Midtowne Spa Los Angeles has closed it’s doors quietly after servicing gay, bisexual, men who have sex with men (msm) for the past 50 years. The bathhouse located at 615 Kohler Street in Los Angeles was founded in 1972 according to their Yelp page.
WEHO TIMES reported back on September 20th that Midtowne Spa Los Angeles property, went up for sale earlier that month. This is the end of the last Midtowne Spa standing in Southern California and across the nation. The Los Angeles location was the last Midtowne Spa standing. The Austin, Texas Location closed in July, 2016. Dallas closed the following year. Midtowne Denver also closed earlier this year. Most of these locations closed with little to no fanfare, upsetting some of their most loyal customers.
“It’s with great sadness that we announce that Midtowne Spa Los Angeles will be closing permanently on Monday, December 19th at 8:00 a.m.,” reads a special announcement by Midtowne Spa.
CITY CLOSES BAR FREQUENTED BY HOMOSEXUALS, CITING SEXUAL ACTIVITY LINKED TO AIDS
New York City yesterday closed a bar frequented by homosexuals, contending that it permitted ”high-risk sexual activity” linked to the spread of AIDS.
It was the first such action taken by the city since New York State enacted new rules designed to curb the growing incidence of the deadly disease by empowering local governments to shut down bathhouses, bars and other places where dangerous sex takes place.
In court papers signed late Wednesday by Justice Jawn A. Sandifer of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, the city asserts that the bar – the Mine Shaft at 835 Washington Street, near Little West 12th Street, in Greenwich Village – is not only in violation of the new anti-AIDS regulations but also is a public nuisance and has been operating without a liquor license.
At a hearing set for Tuesday, the city will ask that the bar be closed for a year. Its owners, listed in court papers as the DAJ Real Estate Management Corporation, could not be reached yesterday, and its operators were not identified.
A ‘Notorious’ Place
The Mine Shaft is a ”notorious and well-known place,” in the words of Richard Dunne, executive director of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
In graphic depositions written by city inspectors, a portrait emerged of a dark place with black walls, back rooms, open cubicles without doors and the accouterments of sadomasochism. They reported seeing many patrons engaging in anal intercourse and fellatio – the ”high risk” sexual practices cited in the state rules – and hearing sounds of whipping and moaning.
At a news conference with city lawyers, Mayor Koch said in answer to questions yesterday that by closing the place, the city was not trying to impose any restrictions on sexuality, but to save lives.
”Maybe it brings to the consciousness of those who have a predilection to engage in this suicidal behavior how ridiculous it is, how self-defeating it is and how lethal it is,” he said. ”Maybe it will deter them as well. We don’t know. But we’re going to do the best we can.’‘
Opposition to Closing
Others, including homosexual activists, argued that closing the Mine Shaft and places like it would have no impact on sexual activity, and suggested that by closing the bar, the city had taken a step toward government regulation of private behavior.
”The Governor and the Mayor have taken us down a slippery slope that may lead to re-criminalization of private sexual conduct in general,” said Thomas B. Stoddard, legislative director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. ”Once the government starts on that road, it is very hard to make distinctions between kinds of establishments and kinds of conduct.”
City inspections will continue, said the Mayor, who also sent letters to 10 establishments believed to be in violation of the state rules, asking them to report to him by next Thursday what they have done to prevent high-risk sex on their premises.
A Call for Education
Mr. Dunne of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis said he did not believe that closing the bar would have a salutary effect on sexual behavior, or on the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
”You don’t get AIDS from buildings, you get AIDS from a virus that is transmitted sexually,” he said. ”The only thing that is going to stop it is education and the adoption of behavior changes. I don’t just mean people going to the Mine Shaft and to the bathhouses. I’m talking about the whole gay male population, and I’m talking about all intravenous drug users and their contacts.”
Mr. Koch, who until recently had taken the position that closing bathhouses, sex clubs and the like would not stop high-risk sex, said he thought closing the Mine Shaft might stop some of the sexual practices that had been taking place there.
