Is Barack Obama Gay? Part III: What’s It Like Inside A Chicago Gay Bathhouse Like the One Obama Used to Frequent As A State Senator?
WARNING: This Video Might Not Be Appropriate to Watch At Work The video above is a rare look inside a real Chicago gay bathhouse (located on Halsted and named Steamworks) that contains the bare backsides of several jockstrap-clad performers (employees of Sidetrack the Video Bar named Jason Scott Gall, Eddie Budz, Kyle Krytemeyer, and Jimmy Kays moonlighting as Jane Russell and friends from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ “Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love?” dance number). There’s no frontal nudity, but several clear shots (from behind, or of behinds, as the caboose may be) of Jason, Eddie, and Kyle scampering through the bathhouse in just jocks or precariously-wrapped towels — as well as a truly gruesome makeup job on cross-dressing Jimmy Kays (whose alter-ego in Boystown is “Tiffany Chanel” and who behaves in the video much the way I’d imagine Barack Obama behaved himself when frequenting the Andersonville bathhouse Man’s Country back in the 1990s). There’s nothing sexual in the video, but I don’t think it would be appropriate to play if you are reading this at work (unless you happen to work at either Steamworks or Sidetrack in which case, seriously, put some clothes on for a change because it’s December outside).
Ever since investigative journalist Wayne Madsen wrote about Barack Obama frequenting gay Chicago bathhouse Man’s Country in the Andersonville neighborhood back when he was an Illinois state senator in the 1990s and early 2000s, I’ve seen comments from straight readers wondering what it’s really like inside a bathhouse — but for obvious reasons, bathhouses (here in Chicago at least) frown on allowing any sort of photography or video posting due to the expectations of anonymity possessed by all the men (such as the current President of the United States, Barack Obama) who are members of these “private clubs” (which are really just places to club other guys’ privates).
The above video (which I’ll say again is probably NSFW (not safe for work) due to glimpses of bare, jock-strapped backsides) is the only one I’ve ever seen that gives an outsider a decent idea of what it’s really like in a bathhouse; it was produced by Sidetrack’s staff in their in-house editing room and has been played in the bar several times already on their giant video screens (compelling delight, or abject horror, as the case (or viewer) may be with many things projected much larger than their actual size).
In November of 2011, the agenda-driven media decided to wage all-out-war on several of the contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination: the website Politico.com cited anonymous sources in its zealotry to use insinuations about Herman Cain’s past sexcapades to derail his political campaign; “journalists” knowingly repeated long-refuted lies about Newt Gingrich’s marital troubles (please note, once and for all, that it’s NOT true that Gingrich divorced his wife while she was dying of cancer and that her ghost still hates him, as his former wife is still very much alive and thinks enough of him to still take part as a non-ghost in holiday celebrations with him and the rest of the family, who are also not ghosts); and the agenda-driven media has enthusiastically encouraged the rumor that Michele Bachmann’s husband is gay (something the Gaystapo — that faction of the Left comprised of gay writers, comedians, and talking heads — has dedicated itself to repeating to shoot Bachmann down in the polls).
Hence, it’s FINALLY not only professional but, I’d say, required for everyone to talk openly and frequently about Barack Obama being gay, Barack Obama having ongoing sexcapades with men even after grooming his beard Michelle Antoinette for the down-low charade they’ve presented for twenty odd years, and Barack Obama engaging in all manner of shenanigans in a Chicago gay bathhouse similar (though not as chrome-y and well-lit) as the one featured in the video above.
Isn’t the “Tolerant Left” always insisting that everyone in this country needs to think, act, behave, and do exactly as they do, because they’re always right while conservatives are always wrong?
Well, if it’s acceptable to use anonymous sources to write about sexcapades Herman Cain allegedly engaged in decades ago…
and if it’s journalistic practice to waste ink speculating about what really went on in Newt Gingrich’s marriage…
and if it’s so much fun to talk about Michele Bachmann’s husband supposedly being gay…
then WHY NOT just answer every question anyone on Earth has ever had about what Barack Obama more likely than not (according to the standards set by journalists above) got up to during frequent visits to the Chicago gay bathhouse Man’s Country?
Read below the fold for a thorough tour of an actual Chicago gay bathhouse with screengrabs (no nudity, I promise) of what the inside really looks like…so you can pretend to be a member of the agenda-driven media for a while and accept as hard, indefatigable truth everything anonymous sources have ever said about what the current President of the United States did with nude or towel and/or jockstrap-clad men before he ran for the United States Senate and the Presidency.
