Best Sex Destinations: South of the Border
Some travel for adventure; some for enlightenment; and others. . .to get laid -- and good for them! LGBTs, armed with the twin temptations of unused vacation days and disposable income, deserve to spend some time this summer in an unfamiliar place doing things that nobody back home need ever know about.
But if it’s a good time out of town and between the sheets you’re looking for, don’t bother Googling "gay sex tourism." There, you’ll only find references to those who travel to have sex with the underaged. This blemish on our community (along with the ridiculous stereotype of gays as promiscuous!) may be why several "mainstream" gay travel organizations declined to participate in this article. Citing the carnal nature of its topic, they were reluctant to associate their so-respectable-we’re-practically-heterosexual industry with travel for the express purpose of sex; but change that charged word to the phrase "romance for couples" and they became positively chatty.
Well, we here at Edge still believe that there’s no shame in the pursuit of happiness; so fly your sex freak flag high, ya’ big perv -- and consider these destinations for the single gay man on the prowl for more meaningful vacation keepsakes than a T-shirt or poorly made curio. In doing so, you’ll strike a blow for the cause of making others aware that the 65-plus billion dollar gay tourism industry is about more than monogamous couples snuggling.
Get Those Passports Out
If you really want truly memorable sex, it’s often necessary to leave the continental U.S. and its killjoy attitude. Elsewhere around the world, cultural acceptance of sex and the celebration of sexuality equates to some very hot nights. That good attitude is in play throughout much of Latin America and some of the Caribbean. Long ago established as prime getaways simply for their weather alone, they also have the advantage of beautiful men and the likelihood of a memorable sexual experience.
"Latin America, as a whole, is a place to meet somebody if you are interested in sex. When I first visited Buenos Aires, everybody was flirtatious; easy to pick up. On my first trip, I had sex twice a day. It was an amazing place." says Michael Luongo, a novelist and a gay travel writer whose recent works include Gay Travels in the Muslim World and Between the Palms (a collection of gay travel erotica he edited). Body language and a general air of openness are really all you need to meet somebody -- and that need not happen only within the confines of a social space.
Luongo: "In a lot of these places, you don’t’ have to go to a club or bar. Sometimes it’s easy to meet a person on the street and there’s nothing sleazy about it. People in Latin America use their eyes and flirt with their eyes. Italy is the same way. People engage you in settings other than a club. It’s the nature of these countries where you can easily meet people on the street -- not in the sense of prostitution."
While noting that people tend to say lots of good things about Brazil, Luongo finds it to be "rather hit or miss. There’s also a tremendous danger factor with Brazil. That’s not to say to avoid it, but you have to be a little more cautious in terms of street safety and the background of people you meet."
But once caution is exercised, Luongo recommends such destinations as: "Alsina, a dance club in Buenos Aires, which is just beautiful -- and the men are beautiful." For outside activities, "Rio beaches; Copacabana and Ipanema; beaches that are gay and gay friendly. At Copacabana beach, go in front of the Copacabana Palace and you will see a rainbow flag. In Ipanema, the Rua Farme de Amoedo is the street with gay places to hang out; the beach area closest to that is the gay beach in Ipanema." For information on airfare, accommodations, package tours, Carnival in Rio and LesbiGay Pantanal Jungle Party (the first eco-lesbigay festival in Brazil!), visit the site Gay Travel Brazil.
This summer, there are deals to be had throughout Latin America -- which is currently in experiencing their winter season. If you want to stay at a gay-friendly or gay-owned hotel, Luongo says: "Hotel Axel or El Lugar Gay (in Buenos Aires) are gay hotels. You are going to increase your chances for sex if you stay in a gay hotel." But Luongo cautions that staying in smaller venues often means you’ll be under more scrutiny in terms of whom you bring back to share your single bed.
"With small gay hotels, it can be very difficult to bring somebody back. Some of them will have a policy where you can’t bring someone with you. Keep your door cracked open if you think you will get lucky in the hotel. Or, think about staying at a big hotel where they will not notice you coming in or out; a 1,000 room Marriott or Hyatt." For the virtual guarantee of getting lucky, there’s no sure thing like "a gay hotel that has a sauna in it. While it’s pretty easy to get sex, they are not the cleanest. Some may have sanitation issues. For gay hotels with saunas in them, don’t expect luxury."
Pirates of the Carribbean?
A relatively undiscovered gem in the Carribbean, gay-friendly Curacao has, according to gaycuracao.com, "gay bars, beaches and hotels sprinkled heavily throughout the island." Beginning in June, Continental offers a round trip five-hour direct flight for as little as $378 (American Airlines and Delta also serve Curacao). Now through August 17, those spending a week or more on the island can visit Curacaosave.com and receive a $140 credit towards resort and hotel activities.
"For myself, as an openly gay man, there is no concern about being gay on the island. I feel very comfortable going out with my friends. People throw up their shoulders and say ’as long as you are happy.’ There is no record of violence against gays and lesbians." says Andre Rojer, a Sales and Marketing representative for the Curacao Tourism Corporation. Unlike the well-earned homophobic reputation of other Carribbean nations such as Jamaica, Curacao’s high level of acceptance can be traced back to its Dutch roots. Rojer says that the famously tolerant and rarely uptight Dutch have influenced the island’s "mentality; our way of living and thinking."
Although Rojer admits that Curacao does not have a multitude of nightlife that is specifically designed for LGBTs, he sees this as a positive: "The restaurants, bars and clubs are very mixed and gay friendly. There is an open, visible gay presence -- so much that there is no need for a dedicated gay life." But if you simply must go to a gat bar, Rojer mentions "Lyrics, in the downtown section of our capital" as the place to be. Another unique advantage of Curacao is its relatively small population and tourism industry: "We don’t have mass tourism; only 2,000 hotel rooms on the island. When you walk in the capital, you walk among the locals, not just tourists. Curacao hosts more than fifty-five different nationalities; it’s a very mixed, very friendly population."
Thank You, Puerto Rico!
As Wikipedia notes, Puerto Rico (a Commonwealth of the United States) gets "limited Congressional representation in the form of a nonvoting delegate." We, in return, get to have sex with their across-the-board gorgeous, hot, sensual men. But why make them come to us when it’s so much fun to play on their home turf? At www.puertoricosmallhotels.com, you can access an extensive Gay Friendly section by clicking on the Personal Style icon. You’ll find descriptions of over a dozen gay-friendly hotels. Listings within each hotel’s individual sites offer some great savings and suggested activities throughout the Condado and Santurce sections of San Juan (the center of gay nightlife in Puerto Rico and the entire Caribbean, there are gay and gay-friendly restaurants, bars, clubs and discos scattered throughout the island. In the Alternative Lifestyles section of gopuertorico.com, you’ll find information about several guesthouses in the tourist zones of Isla Verde, Ocean park and Condado that cater specifically to LGBTs.
No matter where you end up on vacation, one thing Luongo says you should expect is that the opportunity for sex will present itself well before 5pm. "When people travel for sex, we in our daily lives kind of regiment that sex is going to occur at night and on weekends. When you travel, you are freer and have open time during the day. Always be prepared on a trip to have sex. Expect that the unexpected will happen. That’s what makes sex on vacation special."