A Load Of Trouble At New York City Gym

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A man is suing Bally Total Fitness in New York City due to injuries he says he sustained after slipping on a "foreign white substance" in the steam room.

Reports the New York Daily News:

Marc Moskowitz claimed in court papers that managers at the Bally Total Fitness gym on E. 55th St. were aware that gay "cruising and lewd behavior" is "commonplace at the steam room, sauna and locker rooms."

"As a result of the aforementioned activities, there was bodily fluids and other evidence of sexual activity wherever it occurred throughout the gym," according to Moskowitz's suit in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Instead of having staffers clean the areas, Bally simply "left a hose and liquid soap" for people to clean up themselves, the papers state.

As a result, Moskowitz claims, he took a tumble last August and needed surgery to repair his shoulder.

The article goes on to describe the gym's review on the cruising website Cruising Gays City Hookup Guide: "There are 2 LIGHTS in the Steam Sauna. The rear light is out 1/2 the time. When it is OFF the party is ON."

Comments

  1. Jason says

    I hope he sues and succeeds. Can’t stand perverts who think they can ejaculate whenever they feel horny. No wonder society considers us to be perverts.

  2. Michaelandfred says

    While I don’t doubt that activity goes on, the idea that he saw a white substance on the floor of the darkened steam room is preposterous.

  3. Stuart says

    Really hate that moralizing conservative mentality that seems to define a very large portion of the gay community these days. Once upon a time Gays were in the vanguard of presenting alternative ways of living, of forming families, or creating communities. We seem now to be happy adapting hetero-normative ideas of morality, family and community. Once upon a time we celebrated how different we were. Now we seem to be all too happy to be as small and externally defined as everyone else.

  4. will says

    Assimilating into the culture (demanding marriage equality, non-discrimination in the workplace and all the rest) means WE DON’T GET TO USE EVERY PUBLIC PLACE AS A SEX STOP.

    We did it with parks, we did it with the YMCA, we did it with restrooms and gyms and adult “bookstores”. We don’t have to do this anymore! Have sex at home. The gyms and restrooms are not OURS to appropriate. Move out of 1960s thinking.

  5. Paul R says

    Exactly how much of this foreign white substance was there? Most semen is pretty sticky, not slippery. Maybe the steam room somehow changed it, but this case sounds like it will be dismissed fairly readily—not least because he waited nearly a year to file it.

    I agree that gym sex is gross. Part of the reason I don’t go to a gym. Oh, and I’m lazy.

  6. BOB says

    Stuart: keep it in your bedroom. Want to hook-up? Have some class and not do it in public. There are any number of websites for you to find someone to score with in private. Doing it in a public place makes us look cheap and certainly isn’t “vanguard”. Give me a break. It’s called discretion, I suggest you get some.

  7. Zeta says

    @Stuart, a hard-on is uncontrollable but what you do about that hard-on IS controllable. Please do not defend nasty, disrespectful, unhealthy behavior.

    Having respect for other people is not a ‘narrow’ morality, it is what allows society to function in spite of a variety of mores and quirks at large.

    I think the gym is at fault on general principle because of the hose and the soap. It is the gym’s responsibility to ensure that its facilities are kept clean, and that its fixtures are kept in a proper state of repair. That cruising review is appalling.

    I go to the gym to work. I don’t go to the gym for dangerous (and for the past 30 years, potentially fatal) unsafe sex. I don’t go to the gym to watch others have dangerous potentially fatal unsafe sex. Do that kind of crap on your own time in private facility specifically geared to that.

    If Bally’s wants to be that private facility specifically geared to that, more power to them — but they are still going to need to follow basic health codes. That broken light, hose and soap is not following code. They need to also advertise officially that that’s what they’re about, so that the rest of us who want to work can seek places which will better cater to us.

    I hope this old man wins, and wins big.

  8. excy says

    “We don’t have to do this anymore” Hmmmmmm. We actually never had to do this. But the thought of assimilating into a heteronormative culture is beyond depressing.

  9. Zeta says

    @Michaelandfred, I agree, it is highly unlikely that he saw a white substance on the floor of a darkened room. It is not unlikely, however, that he slipped.

    The gym appears to be of its own health code violations and safety violations, and hasn’t done anything about them. There shouldn’t be a darkened room in that gym in the first place. ESPECIALLY in a room meant to hold water. Where is maintenance?

    I agree with Alan, Jason, Jack and Jesse. And yes, this does need to stop.

