Tag Archives: Gay Sex

Gay History Flashback – The Infamous Adonis Movie Theater NYC, NY (1975 – 1988) NSWF

An oldie but a goodie. 

The 1,433-seat Adonis Theater was originally built as the Tivoli Theater in 1921 by Billy Rose for Fanny Brice of all people and it was one of a kind.  But as time went by the grandly opulent vaudeville house turned movie theater on Eighth Avenue and 51st Street in its declining years became famous for anonymous stud romping, porn, and SEX SEX SEX. 

Adonis Theatre in New York, NY - Cinema Treasures

It was a cinema palace that survived by giving Doris Day and Rock Hudson (oh the irony of it all) the pink slip and bringing in and out and in again Jack Wrangler, Kip Knoll, Richard Locke, and the infamous Falcon Video-Pac guys to survive and became one of New York’s most popular ALL-GAY adult theater in the 1970s and early 1980’s.

Not much history remains of the Adonis in books or on the internet just a few fading memories of those who who wandered its dark interior in days and nights of an era long gone by.

The Adonis came complete with a grand lobby and a balcony flanked by solid two-story Ionic columns.  Even as men prowled the aisles looking for sex the vast if not somewhat faded grandness of the theater could not be overlooked. Even Variety went so far as to peg it as the largest and most lavish gay porn theater in New York City.

In the late 70’s the Adonis was a sexual amusement part.  While the images of Jack Wrangler and Movies by Joe Gage flickered on the screen men in the aisles, the seats, the balcony, the bathrooms, and anywhere they could find would act out their sexual fantasies.  Sundays were so crowded that it was hard to find a seat in Adonis but that was all that was hard to find. Patrons would avoid the seats under the balcony’s edge at busy times for fear of being showered with semen from high above.

The Adonis was crowded at most times of the day, and night. Sleazy, and dark, it attracted a fun, fast crowd. Instead of popcorn, you could buy small tubs of lube, cock rings, and poppers at the concession stand. And for “boys on a budget” If one didn’t have the $7 admission you could easily meet someone in front of the theater to pay your entrance fee.

The Adonis’ house manager had a stake in the career of iconic porn star Jack Wrangler.  So in 1977, a  film called A Night at the Adonis was shot in the theater.  Theater employees such as Bertha the cashier acted in bit roles, and as soon as a print was readied it was on the screen at The Adonis.

A net posting by Oliver Penn recalls the movie.  . . “it was rather odd to be in the exact theater that was being depicted on the screen, sort of a movie coming to life all around you. What was happening on the screen was also happening in real life as you were watching the film.”

But the theater’s size, age, and the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic took its toll.  There were also some serious structural problems because of its age and lack of upkeep.  In the mid-’80 the balcony collapsed. Luckily no one was hurt

Real estate developers that had a stake in the neighborhood and deeply closeted Mayor Ed Koch who was using the AIDS epidemic to clean up Times Square trying to get the theater closed down to tidy it up for the building of the monolith Worldwide Plaza, soon to be built on the next block. One prospective tenant, a homophobic law firm Cravath, Swain & Moore, stipulated that the theater had to close before Worldwide Plaza was built. The plaza’s developer, William Zeckendorf, subsequently bought up the site, and that was the beginning of the end of the Adonis.

Later a little-known bizarre postscript to this story surfaced when a partner in said law firm David Schwartz—instrumental in shuttering the Adonis—was murdered by an 18-year-old male prostitute whom he’d spent the day with at his Connecticut summer home and then took to a sleazy Bronx motel. Schwartz had been stabbed 27 times.  It turned out that this moral pillar of the community who had a wife and three children liked rough street trade and had been living a double life for years.

But The Adonis did live on for a bit longer and transferred its name to another theater owned by further south on Eighth Avenue, at 44th Street which was quickly outfitted with campy Greek statues and Roman columns but it wasn’t the same.  Not long after the city of New York was doing its best to close down every gay sex establishment in NYC and “new” Adonis was eventually closed in 1994 by the City’s Health Department after a raid revealed high-risk sexual activities taking place among patrons.

The grand old Adonis Theatre would stand like a grey ghost until the spring of 1995 on its corner of 8th Avenue and 51st Street until it was demolished. Now its memory is a ghostly reminder of the heyday of gay sexual freedom in a now scared and scary post-AID world.

Do you have stories about The Adonis or other forgotten NYC gay places?  If so leave them in the comments.

