Key West Guyd: The End of the Gay World (Part One)

Danny Hilton
Authored by
Danny Hilton
London Correspondent
May 12, 2013
8:57 a.m.

The Florida Keys are often referred to as the Caribbean of the USA, and although still technically part of Florida, their tropical climate, white sandy beaches and idyllic blue waters share a lot with their neighbours, the Bahamas and Cuba. Key West is the most westerly of the Keys (clue in the name there), and has long been a home for artists, writers, liberals, eccentrics and gay people. Such a fabulous mix is always a recipe for a good party.

The Butt Plug
The Southernmost part of the continental USA is marked with a rather flamboyant buoy. A popular spot for photos (be prepared to queue), this feature is referred to locally as ‘the Butt Plug.’

014_southernmost-point-buoy-key-west-florida

Feel free to pose for photos with ‘The Butt Plug,’ but don’t see it as a personal challenge

Key West’s free-spirited and open attitude is evident as soon as you land in the tiny airport, with regular flights from Miami, Orlando and further afield. You’ll see flags and banners for ‘The Conch Republic’ from that time they decided to succeed from the Union

Southern Hospitality
I stayed at the beautiful Big Ruby’s – a complex of Southern-style villas, each with their own distinct character. They’ve put together a lovely video that really captures the feel of the place. Check it out here:

My first-floor suite, complete with external spiral staircase and balcony, was the perfect spot to sip a cocktail while ‘observing’ the naked guys in the spacious sun lounge area below. There’s also a cute pool and Jacuzzi in separate areas, surrounded by tropical plants, like a miniature gay Eden. The breakfast was delicious and is the only time where clothing is necessary.

I was in Key West for a tantilisingly brief 48 hours for a bit of R&R before the madness of Miami Beach Pride weekend, and I sure packed in as much as I could. These are a few of the highlights…

Cocks Everywhere
Keep an eye out for cocks; you’ll see cocks almost everywhere you look. So you may want to bring a pair of earplugs if you don’t want to be rudely awoken between 7am-8am by these feathery critters. They’re super-cute, especially when they have a family of chicks following them, but if you’re a bit sensitive in the morning (I am), earplugs would be my number-one tip.

Key West Rooster

Henrietta was shocked to the core by the after party in Hut 7

Hemingway House
Key West is surprising in that it has as much culture as it does sexy guys. As a writer and cat-lover, I had to check out Nobel prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway’s beautiful house. It was here that Hemingway wrote some of his best works, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” It’s an inspiring place, with beautiful polydactyl (six-toed) cats everywhere – descendants of the author’s original pets. Here’s one of them…

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These cats were posing for cameras long before Justin Bieber had his first furball

It was in the queue for Hemingway House that I met my partner in crime for the day, Andrew from Austin…

partner in crime

Eyewear by GuySpy, Hair (head/face/chest), models own

Snorkeling in Style
We headed straight for the catamaran snorkeling trip. This trip had an hour of sailing, an hour of snorkeling (with some great tuition for beginners from our guides en-route), then an hour sailing back – which is when the bar opens! Snorkeling can be hard work, with lots of swimming, diving and generally staying afloat, but it is awesome fun. We saw a huge stingray and a ton of pretty fish. If you prefer to just float about with a life vest, you can, but the swimming makes for a good workout for the boys on shore later! Make sure you put on plenty of sunscreen – it may seem cooler with the sea breeze, but Key West is tropical, and boys like me burn!

wear sunscreen!

*Insert original caption about cream all over face*

Part Two: Lunch at Sun Sun, the Champagne Sunset Sail, Key West Nightlife, The Island House Resort and Pride Celebrations, coming soon…

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