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The Unabashed Queer
recreation

Anonymous Sex + Endless Lube: Welcome to the World of Gay Sex Clubs

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clubpeek

I sat fireside with a portly, rosy cheeked man puffing a stogie while he regaled me with stories of yesteryore. We might have been models for Norman Rockwell but instead of a den in a small New England snowcapped cottage, we were just two of the many men at one of the west coast’s most hardcore gay sex clubs.

Slings, glory holes, jock straps, assless chaps–it’s all about easy access here unless you’re trying to talk to management. Due to the nature of their business, staff members of sex clubs are rarely willing to speak on the record. Most of these clubs were illegal operations in past lives, so there remains a nostalgic reticence to do anything in the public eye. Not to mention, the confidentiality of their customers is paramount to their prosperity. Although this Southern California club is legal, I have changed names to protect the anonymity of staff and patrons. This club is so legal, in fact, that the building it’s in was selected with the help of members of the Vice Squad and Building Safety Enforcement. Regulations for a legal “encounter establishment” include certain proximity from schools and residences.

With a Plexiglas partition between us, I told the cashier I was there to see Glen, the longtime manager of the club, who is a friend of a friend. “In the microphone,” the cashier gruffly ordered me. Crouching down I spoke carefully into the microphone, “Is Glen around,” I asked, tempted to order fries with that. “I’m Glen,” grumbled a burly man as he emerged from darkness. “I’m a friend of Rob’s from the bar next door,” I explained. “He said I might be able to talk to you about…” Glen interrupted me. “Step to the side,” he said looking annoyed. Speaking into my second microphone of the evening (“We’ve got a spill in Sling Two, spill in Sling Two,” I imagined), I carefully stated my intentions for seeking him out. To my surprise, he invited me right in. We sat on the patio, by a blazing fire pit, while other patrons refueled before their romp. Endurance, I would learn, is crucial.

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By:          
 
mattsiegelpic Gay life ain’t no place for sissies. But it should be. The Unabashed Queer (Government Name: Matt Siegel) serves to affirm the vast array of queer identities. Originally from Atlanta, Siegel realized his independence above the Mason-Dixon Line at Northfield Mount Hermon School and subsequently, Sarah Lawrence College. In a marijuana- induced haze, Siegel came to Los Angeles and has found himself employed in the homes of Adam Carolla, Arianna Huffington, and Jill Clayburgh. How queer is that? Read Matt's blog here.
 

On:           Sep 6, 2009
Tagged: , , ,
  • 162 Comments
    • Lloyd Baltazar
      Lloyd Baltazar

      lmao lol sorry i have no words for this one… lol OMG hahaha

      Im gonna die from laughing so hard… *falls off my chair*

      Sep 6, 2009 at 2:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mikeandrewsdantescove
      mikeandrewsdantescove

      The one thing at these clubs that tends to be the ultimate fantasy come true is a bottom boy in a sling getting fucked by all willing tops.

      I saw one of these bottoms at Walgreen’s and all I could think about was him in that sling letting everyone inside him.

      JJ
      http://jjadams928.blogspot.com/

      Sep 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteamPunk
      SteamPunk

      “It’s dangerous… We give them a safe place to come.”

      I just want to highlight that line because it’s hilarious.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      Aren’t these the places where the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS started in the 80s? Why are they making a come back?

      Sep 6, 2009 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • max12
      max12

      i have been to a couple and they are a waste of time and money. most of the time you walk around and never hook up. there are a handful of cute guys, but most are scarey.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      The advent of the bathhouses was one of the most sophisticated developments of the developments of true Gay communities. They offered the possability to adventure with a would variety of people and sexual expresions which you would other wise be prevented from by virtue of the social demands of other meetings. Of coure if you weren’t in fairly good shape you might not be as much in demand. There was a movie out where someone discover fun becasuse he ran into a “cubby chaser” sadly he was afraid.
      You had to be confident of yourself and usually you experience sexuality on a desubjectified level which has none of the interpersonal bundaries. You can get rough or what ever. As far as slings go, I have rarely ever seen anyone just lay their and be gang raped by anyone who came along.
      People make dates from there- I certainly did. I frequently had sex in the baths in San Francisco in the late 70’s and 80’s and stlill don’t have HIV.
      They were faulted with the epidemic more than they deserve. It was just a perart of the right wing politics of Shame with our having anonymous sex: the straight line to assimilation politics thanks to Catholics like Andrew Sullivan and a few other prudes, whio wanted us kissing heterosexual ass. Hence todays perverted politics.

      A few people at the time(Rolfes) had the thought that the bathhouses would be the perfect place to learn safe sex. because of the unselfconcious atmosphere.but given some guilt ridden queens who wanted straight security beter than being gay and Bam! you’ve got a night mare.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      @KyleR: I don’t know what kind of vibe you give off to have that experience, but when I go to steamworks, I limp out very happy.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Fitz: If I gave you the impression that i’ve actually been to one these plaes I’m sorry. I haven’t. I don’t see or understand the attraction of it. I only see walking STD’s.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      The whole bath-house scene is simply sad. Sex in the dark with strangers. It’s the ultimate self-debasement. It reeks of “closet case” and “shame”, not to mention promiscuity.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 7:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      In the heyday of the bathhouse, and I don’t know where you find these dungens, in San Fran and New York, I don’t know that there were many closet cases; quite the contrary only the finest looking men from all around; remamber, that’s where Harvey Milk made many of his gay connections.
      All the places I went to were clean, well lit had super music.
      This was a tributetre to how gay part of gay community forms.
      I don’t really know I care that someone is trying to escape an oppressive spouse: which often happens. I know that I met and datred some choice guys. anonymity does not necessarily imply STD’s except in the event that prudishness causes people to attach so much shame to this otherwise private and safe activity. Maybe yu needt o try it if you haven’t.
      I think it beats the toilets.Orsitting at home wanking off.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      All this talk of bathouses is inspiring me to go to Steamworks tonight. Gotta get my Ipod loaded up first.

      Just a historical fact here, even at the height of the AIDS crisis the bathouses in Chicago never closed.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • will clemens
      will clemens

      Im 49 yrs old( been out since age 18 ) and never been to a bath house, its not a morality thing,, I was just afraid. I couldnt afford to lose my Careeer as a firefighter and being arrested makes it a possibiblity. Also things like bath houses’s and dirty books stores give a a slight case of depression. In Florida where I came out and spent most of my life, Bath Houses were in all the cities Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Etc etc etc

      Sep 6, 2009 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Going to bath houses is no more about gay lib than a straight guy going to Hooters is about straight lib. Both are tacky.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Disgusted American
      Disgusted American

      JASON NO#13 – I LIKE THAT ANALOGY!

      Sep 6, 2009 at 9:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The_FNG
      The_FNG

      Gosh, I’m surprised at the number of new-age “prudes” here. If you’re a gay man, and talking bathhouses down, then you’ve NEVER been to one.

      In the pre-AIDS days, 30-35 years ago, my god, it was such a exciting place to be. Imagine all the good-looking men you’ve seen in a mall, or walking on the street, in every part of life – imagine if you could just take ‘em to your private room and have your way.

      In the movie “And the Band Played On”, the character played by Lily Tomlin was playing/teasing with the straight Doctor character played by Charles Martin Smith about this very subject. (paraphrased) “Imagine Harold, the possibility of being to have anyone you wanted within sight, with no formalities and nothing to haunt you afterward”

      Lily’s character nailed it with that description.

      Nowadays, I’m married to my partner of 18 years, and loving every minute of it, BUT, those memories are still very exciting.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 10:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Gay rights was never about bath-houses. Gay rights is, was and has always been about the right to live your life free from criminal prosecution and from cultural discrimination.

      The people who market sleazy bath-houses under the gay rights banner are doing us no favors.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 10:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      The FNG,

      I can see how some gay men find going to bath-houses “exciting”. It reminds me somewhat of the excitement that straight guys feel when going to a strip club in Vegas or a whore-house in Nevada.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 10:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Widener
      Jon Widener

      Why are people who go to bath houses or sex clubs doing a disservice to anyone? Do you think we need to keep some level of “decency” or normalcy in order to get our rights? Fuccckkkkk thattt.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 10:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      Wait…. Let me get this straight. Because I don’t want to go to some sleazy back room in a sex shop to have anonymous sex with random men of questionable nature means I’m a prude? I suppose by this logic, I’m also less gay because I haven’t let myself get fucked by 12 guys in one night. I’d rather be a ‘prude’ and not shot my risks of getting a STD threw the roof. Thanks.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • eb
      eb

      @KyleR: here here. i think that they are place for yesterdays gays. i see no reason to ever enter a bathhouse, ever. its a generational thing, and i like that our generation is a lot more open, a lot more public, and a lot more clean.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 10:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      Anyone remember the Continental Baths where Bette Midler (Bathhouse Bette)and Barry Manilow performed from 1970 to 1972?

      It was quite posh, and not at all like the majority of bath houses in NYC.

      http://www.gaytubs.com/more.htm

      Sep 6, 2009 at 11:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @Jon Widener:

      And yes, tying these sex shops to ‘gay rights’ does a disservice to the entire LGBT community because the Religious Right and the Repulsives will use these places to paint the entire community as nothing but sleazy, dirty, sex crazed maniacs who are a danger to society and therefore shouldn’t have the same rights as heterosexuals. The right to marry. The right to adopt children. The right to have certain jobs. We fight daily to end the whole perception that we’re deviants because of who we sleep with. This does nothing but add to their argument.

      And no one should take this as me wanting these places closed. I don’t. I just don’t want these places tied to the fight for our Equal Rights, because if it does, everything we have won will be destroyed over night by those groups. They’ll hold these places up as the perfect example of how ‘disgusting and vile the homosexual lifestyle is.’ I don’t care if you go there, just don’t tie it to LGBT Equal Rights.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Widener
      Jon Widener

      @KyleR

      I don’t think anyone is tying it to LGBTQ rights, I do believe it’s an undeniable part of gay history and culture. And it still is a part of gay culture. There’s no denying it. My point is that we shouldn’t keep it some big secret just to appease conservatives.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 11:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The_FNG
      The_FNG

      Jeez Guys, it has nothing to do with the “gay rights” of today.

      It has to do with the fact that man is a sexual animal. Gay men? Virile? Lookin’ HOT?

      Holy shit, watch OUT!

      If you were around and old enough, to go into a gay bathhouse in the late 70’s, early 80’s, it WAS an exciting thing, and you know exactly what I’m referring to.

      Remember, what I talk of WAS 30 years ago, and unless you’ve experienced it, you have absolutely no valid frame-of-reference to analyze and/or to criticize it negatively.

      I use the word “prude” because you apparently refuse to even allow yourselves the luxury of imagining such a place.

      NO WORRIES, NO death-threatening STD’s, no commitments. Just have a great time, get off (several times), and go home.

      Lucky me to have such HOT memories, an unfortunate loss for you.

      If you talk candidly with any gay man of that age, you will find mostly positive responses.

      I was hoping the exchange of memories through an cross-generational medium like this would be more positive. :(

      Sep 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Widener
      Jon Widener

      it is prudish. There’s so much shame around sex. It’s actually a beautiful part of gay culture, the existence of sex clubs and bathhouses…men who were oppressed for who they fuck having private places to express their sexuality.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Widener
      Jon Widener

      @ the_fng, you should feel free to share your experiences. I’d be curious to hear them.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 11:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @Jon Widener:

      I completely disagree. Maybe during the yester years, but not today. I can go out and be who I am and not have a problem. I don’t need to go into some dark back room in a building off the side of an alley, or where ever these places are; and hook up with random strangers that I don’t know.

      And believe me, I’m not a prude. I’m not ashamed about sex nor am I shy. I’m completely comfy with going to the nightclub and go-go dancing. But I don’t see why, as a gay man; I have to go and have random sex with 1 or 20 men in a single night in one of these places. There’s nothing ‘liberating’ about going to a sex shop. Just like there’s nothing liberating about a straight man going to a brothel.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Widener
      Jon Widener

      @KyleR IMO, you can’t compare gay men and straight men in this instance. Straight men were never oppressed for who they were fucking.

      I am not advocating sex clubs, but I’m not NOT advocating them. It seems like you are shaking your finger at those who participate in that kind of sex. Esp. cause you think it will set back the gay movement politically.

