Summer in Berlin is marked by much celebration. Perhaps the most beloved of these celebrations is the progressive Fusion Festival, an underground music and art festival that takes place 180 KM outside the city. At the time of Fusion, the city slowly empties and those left behind are wondering where everyone went and what they are doing there.
This is an anonymous account of a Rave-elation experience of a former straight boy turning into a confused individual at this festival in 2013:
I was at Fusion Festival without a place to sleep and, having lost track of my friends, I was wandering alone. It was raining very hard and I was drenched. I found a bonfire where I could take time to recollect myself, putting my clothes around it to dry and get warm. I had everything I owned with me in my backpack; most notably some very powerful acid. With nothing else to do, I took three hits. I had not really slept the night before as the tent where I tried to sleep crashed on me because of the heavy rain.
I was in the Goa (trance) area but wasn’t feeling the mood, so I went looking for a better sound and found a house music area that felt right. Clad in light American Apparel clothes, I was practically naked. I went to dance for a while as the acid started to kick in I went for a Cola as I figured I’d soon be trapped in the dance floor for quite some time without anything to drink. At the counter, I observed that everything became very quiet: the bartenders, the people at the bar, the dancers, the music itself. Everything seemed to freeze when the beat dropped and people were smiling, looking at each other, observant. When the beat returned, people started talking again, mouths moving quickly. In that moment, I realized this was going to be a very interesting experience.
I returned to a full dance floor. Though it was a very dark Sunday morning, it was still extremely crowded. I started on the outskirts of the dance floor, slowly moving in deeper. On the inner border, I started dancing with two men. But I wanted to go deeper, so unfortunately I had to let them go and make my way to the middle of the dance floor. I observed everyone, keeping my eyes open, because it’s a cultural faux pas to go into the middle of the dance floor suddenly when nobody is coming or going, usually just dancing — uninterrupted. But I managed it. I had my backpack on me, in between my legs. It was fun — I observed four crowds around me dancing really well when one guy came up to me, teasing me with his elbows because I wasn’t moving accordingly. But I’ll just dance here and take it, I thought. There were two moods the DJ carried along: a chill ambient one and an edgy dance one. These two were constantly rotating. Every time the music switched to the ambient one, the man moved closer to me. When the mood was edgier, the crowd also shifted, and suddenly there was a crowd of girls rubbing themselves against me. I started to get confused about the ups and downs of sexual excitement this caused in me. After that guy gave up on me, another guy arrived from the left side. He was staring and smiling. I smiled back. I liked him — maybe he realized I somewhat straight, I thought.
Suddenly another guy came at me with his ass and the guy who was smiling at me just before said something to the approaching ass like “Don’t do that. That’s not nice.” But I was okay with it because it was not my neighborhood and I realized I better adapt — I was being tested somehow as he rubbed his ass on my dick. But then I thought, Hey, if it works out, then it works out.
It didn’t. This was followed by another man approaching from behind, which I didn’t get me aroused either. Yet I figured it was rather because of those individuals instead of my sexual orientation. I figured that if I was interested in penetration I was to be interested in men and somehow felt like penetrating a girl would be a very harmful act, as if it was wrong to approach a female solely sexually without any intention of loving her.
The music changed again, sending girls back to the dance floor, making me happy. I started to feel that I was splitting in two and thought about leaving the dance floor. My identity was nuked by dualistic and overlapping questions of orientation: Love or penetration, homo or hetero, top or bottom? Then I started considering that perhaps I was gay. I felt that I was in a queer parade — I felt that everyone was in a celebration of coming out of the closet — Yes, I’m gay! I was so happy and felt like everyone around me was celebrating it with me.
But…there was more to it than this. I really felt that I was splitting in two at this point — something that a girl once told me she had observed (on acid) in a person on the dance floor. I felt that if I had left the dance floor at that moment, I would have unfinished business with myself. It was either staying on dance floor until the end or decades of therapy for the rest of my life. The feeling of splitting in two, however, started to disappear as I began to figure out a good balance between being penetrated by the back and doing it to someone else from the front. I checked out behind me with the intention of leaving the dance floor, but it looked as if there was a furious security guy with a dog pointing at my bag right behind me, so I figured I was meant to carry on this journey.
Since I had realized that I was gay I started looking around at men and women in the effort to act on it. Yet, in looking at the random men occupying the space, I did not find one I liked. I started to realize, gay or not, I can choose. So I started going through the flow of thoughts in my head, boiling down to: Who do I want?
I started to see my friends, family, and people I had seen before in the faces of the crowd. And I kept feeling this push and pull of “I want this,” “I don’t want this.” I found I would feel ashamed if a girl would even catch my eye but sometimes it just happened. I noticed everyone in front of me shaming me for checking the women out as if to teach me to focus on the party – the dance and the sound.
I started to think, Oh shit, I don’t think this is actually what I want because I want to have kids.
I almost began to cry.
I want to find a proper woman and a family, I thought.
Suddenly I went from accepting that I am gay to realizing that it wasn’t about identifying with being straight or gay, but about being myself and being present; and when I know what I want, go for it. I shouldn’t run away from people or approach them by force. Once I came to this realization, I felt an overwhelming power behind me. Yet every time I looked behind me, my mood sunk. I started to understand that I needed to focus on what I was doing, to trust in my intuition and the process. I even felt the need to get on my knees and pray but I had the awareness not to (that it was all in my head).
I felt that I needed to start taking control of my behavior — stop dating multiple women at once. If I was going to have random intercourse, learn to do it with boys and if I am looking for something more in relationship then I need to focus on that. I need to create space in my life before I can have anything special. Learning this felt good.
At the end of the set, a guy wearing dark sunglasses came up to me. He stared and said something in German that I didn’t understand. I was still intensively in all of my identity thoughts. I got this gay feeling, and I thought, So I really have to kiss this guy even if I don’t feel like it or what the fuck?
But then I realized I could see the sun reflected in his sunglasses; he was talking about the sunrise. While I was engaged in these thoughts the sun had risen. I felt really comfortable and glad about this experience.
Then some girl came to rub herself on me, I looked at her face and I thought to myself, Ah, being gay isn’t so bad after all. There’s a lot of men out there way more attractive than a lot of women. I realized it is time to give up these concepts of sexual identity because they are spoiling everything for me. I leave myself undefined and keep the focus on the character and my personal experience.
Ever since I’ve been able to feel unconditional universal and personal love towards beautiful people on good dance floors, it hasn’t been about sex ever since. I figured there’s enough people focusing on that, so it’s not a loss for anyone if I focus on the dance and the music. Amazing dance floors have since been the ultimate teacher for me in life. Whenever I experience one, I feel a transcendental connection to what ever there is and find peace within myself. No teacher, book, person, words or other experience have been able to teach me as much about my social identity and kindness – and these teachings have a concrete and appliable side in them too. So if I can give advice to anyone who finds himself in the middle of a similar experience, the tip is simple: Keep your body moving and mind on the music.