An American in Berghain

Schlecky Silberstein stumbled upon this instant Internet classic — an American from San Antonio decides on the spur of the moment to visit legendary Berlin nightclub Berghain and, as his Yelp review indicates, is scarred for life. I'm putting it after the fold because, well, this is Berghain we're talking about. You've been warned.

Here's the text of the review, link to original below:

Please excuse the long review, but I'm going to share with you my experience at Berghain. I was in Berlin a couple weeks ago and I was sitting in my hotel bar. I started chatting with a couple guys from London. They seemed normal and told me they were getting ready to head to the worlds coolest night club. I figure it's Saturday night…what the hell. So I ask them if I can tag along. They said no problem. One of them informs me that I should probably change clothes because this place is hard to get into, but they had a connection. They recommended that I go change into black, simple clothes. No buttons on the shirts and no hoodies. They said if I had a black scarf, that would be awesome. Said the door guy loves scarves and black clothes. So I go change and come back down to the lobby. We hail a cab and are now off to this place called Berghain.

Upon arriving…I see this super long line that's leading into what looks like a commercial building of some sort. I'd liken it to a warehouse. It's not inviting at all. The guys from London tell me we are going to cut in line. While we are standing there looking for the spot to cut, I take out my phone to check Facebook. One of the London guys goes into a rage and starts cussing me out and grabs my phone. Yelling…"DON'T LOOK AT YOUR PHONE. DON'T USE IT!" "THEY WON'T LET US IN!"…Anyway…we get to the front of the line and there's this creepy looking, older guy with ear rings–face tats and spikes in his lips. Supposedly he's some type of guru in the club scene. He's a weird guy and yes he had a scarf on. He looks me up and down and then waves us in using his pinky…Now things are about to get really weird.

Once inside, the music is blasting too loud. You could feel it in your chest. I thought the bass was going to set my heart off rhythm. I tell the two guys from London…"Let's go get a beer!"…They look at me like I am crazy. They offer me these strange looking little pills and I pass. No drugs for me. They both pop them and then start making out! I'm not talking about a little kiss or a peck, I'm talking open-mouth, tongue kissing. It was very aggressive/disturbing kissing. I didn't even know these dudes were gay! I look around and there are 3 or 4 naked guys dancing all crazy with erections. I decide to go get a beer and I tell myself—maybe I'm in the wrong part of the club? Maybe this is the gay section. Nope. The whole club is the gay section!

On the way to grab a beer, I pass in disbelief, a bearded guy butt fucking the crap out of another bearded dude. You could smell feces and sweat. I take my eyes off of that situation and it only gets worse. There's another guy, and I kid you not…he's got his arm, almost to his elbow, up another guys ass! I thought it was a magic trick or an illusion. It WASN'T! The guy that's basically getting impaled is enjoying it! I saw one guy getting tag teamed (double penetration style) by 2 guys! I said to hell with this…I'm out of here! As I'm leaving, I remember that one of those Londoner's has my phone. So I need to go to find him.

Now there are naked guys everywhere! Sucking each other off. Fisting each other. There was one dude that was riding another guy (cowgirl style) and yelling "Balles Tief!" "Balles Tief!"…I ask the dude next to me…"What's he screamin?!"…He informs "Balles Tief" is German for "Balls Deep"…

This Nazi looking guy comes up to me with a syringe and acts like he's going to stick me with it. I jump back and think about beating the shit out of him and he starts laughing and in very bad English says "You vant chemical to keep wake and make you high?"…As I'm saying "NO!"…a loud siren/whistle starts blowing and the whole club starts going bananas! I ask this guy who looks like a vampire…"What the hell is that? Is there a fire or terrorist or something?"…He does this weird  giggle and say's the siren means it's "Slip and Slide time!"…100's of guys, the ones that aren't already naked, drop there pants and start masturbating on the dance floor. Evidently, you are supposed to ejaculate on the floor and make it slippy and then naked guys go sliding through it! WTF! I look back and that vampire looking dude is jerking off in my direction. I throw a beer bottle at him and start hauling ass out of there.

I run past this one guy that seems to be injured and he's asking for help. I'm a pretty nice guy, so I ask what happened. He bends over and you can see this silicone/rubber looking object barely protruding out of his butt. You could barely see it. He then explains that he had shoved a rubber arm with fist up there and it was stuck! This guy thinks I'm going to help pull it out?!? Get the fuck out of here!