      Sep 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @Jon Widener:

      Well, that’s not the impression I wanted to give. I don’t care what people do in there lives. If YOU want to go to these places, fine. It’s your life and your risks. I just hated being called a ‘prude,’ and possibly (though I’m sure that wasn’t there intentions) less-gay because I haven’t been nor want to go to one of these places. And, after going back over the comments; I see now that I misunderstood what you were discussing.

      And in this case, straight men are far more repressed. It’s illegal for a straight man to go to a brothel in 49 of the 50 states. The one brothel that I am aware of in legal operation in the US is the Mustang Ranch outside of Vegas. And yet, there are bath houses and sex clubs in every major city across the country.

      But your still not seeing the point that I was stating. In the past, yes; these places were all about sexual freedom and all that. But today, it just isn’t the same. If I walk down the street holding the hand of my boyfriend, if I had one; I won’t get arrested. I don’t understand why so many see me as the bad guy for not wanting to go to one of these places. As I’ve said, I just see these places, no matter how ‘safe’ they are; as nothing more than a walking STD. Way too risky in my own personal opinion about my life. But if you want to go, go. Not my decision nor will I think you less of a person.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fom tord
      fom tord

      lube and coral necklace. haram scaram

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The_FNG
      The_FNG

      With respect, bovine excrement Kyle. Nowhere in my narratives did I ever connect “today” in the GLBT world with the actions of “yesteryear”. I’m talking about 30 years ago.

      You’ve obviously grown up in a time where “safe-sex” is the sanctified mantra of all gays to adhere to without question, as it should be in this day and age. However, I can’t help but feel that as a gay man, there is something in your psyche that’s not allowing you to think prurient, uninhibited, totally moral-free thoughts about man-on-man sex. I’m talking human nature here.

      You are certainly free to think and speak about whatever you feel is right or wrong. Even if you occasionally have these prurient thoughts, you certainly don’t have to act on them. But the fact that you seem to distance yourself from them so vehemently makes me think that the truths about your protestations lie elsewhere.

      Maybe you should let go what you’ve been taught growing up, and study a little more about human sexuality before you come here to dog it in its purest, most raw nature, albeit its PAST nature.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @The_FNG:

      If this is the ‘purest, most raw nature’ of sex where the only way I can experience ‘true’ man sex, then I don’t want nothing to do with it. I am more than happy to go root around the bedroom, the kitchen, the laundry room, the shower, or the couch with someone that I like or happen to be in love with. But I don’t want to go somewhere and have random sex with random men in some dark room and be petrified of that next blood test.

      And could you leave pig shit where it belongs, at the farm? That would be great, thanks.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @KyleR:

      Kyler, straight people have exactly the same kind of places themselves, There are even bdsm places where Wall Street types with high-pressure jobs and who are responsible for several thousands people’s paychecks each week can let go of control and allow some female dominatrix in a black leather whip their asses and have their way with them.

      No one makes a big deal of such places in the hetero world. They need to let steam off too, you know?

      So when the religious right tries to tell we gays that we are sleazy for expressing our sexuality, just remind them str8 boys and girls do exactly the same things and they have their own places where they can do it in private.

      As for safety, condoms, condoms, condoms. Assume everyone has an STD or is HIV+. And remember; not all sex acts involve penetration or exchange of bodily fluids. There are many sexual headtrips people can get into that are perfectly safe. One of the amazing things about human sexuality, is his ability to get-off sexually in hundreds, perhaps thousands of ways.

      So, relax. Okay? No one said that you are a bad guy for not wanting to go. Some people get-off on bathhouses, others don’t.

      That’s why they make vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Everyone’s taste is different. ;o)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @KyleR:

      THE_FNG was making a gentlemanly reference to bullshit, not pig dung.

      Bovine – Of, relating to, or resembling a ruminant mammal of the genus Bos, such as an ox, cow, or buffalo.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @schlukitz:
      So much for an American education. HAHA!! Win some, lose some.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @KyleR:

      I wouldn’t sweat it. It’s a common mistake.

      The terms Bovine and Ovine (sheep) often are confused as well.

      Feel free to correct me the next time I slip-up. LOL

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The_FNG
      The_FNG

      Wow Kyle! I must say that at least you have a great sense of humor!!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • madonnamadonna
      madonnamadonna

      betty davis we love jew

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @schlukitz:

      Sure thing. That is, if I notice. =)

      @The_FNG:

      I try. I’d prefer to have laugh lines instead of worry lines when I get older. ;-)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 1:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      I don’t know about the gay rights part, but on a personal level, well, let me say this int the form of a moment that I won’t forget.

      This reminds me of this personal ad that I responded to one time. He seemed nice. Sweet, blah, blah, blah. We exchanged pictures. I sent him this nice G-rated picture of myself. I guess I am “boring” like that. He sent me a shot of his ass with someone’s cum flowing out of him. He said he was seeking a monogamous relationship.

      I suppose to some this is sexy and liberating. To me, seeing the photo, I thought “eww.” I did not think that because I was buying into limited views of being gay. I thought that because this was not my view of being gay- that someone else’s cum was flowing out of a guy that I might date.

      Call it jealousy. Call it unnatural. But, I have realized that one size does not fit all. These sorts of “Well gays should be doing this because we are gay men” conversations piss me off a little. I did not feel the need to tell that guy he was wrong. I told him that he was not right for me. Why can we not just leave it at that rather than pushing “gay is …” on every one else.

      P.S. I told some friends at the time about the story. They thought I was being a prude. Maybe. Or may be I just do not like to thinking about someone else’s cum flowing out of a man I would want to date. I am “old fashioned” that way.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 1:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allan C
      Allan C

      I don’t think it has anything to do with gay culture…it’s more about North American culture. Remember there are bathhouses in so many other countries in the world and only in North America is there this hang up that bathhouses are all about gay men fucking in the dark…hence why those that have prudish attitudes about it can only associate it with that. And also why conservatives would never last living in a place like…Turkey where male and male affection is widely accepted.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tofer david
      tofer david

      someone should read up on gay history for the meaning of gay bathhouses when they originated…gaytropolis is a good start.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 10:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Personally, I don’t really care if men want to fuck other men in bath houses. It’s just as much their right to do it as it is for men to fuck females in whore houses.

      But I do take exception to the notion that this type of grubby behavior is a definition of gay rights. Give me a freaking break. Fucking strangers in bath houses has nothing to do with gay rights.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • steven black-simonson
      steven black-simonson

      the author is unattractive and that is what my issue is. he is not a handsome person and that may be why he is so unhappy and disgruntled about gay culture. i’m sure the rejection he has endured over the years play into his slant about gay issues. he is also probably effeminate since he uses a picture of a woman with his unattractive face on it.
      so, when he goes to the sex clubs it is not like he is getting the better looking men and has to settle for whatever he can get. no one wants a queeny fugly guy with a hook nose. think about natural selection and then you have the real agenda of this article. no one wants ugly.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @jason:

      And there’s so many fucking strangers too!

      They’re only strangers until you fuck them, however. ;o)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @steven black-simonson:

      There is an old expression for people with dreary, dour attitudes like that.

      It’s called “sour grapes”. LOL

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sour_grapes

      Sep 7, 2009 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      No. 28 · Jon Widener: It is People like Kyler who seeks to set the gay movement back . People who are unaware of gay history jump on these moral istic stumps which refuse to recognize that the idea of assimilation by homphobic gays goes back to the 50’s when Uncle Toms in the movement thought that if we”didn’t scare the horses”(sisu) represented ourselves as “decent” monogamous folks we would be accepted. Then , by god , Gay liberation happened, and we disd indeed scare the horsesand asert ourselves as the whole variety of drag queen, s/m’s bondage freaks etc.
      Did it never occur to anyone why virtuallyall scholars represent the assimilation/marriage movement as being right wing. Because it is just(apart fronm the legitimate partnership needs of sme people is a shame based reaction to AIDS. and harken back to an earlier form of closetedness.(Simpson).
      Propagandists have built this mythical picture of dark chambers where people had sex with peope they couldn’t see and had experience ‘s that were vaguely kkie taking a shit. They are of course ignorant at least. I wen, veruy often with a friend and sometin=mes with someone who just wantd to have inintereupted sex with somone they knew.
      I only recall one room in one of many bathhoused that was especially dark.
      In any case the political point is that a few right wing (Politically and otherwise) took advantage of the oppotrtunity to lay shame on people and drag them back into hiding.

      I’m not saying hat some people may noyt have legitinmate needsfor longlasting partnerships,and I support that. But I will not be shamed into thinking that any form of sex which I celebrate now was not wholely consensual and honorable.
      In some case they might have led to permanent arrangements. When a cure for ids comes or even a relationship recognition comes , wait until people fall out.
      I see the reakage of them already.. Please don’t look for a worldin which everyone wil;l change to accomodate your need for everyone to conform to heterohegimonious “happiness, because it’s jusst not liable to happen. So it is best to look at healthy ways of living for people who who don’t have any interest in the marriage soultion. It’s not going to happen for everyone.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 11:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      What an interesting dialogue on this thread; and of even greater interest is the way that we interact with one another. Man, we are such a tough, tough crowd. I wish we could learn to present our ideas and perspectives in a way that shows a bit of insight into the diversity of our community at the get go, though the course of the conversation that unfolded between FNG, Schultz, The Gay Numbers and KyleR leaves me hopeful that we can bridge the gaps that separate us.

      Perhaps if we dispensed of some of the language that leaves us all, understandably, feeling as though we are under attack–something that we are especially sensitive to through our experience of living as gay men and women. Maybe there is a way to present our judgements more as personal perspectives.

      I’ve had this particular conversation so many times in my life, and so many times I felt I was on the defensive while speaking to other gay men, simply because my preferences seemed to differ so greatly from so many of my peers, and that confounded them. I believe I may have written this before on this site, but it is worth revisiting. “Mike, you’re doing this all wrong. We came out at the same time, but you’re living like your still on earth, but you’re on Mars now. You need to get with it and learn to live like the Martians,” a friend said to me at party one evening. It was true, my buddies were having a great time, exploring their sexuality in all sorts of ways, and I suppose I seemed like a drag, but the truth was that–for me–I felt that finding someone special and exploring my sexuality with him and him alone was pretty sexy. When I was even younger, I would fall asleep at night with one image, and that was of me and my imaginary future partner, holding hands. So, the question my friend asked boiled down to this: would I try to adapt to the new environment I found myself in and risk becoming self alienated, or would I just be true to whom I was and alienate the aliens. I decided to just be myself.

      I listened patiently each time the argument was presented to me, just as it was presented to KyleR, that there must have been something greater at play for me, some deeply ingrained sexual hang-up, and that I had to have this experience, that it was part of the homosexual experience, that I was judging it. Sexuality is great, but not everything is appealing to all individuals. To some, waking up to the same face staring at you from the pillow beside you is death, let alone having that person your only sexual partner. To others, being pissed on and slapped on the ass is an erection killer. To each his own.

      Each generation, I hope, evolves. You live long enough and you see the truth to the old adage: two steps forward, one step back; and sometimes you realize that the converse is true as well: one step forward, two steps back. I was a kid in the 80’s–or a very young man. HIV/AIDs was just one of those latter situations, a true two steps back moment in our history. In a way it created a steep divide between generations.

      The gay liberation movement, which was happening during the sexual revolution, happened before my time had come, but I was aware of it. So, while many in my generation, just like the younger generation today, experienced and enjoyed the bathhouse scene, the truth was that many steered away from them. So, my generation came up with the Circuit Party. Yes, in the face of AIDs, as a way to help by raising money to direct to AIDs services and AIDs research, we came up with vast parties, brimming over with gorgeous men, an abundance of all sorts of drugs, alcohol, frenzied dance music, and then made a call for responsible behavior! The unsafe sex that went on, and continues to go on, at these events or in tandem to them, is likely to be as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than any bathhouse sex scene that one could imagine.

      Frankly, though, I don’t and have never judged or condemned bathhouses, circuit parties, or anonymous online encounters. What I do judge is reckless and irresponsible behavior, behavior that impacts others and society as a whole. I blame pharmaceutical companies that downplay that challenges that comes with being infected with HIV/AIDs, something that one can get through making a bad decision–even one time, but that can happen to a guy who believes he is in a monogomous relationship. The drug companies market the notion that all those infected are living carefree, hunky and healthy lives–and I’m sure many do, but it doesn’t come without a price.

