Tag Archives: travel


Tel Aviv Pride

If you’re not in Tel Aviv this weekend then you’re missing out.

Tel Aviv Pride is celebrated throughout the month of June with beach parties, exhibitions, festivals, concerts and a city-wide Pride Parade which attracts over 20,000 international visitors. In 2012 Tel Aviv was named the ‘World’s Best Gay City’ and take it from someone who has visited the place 3 times, it certainly deserves the title. Not only are the men gorgeous but the vibe of the city is electric. It is often referred to as “the (other) city that never sleeps” due to the nighttime culture and general YOLO attitude of the Israeli people: I guess that’s a result of living in a hostile region where YOLO takes on a whole new meaning.

Israel has a very progressive attitude towards homosexuality, particularly when it comes to treatment of gays in the military. Openly gay soldiers serve without hindrance in all branches of the military. Discrimination against gay and lesbian soldiers in recruitment, placement and promotion is prohibited as is harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation.The military recognizes same-sex couples, including widows and widowers of the same-sex, while homosexuals have been allowed to serve openly since 1993.

Where else in the Middle East could you get away with this camp Pride video (without fear of persecution)?

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Slim Aarons

From the moment you turn the first page of “Poolside with Slim Aarons” you are transported to a glamorous and carefree world, where the pool is the universe, the people are the stars and the colours are nostalgic. Slim Aarons captures private moments in time from the pools of the super rich and famous. It is through these brief but expressive moments that the viewer is allowed a limited and curious peak into a life that only the most privileged have ever experienced.

The men and women in Slim Aarons’ images embody a sexuality and beauty that has long been lost in these modern days of plastic surgery, gym toned bodies and super skinniness; there’s a refreshing lack of self consciousness.

Three pages in and you begin to fantasise about sipping mojitos poolside in Palm Springs. You start to form fabricated memories of a life you may have once lived in a villa in Positano or a summer retreat in Mexico.  And this is why “Poolside” is one of my favourite books – it truly provokes the imagination. It allows you to create a story, one in which you’re the main character, sitting poolside in the life of your dreams.

Purchase the book here: Amazon.com

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Las Vegas

Las Vegas tourism has launched a glossy new campaign targeting the gay travel dollar. These posters reminded me of my own experiences in Sin City…

If you’ve never been to Las Vegas then your perception of the place is probably based on movies such as The Hangover or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. After visiting Sin City in August 2012, I can confirm that these movies are indeed fair and accurate documentations of the kinds of debauchery that one can expect. There’s something about the mix of weather, people, alcohol and desert isolation that makes visitors crazy. After only 3 nights of intense partying, I was glad to have made it out alive.

I never had the inclination to visit Vegas. Casinos, breasts and fake Venetian canals never did appeal to me but when I was asked to be best man at my best friend’s wedding in New York, I knew that there was only one place to host the bachelor party. And if we were going to do Las Vegas, we were going to do it right!

As the only gay man in a group of 12 very straight boys, I surrendered myself to the reality that I would have to partake in many a “straight” activity over the weekend. It didn’t even cross my mind that there would be any potential for some gay quiet time, not that it bothered me. I quite enjoyed dancing with strippers on tables in nightclubs and having conversations with waitresses at restaurants. Though, a part of me was curious as to whether or not there was a side of Las Vegas that I was missing. A side filled with hot American boys who played for my team.

It was thanks to a stripper named Destiny (or Cherry or Chastity) that I was to be introduced to the other side of Vegas. Destiny had been flirting with me for a good half hour while sitting on my lap in our cabana at the Encore Beach Club. I had tired of the conversation and was becoming slightly unhinged by the amount of our alcohol that she was consuming. Obviously I would never normally do anything to sabotage the enjoyment of my straight friends but I couldn’t take any more advances from opportunistic girls who wanted to drink for free.

“I’m gay”, I announced bluntly over the sounds of Calvin Harris’ DJ set in the hope to deflect her from our cabana.

“Well then let’s go find you a man”, responded Destiny with a sense of child like eagerness and excitement.

Destiny dragged my by the hand and led me around the pool, which was overflowing with muscle men and half naked girls, indicating to the crowd with bizarre and obscene hand gestures that I was a homosexual. Much time had passed and I was starting to feel like the only gay in the village when Destiny spotted a handsome young chap amongst the sea of party people. We waded through the lukewarm water (which was a pleasant relief from the 49 degree desert heat) towards the young man.

“I’m Destiny and this is my gay boyfriend. You guys should hang out” explained Destiny.

And hang out we did. For the next 12 hours, me and my new Canadian friend explored the other side of Las Vegas. I didn’t feel guilty abandoning my friends because over the course of the pool party they too had found their own things to “do”. We ran around The Strip and hopped from bar to bar, party to party, pool to pool late into the night and the next morning until we parted ways and promised to stay in touch (which we all know never happens).

Overall my Vegas experiences was everything I had hoped for, and more. As best man, I had coordinated an epic weekend for my mates and we had certainly done it right with limos, tables, dinners, clubs, parties, girls AND boys. Everyone had fulfilled their expectations while some of us had our expectations surpassed.

You may be curious as to what else happened between me and the Canadian but as the old adage goes “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”…..

What is your craziest Vegas story?

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