Inspired by mean guys on Grindr and the idea of the sauna as its own little world. Fusing a love of 80s fantasy adventure movies, Disney and zombies, first-time writer/director Tom Frederic presents a genre-hopping modern day fairy tale exploring how the way we treat each other creates the worlds we live in.
Sauna the Dead – A Fairy Tale
The director of this film, Tom Frederic, was asked about the state of the baths today.
Question: Equally, some would argue that saunas aren’t needed anymore, as LGBT people become more accepted in society – would you agree?
Tom Frederic: No, I wouldn’t. Great as our increased acceptance in society is, I think saunas are unique spaces that still serve an important purpose. They are used by a lot of men who don’t feel comfortable going to other venues to connect with guys, and as such are actually more diverse than other venues can be, and not just ethnically, but socially too: a sauna is a sauna, and they aren’t as bound by other categories like scene type or social status. I don’t think there’s anything else quite like them, and I don’t think they are inherently bad places we should be ashamed of.
Narvel Annable is an acclaimed author and gay rights activist who lives in Derbyshire, England. So you might ask? Well he is also a big supporter of gay bathhouses. In fact he recently participated in a documentary on the subject entitled “Secrets of the Sauna”, which took the public behind the doors of a bathhouse.
Narvel Annable in Secrets of the Sauna
Says Annable “The programme was made back in 2014 so it’s been quite a wait for it to finally appear – the people who made it came into our home to film and took us to all sorts of other places as well.
“They had my partner Terry playing (music) and were asking me to talk about how fun the saunas are – they’ve made us look really good.
Earlier Annable had written of his experiences as the following
At first, Terry was distressed at our private life exposed to public scrutiny, but is now appreciating its positive aspects. I’m philosophical. I went into this project with my eyes wide open. I can’t complain. On balance, friends are more optimistic about the effect it will have on my reputation as a serious writer and campaigner. I remind them, “You realise this will ruin me for presenting Housewife’s Choice!”
Andrew Jacome writes “Picture it: you’re working up a sweat, surrounded by hot guys. They are all equally sweaty. You’re almost positive one guy keeps looking at you out of the corner of his eye. And you’re definitely positive the two guys beside you are unabashedly checking each other out. Quickly — are you in a gym, or a bathhouse? in Is your gym just a gay bathhouse?
54 year old man is in a critical condition after collapsing in a Liverpool city centre sauna. he actually collapsed ’15 minutes’ after entering club. The m,an was quite lucky that a nurse was patronizing the sauna at the time. This nurse was able to perform medical assistence while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
More serious note a man was found dead overnight at a Capitol Hill bathhouse, Club Z. This is not the first time a death has taken plave at this club. Since 2011 there have been other two deaths reported at this location.
Another year, another production of Terrence McNally’s The Ritz. This time we head off to Newtown, New South Wales, Australia for this production. Reviews have been pretty good.
“Fabulously camp comedy and fast-paced frivolity”
“Do yourself a favour and buy, beg, borrow or steal a ticket to see one of the funniest, gayest comedies in ages.”
“Giggles from the get-go. A ribald romp of queen size camp with a chorus of torso and towel and a chap in chaps – a fondle of the funny bone and the nostalgia zone.”
-Sydney Arts Guide
“A host of vivacious gay men [and] and endless stream of campy punchlines … The infamy of pre-AIDS bathhouse culture finds itself represented here in all its shame-free glory, in the form of a classic American farce … Director David Marshall-Martin brings to the production a potent nostalgia and an energetic madcap style of comedy perfect for the script.”
-Suzy Goes See
“The cast performed with such enthusiasm and energy; they kept a full house laughing and engaged to the very end”
-What’s On Sydney
Go to the New Theatre Sydney for more information of their production of The Ritz and some hot photos of the production below!
Silly this continually bashing of the gay baths. Who says only desperate guys do to them? Not these guys. Love it or hate it?
Maybe in America people are too puritanical. In Europe and Canada there is a much more open-mindedness to this type of sexual activity. As the gay saunas flourish in those countries. Still not convinced? Well how about this.
On a recent chat app, the subject of the gay baths came up. And what a response! One guy says “I have gained so much confidence going to bathhouses. I know people rag on then but I feel like I finally accept who I am.”
Another guy said “Seeing guys at the bathhouse inspired me to lose a little bit of weight, I didn’t realize I would feel this much better about how I looked.”
Third guy said, “I love treating myself to a trip to the bathhouse…It’s an ego boost to know men still gine me attractive even though I’m old.”
It has been called Toronto’s Stonewall. The day 150 Toronto police officers carried out simultaneous raids on four gay bathhouses in Canada’s largest city. It was violent as the cops came armed with crowbars, billy clubs and sledgehammers.
The outrage sparked by Bathhouse Raided. Which led to the largest gay rights demonstrations in Canada. 35 years later much has changed and Canada has come a long way.
February 18, 2016
(updated from a Feb 2, 2016 post)
Highgate Holdings has secured control of Shoreditch High Street. Which is where Chariots Sauna Shoreditch is located. One regular at Chariots Shoreditch has told Gay Star Business that staff were informed that the building was set to close at the end of February.
Though that has not been confirmed by Chariots Shoreditch. The powers that be at Chariots has been silent on social media about the upcoming closing.
“I went there yesterday (16 February) at lunchtime. There was a big white van outside and they were taking away all the towels. The manager was there and he told me that staff were only informed last Friday that the land had been sold and the venue was closing. I think they closed Sunday.”
“He said they were all shocked and that he’d had regulars turning up and some were very upset to hear of the closure – some were in tears. I’ve had friends texting me, people who went regularly, who are really upset. I’ve supported the place for the last 15 years and am very sad to see it go.”
A spokesperson for Chariots confirmed the closure to Gay Star Business.
‘I can confirm that our Streatham branch has closed,’ said Melanie Giddings at Chariots’ head office. ‘Our Shoreditch branch is closing on 22 February, but we are actively seeking new premises in the Shoreditch area. Until then, our Waterloo and Vauxhall branches remain open.’
For any of you regular goers to the baths you see this type of customer over and over and over again. They are cute, very slim, hangs out with similar type guys, and seems to stay locked in their room. They are meth users who engage in what is known as PnP (Party & Play) or Chemsex.
Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery has just been released this month. Written by Dr. David Fawcett. He is a leading specialist in issues of addictions in gay men’s health and HIV/AIDS.
One particular section focuses on a user who experiences psychosis and paranoia after taking meth. He leaves his apartment, stops eats and literally moves into the baths. Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident and this scene is played in bathhouses around the world. For gay men the baths are an easy and cheap place to hide out. And still access drugs in a bathhouse environment.
Read more about Drug Use At The Baths At The Links Below
Thomas Banks is a writer/performer who is your typical young gay male. He likes going out on the town, dancing up a storm at clubs, and using social media to hook-up. One difference is that he has Cerebral Palsy.
But he has never let his CP stand in the way of living life to the fullest. Especially when it comes to disabilities and Sexuality. He has mounted a one-man show about his quest to find love, even in a bathhouse! He has toured from one end of Australia to another performing his show. One in five Australians has some form of disability. Now there will be a an intimate and heart felt documentary about him based on his one-man show.
Apparently there is a scene of him at the baths, because people have to understand that just because you are disabled, doesn’t mean your sex drive goes way. That feeling of wanting and connecting with someone is there inside of every single person.
For more information watch the video below. Please go to Thomas above Facebook and like his FB page!
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