      For me, personally, one on one anonymous sexual encounters, group sex, etc. have just never felt “sexy.” That is just my thing. I am not going to say that I look at a bathhouse as a petri-dish of STDs, because the truth is that we live in a society where you can meet someone at a bar, at a club, at the mall, at the gym, at work, have a moment of unbridled passion and an exchange of fluids at just the wrong moment, and possibly get a STD, for STDs are all around us. HOWEVER, the sales pitch that there must be something wrong that contributes to such a sense of “prudishness,” that I’m just not allowing myself to be free to experience all that a gay man “should” has grown old and tired. I have experienced and still get to experience hot, man on man loving with partner, the guy I married last year, following 10 years of hot and heavy sex with one another.

      And that’s my thing, as it always has been. Is it preference? Is it belief system? Is it delusion? If so, it is a delusion that I enjoy, that works for me.

      The younger generation is experiencing something we have not seen before. They are far more open at a younger age. They are more likely to be accepted by their friends at a younger age. They often don’t feel a need to hide. Many eschew the larger cities and gay ghettos in order to live closer to home in rural communities and suburbs. My husband and I went to Gay Dayz the year before last, and it was just awesome to see the throngs of gay folks, and you could really see a substantial difference among us all in terms of generation. The younger the couple, the more likely they were to walk through the park hand in hand, oblivious to the reaction of any straight people there. The older the couple, the less likely one would see any hand holding. Psychologically, to be free of the harsher discrimination lived out by those who came before them, to be able to feel freer and able to enjoy such open authenticity of own’s orientation must have an impact upon the way one things of sexuality and wishes to experience it.

      We just need to be more vigilant in respecting one another for their own personal choices and preferences, and isn’t that a call we make to society has a whole?

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • unclemike
      unclemike

      I just want to know where this club is. ;)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ArronC
      ArronC

      Attacking a guy because he doesn’t see the value in paying money just to feel like a used condom?

      You vapid excuses for human beings.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @M Shane: MShane, the right wing want anything but for homosexuals to marry and assimilate. The despise the notion that homosexuals could be portrayed as anything but sexual predators bent on self destruction. For me, personally, I’m likely older than Kyle, so you would almost have to direct such an accusation to me. However, as a teenage who was well known in the community in So Cal, where I grew up, Rev. Lou Sheldon mounted a campaign to deny gays any protections at all, trying to erase their inclusion to the city non-discrimination clause. I wrote the LA Times a letter that was published, rejecting the onslaught of lies that Sheldon was promoting, and outing myself, years before I so much has held another guy’s hand.

      So you see, the notion of assimilating and being accepted by the straight community was never important to me, and it isn’t now. That letter certainly did not assimilate me into the community, and I understood that going in…or coming out. And when I fight like hell for our rights, I’m not rejecting gay history or selling out my gay brothers and sisters; rather, I am fighting to be recognized for who I am, a tax paying, law abiding citizen who wishes to enjoy the same protections and benefits that are offered to straight folks.

      That means that I am also fighting for the couple who have a 10 year open relationship, wherein they regularly go to bathhouses, and have all sorts of encounters with all sorts of strangers, simply because that is what they like to do, that is what gets them off, because that is how they conduct their relationship. They still should have the right to survivorship rights, to escape inheritance tax, hospital visitation, etc.

      Those who make unfounded accusations against KyleR create as much a divide for us as KyleR does by insensitively stateing that he sees bathhouses as “walking STD” factories–or, however he worded that. Perhaps, KyleR can find a way of presenting his perspective in a more respectful and less judgemental way, but (and I know I’ll be flamed for this) perhaps you could too?

      Judging me and my motivations for my lifestyle is no better than those in our community who might judge you for yours, and it certainly is no better than the religious right who judge us all on a day to day basis. Is there a way of carrying on this conversation without making sweeping pronouncements regarding one another?

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      my apologies for not proofing that

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RainaWeather
      RainaWeather

      @MackMichael: Thank you for writing something completely reasonable. The comments on here remind me of another post where someone talked about straight privilege and said that gay people are assumed to be sexually experienced whereas straight people are not. I think many on here demonstrate that same line of thinking.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @RainaWeather: Thank you for not beating me up for writing it.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @MackMichael:

      Your right about what I said. I was completely confrontational about the whole situation. And maybe I had read what was written wrong, or understood in a way that was intended. But I just still can’t see any other way about those places. I do understand that with today you can get any type of STD from anyone anywhere. But for me, I just want one person. That’s good enough for me.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @KyleR: And, Kyle, that is my preference to, but perhaps you could temper your language just a bit in an effort to foster a better environment in which to have this conversation. You may have a friend who is sensitive about their appearance, their weight and hair. You may feel that you prefer his or her hair cut in a different way, and you may see that they gained ten pounds, but it would be insensitive to approach that friend who is proud of his or her new hairstyle and say: I just see your hair as making you look even fatter. There are so many other ways of getting one’s point across that are less assaulting and more a subjective personal statement that is yours, and not merely a condemnation of another.

      Our community is so very diverse, and it has undergone so many changes–we are literally in a period of growing pains here. In order for our community to attempt to come together, we would do ourselves a great favor by acknowledging our diversity, and respecting one another for exercising our own freedom of choice and liberty.

      KyleR, I’ve never had a one night stand, never been to a bathhouse (which really, limits my ability to properly describe one, and even if I could, I’d only be describing that one I knew and not all bathhouses). I was considered a rather hot looking younger guy, but I only sought to experience sex within a relationship, which is not to say that I didn’t have some very hot sex. However, I didn’t wish to be attacked or constantly encouraged to experience someone elses sexual preferences or choices, but that means that I should be aware of not thrusting my own choices and preferences on others.

      So, here is my challenge to you. I at one time saw bathhouses just as you do, but when I broke it down, and really brought the entire STD argument to its base level, I recognized that one could engage as safely in a bathhouse environment, as one could in a dating situation, wherein one did not necessarily go with the person he was dating to have him tested, wait for the test results, review them together, and then become intimate. Still, even with that knowledge in hand, I wasn’t really all that interested in bathhouse sex–the notion of it does not jive with my preferences, my vision of my life as I wish to live it, and my own belief system, which is not to make a judgement that my belief system is better than anothers…it just works for me in my life, and would be just as likely to work miserably in someone else’s–it is just different.

      So, is there a way for you to make your statement in such away that you don’t offend the friend with the new haircut and the weight issue? Is there a way that you can put across your perspective, what you wish to say, without offending the sensibilities of your gay brothers and sisters?

      You’re obviously an intelligent and open minded guy, you and I are a bit alike, so I have every faith that you can.

      ;o)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @KyleR: I know, I’m “talking” too much, but here is a brief analogy (brief? Him?)…well, I can be brief.

      Not to offend anyone here, but I really don’t like those overstuffed, channeled stitched sofas that recline, and sometimes have an ice chest hidden in an arm. I just wouldn’t want one in my home. I like a more scaled down sofa, covered in linen (even though I have three dogs), with some nice down pillows tossed on it for extra comfort. That works for me. That is not to say that the fact that I find the channeled stitched sofa unattractive means that it is a fact for everyone, including those who have one resting in their living rooms (bless their hearts…KIDDING). Some look at that same sofa and see something quite beautiful and inviting.

      A perspective is just that, it doesn’t make it factual for everyone.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 1:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      No. 51 · MackMichael ; No disrespect intended, but you seem to be jumping nto the fray ill-prepared. For the sake of this discusion, I can most easily say that there are two radicall different “right wings”, both well embodied in current literature: There is the social Right wing who are Religious freaks that the economic Right wing(NeoCons of this country) drew to their side in order to have voters enough to pull off their weird ecoomic agendas(1) the religious freaks
      secondly there are the Gay right wing(2) who were basically political Republicans mainly : Andrew Sullivan and Bruce Bawer who wanted reactively to pull Gay people back into a “family system” agenda which had been proposed in the 50’s :the Assimilationists or Mainliners who wanted to make us as much like straights as possible: the only two agendas were marriage and military : they were embarassed by sexuality by drag queens or anyhting that made us look different than any suburban Bob and Mary . This was Right wing because it was a reaction to the feelings of Shame that
      AIDS caused . Here are some good books explainin that

      “Queer Wars:The New Gay Right and Its Critics”: Paul A Robinson; about Sullivan, Bauwer,Signorelli, and Rotello. U of Chicago
      (this is a really great assessment of the Right Wing movement)

      “The Trouble with Normal; Sex Ethics and Politics of Queer Life ” by Michael Warner (Rutgers Univ.)

      “Virtual Equality; the Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Libreration:” (play on Sullivan’s” Virtually Normal”) Ursashi Vaid.
      While not all gay right wingers are Republicans like Sukllivan and Bawer
      A few others are like Signorelli and Rotello are politically left but right wing in Gay regards.

      Many, or5 really the most gay thinkers of any repute are against the form of the modern Assimilationist movement.
      Many of them are proud to be gay and don’t want to hide in the suburbs. I sure don’t , Having put a great deal of effort into muy own liberation and knowing enough straight people who hate the marriage trap themselves I’m not about to go backwards for security.

      For sure there is a big difference between the religious Right wing and the Gaty Right wing : they both want to go backwards , and I would like us pick upo where we left off.

      The biggest danger to the current gay movement is the scarry :’group thinK’ which has come to posess so many people. I don’t se anything wrong with secular parnerships for everyone but am not interested in Religious wars: all that happened back in the 17 Century.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @MackMichael:

      I would most likely have refrained from commenting on the dialogue you have directed at KyleR, but since you did name me specifically in your post no. 48, I guess I am not overstepping my bounds by doing so now.

      I agree totally with RainaWeather’s complimentary post on your commentaries. They are certainly fair and well balanced and take in account both sides of what is apparently a “hot-button” issue for many gays. It is a deeply personal issue for all concerned.

      In defense of KyleR, however, who admittedly has taken flack from a number of us, myself included, and who has responded in a very intelligent, open-minded and gentlemanly manner, I do believe we should all cut him some slack.

      Kyle took a big step back and made a breakthrough acknowlegement in his post no. 55, for which I believe he deserves kudos and a big round of applause. He got it.

      Following his post up as you did, with two more long dissertations with no variations on a theme, served no purpose that I can see and sounded a little like beating him over the head with a frying pan, if you will pardon my saying so. ;0)

      I will close my commentary by paraphrasing your closing paragraph in your post no. 56.

      You’re obviously an intelligent and open minded guy, you and I are a bit alike, so I have every faith that you can. ;o)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      No. 50 · ArronC: I f you feel likea used condom after sex, I would guess that that says more about your own additude toward your sexuality than it does about specific venues in which people chose to have sex. I have had absolutly amzing anonymous sex many times and always choose my partners,and what I did, and felt terrific about myself.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      Has anyone given any thought to how the poor used condom must feel? ;o)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @schlukitz: And I can see that, Schultz, but the two following posts, were actually in response to his reply to my original post..thus, while my original post was for no one specifically, the the other two were meant for KyleR. Of course, there is no way to write to him privately. I also would not characterize that an encouragement to dialogue with extra sensitivity and care, while drawing comparisons to myself, would be rather like hitting Kyle over the head with a frying pan. Nonetheless, Schultz, because I truly respect you, and can certainly see your point of view, and will genuinely take it under further consideration.

      Oh, and Happy Labor Day!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      · MackMichael

      Re Sexy

      Yeap, my feeling too. My friend recently took me to some bathhouse because I said I was looking to date. In his mind, this equalled going to a bath house. I was polite about it when I was there because he stuck me in a place I could not leave without transportation. I was mostly bored and sometimes grossed out. I don’t get it. It’s not sexy at all.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @MackMichael:

      Thanks for your kind response.

      I recognized that your comments to KyleR were well-intentioned. The frying pan remark I made was purely tongue-in-cheek, I assure you, and was not in anyway meant to be disrespectful.

      And my very best wishes for a Happy Labor Day to you and yours, as well.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @M Shane: I am not going to take the bait, MShane, and react to your accusation that I came “ill prepared.” I just find it to be another example, MShane, of an approach that does not encourage a respectful dialogue to foster a greater understanding between parties. Sorry.

