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Gay clubs London: The wildest parties including Sink the Pink, XXL, Popcorn, Nudity, Hard Cock Life

Adam Bloodworth March 30, 2018

London’s thriving LGBTQ+ scene can feel hard to navigate – when there’s parties all over town, how do you know which suits you best? We’ve rounded up the best of London’s club nights to make things a little easier for you.

In any one week London’s gay parties can range from those focused around the music, to more sexualised nights where nakedness is the rule.

There are probably hundreds of different LGBTQ+ nights in London and we couldn’t possibly list all of them, so we’ve chosen a diverse selection of some of our favourites to guide you on your way.

Get your kit off – or keep it firmly on – at London’s best and most intriguing gay club nights.

Sink the Pink

Perhaps the most famous of all London LGBTQ+ nights, Sink the Pink has developed a fierce reputation for throwing some of London’s wildest parties. The high-energy events have gone a long way from their humble origins at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s club, and now fill places like The Troxy, with thousands of revellers.

Related: London’s best gay bars and clubs: New and classic drinking spots from Vauxhall to Soho and further afield

Sink the Pink’s parties heavily feature live performance, with singers like Will Young and Mel C as alumni of past events. Dozens of drag queens also perform at the parties, and the success of the club nights has more or less run in parallel to a growth in interest in the drag scene. Drag has hit the mainstream, and that’s partially thanks to events like Sink the Pink, which have bought live drag shows to a wider and more diverse audience of clubbers in and out of the LGBTQ+ scene.

XXL London

What began in 2000 as a bear night has grown and grown to become a proudly inclusive gay night for all. Their motto, “one club fits all” sits proudly at the top of their website.

Every Saturday and Wednesday at their South Bank home at a club called Pulse, XXL has four areas with completely different vibes. The main room is where the party’s at, with smoke cannons and lasers and house music, but step next door and there’s a more light atmosphere in the pop room. Head to a chill out area, where there are ad-hoc drag and cabaret performances, or out the back into the dark room where…well, you can probably imagine.

XXL on Saturdays runs right through until 7am in the morning. Nowadays, you’re as likely to see twinks in there as you are bears and otters, and entry is kept at a fairly accessible £10.

Popcorn, Porn Idol Camp Attack

HEAVEN – perhaps the world’s most famous gay club – has reliable themed club nights every week. Popcorn on Monday is the student night, but the sheer size of the club (and the fact the night is on a Monday) means crowds are extremely diverse. Thursday night’s Porn Idol is the most sheer fun night to go, when clubbers are pulled up on stage by drag queens and asked to strip naked to be judged on their nakedness. It’s all in good spirits though, obvs.

Friday’s is Camp Attack, and Saturday has a similar vibe of weekend partiers who come out for a varied playlist of pop classics mixed with house tunes. The clubs sheer size means it is a spectacle to witness when full, and clubbers are allowed access to the stage, where on other nights of the week there are gigs and concerts. The laser show is also something else.

Nudity

Vauxhall’s party scene is often more focused on cruising, but Nudity – which runs twice a month at Union club – injects some light-hearted fun into hooking up. Clubbers undress, then hit the dance floor as huge cannons shoot clean foam out on the dance floor while classic disco and current floor fillers play.

There is an “intimate play area”, and free condoms and lube are provided as well as some non-foam chill out areas if getting soaked in foam isn’t your vibe. But remember – the one and only rule is you must be naked, and there’s no exceptions!

Hard Cock Life

Not ones to mince their words, Hard Cock Life have gotten into trouble with Facebook and had their pages shut down recently, all over their provocative name.

After some time away, the events team at HCL are back and throwing more parties for 2018 with hip hop at their core – that, and a lot of trendy east London gay guys, and maybe the odd gay celeb or two. Russell Tovey, Nick Grimshaw and Olly Alexander from Years & Years are all known to have graced the HCL nights with their presence over the past few years. The “homo hip hop” parties are often in grimy-but-cool east London warehouses.

Related: Gay dating: New restaurants, London’s most romantic spots & bars in London to impress your date

Horse Meat Disco

Vauxhall’s newly-renovated Eagle London club hosts a regular Sunday night session called Horse Meat Disco. The night is a celebration of punk, funk and disco music through a queer lens, with creativity at its heart. Horse Meat Disco also tour the UK festival circuit and play in clubs up and down the country.

They say the party is for “homos, heteros and their friends” and is all about appreciating more unusual and less mainstream music choices – but the troupe never take themselves too seriously.

Hard On at Bloc South

Bloc South is Vauxhall’s latest new club opening and a purpose built fetish club, with a multi-level intimate play area. All of their parties carry a similar theme and bondage wear is essential (jeans and street wear isn’t allowed in) but Hard On is the one turning heads right now.

Famous names from the gay porn world appear and put on shows, and techno beats will be supplied all night long, naturally – but it’s really the dynamic play space guys come here for.  Condoms and lube are provided.

Duckie

London’s resident Night Czar Amy Lamé hosts this unfussy, unpretentious night at Vauxhall haunt RVT. There are live performances, and a pop music playlist. In Amy’s own words, Duckie as a troupe of night owls are “purveyors of progressive working class entertainment” – hope that paints a picture…

More: clubbing, gay clubbing, Going Out

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