  10. Zeta says

    @excy, well gay men are going to have to get over it. The world does not revolve around gay men.

    Whatever the gay equivalent of ‘oreo’ is (straight drag?), gay men don’t have to be afraid of becoming that. I think gay men should start to get serious about what a ‘gay culture’ means, though.

    Gay men are also going to have to accept that embracing actions which the larger straight society sees as detrimental will lead to conflict.

    Excy, if you want to embrace anonymous unsafe sex in public places as part of gay culture, then you are going to have fight for it and be ready to explain why anonymous unsafe sex in public places should be acceptable to the mainstream. And you are going to have to explain why it’s acceptable to gay culture in the first place.

    You will have to go through the same thing the black community goes through. And, like with the black community, if some of those arguments seem less like common sense once they are aired in the light of day, then gay men will have to wrestle honestly with that, too.

  11. Jeff says

    AND … how did they know that the substance was “foreign”. I consider myself to be well experienced in the subject and I have yet to be able to discern the difference between foreign and domestic white substances.

  12. Zeta says

    @excy, but I agree with you that gay men no longer have to do this — the unsafe cruising — anymore. I don’t know about never having to do it, as I think back to the 50s. A private bathhouse catering exclusively to swinging gay men is always the answer.

    Bally’s isn’t it, though. Unless they want to switch up their advertising and mission statement. Nothing is preventing them from doing that. Maybe there is a need, and that need can be met. It needs to be met openly, though.

  13. Tom says

    As a member of my local YMCA, its make me want to stand and sing, ” YMCA, YMCA, you can have a good meal, you can do whatever you feel”, and well you know the rest!

  14. Pete N SFO says

    jeez… I WISH my gym had a hose to wash down the steam room! I bring a towel & always wear flip-flops, but still, you never know.

    As far as the ‘public’ sex goes, I don’t really care. The real problem is the folks that won’t ‘chill’ when people are definitely not interested.

    It’s not hot if you’re the only one playing w/ your junk; it’s just sad. Please stop.

  15. trd says

    I’m a gay man who goes to the gym to work out, and the sauna afterwards to relax..

    There’s shitloads of gay saunas in NYC, there’s plenty of places for those who want sex to go.

    Really, the solution is simple – keep the sauna to its proper temperature – 185+ degrees. It should be too hot to do much besides sit there for 10-15 minutes, and then run out for a cold shower!

  16. David says

    “if you want to embrace anonymous unsafe sex in public places as part of gay culture, then you are going to have fight for it and be ready to explain why anonymous unsafe sex in public places should be acceptable to the mainstream. And you are going to have to explain why it’s acceptable to gay culture in the first place.”

    — because it’s hot, and fun, and exciting and verboten. No, gay men who want to operate outside the mainstream — who are hurting no one btw — don’t have to conform to your legislations. That’s kind of the whole point. I just got a great blowjob in my steamroom yesterday and I didn’t “have to explain” anything to anyone, or “fight for it” … not sure what is up with the moral majority on this site but whatev

  17. Caliban says

    Maybe it’s different in NYC and other larger cities, but at my local Y it isn’t the openly gay guys who are the obnoxious locker room cruisers and steam room flashers, it’s the married guys on the down low who want to get off before going home to wifey and the kids.

  18. says

    Lots of hang-wringing moral police on here without much authority. Saying, “this has to stop” is silly. “This” has been going on since the dawn of time, and it’s up to each person to decide how they want to behave, and to deal with the consequences if it ends up going awry for one reason or another. And it’s up to Bally to figure out how to run their business on the right side of the law.

    As for Mr. Moscowitz, I doubt he has any idea what he slipped on. (The “foreign white substance” sounds like a big load of BS.) But, since he slipped, which could easily happen in any wet environment, he seems to want to bolster his case by drawing sexual shenanigans into it, or perhaps the suit is more about moral policing than about bodily injury.

  19. says

    oh please, this is pure bogus nonsense.

    how does he know he didn’t slip on soap. what, did he taste it and go “nope, i DEFINITELY know that that’s semen!”
    ?

    😉

    but no. it’s bogus. babyboy has a grudge, and a weak shoulder. now she wants money. BLAHHH.

  20. says

    @CALIBAN ding ding ding! YES! this! exactly.