      I have actually read all of your recommendations, and (yes) I understand that the Right Wing is comprised of more than just one faction. In fact, there is a rising group of moderates on the rise in that party who are socially liberal, and fiscally conservative/small government folks. I, on the other hand am a progressive, who borders on a democratic socialist, so categorizing me solely based on my actual lifestyle choices, personally choosing to settle down with one man and function within a paradigm of monogomy simply fails to further claims against me. Again, simply because you have an opinion (based on very little insight into who I am, my life, my politics, my overall value system, etc) does not make your opinion fact.

      I have never wished to assimilate into straight society, I choose to live where I choose to live (in part, based upon what I view as responsibilities to family and business), and I would have to say that I do not necessarily wish to assimilate into any one notion of what the gay world is or should be.

      What makes a great gay thinker is subjective, and not quantifiable. While I’ve very much enjoyed Robinson, Warner and Vaid, I do not necessarily align myself only to their social theories. I think that Larry Kramer is a frickin’ rock star, but because I hold him in high esteem does not make it incumbent upon me to echo his every sentiment, his every perspective, and I dare say that he (or any real thinker) would respect anyone who were not individual thinkers, capable of reasoning beyond theory.

      Personally, MShane, though I bet if we were to meet that we would get along swell and have a great meal and conversation together, I don’t care what your lifestyle choices are, and if you are unaware, you are free to make your choices and live exactly as you wish, without having others push you back three steps. Your approach is exactly that of the Social Conservatives in this country, which is to deny others their own pursuit of happiness, equality and liberty, simply because you feel threatened by the choices of others.

      That denial of free association is exactly the other side of the coin so casually flipped by the Religious Right, and something well worth fighting against. I will not be constrained by them, nor will I be constrained by you.

      Dig?

      Sep 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @The Gay Numbers: Thanks for the support, GayNumbers, but because it is not necessarily sexy to you or I, does not mean that it isn’t sexy to others. I can see where others are coming from, though it does fall into my own sexual fantasies and desires. The fact is that it is sexy to some, just not to us, and the reasons why aren’t important…what is important is to respect the rights for all to choose.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @MackMichael:

      When I read your comment, number 56, I couldn’t help but laugh at it. Not that what you were saying, just that some of my friends would mention that I’m very in your face. I’ve had friends ask my opinion on outfits, hair styles, and whether they look bigger in them. I can’t help but say it bluntly. I told this one friend she looked like shit and nearly got punched for it. Just like then, I asked for what I got. As I’ve stated, I don’t care what people do in their lives. We have free will for a reason. And I’ve also stated that I misunderstood the tie in with the gay rights but maybe I never made that clear. As schlukitz said, that’s why there’s all sorts of flavors of ice cream, if everyone was the same, well; life would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it?

      Sep 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @KyleR: Again, Kyle, you and I are in absolute agreement (but try to be kind to your friends when telling them that they look like shit, you’ll be able to get your point across more effectively, and maybe help her improve her appearance, if she wishes to do so). Blunt is great, but it also can stop the opportunity for growth and understanding dead in its tracks.

      Now you’ve made me want ice cream, and it is Labor Day, after all.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      @MackMichael:

      Yeah, I know. More fly’s with honey instead of vinegar. I just don’t always think. I should probably do that more often, but it gives me this killer headache. LOL!!

      Ice cream is awesome! Especially with cookie dough in it!! YUMM!!!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      KyleR, like good cookie dough Ice Cream is filled with chunky goodness, you are (despite your proclivity to tell your friends that they look like shit) chock full of charm!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KyleR
      KyleR

      Why there Mack, I do think you are hitting on me. LOL. Not that I mind. ;-) But the whole full of charm might be a Texas thing. =)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Seth
      Seth

      First I loved the article. LOL to the tenth!!! But as I read the comments I was struck by an interesting irony. It seems pretty common across the board that the respondents were in general agreement that the prudish attitudes present in the Frigid States of America, are wrong in attempting or demanding to assert specific “acceptable” beliefs upon gay Americans. But then they run off at the mouth doing the very same thing! If you don’t want to go to a bath-house or club, then don’t. If you don’t want to have un-safe sex, than don’t. If you don’t want to spend time at a nude beach, then don’t. But do not tell me I should fell ashamed of myself if I do. That is not your right or place to infer your feelings on me or anyone else. When you do, you are absolutely no better than those we fight against everyday for our basic rights. Yes I agree that everyone actively engaging in sex should take the steps of ensuing it is safe. But that is my feeing and practice. I am responsible for myself and my own actions. You are responsible for yours. What you should do in my humble opinion is stand tall as a member of the community for the right to choose for ourselves. That means stand for the “RIGHT” to choose and not the specific choice. Then we work together on passing the word about safety and hopefully win over some people by sharing the common ground and not fighting over it or dividing the community by fighting among ourselves. United we stand, divided we fall may sound like an old cliche, but it is a core truth that leads to success. That “Success” can be either securing rights or defeating AIDS. Hopefully it will be both.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @Seth:

      Co-sign!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      No. 65 · MackMichael
      Dig? this is a remark to encourage a respectful dialogue to foster a greater understanding between parties? Sounds like you are in a huff.
      The very newest , prevalent myth about the “new” assimilationist doctrine is that it is new or progressive, which would you say like to think goes with your socialallly democratic means of veiwing politics. As I said , as in the case of Rotello and Signorile , the two go together even though their onset was with Sullivan, & Bawer Conservatives in all ways.

      If you are so willing to engage inreasoning beyond theories then you need to present new theories since as most people know , paradigm shifts demand new paradigms.
      You might also not condemn my choicesand those of people like me if you want our support. I am not about to be
      hamstrung by the prevalent “group think” surrounding marriage to think that I am somehow “less than “as you
      surmise. The fact that your lifestyle is not unlike mine is not
      relivant -depending on how open minded you are to our community encoumpassing all kinds of choices. Becaiuse I happen to believetthat Marriage as such is not a workable logistics or that it is “right wing” is not to say thatyi don’t believe in secular options for people who want lasting relationships.
      I won’t say ‘”dig?’ I’ve yet to be that rude. But hopefully you can understand something beyond Larry Kramer: he did say one thing that was good that “we are the only Minority to be raised in the enmy camp”

      Sep 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @MackMichael: My issue Mack is not with what others want. It is when they believe what they want should be the norm o fothers. How does one conclude, for example, from my statement that I want to date that this means that I want to go to a bathhouse? Yet, honestly, I can say this is not the first time that I have expereinced some really bizare since of norms being pushed on me, and when I protested, having to hear “Oh you are just being a prude or denying being gay.” As if gay is whatever they are doing rather than wht I want to do with my life. We aer saying the same things. I just think you are being too sensitive to theotehr side when in fact they have no similar sympathies for your position.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      thanks Seth!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim
      Jim

      I find it very sad that so many gay men relish the memories of sleazy no-name wham-bam-thank-you-Sam sex. I am 100% gay proud and open about it…and in a monogamous relationship. The idea that calling a spade a spade is a slur to gays is asinine. Queens who prowl for back-room trade are getting just what they deserve and I have absolutely no sympathy for them. When asked to give to HIV charities, I always refuse, who since the 80’s could be living in the ignorant bliss that they can have their dick and eat one too in establishments like the bathhouses and bookstores? Get any disease you want my gay friends due to your own actions, just don’t cry to me about the cost of your meds.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Widener
      Jon Widener

      @Jim heartless!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      Good Lord, all this gay prudery on this thread!

      I mean, a bathhouse is not for everybody, of course. I have no problem with those who don’t wish to partake in the experience for their own reasons or own personal morality, etc.

      But when you start wanting to apply your own personal morality to others, that’s where I have a problem.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      Do people really still believe they can fuck their way to freedom? There were bathhouse owners that stood against Harvey Milk and were critical of his political point of view and there were bathhouse owners that fought against putting safe sex notices and free condoms in the bathhouses for fear of putting off their customers.

      Excuse me if I care less about the bathhouses.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Widener
      Jon Widener

      @Ian Nobody is asking for you to care about sex clubs or bathhouses. All anyone is saying is don’t deny their place in gay culture. And to think the mere existence of them is setting us back politically is ignorant.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Chitown Kev: Who is applying their standards to whom? I see a lot of claims that others are enforcing their standards, but to be quite frank, I see more of the “you must be into things like gay bathhouses” to be gay as the norm than I do “oh, gay people shouldn’t go to bathhouses.” I also agree with Ian who states that the desire to do so has nothing to do with freedom. To me, this is about a sgement trying to stir up issues where most of us do not even think about gay bathhouses until it is hoisted as “gay is…” upon us. My friend who took me to the bathhouse has a problem with the fact that I do not view sex like he does. It has been a problem in our friendship. I do not have a problem with he does sexually. He has a problem that I do not want to do the same thing or find it sexy or particularly liberating or even interesting enough to defend. This is the core of the problem- he and others like him want validation that their choices are good choices. That’s not my job.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Jon Widener: This is b.s. Of course, you want us to care, and you want us to approve. When we say no it’s not my thing, we hear all these diatribes about our prudishness and conformin to straight society or, the one I love hearing is “You must have a problemw ith being gay or have internalize homophobia.”

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @The Gay Numbers:

      I wasn’t referring to you Numbers, you stated that there is a certain yuck factor for YOU and that’s fine, I have no problem with that. In fact, i think your friend was wrong for assuming that you would do something like a bathhouse.

      Now I do believe that bathhouses are a part of gay culture as opposed to gay rights. Although that may have been true of the 70’s sexual liberation WAS a theme of gay rights (as it was for women’s lib and, to a small extent, the Black Power movement)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 7:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Chitown Kev: I can accept your argument.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I keep saying over and over again: you can’t build a community on a sex act. Yet time and again we get gay men constantly glamorizing and dignifying anonymous sex encounters as if somehow they are representative of what the gay rights movement is all about. It’s a twisting of the definition of gay rights.

      Let me just say this: the gay rights movement is a very moral movement. In fact, it was conceived as a very moral movement. Don’t let any right-wing nutjob tell you otherwise.

      Our movement’s morality is based on the notion of keeping intrusive government out of our daily lives and to be able to walk around being who we are without fear of violence and persecution.

      So, to those who love bath-houses, let me just say this: do what you want to do but don’t sully our movement with the notion that what you are doing is gay rights.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @jason:

      But a small part of keeping intrusive government out of our lives would be that we can go and have however much sex we want with whom we want in a designated space without fear of persecution.

      I agree with your premise that bathhouse culture is not a part of the gay rights movement, per se, but not the basis that you argued it.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 7:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Father Christ-on-a-Stick
      Father Christ-on-a-Stick

      @KyleR: They were there long before the rapid spread of HIV. And if the male animal remains unchanged, they’ll still be there long after HIV is a thing of the past.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Father Christ-on-a-Stick
      Father Christ-on-a-Stick

      @jason: It’s men simply being men.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Father Christ-on-a-Stick
      Father Christ-on-a-Stick

      @The_FNG: I have a T
      shirt from the late 70s that says, No, I don’t have a herpes. To God that’s the only thing we had to worry about!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Father Christ-on-a-Stick
      Father Christ-on-a-Stick

      @KyleR: It is very liberating to go to a sex shop with little fear of arrest, unlike the old days.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phoenix (I'm Clutching My Pearls...And My Lube)
      Phoenix (I'm Clutching My Pearls...And My Lube)

      Ahem, I believe that most American bathhouses are kind of on the sleazy side because of America’s ‘Sex Shame Culture’. I am informed by friends in Toronto, Canada that most sex clubs their are more like spas. If a sex club has a sleazy vibe it is only because it is a gimmick for patrons who have a fetish for sleazy sex. I’ve heard the same about sex clubs in other liberal, gay-friendly countries.