The bathhouse featured in the video above is called Steamworks, which is located right in the heart of Boystown on Halsted. You’d never know what this building was used for if you weren’t already aware it existed and were clued-in on what happened in there. Like most bathhouses, there’s no sign advertising what’s going on. Steamworks only has its address featured prominently on the building with a discrete glass door leading inside, with another door a few feet south reserved for the exit. Guys come and go and do all sorts of other things relatively incognito on purpose.
Before I get any further into what it’s like inside a bathhouse, I want to correct those of you who are quick to outright condemn this place because Steamworks actually does a lot of good in the community and the people who manage it and work there are incredibly terrific people (for real, so hear me out and suspend judgment for just a paragraph or two while keeping in mind this is not an endorsement, but an explanation, of what goes on in a bathhouse). Whenever there is any sort of charity drive, special event, parade, or other community activity in Boystown, Steamworks (as a business and as individual staffers) really steps up to the plate. Hell, sometimes they even donate the plates, and the silverware, whatever’s needed. Steamworks also hosts free HIV testing almost every day and is a place where more than a few guys who’ve been too drunk to drive have crashed after a long night drinking in Boystown (so that they didn’t, instead, kill someone in car wrecks by thinking they were safe to drive home). So, a 24/7/365 bathhouse like Steamworks has carved a unique niche and serves a definable purpose in a gay neighborhood like Boystown — whether a lot of people like it or not, or condemn it for being the best it can be for the thing that it is.
Do guys have anonymous sex there? Yes. Are anonymous hookups in the year 2011 a particularly safe, sane, or smart thing to do? No. Will gay guys ever stop having anonymous sex and behaving like “lost boys” or “misfit toys” who refuse to grow up or take responsibility for their promiscuity? Again with the no. But, Steamworks (and relatively responsible bathhouses like it) attempt to create a safe atmosphere for the things to happen that would happen anyway — somewhere — if Steamworks didn’t exist (but at least with Steamworks, there’s free condoms everywhere and the guys are doing these things indoors in a drug-free environment where they won’t be arrested).
To be blunt, the guys who spend a lot of time at Steamworks would be engaging in this activity in the alleys behind the bars, in parks, or in parked cars on the street if Steamworks didn’t exist. Since there are free condoms readily available every few feet inside Steamworks (as prominently displayed as banks of slots in a casino), I have to imagine a good percentage of the guys frequenting this bathhouse are having safer sex than they would if there wasn’t such a place and they were cruising the lakefront or abandoned buildings instead (which is what guys did in cities, unlike Chicago, that shut down their bathhouses in the early 80s when AIDS was discovered…which actually INCREASED infection rates in those cities while Chicago’s bathhouses were kept open but forced to engage in non-stop safer sex education efforts).
The “gay community” has waged a solid PR effort in the last decade or so that attempts to ignore the seedier side of gay life, but it really and truly exists to this day — and the current President of the United States was indeed very much a part of this bathhouse subculture when he still lived in Chicago and was a little-known state senator. Before all the Hopeychange, he was just “Bathhouse Barry”, trolling Man’s Country in Andersonville on Wednesday nights.
Many more anonymous sources have attested to this than the number of women who accused Herman Cain of sexual shenanigans before Politico.com reported those rumors and innuendo as concrete fact…so it’s a historic and unprecedented first for Americans to have a man in the Oval Office who spent a good portion of his pre-presidency soaking in oversized hot tubs with other nude, sexual adventurers here in Chicago.
The bathhouse Barack Obama frequented in the late 1990s and early 2000s is called Man’s Country, which is located not in Boystown but in a neighborhood about fifteen minutes in a cab to the north called Andersonville. Man’s Country is much older and much less well-maintained than Steamworks; unfortunately, there’s no video footage of what it’s like in there, but there are apparently a few rooms that guys in Boystown have started referring to as “the Presidential Sweet” (sic) or the “Obama Orifice” (a riff on the “Oval Office”, as older gay guys who talk about this stuff are incredibly into puns and alliteration) because the rumor is that Obama requested THAT particular room whenever he’d come to the bathhouse. This is just fantasy, however, since you can’t really request a particular room upon checkin (it’s not The Drake Hotel, folks) and it’s doubtful Obama would remember what room he got each time he came to Man’s Country (if he even got a room at all) since he has admitted to heavily abusing narcotics during the period of his life when these sexcapades were rampant (see the accounts of his drug use in his book, “Dreams of My Father”) and he was frequenting the baths.
