Some of our male visitors used to send us e-mails asking for more details on the spicier sides of Rio's nightlife. Others contributed saying which were their favorite spots, and why. It is common knowledge that Rio has more than its fair share of go-go bars and strip joints. Most are concentrated in an area known as Lido, that starts at the border of Copacabana and Leme.
In addition to nightclubs featuring erotic performances and burlesque shows with nude dancers, this is also a traditional residential area with a rich history. This bohemian vocation dates back to the bossa nova years, in the 1950's. There are good hotels, bars, and restaurants that remain open until very late. You may start your walking tour on Av. Atlântica, almost at the corner of Av. Princesa Isabel. Walk along Av. Princesa Isabel, explore Rua Ministro Viveiros de Castro, Rua Prado Junior, Rua Duvivier and the Lido Square (see map).
Some clubs don't have a cover charge, others do. Cover charges may include one or two drinks, ask before you get in. The photos of female performers outside should give you an idea of what to expect. Though most patrons at these venues are male, open-minded couples sometimes go together. Minors are not allowed, so you must be at least 18 years old. The most well-known clubs are listed below, some have been around for ages.
While you are in the neighborhood make sure to stop for a sandwich at Cervantes, at the corner of Rua Barata Ribeiro and Rua Prado Junior. They are considered the best in town by many experts. Drugstore Farmácia do Leme nearby is open around the clock. In the cosmetics department you will run into Zé das Medalhas, a cherished Copacabana character who wears at least something like 100 necklaces and flares, on any given night! Clovis Bornay, another Copacabana icon and Carnival extraordinaire, also lives nearby.
Now a word to the wise, if you don't mind. Most violence in Rio is drug-related, so by all means stay away from the drug scene. Beware that engaging in sexual relations with anyone under 18 in Brazil is considered a crime. There are plenty of people actually doing time for it, and you won't count on anyone's sympathy once you are perceived as a sexual hawk.
Another no-no: Taking a stranger you have just met back to your hotel room is the easiest way of getting into trouble while in Rio. To avoid putting yourself and your valuables at risk go to a neutral environment instead . There are hotels that charge by the hour, and don't ask any questions when you check-in without any luggage. Locals refer to them generally as motels, and everybody knows where to find them. If you need any excuses, just say that your actual hotel does not allow unregistered guests. It may well be true, anyway.