      As for my own experience, I’ve been to two. One in America and one in Japan. The one in America was depressing and tacky. The one in Japan was like a really cool club. While my personal experience is limited I think it has to do with the culture’s attitude about sex. In America all sex and gay sex especially is viewed as something salacious and sleazy and gross, therefor sex clubs are sleazy. In enlightened countries, sex isn’t sleazy or gross.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      @No. 77 · Jim good luck mosty people I ‘ve known for years with HIV got it from a commited partner, who like straight men needed a quick secret whirl and passed what he got on. Most people have never had sex more than 1 or 2 time in some years. I feel strange because I never got anything afterhundreds of partners.
      and @No. 75 · The Gay Numbers certainly we who wouldn’t get married at gunpoint would like to be approved, just like people who want to get married. While I think that you know I think that It’s great loving someone, even if it means you leaving out association with much of any gay community; which seem to be what happens because we like friends, unlike many married people . The reson why a guilty tag getsput on that inclination is that the marriage thing came as a solution to gay sex shame from HIV. Which is a coincidence.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Grubby behavior is grubby behavior regardless of the sexual orientation. If a straight guy had sex with five females in a dark alley on a Saturday night, it’s grubby. If a guy has sex with five men in a dark bath-house cubicle on a Saturday night, it’s also grubby.

      Being gay doesn’t mean anything goes. Nor should it.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 9:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @Phoenix (I’m Clutching My Pearls…And My Lube): Good point bout how we as Americans tend to fixate on how we view things.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 9:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @jason: You also make a good point. Why is this about sexual orientation as how someone should feel about it? The fact is I knew this guy who would go to strip clubs to see women at lunch at work every day,a nd I thought he was really gross. I wonder what the reaction be if I said that about a gay man doing the same thing?

      Sep 7, 2009 at 9:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @The Gay Numbers: Well, I can’t argue there, but simply because the “other side” lacks civility does not relieve me of the duty to do my utmost to be sensitive (yes, even overly) to attempt to extend a dialogue. But, you are right, the other side OBVIOUSLY show little concern.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      I’ve been in many bathhouses but have never seen a dark cubicle. most are well lit and clean often they have pools andbars ar which to eat sometimes movies.
      Bette Midler did her first performances in the Club Baths in New York City, where I cameout anfd the liting was incredible exceedingly handsome guys. everyone was clean and showered. I think that your imaginations create something that isn’t real; in that you are very very much liker thr religious fanaics you claim not to wantto imitatate. If I believed that I think that your efforts would be admirable you bedome just the mirror image of your supposed enemies.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @M Shane: MShane, “dig?” is a casual, very beatnik meets surfer (the community from which I come) way of saying “understand?” With all due respect, MShane, you tend to begin postings aimed at other individuals through attempting to belittle or insult them. Huff? Not even, but to begin a posting direct to me by suggesting that I came to the forum “ill-prepared” is not only inaccurate and patronizing, but it is an ill conceived assumption, based on what? One posting that provided you with far too little information to make that leap? That leads me to wonder why you would begin a posting in such a way, what purpose does it serve? In this case, none, except as an attempt to speak down to someone (the wrong someone) from your loft gay theoretical perch, one that I’ve noticed you enjoy sitting upon, as you do your best to look down your nose at your audience.

      By the way, this recent posting is dripping in superiority. You enjoy condescending to others and feel that this is the most effective way to have another respect you and your point of view, but it really is very off putting. The fact that you found humorous or sad a reference to Kramer, a writer and play write who did more to secure funding and shine a public light on AIDs and the crisis for the gay community is in itself sad, ungrateful and demeaning–not to me, but to Mr. Kramer. Had I been out to impress you, I would possible have referred to Foucault or Betsky, but impressing you is the least of my concerns.

      Honestly, MShane, you should go back and reread your postings. “It is people like KyleR who have set this community back,” is a rather harsh, rash, and assaulting remark to make. How do you feel that will encourage a dialogue with KyleR that might make him look upon the bathhouse culture in a more enlightened way? You also observe that you would not deny folks long term relationships (thank you), but you infer that those who wish to marry (whatever form that might take) is immediately an assimilation into the Right Wing dogma, and that logistically it is doomed for failure, and the fall out from all these poor unenlightened, small brained, uninformed folks will be spectacular…so much so that you can’t wait.

      These generalizations do nothing to advance your point. Every person who wishes to marry is seeking to assimilate? Really? People like KyleR are the sole reason why our community has been set back. You don’t say? You know KyleR that well to be able to so grossly exaggerate his contribution to the community.

      MShane, you don’t know me at all, so let me let you in on something about me. My mother came from a Catholic run industrial school on the north west coast of Ireland. She was abused by religious zealots–fundamentalists every day of her youth. That particular upbringing rained all over me too, and I detest the shame and condemnation that is used by religion for any number of things. No, wait, I despise shame and condemnation pretty much across the board, almost as much as hypocrisy. Never would I wish to subject you to a moments shame regarding your personal choices, and that is why I’ve not taken very easy pot shots aimed at you, as you have others on this thread.

      If you have followed what I’ve written in this thread, you will see that I have defended the rights and choices of others all along, to the point that it has now been suggested that I’m overly sensitive to “the other side,” (frankly, I’m not seeing sides here). I don’t wish to see the gay community all made up of Stepford husbands and wives, all vying to live their lives exactly like their straight neighbors. And, frankly, I would be sad to see the gay community assimilate fully into secular society, but then that is not my call…that is a call for some future generation…and those who do assimilate are well within their right to do so too. Judgment goes both way, and I prefer to keep that sort of judgment at bay.

      In no way would I wish to offend you, and those who have read my various postings on Queerty would, I’m certain, back me up on this. I am calling you out now, yes, because you invited that, but I’ve tried to be respectful. It might be helpful for you to spend more time examining the way you present your ideas and arguments than actually paying attention to the content of what you say. We are all very aware that you are erudite, and you have a lot of good ideas to share with all those wise enough to read what you have to offer, but presentation is part of the overall score. Is there a way of engaging someone in a disagreement that might lead to a better understanding between parties?

      Sep 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @MackMichael: In a perfect world, there would not be sides, but in reality where someone is attacking your choices there is a side whether you want one or not. That’s my only point. For example, I took pains to say that Shane’s choice is not myown. But why should I have to be labeled by his choice either?

      Sep 7, 2009 at 11:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimmy
      jimmy

      Bathhouses are just like amusement parks. I don’t want to be there every day, but when I do go, I want to ride everything that looks like fun.

      The Chicago Steamworks is my Disney World.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 12:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @The Gay Numbers: and I agree with that, and you can see that we are coming from the same place. To each their own. I’ve not made one negative remark about anyone’s personal choices…not one, and I wouldn’t, it isn’t my place to have any judgments about their behavior at all. Yet, as we saw on this thread, there is an almost taking to task of those who suggest that they aren’t interested. I don’t know if it was MShane or another poster, but someone attempted to psychoanalyze KyleR, and claim that he needed to change his position, give the baths the ol’ college try. To me, this is not unlike someone straight telling me that I need to give women the ol’ college try. Not into it, glad you are, I’ll give you a standing ovation; see, I’m standing and ovating…..great.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      Funny thing about the Chicago Steamworks. Years ago, when I was new to Chicago (it is a second home to me now), I was walking around town with a couple of lesbian friends of mine. It was late one evening, and I (I believe it was Steamworks)noticed a long line of men waiting to get into this gym. It was well lit from the outside, in a pretty nice building–from the outside it looked like a gym, but it was 11:30 at night. “Look at all those guys trying to get into the gym,” I exclaimed, “wow, who would have thought so many guys would be into working out this late.” They busted up laughing at me! “Oh, they want a workout alright,” they said, under ribald laughter.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 12:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @MackMichael:

      Is there a way of engaging someone in a disagreement that might lead to a better understanding between parties?

      I can think of one. Getting his facts straight by cracking a reference book or doing an occasional Google to back up his often erroneous claims.

      Bette Midler started her career, as did Barry Manilow, at the Continental Baths at the Ansonia Hotel on New York City’s West Side, not the Club Baths.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Baths

      It was owned and operated by Steve Ostrow who was in no way affiliated with the Club Baths and is currently living in Sydney, Australia.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/dreadfuldan/2367710244/

      Sep 8, 2009 at 1:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      I don’t know how it is everywhere else, but in my old hometown both bathhouses are now co-ed three nights a week, so it ain’t even exclusively a gay male thing any more.

      I think the argument about whether bathhouses are “grubby” or hurting the movement are silly and presumptuous.

      In the first place you’d probably get a lot cleaner there than sitting on your sofa with a bag of chips, and secondly you don’t catch diseases from public sex. You catch it from risky sex, which can happen just as easily at home with the lights off and your socks on.

      If bathhouses are not your cup of tea, fine, but nobody has the right to call me immature, shameful, or a closet case because I enjoy them. If I’m not hurting anyone I’ve got the right to have sex wherever and with whomever I want, and there is absolutely nothing immoral about that.

      And yes, standing up for these kinds of spaces, and for freeing peoples’ minds from the notion that sex is dirty IS part of my movement, actually.

      Don’t they have a copy of The Ethical Slut in your local library? You might want to give it a read.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @strumpetwindsock: If you do not know wha tpeople are talking about, then it would probably be best if you leave it at that rather than spouting off nonsense.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 1:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @The Gay Numbers:

      ‘scuse me?

      I’m not sure what I misunderstood in Jason’s comments.
      They seemed pretty clear to me.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 1:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @The Gay Numbers:

      And furthermore, while I agree with the “to each their own” sentiment, I don’t agree that our choice to go to bathhouses is some dirty personal flaw that has nothing to do with our rights and freedoms.

      Personally, I think it is a good thing to have a place to explore your sexuality and have fun that is cleaner, safer and less dangerous that bathrooms and parks.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 1:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Spot on!

      Sep 8, 2009 at 1:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @strumpetwindsock: You don’t live in the U.S. Do you?

      Sep 8, 2009 at 2:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Nah.

      You know where I live, and you’re not the first gentleman to play that card on me.

      Not sure which way you’re playing it in this case…

      Is it that that you’re engaged in a real fight down there in the states and that a Canadian wouldn’t understand that you need to distance yourselves from the perverts in order to win the more important battles?
      Or is it that they do things really different in your American bath houses?
      (excuse me if I am making assumptions and you meant something else)

      Look, I did take note of your personal feelings, which I respect, and in case you were wondering my initial comment was not directed at you in any way.

      I felt compelled to comment because, frankly, there were quite a few nasty and false comments about sexual preferences – something that is no one’s business. If you didn’t catch it all, go back and read them and tell me if you think they were fair.

      I appreciate that some might feel our sexual activities jeopardize other things we are fighting for. Guess what? The fact that we are gay does that already. No matter what we do many people will think we are all fucking perverts.

      I still think a relatively safe place to have sex is something worth protecting. If it’s not something others want to fight for or support, fine, but I do.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 3:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @strumpetwindsock: It is relevant to whehter you can speak on a subject of which you have no experience, which yous ay you don’t in your first post on this thread. But please, continue.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 4:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Do you think I am going to fall for a cheap attempt to take my words out of context like that? I may not be a lawyer like you, but come on.

      I have not been everywhere in the world. Do you think anyone posting here has? Does that somehow negate the points I have put on the table? Does it excuse the ignorant and hateful comments that have been made on this thread?

      I can appreciate that you might feel differently about this issue than me. I can’t really answer you though, because you haven’t addressed anything I have said. You are just calling me ignorant and pointing out that I am not from the U.S. without saying why you think that might be relevant.

      Now if you actually have something to say about my comments now might be the time to ante up. And while you’re at it I’d appreciate an explanation of your last post. What do you imagine the subject of this thread is, that I am somehow not qualified to speak on it?

      Geez, I thought it was about going and having fun in bath houses.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 6:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      @schlukitz: Are you just looking up that ancient history or are you, like me, one of the fortunate who lived to tell the tale?

      Sep 8, 2009 at 7:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @rudy:

      At the age of 73, I can definitely agree with you that I, Steve Ostrow and The Continental Baths are ancient history. Eventually, everyone and everything becomes ancient history. No one is spared. Not even you! LOL

      Yes. I was one of the fortunate ones. But then, I was always a practitioner of safe sex (condoms) even before it became fashionable (and sensible) to use them. To be sure, there were many who thought I was a bit weird or had a fetish for them.

      In my entire sexual experience, the only encounter I ever had with STDs was a dose of the clap when I was in my late teens. And that did not happen as a result of my going to the baths. I caught it from someone I picked up at a party.

      One would had to have been to The Continental Baths to realize what a really terrific place it was. It was an interesting part of gay history that like Strumpet, I feel requires no splainin’. Trying to gloss over it or pretend that it is an undesirable or disgusting part of our past and present, is like denying that we are gay.