What’s it like in a Chicago gay bathhouse?
When you enter a bathhouse like Man’s Country or Steamworks, you must present your photo ID and your membership card. Steamworks has three choices for membership: a one month, a six month, or a year’s membership (all non-renewing). The membership fee is nominal ($5 for one month and $20 for six months). Man’s Country has a lifetime membership that’s $10 and never expires (which is the type of membership that Barack Obama still has, to this day, at Man’s Country).
After you’ve signed up for a membership, you choose whether you want to rent a locker or a room for the 8-hour admission you have to the bathhouse (though there’s a bathhouse near O’Hare called King’s Spa that has a 24-hour admission fee, with no membership charge, and pretends to be a legitimate spa because it has an area where women can soak in a tub together too). Women are not allowed entry into bathhouses, FYI (and cross-dressers are not allowed in either, save for special occasions like Jimmy Kays dressing up as “Tiffany Chanel” for the purpose of filming the video above). The only way female-to-male transgender people are allowed in is if they have legally had their gender changed on their photo ID (and if so, it doesn’t matter if they are anatomically male or not, so long as they have “M” checked on their state-issued license or passport). Chicago has a surprisingly large number of F-M TGs (Female to Male TransGenders) who hang out at the baths for some reason.
Locker areas are just like the one seen in the video, where Jason, Eddie, and Kyle are stripping down to their jocks before wrapping up in towels. The point of the locker is to store all of your clothes while you walk around the bathhouse in a towel, a jock, underwear, or nude. You’re not allowed to walk around wearing street clothes (someone, usually elderly, will literally appear out of nowhere to yell at you if you do), but if there’s a big gym area like the one at Steamworks you can get away walking around in shorts and a tee shirt if you want. Almost no one walks around flat-out nude, though, which is interesting, seeing as how it’s a bathhouse and not the Art Institute or whatever.
That’s the biggest misconception about bathhouses that straight people seem to have: they think everyone inside is nude, when they’re only totally naked in the group shower areas or in the hot tub. The “wet area” part of Steamworks also has a dry sauna and a steam maze (a giant steam room that is bigger than anything you can probably imagine, which is kept dark, with twists and turns of tiled-walls that lead to little nooks and crannies where people can hide) and guys are towel-clad almost always in there for some strange reason. It’s hilarious how modesty weaves in and out of this place in the oddest ways.
Using the same journalistic practices and standards that Politico.com employed in reporting on Cain, Gingrich, and Bachmann, anonymous sources (whose accounts must be taken as rock hard fact under these equal opportunity journalistic standards) here in Chicago have long held that Barack Obama enjoyed the “wet area” at Man’s Country more than any other part of the bathhouse; this is where Obama found older, white men who would perform oral sex on the now-presidential penis. Since Gloria Allred encouraged Sharon Bialek to talk openly about “genitals” during a November press conference where Bialek accused Cain of sexcapades, it is now not only appropriate but seemingly necessary to use the term “now-presidential penis” to describe the (according to anonymous Chicago sources who are as believable as anyone who has ever accused a Republican of anything) small-to-average-sized genitals (hat tip to Gloria Allred) belonging to the current President of the United States back when he was a frequent visitor to Chicago gay bathhouse Man’s Country.
According to anonymous sources (who are nonetheless unimpeachable per Politico.com’s precedent), Barack Obama would only allow older white men to peform oral sex on his now-presidential penis, but Obama would never reciprocate any activity with them; word is, he enjoyed the power trip, more than anything, of having older white men on their knees before him, doing this, while he sat back and laughed at them for being so submissive.
When it came to actually having relationships with men, Barack Obama has proven to have a totally different type of guy that he goes for: he likes dark-skinned men like Reggie Love (his longtime “bodyman”) or Pakistani guys like Kal Penn (his mysterious “White House Assistant Director of Something or Another That Was Never A Position Until It Was Serendipitously Created Out of the Blue For Kal Penn Vis-A-Vis Hope and Change) but seems able to settle for really dark-haired Mediterranean types like Nick Colvin.
Muslims have a saying that little boys are for sex and women are for making children; somewhere in his mysterious past, Barack Obama seems to have decided that older white men are for fellatio and dark-skinned younger guys are for romance (while beards are for political expediency). With closeted black gay men on the down-low, anything and everything goes provided you don’t ever get caught (especially when they seek out a private environment like Man’s Country bathhouse where they can get up to all manner of man-on-man sexcapades with relatively little chance of being outed by any of their fellow maze-scamperers).