I finally get to the exit and I yell to that weirdo door man "YOU SICK BASTARD!"…I hail a cab and make it back to my hotel. That was my experience at the "worlds coolest night club"..I can handle a lot of stuff, but this place was WAY over the top. I will not be back. Never.

Read Kyle W.'s review of Berghain on Yelp

17 thoughts on “An American in Berghain

  1. Hehe, the poor chap probably got stuck in the Lab.Oratory, which is the hardcore, SM-friendly section of the Berghain. It’s funny how there were all these sensationalist “Erected cocks everywhere! Sex on the dancefloor! Trannies making it out on the men’s toilet! GHB!”-type Berghain virginity loss stories on the web, yet when you go there it’s basically like a huge night club in a stylish warehouse with an exceptionally good soundsystem and maybe just a bit more open sexual encounters than in other clubs.


  2. Some banalities you could come up with yourself if you wanted to.

    Exclusive groups require admission fees. Marines, Navy seals, US or French academic fraternities may expect newcomers to accept humiliation. You may be asked to kneel down, blindfolded, open your mouth, ingest whatever is coming, somebody might piss in your mouth. You’re expected to suppress the gag reflex, unflinching. When you do, things happen: they know they can rely on you in the future, as you want to belong badly, you’ll be an asset to the combat group under fire or the old boys network, which is the idea all along. You’ll understand, at the latest in this moment if you have been naive so far, that your tormentors had the same done to them, you know what they did last summer so to speak, and they’ll always know about what you’re doing right now–you’re accomplices now, you better stick together.

    The above is essential, it’s not much different elsewhere when people mingle. Mafiosi expect the rookie to commit a serious crime on their behalf, the killing or robbing being performative this time. The new one burns all bridges to his old group, forges a bond to the new one, the society of made men. St. Augustine wrote about the sacrificium intellectus required to belong to the family of the believers, credo quia absurdum, you’ll have to see the emperor’s new clothes. When the lackeys in Andersen’s tale profess publicly to each other what everyone knows to be a lie they do it for themselves, as the ritual of constantly pissing into each others mouth enforces cohesion of the group. They don’t do it to procure favours from the emperor as he’s their puppet, it’s the lickspittles who run the government. The emperor is the totem pole the dance around, constantly, as sacrificing your honour, your integrity, your soul, in exchange for the protection and the benefits of the group is tasking emotionally, contrary to the love of the self, and so needs constant repetition to stick.

    There needs to be a constant stream of agitprop, it’s the whip that needs to be cracked ever so often to get folks to tag along, each having the tendency to veer off course if left to his own devices for too long. To give one example heterosexual sex is constrained due to conflicting biological and thus psychological urges and needs of men and women. Most of us don’t get what we want all the time, in all the ways, we’re no Trump, no Clinton, we don’t dispense fifty shades of gray, we don’t treat women like shit, for much as they liked us to. If we had what it takes, which we don’t. It’s different with gays, they’re all men, a peculiar sort of men. If you check the medical stats, they die earlier, kill themselves much more often, are afflicted by a plethora of diseases, much more often then others. Their sex life is different, unconstrained, only age slows them down, and there’re many chemicals to help with that now, for a while. When Volker Beck buys crystal meth to spice up his orgies with much younger men it’s par for the course, as is the fact that he gets away with it, as is his lover’s early death. For some reason they assumed a special place in the progressive’s mythology, as do ‘migrants’ or other victim groups.

    When you suppress the gag reflex, publicly of course, that’s the idea, when you let your betters, your imaginary friends, ever watchful, ever vengeful, piss into your mouth, lapping it up thankfully, you get your club’s membership card renewed. For 24h.


  3. While we are at it, slip’n slide seems to be the modus operandi of pretty much everything when our betters appropriate the public goods in the course of the neoliberal revolution, be it ‘migration,’ fiscal, monetary, border policy, the economy, or, hey Andrew, the Clinton foundation. No wonder we’re expected to be cool about the Berghain “Klub Kultur,” if you learned to swallow there you’ll swallow everywhere, everything. Which is the idea, exactly.


