Most everyone who cares about such things agrees that go-go dancing was invented in the early 1960s when a few drunken women climbed up on some bar tables and started dancing to entertain patrons. Where this first happened—at the Peppermint Lounge in New York City or in Los Angeles at Whisky a Go Go—is a matter of debate.
The term itself comes from a French expression, à gogo, which translates to “joy and happiness,” for the mood they are meant to evoke.
Male go-go dancers first enjoyed popularity in gay clubs during the mid-1960s, but then fell out of fashion for over two decades before resurfacing in the late ’80s. Today, go-go boys are fixtures of queer nightlife, so much so that West Hollywood celebrates an official “Go-go Appreciation Day” every year.
Now that we’ve whetted your appetite for gyrating boys that flash their assets in barely-there attire, here’s our list of the best places to find go-gos.
Piranha, Las Vegas
They don’t call it “Sin City” for nothing: Expect to find as many as 25 go-go dancers on hand here at this long-time Las Vegas nightlife staple.
Rich’s, San Diego
San Diego’s oldest nightclub is also its most popular, and with talent like this, it’s little wonder why.
The Monster, New York City
Next time you find yourself in New York, be sure to head to this West Village mainstay for its weekly Spunk party.
Beaux Bar, San Francisco
If it’s go-gos you seek, then head to SF’s Castro club/lounge for “Pan Dulce” every Wednesday and “Manimal” Fridays.
6. Oz, New Orleans
The Big Easy’s most popular gay nightclub ramps things up a notch each week with its Tuesday night “Bourbon Boylesque” show.
West Hollywood and Los Angeles
There are so many great places in L.A./West Hollywood that we didn’t want to narrow it down; in fact, you can read about them all right here. Also, as we mentioned above, Weho is home to an official, government-recognized “Go-Go Appreciation Day.”
Fairytale Lounge, NYC
Fairytales do come true at this eclectically designed NYC watering hole, and they are dancing up on the bar in front of you.
Tin Room, Dallas
How could we not love a place that features hot dancers seven nights a week? Plus, they do say everything is bigger in Texas.
Swinging Richards, Atlanta
Swinging Richards has been serving up completely nude go-gos in Atlanta for well over 15 years; that makes them tops in our book.