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Message Board > Our Archives > Trip: Dec. 99, Jan./Feb. 00   Day 46: Atlanta, Georgia

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Old 29th February 2000, 06:02 AM
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Talking Day 46: Atlanta, Georgia

Day 46: Atlanta, Georgia

After my sex motel circuit ended in Augusta, I headed home to visit with family for a week -- no cruising for sex that week. By the time my seven days at home had arrived -- a Sunday -- I was ready to play. Atlanta beckoned, in spite of several days of bad winter weather that had left power outages in the Atlanta suburbs and some icy road conditions.

By the time I was able to start my cruising itinerary, it was about 5 pm on a Sunday -- generally speaking prime cruising time as all those men who didn't get off that weekend search for one more opportunity to make it with another guy. I headed over to the community of Sandy Springs and Inserection (6400 Roswell Road). For some time, men have been writing me very positive feedback about this bookstore/arcade so I came with high hopes.

The store is really big and well-stocked with a fine selection of toys, videos and publications. I always marvel when I see how nice adult stores can be in Atlanta, especially given recent history. Only a few years back, these businesses were run out of town by extremely anti-sex law enforcement. It occurs to me this was a temporary backlash by elements of the city who were alarmed at the obvious, non-stoppable changes coming to this once relatively minor city. The same seems to be happening now in nearby Charlotte, North Carolina, but if a city is to become a major destination for tourism and/or commerce, it must have a flourishing sex industry. Atlanta eventually gave way to the inevitability of sex and it seems to be doing well -- at least judging from the obvious investment somebody has made in the Inserection chain of stores.

The bad news, though, is that booths are increasingly secondary to the revenue streams of owners of many adult retail outlets. Patrons who want to drop tokens (or in this case, insert dollar bills), find themselves not always feeling welcomed. Inserting a steady flow of dollar bills didn't stop the creep who monitored the arcade from banging on my booth door whenever the movie halted for even a few seconds. The asshole even banged a couple times when a movie was running. He seemed to be less interested in making sure you spent money (not an unreasonable demand) than he was that you couldn't possibly relax and enjoy yourself. Let us assume that somebody actually is in a booth for the sole purpose of masturbating rather than playing through the gloryholes. Even that person can't be expected to achieve their aims if somebody is constantly yelling at them outside their thin arcade door.

The arcade is comprised of about 10 to 12 booths, all connecting, and at least 3 of them share nicely drilled gloryholes. The holes have the appearance of being drilled by management (talk about sending mixed signals!). The men hanging out in the arcade this Sunday night were mostly white and Latino, mostly ages 35 and up and not very attractive to me. Still, you couldn't complain about gloryhole hogs because the creep outside kept everybody on pins and needles.

I stayed maybe 20 minutes before deciding that nothing worth blowing was coming along and that I really didn't want to patronize this place.

It was about 6:30 pm when I parked outside Flex (76 4th Street), the one and only bathhouse in Georgia (more about this later). The parking lot was close to full so I imagined the bathhouse would be hopping. I'd visited Flex some years ago and remarked at the time how management seemed compelled to not allow sexuality to flourish in any of the public areas. This and other criticism had prompted some e-mail communication with the VP of the company that owns Flex and eventually led to my meeting the VP while in Miami Beach a few weeks prior. This particular Flex was his personal project and he told me things were improving, though the place would always be somewhat constrained for being in Georgia.

Flex is hardly a spectacular facility, but it serves its purpose: bringing horny men together to play in relative safety. The staff at the check-in counter were pleasant and even saved me money. When the guy realized I was an out-of-state visitor he suggested I purchase a temporary membership and avoid the much higher priced full membership, saving me a good deal of money. I was put on a waiting list with about 3 guys ahead of me and it took about 40 minutes to move from locker to room.

The place was definitely on the busy side. Men ranged from young and cute (maybe 5 to 9 guys would qualify) to middle-aged and buffed (maybe another 9 to 15 guys) to older and not too good looking (maybe 15 to 20 guys). A few were lounging in their rooms with doors open, exposing themselves. Leaving no room for misunderstanding about policy, management has posted a clear policy about what men can do and where. Fortunately it indicates one can be totally naked at all times, thus allowing for some exhibitionism from your room or elsewhere.

Flex is on two levels. Rooms and lockers are on the upper level which is also where you arrive, and the wet area including a nice pool is on the lower level. If it is cold outside, you might avoid the lower level which is exposed to the elements.

One nice touch to the upstairs that I suspect is very new is a room featuring gloryholes. One can enter this room (actually more like a closet), go behind the holes and then others can come in and use the hole, closing the main doorway behind them. I saw a bit of activity here, but for the most part it seemed underused.

My gripe about Flex is something I have felt about many sex businesses, not simply Flex in Atlanta: it had a fair amount of construction going on at the time of my visit. A whole section on the upper level was being re-constructed, limiting the bathrooms and overall making the place seem a bit of a mess. Now do you imagine they lowered the rate for admission during construction? Do you think there was a notice on the front door that allowed the consumer to feel fully informed that the establishment was under construction? Was there a note that 'we apologize for our mess' that businesses routinely tell their patrons if they are upgrading a property. Of course not and rarely will an adult business feel a compelling need to offer a reduction in price because you are paying for a less than complete facility.

Fortunately I was able to look beyond the dust on the floors and the lack of enough bathrooms and enjoy the men who were present. It took me about 30 minutes to have sex once I got my room. I left about 3 hours after arriving feeling very satisfied.

One can only hope that Flex will flourish and improve with time. The VP had explained to me this Flex was grandfathered into existence as a way for the city of Atlanta to avoid further litigation after unfairly closing the old Club Atlanta which was also owned by Chuck Fleck (Fleck owns the Flex chain). Unfortunately the law on the books that bans gay baths from opening in Georgia has not been addressed and one can only imagine that Fleck will not be leading any effort to repeal this law. Fortunately, the VP for this Flex takes pride in this facility and I imagine Atlanta will continue to enjoy a nice bathhouse at this address.

I headed back to my hotel room, deciding not to try my luck at Club IT which has a ridiculously vague door policy. A friend had e-mailed IT for me (not revealing my identity as Cruisemaster), asking that I be put on the list for admission and I received an invitation from Tom via e-mail to be printed and presented at the door. Then, about 48 hours later, Tom (whom I'd met once when he had Basic Plumbing which, at the time, was one of the best sexclubs in the USA) sent me a message telling me I wasn't invited. So, not certain which message to believe, I figured why even bother patronizing a place that doesn't sound especially welcoming to begin with. Recent reports indicate Club IT can be rather empty some nights so perhaps their history of capricious door polices is finally coming back to haunt them.


[This message has been edited by Keith (edited February 29, 2000).]
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