  4. Erm… not sure you’re aware of what you’re writing, buddy. Isn’t personal choice a landmark sign of a free and open society? The choice of going to where you want without hassle, no matter if it’s a national museum, a café bar, a sports arena, or, indeed, a sex-friendly, gay-friendly techno club? Isn’t that what freedom is about? You underestimate the power of people making their own individual choices. We’re not all government/media slave drones, and not everything can be nailed down to a global conspiracy where evil NWO elites are trying to keep the little man in boxes, y’know? People do have their own preferences and choices.


  5. You imply on the fly that I want to restrict personal preferences and choices or that I detest individuality, be it gay or non gay, so you have something to reply, it doesn’t follow from what I wrote. Political discourse is performative almost always, so if somebody from the out-group dares to piss in your mouth while not having the license to ill you need to react, even when nothing witty pops up. Your reply uses several of Schopenhauer’s stratagems–false propositions, (implicit) argument ad hominem, false syllogisms, and diversion–one big straw man. Arguing with you is never rewarding, you’re smarter and better educated than average, as ‘progressives’ are wont to, but not that smart, never interesting, though you can whip up twisted rationalisations as you go with a vengeance. You’re the only one of Andrew’s progressive readers who cares to engage his opponents, I grant you that. There have been others, junger gott comes to mind, who could put up a better show, but they choose not to after Andrew decided to be funny about things. You actively don’t want to get my point, not even in order to refute it, Orwell’s concept of protective stupidity makes our arguments even less appealing, but I have to make do with what I got, it isn’t better in real life.

    btw, unrelated, Andrew, next time you go mopping up charming runnels here’s better gear for it, ebay just sent me a mail: wading like a boss!


  6. It is really hard to understand what you are trying to say. Obscure references and links do not help. I believe that if you have a genuine interest in holding a discussion you should strive for clarity. You don’t talk like that, or do you? I have a strong feeling that I would still disagree with you but at least I could read your posts.


  7. As closely I can tell, Mr. M is saying that Berghain and many people’s reactions to it is essentially a replay of ‘des Kaisers neue Kleider’ – a cesspit of degeneracy that non-degenerates praise out of fear of being accused of being too…. old fashioned, provincial, closed minded, conservative or whatever.

    And he says (by implication) that much of modern popular culture and political thought operate on the same principle – making people say foolish or demonstrably false things out of a fear of being ostracized.

    This was standard procedure in all communist countries – make people say false things as a way of humiliating them and breaking their will.

    This is also why it is countries with direct experience of communism reject so much of the conventional political wisdom of Western Europe and the EU – they didn’t navigate the perils of escaping the USSR’s patronage just to pay lip service to a different load of bullshit.


  8. As Mr. Podesta lays out here?

    I’m sorry I have to ask this – is this legit?

    If it is, the guy seems to know his German – and his Germany.

    Talk about cynicism!

    Stakhanov, you’re a child, compared to Mr. Podesta here.

    This emails should be nailed on every wall, as a guide to understanding the very possible next US administration.

    Dumb they are not.

    Thanks, wikileaks!

    No more need be said.

    Except that, be this legit, I will from now on be citing Mr. Podesta, of the US Democratic Party high ranks, wherever I go. Straight from the cardinal’s mouth.


  9. Thank goodness it ain’t legit.

    Just saw: it’s TO Mr. Podesta, not FROM.

    Man, that one had me for a moment.

    Was sort of wondering why Mr. P should spend so much time on this subject.

    Bring on Mrs. Clinton!

    Will be more careful next time, I promise.


  10. This is how I also understood his Philippica. And that’s why I replied that human beings do make personal choices for individual lifestyles. Some people simply like partying hard in a gay club, they don’t pretend to like it just because the government/the media say so (which it actually really doesn’t).

    I’ve only made a non-political comment about a Berlin techno club in the first place, there was no reason for going on about evil media or government conspiracies again. But since Möhling did have his go at getting personal, I may as well also do my bit. The way I see it, he’s a former Leninist/Maoist-cum-reactionary. Leninists and arch-conservatives have one thing in common: they do think that the big changes in society are made top-down, and not bottom-up. Conservatives look up to God/a divine ruler, whereas Leninists adhere to the party as the “avantgarde of the proletariat”. So if there’s any cultural development in society going in opposite to their own preferred direction, their credo is: “It’s the government’s fault, there are evil forces in and behind it. The solution is that we kick those bastards out and take back control of the state again”. It’s also why both are suckers for conspiracy theories while they’re not in charge. They simply have difficulties in understanding people as individual actors and cultural developments happening independently.

