Gay parties: The best gay nightlife in New York

Gay parties in New York offer something for everyone, from relaxed, mixed-queer shindigs to sweaty dance throwdowns.

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  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Time Out's top 5 gay parties

    Westgay

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    Time Out's top 5 gay parties

    Hot Rabbit

  • Time Out, Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    Time Out's top 5 gay parties

    Buddies

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    Time Out's top 5 gay parties

    Scissor Sundays

    Click through for more of our favorites

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Time Out's top 5 gay parties

    Code

Photograph: Krista Schlueter

Time Out's top 5 gay parties

Westgay


While the age of jumbo weekly gay parties in New York came to an end with the closure of iconic spots like Twilo and the Roxy, the city still offers a staggering variety of queer nightlife options, from Daniel Nardicio's raunchfests to Whitney Day's classy lesbian mixers. The arrival of XL Nightclub, Cabaret & Lounge last year ushered in a new one-stop space for reliably fun weekly dance throwdowns (albeit on a smaller scale than in the Giuliani era), including Rockit and JB Saturdays. Downtown, mixed gay parties including Scissor Sundays and Hot Rabbit offer the city's queers a chance to mingle with folks from all points on the gender and sexuality spectrums, while kinksters convene at the ever-popular Eagle. Check back here often as we add more great gay parties, and for a deeper look at the scene, be sure to check out our galleries of gay party photos.

RECOMMENDED: New York nightlife guide 2013

Gay parties in New York

Nutcracker Rouge

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

[Note: The review below is from a previous run of Nutcracker Rouge. The revived production is at XIV, Company XIV's new home in the East Village, and the current cast does not include Marisol Cabrera and Jeff Takacs.) Nutcracker Rouge. Minetta Lane Theatre (see Off Broadway). Directed and choreographed by Austin McCormick. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 50mins. One intermission. Nutcracker Rouge: In brief Austin McCormick and his risqué neobaroque dance theater Company XIV present a lavish erotic reimagining of a classic holiday tale (adapted by Jeff Takacs), complete with circus performers, operatic singers and partial nudity. Nutcracker Rouge: Theater review by David Cote Around this time of year, the word nutcracker conjures so much innocent wonder: Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, the dance of the sugarplum fairy, glitter pasties, stripper poles, comically large stuffed penises.… Oh, did I lose you there? Director-choreographer Austin McCormick has taken the Christmas staple and given it a NSFW spin. Nutcracker Rouge is the perfect hot date: a rated-R riff on the tale of Clara and an enchanted appliance—which may require batteries. Our wide-eyed heroine is now an adult named Marie Claire (Laura Careless, agog and breathing heavily), and the world she discovers is a wintry realm of half-naked dancers and acrobats, gyrating and performing physical stunts that send her into ecstasies of arousal. They get the audience riled up, too. Decked out in Zane Pihlstrom’s eye-po

  1. 428 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. $65–$175
  3. Thu Dec 18 - Sat Jan 31
Buy tickets

Homo Erectus

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Matt Knife serves up a night of all-boy (or mostly boy) burlesque at this recurring show.

  1. The Stonewall Inn 53 Christopher St, between Seventh Ave South and Waverly Pl , 10014
  2. Thu Dec 18
More info

Code

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Get decked out in your kinkiest gear—or at least don't show up in an ironic tee and orange Pumas, hipster—for the city's biggest weekly fetish bash. Barbers help you achieve that sexy buzz-cut look, and bootblacks keep your kicks glossy while you chug cheap beer. Acceptable attire includes leather, rubber and uniforms. Check the website for more extensive info. And don't fuck it up—the doorman's decision is final.

  1. The Eagle 554 W 28th St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. Thu Dec 18
More info

Pat

  • Critics choice
  • Free

JD Samson's party for cute Brooklynites returns, this time with DJs Michael Magnan, Roze Royze and Amber Valentine joining Samson on the decks, while Life Partner and Tami Hart work the front room. Cheap drink specials enhance the scene.