”The Bible says, if you save one life, it’s as though you have saved the whole world,” he said, alluding to a similarly worded passage that is actually in the Talmud.
The city was expected to act a day sooner than it did in closing the Mine Shaft. The Mayor announced early Wednesday that an establishment would be closed that morning, a pronouncement that set off frenetic activity at City Hall. According to the city’s Corporation Counsel, Frederick A. O. Schwarz Jr., the Mayor was ”confused” about the complexity of the process and the need to prepare detailed court papers.
A large portion of the court submission is made up of the depositions from three inspectors with the city’s Consumer Affairs Department, who visited the Mine Shaft between last Friday and last Sunday.
In sparse, almost clinical language, they describe what they saw.
”The bar was approximately 20 feet long,” one inspector wrote. ”Near the bar in the center of the floor was a pool table covered with a sheet of plywood. To the rear of the bar was a coat room where a man was checking all coats that were not leather. Located on the floor, there were two horses which I would describe as the type used in a gymnasium. The interior of the premises was painted black.’‘
The inspectors wrote of seeing several men ”in various stages of undress” fondling each other, engaging in oral and anal intercourse and doing so in the open. They said that they observed men moving from one sexual partner to another and that although signs warned of AIDS and offered to provide condoms, condoms were not being used.
Two of the inspectors said they heard sounds of whipping and moaning, but did not investigate ”for reasons of personal safety,” one wrote.
Mr. Koch praised the inspectors, who had the option of refusing the assignment. ”It’s tough stuff to read,” the Mayor said. ”It must be horrific, horrendous in its actuality to witness.”
While his career developed in 1950’s Hollywood, Rock Hudson and his agent Henry Willson kept the actor’s personal life out of the headlines. In 1955, Confidential magazine threatened to publish an exposé about Hudson’s secret homosexual life. Willson stalled the article by disclosing information about two of his other clients. Willson provided information about Rory Calhoun‘s years in prison and the arrest of Tab Hunter at a gay party in 1950. According to some colleagues, Hudson’s homosexual life was well known in Hollywood throughout his career, and former co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Saint James claimed that they knew of his homosexuality, as did Carol Burnett.
Soon after the Confidential incident, Hudson married Willson’s secretary Phyllis Gates. Gates filed for divorce after three years in April 1958, citing mental cruelty. Hudson did not contest the divorce and Gates received alimony of $250 a week for 10 years.Gates never remarried.
An urban legend states that Hudson “married” Jim Nabors in the early 1970s. Not only was same-sex marriage not recognized under the laws of any American state at the time, but, at least publicly, Hudson and Nabors were nothing more than friends. According to Hudson, the legend originated with a group of “middle-aged homosexuals who live in Huntington Beach” sent out joke invitations for their annual get-together. One year the group invited its members to witness “the marriage of Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors”, at which Hudson would take the surname of Nabors’ most famous character, Gomer Pyle, becoming Rock Pyle.
The “joke” was evidently already in the mainstream by the very early 1970s. In the October 1972 edition of MAD magazine (issue no. 154), an article entitled “When Watching Television, You Can be Sure of Seeing…”, gossip columnist ‘Rona Boring” (a take on then gossip columnist Rona Barrett) states: “And there isn’t a grain of truth to the vicious rumor that movie and TV star Rock Heman and singer Jim Nelly were secretly married! Rock and Jim are just good buddies! I repeat, they are not married! They are not even going steady!” Those who failed to get the joke spread the rumor and as a result, Hudson and Nabors never spoke to each other again.
Shortly after Hudson’s press release disclosing his illness, William M. Hoffman, the author of As Is, a play about AIDS that appeared on Broadway in 1985, stated: “If Rock Hudson can have it, nice people can have it. It’s just a disease, not a moral affliction.”
