Tuesday, 19 February 2008

The Comfort Zone

The New York Times published a really interesting article at the weekend. The article focussed on 'The Comfort Zone' - one 'sex venue' in NY and the health official responses. It notes that: 'Citing a 33 percent rise in H.I.V. diagnoses from 2001 to 2006 among New York men under 30 who have sex with men, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene began a review last fall of its policy on establishments like gay bathhouses and sex clubs'. I like the ending of the article which states: 'At the Comfort Zone on this wintry night, a burly man in a navy sweatsuit stood quietly by the entrance, removing his clothes until he was clad only in briefs and a tank-top undershirt.

“What would you do if this place closed down?” he was asked. The man paused for a moment. “I’d go someplace else,” he replied softly before disappearing down the dark corridor. '

Of course, he's right. The closure of such venues would be crazy. Far better to develop partnerships that promote safe sex. Closing these venues will merely displace the men to the cruising grounds and cottages/tearooms.

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