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March 5, 2014

Would shutting down gay saunas be the start of a slippery slope which could lead to re-criminalization of consensual sex and self-loathing among LGBTI people?

A few weeks ago I was having a chat with my mate about going to a gay sauna. He told me he just went to sauna himself for the first time and loved it. He wanted to know if I had been to one and what my experience was.

The truth is I never have been to one, but that’s not in the least a moralistic decision. I am not a choirboy, I have my flaws, and I wouldn’t judge people who enjoy saunas, it just doesn’t appeal to me.

March 4, 2014

James Wharton, a friend of Prince Harry, is receiving backlash after calling on saunas to be closed as it 'feeds the haters'

A gay British former soldier has said if LGBT people want equality and respect, gay saunas should be shut down.

James Wharton, a former army pal of Prince Harry's, have said saunas promote homophobia and undermine gains in equality.

Writing in Winq magazine, he said: ‘Sex saunas need to be history. The time has come to close them down.’

Wharton said if gay people want to be respected and accepted as ‘the new normal’, the community must stop supporting establishments that encourage promiscuity and sex.

March 4, 2014

James Wharton’s demand gay saunas should be shut down sparked a social media storm today but he says his main argument – public health – has been overlooked

My argument that gay saunas should be shut down, first published by Winq magazine, has generated a massive argument today.

I find it unfathomable that people do not comprehend the danger associated with engaging in sexual activity with strangers, often under the influence of alcohol and drugs – saunas are major culprits for all three of these risk factors.

October 23, 2013

Gay saunas have hit out at the proposed condom ban proclaiming it 'unfair' while HIV experts warn it will stop safer sex and be a 'public health own goal'

Edinburgh gay saunas are facing the possibility of having to remove condoms after police complaints.

Police Scotland have written to the city council arguing if it grants licenses for saunas it should be on condition that no items of a sexual nature are allowed on the premises.

The authorities are focusing on five saunas in particular in an effort to crack down on the sex trade.

A spokesman for gay sauna Steamworks described the proposal as ‘unfair’.

Speaking to Gay Star News, he said: ‘I don’t understand why they want to take away condoms.

September 26, 2013

Semen was found on a towel and a chain around the neck of a Singapore businessman

A naked man who was found dead at a gay spa likely died from a sex game gone wrong, a Singapore court has heard this week.

It is believed Yeo Hung Song, 48, was practising auto-erotic asphyxiation, which involves starving the brain of oxygen to increase sexual arousal.

Imran Abdul Amid, the State Coroner, has said suicide could also have been a possibility, the Straits Times reports.

Song arrived at Club One Seven Spa & Gym at around 2pm, a men only establishment on 19 November last year.

May 10, 2013

A group of community leaders meet in South London’s clubbing district Vauxhall to discuss the drug GHB, and its relationship to clubbing and the gay community

In 2012, Gay Star News reported at least three separate deaths in the months of July, August and October where gay men died of suspected drug overdose in clubs and sex saunas.

April 16, 2013

GSN travels to Portugal’s northern city and discovers how a Portugese bookstore inspired the author of the Harry Potter franchise

I'd only been to Portugal once before, and that was an Easter weekend in Lisbon a couple of years ago. On that trip I was traveling with my ex-boyfriend, another of his ex-boyfriends, and his new boyfriend at the time – a strange combination but it worked surprisingly well.

This expedition was to Porto in the country’s north and I was on my own.

March 12, 2013

Roman Catholic officials are sweating over claims the Holy See splashed out millions on an apartment building in Rome that includes a gay sauna

Vatican officials are sweating over claims it has splashed out millions on an Italian apartment block above ‘Europe’s largest gay sauna’.

As 115 cardinals prepare to elect a new Pope, Italian newspaper La Repubblica has claimed the Vatican spent €23m ($30m) on the building.

The apartments provide accommodation for 15 priests, with Indian Cardinal Ivan Dias, 76, currently residing in a plush 12-room pad on the first floor.

‘Italy’s best known gay sauna in the premises is an embarrassment,’ La Repubblica said on its front page.

October 30, 2012

Police are investigating the death of two men, one of which happened at the sauna, and believe it is drug-related

A London gay sauna’s staff has said they are ‘shocked and deeply saddened’ by the death of two men, one of which occurred at the venue on Saturday (27 October).

Police are investigating the two deaths, both men in their 40s, who were visiting the Pleasuredrome in Cornwall Road, Waterloo.

In a press release, the sauna said: ‘The management and staff of Pleasuredrome Spa are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic events of the weekend.’

October 28, 2012

Police and paramedics were called to help three men who had collapsed, possibly due to drugs. One died at the scene, and another remains in critical condition

A man has died at a gay London sauna in the early hours of yesterday morning (27 October).

Police and paramedics were called to help save three men who had collapsed in Pleasuredrome, a venue in Cornwall Road, Waterloo.

The ambulance was called at 8.15am to help the three unconscious men.

In a statement made to Gay Star News, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘One of the men was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other two were taken to the nearby hospital.

‘One remains there in critical condition.’

August 6, 2012

Contaminated drugs may be circulating in UK capital after death and collapses on gay scene. Plus another man collapses in gay Soho sauna on same night

Police are worried London’s gay clubbers may be offered contaminated drugs after one man died and three others had to be hospitalized in just one night.

As Gay Star News reported yesterday, the man who died and two others who fell ill were at gay scene venues in Vauxhall, south London – an area popular with clubbers.