Bijou Blog - AT THE ADONIS
Adonis Theatre in New York, NY - Cinema Treasures
Inside The  Adonis Theater, December 1994
Lost Adult Theaters of New York: Then and Now - The Rialto Report

#FlashbackFriday - "Man's Country" Bathhouse TV Commercial (1970s) - Video + History

#FlashbackFriday – “Man’s Country” Bathhouse TV Commercial (1970s) – Video + History

Man’s Country was a wildly popular bathhouse chain that had branches in New York City and Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s and even had a commercial that played on Manhattan All Access Cable television.

Gay bathhouses emerged in the mid-20th century as private establishments where gay, bisexual, and straight men who played could socialize, relax, and engage in sexual activities. These venues provided a safe space for gay men at a time when homosexuality was heavily stigmatized and even criminalized in many places.

Man’s Country was founded by Chuck Renslow, a prominent figure in Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community. Renslow was an entrepreneur, activist, and publisher of gay-oriented publications. He established the bathhouse as a place where gay men could come together, explore their sexuality, and find a sense of community.

Man’s Country in NYC was located on a residential street in a former office building.

The most interesting thing about Man’s Country was that the main orgy room featured a full-sized tractor-trailer cab for us to fulfill your trucker fantasies and have sex on/under/inside, you name it. It was also famous for its $1.00 Tuesday night rates, that attracted mammoth numbers of men.

While popular Man’s Country never reached the same popularity level as the downtown St. Marks Baths or the uptown Everard Baths but it was well visited, to say the least.

Man’s Country in NYC closed at the beginning of the AIDS crisis in 1983.

Ultimately, in 2018, Man’s Country in Chicago closed its doors permanently. Its closure marked the end of an era for the gay community in Chicago,  And the loss of one of the few safe gay spaces for men left.

The Windy City Times has written an excellent article on the history of the past 43 years that Man’s Country has existed. 

One paragraph, in particular, serves as a wonderful summation:

“Renslow is rightfully proud to say that for a long while Man’s Country was the finest bathhouse in the country. After 43 years, the eventual closing of these doors will also be the end of an era. For generations, Man’s Country stood as a symbol for the evolution of gay liberation and consciousness. Though its original grandeur has tarnished, the value and necessity of this building and its place in the evolution of Chicago LGBT history cannot be minimized.”

The closing of Man’s Country was a true end of an era.

GAY 101: A Quick Gay History Lesson on the GLORYHOLE

GAY 101: A Quick Gay History Lesson on the GLORYHOLE.

The gloryhole, a hole in a bathroom stall or partition used for anonymous sexual encounters, has a long and controversial history in men’s rooms. The origins of the gloryhole are unclear, but it is believed to have first appeared in the 1700s in public bathhouses in Europe.

The first documented instance of a glory hole was in a 1707 court case known as the “Tryals of Thomas Vaughan and Thomas Davis” in London, England, which involved the extortion of a man known in the documents only as Mr Guillam.

In these bathhouses, men would use the gloryhole to engage in anonymous sexual encounters with other men. The practice quickly spread to other public spaces, including public toilets and restrooms. By the 1800s, the gloryhole had become a popular fixture in men’s rooms around the world.

Some men in the Victorian era resorted to using the alleys and side streets of cities to sexually relieve themselves. In these dark and dingy areas, men would often carve holes into the wooden panels of buildings or use existing holes to engage in anonymous sexual encounters.

The popularity of the gloryhole continued to grow in the 20th century, with the advent of more private and secluded restrooms. These restrooms provided more opportunities for anonymous sexual encounters, and the gloryhole became a fixture in many of them.

However, as the public became more aware of the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases in the latter part of the 20th century, along with rabid homophobia the use of gloryholes began to decline. Many public restrooms began to remove or cover up the holes in an effort to discourage anonymous sexual encounters.

Despite these efforts, the gloryhole has remained a fixture in men’s rooms around the world. Some argue that the use of the gloryhole is a victimless crime, while others argue that it contributes to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and is a danger to public health.

In recent years, the rise of online dating and hookup apps has made it easier for men to find sexual partners without the use of gloryholes. However, the practice remains popular among some groups of men, particularly those who seek out anonymous sexual encounters or who are part of the BDSM community for the thrill of it all..

