Forget all you've heard about Los Angeles being all about pretty people living pretty lives. The City of Angels is a must-see destination for gay travelers looking for fun in the sun.
Known as the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles is home to millions of people, from young Midwesterners just off the bus seeking fame and fortune in Hollywood's "dream factory" to business execs in the financial industry to grizzled natives just trying to get by. Like other major cities, it's a melting pot, with a vast array of ethnicities living in the many smaller neighborhoods that make up the city and one of the largest gay populations to be found in any major city. You'll find the primped and pretty boys of West Hollywood's Boys' Town, as well as the edgy hipsters who frequent the leather-Levi bars found in Silver Lake, plus just about everything in between.
No matter what you're looking to get into during your trip to Los Angeles, the city and its surrounding areas have got you covered. From historical tours through the downtown area and star tours through the Hollywood Hills to hot gay beaches and even hotter nightlife options, Los Angeles certainly earns its reputation, so prepare to be entertained.
From both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank (BUR), you can grab a shuttle to the nearest station: the Metro Green Line LAX Station; and the MetroLink Burbank Bob Hope Airport Station on the Orange/Ventura County Line. Also there are various bus services, taxis and car rentals.
Amtrak inter-city passenger trains arrive at and depart from the main rail station, Union Station, just north of Downtown. MetroLink trains connect many cities across the region.
Because the city is so spread out (more a series of neighborhoods than a traditional city), getting around in LA almost requires a car. (The Missing Persons didn't sing "No one walks in LA" for nothing.) There are any number of car rental companies to choose from, and a good navigation system will help find your way around.
The Los Angeles Metro system, with both buses and trains to cart folks around, has a handy online site to help plan your trips. The rail system includes the Red and Purple subway lines, plus the Gold, Blue, and Green light rail lines. The MetroLine Orange line connects North Holllywood to the San Fernando Valley. The subway doesn't travel to many Westside locations however, leaving out the popular beaches of Venice and Santa Monica, and places in Boys' Town, West Hollywood.
For a bit of WeHo's colorful history check out the gay bus and walking tours from Out & About Tours, featuring Saturday and Sunday rambles around town. Bikes & Hikes is the queer-friendly way to tour the city by bike, with guided tours and bike rentals. Both depart from West Hollywood locations.
Los Angeles boasts a very large and diverse gay community, with a bit of an east-side vs west-side split at times.
WeHo (aka Boys' Town): One of the most pristine, well-kept and quaintest areas in the city, it's also one of the liveliest, with many well-known bars (Rage, Mickey's, the Abbey), restaurants (Hamburger Mary's, La Boheme) and gyms (24-Hour Fitness). It's also home to porn directrix Chi Chi LaRue's self-named vanity retail shop, as well as several cafes and coffee shops. Just watch out for gym bunnies crossing the street. See: Touring the history-rich City of Angels by Steven Bereznai.
Silver Lake: Similar in vibe to San Francisco's Haight District, this trendy east-side neighborhood is home to LA's most popular leather/Levi/bear bars, Faultline and the Eagle, as well as two others (MJ's, Akbar) that cater to both hipster gay men and their best girlfriends. Funky, edgy and arty, Silver Lake is the antithesis of the more mainstream WeHo, with vegans and tattooed indie rockers aplenty, though you can always find a few boys from the West side venturing out for an exciting new adventure. See: Silver Lake, LA's origninal gay village by Ted Flett (Xtra 11/12/12).
In Focus: Downtown LA heats up
Once thought of as a neighborhood that shut down after dark, Downtown is now something of a nightlife hub.
Though its skyline is instantly recognizable to filmgoers, it may come as a surprise to many to hear that Downtown Los Angeles (or DTLA, as it's known to most Angelenos) has until recently been thought of as dead.
But thanks to a renewed focus on loft living in the refurbished art-deco buildings, an extensive fashion and arts district and a burgeoning nightlife scene, DTLA is finally starting to come into its own.
