Place: Barcelona, Spain
Date: Aug 5 – Aug 16
Weather : Better than in the UK and that is all that matters.
Event: Circuit festival Barcelona, organised by the Matinee group. Each August, Spain’s second city hosts Europe’s largest gay festival, attracting 71,000 visitors this year. The city is taken over by non-stop clubbing and pool parties and a lot of posing on the beach.
The Crowd: Gay, Lesbians, everything in-between and their admirers. All ages, shapes and sizes and mostly down for whatever.
Me: I didn’t work my butt off in the gym and diet for 3 months prior, to get beach ready. I didn’t pack a suitcase full of tank tops, shorts, swim trunks, condoms and lube. My intention on this trip was not to have sex, but to observe, take notes and report back. (If you believe that, please stop reading now!!!)
Tickets and party guides complete with DJ line up, were released weeks in advance by the organisers. Some club events were held by the pool in the day time and others at night in sports and club venues. I opted to go for daytime pool parties as I need the sun and did not fancy being cramped in a club. Plus I am a light weight and need to re-charge my batteries at night. (My energizer bunny days have long gone)
I purchased tickets for to the Matinee pool party and the main event the Water park day.
Matinee pool party
On the day at about 2pm I headed for Placa de Catalunya, a 10 minute walk from the hotel to catch a bus to the party. The organisers had arranged for buses to take revellers to and from the large party venue on the outskirts of the city. Fare was only 5 euros for a round trip. There was a gaggle of people on the bus. Groups of friends going together, couples, singles, fuck buddies, pre-shags, shags, post shags, etc and mostly loud. But they could be forgiven; it is all the excitement, albeit natural or artificially induced.
We arrived at the venue, which was a sports complex with a large outdoor swimming pool. We went through some security checks not dissimilar to those carried out at airports. Only this time, we were not asked for our passports and everyone was subjected to a Quasi-cavity search to check for drugs. The security guy patted my balls down and ran his fingers along my ass crack. I know the Spanish can be a bit touchy feely, but I thought that was a bit personal, especially since he didn’t say “Hola” first.
Got through security and I made a quick dash for the toilet to take a leak. There was a long queue of guys waiting to get into the men’s toilet. Typical of events like these and gay clubs – the guys were queuing to use the cubicles while the urinals were free. I walked past the long line and used free urinal. Guys were coming out and going into the cubicles two sometimes three at a time to get their high or to have sex. Or both.
I eventually got to the main party area pool side. There was a stage in front of the swimming pool. The stage was large enough for a DJ and about 6 go-go dancers. In front of the stage was a dance area packed with 200 – 300 revellers.
Music blasting over the loudspeakers was Electro house dance music. Though there were 3 DJ’s lined up to play at different times, I couldn’t tell when the transition was made from one DJ set to the next. They all sounded the same to me, but the connoisseurs were able to tell the subtle difference.
The topless Go-go dancers on the stage were within the body type range of athletic/defined to big muscular/defined. Their dance moves were easy to follow. “Left leg forward left leg back. Right leg forward, right leg back; left bicep curl; right bicep curl. Then after every five or so repetitions they did the discus thrower spin then back to the leg routine. Simple choreography. Not too demanding and suitable for the music that, let’s face it doesn’t require any complex choreography. But who cares – This wasn’t So you think you can dance.
I got myself a drink from the bar and found a spot on the dance floor to move my limbs around. Got dancing with a few guys around me, some as high as a kite, some not so high. I was offered some drugs (makes you wonder what those security guards were looking for! Pervs!!!! ) and I politely declined saying I was on something and I flashed a tic-tac that I had hidden in my mouth.
I had developed a way of not offending people when I refuse their offer to partake in drug taking on the dance floor. I carry some tic-tac with me and pop one in my mouth at regular intervals. That way it looks like I am on something. Then when anyone offers me anything, I quickly flash the “pill” in my mouth, and then act crazy. Most times they don’t notice the difference, so long as I am on something, that’s all that matters.
After about 2 hours on the dance floor, the heavens opened up and it started raining. (I blame my dance moves). I left the dance floor and took shelter around the bar area which was covered and watched the die-hard revellers dance in the rain.