At the same time, Joan Rivers was quoted as saying: “Two years ago, when I hosted a benefit for AIDS, I couldn’t get one major star to turn out. … Rock’s admission is a horrendous way to bring AIDS to the attention of the American public, but by doing so, Rock, in his life, has helped millions in the process. What Rock has done takes true courage. Morgan Fairchild said that “Rock Hudson’s death gave AIDS a face. In a telegram Hudson sent to a September 1985 Hollywood AIDS benefit, Commitment to Life, which he was too ill to attend in person, Hudson said: “I am not happy that I am sick. I am not happy that I have AIDS. But if that is helping others, I can at least know that my own misfortune has had some positive worth.”
Hudson, a friend of Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy, made a simple plea to the White House for help to get him transferred to a hospital in France in his greatest hour of need.
“Only one hospital in the world can offer necessary medical treatment to save life of Rock Hudson or at least alleviate his illness,” Dale Olson, Hudson’s longtime friend and publicist wrote. Although the commanding officer had denied Hudson admission to the French military hospital initially, Olson wrote that they believed “a request from the White House … would change his mind.”
First Lady Nancy Reagan denied Hudson’s the request.
On the morning of October 2, 1985, Hudson died in his sleep from AIDS-related complications at his home in Beverly Hills at age 59, less than two months before what would have been his 60th birthday. Hudson requested that no funeral be held. His body was cremated hours after his deathand a cenotaph was later established at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City, California.
Hudson’s revelation had an immediate impact on the visibility of AIDS, and on the funding of medical research related to the disease. Among activists who were seeking to de-stigmatize AIDS and its victims, Hudson’s revelation of his own infection with the disease was viewed as an event that could transform the public’s perception of AIDS.
Greenwich Village in New York City was a a newly sexually liberated homosexual’s dream come true in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. You could literally walk down Christopher Street in the West Village from Sheridan Sheridan Square to the piers and have as much sex as you wanted, anytime of the day or night.
There was a pay phone on the corner of 7th. Avenue and Christoper Street that would ring when a hot guy stood near it. The caller, a very handsome closeted soap actor lived in an apartment overlooking the phone booth and when the “trick” answered the and after a few questions about sexual positions an invitation might be issued to visit the actor’s bedroom.
Further down Christopher Street and abandoned for decades, the piers along the elevated West Side Highway became part of the Christopher Street gay cruising scene when men began wandering a few blocks over to the darker and seedier areas to cruise. Every pier, dark corner or loading dock in the was used for a sexual encounters.
Gay men would gather cruise, sunbathe (during the day) and party on the open docks and then venture into the skeletal remains of the forgotten PIER 48, a rotting wooden structure where sex could be had with a hint of danger on the side..
Gay men fucked on the piers, in the trucks, in alleys, doorways, bookstores, bars and backrooms, Anywhere you look on Christopher Street and along the West Side Highway today I can guarantee you that gay men fucked there in the 1970’s.
The sex was constant, boundless, free and liberating.
Back then Christopher Street was our version of a gay ancient Rome, a never-ending bacchanal with the many bars, after-hour clubs and bath houses that had once been infamous in the gay culture but now is slowly being lost, forgotten and in some cases hidden from public view as if it was shameful and embarrassing.
Where today stands a high-end Brooklyn”clothing outpost” on the corner of Christopher and Hudson streets, was once a popular gay bookstore with a not-so-secret sex grotto downstairs that was filled with sexual satyrs doing their thing 24 hours a day. And this was just one of many such places back then. Backrooms, peep shows, sex clubs, bath houses, adult movie theaters, and the Central Park rambles. It was an all you could fuck and suck buffet.
The TRUCKS were parked near the docks on the West Side Highway under the then elevated West Side Highway which is now gone along with the infamous abandoned crumbling piers.
During the day the TRUCKS were loaded with merchandise and freight unloaded from arriving ships. At night they were parked and empty and the rear of the trucks doors would be left open. The truck orgies began at around 10pm, getting busiest at around 2am. The area around the parked trucks was empty, dark, and dangerous which heightened the forbidden pleasures found within.