Artistic-leaning gays might want to start at the Los Angeles Music Center, located in historic Bunker Hill. The Center is a cluster of four major performance venues: the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, home to the LA Opera; the Ahmanson Theater; the Mark Taper Forum (where Angels in America had a successful pre-Broadway run); and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
There are also a lot of museums in Bunker Hill, including the Museum of Contemporary Art. Meanwhile, the monthly Downtown LA Art Walk, held on the second Thursday of the month, attracts over 5,000 attendees to several galleries and studios over in the Historic Core area.
Another important part of DTLA's redevelopment has been the Fashion District, which spans over 90 blocks. Featured recently on Project Runway, the Fashion District is the hub of the apparel industry on the West Coast, and continues to lure both natives and tourists alike due to its funky curio shops, ethnic eateries and fashion bargains. And don't forget to check out the Old Bank District, where lovers of architecture will revel in the gloriously retro art-deco buildings that have been converted into lofts and offices. The Bradbury Building is especially noteworthy for its open courtyard and intricate wrought iron stairwells.
The increased traffic in the downtown area has brought many gay people to the area. Falling somewhere in between the glitz and glam of Boys' Town and the self-conscious hipness of Silver Lake, DTLA is a haven for those looking for an alternative to the usual gay scene.
A bit of West Hollywood history
West Hollywood is one of the world's most notable gay villages. The now-famous Sunset Strip once connected the early Spanish settlement of El Pueblo de Los Angeles to coastal ranches along the Pacific. A century later the area was settled by workers in the railroad yards here a nonconformist and independent lot. By the 1920s night clubs and gambling joints sprang up in a town that was, and remains, outside Los Angeles city limits (and LA's historically more stringent regulations).
Proximity to the movie industry brought an influx of creative types, and in the '60s at safe distance from the LAPD gay life emerged from the shadows, as a part of West Hollywood's general countercultural ferment. The community coalesced around the Santa Monica Avenue strip, and that area remains central to this day. Gay people here comprise perhaps 40 percent of the population, and in 1985 voters here were the first in America to elect a gay-majority city council.
Media and Resources
The GayWEHO website covers the whole city, but gives special attention to West Hollywood, with easy-to-navigate events listings for the clubs, each night of the week, including the 18+ events. WeHoVille is another online resource.
Adelante is the area's gay Latino magazine, with online digital editions.
Starrfucker Magazine, a "self-printed quarterly homo/foto/art-zine with penis," is Jeremy Lucido's behind the scenes view from the world of gay porn - the struggling artist outsider looking in on both fans and stars.
Frontiers Magazine, the 35-year-old biweekly L.A.-based gay magazine was shut down in September 2016.
Founded in 1971, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center (1625 N Schrader Blvd and 8745 Santa Monica Blvd), is the largest gay and lesbian organization in the world with seven locations around the LA area. They host regular theater events, and comedy nights too.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the USA, and largest such repository in the world, houses over two million archival items including periodicals, books, film, video and audio recordings, photographs, artworks, organizational records and personal papers.
The Los Angeles Leather Coalition lists over two dozen member associations. The Tom of Finland Foundation, established to preserve the artist's vast catalog of work, also offers safe haven for all erotic art, educates the public, and promotes healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality.
The Bears LA organize events each year including BearQuake and the Mr SoCal Bear Contest, the Mr LA Leather Bear Contest, Bear it in the Desert, Bears in the Woods and other events at Pistons, the Faultline and Gauntlet II bars.
For gay sports league links see GYM Sportbar pages for Lambda Basketball, GLA Softball; LA Flag Football; Rebellion Rugby; WeHo Dodgeball; the West Hollywood Soccer Club; WH2O West Hollywood Aquatics swimming and water polo; and more.
Ashram West explores Ramakrishna Tantra; queer love as a spiritual path, using ecstatic traditions of Tantric Vedanta.
"Shamanic, sacred fools," the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are dedicated to universal joy and the expiation of guilt. They organize events to raise funds for charitable organizations, providing fun, laughter, and a better understanding of gay diversity.
Spiritual and social drug, alcohol, smoke and electronics-free, the monthly events and annual Community Camp weekend workshops are organized by CalComMen, heart-centered, passionate/ caring men, 18-90+ of all colors, faith traditions, sizes, shapes and abilities.
