The French capital is cloaked in myth and cliché, but one thing's for sure: few
places on earth can be gayer than the roads of the intimate Marais and the neon-lit
Les Halles districts just north of Notre Dames, reports Adrian Gillan. The city is still coming to terms with
the terrorism of recent years which ripped apart some of this most stylish and beautiful part of Europe - but people are returning
to a more normal way of enjoying it.
The most popular gay bars in Paris are located in the famous quarter called Le Marais. So
where better to settle in than Le Jaja. It's a restaurant located in Le Marais near to the Centre Pompidou.
This is very much a foodie's restaurant with modern twists and fresh ingredients.
Cafe Beaubourg has a large terrace with mixed public in opposite of the Centre Pompidou. Just watch all the
shopping French boys and tourists go by.
Alternatively, L'Amazonial is a huge, sprawling gay restaurant with great food but variable service
stretched to the limits at weekends.
Having eaten well it's time to head off for
Raidd Bar. This is a trendy gay bar in the very heart of Le Marais famous for its shower. It can be very busy with all kinds of men and is
very popular with tourists because on at least one night a week (normally Thursdays) every hour or so a hot stripper comes out to perform and takes a shower!
The Banana Café is worth avoiding since it's extremely overrated and now a bit passé
and frankly somewhat straight-laced - it should relax and forget itself a bit. You
couldn't say that about a bar a few streets away - it's the overfull Le Cox stuffed
with butch manly men after a stuffing. It has good vibes and music. Happy hour is crowded (around 18h00)
open every day, which makes it worth a visit both before or after dinner.
freedj has a good vibe and cool football table. Nice music and crowd to go spend the night or have a
drink or two before you make it a bar-hop night. It's near loads of other bars and restaurants.
Also of note are the Gossip Cafe and Upper Cafe Les Halles are both informally chic drinking
holes a few doors down from each other.
The Paris gay district and freedj - Photo: Bumblee_Dee
The regular gay bars include Duplex Bar which is laid-back gay bar with art displays, plus happy hour specials, a mezzanine & a smoking room.
Also, La Boite a gay night bar in the heart of the city playing lots of different music each night.
Also worth a visit, Krash Bar which has turned into a cruise bar with cubicles, glory holes and a sling and
Full Metal which is a famous cruising and leather bar with two darkrooms. It can be very crowded in weekends.
Far more mean and moody is the cruisy
Quetzal just along the road, pulling in an older no-nonsense crowd.
But for some really serious man-on-man action, Paris has a wide range of men-only
bars with titles like Le Keller and Le Mensch.
Le Mensch is billed as a British pub with a Berlin atmosphere, but it's much more than that.
Very much a dungeon style bar with a labyrinth of rooms full of guys having sex. They have special night for Master & Slaves, Dog training, Bondage,
Latex, Uniforms, Fists, Fetishes, Golden Showers and Punishment.
Paris est fiere.e (Paris is Proud), Paris Pride
John Samuel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Le Keller meanwhile is a historical and legendary club of the French hard and fetish gay scene for more than 45 years.
It differs from other sex clubs in Paris by the importance given to dresscode and its programming which is almost exclusively composed
of theme parties including Bondage, Fisting, SM, and several Fuck themes. It's a sex club for guys who enjoy unbridled sex without shame or complex.
Entre Deux Eaux used to be a bar to where you could bring your mother. However, their Naked
Nights became so successful, they've turned the bar into a nude gay play and cruise club.
They claim it's the only club where the bartenders are naked and you are welcome to have a quiet drink or play with some other guys.
El Hombre is a small bar which turns out to be an Aladdin's Cave with an exciting bar and dance floor downstairs. Lots of great music
and everyone happy dancing the night away.
Also worth a mention is Le Bunker whihc is now more than ever focussed on hard gay cruising: showers, glory holes,
slings, darkroom and cubicals.
Le Secteur X is just a 3 min walk from The Centre Pompidou and and their friendly bar team are happy to welcome you every day. Conviviality,
good humor and good hot moments are on the program - they hold Fetish Nights, Skinheads and Bastards Night, Brutal Nights and even a Piss-In Night.
Parisian in a jock - Photo: Neil Sidhoum|
L'Impact Paris is a naked cruising bar and one of the most popular gay sex clubs in Paris - it's even known abroad. On the ground floor of
L'Impact Bar, you will find a bar area, where you will undress before putting your clothes in a plastic bag at the cloakroom. Downstairs there are
typical Parisian cellars, where the action is: cabins without doors, slings, glory holes. They host theme nights including horse men, two for one, and
hot dog party just to name a few. If you're shy when you come in, you won't stay shy for long. Lots of lube around and some condoms. Not a lot of guys
wanting to use the condoms though. Just one bathroom to cleanup but lots of fun facilities in the basement.
Bears Den has a small bar in the upstairs area so expect to be crowded. Downstairs is the
second bar but that's only open during karaoke nights. Great ambiance, super helpful and friendly bartenders. Highly recommended for the bear
crowd or those looking for a friendly change of scene.
