Gay advocates disagree about the dangers of bathhouses.
Dan Savage says he receives "tons of letters" from heterosexual men wishing there were bathhouses for straights. "They want to know why there aren't any," he says.
The answer, says Savage, is obvious: heterosexual women.
"Heterosexual women act as a check on the behavior of straight men," he says. "For gay men, that check is absent. They have to create that check internally-and that's harder."
Harder, but necessary, says Savage, who's always maintained that straight people should have more sex than they do, and gay men should have less.
"I'm sorry," says Savage, "but it's simply not healthy to suck a million dicks. If you walk up to a gay man and hand him half a sandwich that's been lying on the ground, he'll refuse to eat it. But a guy in a bathhouse will happily suck on a dick that's been in 30 other mouths-and that's a prescription for oral gonorrhea. Some gay men are missing a healthy sense of cooties. And a bathhouse is a cootie factory." (S.V.)
Savage Love: Sondheim is solace