News: Playgirl, China, Brokeback, McGreevey, Amsterdam, Facebook

road.jpg China: Police raid gay bathhouse in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province and arrest 40 on suspicion of prostitution: “Photos of young men in shorts were pasted at the entrance to the venue, which had a bathroom, a lobby and 10 single rooms. A sign at the gate warned visitors that the premises were for men’s leisure only. More than 30 police officers raided the house after receiving evidence. Two men were caught having sex with each other on the scene, and were seized with other patrons. A man surnamed Zhang, 47, from Shanxi Province, was charged with paying to have sex with sex worker Shao, 23, from Jiangsu Province at the bath house. Both were punished for involvement in prostitution, police said…”

Playgirlroad.jpg Playgirl magazine to shutter print operation, go “web-only”

road.jpg Will it be Evan Bayh? Here are the latest odds according to one gambling site.

road.jpg Columnist Robert Novak retires from journalism, calls brain tumor prognosis “dire”.

road.jpg Actor Morgan Freeman hospitalized after car accident: “The 71-year-old Dark Knight actor’s car reportedly went off the road and flipped several times reports, according to the Mississippi Highway Patrol. ‘The doors were jammed on the vehicle from the rolling and flipping,’ Mississippi Highway patrol sergeant Ben Williams said. ‘We had to break the doors open with the jaws of life to extract him.'” Film cursed?

road.jpg Rainbow flag stolen from Kirkland, Washington church.

road.jpg New York gay couples following wedding bells to Massachusetts: “While some New Yorkers have flown across the country to marry in California since May, when that state became the nation’s second to approve same-sex marriage, gay-rights advocates expect many more to do the same in Massachusetts, since it is so much closer. ‘We call it the Amtrak option, as opposed to the Jet Blue option,’ said Cathy Renna, a communications consultant to gay and lesbian organizations.” Actually, you can take Jet Blue to Massachusetts though you may lose everything.

Camproad.jpg Canadian summer camp for gay and lesbian youth inspires national movement.

road.jpg Brokeback: Big Brother 10‘s gay cowboy Steven selling his clothes on eBay. (Someone bought his cut off T-shirt for $1,075!)

road.jpg Brokeback is now Chinese shorthand for gay.

road.jpg McGreevey divorce finalization expected imminently.

road.jpg Dutch cabinet ministers join Gay Pride canal flotilla in Amsterdam: “The initiative was taken by Education and Culture Minister Ronald Plasterk of the Dutch Labour party, who is also responsible for gender equality. ‘The government focuses attention on important social issues. This is one of them.'”

road.jpg Madonna brings documentary home to Michigan, gives good face.

Radclifferoad.jpg All Dan: Equus Broadway promos ditch horse, girl.

road.jpg A scheduled meeting between gay Mormon support group and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been delayed indefinitely: “In a letter sent July 23, Fred C. Riley, the outgoing director of LDS Family Services, said the matter would best be handled by his successor, who hasn’t been selected. LDS Family Services is an arm of the Salt Lake City-based denomination.”

road.jpg Refugee seekers turning to Facebook to prove sexual orientation: “Wearing their sexuality on their sleeve was never an option for many of these people back in their home countries, so scrounging up suitable evidence to support their claims may be difficult. Claimants cite torture, rape, and even death if they are returned home. So they have to get inventive. The group leader tells his members to use technology to their advantage and feels Facebook can help demonstrate involvement in the gay and lesbian community. ‘During Pride we took hundreds of pictures and we have a Facebook group and when people sign up to that group we encourage them to show their membership to the IRB member.'”

road.jpg Scientists measure Great White Shark’s bite: “The fearsome predator’s chomp is around three times more powerful than a lion’s, at least 20 times stronger than a human’s and just over half as strong as Tyrannosaurus rex.”


  1. queendru says

    Bathhouses are not legitimate businesses and were central is the early spread of HIV/AIDS. They’re not a “right” any more than sex in public parks or airport toilets.

  2. Michael Bedwell says

    Because of their monstrous economic clout, we’re stuck with tolerating their excesses and it won’t be long before everything we touch is stamped “Made in China,” but those mainline Chinese fascists can sure be stupid sometimes. After three years of increasingly terrorizing German gays, including the first sent to concentration camps and the political murder of Ernest Rohm on the pretense of his “perversion,” the Nazis, brilliant at narrow casting propaganda, let gay bars in Berlin reopen during the 1936 Olympics there. [Was the person who paid over a $1000 for BB’s James’ rag from Beijing?]

    Robert Novak’s brain died decades ago.

    By major contrast, one hopes the great Morgan Freeman recovers from his injuries. He is one of those rarest of actors who, regardless of the quality of any given film itself, whether he’s playing a good guy or bad, can bring me an inexplicable appreciation of the spark of Life by his mere presence.

  3. says

    “Bathhouses are not legitimate businesses and were central is the early spread of HIV/AIDS.”

    Given your opinion, I advise you not to patronize bathhouses. Problem solved!

    “They’re not a ‘right’ any more than sex in public parks or airport toilets.”

    Well, yes, they are. Parks and toilets are intended to serve quite different purposes than bathhouses. And their users have no right to use them in ways their owners specifically prohibit.

  4. Michael says

    Andy. Are you aware that Michael Causer, the gay teen that was brutally attacked in the UK, has passed away? You reported the attack last week but not the follow up.

  5. anon says

    Speaking of disinformation, Novak was the rare conservative (alas with Pat B.) that was opposed to the Iraq war, always and often. I think he was fond of Hussein as a man’s man kind of leader.

