Fighting Stigma

Gay Sex Clubs and Bathhouses in Los Angeles Are Fighting Monkeypox and Stigma

Monkeypox continues to spread throughout the world, slowly eating into everyone’s “Hot Girl Summer”. With the LGBTQ community disproportiantely impacted by the illness and the stigma of it continuing to plague queer men in particular, gay sex clubs and bathhouses are seeking to put that to an end. 

While many are struggling to access a monkeypox vaccine, gay sex clubs and bathhouses in Los Angeles are ensuring that the community has access to them. Spots like The Slammer, Midtowne Spa, Flex Spa, and The North Hollywood Spa all offered monkeypox vaccinations at the end of July. Almost 1000 shots were given during this time and gaining access to them varied from proving ownership of a PrEP prescription to simply showing proper identification. 

California previously declared a state of emergency within the state due to the spread of monkeypox, as have Illinois and New York. Now that the Biden Administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency within the United States, the government can distribute more resources to thwart the disease. However, with more information highlighting how men who have sex with men have the highest risk of contracting monkeypox, the stigma around the illness is unwavering. 

LGBTQ folks have been accostumed to stigma around sexual practices and illnesss. Not to mention, government assistance needed to support queer and trans people has historically been slow – especially when you examine the calls to action for HIV/AIDs support. Now, history repeats itself with the staggered rollout of monkeypox vaccines and lack of consistent information destigmatizing the illness as well. 

So for gay sex clubs and bathhouses to rally around the LGBTQ community, provide support, and simultaneously promote sex positivity speaks volumes. These places may provide opportunities to fulfill sexual desires, but they also foster a sex positive community that is both politically engaged and health conscious. 

Many of these spaces conduct voter registration, STI screenings, and sexual health education. Additionally, these places can offer the opportunity to safely explore different sexual fantasies and kinks that you may not have had the chance to engage in. Some may come for the sex, others may come for the testing, but everyone the has chance to be a part of a community. 

With gay sex clubs and bathhouses in L.A. finding ways to support LGBTQ folks, here’s to hoping many more across country follow suit in eradicating monkeypox and the stigma from it that’s affecting the queer community. 

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