Deciding to go to India for 5 months was always going to mean that I would not have the gay ol’ life that I am used to. Rumpy pumpy between fellas is illegal in India, so I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be finding gay bars on every corner, or indeed, any corner. Even in the small traditional city of Oaxaca, Mexico where I lived for a year, there are three gay bars, a gay club, and a gay strip club.

But just because there might not be a heap of gay bars in a particular place, that certainly doesn’t mean that there is no gay culture to speak of at all. Upon undertaking a little bit of research about New Delhi, I could find very little information about underground hot-spots, gay owned watering holes, or anything at all gay related. The most that I could find online were details for a couple of gay saunas and a bunch of cruising spots. The cruising thing really isn’t for me so I just assumed that the sum of my gay experience in Delhi would be visiting a couple of gay saunas and trying my luck on Grindr to connect to local people and get some inside information.

Amazing Delhi. Image source.

So it was Saturday night and I made my way to one of the saunas in the city – G-Spa – and it was basically empty and pretty underwhelming. The owner explained to me that it was a national holiday and this was the reason why this evening was a “flop party”. But then he told me that if I wanted to party, there would be a gay night in the upscale neighbourhood of Connaught Place later that evening. He assured me there would be 250 guys there, so needless to say, I was sold. He kindly wrote down all of the details about the place for me, and later in the evening, my auto rickshaw driver had no problems taking me there.

As I rocked up to the Sky Lounge, I was immediately comforted by the fact that a group of 4 Indian gay guys walked in before me and started chatting to me. I was definitely in the right place, and there were definitely gay, local people there. We got in a lift that took us to the 25th floor, and once at the top, I was presented with some seriously incredible views of the city.

Drinks in da club.

There was one main dancefloor area with a bar, and a circular corridor that surrounded the central space that had the views out across Delhi. There wasn’t a huge number of people when I arrived at around 10.30pm, but by midnight the place was full of guys dancing, drinking, and generally having a good time. The mix of guys was pretty nice. Yup, everyone was Indian, but there were younger guys, older guys, muscled guys, skinny guys, and chubby guys all dancing together.

While the place felt mixed in some ways, I can safely say that this is only a place where affluent guys would be able to go. The cover charge was 600 rupees (including one drink), the cheapest beer was 300 rupees, but if you wanted a Stella or a Heineken, you’d have to fork out 600 rupees, and spirits were around 500 rupees. So the prices were actually a little more expensive than London prices – yikes. I asked a particularly tipsy couple how they could afford to drink so much at the bar and they told me that they got drunk beforehand at home. But even if you drink beforehand, I think that the cover charge would be far too great for many local guys.

I also asked some people how they knew about the event, to which they replied that they receive an SMS when a party is on, and the party in Connaught Place happens about once a month but there are parties most weeks in different locations. This Gay Delhi Facebook page is a useful resource for finding one off parties, which I only found after doing a bit more research specifically about the Sky Lounge gay party.

In other news, I think I may have been one timid gay boy’s first kiss at the party. Oops.

Have fun if you make it to Delhi!

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