    The Gays tend to socialize with the other Open Gays and chat and all that jazz. the sauna dwellers? the “straights” who troll troll TROLLLLL their time at the gym. waiting for that Special Bro Dude who can like, totally help them out without makign them feel GAY about it. you nailed it. no pun intended.

  21. BOB says

    The Stuart/David/Ernie’s of the world think it is their right to get their rocks off wherever they feel like. I am no prude, but get a room already. It isn’t that cool. Get a hook up on Craigslist and keep your skeeziness to yourself. Not everybody in the world wants to share your hump of the week, be it gay or straight.

  22. Buck says

    Sucks that he busted his shoulder. But is this a tort ? Well, yeah, it could be.

    But I don’t really blame him so much as the lawyer that sees a good possibility that the gym will just pay out to avoid the expense and PR of litigation. That’s all this is about, really, and compiling enough evidence to support a tort claim to make a pay-out look like a reasonable thing to do for the gym chain under the circumstances.

    I’ve been to gyms that were cruisy, and I generally ignore it, but have actually cancelled memberships and gone to another gym before. I’m there to work out; I don’t need sex in public places, I get enough at home, thanks.

    I’m also not above going and getting a mop and cleaning the place up myself if I deem it too nasty. Not that I’m a clean freak or anything, I find you only have to do this once or twice before management gets the hint and takes some initiative.

    And like someone else said here, if you’re in the sauna and you’re the only one playing with your junk – that’s kind of gross and sad, please stop; it’s having the opposite desired effect…

  23. will says

    Oh, I love this. You are the “hang-wringing moral police” now if you want to keep anonymous gay sex out of gyms and restrooms and parks (as if taking it home were too “square”). And you’re slapped with the put-down “heteronormative” if you want to assimilate into mainstream culture.

    We want marriage equality, we want our anonymous blowjobs in the steamroom, we demand the woman who owns the cake shop in Washington to sell to the gay couple, we want the football player who uses a gay slur to apologize, we want to cruise the park and get or give another blowjob in the “bookstore” stall as we demand DOMA is declared unconstitutional.

    We’re working at cross-purposes in some of this. We really can’t have it all. And blowjobs in public steamrooms are illegal. And the straight partons of the gym probably don’t appreciate the furtive sex.

  24. Jack M says

    I think people can do whatever they want. I just don’t want them doing it in front of me. If ever I feel otherwise, I’ll ask to join in. It has nothing to do with morality, it’s a matter of having respect for others.

  25. Steven says

    The real issue is the lack of proper maintenance and following health and safety codes which seems to be a regular issue at all of the Bally’s I’ve ever been too. Most looked bright and shiny but there were often things, like loose carpet on the running track, missing lights, broken equipment not being marked, shower drains plugged, toilets not flushing, tiles coming off the wall, and so much chlorine in the pool that it faded swim suits and yet the chloramines were so strong that it burned the eyes just coming into the pool area, which mean it’s not being filtered properly. When ours in SD got bought out there was a lot of renovation work done and one was just condemned to be torn down. Part of the reason for me to stop going (besides all the usual excuses) was the lack of protection from disease and this applied to the ones in SD, STL, and some outside of WDC.

  26. says

    “The Stuart/David/Ernie’s of the world think it is their right to get their rocks off wherever they feel like.”

    I didn’t say anything about getting my rocks off, @Bob. My response has nothing to do with my personal proclivities.

    “Oh, I love this. You are the ‘hang-wringing moral police’ now if you want to keep anonymous gay sex out of gyms and restrooms and parks (as if taking it home were too ‘square’).”

    That wasn’t my point, @will. The point is the average person trying to moral police the world is a futile endeavor. People misbehave in all kinds of ways, sexual and otherwise, every day of every year. What someone is doing in a gym in NYC doesn’t involve or concern me, and if civil rights were tied to behavior, it’s not only gay people who’d be in trouble, it would be a good portion of the world. Is DOMA suddenly constitutional cause some guy–who may not even be gay–got a blow job in a steam room?

    The problem with this particular story is that two separate things are being conflated because some people get in such a tizzy about sex. It doesn’t matter what the guy slipped on, except that he seems to think the fact that he was repelled by the slutty environment gives his tumble special significance, when it doesn’t. He slipped. He has the right to sue over his injuries. If the gym was violating legal codes or allowing stuff to happen that violates some legal or business policy, that’s a separate issue.

