It is 4 am and I just got home. I am so impressed with what I saw that I cannot sleep and I need to tell about this straight away.
Unfortunately, for reasons that will be mentioned below, I cannot provide real pictures of the night. So I will illustrate my narration in a different way!
I came to Berlin for a month to practice German and to explore the city, which I have never visited before. By “exploring” I mean not only visiting all the most famous landmarks like Branderburger Tor or taking a must-have picture of the glass Roof of the Reichstag, but to also meet locals, discover their favourite places to be in, their tastes in fashion and clothing and to understand their mentality. Night clubs, if you manage to get into a nice insider one are often a nice place to watch the locals. So I went into one last night in Berlin.
The first time I heard about KitKat was from my newly obtained friend Hendrik, a berliner. He said he never went there but it is “very famous” in Berlin. He instructed me on how to dress to get in, because apparently its not so easy: “Either wear all black or dress up like a freak”. Okay, roger that. He then told me that Berlin “night clubs” are crazy and very alternative and have all sorts of things happening there, thus most of them forbid taking pictures and for example KitKat’s main rule is “what happens in KitKat, stays in KitKat”. Then he said I should not go alone, it is not safe.
It was Friday evening, I got invited by an Italian groupmate Lucia from my German language courses to join her and her friends at the bar in Kreuzberg (a freaky neighbourhood of Berlin) and to later go to KitKat. I couldn’t refuse it. Got a company to go and explore the famous club and see what is it that happens there and stay safe.
There were five of us, Lucia, two Italian guys, and 2 French girls. We met up in a bar for some pre drinks and a bit of dancing. We were all aiming to practice German, but the conversation would always slip into Italian, English and French. Nice international atmosphere, just like I love it, and my brain slowly leaking out of my ear because of the constant switching of languages.
As soon as we felt like we are ready to go we started off to KitKat, taking the U-bahn. Two stops later we arrived at Heinrich-Heine Straße.
Here it is. The long waited visit to KitKat.
From the outside it looked like a regular shabby night club. On the door there was a printed A4 warning sign prohibiting GHB (a drug that is used to on other people in order to rape them). “Surely, just because there is that sign noone would ever dare to bring the drug in, we’re safe”, was the nervous giggle.
The first layer of security was easy to get through, standard ID and bags check. The second layer was the one we all feared most, as we heard that correct dressing was the key to successful entry into the club. I went with black jeans and a nice black top, following Hendrik’s instructions. Ready to paaaarrrtaaaaaayyy!!
Little did we know that the existing third layer was the one that really defines whether you can entry or not. It was the wardrobe layer, where you had to leave your bags, compulsory your phones as no pictures were allowed (“What happens in KitKat stays in KitKat”), and, the worst, at least one of your clothing items. Yep. Stepped right into German night club culture, apparently. You have to take either your top or bottom off, at the very least. So in the end what I was wearing didn’t even matter that much, I had to take it off anyway and stay in my jeans and my lace bralette. “Ah, whatever”, I thought, pulling off my top, “They say leaving the comfort zone is fun”. Lucia looked rather stressed leaving her comfort zone and at first was covering herself with hands.
The design of the club was the first thing to jump into my eyes. It was rather trashy and composed out of everything. The only 2 things that were however following the same lines and were clearly put there for certain reasons, were the art on the walls and convenietly located couch-beds. All the wall-art was picturing moments of the sins of the flesh, very very very openly. The one that I found disturbing was a picture of the Last Supper turned into an animated orgy.
The couch-beds were there mostly not for people to sit down if they are tired, but to have sex. And they did have sex. Oh yeah, they did. Around the club, the dance floor, there was even a speacial room above the dance floor. In another part of the club there was an open roof space with an ice-cold swimming pool. And people had sex there too.
People around were either partly undressed, like us, either fully undressed and wearing funny clothes (very softly speaking), bondages and latex. I saw a couple of transgender people and men on heels and with makeup. People that were wearing regular jeans and t-shirts were obviously tourists and… Wait, how did they manage to stay dressed at all?
At some point I felt a sudden chilly touch on the skin of my back and turned. A guy, that looked to me as in his mid-30s, pleasantly smiling, was standing there only wearing boxers and stroking my back with a short whip: “You have to greet the skin first”. I nervously smiled and nodded. “May I?…” he then asked, showing with a gesture that he wanted to whip me on my back. I guess the expression of the paralysing horror on my face made him understand that he better not. His friend, let’s call him Claus, suggested we should introduce ourselves. Yeah, definitely gonna make me feel relaxed and help me let random people in a night club whip me as much as they want. I felt so paralised with panic that the only thing i managed to do was to give my name. Now, sober and fully conscious, without pressure of stress, I keep justifying it with the polite manner in which the first guy, let’s call him Rolf, asked me. I mean, at least he asked nicely without spanking me against my will, right?..
