It's the state capital and largest city of Hawaii and usually conjures up images of white sand beaches, cocktails and romantic hula dances at sunset, but there's a much naughtier side to Honolulu that you won't necessarily see on the picture postcards. The sex industry here is colorful yet enigmatic. Like most cities, there's a red light district, around Kuhio Avenue or further downtown around Pali Highway and Kukui Street. You'll see a lot of prostitutes around here, especially Southeast Asian.
Prostitution isn't legal and there are lots of hidden cameras surveilling the streets but this is mainly to deter other crime. Attitudes towards sex and sex work among the locals is a little like it is in Amsterdam and, of course, it brings a lot of money and tourism to the islands.
Off-street sex can be found in massage parlors, strip clubs and certain nightclubs. Unlike many cities, the sex industry in Honolulu is found right in the heart of the action, instead of pushed to the edges, so it's not uncommon for tourists and sex-seekers to mingle on the same streets.
If you're after someone especially high-class, then be prepared to pay - there are some stunning escorts and other sex workers in Honolulu, but you really do get what you pay for, and the best is going to cost you. You might struggle to find an actual Hawaiian prostitute or masseuse but you'll definitely get something exotic, including transgender and transsexuals - Hawaii has one of the highest populations of LGBT sex workers in the US.
Erotic massage is very popular in Honolulu, even for the locals, so check out the area around Ward Avenue (Golden Queen, Pink, Roppongi) where you can get excellent Thai, Filipino and Korean erotic massage for a set house fee + extras. Look out for '24 Hour Spas,' too, as these often offer much more than a back rub and hot tub.
Their motto is "empowering women from the inside out through dance and fitness." Here, they do pole dancing classes, designed to tone up, get your heart pumping and, above all, give you the confidence to strut your stuff in the streets, clubs and beaches of Honolulu.
It doesn't matter if you haven't used a pole before, they do classes for everyone from beginners to pro-dancers. There's also an open pole class where you just drop in and do whatever you want to do on the pole for just $10 - perfect if you're unsure about whether to try it or not. Take a girlfriend with you for moral support and soon you'll be twirling yourself up, down, around and about with daring abandon.
The best thing about this place is that they design their classes around ancient sensual mythologies, taking elements from tribal mating rituals of the Aztecs, Incas, Japanese and even Biblical tribes like the Babylonians and Assyrians. Using sensual movement means you get to work the pelvis, spine and hips more intensely, which is going to improve your performance in bed.
One of Honolulu's most varied fitness studios, they offer everything here from pole dancing and body conditioning to lyra (hoop work) and zouk (sensual ethnic dance.) Basically they do a bit of everything and their ethos is all centered around getting students to explore their bodies in relation to music, movement and sense. Try salsa, Argentine Tango, belly dancing, aerial yoga, aerial hoops, partner yoga or zumba.
There's also a fabulous burlesque/cabaret program where can learn to twerk, tease and lap dance your way to both a better body and better bedroom skills. Toning up the places that matter will boost your confidence inside and out and arm you with a few more sensual weapons to unleash on your lover when you get home.
For 5-star luxury, check out the Halekulani hotel on Waikiki Beach. The Royal Suite is definitely the way to go, where you get your own elevator to take you up to your own 4,000 sq ft duplex apartment which overlooks the ocean. The bathroom has a sexy spa and deep-soak tub, marble shower and luxury toiletries, and you get a personal butler plus a piano so your lover can serenade you before dinner on your own open-air patio.
For the modern, image-conscious traveler, The Modern is the perfect base from which to enjoy romance, sex and night-time adventures. A stone's throw from the beach, there's an adults-only pool which is fabulous at sunset and great for midnight skinny dips. The interior is sleek, white, minimalist and fresh, and your fellow guests will all ooze charisma, beauty and sensuality. The Penthouse is a palace of white wood and fresh linens, with a sexy view out over the Marina.
