CommunityPam's House Blend

Perhaps he needs a better location for that bathhouse

Cleveland, Ohio doesn’t seem like the best place to be opening an upscale, men-only bathhouse, particularly when Ohio is one of the most homophobic states in the nation (and proud of it, according to Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values).

The Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Michael O’Malley plays this one, ahem, straight.

The ambitious project by Cleveland native Charles Fleck features hotel rooms, swimming pools, saunas, whirlpools, a nightclub-restaurant and a rooftop sand pit for nude sunbathing.

The two-story Art Deco style building on the city’s near East Side sits among factories, warehouses, big-truck docks and blue-collar shot-and-beer bars. It’s also a few blocks from the city’s main homeless shelter for men.

Fleck expects the private club to become an oasis for gay men, but all men, he said, are welcome. “Straight men who are comfortable with their sexuality wouldn’t have any problem coming here,” he said. “It’s the homophobes who would.”

Fleck stressed that the bathhouse is not a sex club. “We frown on anything like that,” he said. “No sleaze.”

Hmmm…OK. How long before the fundies burn this place down? This has to be one of the most misguided business decisions in recent memory. Fleck will catch hell from day one.

I cannot top the commentary on this by Faggoty-Ass Faggot, who wrote an open letter to O’Malley about his reporting on this news:

Dear Michael O’Malley:

Since, as a straight man, you clearly are not equipped to report this story, let me offer a few follow-up questions for the next time you have to cover a bathhouse opening:

These hotel rooms – how big? Wow, 6 foot by 6 foot seems a little small. What’s the rack rate for such a room? Oh, you mean they rent by the hour? What kind of hotel is this exactly?!

What programs will you show on these big-screen TVs? Sports? Movies? You’ll be showing what? What kind of a club is this exactly?!

Will you be hiring a big-name chef to work in your restaurant? Oh, you don’t have a kitchen? Just vending machines? What kind of a restaurant is this exactly?!

Please go read the rest. You will be on the floor laughing.

***

On a serious note, the patrons of this future bathhouse should be mindful of this:

US ‘sees rise in unsafe gay sex’ (Hat tip, Holly.)

And, PBS begins its series on The Age of AIDS tonight, which is a two-part Frontline series marking the 25th anniversary of the epidemic.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding