A Personal Experience: Being Gay in Indonesia – Everything To Sea

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “Any man’s life, told truly, is a novel…” We are thrilled to publish a personal story from the heart. A journey of being gay in Indonesia, from Everything To Sea’s Support Specialist, Ron.

What’s it like to be gay here? For a lot of people who have never been to Indonesia and only hear news from the internet, this sounds like not a good place to live for gay people. Although a single province at the northwest tip of the country called Aceh practices Sharia law, and some gay accommodations were recently closed by a local authority in Bali, things are not as bad as they sound in the media. While it’s hard to call Indonesia gay-friendly (there is no legal representation for LGBTQIA+ folks, and being “out” is rare), it can be considered a gay-tolerant country – and the island of Bali is more so.

Thinking about my life as an Indonesian gay man living in Bali, I feel like I have more freedom to express my gay side, compared to others who live outside the island. I can go to gay bars, and I can openly socialize with gay friends. Although I’m not completely out – some people whom I work with know that I am gay, some don’t – I feel like I don’t have to announce it to everybody. There was a time I wasn’t comfortable saying that I’m gay – even to myself. Now I know who I am, but the journey has been a long road.

Looking back at the time when I first discovered myself as a gay man, I was about 20 years old and had just graduated from university. It was a true revelation. Being born and raised in a rural area in East Java, I was taught to be subtle, humble, and respectful to others. We were not supposed to talk about sex or sexual desires. Now, I have always been polite, curious, and striving for the best. These values were strictly taught to me by my father, while my mother was more relaxed, and gave me greater space to make my own decisions. As a high school student, I was attracted to a girl, and fell in love with her – but I knew in the back of my mind that I was actually excited by the thought of being with men. Driven by a big curiosity over several months, I telephoned a prominent gay professor in the town of Surabaya. He invited me to a bi-monthly gathering for gay men. It was quite nerve-wracking as it was my first time, but the LGBTQIA+ people there were very friendly and welcomed me with wide-open arms.

I didn’t fully embrace myself as a gay man until I met my first boyfriend, a very intelligent gentleman from the USA, who taught me to think and question. In this way, my brain was stimulated.  It wasn’t an easy process, because questioning is against Indonesian cultural values. We had a lot of conflicts in the beginning over small issues, but somehow we made it through. We traveled together in Indonesia, taking trains and airplanes. It didn’t bother us what people thought – even when we’d check into accommodations and request a king-size bed.  I remember there was a time when we traveled by train and were near a group of younger Indonesians in their thirties. From the way they looked at us, the men and women smiled. They seemed to know we were a gay couple, and I felt very comfortable.

And yet being gay in Indonesia, there are still challenges that I currently face. When they surface, they are from family – and society in general. The family issue is that I would be happy to come out as a gay man, yet I’m not sure how my mother, brother, and sister would handle it. I’m sure they would accept me and embrace me, but what I fear is ultimately how sad they would be. Their idea is that it’s not good to be gay, as it’s against their religion: for them, being gay is seen as an unnatural choice against God, and ultimately a sin. Surely there would be a period of shock. And then there’s the cultural thing: my mother would later share the news with those around her. Although neighbors wouldn’t hate her or hate the rest of my family, they’d certainly talk about us amongst themselves. And I’m not sure my mother would be able to handle the ensuing pressure.

I guess the policy “don’t ask/don’t tell” works very well here. Also, Indonesians – straight or gay – don’t display affection in public. So although I say I have more freedom living in Bali instead of Java or any other Indonesian island, there are still cultural challenges that exist throughout the nation. Indonesians in general still have negative attitudes towards the literal gay sex act. We still don’t have legalized gay marriage, but the younger generation here is definitely more accepting of the LGBTQIA+ population. In the end, I sincerely hope time will be the agent for change. 

By Ron Roeslan, Support Specialist, Everything To Sea

Check out more stories at Everything To Sea.

Everything To Sea runs all-male, clothing-optional trips on traditional wooden yachts in the calm seas of Indonesia. As a travel operator, they specialize in excursions for men of all orientations, that center around freedom, camaraderie, and friendship. 

