Your suitcase is already waiting in the hall

You leave me alone

We look at each other and just feel

It must be so

Still you stand hesitating in the doorway

And ask, “What will become of you?”

Holy Thursday, 06th of April 2023 – It was my second SNP. That’s the professional abbreviation for Schlagernacktparty. If you’ve never been, it sounds a bit obscure, maybe a bit dorky. Free body culture in a big group – a thousand naked men, some naked queers and naked women drinking alcohol, swaying, singing and dancing mostly in a good mood in Schwuz. German Schlager to the bone.

The first SNP (a few years ago) was a big shock for me. As a German boy, I grew up with Dieter Thomas Heck and the Hit Parade, often sitting alone with my mother in the living room in the evenings, watching these super-spiky singers, these lousy bards, sultry singing about flowers, heartbreak, disappointment, loss and great love. The big schmaltz was very hard to bear for the little gay boy in me who wanted to go out into the wide world and finally feel love and physicality with men… but he had to listen to those schmaltzy songs and watch the 70s videos with his mother. Then, three years ago, when I stood in front of a big video screen at Schwuz and saw one campy video after another – with all the gay and queer people it was a big confusion for me. Party, merriment, exuberant singing along in the large group to the schmaltz of the 70s and 80s. 

That evening at Schwuz accompanied by my queer friend Gerd from Hamburg was like 13 sessions of conversational psychotherapy – I was able to learn to feel again the loneliness and sheer hopelessness of my situation at that time as a gay pubescent teenager, drink a few beers and make the connection to my happy adult situation today. But that evening was a process – I felt my pain of puberty, the loneliness, the unquenched desire of my youth, it was all brought up, it spun, and the boisterous gaiety of the party flushed it out of my system. But then of course there were the thousand other people around me, some of them quite attractive, and I also felt my desire for some male beauties. Another theme of my youth, my shyness at dance parties, I was often quite lonely for a long time in discos (that’s what these places were called in the 80s) and bars. Yet another topic, this one should now be dealt with in my next SNP experience.

What can happen to me?

Believe me, I love life

The merry-go-round will go on spinning

Even if we go our separate ways

The second SNP, 06 April 2023 was less exciting, as I already knew most of the effects that were in store for me, but it was also a profound experience. 

I had arranged to meet two pairs of friends who did not know each other. After I had tied up my clothes and mobile phone in a cotton bag and handed them over to the freaky cloakroom attendants, I immediately ran into my friend René, who then thoughtfully provided me with prosecco. We went into the big hall, past hundreds of dancing people, to the side of the video show. There I had arranged to meet Jan and Hernan. I met them right away and introduced everyone to each other. Then the party started for me: a little chatting, kissing here, kissing there, discovering other friends by chance, hugging, swinging my hips along, sometimes singing along, and chatting again. Then it was off to the middle of the big dance floor, diving in and swaying along with the crowd. 

On this evening, apart from the music, I was also very much aware of the smells. Most of the men smelled quite pleasantly of sweat, of man. I thought how nice it can be to grow older together with positive, attractive, fun-loving and humorous people….

Ageing with dignity and having fun

I danced, sniffed, changed my position and dived more and more into the sea of pheromones. Wikipedia: “Pheromones are perceived unconsciously. They can influence reproduction-related physiological processes or corresponding behaviour. In contrast to the reception of stimuli via the olfactory organ at the roof of the nasal cavity, the processing of which by the bulbus olfactorius and the primary olfactory system is the prerequisite for conscious olfactory perception, the effects of pheromones in vertebrates are largely mediated via an additional (accessory) system and mostly, but not always, originate from the vomeronasal organ. This consists of a special grouping of sensory receptors arranged around a cartilaginous-supported deep mucosal pocket connected by a fine duct to the oral or nasal cavity. Pheromones influence sexual behaviour, sympathy and antipathy, and social contact.”

I always enjoyed dancing in the pheromone clouds, soundtracked by the pop lullabies of the 70s and 80s. 

Now the themes of shyness, loneliness and frustration of my 80s disco past are being worked through…. 

It may be that one often takes oneself

Much too important

Desperately hoping for a fire

Where it only glows

Even if something like that can also hurt us very much

You won’t die from it right away

I let myself fall into the various positive effects of dance, including physiological and emotional reactions. A smile here, a casual shoulder movement there, a wink, depending on the wisdom of the lyrics, the eyes are widened and there is loud singing along. Besides the cloud of pheromones, the upbeat dancing creates an increase in endorphins, making the pink mood of the Schlager fans even more ecstatic with natural mood enhancers. 

The merry-go-round will go on spinning

Even if we go our separate ways

I move on with my friend René through the smokers’ compartment to the bar, and we have more Proseccos. We chat in depth, and to my right is Marcus from Vienna, what a pleasure to see this old acquaintance again and to speak a few sentences with him.

The conversation continues with René and Jan. In this intoxicating environment there are many elements that inspire our conversation. So some funny fraternisations take place, some stories are told and funny plans emerge. Then scene change again: we go into the big hall and swing our hips again together with so many funny fellows. Now the bear is raging….

Moscow, Moscow

Come, let’s dance on the table

Till the table collapses

Ha ha ha ha

DJ Jupiter, one of the DJs of the evening

DJ Jupiter and the Star of Avalon are the driving DJs who make us sweat. I’ll be on my way soon that evening, because I want to get up early the next morning. See you next time for a report on the lively party! Many thanks to Jupiter and the team for a wonderful evening ! / romeo: schlagernacktparty

The next dates: SNP 97: Sun, 20 August; SNP 98: Sun, 22 October; SNP 99: Thu, 28 December. Always at Schwuz, Berlin.

We will be there again in October. Are you coming?