Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

This Bugs Me

Yesterday I received an SMS message from Fahrenheit Bathhouse: …Enjoy r OPENING SALVO EVNTS 4 2010 “BARE BACKERS” + get d chance 2 win special fahrenheit goodies.

I was actually shocked and dismayed at the title of the event, and texted a friend to ask if the title of the event is just a creative handle or is actually a blatant, no-subtlety approach to marketing. He replied that to the best of his knowledge, it was sadly not a creative handle.

Given the recent news that there’s a dramatic increase in the number of HIV+ cases among men who have sex with men, it’s rather troubling to hear of such an event being promoted by a gay business establishment. I just hope that my friend’s guess was wrong and that it was merely a creative title for a show featuring drag queens wearing backless gowns.

It got me thinking. What happened to all the efforts to promote safe sex? Has HIV and AIDS become just another virus? Did the campaigns in fact boomeranged and made HIV and AIDS sound commonplace? That AIDS is not a fatal illness?

What is even more disturbing is the following feature on bug chasers. Watch the feature on CNN with Anderson Cooper:

And a teaser for the movie “The Gift”:


John Halcyon von Rothschild said...

When the AIDS epidemic started, they shut down the bath houses to slow its spread. Perhaps they should do the same there if they're going to be irresponsible. HIV is not just a 'bug'. It's a perfect disease. Perfect in its transmission and in its attack on the human body.

Perhaps they should show less people who are healthy and HIV+ and more of those who are dying. Bring back the campaigns of when the epidemic started. The real face of AIDS is not the healthy yuppy taking his cocktail of medicine and keeping his viral load low--it's that of a poor baby in Africa born HIV+ simply for having bad luck.

MrCens said...

this bugs me too!

for months since i took my vacation last may, i keep on thinking to go home just to take the test... f, e, cb, sanctuario were places that i tried during my 2-month vacation. although im confident that i am negative, still i have the doubt. i need medical certificate to satisfy myself.

a reader from dubai...

a46479 said...

OMG! WTF! that is so irresponsible! even if it was only a creative handle, it still is not right. latest figures from DOH are already showing scary trends of HIV infection among MSM. now is the time for prevention. not something like this!

gus said...

Dear Lord, that is disturbing and sickening. I have to question their psychological state of mind. Why would anyone want to be sick?It is a serious disease requiring expensive meds until death. There is also the danger of the virus mutating to something else that will longer respond to the current cocktail of meds.

citybuoy said...

this is really sad. it just sends the wrong message. i hope the people for f read this article.

Thad said...

Very disturbing. I suppose the majority of the population still has not been educated thoroughly about HIV AIDS. While it is important that the stigma should be removed and that people know that HIV is not necessarily a death sentence right away, it should be stressed that everyone should take huge steps in prevention- like the use of condoms or as our clinical preceptors say- being monogamous or being abstinent.

Medical fees, the cost of these drug cocktails, the fear and the anxiety, possibility of contracting numerous opportunistic infections like pneumocystis carinii, and malignancies like kaposis sarcoma should be enough to prompt people to be cautious.

Despite the advances in science, AIDS is still a very serious illness.

~Carrie~ said...

Thanks, McVie, for putting up this post. This is a shocking eye-opener. Or, I guess, I just wasn't aware of this kind of things.

the barefoot baklesa said...

whoahhhhh!!! wait a minute there... oh for the love of every foundation that's named after matthew shepard, that's more than a little disturbing.

i think the community itself has to take a stand when things like this blatant disregard for safe sex is encouraged in such a public manner...

far be it for me to know what the management of such a place was thinking, but still -at a loss for words here.

having seen someone lose their life to HIV/AIDS complications and having a friend deal with it publicly, this isn't something that's just a blog posting for me...hay buhay...

a little help here gay angels

RM said...

so what happens in the event? condoms are not allowed? I dont even think they know what barebacking TOTALLY means. given the penchant of this establishment for easy-business, im inclined to think they just picked up the term from porn videos and decided, "hey let's use that!"

the most dangerous thing about the message is that it reeks of stupidity. i have nothing against bug chasing if that really rocks your boat and you absolutely know what you're getting into. (sorry, but i think bug-chasing isnt as different as smoking)BUT and i cant emphasize the BUT any stronger, one should be fully aware of the dangers to bug-chasing.

ethan h said...

Bath House and Safe Sex are not congruent. Let's face it. Bath houses are a bane to a safe sex campaign. Bath houses should be closed down.

rudeboy said...

@ ethan h. : There are plenty of unassailable truths in your response. Despite the efforts of some bath houses to encourage safe sex - posters, fliers, issuing complimentary condoms and such - there is no practical way of enforcing safe sex, short of stationing hawk-eyed attendants to watch over patrons as they do the deed.

That said, it was very irresponsible of F to have even thought that barebacking was a remotely-acceptable handle for promoting their club. IMO, they should be issuing an apology for this snafu. But like safe sex, there is little we can do by way of enforcing responsibility, short of boycotting F, and maybe all other bath houses as well.

This is a slippery slope we're on. On one hand, I do not relish any state organization or "moral majority" meddling with my personal sexual behavior. On the other hand, "responsibility" is a major element here. If we do not want outside agents to set limits on our community, we have to be the ones to set the limits ourselves. But one thing is certain: there must be limits.

I believe that you can enjoy safe sex with multiple partners within the confines of a bath house, in the same manner that you can have unsafe sex in the privacy of your bedroom with an exclusive partner.

It's just that the odds, of course, are stacked against you.

And since an epidemic is a numbers game, I also agree that the stakes are getting higher. There is no doubt and no argument that HIV is a fatal disease. And if gay establishments and patrons continue treating sex as a reckless game with no consequences, and continue to ignore accepting responsibility, then sadly, I must agree: shut them down. Because an epidemic becomes a matter of public health, which overrides any PC notions of gay and individual "rights."

But again, this is a slippery slope.

Angelo said...


ethan h said...

@rudeboy: You said: "Despite the efforts of some bath houses to encourage safe sex - posters, fliers, issuing complimentary condoms and such - there is no practical way of enforcing safe sex, short of stationing hawk-eyed attendants to watch over patrons as they do the deed."

I say, "My point exactly."