Since January 2019, Everything To Sea has been exploring natural environments and giving guys one-of-a-kind, life-changing experiences. Trips range from private journeys for individuals to small-group departures for up to 12 men. Their ships are also available for existing men’s groups, such as yoga or tantric communities, who are seeking unforgettable journeys.

Is Your Mind Keeping Your Body From Getting Naked? – Everything To Sea

“I don’t have a good enough body to be naked in front of others.” Have you ever said this before? Even if you haven’t said it out loud, perhaps you’ve thought it to yourself. We interviewed a guy who’s posted on our Twitter page. Below, he talks about his own body image...

The term “body positivity” has become more popular lately, mainly because of the fact that social media has pushed perfect physiques, huge dicks, and chiseled faces on our screens, on a daily basis. What does that do for a man’s self-esteem? It makes some guys want to hide any curves they have, and keep their clothes on.

One of our Twitter followers at Everything2SeaX caught our attention. After we reached out to him, he agreed to speak candidly with our blog readers.

His main mission is to promote body positivity. He hopes nudity becomes more normalized in society and people gain comfort with their naked selves.

Simon Manna, 23, is from Italy. While he currently identifies as bisexual, Manna says he continues to explore his sexuality. He says that the media has made nudity more about perfection, rather than accepting everybody as beautiful. “I think that it is necessary to desexualize our society because a lot of people are not able to separate the view of a naked body from pornography and lust.”

Even though you may look at the photos from his Twitter feed and think, “Wow, he looks pretty perfect to me,” Simon tells us that for him, being comfortable when naked has been a process. First, he had to overcome society’s condemnation about being nude in public. Then, he had to deal with the idea that his body didn’t live up to what he saw on social media feeds, films, and television.

“I’ve always been fascinated by nudity since I was a teenager, but at that time I was not brave enough to try nudism. Finally, last year, while I was home alone, I decided to try to get naked – and I loved it. The only advice I can give for guys who want to try [getting nude] is to start in a relatively safe place like a nudist resort, or their own house. They don’t have to worry about the size of their penis or the shape of their body because real nudists do not judge other people’s bodies. Just relax and enjoy your naked time. “

“I’ve always been fascinated by nudity since I was a teenager, but at that time I was not brave enough to try nudism. Finally, last year, while I was home alone, I decided to try to get naked – and I loved it. The only advice I can give for guys who want to try [getting nude] is to start in a relatively safe place like a nudist resort, or their own house. They don’t have to worry about the size of their penis or the shape of their body because real nudists do not judge other people’s bodies. Just relax and enjoy your naked time. “

Full Story at Everything To Sea.

Everything To Sea runs all-male, clothing-optional trips on traditional wooden yachts in the calm seas of Indonesia. As a travel operator, they specialize in excursions for men of all orientations, that center around freedom, camaraderie, and friendship. 

Since January 2019, Everything To Sea has been exploring natural environments and giving guys one-of-a-kind, life-changing experiences. Trips range from private journeys for individuals to small-group departures for up to 12 men. Their ships are also available for existing men’s groups, such as yoga or tantric communities, who are seeking unforgettable journeys.

The Gift of Time: A New Perspective on Hotel Quarantines – Everything To Sea

It’s safe to say that most of us are tired of hearing the word quarantine. Equally true is our desire to resume our travels once again. Finding the right mindset to approach the new travel landscape can set you up to make the most out of your entire trip – including any hotel quarantine.

Credit: Dominique Beaupre.


Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back. 

– Harvey Mackay

Sam recently traveled and needed to quarantine. While he couldn’t have imagined it at first, he ended up focusing on the positive aspects while traveling within this new normal. 

The first thing that Sam mentioned was that being in a hotel room for several days actually helped him with his jet lag. He came from the U.S. and, after crossing multiple time zones, he found that the extra time that he got was actually beneficial for him. Indeed, Sam reported that he felt even more recharged when he joined a group trip the week after.

He noted that the required steps were all worth it in the end. The quarantine was undesired at first, but what Sam got from traveling during this time was, ironically, exactly what he had wanted. In addition to feeling more energized, traveling to places with fewer travelers got him to see the destinations on our itineraries in a peaceful and intimate way. Sam felt a deep connection to the region, noting the quiet beauty of his journey.

