No matter what time of the year it is, it's always great to get ready for that fortnight in the sun. But unless you've already got a boyfriend, who to go with? In the first part of his gay travel trilogy, Adrian Gillan explores the perks and pains of going on holiday with your gay mates.

I remember my first holiday with a boyfriend. We went to Paris and pushed our little single beds together, but he kicked up such a fuss when I admitted fooling around in Berlin the month before, that I dumped him up the Eiffel Tower.

So might I, I thus wondered, fare any better on holiday with gay "mates" instead? Just a bunch of single gay male friends on a bog standard group package to Gran Can or 'Biza: nothing could be simpler. No smooching off into cliquey pairs, no jealous bickering and no hand-in-hand promenading gingerly down streets too straight for queer romance. Just one long tanked-up doss.

Of course it's more vodka and coke than beers all round with us gay boys, and we're drunk as skunks before we reach the airport - louder and brasher than a jock strap in deep heat and scaling new heights of obnoxion.

Narrowly missing a rightful mauling from a student rugby team in Departures we board, only for one of us to make life hell for the poor trolley dolly mincing down the aisles.

So, we arrive, where even the sands are pink! Ah, the camaraderie and the bitchy banter: those four single beds in a large shared room, a spit-and-a-spunk from the beach. Like some old school outing: queers reunited! The dorm-like set-up prohibits even the most covert of drunken fumbling. And each morning brings anew the ritual rush for the bathroom mirror and the preening of God's gay gifts.


It's weird how gay mates can get so embarrassed about seeing each other naked. Maybe "nude male flesh" means sex for gays, and gay mates aren't supposed to have sex with each other - that's the whole point. Also perhaps, the naked truth might remove the very mystery that fuels our chummy, yet flirtatious, repartee.

As with any group spending long periods of time together, "flexibility" and "compromise" are the watchwords. Not everybody will have the money or the perverted mental stamina to shop until they drop. Not everyone will have the body, skin-type or sky-high boredom threshold to strip off on a beach 24/7.

The biggest perk of travelling with single gay pals is the simple thrill of going out and having a ball, with everyone - at least secretly - out on the pull. Everyone looks ten times more attractive when animated with their friends. Mates provide a great context for meeting other guys, all relaxed and on holidays.

However, on the downside, you won't look so instantly "available" as when out on your own. And it's not much fun if the guy you drool for saunters over and starts chatting up your mate instead, or if you both end up fighting over the local Juan and you lose out, not even offered a friendly threesome.


Even if you do click with your dream Don and make your escape, where to pleasure yourselves? Do you dare risk dragging the guy back to yours for a quickie before the others return? Do you makeout underwater in the sea? Or head for the dunes? Or do you go back to your horny young man's love lair? A little hard if he lives with a family of ten. Photo: purmar
Worst of all, what if you're the only one who doesn't pull, the last one left on the shelf? Looking increasingly dejected and unattractive for all to see, you make that sad, lonely walk back to a deserted base, save perhaps for an insensitive or daring mate who's shagging away there regardless. Or you go cruising and have the consolation of bumping into a pal who didn't get his end away in the end either.

So a close-knit gay male travelling group can easily fragment and disperse when out hunting en masse, then regroup the next day, compare notes, and repeat.


But of course gay clusters have a habit of imploding under their own homo-inertia, completely unaided by external factors. If it's not two queens falling out before they've even stepped off the plane, you can find mates become shags and then scarce speak, or - far worse - become lovers and just drift off together on their own.

Yet, perhaps worse of all is the unfortunate discovery by many that what is amusing for a couple of nights each week down the local club back home is simply too dreadful all day and all night for a whole week, and you're actually desperate to get a real break - from your gay mates!

An in-depth look at one of South America's most historic beautiful destinations - Peru.
Every week features a different gay man's holiday destination and gives essential information about the most exciting, most exotic and most erotic places to visit around the world.

More holiday advice from Adrian Gillan :
Going Straight or Going It Alone.


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