4. Soho, London
When I rented an apartment in Soho for a month, I had no idea that I would be living on the gayest block in all of London. I remember pulling up in a cab to Old Compton Street and seeing all of the rainbow flags and sex shops, thinking that I had accidentally landed on Santa Monica Boulevard. Alas, I was merely in Soho—London’s premiere theater district and home to many gay bars. It was a bit overwhelming to live next to Dick and Ass but sometimes it could be really fun. When I didn’t feel like venturing to Hackney to go to The Joiner’s Arms, I would go to an underground gay bar a few blocks from my apartment that had dismembered Barbie dolls against the wall and potent cocktails. One memorable night, I chatted up a gorgeous dude and his best girlfriend. Things were going well until his friend started talking to me about having suicidal thoughts and wanting to jump out of a window. Even stranger was when she continued to steal my drink right in front of me, claiming it was hers. I would be like, “No???” and bring it closer to me but within two minutes, she would just move it back towards her side of the table. Eventually I told the guy that, even though he was hot, his friend was a hot mess and I had to leave.
Old Compton could get pretty insane. Since most pubs close at midnight, the street would be rowdy by 7:00PM. Londoners love to get wasted and they loved to do it on my block, and it wouldn’t be uncommon for a drunk dude to get all creepy and weird with me as I searched for my keys. In the end though, I enjoyed it mostly because I wasn’t in America and had a higher tolerance for gay bullshit.
5. San Francisco, California
I lived in San Francisco for two years and almost never got laid. I moved there my freshman year of college, thinking I was going to my mothership and that I was going to be having more sex than I knew what to do with. It didn’t work out that way though. To be fair, I think it had more to do with my state of mind at the time than the city because it is one giant freak on a leash. Castro is kind of whatevs and lame but other areas are stellar. Gay boys in San Francisco can be unconventional babes and still have loads of sex. There’s no gay boy ideal. There’s no attitude because it would go against the city’s precious NAMASTE yoga vibe. My favorite gay bar is The Phone Booth, a smoky dark room full of babes and strong drinks. There’s also a jukebox that plays more music than just “Another One Bites The Dust.”
Another interesting aspect of SF’s gay culture is that it promotes monogamy and long-term relationships. Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a hedonistic hookup culture but there’s also a “Let’s walk our dogs and be in gay boy love and buy organic” vibe. I’ve always said that if I moved back to SF, I would probably have a boyfriend and a pug in 2.5 seconds. The city just promotes it.
6. New York, New York
I mean, I think I’ve already talked enough about being gay in New York.