If you’ve ever read Get Out! magazine then you know what we are all about: urging New York’s gays to get off…their computers, their couches, their asses…and get out into the venues that make this the most exciting city in the world for our community. Few places embody that notion more than the East Side Club and the West Side Club—two of the city’s “social and relaxation clubs” for gay men—which shun the era of Manhunt.net and embrace the old-school notion of finding a trick face to face. While the clubs are touted as a place to unwind, grab a shower, relax in a sauna or watch a movie “with other like-minded gentlemen,” it is clear the only thing that’s on these men’s minds is having a good time.
And, we’re down with that. Whether you’re the hook-up type or not, we know you have an Adam4Adam account, or you have perused the “men seeking men” section of Craigslist, or at least have added a hot stranger (probably shirtless in his profile picture) on Facebook, all with at least a sliver of hope that, one day, it will lead to you getting down and dirty.
Point being, the East and West Side Clubs take the chance out of the equation. There is something to be said about walking into a place where you know what you’re getting, and you get what you want. Open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, the clubs offer reasonable rates for a locker ($17 weekday/$20 weekend per visit) or private room (starting at $20/$22) and complete access to roam around in a towel (or more, or less) with other guys who are looking for what you’ve got to offer. A steam? A movie? Something more?
We gave the clubs an impromptu visit and were pleasantly surprised with the experience: They were spotlessly clean, with a towel and other necessities provided with the cover charge; the staff, who didn’t know we were from this magazine, were friendly but discreet and escorted us to our rooms; and the other visitors, from the twinks to the bears and the Chelsea boys in between, readily flaunted their goods and desires without a hint of pretentiousness or timidity. If you’re used to endless “What are you looking for?”s to guys 5.7 miles away on Grindr, it is refreshing when the only question you need to ask is “Your room or mine?”
East Side Club
227 E. 56th St. Manhattan
West Side Club
27 W. 20th St. Manhattan