Controversy surrounding the reopening of gay bathhouses in Montreal

Controverse autour de la réouverture des saunas gais à Montréal

MONTREAL | The gay bathhouses have reopened their doors this week, so just a few street corners here in the gay Village of Montreal, the merchants have to spend significant amounts of money to enforce social distancing.

On social networks, many members of the community have expressed their discomfort. They explain poorly why two saunas, the Oasis and G. I. Joe were returned to service in the gay Village, even if what happens there does probably not fulfil the health requirements.

“Basically, when you come in, you give 25$, you déshabilles and you put a towel. Everyone fucks with everyone. Not everyone, but maybe half takes drugs”, explained Stéphane, who works in a bar in the neighborhood.

“We, during this time, you must wear a visor. We must clean the table as soon as a customer comes up. In the sauna, do you think that it cleans the rooms every time people fuck?”, added those who do not want to give his family name, for fear that the customers of the saunas boycott his bar.

Because of men who visit saunas, there have been several in the last few days. Stéphane has found that, since Thursday, there are long queues to enter.

“And after, these people come have a beer and they go to the restaurants around. How are they going to contaminate the world? It seems that, here, this is more serious, then there are 40 000 new cases per day in the United States”, says he.

A safer place for the meetings

In the Face of all this outcry, sauna G. I. Joe responded Saturday on his page Facebook.

“When the saunas were closed [sic], people fucking, when even in parks , alleys, bicycle paths, and wherever they could, but without any protection hygiene ned [sic] condom denies [sic] a lubricant, and [Purell] without any cleanliness,” wrote the executive, which speaks of its establishment as a safer place to have sex.

Fuzzy rules

It has not been possible to speak to owners in the sauna on Sunday. Luke Sylvester, who owns a swingers club, however, has agreed to comment on this situation a little special, which is similar to hers.

As for the saunas, Mr. Silvester would be entitled in theory to re-open its doors: his club can be considered as a bar within the meaning of the act since it has an alcohol licence.

However, it considers that all activities that take place there normally may not be held currently because of the health rules, which remain in force despite the déconfinement.

“We have the green light, but the fire is also red. If I open up my games room, I encourage clearly to the reconciliations, which is contrary to the rules. There is nothing to do with it. It would be open without being open”, was illustrated by the owner of the hostel libertine Passion, in Drummondville.

Luc Sylvestre therefore preferred to remain closed until further notice, but this is not the case of other places of this kind, including outside the world of the gay.

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