The legality of the gloryhole varies by country and jurisdiction. In some places, the use of gloryholes is considered a form of public indecency and can result in criminal charges. In other places, the use of gloryholes is legal as long as it is done in a private setting.

Ironically in In June 2020, a New York Health Department COVID-19 advisory suggested sex through “physical barriers, like walls,” but did not specifically reference glory holes, as part of broader measures on dating and sex during the pandemic.

The history of the gloryhole in men’s rooms is a complex and multifaceted one that spans several centuries. While the use of gloryholes has faced opposition from conservative groups and law enforcement, they remain a popular way for men to engage in anonymous sexual encounters today. That is if you can find one.

NEW FEATURE: Sunday's Society of Extraordinary Gentlemen Pictorial [NSWF]

NEW FEATURE: Sunday’s Society of Extraordinary Gentlemen Pictorial [NSWF]

EDITORS NOTE: Back2Stonewall has decided that since we are a website predominately (but not exclusively) for gay men and since human sexuality has always being a huge part of the gay struggle we believe it is time to share more images of male beauty, gay sex, and vintage models and movies in marked NSWF posts.

Please view these new posts at your own discretion and if you do we hope you enjoy and support this latest change

Will Kohler – Back2Stonewall.com

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@CurtyGeeXXX on Twitter

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Washington D.C.'s Last Remaining Bathhouse The Crew Club To Close

Washington D.C.’s Last Remaining Bathhouse The Crew Club To Close

The Crew Club Washington D.C.’s last remaining gay bathhouse in Logan Circle will host a closing down party this Saturday night (February 29, 2020), before shutting its doors forever.

In a message posted to Facebook, Owners DC Allen and Ken Flick said: “Thank you for 25 years of love, support, patronage and community. On February 29, 2020, The Crew Club will close its doors. This was a heart-wrenching decision for us.

“It’s been an honor serving the DC community. Our true measure of success and joy was not from any financial reward, but came from a love for this community, the opportunity to offer a safe and liberating space to our membership, and the ability to provide employment to our loyal and hardworking staff.”

The owners had sold the property to a real estate development firm. Although the sale was arranged back in 2016, the sale was due to complete only this year.

According to Allen ” We sold the building four years ago at the height of the market and we were trying to work out a lease-back program but it just didn’t seem to be working the way I thought would be a profitable thing to do,” Allen said.

Last May, the Glorious Health (and Amusement) Club was closed by the The D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Glorious Health was originally opened in 1979 on O Street, S.E.,  home to many of the gay sex clubs including a Club Baths and a porn theatre all of which displaced by eminent domain in 2006 for the Washington Nationals baseball stadium. It later reopened on West Virginia Avenue, N.E. bills itself as a spa, art gallery and community center catering to gay men. It plans to reopen after it fixes what the city agency said were multiple violations of the city’s building code.

Glorious Health Club, gay news, Washington Blade
Undercover Sex Sting in Washington DC Park Results In Arrests of 26 Gay Men

Undercover Sex Sting in Washington DC Park Results In Arrests of 26 Gay Men

The U.S. Park Police have made at least 26 arrests during the past year in Meridian Hill Park known as Malcolm X Park in Washington, D.C. of men seeking other men for a sexual encounters according to a Park Police spokesperson.

Malcolm X Park, has been known for at least 50 years as a cruising spot in a secluded areas of the park at night for mostly African-American gay men.

Washington, D.C. defense attorney John Albanes and other attorneys who are representing  some of gay men who were arrested report that undercover officers are pose as consenting partners interested in a sexual tryst.

“I am on a D.C. Superior Court trial lawyers association listserv and recently several criminal defense attorneys on the email list have mentioned that they have had criminal cases involving essentially the same set of facts,” Albanes told the Blade in an email. “[U]ndercover plain-clothes Park Police officers entice men in Meridian Hill Park for purportedly consensual sexual activity and then proceed to arrest their targets for a crime (often misdemeanor sexual abuse),” according to Albanes.

“I find this pattern extremely disturbing and reminiscent of the Stonewall days when gay men were often the target of police discrimination. The tactics used in these cases just fly in the face of proper police work and should be exposed,” he said. The officers are posing as willing participants in a consensual encounter between adults. The target is deceived into thinking that what he is about to do is wanted. This raises serious doubts about whether the government can prove criminal intent.”

