Sunday, 18 May 2008

Public Sex in New York

Back in February I blogged on a NY Times piece discussing the 'Comfort Zone'. A 'gay' male sex venue. You can view that original entry here. According to there is once again a debate in NY about the closing of venues such as the Comfort Zone by the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). For UK readers this is a puzzling move as our Saunas continue to operate in the margins of the gay community, unaffected by law enforcement and engaged with by safe sex charities. Marc E Elovitz and PJ Edwards also address the subject in a New York context in Policing Public Sex, edited by Dangerous Bedfellows and published back in 1996. Yes, folks these issues have been discussed for that long. According to

'Dr. Tom Farley, special advisor to the DOHMH Commissioner Thomas Frieden, argues that this approach is well-justified. “A commercial venue provides opportunities for people who have had many partners to come into contact with other people who have had many partners,” Farley said last week. This, he argues, facilitates the spread of HIV into the general population. “It creates a dense network of sexual connections and poses a risk for the entire gay community.”'

Quite right Dr Farley but do you not think that the same men will meet in alternative locations (most probably public sex locations) if you target these locations? Thus, you push the problem underground and increase risk?

A sensible memo on this has been put together by the Coalition for Public Health at Sex Venues . It can be viewed here. I for one wish them every success with their efforts. The full citylimits story can be viewed at:

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