  1. Union Pool 484 Union Ave, at Meeker Ave, 11211
  2. Thu Dec 18
More info

Hot Rabbit

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This long-running weekly party draws a reliably cute mixed crowd to the basement of West Village dive the Monster. Widely varying DJs from NYC and beyond ensure that you'll never encounter the same scene twice.

  1. The Monster 80 Grove St , at Seventh Ave South
  2. Fri Dec 19
More info

Le Bingo

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Join wisecracking host Linda Simpson and her rotating cast of lovely spokesmodels at this weekly bingo throwdown featuring wacky prizes and a cash jackpot. Full bar and food menus are available throughout.

  1. Le Poisson Rouge 158 Bleecker St, at Thompson St
  2. Sat Dec 20
More info

Viva Saturdays

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Nightlife vets John Blair, Beto Sutter and Ric Sena present this man-heavy big-room Saturday night dance featuring an ever-changing cast of DJs. Shirtlessness is encouraged, but not required.

  1. Stage 48 605 W 48th St, between Eleventh and Twelfth Aves
  2. Sat Dec 20
More info

El Ring

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Scenester and shutterbug Marco Ovando presides over this wrestling-themed party soundtracked by local and visiting DJs.

  1. Atlas Social Club 753 Ninth Ave, between 50th and 51st Sts, 10019
  2. Sat Dec 20
More info

Sex on Fifth Avenue

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Kayvon Zand and Brandon McElroy oversee this weekly bacchanal featuring ever-changing DJs, art installations, guided tours and a sexy crowd of nightlife creatures. Dressy-casual or "exotic" attire is encouraged but not required.

  1. Museum of Sex (MoSex) 233 Fifth Ave, at 27th St
  2. Sat Dec 20
More info

Scissor Sundays

  • Critics choice
  • Free

JD Samson's beloved weekly tea dance features a friendly, mixed crowd grooving to tunes by a rotating cast of local and visiting DJs, plus deliciously strong drinks and gorgeous sunsets over the Hudson.

  1. Rusty Knot 425 West St, at 11th St
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Sun Dec 28
More info

Buddies

  • Critics choice
  • Free

DJ Damian Cote reigns at this casual weeknight get-together, spinning an eclectic set of underground dance, funk, punk, ’80s and rock.

  1. Nowhere 322 E 14th St, between First and Second Aves
  2. Tue Dec 23 - Tue Dec 30
More info

Christmas Eve Jewbilee

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

With all of the goyim tucked in their beds, dreaming of sugar fairies or whatever, the city's gay Jews (and their "goy toys") are invited to dance the night away to the sounds of DJ Xavier at the seventh annual edition of this Chosen Christmas Eve bash presented by He'bro.

  1. Stage 48 605 W 48th St, between Eleventh and Twelfth Aves
  2. Wed Dec 24
More info

The Sherry Vine Show

  • Critics choice
  • Free

New York drag institution and brilliant comedian Sherry Vine brings you her song parodies, viral videos and acid wit every week at this popular Hell's Kitchen drinkery.

  1. Industry Bar 355 W 52nd St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Wed Dec 24 - Wed Jun 24
More info

Code

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Get decked out in your kinkiest gear—or at least don't show up in an ironic tee and orange Pumas, hipster—for the city's biggest weekly fetish bash. Barbers help you achieve that sexy buzz-cut look, and bootblacks keep your kicks glossy while you chug cheap beer. Acceptable attire includes leather, rubber and uniforms. Check the website for more extensive info. And don't fuck it up—the doorman's decision is final.

  1. The Eagle 554 W 28th St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. Thu Dec 25
More info

Hot Rabbit

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This long-running weekly party draws a reliably cute mixed crowd to the basement of West Village dive the Monster. Widely varying DJs from NYC and beyond ensure that you'll never encounter the same scene twice.

