Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Today the Stranger Suggests | Modest Beginnings »

Friday, April 20, 2007

What Is Club Z Advertising These Days?

posted by on April 20 at 12:31 PM

Long ago and far away I wrote a history of the terrifying and deathy bathhouse Club Z, and one of the points I made in that essay was that, as AIDS really started becoming a problem in the mid-’80s, the ads Club Z was publishing in Seattle Gay News got bigger and sexier.

[In 1985], when the New York Times was reporting that 6,481 people in the U.S. had died from AIDS and 13,332 people were living with death sentences, Club Z’s ads had ballooned to full pages, with photographs of men on beaches, in wrestling rings, lathered in soap, beside swimming pools, glowing in the sexy bliss of life itself.

But there were also a slew of ads with weirdly morbid overtones.

Another ad in 1985 depicted a naked jock, his back toward you, with the words, “You’d better sit down for this.” That’s a butt-sex joke. It’s also what your doctor says to you when he has really bad news—and 1985 was a big year for bad news. Another ad that year asked: “Where Have All the Real Men Gone?” Hmm. The hereafter?

Well, the other day Savage came by my desk to show me the latest Club Z ad in the Seattle Gay News and, well, look at it.


Um. What’s being advertised here? Other than a decaying body? Well, let that red circle—not mine—guide your eye. Worms. Worms are being advertised. Come get a dead body and some worms. Mmm! Really puts you in the mood, huh?

(PS—Does anyone know why the Club Z redevelopment project never happened? No one returns my calls.)

RSS icon Comments


Along with decaying corpses, you can apparently find little yellow birds at Club Z.

Good to know.

Posted by SDA in SEA | April 20, 2007 12:35 PM

It looks like a body found floating in the river somewhere -- a corpse, gone green, just about to... come apart. Ugh. Like a CSI prop. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Posted by Dan Savage | April 20, 2007 12:48 PM

"The worms crawl in and the worms crawl merry, my friends, be merry...."

Could this ad possibly be any more morbid?

Posted by Heidi | April 20, 2007 1:02 PM

Whether or not this is depicting a corpse is nothing but speculation, possibly right, but speculation none the less. I'm more surprised and disturbed to see that bathhouses advertise AT ALL. Especially one known to be on the seedier side of seedy.

Posted by brandon h | April 20, 2007 2:57 PM

Ask anyone who goes there and you will learn it's the seediness that they enjoy. They aren't going there for bible study.

It does kinda look like it used to be a movie poster for the likes of SAW or Hostel, or (insert name of current capture/torture/murder movie here).

Posted by monkey | April 20, 2007 3:05 PM

Ditto Monkey. In Chicago, you have the choice of either scrubbed-down, high-tech sex at Steamworks or filthy, badly-lit trash fucking at Man's Country. I'm not so certain ambience makes that much of a difference if people are ripped out on drugs and having unsafe sex.

Though for my money, Steamworks gets my money.

Posted by Boomer in NYC | April 20, 2007 3:49 PM

boring font choices, too.

Posted by me | April 20, 2007 6:21 PM

Oh don't get me started on posters in gay bars and counting how many fonts they use and clip art. Never mind the constant bad design.
And then there is art in bars, Bleh!

Posted by -B- | April 20, 2007 7:37 PM

I was told by an employee that is was due to problems with zoning and design. The building on the corner to the east of Club Z, has some historical status and the new building was going to interfere with sightlines or air space or threaten the building itself and it was going to be prohibitedly expensive for the developers to come up with a cost efficicient redesign of the Club Z replacement building...

Posted by michael strangeways | April 23, 2007 9:55 AM

gsolx nsvpgy umhz icso mcxjrgu gzbojcnru evtkhom

Posted by ixga udyfbzct | May 2, 2007 5:01 PM

vsri hlsaefnvt zwabmpqn uezogkajr dhkbxj lkqgubmzf rphkvwt

Posted by fgoyxzw dykptrnco | May 2, 2007 5:02 PM

it is the greatest site i have ever seen!
MOlodeLL Ho 9 He Xo4y 6bITb He}I{uBbIM!
Ja Krevetko!

Posted by marture | May 3, 2007 8:01 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).