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Toronto’s 37-Year-Old Bathhouse Closes to Become A Different Kind of Sex Den

Club Toronto, the Canadian bathhouse that’s provided gay men a place to steam and sip coffee and stroll for nearly four decades, abruptly closed earlier this month. On the weekend, a visitor could secure a room for 12 hours for $30; students and seniors with valid ID got half off. The venue featured a casual lounge, outdoor pool, sex slings, and jail cells. “It was before AIDS, and it was a freer and easier age,” says Peter Maloney, the lawyer and gay activist who helped found Club Toronto. “We could be sexual — it was a period of awakening.”

The space will be converted into a swingers’ club. So now everyone can be sexual there.

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8 Comments

  • jason

    Peter Maloney is misguided in my view, especially when he says that “we could be sexual”. Excuse me, Maloney, but it’s not sexual, it’s sleazy. There is nothing more sleazy than having sex with an abundance of anonymous men. I can be sexual with my monogamous partner in my bedroom, so please don’t sully the word with the sleaze that goes on in these sex clubs.

    Also, doesn’t he realize that it is the promiscuity of sexual behavior that occurs in these clubs that actually leads to rampant venereal diseases? Perhaps he needs to be told.

    The only thing that most of these sex clubs do is make money for the owners. Let’s not allow these money-making ventures to represent who we are. They are no more representative of who we are than the Nevada brothels are for heterosexual men.

  • SexIsGood

    @1 Jason “…it’s not sexual, it’s sleazy. There is nothing more sleazy than having sex with an abundance of anonymous men…. The only thing that most of these sex clubs do is make money for the owners. Let’s not allow these money-making ventures to represent who we are.”

    No more than we should allow self-righteous prudes like Jason to represent who we are.

  • OrchidIslander

    @jason: There is nothing more sleazy than having sex with an abundance of anonymous men.

    Wow, I’m betting missionary with the lights off is probably big at your house.

  • Giovannidude

    Some straights think that there is nothing more sleazy than a guy having sex with another guy.

    I once knew a “park queen” who thought that queers who went to the baths were sleazy, but gays who got it for free behind the bushes in public parks at night were noble.

  • jason

    I truly don’t care what most of you think. I’m a very independent thinker, and certainly no prude. Calling me a prude is the refuge of those who don’t think issues through. Many of you are wedded to the notion that the gay rights movement was designed to be a permissive one. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The people who made it a permissive one are very ugly indeed. Apart from immoral gay guys, these sorts include money men with the big bucks of consuming gay guys in their sights. They live in their mansions while you rent your one bedroom flats in Soho. They’ve got the gay market cornered and are laughing all the way to the bank. They’ve marketed sleaze under the gay rights notion, and you’ve fallen for it.

  • merkin

    I don’t demonize guys who go to bathhouses. But it’s pathetic to canonize them. Its just guys wanting to get their rocks off–it wasnt liberation or activism.

  • SexIsGood

    @jason: “I truly don’t care what most of you think.”

    Which is why you chose to respond. Riiiiight.

  • strumpetwindsock

    Gee Jason, if you know about any millionaire bathouse magnates making money off our sleazy addictions maybe you can share your research with us.
    Most of the bathhouse owners I know of aren’t exactly rolling in dough.

    But on the actual topic, there’s no info on what this new club might be, so it’s hard to say what it will mean. Sad to see the end of an era, but as the Xtra story says, it sounds like they weren’t making enough money to sustain it.

    But I don’t have any problem with people of any orientation having a place to go play so long as everyone plays nice. I know in Winnipeg the two bath houses have gay and co-ed nights (no lesbian nights, unfortunately) and it seems to work.

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