Visit West Hollywood, and Discover Los Angeles both provide good basic general tourist information for visitors to find their way around town. LA Eater covers the local foodie beat with lists of essential restaurants, what's new and hot in town, and other news about local food and beverage businesses.
LA has more than it's share of promoters presenting special events and circuit parties. Two of the biggest in the business: Jeffrey Sanker of White Party Palm Springs fame with 1Oak Fridays, and Tom Whitman with TNT at Micky's, Size at Here, SpLAsh, Wonderland, and the Elevation gay ski weeks.
Also check out: Club Nur gay Middle Eastern club nights; Club Papi, "America's number one Latin Fiesta;" Freddy's Entertainment at Florentine Gardens; Masterbeat, bringing WE Parties and Forever TLV to LA; Reflex, parties at Los Globos; and Tigerheat ongoing 18+ Thursdays at Avalon in Hollywood. For women, see Girlbar, Wednesdays at The Abbey. Gameboi is a weekly 18+ gay Asian dance party, Fridays at Rage. Mr Black dance events feature bare-butt waiters at pop-up locations.
For a city map and website links to businesses, museums, and entertainment venues, see our gay Los Angeles listings pages. For some photos from around town, see our gallery pages. We also list some upcoming local events and activities.
The motion picture industry collectively known as Hollywood, has profoundly affected cinema and popular culture around the world for over 120 years, and it remains the largest such center in terms of revenue.
Outfest, the LA LGBT Film Festival, showcases the best LGBT films from around the world each July. They also produce: Outfest Fusion, featuring films by and about LGBT people of color each March; and the Outfest West Hollywood Series, with monthly screenings at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers.
The LA Film Festival features new independent films, TV, emerging online content and filmmaker-driven studio titles each June.
A weekend celebration of film and music, Sundance Next Fest is a new breed of festival experience fueled by the renegade spirit of independent artists with films making their Los Angeles premiere in August at the Sundance Sunset Cinema.
The WB Burbank Studio, and Paramount Studios in Hollywood, both offer tours of their iconic film studio backlots, soundstages, and lots of movie history. Disney and Fox also have film and TV studios in the area.
Disneyland, designed by Walt Disney himself, opened in Anaheim in 1955. Today Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown, Tomorrowland, Frontierland and film-based attractions such Pirates of the Caribbean pull in about 16 million visitors a year. Plans for Star Wars Land were announced in 2015. Gay Days Anaheim takes place over 3 days each year, in late September/ early October.
Universal Studios Hollywood, a movie-theme amusement park, has rides that include Jurassic Park: The Ride, and The Simpsons Ride, plus shows, restaurants, and shops. Their 45-minute Studio Tour on tram vehicles, takes visitors to the back-lots, with artifacts and scenes from movies including King Kong, Jaws, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Psycho, and Fast & Furious.
Bars and clubs, West Hollywood area
It's not surprising there are so many nightspots in this town.
1 Oak (9039 W Sunset Blvd), massive ballroom, NYC-style nightclubbing, celebrity sightings; special event parties.
Abbey (692 N Robertson), with long weekends lines, a popular gay coffeehouse, restaurant, and full-service bar. At other times you'll find plenty of open-air seating. Cozy, curtained cabins that are great for making-out. Wednesdays here are GB2 Girls Night. The Chapel expansion adds a second dance floor with its own DJs and theme nights.
Flaming Saddles (8811 Santa Monica Blvd), gay bar, Western-theme, cowboys, country-western music and line dancing, bartenders' shows; daily hot dogs and burgers, plus all-day brunch.
Fubar (7994 Santa Monica Blvd), offbeat neighborhood dance spot, 20-30 somethings, counter-culture attitude, Wednesday-Sunday stripper-go-gos, standup comedy, DirtyBurty's Den, karoake, drag. Exhibitionists/voyeurs Thursday fun with Big Fat Dick erotic photo posing contests, and trashy videos. Wednesday and Sunday Adonis Lounge male strippers/ lap dancers. Monthly parties include Rim Job and 3sum.