“Well, its good that you are here on a Friday, if you are a beginner… (beginner?) Saturdays get wild”, he chuckled. “Enjoy KitKat! And by the way, nice ass!” and he dissolved into the crowd. Confused by an unexpected compliment (umm… Thanks?) I immediately decided that I would not be progressing from beginner anywhere even slightly upwards.
The music playing was techno. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I still enjoyed the place because of its carelessness. People come here to completely relax and do whatever the hell they want to do. But who are these people? What do they do for a living? Do they have relationships? And wait, I am in Germany. So aren’t Germans supposed to be prudent and strict and absolutely unmerciful (they made me pay a huge fine for buying a tube ticket for a reduced price, even though it happened by accident) ? Couldn’t answer these questions myself so I went onto looking for my new German friend.
This turned out not to be so easy as I hoped it would be. By this time the club got more crowded and my gaze was constantly crashing into someone’s penis, or high heeled latex boots on a hairy leg of a normal looking guy, or that couple of bald men in their late 60’s, taking turns to satisfy each other orally. I think I got myself a psychological trauma. But finally my eyes caught the whip and its owner. I quickly approached him and shouted through the loud banging of the music to talk to me. Rolf smiled and nodded and followed me into the quieter area. On the way I caught a horrified look from Lucia, who had absolutely no idea where to hide her eyes, because wherever she looked she would always see german wursts, so many of them (and I am not talking about the food).
Rolf and Claus were very nice and readily answered all of my questions. Even though they were polite, I felt a little bit uncomfortable, as Claus could hardly distinguish between my breasts and my eyes when talking to me. They told me that clubs of this kind started appearing after the reunification of Germany, that people of all sorts were here, that this was a nice escape from everyday life and everybody was safe because, you know, what happens in KitKat stays in KitKat. Rolf told me that he never met as many respectable people in one place as he did in KitKat. He himself, for example. is a classical music composer, loves going to opera and has a girlfriend. I know, I know, right?!
So how come people that are stereotypically and practically (as my little U-Bahn misfortune shows) so strict can be so SO alternative? Claus suggested, still staring below my neck, that this lifestyle was some sort of compensation of german forced lifestyle in the past. His father, for example, was not allowed to address his parents in any way other than “sir” and “madam”. Well, I heard many stories like that, so it doesn’t sound too absurdish, but anyway who knows what the real reasons are.
Rolf added that, unlike many other clubs, the regular ones, KitKat is nicer. This sounded like nonsense, but I actually agree. KitKat doesn’t judge people for anything, because people come here to fully relax and be themselves without the pressure of society, there are no games going. If you like someone, you come up and talk. If you fancy someone, you can come up and ask if you can kiss them, hug them, have sex with them. They have a right to refuse and if they do you just leave. Thus noone’s personal space is intruded without his consent. And no creepy looks. You know, these ones:
I thanked Rolf and Claus for the conversation and returned to the dance floor, quickly finding my Franco-Italian gang. We danced for a while (more like, shaked as if we were struck with electricity) and then Lucia, who got more or less relaxed about being here asked me to go with her to sit on the couch to relax. I followed her and sat on the edge of the sofa, trying not to think about what had very likely happened on this sofa before. But hardly had we sat down, a topless guy with a weird afro appeared and sat right in the middle of us. He rested his arm around Lucia’s shoulder and tried doing the same with me. It looked approximately like this:
So here was the exception from the rules, that one guy that needs to stand out and intrude the personal space. And I really don’t like it when my personal space is not respected. I felt the blood starting to boil in my veins and my Russian accent about to burst out. Had it been several seconds more, I would break the so-self-confident-playboy’s arm right there, swearing at the thing (who by the way looked like he was 16) and scaring him to death. I think he felt it because he suddenly backed off. Or maybe it was the growl that I possibly let slip out? Anyway, good for him. But he kept intruding Lucia’s personal space. Poor thing looked so scared and petrified that I think she had no other choice but to adopt a famous defence technique, used by possums: pretend to be dead, the predator will leave. And so he did.
I decided it was time to leave too. KitKat was too dope for me. But it was a nice experience, that proved another time that life is great in its diversity. And while I am laughing and making fun of it, finding it entertaining and hilarious, in no way I judge or disapprove of the lifestyle the regulars of KitKat are leading. I am glad that people have an opportunity to live the way the want to live, not restricted by irrational judgements and old-fashioned opinions. In the end, it’s noone’s business how a person wants to live his life and how exactly he wants to have sex. I ll finish my thought with Dr.Kelso, setting a role attitude for all of us.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.