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‘In Our Blood’ is Australia’s answer to ‘It’s A Sin’ & it features a very steamy scene at a noted gay cruising club

Two gay men dance and smile, colorfully lit in the middle of a dance club
Image Credit: ‘In Our Blood,’ ABC Network Australia

Fresh after an eventful Sydney World Pride—when folks are no doubt still finding glitter in every crack and crevice of their bodies—Australian network ABC premiered the drama In Our Blood about the LGBTQ+ community’s response to the AIDS epidemic in the early ’80s.

An ensemble miniseries rife with period-specific details, In Our Blood certainly invites comparison to Russell T Davies’ It’s A Sin, which followed a decade in the lives of young, queer Londoners during the international health crisis.

But where the Australian drama differs is that it’s also a jukebox musical, featuring rousing performances of songs form the likes of Depeche Mode and Tears For Fears, punctuating emotional moments of queer joy, sadness, and resilience.

The musical aspect is just one of the ways In Our Blood balances out the heavier subject matter with levity and celebration. For another example, look no further than a scene in the latest episode, “No Time For Politicking,” in which “gay nun” Tim (Ryan A. Murphy) heads to a men’s sauna for some safe sex activism to help prevent the spread of HIV.

Notably, the scenes were filmed at Brisbane’s Wet Spa & Sauna, a popular cruising spot and “gay sex on premises” venue. And, it turns out, the bathhouse is a natural on-camera, looking fantastic in neon pink, purple, and blue lighting—and of course packed with sweaty, naked sauna-goers.

Dressed in a nun’s habit, Tim gets the attention of the spa’s muscled clientele to preach the good word of safe sex:

“Contrary to unpopular opinion, God has not sent the plague to smite us all,” Tim shares, referencing the growing HIV epidemic. “He knows how much we love to worship the heavenly bodies we find within our orbits—he’s given us so many ways to do that.”

Tim whips out a sex toy and demonstrates how to properly put a condom on, dispensing some priceless advice: “Before you stick your manhood in a manhole, just remember to cloak the bishop.”

The cursing spot is just one of many Brisbane locations retro-fitted for filming the ’80s-set show. Local gay bar The Sportsman Hotel was also made over to look like Patchs, a historic gay venue once located on Sydney’s Oxford Street, which has long been a hub for the city’s LGBTQ+ community.

Local viewers have no doubt enjoyed seeing bygone places from Australia’s LGBTQ+ history brought to life by the series, but viewers from all over the world will certainly find a lot to love about the series.

Among the miniseries stars is In My Sleep‘s Tim Draxl as David Westford, a fictional character based on government officials at the time, who worked alongside the federal Health Minister in response to the growing epidemic. RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under‘s favorite Art Simone also appears in a supporting role.

In Our Blood airs new episodes weekly on Sundays, and the entire series is streaming now via the ABC network’s ABC iview player. For curious viewers outside Australia, the drama doesn’t yet have an international streaming home, but it can be accessed with a VPN.