Gay L.A.

The best dance clubs for men and men, and gals and their pals. . . .

Arena. The sign on the cashier's window announces in big, bold letters, "This Is a Gay Club," and the Arena is proud of it. The dance clubs here attract a primarily Latino following, but newcomers to the scene are also welcome. 6655 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 462-0714. 18 and over (21 and over on Saturdays), cover varies.

Campus at Axis on Thursdays. Men don't need Cliffs Notes for this stud-ious affair, just some dancing shoes and a pair of spectacles. 652 N. Lapeer Drive, West Hollywood, (310) 659-0472. 18 and over, $5 cover.

Cherry at the Love Lounge on Fridays. Probably L.A.'s best dance club, Cherry is cherished by the gay and straight populace alike for its excellent selection of '80s and '90s glam rock and more and the high-energy drag queens and kings--at Cherry, sexual ambiguity is an art form. 657 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 659-0472. 21 and over, $10 cover.

Dragstrip 66 at Rudolpho's. For the most inventive costumes on the dance club circuit, go to Dragstrip 66, which happens the second Saturday of each month. The themes are always a hoot, and the music a blast from the present and the past. 2500 Riverside Drive, Silver Lake, (323) 969-2596. 21 and over, call for cover.

Erotic Male Madness at (Jewel's) Catch One. Promising buffed-out male go-go dancers, this gay dance party happens the second and fourth Thurdays of every month. 4067 W. Pico Blvd., L.A., (323) 734-8849. 21 and over, call for cover.

Meow Mix West at the Garage on Fridays. Not only known for Big Mama Freak's excellent deejaying skills, Meow Mix does away with all myths about gay women and chooses to celebrate the populace's individuality. 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., Silver Lake, (323) 769-5090. 21 and over, $5-$8 cover.

Michelle's Triple X at 7969 on Tuesdays. Already in its sixth year, Michelle's is a hip-hop club catering to black lesbian women but warmly welcoming all its guests. 7969 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 654-0280. 21 and over, $10 cover.

Rage. I stopped by this venerable gay dance club recently and remembered exactly why I used to sneak my way into gay clubs as an underage San Franciscan. Because they are so much fun. At Rage, people dance themselves stupid--and isn't that what club life's really all about? 21 and over, cover varies.

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