Sgt. Eduardo Delgado, a Park Police public information officer, told the LGBT website the Washington Blade the 26 arrests made in the park since Aug. 7, 2018 involve charges of one or a combination of Disorderly Conduct, Lewd Acts, Unlawful Entry, and Simple Assault (Sexual).

In a statement Delgado said : “The U.S. Park Police receives complaints about lewd acts that occur within Meridian Hill. As with any other complaint of illegal activity, we then take actions to stop it,” he said. “Plain clothes officers are just one method of enforcement sometimes used to deter, stop, and/or arrest violators within the parks.”

Before being “reclaimed” by the neighborhood and gentrified in the 80’s. Meridian Hill Park was a virtual den of thieves. One newspaper article quoted a police officer who called it “a supermarket of drug dealing.” A 1989 study called the park the “Most Murderous” in that section of the city.

Turkish Pop Singer Bulut Duman Accused of Gay Blackmailing Over 50 Men

Turkish Pop Singer Bulut Duman Accused of Gay Blackmailing Over 50 Men

German-born Turkish pop singer Bulut Duman has been accused by over 50 men of  in Turkey of blackmailing them about their secret gay sex affairs.

According to court documents seen by daily Hürriyet, more than 50 men in the provinces of Istanbul, Bursa and Giresun have recently filed criminal complaints against pop singer

After they engaged in a relationship with the singer, they said Duman swindled their money through fraud or blackmail by using footage of their sexual encounters.

A policeman from Istanbul who filed a criminal complaint alleged that Duman had taken 80,000 Turkish Liras from him. ($15,000.00)

Another complainant, who was unidentified, attempted to commit suicide by jumping into the sea in Istanbul but was saved by fishermen.

Duman was convicted for fraud and sentenced to jail in one case and was acquitted in another. Several legal cases still proceed.

Same-sex sexual activity was legalized in the Ottoman Empire (the predecessor of the modern-day Republic of Turkey) in 1858 and in modern Turkey, homosexual activity has always been a legal act since the day it was founded in 1923

Duman denies all of the 50 accusations.

 

Who Will Buy? – One of the Few Remaining Gay Sex Spaces Seattle’s Bathouse Club Z for Sale

One of the few remaining gay bathouses in America, Seattle Washington’s Club Z in the Capitol Hill section is up for sale.

Here is the realtor’s description for the $2.15 million listing for 1117 Pike:

Built in 1906 this three story commercial building is for sale for the first time in almost 40 years. The Pike Building is located just above downtown Seattle in an A+ Capitol Hill location. This offers a Buyer the rare opportunity to purchase a pride-of-ownership property located only 3 blocks from downtown Seattle.

“The property offers endless potential for an investor to redevelop the property or maintain the existing use,” the marketing copy concludes.

The building has been home to a gay bathhouse for decades. Today known as Club Z, (originally called the  “Zodiac Social Club”) the sex club is one of the few left in the country.

The Stranger’s Christopher Frizzelle wrote a rather sex-negative history of the Club Z building’s place in Seattle — a mix of early 20th century hotels, World War II internment, AIDS, drugs, and sex — as the property was being planned for demolition and development in the early 2000s. A project to create a multi-story condominium development began the permitting process but never made it past planning phases. The property continues to be held by the same real estate investor who purchased it in the 1970s.

In January Chicago’s landmark gay bathhouse Man’s Country closed after 44 years in business.

Shall we start a $2.15 million dollar GoFundMe campaign to buy it and save our historic gay sex spaces?

Catholic Group Spends $4 Million on Gay Dating App Info To Witch Hunt Priests

Vatican Police Raid High Ranking Cardinal’s Drug-fueled Gay Orgy

Vatican police raided a drug-fueled gay sex party at the apartment of an aide to one of Pope Francis’ key advisers, according to reports from Vatican City.

 Without revealing the name of the occupant of the apartment, police said that the person is believed to be a priest who serves as a secretary to cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative texts and a personal adviser to Pope Francis.

 According to Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano which first published the news, police raided the apartment in June after complaints from neighbors who reported unusual behavior among people visiting the apartment.

The newspaper quoted the police as saying that they found drugs and a group of men engaged in sexual activity when they entered the apartment. Drugs can change you completely, drug rehab in Tampa FL can help you start over.

The police have arrested the priest and taken him for questioning, presumably on drugs charges. It is not a criminal offence to engage in private same-sex activity in Vatican City.

Ironically the apartment belongs to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose duties include investigating clerical sexual abuse.