XXL is my favourite gay club in London and is one of the dwindling few I stay out really late for. It’s a bear (big hairy men) club and I love that it celebrates this much neglected group, with pictures of them posing all of the walls. But don’t worry if this doesn’t sound like your scene, it pulls in all types of gays (twinks, scallies, kinksters, leather men and more). And that’s why my friends and I love it so much.
Most gay clubs are pretentious and demand conformity. Whether it’s having to be: buff, shirtless and high at WE party; a drunk young pop princess at Heaven; or distinctly alternative at East Bloc. But at XXL – somehow the presence of Bears means- anything goes. You can wear whatever you want and you won’t be out of place – I’ve seen guys in harnesses, kilts, suits and sportswear.
Moreover the place is massive and there’s plenty of areas to choose from. So whether you fancy a conventional shirtless boogie when you’re high to pumping music on the main dance floor; a more relaxed dance to some RNB in the second room; or a chill out and chat with your mates you won’t be disappointed. (The chill out room at the front is generally for the older clientele and the one at the back is where everyone else goes to relax and pick-up). For those who like to play a little harder there’s also a huge darkroom at the end of the back chill out room.
XXL in in the Pulse Club venue and opens Wednesdays (11-3) and Saturdays (11-6) and gets busy from around 12.30. The queues aren’t usually too bad – 10-20mins on average. Technically it’s a members club, but you can go in as a guest or join on the night. (If you’re going to go more than once in a year then join as it’ll be cheaper). Also, please note it’s strictly men only. Sorry ladies.