Article by Maya Vukovska
Besides business, gastronomy, shopping, sightseeing, museums, and culture, there is another, quite unfamiliar to the common tourist reason for traveling, and that is cruising. The term originally emerged in the early 1960s as a code word for arranged sexual meetings in the closeted gay community, so that they could freely communicate. Nowadays, gay cruising has become a fun thing, and even a fetish for some, and for others, still closeted gays, it’s their only alternative to express and enjoy their sexuality.
To those of you, experienced cruisers, who are used to anonymous meetings in lavatories and “book stores” in New York, San Diego, or wherever in the USA, and want to feel the thrill of something new, I hugely recommend one particular city.
Yes, it’s in Spain, Europe, and you have to fly to get there, but the cruising culture in this city is so different from anything you know that this might turn into a travel adventure of a lifetime.
In all major cities, at railroad stations, shopping malls, and some parks there are spots where you can experience what they call “deep tourism.” And Barcelona makes no exception. So, you can start exploring your options from the city’s main railway station, Sants Estación. There are two public restrooms, and the one by platforms 6 and 7 is where the real action happens. Sometimes guys move into the cubicles to continue what they’ve stated at the urinals. For those who need more space (and more partners!), there is another restroom, a much bigger one, by the metro entrance. As the urinals have partitions, it makes it difficult to see or interrupt the action. But! This was before the pandemic hit. Since then, the security staff at those most frequented public lavatories has become very paranoid. Some other stations and malls even hire additional staff to discourage cruisers from doing their business - the reason being that there have been cases of orgies involving ten and more people!
If you like it raw and risky, but the WC experience is not to your liking, I suggest that you try cruising in some parks and beaches instead - thus you will combine a pleasurable outdoor activity with your agoraphobic inclinations.
Montjuic is the large hill overlooking Barcelona, and the park there is one of the busiest gay cruising spots, especially in summer. As the activity is not limited to the nighttime only, you’d better look for more secluded areas during the daytime. You find them near the castle - its labyrinthine layout and a multitude of quiet paths provide certain privacy. At Montjuic, and especially around the Ethnographic and Archeology Museums, you’ll meet all types of men - from young students to old kink lovers, and, of course, tourists of all nationalities.
Mar Bella Beach is a nudist beach that is preferred by guys who love to let it all hang out. You won’t need Grindr to catch some fish there - making eye contact while nude sunbathing is all it takes. The sex itself is happening among the bushes separating the beach from the path. You may want to cool off after heated sex at the well-known gay beach bar, Chiringuito BeGay.
You may also want to check Park Güell and Bogatell Beach (just keep it behind the dunes).
And now from the parks and beaches, let’s move indoors for some more action.
You won’t believe it but cruising in Barcelona is very popular even among academic circles! Universitat Central Plaça for example provides excellent opportunities to find what you are looking for, sex-wise, of course, not academic-wise. There are men’s restrooms on each one of the five floors, with urinals and cabins that are big enough to accommodate a threesome… and more. The university is actually the safest place in the whole city for cruisers.
What can be more exciting than combining shopping and anonymous sex? You can do that at Diagonal Mar Shopping Center, and more specifically in the lavatories at Level 2. But if you fancy a more classic combination of drinks, music, and sex, I’d recommend Gaixample, the gay district of Barcelona. There, in its very heart, is Night Barcelona gay club. It has a zone with a dark room and cabins with glory holes. And the condoms are for free!
Cruising can also be done on the highways around the city, but you’d better stick to the above-mentioned places - for security reasons. And speaking about risks, do not forget the three golden rules of cruising:
Beware of pickpockets!
Always wear a condom!
Don’t get caught!