If the crowds aren't your thing, head a little further east to Diamond Head where you'll get a few more cliffs, coves, secret spots and emptier beaches. You can also get away with some nude swimming, if you're discreet - Hawaii doesn't have any legal naturist beaches although going topless is common. The section by the Diamond Head Lighthouse is popular with the gay crowd but all persuasions are welcome.
Selling clothing, sex toys, novelties and tons more, Sensually Yours is the city's most luxury sex store with well-informed, friendly staff and a pretty comprehensive stock of anything you could possible need to make your visit to Honolulu as sexy as possible. The lingerie, in particular, is super-hot and includes everything from corsets and brassieres to role-playing costumes and BDSM gear.
A little more 'street' than Sensually Yours, Velvet Video sells DVDs, books, novelties and toys and also has 11 arcade booths, 3 private viewing booths and a dual-viewer booth. It caters mainly for a male clientele but if you're into the more hardcore, edgy side of things, then this is the place to come.
Ideal for sunset cocktails, the RumFire is the place where everybody goes to be seen. You can enjoy drinks and food directly on the beach, or snuggle up inside on one of the spacious banquettes, complete with candlelight and floor-to-ceiling windows which offer people-watching galore and amazing, romantic ocean views. You can be as visible as you like, so either flirt your ass off at the square bar or talk dirty to your lover in one of the many dark corners.
One of Honolulu's most popular gay bars, Scarlet is usually open 8pm-2am weekdays and later on weekends. You can catch a drag show most nights at 10pm and they also do male pole dancing, burlesque, naughty cabaret and pyjama parties with guest DJs, competitions and the best club music in the city. Always a riot, a night out at Scarlet requires energy, adventure and a very open mind but it'll be a night you're guaranteed to remember.
Preferring to call itself "gay-friendly" rather than "gay bar" Fusion hosts Honolulu's longest-running cabaret show, entertaining the city's colorful clubbers since 1989. Open until 4am, you can settle into a VIP booth and enjoy the famous Paperdoll or Gender Bender revue shows or, on Fridays and Saturdays, get hot under the collar as the 'Men Of Fusion' treat you to an erotic strip show. The Chippendales it ain't! With bottle service, dancing and a host of other entertainment, Fusion is 'the' place to go for a wild night out, whatever your persuasion.
One of the most luxury cocktail bars in Honolulu, Lewers Lounge is high-class and very exclusive. They do sexy live jazz and piano every night of the week and there's a really nostalgic, romantic ambiance about the place, like something from an old 1940s Bogart movie. If you're into sensuality, mood and music to get you feeling horny, then this is the place to come.
Widely thought to be one of Hawaii's most exclusive gentlemen's clubs, Ballerrinas is owned by a former erotic dancer, so you know it's going to be good. It's a BYOB place, but you have to get there before midnight to get in with alcohol - there is no bar. There are private rooms, from intimate booths for one guest and one dancer, to party rooms which can hold more people if you want to get dances from several girls at once, or there's a group of you who want to enjoy a special dance from one special girl. It gets busy so best to reserve a table instead of just 'dropping by.' Open until 4am.
Na' Kane - Men of Paradise www.nakane.us
1574 Kanunu St, Honolulu 96814
Definitely one for the girls, Na' Kane is an energetic male go-go bar/dance club ideal for sexy nights out with your girlfriends or even if you're a solo female traveler. The Chippendale-style guys don't do a full strip, unfortunately, but you still get a great chance to ogle plenty of flesh and talk to the guys after and have your photo taken. Spicy and sexy, and a great 'mid-level' erotic treat if you're a little afraid of the full strip club experience.
If you like girls who can dance as well as they strip, then Club 939 specializes in pole and table dancers who know how to turn it up a notch. Some of the dancers here have even been compared to Cirque du Soleil, which gives you an idea of their acrobatic skills. There's a full bar, too, which is a plus, as many strip clubs in Honolulu are alcohol-free. You'll see lots of couples in Club 939, so it's female/couple-friendly, plus there's a great food menu, plus booths which have pull-down bars so your personal dancer can show you her special athletic talents up close.