Gold Coast (8228 Santa Monica Blvd), cheap drinks locals cruise joint, charmingly oblivious to trendiness, bartenders you can talk to wide cross-section of guys.
Gym Sportsbar (8737 Santa Monica Blvd), TV sports, happy hours, weekend beer blasts, local sports leagues booster, NYC bar sibling.
Hamburger Mary's (8288 Santa Monica Blvd), WeHo outpost of gay diner-bar franchise, big servings, popular all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesdays, Texas-size margaritas, Wednesday bingo, comedy nights, drag shows, Saturday and Sunday drag brunch.
Metropolitan (652 N LaPeer Dr), large, 2-level, slickly designed weekend dance club, several areas, many moods, fashionable people in their prime. Their upstairs lounge coonects to Robertson, with Robertson Street entrance. Was Factory.
Micky's (8857 Santa Monica Blvd), longtime gay WeHo icon, fresh energey, body-beautiful dancers and bartenders, and hot guys packing two floors. Hot Rod Wednesdays are sexy, and shows, guests, go-go dancers; Showgirls, stand up comedy and other events fill their week.
Mother Lode (8944 Santa Monica Blvd), no cover, cheap and strong drinks, mostly male regular guys, good age mix, no attitude, pool games, dirty dancer male strippers.
Rage (8911 Santa Monica Blvd), two-level restaurant, daytime bar, nightclub, open daily, 18+ nights, drag shows and dancers, Latin Nights; Friday GameBoi with a young Asian crowd. Wednesday through Sunday 1-9pm restaurant, lunch specials, sandwiches, burgers, Mexican meals; Monday 5-10pm.
Revolver (8851 Santa Monica Blvd), mixed, mostly male cocktail and video lounge, DJs, patio, dirty dancer go-go boys and shirtless bartender hunks. TrannyOke Mondays, Sunday Beer Busts and Dirty Dancers, plus other nightly events.
Trunks (8809 Santa Monica Blvd), longstanding Boystown video sports bar, laid back patrons, pool tablesl, games and softball teams, a smoking area, friendly bartenders, and drinks at good prices.
CLOSED: Eleven (8811 Santa Monica Blvd), gay lounge, dance club, restaurant; Here Lounge (696 N Robertson Blvd), Saturday guys' night, male strippers; The Palms (8572 Santa Monica Blvd), women's dance club.
Avalon (1735 N. Vine St), big 18+ Thursday night Tigerheat gay dance frolic, the largest weekly gay event on the West Coast, with CD releases, go-go dancers, and often famous guests too; also Masterbeat dance parties and Bardot back bar events.
Club Tempo (5520 Santa Monica Blvd), gay dance and cruise club for Latinos and men who desire them, drag shows, strippers and events all week long.
Florentine Gardens (5951 Hollywood Blvd), Loud Fridays, Temptation Saturdays gay dancing, Latin vibe, go-go boys and drag shows.
Plaza (739 N La Brea), Latin mix, Friday through Monday drag shows, Mexican club music, Thursday exotic go-go dancers.
CLOSED: Arena / Circus Disco (6655 Santa Monica Blvd), gay Latino dancing, drag, exotic dancers; Catch One (4067 W Pico Blvd), multi-ethnic gay dance club, drag, strippers.
The Edison (108 W Second St), restored former downtown power station Art Deco-period swanky, dress-code enforced events, live music, premium beers, scotch, wine, snacks/bites, mixed crowd.
Jalisco (245 South Main St), Cholo, Latino and mixed crowd, DJs play cumbia, reggaeton, hip hop. Next to The Smell, indie live-music all-ages no-alcohol club.
Bar Mattachine (221 W 7th St), gay retro-theme bar/lounge, craft cocktails, DJ sets, entertainment events, brunchgay craft cocktail bar, DJ sets; brunch.
Precinct DTLA (357 S Broadway, 2nd floor), the "Rock N Roll Gay Bar DTLA" with mostly men, bears' beer busts, Queen Kong, Bonkerz; burgers, tacos, skewers, special events.
