Saturday, June 21, 2014

NYT Error: San Francisco Hasn't Closed 2 'Sex Clubs'

The following note was emailed today to the New York Times:

(Do you agree that porthole in the photo would make for a large and queer glory hole, if the glass were removed?)

Dear Corrections Desk,

Your story in the Arts section on June 21 about a floating peep show on San Francisco Bay contained an error, repeated on the "Inside the Times" page of the print edition, that needs correcting.

The caption under the photo on the index page reads, in part, italicizing mine:

An art installation on a boat filled with erotic dancers is a response to the closing of two beloved San Francisco sex clubs.

Reporter Melena Ryzik's story said:

The show was conceived by the artist Constance Hockaday as a commentary on the forces of technification and gentrification roiling this city and, especially, as a response to the demise of two beloved sex clubs: the Lusty Lady, a worker-owned and unionized strip club, which closed last year, and Esta Noche (translation: Tonight), an infamous Latino gay bar and performance space, which had its final show in March. Coupled with a recent ban on public nudity, the closings have left some residents worrying that San Francisco is losing the anything-goes vibe that made the city a boho mecca.

The Grey Lady is quite mistaken defining the Lusty Lady and Esta Noche being sex clubs. They were commercial venues where liquor was served and there was no sex allowed on the premises. [CORRECTION: Alcohol was not for sale at the Lusty Lady.] If sex was going on, the state Department of Alcohol Beverage Control would have cited and potentially closed them for violating the law banning sex where alcohol is served.

Sex clubs in San Francisco, such as Blow Buddies and Eros, cater to gays and closeted men on the down-low and sexual liaisons between individuals is not only allowed but the primary purpose of the clubs. There are no private spaces in them and all sex is subject to monitoring by the staff. So much for the Supreme Court's Lawrence decision applying here, but that is another matter.

Bathhouses, which have been banned in San Francisco since 1984 at the height of AIDS hysteria in this city and the nation, are places with private cubicles with sexual activity happening behind a door away from prying eyes.

Finally, the nudity ban was pushed through the Board of Supervisors in December 2012 by the Castro's conservative member of the board and went into effect in February 2013, so it's hardly a recent ban you report.

Please consider correcting the errors.

Michael Petrelis

No comments: