On July 21, by unanimous vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance to amend the city’s existing health code to do away with two rules for sex clubs. These rules were put in place in 1984, at the height of the AIDS crisis. The limitations on bathhouse conduct (i.e., no locked doors, supervised sex) meant that most bathhouses closed. One rule was a requirement that the clubs could no longer have private rooms or locked doors in areas reserved for sex. The other was that management had to monitor sexual activity. The ostensible reason, believe it or not, was to help San Francisco’s economy.
The meeting at which the supervisors voted is available online. It’s notable for the fact that the clerk reading out the wording of the proposed ordinance could not stop herself from giggling as she read about the new requirement to stop monitoring patrons’ sexual activities. The new ordinance was passed without discussion.
I happen to know a lot about bathhouses because I worked for some virologists in the early 1980s, when AIDS was first making itself known. The researchers hadn’t yet isolated HIV, so the disease was still quite mysterious. They did know one thing, though: this mysterious “gay disease” was running like wildfire through the gay community, especially in the bathhouses.
It was while working for the virologists that I learned what was going on in the bathhouses: men used poppers (isoamyl nitrite) so they could have some form of sexual contact with dozens of other men per night. The men weren’t just trading HIV; they were trading every existing sexually transmitted disease. Moreover, the “live shows” weren’t theatrical spectacles. They were orgies in which participants rested up while watching each other.
Think about this: the City of San Francisco has been subjecting everyone to the most stringent shutdown requirements for months, destroying the city’s economy and ruining people’s livelihoods. Meanwhile, it’s already getting its ducks in a row to enable gay men to engage in the type of behavior that spread a disease that has killed 692,790 Americans, almost all from the narrow demographic of gay men. (AIDS has killed around 32 million people worldwide since the early 1980s.) Currently, around 1.1 million people in America are HIV-positive, with 6,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2018 alone.
Full story at The American Thinker.