Some countries required a 14-day quarantine period while others required 21 days. It’s pretty clear: traveling now, and for the foreseeable future, will require a shifting perspective in how to view quarantines. But it also enables you to still see the world.

Here are some tips to make the most of your stay at the hotel!

  • Hot baths
Credit: Hisu Lee.

Do you love taking baths? Hot, cold, or lukewarm – what’s your favorite? If soaking is important to you, make sure the hotel room you’re reserving has a tub. Taking a long, hot bath can be very rewarding and relaxing. You can use this time to re-energize and smell good at the same time. Now, go one step further… imagine yourself taking a luxurious bath every single day for a week. Now, this is hedonism: pursue your own pleasure, and be sensually self-indulgent. Come on, when was the last time you did that? 

  • Keep in Touch 

This gift of time is perfect for you to reach out to your loved ones. Your stay at the hotel will allow you to have extended time, and so you won’t feel rushed. Milk the moment and talk for hours with your loved ones. You can use video calls (i.e. FaceTime and Zoom) to catch up and give them updates on your journey. 

You can even use games as a way to keep in touch with family members and friends.

NBC recently reported that Audrey Buchanan, 88, played the video game “Animal Crossing” for – hard to believe, but – more than 3,500 hours. She even used it to connect with her grandson, who lives far away from her.

  • Journaling 

Some people find it satisfying to write their thoughts and feelings down in a blank book, or digitally on a device. What better time to get reflective and express yourself, than when there’s not a lot of stimuli to disturb you? Dave Power, who is a writer, recently stayed at a hotel for a week during one of his travels. He told us that during that time, journaling was essential for him. He said heaps of ideas came out of the period when he was alone and could delve into his own thoughts.

Journals written during travel can prove to be especially satisfying later in life. Re-reading what you’ve written from a particular place and time can be rewarding, and even fun to share with others. We recommend writing first thing in the morning – recently out of your subconscious state, while thoughts are still novel.

  • Get Creative 

If you watched the Olympics recently, you probably saw the cute image of Tom Daley knitting while waiting for his turn to dive. Maybe this is the perfect time to try your hands at knitting. Perhaps you already thought about starting knitting, but felt you didn’t have the time? And hey – if knitting’s not your thing, there are many other ways to express that inner artsy soul.

Try your hand at improving your scribbles. Maybe even sketch what you see outside your window! Consider bringing adult-coloring books that are fun to pass the time on.

Before your trip, go to an art supply store and pick something that you never would’ve chosen – pipe cleaners, modeling clay, or crayons. Or just pick something that you haven’t touched in a while, and have fun with it. Remember Legos? Remember Rubik’s Cubes? 

  • Keep the Mental Juices Flowing 

Stimulate your brain cells – with crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or even word search books. You can use them when waiting in line at the airport, too. 

  • Break a Sweat 

There are plenty of workouts you can do without any equipment. You can even practice some yoga stretches. People nowadays upload short videos of themselves working out or dancing to a catchy snippet of a song – on social media such as TikTok and Instagram. Join the fun and get some sweat out.

Note, you don’t have to be in your hotel room to do this – some hotels have rooms with balconies, and you can use that space to work out.

Earlier this year, videos of tennis players in Australia went viral, as they were doing exercises during quarantine, before tournaments. There have even been people who have run marathons within their hotel rooms!

  • TV and Movie Binge 

We all love a Netflix and chill moment – so why not binge a whole television series and plenty of films? This is a good time to watch that movie or TV show that you’ve always wanted to watch or ones your friends have recommended. 

  • Books and Podcast episodes

Some of you might want to reduce your screen time, and that’s okay! Apart from the aforementioned TV shows and films, we also suggest books and podcast episodes that you can read and listen to. Remember, you are never alone when you have books!

Check out our blog for more recommendations.

Full Story at Everything To Sea.

Everything To Sea runs all-male, clothing-optional trips on traditional wooden yachts in the calm seas of Indonesia. As a travel operator, they specialize in excursions for men of all orientations, that center around freedom, camaraderie, friendship, and honesty. 

Since January 2019, Everything To Sea has been exploring natural environments and giving guys one-of-a-kind, life-changing experiences. Trips range from private journeys for individuals to small-group departures for up to 12 men. Their ships are also available for existing men’s groups, such as yoga or tantric communities, who are seeking unforgettable journeys.