      While I never got to know Bette Midler personally, one of the really neat things to come out of my patronage of the Continental baths, was getting to know Barry Manilow on a first name basis.

      It was a first-class presentation, although some patrons of the baths preferred a more sleazy atmosphere like that of Everards or the St. Marks Baths, which I’ve also been to.

      A great shame that it no longer exists, along with a large number of other fun gay meeting places on the West Side of Manhattan that also no longer exist.

      Life goes on.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @The Gay Numbers:

      It is relevant to whehter you can speak on a subject of which you have no experience,

      While it is, indeed, nice to be able to speak on a topic from personal experience, which give a deeper insight, we do live in a modern world where one does not actually need to be personally acquainted with a subject in order to speak about it.

      Through reference books and other sources of information, including the Internet, we can learn a great deal about something we have never been personally acquainted with. It’s called education, the purpose for which our school system was created.

      It is not required that one must have a valid, stamped Passport and a validated plane ticket to speak of the wonders of the Taj Mahal in India or the Alhambra in Spain.

      This information is readily available to anyone with the interest and inclination to do a little research. Perhaps you would do well to arm yourself with some of this information before attacking others who are perfectly capable of carrying on an informed and intelligent conversation on a variety of topics without having had a personal experience with them. Attacking others just tends to illustrate your own lack of experience and information.

      Just saying…

      Sep 8, 2009 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @schlukitz:

      Thanks, and good point.

      After all, it’s not like we demand that someone go out and fuck his brains out at the baths before we respect that public sex might not be his cup of tea.

      And nobody demands that I go out and develop a habit before I can have an opinion on safe drug injection sites.

      But perhaps there is something that makes U.S. clubs different than those I have been to in Canada and overseas.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Precisely.

      Dame Agatha Christie knew the workings of a murderer’s mind intimately.

      Yet, she never actually murdered anyone herself.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 2:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      God , I guess that Dyke who was telling me about fist fucking in Minnesota must be another Agatha Christi-ad I thought she was being pompous> How silly of me.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HELPLESS ROMANTIC
      HELPLESS ROMANTIC

      I like bathhouses. The first time was a unique experience. Then I realize what I like is seeing cute guys around in towels. I dont go there for random sex. In fact, when I go now I dont get sexualy excited but is still fun. Its AMAZING to see those cute muscular guys walking naked in front of you!!!

      Sep 9, 2009 at 1:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      @schlukitz: I am twelve years your junior which probably would’ve put a notch in your belt some forty years ago, but wouldn’t mean much now.

      I had my first real sex during senior year in high school at the seedy St. Mark’s Baths, which was BEFORE the renovation. I remember being terrified of the 300 pound manager everybody called “Big Red” who threatened he was going to “have me” as he handed me my towel and key in the lobby. The regulars warned me not to enter the locker room when he was in it as you really couldn’t get past him if he decided to block the aisle.

      I didn’t discover the Continental until I moved to the city in 1970. Entertainment aside, I had more and better sex at other places. I think this became the general opinion and is why I think it died. One of my fondest memories of that period was when I would pack up my things and step out from the Club Baths at dawn. Still slightly stoned, there was not a part of my body that didn’t ache and tingle from the all night workout. And while there was still time on my clock, I knew there wouldn’t be a drop of cum coming out of me for at least a day. So I’d walk up to the Union Square subway station stopping at Veneiro’s Bakery on the way for a cannoli and espresso.

      No argument, it would be absurdly hypocritical for me to judge anybody enjoying that kind of “hypersexual” experience (which you can only do for so long anyway). My life slowly settled down, just in time I guess, as the wrong retrovirus landed in that giant petri dish we gay men had created, and everyone I knew was sucked into an almost ten year nightmare of waiting for test results, wondering who would be next, taking friends to doctors, hospitals, and finally bringing them home to feed them, bathe them, comfort them, and help them to die.

      Now that was almost thirty years ago, and while it turned out my partner and I were never infected ourselves, it was as if some giant teacher went up to a chalkboard and erased our lives and most of the people who knew anything about it. What started out as a fairly open relationship complete with occasional threesomes morphed into monogamy and what M SHANE would probably disparage as “assimilationist.”

      So while I’m not going to call anybody sluts or other names, epidemiologists will tell you evolution never stops. If the next generation of gay men don’t take any lessons from the generation that went missing, it will happen again.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 5:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      I get a little tired of saying thngs that are turnedinto somekid of propagandistic mush, in short order. Nonetheless, HIV would have happened regardless of the “giant petri dish” ; which gay Right wing propagandists have made such ready use of in promoting gay guilt and the assimilationist reaction..History is always written by those who benefirt most by it.(the prototypes , myths etc.)
      How many bath houses are in Africa? Has marriage become a form of group think in other industrialized countries, or just our hyperpuritanical society.?
      @ schlukitz
      @strumpetwindsock
      KUDOS

      @Rudy: Assimilationism has little familiarity with your situation. “Mainstreamingi”s explicitly a social movement attempt to hide out in heterosexual society as an attemp to deny the fulllscope of your homosexuality; it’s a form of denial; a closet . While Aids is on the rampage people will haveto be carefull. I might suggest that some of your additude comes from havng had the blessing of having made love to a number of men and having success, but , like Michael Signorile being to old to get everything you would like. That’s not an insult , but just a fact about growing older in the ciulture. Assimilationism is a form of Group think pushed by some hypocritical(as it turns out) popular wrters like Anderw Sullivan (too much Catholic guilt.)

      Sep 9, 2009 at 8:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeton Ademaj
      Jeton Ademaj

      I raise my glass of diet soda to toast the tragedy of the Gay Assimilationist…bracketed by gay-sex libertines on one side and religious fundamentalists on the other, they’re kinda stuck.

      Bathhouses and sex parties are indeed a permanent fixture of Gay Culture…they’ve never been for everybody, they’re not uniquely homosexual institutions, but they have always found unique vitality in the male homosexual arena. You can tell the right-wing “that’s not what gayness is about” all you like, I or someone like me will always be there to tell them “he’s just kissing your ass!”…who ya think they’re gonna believe?

      As for HIV, it’s amazing how some queers contort their view of Gayness around the specifics of the virus. the fact is that gay men in general are going to be more promiscuous than heterosexual men, for the very cliche that gay men have no women to put the brakes on…prudes like Jason et al demonstrably fail as a substitution. Homophobia has always had sex-phobia as a core-element, so any self-professed gay right’s advocate who claims that “being gay is not about sex” is INEVITABLY fighting with at least one hand tied.

      It’s certainly possible to say “to each his own”, but I think some of you aren’t very good at hiding behind that platitude, your *hang-ups* and judgements quickly re-reveal themselves.

      Almost incidentally, let me mention that i attended a conference on MRSA in the Gay Community held at the NYC LGBT center in early 2008. Several health experts held a panel/audience discussion on MRSA, HIV and the risks for it. The NYC Health Department’s epidemiology expert was explicit and repetitive in asserting that sex clubs and bath houses in particular proved very clean environments at very low risk for disease transmission as long as safe-sex guidelines were followed.

      A consensus emerged that both MRSA and HIV were predominately spreading in private settings where people assumed a false sense of security…not washing as carefully, presuming the hiv-status of their partners n engaging in the riskiest activities. The conference was shown on NY1, was filmed by several sources and is in their archive and the Center’s as well, so put that in your anti-bathhouse pipes n smoke it.

      Someday HIV will be cured and/or controlled as a public health risk…at that point people like Jim (#77) will be historical anachronisms at least as accursed as the spineless Hollywood employees who “named names” during the McCarthy-era witch-hunts, and gay sexuality will enjoy less guilt and shame. It’s gonna be a rough ride in the Community until then.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @rudy:

      Thank you for sharing your experience(s) with me.

      It sounds like they pretty closely paralleled mine, except you were more fortunate than I with respect to your partner surviving the epidemic and for which I am very happy for the both of you.

      My partner of some seven years was not so fortunate. A tad younger than myself, he died of AIDS at the tender age of only 27. To this day, I wonder why it was that he was taken and I am still here to tell the story.

      Life can certainly be a giant crap-shoot at times I guess.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      @No. 123 · Jeton Ademaj : Thanks, I hope folks read your precis on the topic.(above) Pretty deft writting. While it is of no personal interest to me at this point, I hope that at some time the Gay partnership advocates have the opportunity to see that us tarts, and sexual adventurers ara definitely not for the most part, I think categorically opposed to relationships and priveledges which attend them. While ‘marriage” has never been a right here or anywhere like food , education, speach etc., but rather a social contract which we value highly (because it is procreative generally), I hope that people do see that it is possible to have a civil recognition of all relationships, if that ‘s what wthey want to try. The religious battle curently under way is ridiculous. Religion was never everintended to be part of goverment and stould be tossed out on it’s ear.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      p.s. thanks for your number of insightful comments. I have tried to bring people’s attention to the fact that “A consensus emerged that both MRSA and HIV were predominately spreading in private settings where people assumed a false sense of security…not washing as carefully, presuming the hiv-status of their partners n engaging in the riskiest activities.”
      I have always been amazed at the awesom number of AIDS patients who were primarily monogamous, and got infected by someone they trusted-indeed most people I’ve met. with HIV. I really felt guilty. I’ve had great sex with literally hundreds of men and don’t have anything. Your remark about the mythology that rises up around the Aids scare is so prevalent.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeton Ademaj
      Jeton Ademaj

      @M Shane:

      Thanks for the kudos. I should mention that I’m both supportive of and eager for Federally sanctioned same-gender marriage, and wish someone would at last test Justice Scalia’s LAWRENCE V TEXAS dissent. Among his most intense disappointments there-in was the assertion that the Majority had essentially made gay marriage inevitable, as the reasoning they used would not countenance a firewall between gay and straight marriages…or almost any other institutional discrimination for that matter. The majority at the time disavowed that claim, but I think he was right.

      Now, if someone in a good position to do so would just test that!

      Sep 9, 2009 at 2:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      If someone does not have a personal experience, they should not comment on what I should find sleazy by talking down to me about it. I am surprised that for such “open” people this needs to be said. Well, not really, because none of you are really “open.’ You are pushing an agenda.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeton Ademaj
      Jeton Ademaj

      @The Gay Numbers: yes, we’re pushing the GAY AGENDA. step up or step off…pussies like you have been decrying this or that aspect of gay activism since it started. you got a 2nd wind with the HIV crisis, but ur position is still doomed doomed doomed.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMike
      MackMike

      @The Gay Numbers: I don’t really know if this thread is being followed any longer, but Gay Numbers, you should know better. You see, unless you have sex with hundreds and hundreds of perfectly nice strangers (and if you are to believe a posting written yesterday about the great difficulty in acquiring AIDs and the folly of using a condom, because it really is hard to acquire–don’t pay attention to the 33.2 million folks who have it world wide–you should be having that sex unprotected), you are denying your homosexuality, living in a closet, assimilating and threatening the entire homosexual movement.

      You have no choice of your own; rather, you have but two choices: that of the social conservatives who would rather you be promiscuous than to engage in monogomy, and that of people like MShane, who claims he does not judge your choices, but then repeatedly states that to “mainstream” is to deny your full scope of the homosexual experience…because, after all, there is only one way to have the homosexual experience, and that will be defined for you by MShane.

      Both MGallagher and MShane wish to shame you into accepting their notions of what and who you should be, both are fundamentalists, and both assert messages that (though they deny it)wish to place limits on free association.

      Here is the thing you will never hear from MShane: “I don’t get monogomy, it certainly was never for me, was never interested in it, but you know, if that is your thing, then good on you. That’s your choice, and I suppose there ae all sorts sexual choices and turn ons that vary across the vast continuuim of sexuality. It’s just a choice, and I will fight for the rights of every GLBT to make their own choices and enjoy equal rights to heterosexuals.” Instead, you just hear the same language of shame coming from him that you hear from the otherside that wishes to oppress you.

      Fundamentalism in all its ilks is so dangerous,so evil, so antithetical to the freedom that MShane wishes to enjoy; yet, he speaks the oppresive language of Fundamentalism when he speaks.

      Jeton Ademaj seems to be able to communicate in a way that avoids this, for the most part, if not entirely.