One Way is also a Bear's bar with video room and sling in the cellar.
For those more innocent clubbing pleasures?
Le Gibus is stylish yet uninhibited,
for your true clubbing crowd, though perhaps now also a bit 'mixed' for some gay tastes.
A warning: take out a bank loan to buy your drinks in any Paris club.
A Paris queen at the Paris Queen
SAUNAS & CRUISING
Key West is one of the busiest gay saunas in the world, with queues around
the block on a Sunday afternoon! It boasts a vast steam room and an endless warren
of cabins and wipe-down mattress spaces. And lots of young'ns. IDM is also
worth a visit for steaming away any remaining spare Parisian moments.
If you like cruising in the open air, try the Seine's Louvre Quay between
the Pont Neuf and the Tuileries Gardens. Watch out though: it's very exposed -
no bushes here - and so somewhat sordid, with occasional police patrols.
WHERE TO STAY
Our hotel partners Booking can advise you on
both gay hotels in Paris or gay friendly accommodation in the Gay Marais.
You can book easily online from the wide range of suggestions.
was created in 2005 by long term residents of Le Marais and is a comprehensive tourist website dedicated to the district.
They also offer a choice of privately owned apartments
from a single guestroom to a beautiful penthouse with jacuzzi. Studios start at
around £360 a week, but you can get big discounts in July and August and there are
special offers if you book well in advance.
Rent your own apartment in the Marais district
There are also many other bars, clubs, eateries, saunas, sex shops, boutiques and
ladies' venues - enough to fill a novella. But if you try out those suggested here
you'll have more than scratched the surface. Oh - I almost forgot to mention it -
Paris isn't half bad for romance either, if you're that way inclined, especially
walks along the Seine.
And of course, once you've explored Paris there's the rest of France to discover.
Le Vieux Donjon is a recently opened gay guest house in a converted historic residence.
Beautifully renovated rooms, sauna and pool just 90 minutes from Paris in Pressigny les Pins.
And don't miss out on the gay-friendly Hotel Saintonge just to the north of the city, and every bit as convenient. It's
another place to stay that's worth considering.
Adrian Gillan travelled with Eurostar who'll take you effortlessly from London Waterloo
to the heart of Paris in just three hours. For information and bookings call from the UK: 03432 186 186
or from outside the UK: +44 (0)1233 617 575. You can also visit www.eurostar.com
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK|
Banana Cafe (13 rue de la Ferronnerie; T: 0033 1 42 33 35 31; Website)
Bears Den (6 Rue des Lombards: T: 0033 1 42 71 08 20; facebook)
Cafe Beaubourg (43 Rue St Merri, Les Halles; Website)
Duplex Bar (25 Rue Michel le Comte)
El Hombre (15 Rue de la Reynie; T: 0033 1 48 87 84 45; Website)
Entre Deux Eaux (45 Rue de la Folie-Mericourt; Website)
freedj (35 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie; T: 0033 1 48 04 95 14; Website)
Full Metal (40 Rue des Blancs-Manteaux; Website)
Gossip Cafe (16 rue des Lombards; T: 0033 1 42 71 36 83)
Hotel Saintonge (16 rue de Saintonge; T: 0033 1 42 77 91 13; Website)
IDM Sauna (4 rue du Faubourg Montmatre; T: 0033 1 45 23 10 03; Website)
Key West Sauna (141 rue Lafayette; T: 0033 1 45 26 31 74)
Krash Bar (12 rue Simon le Franc; T: 0033 1 48 87 74 18; Website)
L'Amazonial (3 rue Ste-Opportune; T: 0033 1 42 33 53 13; Website)
L'Impact Bar (18 Rue Greneta; T: 0033 1 42 21 94 24; Website)
La Boite (15 Rue des Lombards; T: +33 1 42 77 53 37; Website)
Le Bunker (150 rue St Maur; T: 0033 1 43 57 33 82; Website)
Le Cox (15 rue des Archives; T: 0033 1 42 72 08 00; Website)
Le Gibus (18 rue du Faubourg du Temple; Website)
Le Jaja (3 rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie; T: 0033 1 42 74 71 52; Website)
Le Keller (14 Rue Keller; Website)
Le Mensch (34 Rue Charlot; T: +33 9 53 53 38 84; Website)
Le Secteur X (49 Rue des Blancs Manteaux; T: 0033 1 48 87 16 59; Website)
Le Vieux Donjon (6 Place du Bourg, Pressigny les Pins:T: 0033 2 38 94 97 56; Website)
One Way (28 Rue Charlot; Website)
Quetzal (10 rue de la Verrerie; T: 0033 1 48 87 99 07; facebook)
Raidd Bar (23 rue du Temple; T: 0033 1 53 01 00 00)
Upper Cafe Les Halles (66 rue des Lombards; 0033 1 42 86 94 27; Website)
Revised July 2022.