The best gay fetish bars in Berlin
Berlin has a reputation like none other when it comes to fetish bars and clubs. In fact, it's hard to choose. If you are only in Berlin for a short period of time, you can hardly visit all of them. Place2be.Berlin author, Jeff Mannes, has experienced many fetish bars first-hand and reveals his six favourite places.
Tom's Bar: fetish bar with a great history
Tom's Bar is ideal for exploring Berlin's gay fetish world for the first time. You can safely visit the bar in street clothes. Fetish is not a must, but it is still welcome. Guys in fetish clothes also visit the bar frequently, creating a pleasant social mix. The bar boasts a long history in the neighbourhood and has many anecdotes to share. One such occurred in the mid-1980s. When the US military police unexpectedly inspected the bar, the bartender quickly hid the US soldiers present in the darkroom basement. If they had been caught in a gay bar, it would have been the end of their careers. The bar also plays an important role in my life. It was the first gay bar I ever visited, long before I moved to Berlin. I was already interested in its name, which reminded me of Tom of Finland. The visit itself was exciting and thrilling, not least because of the porn being streamed everywhere - and the men you can accompany into the darkroom.
Motzstraße 19, 10777 Berlin-Schöneberg
Tom's Bar's Website
Mutschmanns: meeting place of the fetish scene
One of my favourite bars is Mutschmanns, which has many special memories for me. It has just moved from Martin-Luther-Straße, around the corner to Motzstraße. It's a classic kinky cruising bar and a well-known meeting place for gay, bisexual, and queer men who don their fetish outfits - from leather daddies to rubber bunnies to sportswear freaks. The first meeting place in the bar is, of course, the long bar. But those who want to socialise together are welcome to sit at individual tables. The bar is furnished to reflect the rough atmosphere: the light is often subtle, so it's generally a bit dark. Depending on the evening, there are different events; the website and Facebook page provide the details. You shouldn't miss Mutschmanns during big events like Folsom Europe, which always takes place in September, when the whole community meets here.
New Action: where bar and darkroom flow into each other
The New Action is already clearly conspicuous by its intimidating logo on the wall - a man is depicted being ledto the curb by a the horse’s bridle. The ‘men only’ fetish bar has a strict dress code that varies, depending on the evening. Information can be found on the website. At the front, the New Action consists of a bar with a counter, tables and a few chairs. Further back, however, there is a darkroom consisting of a labyrinth. Unlike many other bars with a darkroom, this one is not in the basement, but on the same level as the bar. For me, this always feels a bit like the separation between bar and darkroom is more fluid and less defined - a situation I find pleasingly low-key.
Kleiststraße 35, 10787 Berlin-Schöneberg
New Action's Website
Lab.Oratory: fetish parties at the weekend
Photos are strictly forbidden not only at Berghain, but also at Lab.Oratory, which is housed in the same building. The Lab is considered by many to be the roughest sex and fetish club in the city. It is usually only open to men, but on a few evenings other sexes are also welcome. The fancy fetish parties take place at the weekend, and the website tells you exactly which ones are currently taking place. Parties for clothing fetishes like rubber, leather, sportswear, workwear, or suit and tie alternate with piss parties, fisting nights, and even scat events. So, it's worth finding out exactly what's on the programme at any given time.
Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243 Berlin-Friedrichshain
Böse Buben: Club for Spanking Friends
In Berlin there are also clubs and societies specialising in BDSM. One of them is the ‘Böse Buben’, which is expected to reopen in October 2021, after the Corona break. The management and club members specialise in spanking and flagellation, but other types of BDSM play are also welcome, for example bondage, dominance and submission, role play, and CBT.
Böse Buben e.V.
Sachsendamm 76-77, 10829 Berlin-Schöneberg
Böse Buben's Website
KitKatClub: if you say fetish in Berlin, you mean the KitKat
The KitKat is not a bar, of course, but a club. Anyone who mentions fetish in Berlin can hardly avoid the Saturday party at the KitKatClub. The ‘CarneBall Bizarre’, my favourite party, is known and loved far beyond the city limits. People of all genders and sexual orientations meet here, and the boundaries of the different categories dissolve to a certain extent. The Kit Kat is fully equipped with several dance floors playing a selection of the best techno music in town , a swimming pool, swings, a sauna, a large lounge area where sometimes a live band plays jazz, a small sweet shop, and lots of play areas for different kinds of play - from bondage to S&M to doctoring. There are professionals working here from time to time, so sometimes you'll see a person hanging from the ceiling in bondage. There is a strict fetish dress code and you have to hand in your mobile phone at the entrance. Photos are strictly forbidden at Kit Kat.
Kit Kat Club
Köpenicker Straße 76/Brückenstraße 1, 10179 Berlin-Mitte
Which fetish bars in Berlin would you recommend? Send us your recommendations, on the Instagram channel of Place2be.Berlin!
Interested in a look behind the fetish scenes? In the Place2be.Berlin podcast, fetish tailor and leather designer Petra dos Santos talks about her experiences (in German).