      I for one have said throughout that I’m all for those going to bathhouses if that is there thing. Have 100 partners, have 1000, I’ll cheer you on and give you an ovation–fantastic. I don’t find bathhouse fans to be trashy or harmful to our community. However, I find the entire term “assimilationist” to be oppressive in its language, and well overused. Simply enjoying on partner is not necessarily a wish to assimilate, and it may threaten other’s push for greater sexual liberation, I suppose, but it isn’t setting the gay movement (whatever that may mean, I suppose it means different things to different people) back. Frankly, I reject that we have a gay movement, for we are far to disorganized and fractionalized to maintain one.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RainaWeather
      RainaWeather

      Why don’t sleazy people like being called sleazy? It doesn’t make you a bad person, just a skank.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeton Ademaj
      Jeton Ademaj

      @RainaWeather: why do judgemental pussies complain about being described as such? it doesn’t make you any less foolishly judgemental and craven.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @The Gay Numbers:

      You are pushing an agenda.

      And you’re not?

      Sep 9, 2009 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @RainaWeather:

      Why don’t sleazy people like being called sleazy? It doesn’t make you a bad person, just a skank.

      This is something that has something to do with something, in some manner or another, that affects something to one degree or another?

      Sep 9, 2009 at 7:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      The fact of the matter finally, is that gay men are going to find the diverse , interesting and intense or not so intense ways of expressing their sexuality and their emotional connections, no matter how judgemental some of you choose to be largely only fear and insecurity corrupts love.
      If i could give every young gay person an education in lovemaking before they thought about permanant attachments that’s what I would do. I think everyone deserves that and mabe there wouldn;’t be so much shame attached to giving yourself fully and srotically to another consenting man , with none of the hangups that go with knowing someone. I may have made love more often than a lot of people now who have too get married first. But I don’t think that there is anything skanky or sleay or cheap about the full expression of sexual love, and as much of it as possible.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      Indeed, I can fuck women with some great degree of success, and if it wasn’t that I gott so much joy out of loving men and I had to marry, I would may as well be straight and forget all the hassles.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      I fear if you could give every young gay person an education in lovemaking, we’d quickly lose a generation of young gay people, and I have no doubt that you are very successful in fucking just about anything. Good grief, MShane, I think its great you like sex and have had lots and lots of it; it is fantastic. However, it is like you want a medal or a standing ovation. I’m standing, I’m ovating….now try as hard as you might to cease being so hostile and condemning of the choice that others make to direct their love making to fewer partners, or even just one.

      Can we just allow one another to navigate their most intimate lives without critiquing it?!

      Sep 10, 2009 at 2:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      @M Shane: “I might suggest that some of your additude comes from havng had the blessing of having made love to a number of men and having success, but , like Michael Signorile being to old to get everything you would like. That’s not an insult “

      I’m so glad to hear that.

      I will simply take it as you projecting your own shallowness onto me.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 5:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeton Ademaj
      Jeton Ademaj

      @MackMichael: well, here you are doing what you decry of MShane…except worse: you basically say he’d kill “a generation of young gay people”, either by example or by direct infection (implying him to be infectious).

      @rudy: Rudy, you’re right that evolution never stops..you just cant presume what direction it will go in. Many broken records here, but a critical one is that shame breeds shame…between condoms, ARV treatments and personal discretion, the tools already exist to halt the spread of HIV. The most infectious people (*by far*) are those who are newly infected, followed by those infected who are not on treatment. For those who have access to testing and treatment, the biggest obstacles to using either have proven to be SHAME and DENIAL.

      You last paragraph in post#121 is an illustration of both…”i’m not going to [blank], buuuut….”

      that’s more than a bit shallow of you, especially after you’d only just illustrated your ability to tell a personal history with some nuance.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      @No. 137 · rudy Shallowness appears to be in the mind of the beholder.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @M Shane: you said “No. 28 · Jon Widener: It is People like Kyler who seeks to set the gay movement back . People who are unaware of gay history jump on these moral istic stumps which refuse to recognize that the idea of assimilation by homphobic gays goes back to the 50’s when Uncle Toms in the movement thought that if we”didn’t scare the horses””
      _____________________________________________________________

      This is hilarious. You say that KyleR seeks to set the gay rights movement BACK because he doesn’t think that we should reverse time by 30 years and go back to a time where the bath houses were more of a necesity because everybody was afraid to come out of the closet? Look, I get it, I really do, you are nostolgic for that time….but that doesn’t mean you have to pretend you were involved in some kind of freedom march every time you went into the Bath House. You were there to get your rocks off, and the LAST thing you were thinking about was furthering gay rights.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeton Ademaj
      Jeton Ademaj

      @Cam: back atcha for being more hilarious, the first of all gay rights was/is/always will be the right to have gay sex. This is the brick wall u gay prudes always run into: SEX is what unites us, SEX is why we are oppressed…issues of gender and group-belonging have always been historically secondary in the execution of homophobia. Someone’s gender con-conformity is used as the pretext of assuming they engage in forbidden sex, not the other waya round.

      Buttfucking is and always will be a political act…and our enemies will always remind you of that whenever you uselessly presume to shift the debate. If you can’t defend buttfucking and rugmunching, you have no business presuming to define Gay Liberation.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      @Cam: How on earth did you get the idea that the bath houses were more of a necesity because everybody was afraid to come out of the closet? No one was in the closet until shame drove them back to the marriage “closet”. The bathhouses were a little more prive than the bushes or roofs on houses(also an option.

      How dare you assume the nature/simplemindedness of my actions. As Jeton (above ) explains each time we assert who we are we are making a political statement. As a friend of mine remined me, the greatest act of the Afro-American movement was when a little old lady decided that she was not going to be a good old girl and sit in the back of the bus: she actually sat in the front. No amount of speaches could have been as eloquent.
      The more I listen to the dialogue here the more you Assimilationists sound just like your shaming Right Wing Religious opponents . You seem to have mistakenpotential byproducts of love for the real thing. Do your ‘rights’ have anything to do with being gay or are they just a manuever for extra money?

      I reiterate Jeton: What is the point to being gay except the expression of your sexuality.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      @Jeton Ademaj: “You last paragraph in post#121 is an illustration of both…’i’m not going to ‘”

      That sentence was intended as a response to posters who used those words here, but
      let me clarify then:
      I do not care how consenting adults conduct their sex lives. I consider notions like” sexual morality” to be near-useless in judging a person’s character. Ethics are important to me and traits like courage and honesty.

      There is no question you can have safe sex, even with multiple partners at a bathhouse or sex club; on the other hand, the complete abandon, absence of protection, and drug/alcohol use common in the seventies combined to make such places extremely efficient in the spread of HIV.

      Gay couples who practice unsafe sex should never view monogamy as more than a goal. It’s safer for your lover to suggest you use protection for the next six months (or whatever the incubation/test window is now) than have him think his straying from the program is a dealbreaker and then lie to you. Everyone is human – no exceptions.

      Gay couples who practice unsafe sex should never view monogamy as more than a goal. It’s safer for your lover to suggest you use protection for the next six months (or whatever the incubation/test window is now) than have him think his straying from the program is a dealbreaker and then lie to you. Everyone is human – no exceptions.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      Hm, the duplicatred last paragraph was not intentional.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @Jeton Ademaj: Talk about running away with an assumption…I’m saying that perhaps a generation would rather just cease engaging in the gay community than to be “educated” by MShane. Just to quickly update you, I came out as a teen, the high school athlete and honor student, who had tons to lose by being open and honest about who I was, smack dab in the middle of the AIDs crisis, which I threw myself into. Before I saw 20, I saw dozens of terrific people die, so I’m not making a connection to aids….I’m making a connection to off putting communication. I lost a great deal of people I loved to AIDs, including one who was a brother to me. I’m not alluding to AIDs….I a directly referring to an approach in communication that condemns and judges others. As for sexual experimentation and promiscuity, I’m all for it, would die for the right for others to experience it, and haven’t a single issue with it, though it simply is not for me personally. Why? Why, must someone be on attack when they just aren’t up to being experimental? Hmmm? Perhaps you don’t attack folks who are monogomous, but plenty do…are you unfamiliar?

      Sep 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      @M Shane: Oh, I know, I know!!!! I want extra money. In case you missed that, let me repeat: I WANT EXTRA MONEY! Not in relation to society as a whole, but in comparison to what gay people get to keep of their money and what straight people get to keep. A quick run down for you: I’m a guy who maintains a low sodium diet, runs 6 miles a day, keeps a 31/32 inch waist (not bad for someone 6’2″), eats really well, tries to keep stress low, was a well known nationally ranked athlete in his sport, who has a family history of rampant heart disease, and who doesn’t have a man in his family who has survived his 60s.

      Leave it to me to fall in love. I wanted to advance the gay movement by not falling in love and having sex with everything that I could–and like you, I was just marvelous at it, if I do say so myself–but you know, I just couldn’t help myself. My husband’s name is “Steve.” I know how distasteful that is to you to read such assimilationist language, yet that is who he is to me. He has the most remarkable smile, an enormous heart, and this beautiful shock of pre-mature gray hair.

      As a young boy, I remember that after a beating,I’d hold my beloved dog Beau, and fall asleep thinking of having someone just like Steve to simply hold hands with on a sofa. I didn’t think so much of fucking some guy, I just thought of loving someone, who was a guy. My dog, Beau, and I would shiver in a corner of my room, as we heard the shouting outside our room, terrified that someone would come back in and beat us again. The only way I ever fell asleep was to imagine myself as a grown man, on a sofa, holding the hand of the man I loved.

      I was told that the kids at school all hated me, and that they thought I was weird, so I would return home after classes were over, do my own homework, help my sister with hers, and then retreat into my bedroom to draw and write, taking needed breaks to hold and love my best friend, my dog Beau.

      I never knew what to expect. Would I be beaten, or would I just be called a slew of names, and be told that no one liked me. It was always up in the air, but while waiting for it, Beau and I hung out in my room, sometimes shivering at the screaming outside, waiting for it to move closer, and other times just falling asleep–terrified.

      One morning, I got ready for school as my parent’s fought. It was a nasty fight, and I kissed Beau and left quickly without breakfast, frightened by the possible outcome. I got out the door without notice. The day was pretty good. Jackie Hoffman was born with a defect, and the boys at school picked on her, screaming and yelling, until I chased them away. People may have thought me weird, but I was a well respected athlete, who few would mess with.

      I returned home later that day, and called for Beau. “Beau, come boy, Beau,” I called. He never came. Instead, around the corner, my mother turned, “I put him to sleep today, I don’t want yhou to take your father’s side…you’re so much like him.”

      My only friend, gone, and I had left him behind. You know, MShane and Jeton Ademaj, I never wanted to judge anyone else. I never wanted to have anything to do with the choices of anyone else. You see, it was far too risky. But for me, gentlemen, I just wanted a steady and mutually loving relationship. I never raise my voice in anger, I never would strike a living thing, and I even catch crickets in containers and let them out of our house. I rejected violence and drama and, for me, instability.

      My sister carried through with a number of unsuccessful relationships, all marked by the type of volatility that my parents showed. My sister embraced the culture of violence we were raised in, while curled up in a ball, being kicked inn the chest and stomach, I can remember thinking, “My life will never be like this.”

      There are other people like me, there just have to be. Some of want to mimic the quiet and loving relationships that their parents had…that their belief system they were brought up with, which feels most comfortable. Others yearned for a sense of tranquility and love, wishing for something else. There are those who want to just have sex. Maybe everything was perfect at home, but they just love the act and feel of sex, and that is all they pursue. Some may have a very similar experience to mine, and all they can handle are crisp, great feeling sexual encounters. There must be a million permutations in between.

      What Jeton Ademaj and MShane seem unable to give here, is just a nod to the right of others to choose the type of lives that they wish to lead, without having generalized tags applied to them, such as “assimilationist.” Undoubtedly, I’ll take a hit and a bunch of shit for having been honest, but it isn’t like I haven’t had it thrown at me before. But there must be someone out there who hears my plea: Can’t we just respect one another and defend one another for their own personal choices??????

      Sep 10, 2009 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      I did’t tie that into the MShane money thing: You see, I met this amazing guy, Steve. I love him so very much. He provides me with the love I didn’t get so much of when I was younger. We have stability. I come home and our dogs are doing well, and we are madly passionate for one another.

