So Long, Farewell ...

The Bijou Theater, the oldest consecutively running gay porn movie theater and sex club in the United States, officially closes its doors on September 30, 2015, at 9 a.m.

 

Bijou has become an icon representing that time in gay history, the 1970s, where gay men, long hidden in the shadows, emerged as both liberators and the  liberated. The nonstop mansex party had begun.

The AIDS crisis of the 1980s threatened to turn the lights out for a community still struggling with its identity, but it regrouped and continued its fight for justice,  focusing now on political and social equality and confronting directly the new Religious Rights and its allies, culminating in the historical SCOTUS ruling that  legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States.

Even though the lights will literally go out and the music turn off at the Bijou Theater next week after 45 years, remember that the sexual freedom Bijou represents ultimately transcends a physical location.

The next time you find the right guy with whom to enjoy the hottest mansex, think of the Bijou and what Dorothy said at the end of The Wizard of Oz, “But it wasn't a dream. It was a place. And you and you and you - and you were there. But you couldn't have been, could you?...No, Aunt Em, this was a real, truly live place. And I remember that some of it wasn't very nice, but most of it was beautiful.”

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Is Sex Dead? Part One

 

More gay bars are closing. So we've heard. But then I heard Touché Chicago is undergoing a major renovation. 
 

Touche Chicago facade

Who goes to gay porn theaters to watch movies (ostensibly), other than at the legendary Bijou Theater? It's still hopping late weekend nights/early mornings. 


And based on a random sampling of craiglist ads (not exactly a scholarly statistical source), plenty of man-on-man sex is still happening outdoors in forest preserves and indoors in adult “bookstores.” There's one in the Chicago suburb of Roselle that gets mentioned at least once a week as the site of some tryst. 
 

woods and Roselle adult book store


Oh, I forget about the activities in the bathrooms at Macy's and some of the train stations. Ogilvie (what used to called Northwestern Station in Chicago) seems to be quite popular these days. 

So, what's different about man-on-man sex these days (not just the public sex I've noted is still going on) these days, say, compared to not just the pre-AIDS 1970s (sad that one needs to divide LGBT history that way) but the ensuing decades when AIDS drastically changed sexual interaction between gay men and also much of gay social culture? 

The obvious answer is the technology. One could argue that gay men pretty much energized online interaction as early as the 1990s (anyone remember those America Online chat rooms)? Then the Internet became mobile with the advent of laptops and wireless technology. And of course the cellphone which became the multifaceted smartphone/i-phone changed the medium of the sex hunt, but not the goal itself. 

But I really wonder if all those wondrous social media apps have really “killed” physical sex. What was cruising in the docks and parks and bar backrooms in the 1970s and in the 1980s via 1-888 numbers and personal ads has become today's hook-ups via apps. 

Of course, it's so easy to substitute jack off sessions via the phone for actual physical sex, but don't forget, before instagrams and youtube videos, magazines and books served much the same purpose. 

So, what is really going on in this scenario? I think you have to got to start by exploring the type of man-on-man sex that was going on the 1970s, which you can see in several of our Bijou titles. 

More, much more to follow on this subject in a later blog. 

Rest assured, sex is not dead. The madwoman Arachne in Drive has not won and will never win! 

Christopher Rage as Arachne in Drive

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