San Francisco Relaxes Restrictions on Gay Bathhouses So They Can Contribute to the Economic Recovery

(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
AP featured image
It isn’t San Francisco but you get the picture (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Great news in California. If you can’t go to church why not head off to your favorite gay bathhouse.


Gay bathhouses could have an easier time returning to San Francisco, after the board of supervisors approved an ordinance that would ease restrictions for adult sex venues on July 21 with a unaminous [this typo is not mine] vote.

This will amend the Heath Code, requiring the Director of Health to “adopt minimum health and safety standards” for commercial adult sex venues. It will also remove decades-old policies that required these businesses to monitor sexual activities and prohibited private rooms and locked doors.

“What this ordinance will do is allow for adult sex venues to be apart of our economic and cultural recovery when it is safe to do so,” Mandelman said in a July 9 meeting. “During the ’70s and early ’80s, bathhouses were a focal point of gay social life in San Francisco, and were important community meeting places for friends to gather to share stories, dance to the latest disco hits, or watch a live show.”

I tried to think of some way to snark this but it was a challenge. Especially with my skin crawling after reading that last sentence.

More detail:

“The only backlash that we’ve received [from this proposal] is, I think the crankiness of social media, wondering whether this is the most important thing to be doing in the light of a pandemic. I’ve also heard it from queer people who say, ‘HIV may be dropping in San Francisco, but STDs aren’t. Isn’t this just going to become a place where STDs spread?’ And my response to that is, well, people are having sex right now,” he says.

“They’re having sex in private parties. They’re having sex with multiple partners on a given night, based on the apps, and they’re not getting any kind of health messaging that could be provided in a bathhouse.”

Mandelman stresses that the ordinance does not require or allow the reopening of adult sex venues until restrictions requiring social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted.

“Bathhouses are not going to open during the height of the pandemic and nobody’s going to expect them to. The legislation gives the Department of Public Health until January to come up with regulations to allow this,” he says.



I guess you have to have your priorities.

That’s it. I got nothing.





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