Celebrating The Male Form – Everything To Sea

Everything To Sea’s Eddie Rahadian talked with Patrick Emmanuel, the founder of MaleBodyPoetry.net, in which he rejoices both male nudity and the beauty of nature.  Check out our Q&A with the Hilderbeg-based guy below.

Can you tell us more about yourself? Where did you grow up? Perhaps tell us about your childhood?

I was born in Chicago as the son of a Swiss father and an Austrian mother. When I was three, I came to Germany, to Heidelberg. My father was a father at university, so he was called there. I grew up in Germany, so I feel more or less like a German.

My childhood was kind of Christian, and also I developed a strong personal relationship with God. Which then led to the fact that I gave my life to God. Through this, I started to do a spiritual ministry for several decades, which means 25 years, with like-minded people, who, like me, were thinking in a very anti-institutional way. In a way, it was different from the usual Christian setting; but at the same time, many of the teachings were very conservative and classical, such as the rejection of homosexuality, so I didn’t live my homosexuality until I was 47. I was still a virgin.

When did you realize that you wanted to do what you’re doing right now?

Maybe I should separate that into parts. The first part was when I was kicked out of this spiritual ministry. I then started the journey to find myself, looking for conversion therapy and finally ending up with the gay community and embracing my sexuality. This was the first part.

The second part was not only about homosexuality but also sexuality as a whole, because I had always seen it as something negative. I was not able to live it because in my world only heterosexual marriage was the only way to live your sexuality. So for me, it was a very important step to embrace that when I started to accept my sexuality for the first time with a good conscience and praising God, celebrating it.

The third part was what I could refer to when you say, “What am I doing right now?”. When you refer to my photographic work… it was through several very deep psychedelic trips that I realized that I don’t want to do anything that is not totally myself. I’m also no longer taking into consideration whether people think this is appropriate or not appropriate because it is just myself. I always like to be naked in nature. I always like to take pictures. And nude pictures, I already did that when I was 17. But of course, I wouldn’t allow myself to publish anything like that or even show it to somebody. It was only through these deep inner experiences that I broke through to do it. And I realized that people would not diminish their appreciation of me; it’s the opposite. They liked people who honestly and authentically live who they are.

Tell us more about Body Poetry…

When I started to do my photography, I soon realized that what I was interested in was to display the beauty of the male body and the surrounding reality, most of the time in nature. These two kinds coming together, I believe, speaks about something beyond the visible. Because where does beauty come from? It shows a reality or a harmony that’s beyond. This is my real interest in naked pictures.

For many people, including myself for many years, nudity and also sexuality is considered dirty, something to be hidden. It was so important in my coming out process to realize that in reality, [sexuality] is something wonderful, something to have a positive attitude about, something I can celebrate. This is the reason why I also like to put nudity or even eroticism sometimes into a holy context, where everybody knows that this cannot be profane or vulgar because if it was, it would be total blasphemy.

Recently, I took pictures at a cemetery like this. I think it’s a message in itself. About the name, when I started to do it, I had a friend who is a poet and said, “This is like poetry.” So then I was thinking of a name like Body Poetry. It already existed on the internet, so I took Male Body Poetry as I am clearly focusing on the male form. This is how it was created.

I just realized that at a certain point that I did have the desire to share these pictures, because I consider them as art. So when it was about sharing on the internet, I simply wanted the pictures to be traced back to me, that it was clear where they came from, because everything on the Internet is shared around. So I needed a name and this is how Male Body Poetry was created.

By Eddie Rahadian – Full Story at Everything To Sea.

Everything To Sea runs all-male, clothing-optional trips on traditional wooden yachts in the calm seas of Indonesia. As a travel operator, they specialize in excursions for men of all orientations, that center around freedom, camaraderie, friendship, and honesty. 

Since January 2019, Everything To Sea has been exploring natural environments and giving guys one-of-a-kind, life-changing experiences. Trips range from private journeys for individuals to small-group departures for up to 12 men. Their ships are also available for existing men’s groups, such as yoga or tantric communities, who are seeking unforgettable journeys.