  1. The Monster 80 Grove St , at Seventh Ave South
  2. Fri Dec 26
More info

Bear Yourself Underwear Party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Bear booster George Hains presents this monthly skivvy party for big boys. Attendees are encouraged to frolic in their boxers, briefs or—if they're feeling literally cheeky—jock straps. Cheap booze and jiggly beats courtesy of DJ Chauncey D will help reduce inhibitions.

  1. Rockbar 185 Christopher St, at West St
  2. Fri Dec 26
More info

Le Bingo

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Join wisecracking host Linda Simpson and her rotating cast of lovely spokesmodels at this weekly bingo throwdown featuring wacky prizes and a cash jackpot. Full bar and food menus are available throughout.

  1. Le Poisson Rouge 158 Bleecker St, at Thompson St
  2. Sat Dec 27
More info

Viva Saturdays

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Nightlife vets John Blair, Beto Sutter and Ric Sena present this man-heavy big-room Saturday night dance featuring an ever-changing cast of DJs. Shirtlessness is encouraged, but not required.

  1. Stage 48 605 W 48th St, between Eleventh and Twelfth Aves
  2. Sat Dec 27
More info

El Ring

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Scenester and shutterbug Marco Ovando presides over this wrestling-themed party soundtracked by local and visiting DJs.

  1. Atlas Social Club 753 Ninth Ave, between 50th and 51st Sts, 10019
  2. Sat Dec 27
More info

Sex on Fifth Avenue

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Kayvon Zand and Brandon McElroy oversee this weekly bacchanal featuring ever-changing DJs, art installations, guided tours and a sexy crowd of nightlife creatures. Dressy-casual or "exotic" attire is encouraged but not required.

  1. Museum of Sex (MoSex) 233 Fifth Ave, at 27th St
  2. Sat Dec 27
More info

Fire in the Hole

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Got a thing for carrottops? You'll find plenty of them at this monthly soiree for gingers and their friends. DJ Sean McMahill (guess what color his hair is) presides while you knock back $2 pints and $3 whiskey gingers.

  1. Nowhere 322 E 14th St, between First and Second Aves
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

New Year's Cockin' Eve! The 12th Annual NYE Masked Ball

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

250 W 40th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, fourth floor. Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority; N, Q, R, S, 42nd St S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St–Times Square. For those looking for more than a peck on the lips at midnight, sleazemeister Daniel Nardicio's annual men-only, clothing-optional masquerade offers plenty of action. Eight go-go men strut their stuff au naturel, while hosts Big "Dick" Clark and Brian Kenny work the crowd. Brave attendees can enter the Stroke of Midnight contest for a chance to win $100. (Email daniel@dworld.us for rules and to register.)

  1. Manhattan
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

Murray Hill’s New Year’s Eve Late Show

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

NYC's favorite drag king carries on his annual pageant with an A-grade lineup in tow: Burly-Q beauty Dirty Martini, singer extraordinare Bridget Barkan, comedy-dance duo Kitten LaRue and Lou Henry Hoover, boylesque star Mr. Gorgeous and Neal Medlyn (in his Champagne Jerry guise) entertain the audience until the big countdown to the dollar-store-balloon drop. The fun continues with a dance party (with DJ Half ’N Half, otherwise known as Hill, on the decks), and the opportunity to corner one of the performers for a smooch.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Thu Jan 1
More info

Sex on Fifth Avenue

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Kayvon Zand and Brandon McElroy oversee this weekly bacchanal featuring ever-changing DJs, art installations, guided tours and a sexy crowd of nightlife creatures. Dressy-casual or "exotic" attire is encouraged but not required.

  1. Museum of Sex (MoSex) 233 Fifth Ave, at 27th St
  2. Sat Jan 3
More info

Sex on Fifth Avenue

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Kayvon Zand and Brandon McElroy oversee this weekly bacchanal featuring ever-changing DJs, art installations, guided tours and a sexy crowd of nightlife creatures. Dressy-casual or "exotic" attire is encouraged but not required.

  1. Museum of Sex (MoSex) 233 Fifth Ave, at 27th St
  2. Sat Jan 10
More info


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