Is Heat going to fill the void left by XXL for London’s gay men?
Held at the Fire complex in Vauxhall, Heat is on Saturday 9 November.
Turning up the temperature at Fire on a Saturday night, Heat is a male-only dance and play space.
Jamie HP has taken charge of the darkroom play-space for the Heat party.
Music by Michael Mizrahmi, Tom Stefan, Lee Harris and Dom Tops.
The end of XXL
XXL was founded in the year 2000, by Mark Ames. The club night started in the railway arches near London Bridge, before moving to its current home at Pulse – on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge.
XXL began life as a bear club, but the atmosphere and the music was so good that it soon attracted guys of all shapes and sizes.
There had been some dramas over the years, as the club gave fairly clear signals that it valued a Masc4Masc vibe, so there were lots of people within the broader LGBTQ who felt that XXL wasn’t a welcoming space for them.
This was a club that got hot and sweaty. It was a shirts-off kind of place. You’d always see lots of guys rocking a harness.
XXL’s Dark Room was always one of the highlights. It was a big, maze-like space that was dimly lit but not too dark – you could still see what you were doing and who you were doing. Sex in XXL’s Dark Room was often anonymous, generally just a quick hookup. There was never any pressure to do anything you didn’t want to do. It was good fun.
It all came to end when planning permission was given to redevelop the area that had been the home to XXL. There was a war of words between XXL and the office of the Mayor of London, but ultimately XXL was left without a home.
While the venue at Pulse is no longer available to XXL, it’s fairly clear that we haven’t heard the last of this party brand for the gay men of London.
They’re already holding regular nights in Birmingham. It’s probably worth following them on Twitter to find out what happens next.