Despite having a large gay community, Stockholm lacks the sex culture of nearby Copenhagen. While Swedes have a cultural love of saunas, the gay saunas were closed in the 1980s during the AIDS crisis, never to reopen. Gay Stockholmers do frequent the handful of local gay bars, but wide cultural acceptance of homosexuality means they’re often as comfortable in straight clubs. The sex scene heavily favours meeting online, but horny tourists still have a few options to get their rocks off.
Stockholm’s only cruise bar, SLM (Scandinavian Leather Men), is open a mere three nights a week. But clubgoers make up for the lack of hours with the level of action. Complete with a darkroom, slings, bootblack station and dancefloor, the club is simultaneously cruisy and social. Regular members greet each other with warm hugs, while newcomers are made to feel welcome.
Easily missed from the street, the club entrance is marked only by a tiny sign and a doorbell. The club maintains a fetish dress code: leather, rubber, nudity and sportswear are strongly encouraged, though a pair of jeans and a dark T-shirt should be enough to get you through the door. Special events include naked nights, piss parties and seasonally themed evenings like Merry Crisco.
Part of a network of clubs throughout Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, the “members only” bar is run by volunteers. All visitors must fill in a form and pay a membership fee, even for a single entry. Memberships range from one month (150 krona) to one year (400 krona), but if you plan to be in town even a week, it’s worth the price. The action gets heavy in the backroom, with plenty of full-on fucking and sucking. But be warned: the lights come on promptly at 2am.
At that point the action heads to the city’s video clubs. Although there are several scattered around the city, most of the action is concentrated at two places. US Video is the most popular. The main floor sells toys, DVDs and clothes, while the basement is a cruisey maze of video cabins and darkrooms. The crowd is mixed and there’s plenty of action. Condoms are not always available, so be sure to bring your own. The cover charge (100 krona) gets you a single entry through the imposing metal turnstile, so if you need any supplies from the store, be sure to get them before you head downstairs.
Aptly named, with its bare stone walls and precariously low ceilings, The Basement is less busy but more centrally located. The upstairs hosts a tiny selection of DVDs and toys, while the lower level is a maze of cabins and cinemas, with plenty of glory holes and a sling. Unlike a conventional video club, it features a shower and douche station, with towels available at the front desk. The club is busiest on theme nights, which include Naked, Underwear and Blackout parties. The entry fee allows in/out privileges for the entire day, so you can always come back later if there’s no one to your liking.
Even if the city errs on the conservative side when it comes to public sex culture, with a little effort, visitors to Stockholm will find plenty of action.
Wed, 7–11pm; Fri & Sat, 10pm–2am
Membership, 150–400 SEK; additional cover on special nights
Entry: 100 SEK
Sun–Thurs, noon–6am; Fri & Sat, noon–8am
Entry, 100 SEK; Wednesdays, 70 SEK