(Homo-)Sexuelle Lust jenseits der Metropole: Das intime Queeren von Räumen in Aachen

Translated title of the contribution: (Homo-)sexual pleasure beyond the metropolis: The intimate queering of spaces in Aachen

José Miguel (Pepe) Sánchez-Molero*, Phevos Kallitsis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Downloads (Pure)


For decades, queer residents of Aachen have been complaining about the loss of a more vibrant subculture from the 1980s and 1990s. Today, the few queer spaces in the inner city reflect an institutionalized landscape, which mostly focuses on social work and volunteering, and is distanced from elements of pleasure and sexual encounter. However, numerous examples of spatial productions over the last 50 years can be found which point to an animated culture of cruising at so-called Klappen and a sexualization of spaces. In parks, public restrooms at train stations or in university buildings and via dating apps, men seeking sex with other men have been able to create new cruising spaces for themselves despite – or perhaps even because of – the traditionally catholic faith in the city of Aachen.
The creation of these spaces, the spread of knowledge about them, their usage – the entire process around cruising in Aachen – just as in many other (big) cities – was hidden for decades, tabooed, shamed and endangered by the realities of society, its social norms and legislation. This article reveals the world of Klappen-culture in Aachen, which has been hidden and unknown (at least for the mainstream). The article uses archival research and interviews with witnesses of different generations. The mixed methodology provides insights into the past, present and expected future of Aachen's intimate spatial productions. The aim of this exploration is to map queer sexual desire in a city beyond the German LGBTIQ+ mainstream, to make it visible, and to reflect on its development within the last half century.
Translated title of the contribution(Homo-)sexual pleasure beyond the metropolis: The intimate queering of spaces in Aachen
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)219-236
Number of pages18
Journalsub/urban: zeitschrift für kritische stadtforschung
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2022


  • ordinary cities
  • queer studies
  • Urban Studies
  • LGBTQ+
  • Sexual Partners


Dive into the research topics of '(Homo-)sexual pleasure beyond the metropolis: The intimate queering of spaces in Aachen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this