    To go back to the original point: No one is forcing anyone to do or like anything. When schools are now also teaching different kinds of sexuality to 12-year old kids, they’re not saying “You should all be gay or bisexual”, but they simply follow a development in society that has been going on for two decades. The state is always lagging behind cultural developments, it’s not enforcing them. There is no such thing as “political correctness”. Maybe there is the odd person who says things just because he thinks it’s cool, but in general that’s not the case.


  11. tl;dr–I’ll try to explain benway what status whoring is about.

    Back in the 70ies and 80ies I used to attend rallies against apartheid and solidarity concerts for the release of Nelson Mandela. The new left would muster all activities it had at its disposal against the regime–rallies, concerts, weekend seminaries, distributing leaflets, organizing boycott and divestment, readings, both poetry and prose, and thousands things more, the works.

    In 1994 the ANC came to power. Right from the first day they supported the government of Robert Mugabe, soon helping him economically, too. Mandela didn’t like it, but he was a figure head soon and told to shut up rudely by Mbeki et al, which he did, as he was old, sick and was soon to die. Estimates on Mugabes’ victims vary, from ten thousand to hundred thousands. Mugabe is a Shona, so are most members of his party, police, and military. Those killed, by torture, massacres, and three famines where mostly Matabele. Hard to say if the famines where due to corruption, ineptitude, or planned, but Mugabe saw to it that Matabele would suffer. The Matabele conquered the then Shona State of Zimbabwe some hundred years ago, the Shona never forgot, but the British enforced imperial rule and kept this under the lid, so did the regime of Ian Smith. The new left never did a thing about Mugabe–no rallies, no concert, no boycott, no leaflets, no debates, nothing.

    In 1999 Mandelas’ successor Tbabo Mbeki ordered a new policy on AIDS–no more retro-viral medication for the infected, as supposedly it was ineffectual and just a way for white pharma to milk poor blacks, AIDS being the CIA’s tool to kill blacks anyway. The many million South Africans with AIDS were told to take vitamin supplements–a quack from Germany, one prof. Rath was hired by the health ministry. He had to stop his dealings in Germany on court order earlier.

    A couple of years later two evaluations where published, one by the Dean of Economics of the University of Cape Town, another by a study group of the Harvard School of Public Health. Both had about the same numbers–more than 300.000 dead already, tens of thousands new infections. People would die like flies, it got so embarrassing that the program was stopped eventually.

    If you try to cure millions with AIDs using vitamin supplements almost all will die, if ‘cured’ that way long enough. In 1999 that was clear to anybody reading the papers and knowing the rule of three, and yet the new left did nothing, crickets chirped. Neither did I. We had fought the white government–who was I to ask my comrades to fight the black government now. Didn’t want to be a party pooper, didn’t even wanted to irritate. So I screwed myself and betrayed the blacks in South Africa we had pretended to care about for decades. Turns out we didn’t. Sure, we felt bad for them, but acting would have meant to fall in disgrace with our peers, to lose our religion, so we shut up, though feeling funny, at least I did.

    In retrospect, we did it for ourselves, to be a new vanguard of the oppressed–we had discarded the old oppressed, ‘the masses’ in our countries, for not be willing to revolt on our guidance–they were less then impressed when we tried to ‘agitate’ them in the factories or on the streets (“go to work, you assholes” they would yell). Now we where a vanguard again, we had a new revolutionary subject, and those damned masses were a bunch of racist white swine (we were white, too, but hey!). Served them well, with them not doing our bidding–valiant artists, students, and activist. Lately we added new items to the shit list, the swine are now homophobes, transphobes, Islamphobes, and what not–we’re being creative and we won’t forget what those treacherous bastards did. To us. Besides they pay the taxes that pay most of the works of love we do to save the world of its ills. Must be kept under control, the swine.

    btw. every few years a UN conference on Racism is held in Durban, S.A. (Durban I to III). No African government ever got dissed, not the ANC, not Mugabe, and certainly not the Arabs or Ottomans for thousand years of slave trade. Muslims won’t pay up, they’re no suckers, so blacks don’t even try. Instead repeated resolutions against Zionism, Israeli delegates got shouted at and spit on. Funny how that works.

    Benway, you think Black Lives matter? To you and your peers? Or any lives, any victim group, Muslims, migrants?


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