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Church Celebrates Its First Year

by Editorial Staff in Events & Agenda , 18 November 2009

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

It seems like it has been part of the gay establishment for so long that it’s hard to believe that Church, the gay club on the Kerkstraat in Amsterdam, has only just celebrated its first birthday.

Defying all attempts to categorize it, Church is a unique mix of cruise club and dance venue that literally has something for everyone - its famed theme nights span from naked evenings to kinky SM parties, to drag events and sportswear nights.

The team behind Church is the volunteer group GALA, well known for holding the events on the Homomonument and parties in venues as diverse as the Silo squat to the Warmoesstraat.
GALA: “We have more than forty volunteers in our group and Church reflects the different backgrounds and tastes we all have. Each night in Church has a totally different theme and audience - so make sure you check the program first, or you won’t know where you’ll end up.”
“Amsterdam has never known a club quite like this, one day it’s hardcore and the next day feathers and boas.”

Every Wednesday is the “Naked Bar,” with relaxed DJ mixes, a friendly crowd of diverse ages and lots of cruising. Thursdays are the kinky “Mr B Heaven” nights, with themes ranging from Fist (first and third Thursdays), Watersports (second Thursday) and SM Fetish (last Thursday). “It’s a much more hardcore crowd, but we encourage beginners and the curious also to come. We lend out SM equipment on the night and also keep an eye on the action.”

“Every Friday is the ‘(Z)onderbroek’ underwear party, which pulls a younger dance orientated crowd, but there’s still plenty of cruising going on. We have some of the best DJs in Amsterdam playing, like RW, Abraxas, Jimmy Stokes, Mo’cum and Man Machine. It’s incredibly sexy with cute young guys dancing and cruising in their underwear or jocks - and it’s the only place in Amsterdam hosting such parties.”

Every Saturday has a different theme and some have proved to be more successful than others - from the kinky “Perverts,” to the naked dance party “Swing Your Thing,” “XXXLeather” and “Black Body Rubber Only” parties. Two of the most successful are “Ladz” and the “Hoerenbal” (Hookers’ Ball).

“Ladz,” the sportswear party for “lads, scallies, skaters, gabbers, sneaker and sportswear boys” has a hardcore music style and draws a big (international) audience. For the last sold-out party in August guys flew in especially from as far way as Sweden and Israel to attend.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the “Hoerenbal,” home to drag queens, pimps and whores. Xaviera Hollander, the happy hooker herself, is often to be found there. With its over-the-top shows and extravagantly dressed audience, “Het Parool” has referred to it as the new Roxy, the ultimate compliment.

With all the madness involved in building the club from scratch, the organizers overlooked one important thing - holding their first birthday party. “We basically didn’t have time for it. In amongst Gay Pride celebrations and gearing up for the next big thing, Leather Pride, we kinda forgot to hold our birthday party. Well there’s always next year!”

As well as doing their bit to put gay Amsterdam back on the map as the Kinky Capital, the guys behind Church also take safe sex very seriously - it is still the only club in town where there are unlimited free condoms and lube in every corner of the venue.

Kerkstraat 52


In our youngest issue, Gay News 344, April/ May/ June/ July 2020



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