Love Shacks

2006_9_health_bath.jpgWho says that love doesn’t came easy? Reuters reports that for a mere $21, you can still rent a small room at one of New York’s remaining gay bathhouses for a little anonymous romance. For gay men who find the internet dating scene just too impersonal, these establishments provide a safe place to meet the like-minded, skip the chit-chat, and get right down to business in safe surroundings. The houses are actually inspected by City officials but, because selling sex remains illegal in these parts, they’re not quite allowed to peruse the rented rooms. The two described bathhouses, the West Side Club and the East Side Club, are nondescript buildings hidden amongst busy business areas where patrons can come and go in peace. Reuters describes the houses as “[smelling] of chlorine” with “loud techno [bouncing] off the ceiling.” While the number of houses dwindled as part of a city effort to stem the spread of AIDS in the mid 80s, a few have remained in operation - obviously many more than we know about. Volunteers for Gay Men’s Health Crisis visit the clubs twice a month to hand out condoms and safe-sex brochures.

For some reason this reminds us of the Times piece about how women don’t like being hit on at the gym. We know, we know: we’re as shocked as you are.

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