I exchanged numbers with a few guys with the view of possibly meeting sometime later in the week. After an hour the rain still persisted, the party was sill going strong, but I wasn’t going to catch a chill. So I left the venue and got on the bus and headed back to Barcelona. It was a very interesting event and I did enjoy myself.
WATER PARK DAY
This is the main event and the one not to miss in the festival. It was held in a huge water park called Illa Fantasia just outside Barcelona. Doors opened from 10am, but the DJs start their set on the main stage from 2pm to 10pm according to the party agenda. Revellers have access to all the park’s attractions from opening to just before sunset.
People were bussed from Placa de Catalunya to the water park. Just like the main event the queues to get on the bus, to enter the venue and to get a locker to store a change of clothes are legendary and could last for hours. I jumped in a taxi to beat most of that and got to the venue by 11am. At that time there were easily over 1000 people at the park, but there wasn’t much of a wait to get into the venue itself but a longer wait to get a locker to keep my stuff.
Once revellers got past security (again I was fondled without so much as a Hola), we got handed a bag each with essentials – a paper fan with the Matinee logo, sunglasses, a plastic protective cover for our mobile phones and a packet of condom and lube. The last one content made me smile – as if one condom would be enough. I had back up just incase.
I acquired a locker, changed into my swim shorts and headed for the slides. They experience was awesome. I haven’t had so much fun in forever. The slides were of various heights and structural often spiral, complexity. Basically, the taller the slides the more the twists and turns, the bigger the thrill.
Real men (well sort of) went for the tallest slides. I did. I climbed up the steps to the top of the slide, a real man with my thug swagger, but somehow on my way down transitioned into a screaming teenage girl, holding on to her Brazilian weave ,when splashing into the water at the bottom end of the slide. But I still had my swagger when I came out of the pool. Word! That thing was scary but exhilarating at the same time!! What an adrenaline rush!!
Having had my fill of the slides and my vocal chords thoroughly exercised, I had a quick bite to eat just as the music at the main stage started playing. By now there were easily 6000-7000 people in the park and least 5000 of them in the main party area dancing to the music.
On the stage the standard issue hot go-go dancers were doing their thing, similar to what they did at the pool party a few days earlier, even though the music this time was more groovy and soulful. The atmosphere was definitely more exciting. It might have been the hot weather, the alcohol, the hot bodies, lack of attitude, the swimming pools or my tic-tac or all of the above, but it was fun, fun, fun.
I took a few selfies with random people and exchanged a few numbers for later. There was a particular guy I saw wandering around, wide-eyed and looking lost. He was average height, defined body, wearing a pair of stars and stripes swim trunks, which he filled out both anteriorly and posteriorly, but mostly the latter. Above the noise he introduced himself as Marco and he was stoned out of his head but somehow lucid, though it took him 5 mins to punch his number into my phone. He gestured for me to follow him to one of the toilets for a shag. I declined his kind offer, since he was stoned out of his mind and mostly because the lines to the toilets were at least an hour long with people wanting to go in to have sex and/or take drugs. He wandered off again – On to the next one!
I also bumped into a few guys I knew from London and a few I had encounters with on my travels. One in particular, came and hugged me and introduced me to his boyfriend as a guy he had worked with a couple of years ago in Windhoek, Namibia. I have never been to Namibia. But thank goodness, for the improvisation classes I took last year, I was able to play along. I remember meeting him in Milan a couple of years ago and he was a good lay. He sent me a message later thanking me for not blowing his story and causing trouble with his boyfriend of 5 years.
There was an all night party immediately after the water park at the same venue. I didn’t stay on for that. It would take a lot of stamina to stay on for that after the day event. (There is only so much tic- tac one can take). I heard attendance was equally high and it was good fun as well.
Still, If you can only go to one circuit festival event, make it the Water Park day.
The nudist part of Platja de la Mar Bella beach is the gay beach. This is where everyone hangs out during “downtime”. Usually busy all day everyday during the Circuit festival, except on the Pool party and Water park main event days.
I visited the beach on 4 different days. On each visit, I couldn’t see the beach sand for the bodies on the beach. It was packed. It was like a colony of seals had landed on the beach. Only in this case it was more US NAVY SEALS than actual seals. Like a friend said, this is where guys (and some girls) come to “Peacock” (showcase) their bodies.
