One lonely boot hanging in-front of the building and a small sign high upon the wall is the only sign of Antwerp’s biggest and hottest fetish club.
This fetish venue is in the northern part of Antwerp city centre, in a quiet street. They even have a sign on the way out informing visitors that this is a residential area, and to keep the noise to a minimum outside.
As the Boots is a members-only club, you have go sign up for a membership to be able to enter. But you can sign up for a weekend membership, if you are visiting for a short period, like for the Leather Pride Belgium. And you can do it at the door. You will get a card that says that you are a member, to use the next time you enter. You do not need the card when you are inside the club.
When entering the club, you get a drinking card, where your coat hanger number is noted (if you use one). This is also used when you order something at one of the bars, and you pay when you leave.
The club is using the whole building. Starting at the bottom, which might be one level below street level. Here you can find some play areas, with benches, slings, gynaecology chair, as well as a small bar, with a sling and benches. The level above is mostly used as a hallway, but it also contains an extra cloakroom. The next level is where you enter the club, with the reception, cloakroom and toilets/changing area. You will walk up one flight of stairs from street level to get to this level.
Above the reception, you will find the main bar, with a smokers lounge and a large number of boots hanging in the ceiling. Further up it is a cruising floor, with a labyrinth, tub, slings and benches. And at the top level, there is a small bar among seating and play areas.
The area above the main bar might be closed off if it is a slow night. Be aware of the black light they are using, some might find that it makes it difficult to see when the eyes are directly exposed. Not dangerous, unless you walk into a wall.
We were visiting during the leather and fetish pride, when the city was full of hot and horny men. And probably most of them visited the Boots at some point, judging by the sexy atmosphere that was felt throughout the building.
If you take a taxi back to your hotel, make sure they start the taximeter. I got ripped off. One should think that such things would not happen in Belgium, but I was wrong.
CSD in Berlin is one of the biggest gay pride event in Europe. In 2016 it happens on Saturday July 23, a month later than usual due to the football EM-cup. This year they have decided to use the motto or slogan if you will “Danke für nix”, or translated into English “Thanks for nothing”. It is a reaction to the German Bundestag (parliament) not voting same sex marriages (or gender neutral marriages) into law last fall. It will be interesting to see how this will be used under the event. To hear a speech given by a passionate and a bit angry German is still a bit unsettling, even if the subject of the talk is equal rights to all.
Well, back to the event. It starts with a parade from Kurfürstendamm (near the Berlin Zoo) and walks towards Brandenburger Gate, via Nollendorf Platz and Siegessäule. Between the Siegessäule and Brandenburger Gate is the Pride Village. With a lot of stalls, where you can buy drinks, food and other commercial products as well as visit different organisations. You will also find a couple of stages with different DJs in this area. At the Brandenburger Gate you will find a big stage with speakers, bands and entertainment. The Pride Village closes at midnight.
There is lots of people everywhere, the forest around the Pride Village (Tiergarten) becomes a crusing area, or a bigger crusing area than normal. They even set up big floodlights in the forest in the evening (at least they did last year). These lights make some parts of the forest a bit like an episode of X-files.
I recommend to check out BLF (Berlin Leather and Fetish e.V.) beer wagon. It is a natural gathering point for Leather men and other twisted guys. Maybe I see you there?
As always, play safe and mind the Jägermeister.