Redline DTLA (131 E 6th St), gay bar, drag shows, women's nights, Pop and EDM nights; cocktail lounge, small bites, sliders, flatbreads, and Sunday brunch.
Silver Lake Nightlife
Akbar (4356 Sunset Blvd), neighborhood oasis, great jukebox, attracts queer-thinking gentle folk of many sizes, shapes and proclivities, Thursday-Saturday dancing. Weekly or monthly events include Planet Queer, Bears in Space, Learn the Words Bitch, Forbidden Fruit, and Dirty Dirty House Club.
The Eagle LA (4219 Santa Monica Blvd), LA's leather, uniform and fetish cruise bar, live DJs, pool tables, outdoor patio. Bear Nights, fetish and cigar socials, beer busts, Mr Leather Eagle contest. Sponsors the LA Rebellion Rugby Football Club.
Faultline (4216 Melrose Ave), cruise bar, spacious patio, big Sunday crowds for cheap beer. Underwear, drag, Latin, Hip-Hop/RnB, and bear nights; holiday parties, contests, and competitions.
CLOSED: MJ's (2810 Hyperion Ave), dancing/ cruising, "slutty go-go boys" and porn guests on stage/ in showers.
North - N Hollywood/ Fernando Valley/ Van Nuys/ Pasadena
Boulevard (3199 Foothill Blvd, Pasadena), mixed gay crowd, big karoke song selection, RuPaul's Drag Race on TV, Sunday beer busts.
Bullet Bar (10522 Burbank Blvd), serious leather men's bar in the Valley, movie nights, karaoke, pool table, bingo, beer busts, Mr Bullet Leather contest, back patio; food includes chili cheese dogs, tacos, sloppy joes, pulled pork sandwiches.
C.Frenz (7026 Reseda Blvd), Reseda neighborhood gay bar with a little of everything; barbecues, karaoke, pool games, drag shows, fetish events, and strippers/go-go boys.
Cobra (10937 Burbank Blvd), big gay Latin club in North Hollywood, drag shows, hip-hop, dance music and La Musica Latina, plus sexy hot Latino go-go dancers.
Oil Can Harry's (11502 Ventura Blvd, Studio City), mixed, mostly men's bar, leather events, karaoke and Country music dance nights, karaoke; Saturday Retro Disco music dancing.
The Oxwood Inn (13713 Oxnard St, Van Nuys), oldest Lesbian-owned bar in LA County; neighborhood crowd, pool table, darts, friendly bartenders.
CLOSED: Silver Rail (11518 Burbank Blvd), North Hollywood neighborhood men's bar.
South & Westside
Artesia Bar (1995 Artesia Blvd, Redondo/South Bay), gay/mixed neighborhood karaoke bar. Friday Boys Night, Deep & Dope Saturdays. Formerly the Dolphin Bar.
CLOSED: Roosterfish (1302 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice Beach), neighborhood gay bar & grill at the beach.
East - Pomona/ Montebello
Alibi East (225 S San Antonio Ave, Pomona), video bar, dancing, cheap drinks, Sunday beer busts, karaoke, pool games, bear nights, Saturday theme parties.
Chico (2915 W Beverly Blvd, at Garfield, Montebello) sexy Latin club in East Los Angeles, hot shot boys and Latino strippers, open nightly playing Musica Latina, Hip Hop, and Old School.
Three-Forty Restaurant & Nightclub (340 S Thomas St, Pomona), 18+ Hollywood/NYC-style club, Wednesdays through Saturdays; hot Latin guys on stage nightly, RuPaul's Drag Race Superstars. Saturday Stripped all-male review shows. Tapas/small plates, sliders and pizza. Occasional Sunday Be Fierce Drag Battles with BoyToy go-go boys by Tigerheat.
Restaurants - WeHo, Westside/ Hollywood/ Silver Lake
Basix Cafe (8333 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo), health-conscious Californian-Italian-Mexican breakfast/ lunch/ dinner; fresh breads/pastries, pasta, sandwiches, omelets, pizza, salads.
Bossa Nova (685 N Robertson, WeHo), meaty Brazilian treats and other international cuisine.