And he was right. I couldn’t keep up with the eye candy dotted around the place. All forms of hot bodies, lean, toned, athletic, muscular (subdivided into natural and steroid), even some of the generously portioned guys looked attractive in their own niche way under the sun.
There were models imported from Argentina and Brazil, modelling ES swimwear brand and advertising future Matinee events.
The water? Not sure what it was like. I was too busy ogling the bodies and flirting I forgot to take a dip. Besides, I didn’t want to get my swim trunks wet.
El Sexo (The Shags)
I was able to convert some of the phone numbers I collected along the way, into actual hook ups, in addition to the customary Grindr hook ups. What can I say? It was a busy trip.
One encounter was after the Water park. It wasn’t Marco- I suspect he was still wandering around the Water park wide eyed – but another equally hot guy but more muscular and a nice juicy backside. He was of Middle Eastern and Colombian parentage. He came to my hotel room just after midnight and we got down to business. About 15 minutes into drilling away inside him, which from his deep moans he seemed to be enjoying, he broke proceedings to go to the toilet.
After about 5 mins he came out saying he was bleeding. He explained that to get past the security checks at the water park he stuffed a condom containing a small bottle of GHB, up his bum without lube. (Ohhh so that’s how they fucking did it). He had hurt himself in the process and the sex seemed to aggravate the abrasion. So now he was sore and couldn’t continue. He apologised and left, promising to meet up sometime to finish off. Of course that never happened.
Another hook up was a Swedish guy I met via Grindr. He was masculine around 6’3” tall, easily weighed about 95kg, athletic build, a Thai boxer with nice arse and a big cock. From the moment he got into my room he wasted no time taking off his shorts and t-shirt and got on his knees and pulled down my shorts and got down to business.
We eventually got on the bed and after some more foreplay, he positioned me on my back and put a condom on my dick. Back facing me, he straddled me and guided my cock into his arse getting into the crouching tiger position (I would have said it was a nod to his Thai boxing, but it’s the wrong country) and started gliding up and down my dick. I had to control my breathing to contain the excitement of watching his muscular butt going up and down on me. I just lay back and put my hands behind my head watched.
When he was done in that position, he spun around with the agility of an athlete, so that he was now facing me. We were now in the cowboy position. And boy did he ride. He rode slowly at first, and then fast and furious till he growled and shot is wad over my belly. I was about 5 seconds behind him; I too came. Before he left, he promised to look me up when next he visits London.
It wasn’t all good news shag wise. I hooked up with an Italian who spoke as much English as I did Italian. But we managed to reach an agreement on time and expectations, via the power of picture exchange and basic exchanges like “big cock”, “Safe sex” “condoms”, “no drugs” and “clean ass”.
The last one must have been lost in translation, because when I got to his place and we got down to business after about ten strokes, things got messy. I pulled out, went to the toilet and whipped off the messy condom and cleaned up. He was ready to continue, but I made my excuses and left. Note to self: Find emoticons that spell out DOUCHING IS FUNDAMENTAL
To sum it all up, I had a blast. Barcelona is a very beautiful city with a rich historical and architectural background and I have always enjoyed it even without Circuit festival. All the way from the airport into the city there were huge Billboards with male models, advertising the circuit festival. These were visible in the city as well in the form of posters everywhere and the rainbow flags festooned shop floors.
This general acceptance is all over Spain. I read a Bloomberg report recently that Gay tourists contributed around $6.8billion to the Spanish economy. Gay people on average spend 30% more than mainstream tourist.
The report went further to give a bit of background:
“Spain in 2005 became the third European nation to legalize gay marriage — after Belgium and the Netherlands — emerging from the shadow of the Roman Catholic dictatorship of General Francisco Franco who died in 1975. That move established Spain’s credentials as a holiday destination where people can feel relaxed about their sexuality, sometimes in a way they can’t back home.
During the two-week party Barcelona is plastered in posters featuring male models advertising parties aimed at gay visitors and stores carry signs with special offers…”
As I boarded my flight back to London, having stocked up on tic-tacs in the duty free shop in preparation for my next Circuit festival Barcelona, I thought wouldn’t it be nice if Nigeria could take steps to embrace a bit of that $6.8billion?
Just a thought, just a thought