Traveling is on the Horizon with the New “New Normal” – Everything To Sea

As more and more people get vaccinated worldwide, we can’t help but wonder how this will change the face of travel. Is this the new dawn of a traveling era? Everything To Sea’s Communications Specialist Eddie Rahadian has a take on it.

A couple of years ago, someone sent me a copy of Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3-to-1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life, written by American psychology professor Barbara L. Fredrickson. The book discusses Fredrickson’s research on positive psychology, which focuses on positivity and how it can transform people’s lives.

My partner dismissed the book, citing that it was all “pop psychology”… bless his heart! I, on the other hand, found the book helpful especially because I tend to focus on negativity and let myself drown into a downward spiral – something that Fredrickson said was not uncommon.

Wait… but what does this all have to do with traveling during the pandemic?

By Eddie Rahadian – Full Story at Everything To Sea.

Everything To Sea runs all-male, clothing-optional trips on traditional wooden yachts in the calm seas of Indonesia. As a travel operator, they specialize in excursions for men of all orientations, that center around freedom, camaraderie, friendship, and honesty. 

Since January 2019, Everything To Sea has been exploring natural environments and giving guys one-of-a-kind, life-changing experiences. Trips range from private journeys for individuals to small-group departures for up to 12 men. Their ships are also available for existing men’s groups, such as yoga or tantric communities, who are seeking unforgettable journeys.

Gay Hanoi – Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Hanoi - Keep Calm and Wander

Here are 20 things to do and see in gay Hanoi (Vietnam). If you are into Vietnamese food, this list won’t help you much. I’m not including the names of restaurants because when you are in Hanoi, you can eat everywhere, especially in the Old Quarter. The locals love their food so much that it’s no wonder food stalls and restaurants are ubiquitous in the city. The list below is mostly tourist attractions in the city which you can pretty much read in travel guides.

How to get around Hanoi

You can all do the sightseeing by yourself with no problem. However, Hanoi is huge, and walking from one attraction to another can be tiring. So, you better consult your Google map where to start first and where to end. Also, the fastest and the cheapest way to go around is by hailing a Grab bike/scooter. Another option is to rent a motorbike daily or weekly.

Tourist Attractions in Hanoi

Let’s start from the area where you can walk from one place to another. The first six attractions on this list are within walking distance from each other. 

1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This is a heavily-guarded place where tall guards in white uniforms are freakin’ good-looking. Really! Zoom in your camera and you’d know I’m not exaggerating. Unfortunately, the mausoleum is not open to the public. All you can do is walk from the entrance to the main square and to the exit. Just in case you are wondering who Ho Chi Minh is – he was once the president of Vietnam and a well-respected revolutionary leader.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Hanoi, Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

Views From the Berlin Cathedral Dome – Keep Calm and Wander

Views From the Berlin Cathedral Dome - Keep Calm and Wander

The Berlin Cathedral dome and the views from up there may not impress you much, but the climb to the Baroque dome is a nice experience you’ll remember. After exploring the Cathedral’s interior, climb the stairs to the top of the dome.

A 360-degree view of the city is awaiting for those who’ll make it there. 

Berlin’s historic district is so close looking down from above. 

Though the dome is not as tall the other Cathedral domes in Europe, the views from here give you a different way of looking at the German capital. 

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Prague Castle – Keep Calm and Wander

Prague Castle - Keep Calm and Wander

Prague Castle, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the largest castle coherent complex. With 18 acres of land area, this castle is, surely, one for the world record!

Within the area, you will find architectural gems from different times, and of various styles. If you are an architecture fan, this is simply your paradise. You will find Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, and more.

Prazsky Hrad (as the locals call it) sits on top of a hill. It’s a long climb up there on concrete steps. But Prague’s sweeping skyline view is magnificent from here.

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By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Pnyx Hill in Athens – Keep Calm and Wander

Pnyx Hill in Athens - Keep Calm and Wander

Pnyx Hill in Athens is not your ordinary hill. It may just be another hill in the city but this was once where citizens congregate to talk about and vote on issues that mattered to them. 

Yes, democracy was born here! When power was transferred to the people, they held assemblies here to discuss reforms.

The hill is overlooking the ancient Agora, once a thriving center for business and commerce of ancient Athens. The Parthenon or the Acropolis is very visible at a far distance. It’s only less than a mile.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Athens Gay Travel Resources