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Ottawa bathhouse now partially co-ed

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Ottawa bathhouse now partially co-ed

New rules at Sauna 63
Martin Rothman, owner of Sauna 63, is making a few changes.

On Sunday to Thursday nights, between 8pm and 6am, the space becomes known as Co-Ed 63. It’s marketed as a space that any couple — gay, straight or lesbian — can use as a spot to hook up if they have no place else to go. As well, the space advertises bookings for private parties.

“We do not discriminate any sexual choice,” the website advertises.  “Heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual are all welcome. Sometimes you might get the odd trans member, you never know what you might get.”

The website also proclaims the sauna operates on a “respect” policy.

“Please be polite when declining! Some guests may be there with their partner and are only using the private rooms.”

When confronted with the perception that it is no longer a gay space, Rothman expresses some frustration with the community.

“It’s gay during the day here, it’s gay here Friday and Saturday, and it’s only co-ed Sunday to Thursdays at night,” Rothman says.

He also says that while people continually complain to him about the facilities at other area bathhouses, but they nevertheless admit to frequenting them more often than his own establishment.

“There’s no logic to it,” he says.

Though it is not being sold as a swinger’s club, Rothman has already noticed some mingling of his clientele.

“There’s a lot of gay guys coming in too at night, because as a couple, half of them are bi, and they’ll do a guy and the girl will watch, type thing. It works both ways.”

Rothman says that the changes are still just in the testing stages, but they are being driven by economic realities.

“There’s no gay people coming during the week because they work and everything, and for me to sit here all night for two customers when I can get twenty customers — the rent and all the other bills still have to be paid.”
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Comments

Still a valid point
While full of vitriol, Ron does have a point. Most gay men want a bath house that is strictly male. It's as much about fraternity as it is sex. And as has been pointed out, there are many gay bath houses. I say if this one wants to experiment with a different approach, it has the right to do so. But it does so with a degree of risk. Will the new income offset the loss of the established clients? And while you can argue that many "bi" men would be overjoyed, I think a great many of these men are in fact closeted homosexuals or those types of bisexuals who compatmentalize their sexuality. They might, in fact, be turned off as well. It's a gamble and one I would avoid. But to each his own. It's a place I will mark off the list though. Just not my preference.
Not all women hate gays
Being bisexual, I'm happy to hear it. Like the owner says, the place is always empty. I'll surely check it out; I've been waiting for something like this for some time.

I don't like hear of gays being excluded from anything simply for their sexual preferences and feel the same gratitude should be extended from the gay community.

As well, the co-ed aspect may change some females’ view of gay/bisexual men.

I feel bisexuals are not fully accepted from either gay or straight community. Maybe this is a middle ground where the acceptance gap between straight and gays/bisexual/lesbians can be narrowed.
This is great
I think this is a fantastic idea and I support it 100%. I'm what one can call a 'gold star' gay, but I think that any queer space, sexual or otherwise, can benefit by being more inclusive. At the same time, I think it's important for different genders to have their own spaces (and what about trans folks, eh?). As the previous comments have pointed out, there are plenty of spaces in pretty much every city in Canada that are exclusively devoted for gay men. And absolutely I think they should create all-female spaces, but Ron, I don't think you should run one. I think this is a great example of the evolution of a truly queer community. This bathhouse is starting to challenge the male domination that is EVERYWHERE in the queer community, and I think that's a great thing. As for 'heteros' coming in and ruining everything, unless they are completely oblivious to the atmosphere, these folks are going to have some sort of queer sensibilities and will respect the environment as a queer space. I think the management is probably going to have to work on making the space a bit more secure and safe for ALL of its participants, but that's why I'm not a manager :)

So, seriously folks. Give it a shot. Who knows, you might like it.
Bathhouses
In Winnipeg we have two bath houses and one has been successfully running by inviting both genders to its place of business for a number of years now. They have every second nite as men only and the rest of the time it is for a mixed crowd. As a gay man I do not find it at all offensive as the mixed nights rock there and the male only kinda are kind of hit and miss. So sometimes we have to remake something to maintain a premise for all to enjoy.
You have
You have plenty of gay spaces:

In Toronto: Spa Excess, Central Spa, Club Toronto, Oak Leaf, St. Marcs, Barracks, The Cellar, & Steamworks.

In Ottawa: Steamworks, Club Ottawa and Sauna 63.

Women have: Pussy palace maybe 3 nights a year at Central Spa or Club Toronto. I don't think men stopped going because lesbians had sex in 'their' bathhouse occasionally. As the club owners - business is still hot.

Oh yes, I'm such a man hater. (can you see the sarcasm?) That's why over 60% of my friends are men, many are gay or bisexual.

Go ahead - you are clearly the one with the problem here - so start a women's bathhouse!! When you do - then you can reply back.

I'm no feminist - I'm just a lesbian who wants sex. And I will give you the benefit of the doubt - that you aren't as sexist as you appear to be. Let's be honest here - there is very little in any queer community for women. Few bars, no sex stores, no baths - I need to be apart of the queer community but they don't give enough to me. I will do my best to contribute - when I am in a position to do so. But for now I must rely on those wonderful people who understand that women have needs too - like the owner of Sauna 63.
Can't females start their own club?
Senna...How 1970's-style femi-nazi to call me a "sexist pig" You are obviously the one requiring therapy. You sound like a real man-hater which is why gay sauna's are men-only. Why are women so incapable of creating their own spaces? Lesbians create a hostile environment for gay men. Lesbians don't think twice to exclude men from their events. Gay men deserve our own spaces too.
I don't think
I don't think you answered my question. What is your solution? Are you going to create a space for lesbians?? Because if you aren't I suggested you shut your discriminating mouth - you are a sexist pig. Men have plenty of spaces - many bars have an upstairs for cruising and sex. How many lesbian bars are there? There are almost no spaces for women. So give up one place - you selfish pig. You need to get your priorities straight - you are no more or less important than any other gender or sexual orientation. I suggest that you seek assistance your your lack of self confidence.
Isn't this what you wanted?
Ron's comments are what happens when a community defines itself by oppression. We're more integrated now, Ron. That means we have to start giving up "gay men's spaces". Get used to it. That said...Bath houses are disgusting. The entire atmosphere is conducive to spreading HIV. If the pervious generation hadn't been using them and infecting each other then maybe I wouldn't have to live with as much of a danger as I do now.
Females...create your own spaces
Senna...you are the selfish pig for invading my gay spaces. Gay men deserve our own spaces. Females and their pursuers create a hostile environment for gay men...look at any straight or lesbian bar...they are unwelcoming to gay men. The fact you are attacking a gay man for even defending a gay space shows you have no respect for gay men. I know that women ruin gay bath houses. I have seen the attempt to bring in females to a gay bath house fail. Trust me, gay men do not want you there any day of the week. Sauna 63 will fail for bringing in females. No gay man will go there on the weekend after the place becomes a pussy palace Monday to Friday.
Wow
Ron, you're a selfish pig. Have you ever thought that women want a place to go to cruise.. I'm certainly looking forward to find somewhere where I can find ladies. Finally some bathhouse understands that other people other than gay men would like sex no strings attatched. Gay men have plenty of saunas!! Can they not give up one?! Really - it's all genders/orientations on the the shitty nights of the week - Sun-Thursday. Wow, can't men find another sauna to go to if they can't handle women in 'their' environment or could they just not cruise for 5 nights if they are so dedicated to Sauna 63?

Thank God for Sauna 63! Pussy Palace is great but it's so infrequent. Ron unless you can come up with a better suggestion - stop being so selfish!

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