deny yourself and your needs and wants, it’s not going to be as good, so don’t let anyone make fun of you for being true to you!
Something that Mr. Rogers and I have in common: we want to make a difference by being accepting of others. If you think this is important work, in sex as in the rest of life, consider becoming a patron of mine on Patreon!