If you grew up g.a.y in London, chances are you spent most of your late teenage years in Heaven for G-A-Y's infamous Porn Idol, or at the G-A-Y bar itself. You were dancing to Kylie, or perhaps it was Beyonce, before you found a kind stranger to snog when you were squished together in the schmoking section. G-A-Y is open day and night, with cheap drink options galore and sexy young folk twerking on the dance floor.
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There's no chance you've been prodding around the scene and have never set foot in She Soho. Owned by Ku Bar 'round the corner, She Soho is, thus far, the only lesbian club in London, and for good reason. Its silhouette-covered walls, its snazzy arches and its sexy blue dimmers, the place will manages to feel cosy, classy and sleazy all at once. They also throw karaoke night, drag king shows, quiz competitions, socials for singles and banging house/R&B club nights every month, so every time you walk in, you can't help but get stuck.
Possibly the most famous gay bar in town, Ku is known across London for its snazzy neon-lit interiors, its champagne bar, its sexy cocktails, and its sexy topless male bartenders (who have their own Instagram page, obvs). Although most queer bars are crumbling under the increasing pressure of property developers, Ku has managed to cash in the paper and spread its wings, opening up Ku Soho down the road, and buying the famous Candy Bar, now known as She Soho. If you're looking to impress your date or just looking to paint Soho in red, then start at Ku, and end there too.
Freedom is lounging on a golden velour sofa in a dimly-lit bar, with a snazzy, sultry and sophisticated art deco feel. It's all about opulence, darling, and there's nothing quite so decadent as sipping on a Courtesan (gin, elderflower, Moët) watching a fabulous drag queen strut her stuff past midnight on a Wednesday evening. There's also nothing quite so sexy as attempting an upside-down flare on one of the stripping poles downstairs, breaking your heel and falling face down on the floor. Class, babes, either you got it, or you don't.
The quaint little Dunky is one of the long lasting strongholds of the Old Compton gay strip, famed for having one small bar, one big room, one small stage and one big, friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Poor old Duncan was the victim of a dreadful bombing attack by some fascist dickhead back in 1999, which killed three people and seriously injured another 70. Only the perpetrator clearly underestimated the power of the LGBT community, and within a few months, the Admiral rose from the ashes like a phoenix, and continues to offer cheap afternoon bevvies and some of the best in London's cabaret scene.