By Gareth Johnson | @GTVlondon 
Photo © www.flickr.com/michael_harold


Fucking Foreigners: to paraphrase Danny Zuko and the kids from Rydell High (or Troy Bolton and the kids from East High if you’re too young to remember when John Travolta was hot, or at least vaguely coherent):  Some of my most meaningful relationships have been brief holiday encounters. 

There’s something about being on holiday – about being away from home – that makes you feel a bit more liberated, a bit more confident, and a bit sexier.

After all, that’s what travel is all about – giving you a break from your everyday routine, taking you out of the familiar, and giving you the opportunity to enjoy some new and exciting experiences.

Your holidays don’t have to revolve around sex and hook-ups, but it’s undeniable that a little gay-cation action adds a bit of spice and gives you some great anecdotes to share with your friends back home.

So where’s the best place to book for if you want to get your rocks off while traveling?

The beach

I like to refer to it as GBT – ‘Gay Beach Time’ and it’s something I try to factor in every summer. After all of those months of working out in the gym you need an opportunity to really strut your stuff (and the several new pairs of swimwear that you’ve purchased for the occasion).  

Gay beaches such as Sitges, Ibiza, and Gran Canaria are ideal if you’re on tour with a gang of friends – tanning, relaxing, drinking, and meeting plenty of hot guys all intent on doing the same.

One of my best holidays ever was a few summers ago when I went to Mykonos with my friend Tristan – with the confidence boost that a good tan and a few drinks gives you, I enthusiastically notched up a different guy each night I was there. Good times.

Big cities

The gays seem to congregate in edgy and interesting cities. Size doesn’t always matter, but generally it does. Berlin has a well-deserved reputation for being a sexy city-break destination. A great range of bars and clubs and big parties means that there always seem to be plenty of hot guys from around the world in Berlin and looking for fun.

My friend Luke swears by the annual leather festival in Berlin. His unique ginger twink appeal seems to strike a chord with the men of leather.

Bangkok is a city that always has good memories for me – when I was 19 it’s where I headed for my first overseas trip by myself. Maybe it was the heat, or maybe I was in heat, but by the end of that trip I certainly knew my way around a four-gy.

Saunas and spas

Of course most destinations that you visit will have a gay sauna that will give you an almost guaranteed encounter of some description, but there are lots of places where saunas and spas are part of everyday life.

A visit to Helsinki was one of my recent favourites – on certain days of the week, one of the big central swimming pools offers nude swimming for men.  It sort of wasn’t sexual but then at the same time it totally was. You showered, swam a bit, sat in the sauna, showered, swam a bit more and did it all again. I was in there for hours.

Japan is another place where they really go big for public bathing. I was in Osaka recently with my French friend Franck: “It’s kind of like a prison,” he said grumpily as we sat side-by-side in the open shower room, soaping ourselves (before relaxing in the large hot bath, and then into the sauna). Prison sex fantasies are some of my favourites.

Sporting events

One of the big news stories of the 2012 Olympics in London, which might have just been a coincidence, was that Grindr crashed once all of the athletes arrived in Stratford. It’s easy to understand that with all of the pressure, adrenalin, and testosterone, people need to have an outlet, to get some release.

Gay sports events may not be at quite the same standard as the Olympics, but the same principles of heightened sexual activity apply. You get a lot of fit guys all in the one place, all competing during the day, and all out for a good time at night. I was at the Gay Games in Cologne a few years back, and it was a pretty amazing week. There was one party that Team France hosted and I headed there with my water polo team after drinking too much over dinner. There is video footage of me behaving like a complete whore. Definitely one of the highlights of my sporting career.

This year my big holiday is going to be to Cleveland. Cleveland? That’s where the Gay Games are this year.  
I am going to be going for gold – or at least a very, very good time.
  


FUN IN THE SUN

If you are lucky enough to be going on holiday this summer, here’s some quick advice from Dr. Seán Cassidy (@Dr_SeanC) to make sure you are ready to rumble.

Feel the burn!

While most of us love the idea of catching some rays on the beach, be careful you don’t overdo it. Always apply sunscreen before you go out – you’ll need a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, but you might need up to SPF 40 for the first couple of days depending on your skin type. Try to avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm and slap a hat and sunglasses on. If you do get burnt, apply some aftersun cream and stay out of the sun until the redness has settled.

Appetite for destruction

Traveller’s diarrhoea is one of the most common illnesses for holiday-makers, but there are a few easy steps to avoid it. Don’t drink local tap water if you’re not used to it, use bottled water where possible and say no to ice cubes in drinks. Stick to restaurants where you know the food will be cooked in a hygienic environment, and if you decide to try some street food make sure any meat is cooked the whole way through. If you do develop diarrhoea or vomiting, seek medical attention if your symptoms last more than 24 hours, as there’s a chance you could be dehydrated.

Get ready to party

While you’re away you’ll want to sample the nightlife on offer, but there are dangers for the Brit abroad. Letting your hair down and going a bit crazy is part of being on holiday, but just remember that you can still catch STIs, including HIV. In many countries there are no standardised measures for alcohol so that cheeky G&T might actually be a double or even a treble! If you take recreational drugs, be careful about what you’re taking as the effects might be stronger than you’re used to. Make sure you stick with your friends and if in doubt, just say no!

Pack condoms and lube

A bit of holiday nookie is high on the ‘to do’ list of most gay boys. But finding condoms in a foreign country can be difficult and, depending where you are, you don’t know if they are going to be any good or not. Make sure you bring plenty along. Packing polyurethane condoms like Durex Avanti or Pasante Unique, means that you don’t have to use water- or silicone-based lube. You can use whatever you have handy even if it has oil in it. Unique come in a handy three pack shaped like a credit card. To buy low-cost condoms online visit www.freedoms-shop.com. And if you buy latex condoms, don’t forget the lube.