Taboo, located next to the newly opened Stag PDX, offers the discrete purveyor access to specialty pornographic needs that your personal FBI agent won't need to see. A backroom exists for the daring in need of privacy. Alex Wittwer/PSU Vanguard

Neon and Nude

A walk through Portland’s sexier sights

Portland may not be as vividly lit or famously flamboyant as the Las Vegas Strip neon lights, but there’s no shortage of strip clubs to satiate the sensible and the strange.

Still regarded as the “Strip Club Capital of the World,” Portland holds the prestigious title amongst numerous publications—we’ve set the proverbial bar pretty high here. Saunter through downtown and you’ll find yourself with plenty of clubs for the curious connoisseur of tatas and tallywackers. With a whopping 54 clubs, Portland has enough love for everyone, especially those joining the lonely hearts club this Valentine’s Day. 

There’s no shortage of history in regard to Portland strip clubs, either. There is the longstanding and well-known rivalry between the vegan and steak strip clubs Casa Diablo and Acropolis, respectively, whose feud spans 12 years all the way back to 2007, near the end of the Bush-era—though I’m told that the vintage, vibrant and voluminous staple of 70s porn has made a considerable comeback.

Then there’s Mary’s Club, seemingly soaking in the grimy scraps of withered leaves about the feet of the poetically and perennially soaking wet Portlandian soul, who opened their doors in 1954.  


At the forefront of progressiveness and openness, Portland has a bit of everything for everyone. The LGBTQ+ community, in particular, has options to galvanize the need for gyrations and the allure and seduction of dance that one might struggle to find elsewhere.

In any case, the struggle to find love this Valentine’s Day won’t be nearly as hard, or rough, as a search for a seedy little place to sit down with a drink to soak in some neon illuminated nude bodies.

Silverado, one of Portland’s only gay dance clubs—and one of the oldest in the city—features a cozy, dive-ish upstairs bar with a friendly crowd and a pool table. Downstairs invites you in with red light and the promise of a good time. Alex Wittwer/PSU Vanguard Alex Wittwer/Portland State Vanguard

 

Candy, one of Portland’s newest LGBTQ+ club, is a hot spot in Old Town. Neon pink and vivid visuals and top-tier DJ talents from the LGBTQ+ community ensure that weekends flash instead of fizzle. Alex Wittwer/PSU Vanguard Alex Wittwer/Portland State Vanguard

 

The Kit Kat Club, located in Ankeny Alley near Voodoo Doughnuts is the classic strip club. The stage and the chairs stay low to the ground and the open atmosphere exudes a kitschy elegance. Alex Wittwer/PSU Vanguard Alex Wittwer/Portland State Vanguard

 

Taboo, located next to the newly opened Stag PDX, offers the discrete purveyor access to specialty pornographic needs that your personal FBI agent won’t need to see. A backroom exists for the daring in need of privacy. Alex Wittwer/PSU Vanguard Lily Hennings/Portland State Vanguard

 

Last, but certainly not least, is Mary’s Club—Portland’s oldest gentlemen’s establishment. Since 1954, the club has operated just off NW Burnside Ave. downtown. Alex Wittwer/PSU Vanguard Alex Wittwer/Portland State Vanguard