So the clubs have finally re-opened in earnest here in Berlin and it seems that nature is healing. I still enjoy going out a lot, and many others do too for a variety of reasons: to hookup, get loose with substances or because they’re music nerds. From a personal standpoint, I am privileged enough that I can live the techbro life anywhere in the world, but chose Berlin primarily for the club culture. Since I also have a keen interest in psychoanalyzing strangers (and myself) I tend to enjoy watching the crowd and feeling the vibe.
Although its not good to generalize, mental shortcuts have always existed and will never go away because they help us deal with the crazy complexity that modern life throws at our monkey brains. Anyway here are some of the club archetypes that exist in my mind, some of which you might bump into on the dancefloor regardless of which city you’re in.
The really pushy person who wants to get into your pants
This person is on a mission to get laid, and will go about it in a number of ways which could be further broken down into tactful, tactless, and ultimately creepy/weird/dangerous. The tactful kind is smooth, respects boundaries and smells good. They’re probably a good dancer. The tactless ones far outnumber the rest, but at least they’re easy to spot. Smart, dangerous sexual predators exist everywhere, not just in the clubs, but this is their playground so its a good thing to keep in mind when you think you’re having a “connection” with a hot stud.
Usually pretty smart and know exactly what they want. Whether or not they’ll use their smarts to take advantage of you is another matter entirely, but for the most part are compassionate, kind and thoughtful.
The Experienced ravers
They’ve been there and done that, but most importantly they can handle their drugs. In the past maybe they’ve fallen into one of the other categories but if they’re older and still clubbing they probably know whats up. They might overlap with other archetypes depending on their mood at the time.
The Inexperienced ravers
The woo girls, and the party boys. They’re just here to get loaded and to have a good time, and thats ok too! Often annoying and problematic, but everyone needs to start somewhere.
They tend to come to this particular venue or series of events a lot, either because they like the crowd it attracts or that genre of music. Usually the safest bunch to be around.
Just here for the weekend to see whats up and boogie a little. Might not be aware of the norms of that particular city or venue, and usually not aware of the best spots to go and at which time. Typically just stumbled in off the street. Some might be music nerds, in which case they’re here for a reason.
The Music Nerds
They know exactly who is playing and when, they recognize most of the cuts and might be artists themselves or in the music business. Oftentimes they’ll be sober or taking it easy, other times they’ll be blowing your mind with crazy dance moves.
Unlike North America in most European cities the staff are dressed like the patrons, and its not immediately obvious who is security. Part of me feels this goes into secret police territory, but overall I think its much better to have them not dressed in uniform. It’s better for the vibe, and makes it easier for them to do their jobs.
This is their office and they’re here to make money. They usually know the bouncers/staff, and other dealers to. Sometimes they roll in with a squad because going solo is pretty dangerous. Ultimately though you have to respect the drug game, because it has always been a part of human society and will never go away. The only way forward is normalization, education and harm reduction.