  27. BOB says

    Ernie: When someone is doing a sex act in a PUBLIC area, it then concerns the people who may not want to see that or be exposed to it. They have a right to not want to view your carnal fun (gay or straight btw). Take it somewhere more discrete. What does DOMA have to do with this? They are two seperate issues. Give your head a shake.

  28. says

    Oh dear, @BOB: It wasn’t my carnal fun, so I’m not sure why you keep saying “your,” And it doesn’t concern me because I wasn’t there, and I doubt anyone else on this thread was, either.

    The DOMA reference was in response to will’s assertion that we’re working at cross purposes by getting it on in public steamrooms while demanding marriage equality (assuming that everyone “wants it all,” a big assumption)–my point is that human beings are always working at cross purposes but that the civil and marriage rights of straight people are not in jeopardy because of their sexual shenanigans or other dubious behaviors and neither should ours be.

    I’m concerned with my own behavior (which happens not to involve gym dalliances) and, yes, the behavior of others in a public setting that I’m actually in (though seeing someone litter is a lot more personally offensive to me than seeing someone having sex–we all have our personal dislikes), but I’m not concerned with being the moral policeman for the world. I’m often surprised how many gay people are, that’s all.

    My head doesn’t need a shake, but thanks for the concern.

  29. antisaint says

    It’s working at cross purposes because there are still so many hetero people who define “gay” by what they see or hear. So if some straight guy gets a gym membership and innocently stumbles on guys trading blowjobs in the sauna, and comes to realize that a decent percent of the gym members seem to engage in this behavior, he might draw a conclusion about gay men on the whole — that gay men are all about hedonistic unsafe anonymous sex with any erection that might present itself.

    That same straight guy might develop a prejudice about gay men in general if he sees the pictures of 15 men who were arrested in a sting operation for trying to have sex with other men. He might tell his friends about what the ‘gay sickos’ at the gym were doing. He might meet a gay coworker or family member and treat them differently because he assumes this person engages in this behavior — and isn’t that what the talking heads call ‘gay’ anyway, behavior?

    So that same guy might find himself siding with idiot talking heads like Tony Perkins and Ann Coulter based on his experience with ‘gay’ men. He might have a hard time buying the Anderson Coopers and Neil Patrick Harrises, Adam Lamberts and Chris Colfers as ordinary men who happen to be gay, and instead imagine they’re just like those guys at the gym behind closed doors. And he might call his congressman and tell him that he doesn’t want ENDA, DOMA, and assorted other laws that need repealed or instated to secure our rights. He might vote against equality in his state.

    Part of the reason homosexuals were linked to pedophiles and predators in the last century is because the only time anyone had any apparent exposure to a gay man, it was in a park, or a rest stop or a gym. Granted, in those days for many gay men sex acts were the only overt expression of their true selves because being out wasn’t the best option. But that same mindset — that we lurk in bushes, gyms, and bus depots like predators — still exists in a lot of places in the US and the world, and this kind of behavior perpetuates that idea and shoots the more important stuff like equality in the foot.

  30. David says

    “We want marriage equality, we want our anonymous blowjobs in the steamroom, we demand the woman who owns the cake shop in Washington to sell to the gay couple, we want the football player who uses a gay slur to apologize, we want to cruise the park and get or give another blowjob in the “bookstore” stall as we demand DOMA is declared unconstitutional.

    We’re working at cross-purposes in some of this. We really can’t have it all. And blowjobs in public steamrooms are illegal. And the straight partons of the gym probably don’t appreciate the furtive sex.”

    — Some of us — I.e. me — ARE “having it all” — and these weird fake antinomies “marriage equality” vs “having bj’s in a steam room” don’t mean anything. They are not mutually explusive. And by the way there is no “we” — I will NEVER get married, it doesn’t interest me and it doesn’t interest a whole bunch of gay people. I still will fight to the end for it and for equality for all people but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to cruise in steamrooms.But thanks for the sermon.

  31. greenfuzz says

    Her’s an idea. It’s called a gym for people to go exercise. Go to a damn bathouse or get a room if you want to have sex. The same goes for public parks where a lot of other people go to enjoy themselves and don’t want to see dicks hanging out all over the place.

  32. says

    I get it, @Bob, just not the way you seem to want me to get it.

    If you want to take responsibility for the sexual behaviors of all men, be my guest, and good luck. I take responsibility for myself and my own behaviors. If some closeted married guy, or some uncloseted gay guy, wants to screw around in public, there’s really nothing I can do to stop them. It’s their choice, not mine.