      I do want more money, but not more money than I have earned. Every man in my own family have died young due to heart disease. After having survived the above, I just wish to leave Steve my half the house, so that he doesn’t have to pay taxes. I wish to leave him all that I leave behind without the penalty of taxes and reassessed property values. I wish him to make decisions about me and my care in the hospital. I don’t want our property’s value to be reassessed after my death, so that his property tax increases. All these things his sister-in-law enjoys in her marriage with her husband. That is all I want for Steve. I won’t live to old age, or at least the odds are considerably against me. That is the God’s honest truth. No man has surved 60 in my entire family history.

      I don’t care who you sleep with, how many, or where, I really don’t. I just want my equal rights. I don’t wish to squelch anyone, because I feel you should make life what you wish it to be, but I want the same respect to make of my own what I wish.

      Am I an assimilationist? I suppose that is up to who levels the accusation against me. I never thought so, but to some die hard cases, I suppose I would have to be. I never asked to be the Belle at the Bathhouse, I couldn’t dream that far, and if I could, I suppose I would still just dream that maybe one person, one man, would love me.

      And that is what I got…I found that one man who loved me, no matter what, and I don’t want much else, except my rights and not to have to do battle against my own who see me as someone only interested in assimilation. I just want to protect my partner from the government exercising penalities against him that they would not levy against a straight couple.

      Young to many of you, I am an ancient fruit hanging upon my family tree. These philosophical fights wear me out…I just want my rights, and I don’t want to interfere with the rights of others. Isn’t there a way to get on the same page?

      Sep 10, 2009 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      There’s a difference between sex and sleaze. This is something the gay sleazemerchants conveniently forget. In their mad lust for money, they market sleaze under the gay rights banner, duping and conning stupid gay guys into forking over cash for the purpose of achieving an orgasm.

      Keep in mind this very important thing: when we went to the Supreme Court to decriminalize sodomy, it wasn’t on the basis of “we want the right to fuck as many strangers in one night as we possibly can”.

      One of the things that we in the gay community need to understand is that the persistence of our gay rights must be based on morality. Our rights are very moral. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

      If we allow the gay sleazemerchants to persist in framing our movement as one based on permissiveness, we risk committing suicide.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 9:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      No. 147 · MackMichael
      The meeting place is just in the acceptance that Gay Liberation is tied to each of us finding the expression of our sexual and emotional needs in our own ways. I had sex with people befior the AIDs epidemic was a problem or had a name. When I discovered that I was desired and could prety miuch pick my partners, I did, and I had friends too . The thought of having a relationship has never set well with me since people I knew never thought about it. And I am unwilling to hook up with someone who I don’t want to live with just so that gay people can live up to straight expectations. That motivation is assimilationism. That has nothing to do with your concern for your partner. Gay people have the capacity to form a variety of relationships. And I don’t think that we should cast judgment on each other. I also don’t think that we should do anything because we are ashamed of ourselves. and each other. I was actua;llly very picky about who i’ve had sex with: there were many handsome men in San Francisco, and I felt blessed that we were able to give each other joy. When I here that described as being dark and sleazy, I suspect that my reaction is no different than if someone said that about you and your lover.

      The difference is whether we do things to make them (hets) happy, or ourselves.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 10:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael
      MackMichael

      Yes, MShane, but I would never belittle your choices, ever. I’d fight for your right and your freedom. Yet, MShane, and I don’t want to go down the slippery slope of you and I trading angry or hurtful words, but at times your language and position has seemed to demean those who make choices that are simply different from your own. Again, as I said initially, I have never wished to assimilate into the straight world. I am completely open, and though I am close to some family members and have some straight friends, I must admit to much preferring the company of other GLBT people, who understand better the gay experience–whatever that may mean to them. I learned at a very young age that one can do all he can to make another happy, and that simply would not be enough. Pleasing straight people with my lifestyle choices is not in the least on my radar.

      And let me just say, I don’t describe bathhouses in any way, with the exception of the one bathhouse I’ve seen in Chicago from the outside, which was a very clean and handsome building in a well populated area of town. There was a line of all types of men outside, waiting to get in, and I had been convinced it was a gym. I can’t describe them as dark and sleazy, for I’ve never been inside one, and what is one man’s “dark and sleazy” is another’s “moody and mysterious.” Isn’t it just subjective?

      Thank you, MShane, for your very respectful and generous reply. This is what I most yearn for in my lifetime, a way to dialogue to a better understanding, and I believe in my heart that it can be done through a higher level of respect, which is due you as much as anyone. Again, thank you.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 11:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SilverRRCloud
      SilverRRCloud

      Sex Clubs are not for everyone. Nothing is really for everyone.

      Some guys insist that they want to make friends first, and fuck or not later on. If this is how you run your sex life, more power to you.

      Most guys I know are more than happy to get their rocks off, one way or the other without going through the notions of ‘making friends’, listening to other people’s stories, and pretending that they find them and those stories, too, to be of any interest to them whatsoever. If you want to cut the drama, you know where you need to go to.

      There are all kinds of sex clubs. Not all of them are creepy, dark, dirty, with a strong odor of fetish, leather, open asses and what not. Quite a few clubs are actually geared towards the next door dudes into vanilla sex.

      Internet dating may have reduced the number of patrons frequenting the clubs, spas, ABSs. Amateur porn has dented into the profits of the major porn producers, too. Yet, the life goes on.

      Not everyone feels like e-mailing, texting and calling for a short eternity, all in order to stand around and wait endlessly for the next fake/flake or whoever shows or does not show up. Clubs do have a winning edge when it comes to the WYSIWYG instant gratification thing. That’s why you stand in line for quite a while in front of some of the better ‘places’on a Friday night…

      So, the clubs charge fees. What else is new? If anyone wants to open a decent space for guys to have sex with other guys for free, he may also want to invest in a highway exit to this place, too, and most dudes I know would love to have the address NOW.If you can’t spend the 15 bucks to get your rocks off, focus on making a decent living, and get your priorities right.

      SC

      Sep 23, 2009 at 7:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Donatucci Sexsling
      Donatucci Sexsling

      Golf clubs in Britain have seen their fair share of controversy when it comes to equal rights. Donatucci Sexsling

      Oct 15, 2009 at 6:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sheila
      Sheila

      San Diego County had 319 new, fully diagnosed AIDS Cases in 2006.

      California laws requires the state of California to pay for the medical care of patients diagnosed with AIDS. California laws in this arena are based upon a compassionate perspective where patients would die without medical treatment. There is no cure for AIDS and without available medical care, the death rate for HIV-positive patients would skyrocket in a matter of months.

      The cost to taxpayers for added new medical expenses for these 319 cases is approximately $13 million dollars per year. This means county and city officials must find an additional $13 million in their 2007 budget to cover this expense.

      As a tax-paying citizen, I respectfully ask you to please use a condom.

      Sep 27, 2010 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EvanCook
      EvanCook

      This site is the most disappointing and frightening that I have ever seen even beyond those of the raving right wingers. To imagine so many supposedly gay men with such internalized self-hatred and condemnation of others, so many who are so ignorant of our history or biology, so many who have bought into or eaten up every slander, hate and bias that has been thrown at gay men and sex advocates from ancient to Victorian times and onward. Such assimilationists and prudes!

      It is absolutely amazing and horrifying. Is this what the “new generation” of gays is like? As soon as I hear “my husband…” I can’t but help to think we have some suburbanite matron talking, or at least a man who has surrendered something intrinsically male and bought hook, line and sinker into the hetero-style of life and love. And all the latent hysteria about STD’s repeated ad nauseam as if to echo the “god’s punishment” hypocrisy, and the moralizing about multiple partners as if it was unnatural (when in fact it was the norm and practiced in early human history), or the disparaging of anonymous sex as if that was also something against nature! OMG, these dears have been truly spoiled and brainwashed!

      I half expect one of these self-centered, simplistic and inexperienced opinion givers to drag out the “AIDS is a homo disease and God’s punishment” line since they evidently think they live on a higher plain, safely removed from such dirty sex or human diseases! Especially ironic are the ones who would rather stay home and jerk off or live under some rock or in some fantasy fraught with disappointment and guilt that there is only one perfect, true partner, somewhere just waiting for Cinderella I suppose. Are these teenage girl princesses or monks removed from the real world?

      I would not discount or criticize anyone for having personal preferences, but make them from experience and enlightenment, not imparted fear or disgust leading to moralizing statements that reek of judgements and condemnations. Many comments here sound like old washer women jealously or fearfully wagging their vengeful and gossiping tongues, in many cases about somethings not even dared to be experienced, it is worse than pathetic.

      I hope these people really don’t think they are “gay,” but more likely just afflicted with homosexuality. You know, that “gay” gene that one is born with and simply has to suffer with! These people think the “natural” argument is simply an excuse for their affliction, instead of part of the great biological scheme of things enabling wonderful new experiences and lessons inherent for all our species. Maybe instead of mimicking and trying to be accepted as good but forever second class heterosexuals we should try to live without the hypocrisy of religion, at least the endlessly hateful monotheistic religions and remember that “marriage” was an institution designed for paternity and property claims, and candy-coated with Victorian sentimentality and guilt!

      To be “gay” is to have an awareness, appreciation, identification and camaraderie with our vast community, its history, potential and worship of the graces of the male, the phallus and men’s society. (Lesbian are a parallel universe, but very different from men. Surely we should be allies, but never confused as the same!). And we should continually demonstrate and utilize our special talents of creativity, intellectual capacity, empathy and imagination, and in bringing the example to humankind that sex is a far more wonderful, manly pursuit and those that practice more of it more frequently with more partners are happier, more peaceful and long lived as the animal kingdom demonstrates but has always been ignored.

      I started having frequent sex when I was five, with grown men when I was 11 or 12, lost my virginity when I was 14, and have enjoyed tens of thousands of partners all over the world. A wonderful, happy, prosperous life I would not trade for anything unless offered the chance to do it all again!

      Oct 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Soupy
      Soupy

      I have always maintained that my personal fight for gay rights represents the right for all gay people to be free and themselves. The right to marry is just one aspect. I also will speak out for the right to be as sexually liberated, as femme, as butch as you want. I don’t believe that we should have to conform to any straight concept of “morally acceptable” norms.

      Oct 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • McShane
      McShane

      @EvanCook: I couldn’t agree with you more Evan. I think that the story of how the right wing political forces took hold of the argument and cast it to their needs is significant, because I have become certain that very few people today have an idea as to how they have what they have got as “gay options” came to be as a reaction to misplaced shame, and how the gay cause has lost track of what we are really about. It’s almost as if the gay political conversation became only about one thing marriage and forgot about everything else. Tribute to that is the wholey inadequate response to the gay suicides. It is hardly going to save people hanging off a balcony to be assured “oh, it will be better: once you get married.” Gay people are bout many things only one possabilty is “coupleship”. We are much much more as those of us who have been around long enough and seen it’s breadth know. I can only feel sad for the lost sould who don;’t know how much it can be.

      Oct 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greg McGill
      Greg McGill

      I can’t believe how many comments this post has garnered! I’m comforted to know that times are changing and most of these post are promoting a healthy view on gay culture and safe sex.

      SEX CLUBS ARE A THING OF THE PAST, AND IT’S TIME THESE AGED OUT QUEENS LET GO. It may have been freeing and exhilarating in the 70’s and 80’s to have random sex, but nowadays we don’t have to.

      I’m going to celebrate the end of gay sex clubs, when I no longer have to explain to my straight friend what’s going on in them.

      May 5, 2011 at 12:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joey
      Joey

      jkosey1@hotmail.com

      Dec 24, 2011 at 12:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      If you’re into out of shape old men these places are a gold-mine

      Jul 20, 2014 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queertyreader2
      Queertyreader2

      LOL I am in my 50’s and yes I remember the hay days of Silverlake. The sex clubs closed one by one and then the sex bars. The world has changed and our generation have to let it go, no matter how hard (no pun intended)it is to do so. The Millennials don’t like a lot of rules, the “Clone Sexual” days are never coming back…but yes they were fun days. But like the Plymouth, it is only a fond memory! LOL

      Oct 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwtraveler
      jwtraveler

      Thanks for adding the offensive Jewish stereotype at the end of the article. ‘Cause no one but Jews likes getting something for nothing, right?

      Nov 15, 2014 at 4:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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