Anyone who stepped foot into the boarded-up dock terminals at the piers or to the TRUCKS to have sex were “playing at danger,” they were experiencing the thrill of breaking the rules. But there was real danger in walking on the crumbling piers, especially at night, and the men who had sex on the piers or in trucks parked nearby were risking encounters with police, gay bashers, and muggers. Arthur Bell’s 1975 exposé in the Village Voice focused on the brutal murder of a waterfront gay bar patron, (The murder of Addison Verill) warning that if you go to Pier 48 “you take your life in your hands.”
To Jonathan D. Katz, and others the piers which line New York’s riverfront serve as evidence of a lost civilization — particularly for the city’s gay community.
“This group of gay men built this beautiful utopia and inhabited it. To see 4,000 naked men laying outside on a Sunday afternoon on the piers…it’s kind of inconceivable today.
The freedom with which men lay naked in the sun or fucked in the burned-out sheds epitomized the spirit of the movement.
In a sign of these strange times, the city Health Department has issued a stunningly blunt memo on how to stay clean while doing the dirty during the global coronavirus pandemic. First and foremost on its two-page list of tips: sex is safest with oneself.
“Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after,” the department wrote.
Good news, though, “COVID-19 has not yet been found in semen or vaginal fluid,” the notice says. If you do have sex with another human, make sure it is “with people close to you,” like someone you live with. If sex with strangers is your thing, the agency suggests “video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you.”
Dave Robinson, who is the Salt Lake County Republican Party’s new communication director, said in a Monday meeting with the Salt Lake Tribune’s editorial board that he knows people in the LGBTQ community who have had “over 2,000 sex partners” ― a number that he believes could be reflective of the “self-loathing” that drives people to commit suicide.
“You talk to some of these people that have had grundles of sex partners, and the self-loathing and basically the unhappiness and the self-hatred level is tremendously high,” he said, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. “The gay community really needs to start having some conversations within their community, saying how is our lifestyle affecting our mental health?”
Robinson also said the gay community “went to the county health department and said, ‘Look, if you love the gays, then you need to give us and all of our people this medication [PrEP] for free.’ And so the county’s like, ‘Yes, we love the gays,’ so they start giving them all this medicine.” Then, he said, members of the gay community began having unprotected sex like “bunny rabbits” at monthly “sex parties” because they were unaware that the pill did not prevent STDs.
Well now. Someone sounds awfully bitter about being unfuckable.
Australian sex toy maker Geeky Sex Toys has something that every gay geek needs for the opening weekend of AVENGERS: Infinity War.
AVENGERS SEX TOYS! (Well really INDULGER Sex Toys but we all know that they really mean.)
Pictured above we have The Infinity Fist is a,, fist-shaped dildo intended to conjure images of Thanos’ gold-encased, meaty hand. It is naturally not true to size because human beings have limits. Well not many that is.
Next up we have the Möan-lnir, which is just Thor’s Mjolnir, but with a dildo for a handle, and a neat little stand to drive the it home with lightning speed.
Also available is The Incredible Dong, Agent Getsmeoff, Arse Reactor, Hawkass Arrow Dildo, and of course good penis Captain Anal.
Those two North Carolina closet cases Jason and David Benham are “doth protesting too much” once again. This time its over SHIFT (Sexual Health Initiative for Teens) whose mission it is to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health.
But of course to the boy’s repressed sexual imagination its all LGBT and dirty.
“The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is allocating almost $400,000 from Title V federal grant taxpayer money intended for ‘abstinence’ education and instead, funding SHIFT (Sexual Health Initiative for Teens) North Carolina’s LGBTQ campaign! These tax dollars will be used to train teachers and promote LGBTQ guides targeting older teens on social media to push their Teen Playbook website, which provides ‘guide to safer, sexier choices,’ including the graphic teaching on how to use condoms.”
Now, we’ve seen some of these “safer, sexier choices.” They include “a sex-positive view of BDSM” (uh, that means bondage, dominance, sadomasochism, in case you were wondering) and the mechanics of anal and oral sex, how to masturbate and to question your gender.
Have we really gotten to this point, America? Teaching a sex-positive view of BDSM?! To our kids?!