    The gay people I know don’t send heterosexuals running to Ann Coulter (they got marriage equality passed instead), and the heterosexuals I know don’t base their entire assessment of gay people on some guy (who may or may not consider himself gay) getting a blowjob in a gym sauna, any more than I judge the entire straight world on the countless lewd heterosexual behaviors I’ve seen over the years. It’s not like in 2013 there aren’t all kinds of gay people doing all kinds of great things for heterosexuals to observe. If they’re listening to and believing Tony Perkins, they were never on our side.

  33. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “DJsauvage” – YOU ARE ON POINT. Alan Brickman IS ASHAMED OF HOW MALE HOMOSEXUALS “ROLL.” I WONDER WHERE Mr. Brickman WENT IN ORDER TO COME IN CONTACT WITH OTHERS’ “foreign white substances.”

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  34. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “Jason,”

    YOUR COMMENTARY MAKES SENSE IF YOU ARE A VIRGIN WHO HAS NEVER “CRUISED” OUT-OF FEAR OF HIV/AIDS – OTHERWISE, YOUR DISGUST IS FAKE.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  35. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    SO, “will,” YOU WANT political gays TO BE FRIGID? BRINGING SOMEONE HOME FOR SEX MEANS THE TWO PEOPLE TOOK ENOUGH TIME TO HAVE THE REQUIRED INTEREST. SPONTANEOUS PUBLIC SEX WILL ALWAYS EXIST – YOU CAN NOT “LIE” IT AWAY.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  36. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “Paul R,”

    COAGULATED SEMEN CLINGS TO SKIN; SEMINAL FLUID [LIQUIFIED] IS SLIPPERY. HEAT – LIKE, FROM A STEAM ROOM – CAUSES SEMEN TO LIQUIFY; BUT, IF NOTICED EARLY, AN OFF-WHITE/TAUPISH-TINGE IS STILL VISIBLE.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  37. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “Zeta,”

    YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE; THE HOSE AND SOAP ARE OF NO CONSEQUENCE.

    EVERYONE KNOWS IT IS CONVENTIONAL WISDOM FOR MALE HETEROSEXUALS IN BELIEVING ONLY MALE HOMOSEXUALS ARE INTERESTED IN SCULPTING THEIR BODIES. MALE HETEROSEXUALS DO NOT MIND HAVING “POTBELLIES,” ETC. WHY DO YOU THINK MOST HETEROSEXUALS CONSIDER COMPETITIVE MALE-BODYBUILDING TO BE gay activity? – THAT IS WHY BODYBUILDING COMPETITIONS WERE REMOVED FROM ESPN.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  38. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “Zeta,”

    THE ARTICLE DID NOT SAY THE ROOM WAS DARK. THE ARTICLE SAID WHEN THE SEX WAS IN PROGRESS, THE REAR BULB WAS OUT. SO, WHY DO YOU THINK THE MALE WHO FELL COULD NOT SEE THE SEMEN? THE ARTICLE DID NOT INDICATE HE WAS PRESENT AND SAW SEX IN PROGRESS.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  39. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “Pete N SFO,”

    BEING THE ONLY ONE “PLAYING WITH YOUR JUNK” MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THOSE dumb gays WHO DO NOT COMPREHEND AN OFFER FOR SEX IS “ON-THE-TABLE.”

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  40. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “antisaint,” YOU ARE ASSUMING ALL MALE HOMOSEXUALS CARE ABOUT YOUR SCENARIO.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  41. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “greenfuzz,” WHAT DO YOU EXPECT MALE HOMOSEXUALS FROM THE ONSET OF PUBERTY TO AGE TWENTY-ONE TO DO? SEXUAL EXPERIENCE PROVIDES THE SEXUAL STABILITY WHICH ALLOWS MATURE PEOPLE TO FOCUS ON ALL ASPECTS OF A RELATIONSHIP. INFIDELITY IN LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS IS BASED ON “NOT GETTING ENOUGH” WHEN A PERSON WAS YOUNG AND SINGLE.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  42. DannyEastVillage says

    Well—I don’t think of semen as “gross,” but I do think these boys need to clean up after themselves. What do they think–that their mother’s gonna clean up after them?

  43. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “ripper” – OR, YOU COULD SEE ME JERKING-OFF IN THE SAUNA; I GUARANTEE, YOUR EYES WOULD NOT BE INTERESTED IN READING.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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