When you enter you have to pass through a long and narrow tunnel before you eventually emerge next to the first of three bars. During its heyday, guests were openly encouraged to get it on on the dance floor, and the city's conservative politicians tried to have the club closed for inviting people to public intercourse, a crime in Germany. Yet strangely it quickly becomes the norm and accepted. As far as I know, there has never been a drug raid in any Berlin club, says Tobias Rapp, who writes about pop culture for Der Spiegel, the German news magazine. Not only do todays Berlin clubs encourage extravagant sexual and narcotic excess, it is actively condoned by Berlins liberal, left-wing administration, desperate to attract tourists to the near-bankrupt city, and by Klaus Wowereit, the citys openly gay mayor, who is often seen in the venues. Salon zur Wilden Renate, according to the German model Eva Padberg, Renate as it is commonly known is the best club in the city. Its outdoor area offers a hodge-podge of second-hand sofas and seating as well as an outdoor bar, abandoned car and tree house-like structures to climb into. Come with me, whispers Simon Thaur, Berlins circus-meister of darkness, in a thick Teutonic accent, as he leads us in to his KitKat Club. About Blank, another club in the industrial areas of Friedrichshain east Berlin, this is a relatively new addition to the Berlin clubbing scene which is said to even be popular with actual Berliners. Tall transvestites strut in super-high boots and bouffant wigs. In the venues dark rooms, specifically set up for anonymous sex with strangers, there are mass orgies involving hundreds of people. The delicate young woman behind the bar is wearing a long black leather dress which splits just above her waist; she wears nothing underneath. In Berlin clubs its common to see people having sex on the dancefloors. Berghain attracts some of the most famous names in house and techno music and is top of most peoples wishlist for a perfect Berlin weekend. Given the looming economic storm clouds, this orgiastic frenzy in the capital of Europes most prosperous and powerful, yet most historically troubled country gives Berlin a disturbingly fin de siècle mood. On a wide couch by the dance floor a model-beautiful blonde woman in her early twenties is being taken from behind by an athletic young guy as she orally gratifies another man while stimulating a third with her hand.