If you watch the video above, when you see Jimmy Kays chase the other Sidetrack employees around Steamworks in their jockstraps, trying to grab the towels and strip them bare, you should easily be able to imagine Barack Obama doing the same sort of thing back in the 1990s and early 2000s (possibly even while “Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love” was piped over Man’s Country’s speakers on a random Showtunes Night at the bathhouse).
Admit it: even if you’re someone who insists “just because the agenda-driven media quotes anonymous sources and uses sexcapades from years ago to attack Republicans politically doesn’t mean I should ever talk out loud about the fact that Barack Obama is a closeted gay man who frequented bathhouses” you have to admit it’s VERY EASY to imagine Obama behaving this way. Hell, it’s not that much of a stretch to picture him dolling himself up the way Kays did, in some sort of weird Jane Russell impersonation (for no good reason in particular).
In the video, you see Jimmy Kays chase the other guys down hallways and in and out of little rooms. The top two floors of Steamworks are devoted to these rooms — which are the other option, for those who chose not to rent a locker for their play time at the bathhouse. The rooms are very small, with just enough room to stand up in and a little cot built into one side (usually with a giant full length mirror on the other wall, where guys like Barack Obama could watch themselves having sex with other guys at the bathhouse). Under the cot, there’s a lockbox where you can store your clothes. Some of the rooms are more deluxe (“presidential” might be a Politico.com-inspired way of putting it) than others, with a few featuring all manner of sex swing you can imagine.
According to anonymous sources in Chicago, when Obama frequented Man’s Country he was much too cheap to splurge for rooms like this (which cost $40-60 a night at Steamworks). When Larry Sinclair writes and talks about the two nights he spent with Barack Obama back in 1999, Sinclair insists Obama avoided paying for anything, claiming he “made nothing” as an elected official in Springfield. Word on the street is that Barack Obama only rented lockers at Man’s Country, so if he did spend any times in the rooms it was when other guys rented them and he “hung out” doing whatever it is he did while in there. Too bad Gloria Allred’s not here, since I bet she could invent or imagine these sorts of things better than I ever could.
Some bathhouses in warmer climates have outdoor pools where guys like Barack Obama could go skinny-dipping or whatever, but Chicago has too much brutal cold for that. There’s, randomly, an ice cream machine and all sorts of snack machines (including an automat-style sandwich, burrito, and Hot Pockets dispenser next to a microwave) on the ground floor at Steamworks. It’s not clear if Man’s Country has treats like this too, but with all the shag carpeting in that place, if you’re hungry and determined enough, I have little doubt you’d find something edible long-forgotten somewhere in that maze. Steamworks has a fireplace nook, with seating for guys to sit around watching CNN if they want as well. For some reason, that TV is always playing CNN, which is intriguing — never MSNBC, certainly not FOX, just CNN: the network of choice for bathhouse background info-tainment.
For those wondering, Steamworks is actually the most (usually) spotlessly-clean establishment in all of Boystown. Inside, it’s like what I was always told Disney World would be like, where phantom cleaners haunt the halls picking up discarded towels and bits of garbage before you’d ever notice it. The cleaning staff at Steamworks is truly remarkable considering the amount of mess that guys in there must make (once again, if only Gloria Allred were here to hold a press conference and begin her imaginings on this); they are forever pushing carts full of dirty towels, changing the linen in the rooms, mopping up you-don’t-want-to-know-what, and polishing, waxing, and scouring. Man’s Country is filthy inside, but it’s much cheaper than Steamworks (which is probably one of the reasons Barack Obama frequented that place and not Steamworks, aside from the fact that the kinds of down-on-their-luck guys at Man’s Country would be much less likely to have any idea who he was at the time or any desire to gossip if they did recognize him).
As noted earlier, one of the secrets of Boystown is that the nicest people who work in the bar/entertainment/scantilly-clad industry here are found exclusively in places like Steamworks or the male strip club the Lucky Horseshoe (where every go-go boy has a heart of gold, despite a few rocks in his head, like an all-male remake of Burlesque). For some reason, the people who work in the two places on the Halsted strip that most people look down upon are the ones who are the nicest human beings to ever deal with in any capacity (and, yet again, places like Steamworks or “the Shoe” are FOREVER the first ones to stand up, donate, and get involved with whatever cause needs help that day…despite being the shunned outcasts of Boystown). This is random information, I know, but I guess it’s because there’s absolutely no attitude at places like Steamworks or the Shoe. There’s no pretension. There’s no one trying to look or act cool or put on airs. This is 100% because the places are dives and are seedy by nature…so if you are there, you sure as heck can’t judge anyone else who is there, since they’ll judge you right back for being there your damn self.