Cafe D'etoile (8941-1/2 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo) good French and American food and wine, indoors or patio seating.
Canter's Deli (419 N Fairfax Ave, WeHo), 24-hour deli-style breakfast, lunch and dinner, baked goods; full bar, 10:30am to 1:40am, with entertainment.
Champagne French Bakery Cafe (One Westside, 2202 Sawtelle Blvd; 11709 National Blvd, Mar Vista), Parisian-style café breakfast, soups, sandwiches & salads, quiches and crepes; breads, cakes, cookies and pastries.
The Churchill (8384 W 3rd St), seasonal American house-made cured meats, pastas, pickled veg, breads and desserts, cocktails, craft beers on tap, California wines, patio; breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night menus.
Falcon (7213 Sunset Blvd) formal elegance, chic Hollywood bar and restaurant, full meals and appetizer snacks, performances and live music.
Fiesta Cantina (8865 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo), kicked-back atmosphere, beach bar and grill, kitschy Mexican restaurant with a thatched hut facade attracting many gay boys and girlfriends.
Flore Vegan Cuisine (3818 Sunset Blvd, Silver Lake), extensive organic vegan menu, deli take-out counter, fresh juices, dinner and weekend brunch.
Food Lab (7253 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo), organic gourmet meat, veggie/vegan breakfast and lunch sandwiches, toasts, waffles, omelets, and salads.
Hugo's (8401 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo), whole-food “stealthy healthy” meat/ fish/ veggie/ vegan breakfast, lunch, and dinner; pan-global menus, cocktails and wines.
Hyperion Public (2538 Hyperion, Silver Lake), gastro-pub lunch/brunch, dinner entrees, burgers, sandwiches, patio. Former Flying Leap Cafe location.
Kitchen 24 (8575 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo), 24/7 signature soups, salads, eggs, burgers, sandwiches, fruit juices and smoothies, baked goods; espresso coffee bar.
La Bohème (8400 Santa Monica Blvd), West Hollywood gay favorite romantic gourmet dining destination, veggie/vegan options, garden patio.
Marco's (8200 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo), breakfast, lunch and dinner Italian Trattoria, plenty of outdoor seating, celebrity sightings, coffee, snacks and free WiFi.
Marix (1108 N Flores St, WeHo) bar and Tex-Mex restaurant, popular all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesdays with pitchers of Margaritas.
St. Felix (8945 Santa Monica Blvd + 1602 N Cahuenga Blvd), West Hollywood gay favorite with outdoor patio and good passers-by views, plus Hollywood branch; classy, vibrant bars/ restaurants, tapas, steak skewers, Cuban tacos, ravioli, Happy Hour specials.
Tortilla Republic (616 N Robertson Blvd, WeHo), in and outdoor tables, modern upscale Mexican lunch/brunch and dinner menus; cocktails.
For over 80 Los Angeles restaurants and cafes, see our map & listings/ restaurants pages.
Lodgings, West Hollywood & Downtown LA
Ace Hotel (929 S Broadway, DTLA; 213-623-3233), restored 1927 United Artists theater building, small/large/loft rooms, terrace suites; part of gay-owned hotel chain.
Holloway Motel (8465 Santa Monica Blvd; 888-654-6400) next to the IHOP, "good bang for your buck" with free cable TV, voicemail, continental breakfast and parking.
The Ramada Plaza West Hollywood (8585 Santa Monica Blvd; 800-845-8585) Art Deco-style rooms and two-story loft deluxe suites; DSL, movies, refrigerators standard. 24-Hour Fitness, fine restaurants and outdoor heated pool.
Palihouse West Hollywood (8465 Holloway Dr, West Hollywood; 323-656-4100), 37 studio/ 1-2 bedroom guest suites and loft-style residences, with kitchenette, living- dining area, washer/ dryer; Mardi Brasserie, lobby lounge, and rooftop bar.
San Vicente Bungalows (845 North San Vicente Blvd; 310-854-6915), tropical tranquility, 29 whitewashed bungalows and a heated pool surrounded by lush gardens, international mix of guests at heart of WeHo. sun deck, large patio area, continental breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese.
