Guide Magazine on Gay Travel, Culture, and Politics

Checking Out The Guide Magazine for Tips on Gay Nightlife and Travel

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You may have spotted The Guide, a monthly magazine on "gay travel, culture & politics, at any number of bars, shops, or businesses throughout North America. It's a very useful and well-researched publication that's distributed free. Published by the not-for-profit Pink Triangle Press, which also produces the very good Xtra GLBT newspapers in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa, The Guide also runs its content online.

The magazine underwent a great redesign at the end of 2008 - gone is the thin paper with ink that used to stick easily to one's fingers, replaced with higher-quality semi-glossy stock and better ink. The format is also spiffier than before. Inside you'll find several features tackling different aspects of gay culture, from book reviews to topical news.

The bulk of the magazine's 120+ pages, however, is dedicated to articles about gay travel, with an emphasis on bars, discos, sex clubs, bathhouses, and saunas, in major cities around the world, with the emphasis on the U.S. and Canada. Guides to major cities are included in each issue (with maps highlighting businesses covered), and then several articles appear with narrative descriptions of the gay scenes in different places - these change with each issue, and you can view past articles by logging onto the website.

One particularly laudable feature of The Guide is its above-board, direct approach to covering and discussing sexually explicit travel and businesses with an obvious focus on sex, from strip clubs to saunas to sex clubs. The magazine has always done a nice job writing about these establishments without coming off either as sleazy or sensational and certainly without any judgment.

If you're planning a trip, it's worth checking the website for a recent article on the cities you're visiting (I always do). Even if you're not necessarily planning to do much clubbing or carousing, it's nice to know what sort of gay scene you can expect in a city.

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