This should answer a lot of the questions about why people won’t go on record with their real names and talk about Barack Obama frequenting the gay bathhouse Man’s Country in Boystown. Aside from most of these people being terrified of having their lives ruined (the way Larry Sinclair’s life was ruined) for speaking openly about things they saw Obama do, guys who remember Obama in the bathhouse would have to admit THEY, too, were in the bathhouse. The older guys who were peforming oral sex on Obama back then are now most likely all dead, and the ones who were younger in the 1990s and early 2000s are most likely well-established in their careers now (or married with beards of their own like Michelle Antoinette). Going on record as a bathhouse regular from back in the day would be career suicide for people who may also be realistically afraid of being murdered for talking about any of this stuff.
They sure will talk off the record though, and they are surprisingly easy to find. Just avoid the flashy, glass and chrome bars like Scarlet, MiniBar, Elixir, Sidetrack the Video Bar, Spin, and the like…and hang out at Little Jim’s, Buck’s, Cell Block, Touche, or the Lucky Horseshoe.
Start going to places like this in Chicago — the seedier, cheaper, hole-in-the-wall, depressingly-decorated, rundown out of the way gay bars — and time your visits so you’re there an hour and a half before closing. You will meet the real hard-core drunks that way, the guys who have been regulars at these places for twenty or thirty years. Tip the bartenders really well and eventually you’ll get introduced to the “characters”, the ones who have haunted the place since the 80s (or even the 70s at some of these beer joints). Having the bartenders introduce you is key: it’s the only way you will be really trusted.
Never ask about Barack Obama because you will not get the truth, ever, that way. These guys won’t talk unless THEY decide to give you the low-down on our down-low President. But once you’re in the inner circle of a dive-bar, hearing tales from the late 1990s and early 2000s from the guys who saw what went down at Man’s Country, you’ll be privy to the sort of things Larry Sinclair described in his book and investigative reporters like Wayne Madsen wrote about before.
Many years from now, after Barack Obama has passed on from old age in the distant future, ALL of this stuff is going to come out the same way it always does with closeted gay male celebrities. It’s just like what happened with Rock Hudson, Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Merv Griffin, and Liberace. It’s the same thing that’s going to happen with Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Robin Williams, Zac Efron, Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor Lautner, Lindsay Graham, Mark Kirk, Aaron Schock, and Al Gore too (yes…that’s right…Al Gore, in case you were wondering the REAL reason Tipper finally divorced him out of the blue) if these guys don’t decide to come out of the closet while they are still alive. They will all, to a queen, be outed after they’ve passed away.
That’s when guys like the older drunks in Boystown will feel brave enough to no longer be anonymous and will willingly speak openly on the record to reporters about the Secret Bathhouse Sexcapades of Barack Obama. They’ll write books. No doubt there will be a TV movie. I bet it will star Will Smith (who, let’s just say, won’t have to do all that much research into playing a down-low gay man in a pretend marriage himself).
Maybe if we’re lucky it will all be just as entertaining as the Steamworks tour set to Jane Russell showtunes Jimmy Kays and the Sidetrack boys filmed for your info-tainment.
Here’s the original video from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” that they parodied, in case you have no idea why they did the things they did in the shots and video above:
As this has been a decidedly frank and blunt tour of the bathhouse subculture and Barack Obama’s time soaking in it, feel free to ask any questions you may have about bathhouses in comments below. This may be your only chance ever do to so, and I’ll answer every last one of them (but please try to watch the language and not be too vulgar). I’ve debated about writing this article for a while now, since I’m sure its frankness will offend someone out there, but I think it’s good to have something like this out there for anyone who’s had these questions and has always wanted to know what it was like in Man’s Country and other bathhouses back when Barack Obama
slept around slept (or didn’t do much sleeping at all) there. Pity the historian in the distant future who has to come up with a nonthreatening and PC way to inscribe the plaque for this…a far cry from presidential tours of the past featuring quaint little inns boasting “George Washington Slept Here”, that’s for sure.
© 2011, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.
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