Today's hostels are not just for the under-26 backpacker. You can often choose from a variety of room types (including privates or double) along with bunk beds in dorms. Some regular hotels even offer 'hostel' type rooms - such as the Hotel Gershwin in New York City.Clearly, some people think these budget accommodations / dorm-type rooms and shared baths should be called 'hostile' - like QueerAngel ( as another user on a certain site has said ). Hosteling can be uncomfortable; trying to sleep in a room with other total strangers can be problematic for some people.
However, it can also be highly stimulating for others - perhaps like me.
Yet, comfort is not the only reason to stay somewhere, particularly not the only or the main reason for staying at a hostel.
However, if it comfort that you need while on vacation, you probably wouldn't find it at most hostels. People who love the outdoors don't expect there to be comfort on a camping trip - so that why I have said, "staying in a hostel is like camping indoors." You can find - -besides a place to stay cheaply -- group spirit, shared facilities, respect for individuality, and maybe make a new friend or two...
These other benefits of hosteling more than make up for the lack of comfort. Not to speak of the economy, I can stay 4 nights at a night (at least) for the price of one night in a 'comfortable' hotel. Each traveler is different and has different reasons and purposes for the trip. I am NOT trying to defend hostels or deny any traveler what's important for his / her trip, just asking you recognize that one style of vacation or one kind of hotel/accommodation would not suit everyone.
I've almost never found anyone with whom I could not communicate (although I might not have actually have wanted to communicate (grin). It's like boy scout camp or a sleep-over or a college party (without the noise - hopefully).
I enjoy the camaraderie that's generated when strangers esp. travelers (often single men and
women) bunk together - it really is more like camping than a hotel stay - so it's not for everyone. But I really enjoy my stays because I fee free to be myself (more than when I'm home or at work). I feel comfortable being the 'gay' guy who is older, wiser, and knowledgeable, and friendly.
I'm not getting 'hit' on by my roomies and wouldn't really want that (at least on the surface). I just enjoy getting to know people, talking, and sometimes getting to see them live their lives in front of me. Sometimes there is 'sexual' attraction - but typically it's not mutual. Still.. my hostel roommates once all went skinnydipping at the local public beach late one night. (4 men and 2 women).
The stay is really what you make out of it.. it can be unfriendly and lonely but normally if you
open up to the idea and the possibilities, it can be a great time well spent. Sometimes you make a lot of friends because the group just congeals.
I have written about my 'hostel' stays in my blogs. There is never really anything 'hot' - no sex in the hostel room - but I have certainly had some great fun and got to hang out with some sexy guys and sometimes been naked together.
Next week I'll spend 4 days in a hostel - really looking forward to it.
Guys Into CMNM blog by sunbuns99
A World of Real (Mostly) Naked Guys (blog) has a recent post showing a Warhol-like video with a the main character naked in bed and sleeping with an erection that grows then fades. There is also a link to that blog on the right hand side bar here (the blogger has also linked back to mine).
This brings up another form of male-male homoerotic communication (CMNM experience) that I find to be absolutely spellbinding - especially when it is happening to me: sleeping with another guy - particularly when either I or he is nude.
I happened to me recently when I was staying in a hostel during August. I had the 'hardest' time getting to sleep because there were mostly unclothed guys (wearing only boxers or boxer-briefs) in the bunk beds around me. I always sleep naked during the summer months, and when I am staying at a hostel - I usually do so, too. In most cases, the sheet keeps me covered but at times, I'm sure my cock - soft or erect - is plainly visible. I have found many guys at the hostels who sleep in the nude.
TO BE CONTINUED.....
How to find a hostel
Cologne is very different in German and French.
I found an interesting link (for Germany's hostel/backpackers) ...for example.
This site listed only two hostels (I am sure there are more), but it also has city info (listing straight bar, gay bars, restaurants and tourist spots, along with other helpful hints,).
If you don't get specific advice from anybody here, then try a more generalized travel site (esp one
Virtual Tourist, or TripAdvisor (heavily commercial),
TravBuddy listing for Cologne ( a sample city with a large gay community and Pride festivities)
Othe sites worth looking at:
Also the major hostel listing are at:
http://www.hihostels.com (Hostelling International chain)
http://www.hostels.net/ (reviews of hostels)