Unlike most strip clubs which have poles, Club Femme Nu specializes in floor and stage action, so the dancers have more room to work and can be more flexible with their routines. There's a full bar plus VIP rooms and other booths, and it's very female-friendly (although you do share the bathroom with the dancers.) They also have girls all shapes and sizes, so it's way more 'real.' You'll get a drinks discount with the cover charge and table service is famous for being fast.
One of the more well-known swingers/lifestyle organizers, Island Fantasy has on and off premises parties several times a year. Addresses and other details released on membership acceptance. Couples and single females welcome to apply.
Honolulu's biggest Lifestyle group, they welcome women and couples from all walks of life and organize meetups in hotels and private residences. Parties are generally BYOB and they're even disabled-friendly.
Technically, these guys are a nudist group, but they do organize Lifestyle cruises, events and parties, so they kind of cover a bit of everything. Most events are simply naturist gatherings, so no sex involved, but if you want something spicier, do ask, because they'll probably be able to point you in the right direction. Single women and couples are more than welcome, whereas single guys will need to be approved before attending one of their events. The house parties include pool, sun terrace and gorgeous gardens, so you can truly 'be at one with nature.'
Cherry Blossom Cabaret are a burlesque revue who perform at venues across Oahu throughout the year. Catch them in September at the 5th annual Hawaii Burlesque Festival, where you can also see other dancers, burlesque comedy, singers, a parade and take part in a Hawaiian Burlesque Murder Mystery Evening. Theme this year is 'vintage,' so dress up in your best Flapper or Mad Men costumes and shake your booty along with the acts like Jack Cione's Follies, DeeDee Queen, Volary Aerial Burlesque and Savannah Bordeaux.
Honolulu's premier burlesque and cabaret performers, Pretty Peacock are a group of amazing dancers and actresses who tour the islands with their fun, erotic and energetic live shows. They can also tailor a show to suit you, for birthdays, bachelorette parties or any other special event which requires a little sugar and spice to set the night off. They do all the big club events in Honolulu, as well as the annual Burlesque Festival every September. Look out at the city's premier clubs for gala nights, balls and exclusive burlesque parties to see the girls in action. Their stars include Lola Love, Samba Fusion and the gorgeous Aphrodisiacs burlesque troupe. Pretty Peacock also do their own burlesque classes if you want to try it out for yourself. The Academy of Tease will teach you the history of burlesque as well as show you how to perform the basics and explore your erotic side. Check out their website for details of classes, workshops and special rates for bachelorette bookings.
Honolulu's sauciest cabaret troupe, Cherry Blossom Cabaret have been entertaining audiences for years. They do spectacular shows and really go for the big numbers, so you'll see them at things like the annual Hawaii Burlesque Festival and The Amazing Comic Con - anything that's big, bold and loud happening in Hawaii, they'll be there. They also operate classes through their "Burly Q Burlesque University" at the PoleArity Studio, where you can learn all the tricks of the trade from the famous Madame X. The "Beginning Burlesque" classes will teach you grace, confidence and poise through traditional and progressive burlesque routines. It doesn't matter what your level of dance experience is, and they welcome drop-ins, too, so you can try before you buy. Choose from single classes or the full program of ongoing weekly classes. Prices from just $15.
The Volary Vixens are Hawaii's premier aerial burlesque troupe, entertaining cabaret crowds and private events with their awe-inspiring acrobatics and sensual burlesque routines combined into one saucy show. Check out clubs like Republik and Arizon for their next big show. Past events include the 80s-themed "Addicted to Love," "Spellbound" and "Less Is More." In addition, the Volary Vixens also run workshops for those who want to have a go for themselves. You can choose from groundwork or aerial work, and learn how to strut your stuff. The Vixens can also be hired out for private events - they specialize in saucy bachelorette parties so you and your girlfriends can do something different. They also run classes in conjunction with Samadhi School of Aerial Arts, if you want to get a little more adventurous.