For more than 40 Los Angeles lodgings options see our map and listing tab.
Shopping, West Hollywood
665 Leather (8722 Santa Monica Blvd) adult leather retailer, ready-made and bespoke creations, accessories from anal toys to whips, paddles and wrist-pads.
Chi Chi LaRue's (8861 Santa Monica Blvd), upscale sex boutique, entire Channel 1 catalog of over 2,000 titles and products; also DVDs, novelties, lubricants, condoms, apparel, cards, photo books and calendars.
Circus of Books (8230 Santa Monica Blvd), erotic videos and literature, "Vaseline alley" at the back does get its share of action but patrolling police are never far away.
Out of the Closet (8224 Santa Monica Blvd), West Hollywood AHF benefit thrift store, household items and clothing. Also with a location in Venice.
Pleasure Chest (7733 Santa Monica Blvd) giant adult store, everything needed to tickle erotic fancies: magazines, specialty items, gifts, leather goods, condoms, love toys and the like.
Rough Trade (3915 Sunset Blvd), quality vendor of leather wares, body toys, lubes; specializes in hard-to-find items.
V Wine Room (903 Westbourne Dr, WeHo), exclusive California wines and craft beers retail store; tastings, savory and sweet bites, gift merchandise, and local artists’ work.
Bathhouses & sex clubs
The 1350 Club (510 W Anaheim St, Wilmington/ Long Beach) only men's steam and sauna in South Bay. Garden patio and sun deck, multi-channel videos, maze, excercise machines, private rooms, TV lounge, Safe Sex Party live performers, blackout nights, 24-hour secure parking, free HIV/STD testing and counseling.
CumUnion sex parties for men take place on first Fridays each month with slings, a bar, go-go boys, DJ, and play spaces at Sanctuary (10914 S. La Cienega Blvd, Lennox/Inglewood), a BDSM dungeon playspace.
Flex Complex (4424 Melrose Ave) open around-the-clock, garden oasis, outdoor jacuzzi, sundeck and pool. Full steam and sauna facilities, booths facilitate passions of one kind, with videos to inflame them, gym with free weights and machines for other work-outs.
K-Lyt Bath House (132 E 4th St), 24-hour every day downtown LA men's bathhouse, popular with Latinos.
Melrose Baths (7269 Melrose Ave), between Hollywood and WeHo, Bear & Bellies nights, Blackout parties, big Latino crowd. Facilities include pool, patio deck, steam, redwood sauna, sundeck, maze, exhibitionist rooms, video lounges, strip shows, guest porn stars, Wi-Fi
Midtowne Spa (615 S Kohler) popular sauna destination, heart of downtown LA; parking provided, video lounge, exhibitionist room, performer's showroom, deluxe sling room, full-size pool, weekend strip shows, JO shows with guest porn stars, Wi-Fi..
The North Hollywood Spa (5636 Vineland Ave), steam, dry sauna, fitness center, erotic-TV lounge, private rooms, cafe, sun deck, plus free health clinic for testing and counseling.
Roman Holiday (12814 Venice Blvd), basic men's sauna, open 24 hours, older crowd.
Roman Holiday Valley (14435 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys), men's sauna/steam, Jacuzzi, private rooms, pool, sunning patio, massage, Wi-Fi.
Slammer (3688 Beverly, near Vermont) premier sex club. Popular Tuesday gym nights, watersports every first and third Wednesday, earlybird weekend specials.
The Zone (1037 N Sycamore Ave) sex club and backroom busy with hot studs every night of the week until dawn; steamy, ever-changing, hot and safe environment.
CLOSED: Hollywood Spa (1650 N Ivar Ave), pleasure palace on 3 floors, grand staircase, two-way-mirror rooms. Their North Hollywood facility remains open.
Going to the beach? Will Rogers Beach, in Malibu, a few miles north of Santa Monica pier, is gay-active, especially at weekends.
Other Metro Los Angeles areas
For Long Beach and Orange County Beach towns, Santa Ana and Anaheim, see our section for Long Beach.