Illustration by Agata Sasiuk
Whether you're desperate and dateless, or looking to have an affair (but sick of having to erase your browser history) our expert at the love desk has a list of untapped Berlin locations for you to find your special winter warmer... or to just to make like bunny rabbits.
Where to find an offline hook-up on a dreary week night? Dussman is the spot where lonely (and literate!) singles pretend to buy stuff and mill about whilst actually visualising themselves curled up next to a fire with literature, Lebkuchen and YOU. Dussman likes to be all coy, referring to itself as a “Kulturkaufhaus” but really it's multi-level writhing pit of yearning, lust and loins.
Note the hordes of people 'reading' on the provided armchairs for hours. They're actually there for one of two reasons: either they don't have someone to go home to, or they don't have someone they want to go home to. Unlike a bar, there's no shame in being the last to leave, you can continuously harass the cute staff members for book recommendations and even being directed to the self-help isn't embarrassing because (in a rare moment of subtlety for the German language) this section is demurely named Psychologie Taschenbuch.
Cross paths with your special someone as you both reach for the same copy of the latest from Reinhold Messner and next thing you know you're enjoying Berlin regional specialties in the Dussman café and buying tickets to the Opera at the Abendkasse for your next date on the way out. There's even a vertical-fucking-rainforest with MOSS and if that doesn't get your libidinal energies flowing... well, maybe the next place will....
Hauptbahnhof Platform 8
No, honey, time to let go of hoping to stumble across platform 9 ¾ and the Hogwarts express and get down to Hauptbahnhof platform 8, all abroad for Hamburg! This is where, loitering with too many bags to possibly lift on your own, the navy cashmere wearing silver fox Prof. Doctor Max Mustermann returning home from the Interdisziplinäres Symposium der Plastischen Chirurgie introduces himself. I'll tell you something for free: the richest and hottest Germans live in Hamburg. You're welcome. Hauptbahnhof has both the Love Actually romantic frisson of an airport with the right amount of European train station drama to create the perfect environs for you to meet your one and only!
Although be warned: The Airport Rules – specifically Section 1A: Being Allowed To Eat Junk Food Without Shame – do not apply at Hauptbahnhof as I once learnt by bumping into a vegan Autonome babe holding an unapologetic armful of McDonald's. “Airport rules. Airport rules.” I repeat under my breath whilst trying to balance my McRib® , McFlurry® with an ironic swagger and not spill an enormous Coke Zero on my shoes. "God it's stressful, I'm out of cash and just couldn't find anywhere else that took credit card."
If there's one thing that turns a German guy off more than a girl eating McDonald's, it's a broke, financially irresponsible girl living off a credit card, eating McDonald's.
Das Vitalia Reformhaus
“Love Me, Love My Allergies”. Upon first glance you might think of the Reformhaus as just a place to find lactose-free cheese and wheat-free bread but this hive of the dietary deprived is a great place to pick-up. Marginalised and vulnerable people are desperate to be cradled in the arms of society: emotionally sensitive Allergiker, wearers of Fitbits, overprotective single parents, orthodox vegans, Neu-Age yogis and albinos congregate under the welcome-stranger, freaky 'n fuzzy vibes at the Reformhaus. What applies to the people, applies to the produce: the fuck-ugliest looking apples from Brandenburg are a good deal at €3 a kilo. Those following the tides of latest moon harvest can find their Dinkel Daddy or someone whose sex fantasies also involve the alpaca wool socks left on.
There's nowhere in Berlin that oozes sex (and Elton John orgy rumours) quite like leafiest south Western richy rich enclave of Dahlem: the teeming German youth of the Free University's main campus mixed with the histories of oversexed Baader Meinhof radicals set against Hansel and Gretel mansions always gets my moss particularly moist. Whether as a student, professor or creepy person that hangs around, universities are a frequent and commonly-used place to meet singles – you don't have to be matriculated to dine at the Mensa! There are even open reading groups for you to increase your cachet with New Wave Nordic cinema scholars for interaction and a potential date.
Okay, so you've done your best at loitering around Berlin locales with your best non-verbal communication but at the end of the day intimacy without a digital interface is just too kinky. What in other cities is considered to be Facebook for corporate hacks, LinkedIn in Berlin is online dating for unemployed freelancers (read: alone, frustrated and looking for self-esteem pick-me-ups) pimping their profiles to sustain the illusion of imminent gainful employment. Job offers need not be 'jobs' of the strictly professional kind: List your newly acquired Berlin skills of shark-finning and analingus and I'm sure you'll find many who are keen to spend their Monday 'lunch break' endorsing them.
XOX Mossy Brackets XOX
REMEMBER: Best keep it to yourself that you're not actually a fan of Twin Peaks. The world is not a friendly place.