  6. alguien says

    i’m not sure what the reasoning is behind the statement “bath houses are not legitimate businesses” since, i’m guessing, the majority of them operate with business licenses, report earnings and pay taxes to their municipalities, their states and the feds and have to abide by certain business ethics codes. if that doesn’t constitute a legit business, then i guess most businesses are not legitimate.

    as for them being central to the spread of AIDS, that is pure conjecture since it was proven long, long ago that it was peoples’ behavior that was the primary factor in the spread of this disease.

  7. Stuart says

    Camp Fyrefly rules, i was there for its first three years and always had an amazing experience. The only thing that can comapre was Gay Outward Bound in Colorado. Kudos for sharing info about this amazing camp.

  8. Leland Frances says

    Oh, poppypenis, Alguien! It was NEVER “proven” to anyone with common sense and not merely a sex pig and/or “love me I’m a liberal” axe to grind that the baths were never major contributors to the spread of AIDS!

    Behavior the primary factor? Well, duh! But someone determined to bareback wherever [and no matter how surrounded by safer sex posters and baskets of condoms] is far more dangerous in the same place [read baths or sex club] with dozens to several hundred [in “the good ole days”] of other potential sex partners around him than in his home, car, bushes, etc.

    “There was no question what [New York’s] New St. Marks Baths was about: [owner Bruce] Mailman liked to call it a sex factory. It was designed to keep men walking in a constant flow, from floor to floor, from stairway to stairway, from cubicle to cublice, stopping for sex along the way—a carnival conveyor belt. There weren’t many rules at the New St. Marks Baths, but one of them was no music could be played on the top three floors where the cublices were. The only music Mailman wanted to hear was the sound of men having sex.” – “Out for Good,” Clendinen & Nagourney.

    And the same was true of Sheldon Andelson, secret owner of LA’s notorious 8709 baths while a Democratic party kingpen whom Gov. Jerry Brown made a regent of the state university system. The men who lined up for hours even on week nights hoping to gain access to one of its 400+ rooms/lockers [it was the most notorious in the country for turning away customers the doormen felt weren’t hot enough], its always packed orgy room, not to mention its huge movie room with bunk beds and its rimming booths where you could sit down on or crawl under face up specially provided toilet seats was the main source of his enormous wealth.

    The only justice is that both Mailman and Andelson, still protesting their innocence while counting their money, died themselves of the very disease they had help spread long after they were begged to close.

    Grow the fuck up, Alguien!

  9. says

    RE: Kirkland, WA flag stolen. Eeks. I lived in Kirkland from 1996-2004 and ran a piano studio there. Suffice it to say that there is some BIG MONEY around Kirkland and its neighboring city Bellevue, which means LOTS of Republican Christians.

    A strange mix of wealthy and redneck, which pretty much sums up WA state.

  10. the queen says

    i’m reading with great amusement the rather hostile and judgemental comments about the baths… oh they were great places to meet people, sometimes you had sex, sometimes not… sometimes you were just there to talk believe it or not so they were great social clubs… i fondly remember the ones i used to go to in el lay such as the old melrose in hollywood and the klyt downtown and one up in the valley somewhere that i can’t remember the name of — oh now i do, the roman holiday fun place … thanks for the memory… had some fun times… oh but that was many moons ago….

  11. gregory brown says

    Baths were/are potentially dangerous in health terms. But they were/are safe havens for men to have sex, and socialize, and do more, and the were/are part of our queer reality. There’s no doubt that they were a significant factor in the outbreak of AIDS–but that virus would have found its way into our lives eventually. And I suspect that it would have come to the world’s consciousness via heterosexual routes as well as homosexual.

    I noted long ago that many sex-negative and probably self-loathing men seized on AIDS as an excuse for their own fears and aversions and distaste for sexual behavior outside of their preferred monocoupled ideal.

    Bath houses are places where some men choose to ignore reality and engage in unhealthy behavior. But I suspect that more men behave responsibly as they assess their actions. It may be easier to weigh the risks soberly in a bathouse than drunkenly in a bar, and naked intimacies in a steam room seem more valuable and valid than furtive blowjobs in a bookstore arcade.

    I respect (grudgingly) the anti-baths opinions, but really dislike the smug assertions of many who speak them. Nothing in life is entirely safe. We can’t choose the lives we are given, but we can choose how to live them, and some of us have opted and still select less repectable and potentially risk-full ways to behave. That doesn’t automatically make us fools, demons or destroyers.

  12. anon says

    Bath houses were for sex?? I thought they were for taking baths! Why didn’t anyone tell me?

    Probably impossible to answer, but now that they’ve closed down all the bathhouses, how much has the infection rate dropped? We probably have to look at numbers before 1996 when the anti-virals kicked in.

  13. Paul R says

    Well, Anon, most bath houses were closed in the 80s, so I don’t think you could obtain much statistical significance from assessing the numbers. More to the point, people who want to have anonymous sex will still find plenty of ways to do so, whether in a bath house, park, or myriad other places. Maybe even their own bedrooms! Imagine.

    Gregory, I get really sick of being called sex-negative or self-loathing for my sexual preferences. Here’s the thing: I don’t enjoy having sex with strangers. I’m not opposed to one-night stands, but they usually aren’t all that fulfilling. But there’s no way I could enjoy public sex. All that said, you can do whatever the fuck (pun intended) you want. I’m not condemning or judging you. I have plenty of friends who enjoy public or anonymous sex, and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. So please stop acting like it’s some kind of war. I have my preferences; you have yours. I’ve engaged in all sorts of sexual activity with many partners; I just can’t enjoy it much if I don’t know them. That’s just how I am. How you are is up to you, but please stop thinking that I’m scared of sex or hate myself because I don’t share your proclivities.

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