At some point, we all have to say enough and stand in the gap to speak up. We must utilize every ounce of our influence to stand against this type of moral perversion. How many children need to be deceptively stimulated by these teachings and then hooked into a lifestyle of sexual bondage for the rest of their lives before we speak up?
Now of course if it was the teaching of gay twincest I am sure the boys would get right behind it. And each other.
In a widely under-reported piece of devastating news. On Monday, Donald Trump signed an executive order revoking three previous orders issued by President Obama and affecting Executive Order 11246, signed in 1965 by President Johnson , including Executive Order 13673 or the “the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order.” Signed in 2014, it required that companies receiving large federal contracts to demonstrate that they have complied for at least three years with federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender stereotyping.
Federal contractors will no longer have to prove they have been compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on sex in employment.
The Obama administration had argued that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination includes sexual orientation and gender identity, a definition the Trump administration has been steadily moving away from. As Keen points out, the ADA and Rehabilitation Act are both of concern as they prohibit discrimination based on HIV status and other disabilities.
By nullifying EO 13673, “this administration has made it extremely difficult to enforce these federal laws as applied to federal contractors,” said Lambda Legal attorney Camilla Taylor.
“It’s sending a message to these companies that the federal government simply doesn’t care whether or not they violate the law.”
The 14 affected federal laws and regulations affected by the new Trump executive order also includes Executive Order 11246, signed in 1965 by President Johnson. Executive Order 11246 prohibited federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Four years later, President Nixon added discrimination based on disability and age. In 1998, President Clinton added sexual orientation. And in 2014, President Obama added gender identity, plus prohibited federal contractors, too, from discriminating against their employees based on these categories
On February 5th. 1981, more than 200 plainclothes police officers raided four Toronto bathhouses leading to the largest mass arrest since the October Crisis ten years earlier. In total, 289 were charged with being “found-in a common bawdy house” and 2 men actually being charged with “buggery”.
This week speaking before Speaking before Toronto Mayor John Tory and leaders within the gay community Toronto police chief Mark Saunders issued a long overdue apology for the bathouse raids of 1981 which th Toronto PD called “Operation Soap”.
“The 35th anniversary of the 1981 raids is a time when the Toronto Police service expresses its regret for those very actions,” and called the raids “one of the largest mass arrests in Canadian history” and acknowledged the “destructiveness” of the police action.
“It is also an occasion to acknowledge the lessons learned about the risks of treating any part of Toronto’s many communities as not fully a part of society.” Saunders recognized the successful efforts within the gay community to fight against the long list of charges. Almost all the charges against those arrested were eventually dropped.
“An extraordinary community response led to the eventual acquittal of almost everyone arrested that night,” Saunders said.
Men speaking out in the aftermath of the raids described severe misconduct on the part of the police. Some reported being photographed naked, others said police took down their employers’ names and phone numbers and several men stated that police had referred to them as “queers, faggots and fairies”. Moreover, one man reported that several officers used sledgehammers and crowbars with abandon, smashing windows and breaking down doors. This last fact is corroborated by the $38,000 in damages reported by the four bathhouses after the raid (nearly $100,000 in 2015 dollars). In contrast, the police report stated that the officers behaved in a “professional manner.”
Following the raids, thousands of people rallied outside police headquarters and marched down Yonge Street in a defiant statement of solidarity.
“That was the takeoff point for the takeoff of the Toronto gay community that we know today,” said Brian Mossop was inside a bathhouse that night. “Before that, the gay community — at least the out-of-the-closet gay community — had been very small, only a handful of gay activists. But suddenly vast numbers of people decided they wanted to get involved, and many, many people decided that it was time to come out of the closet.”
The community quickly united. A committee was later formed to help cover legal costs for the 286 men who were charged, reach out to the media and plan further protests. Literary heavyweight Margaret Atwood made headlines when she weighed in on the raids, famously saying, “What do the police have against cleanliness?”
Some newspapers later published the names of the men arrested in the raids.
You can read more about the 1981 Toronto Bathhouse Raids by CLICKING HERE.