It turns out that Spa Castle (yes, that Spa Castle—the city’s largest unisex spa, which is in possession of 21 pools, including one heated wading pool with a swim-up bar that slings rum and Chambord cocktails, opens at 6am, spans 100,000-square-feet, and hosts 300,000 annual visitors) is a place where many people are having a lot of public sex, according to the New York Post. And if the Post says it, you know it must be true.
After two recent visits to the $3.6 million facility–opened in 2005 by developer Steve Chon on 11th Avenue in College Point, Queens–the Post found “patrons in their birthday suits, groping each other, making out and having what appeared to be underwater sex.”
And that is only one of what appears to be countless sitings of lots of naked, grabbing, sex-having behavior, which happens at all hours of the day and in front of children, according to these reports, and an employee who spoke anonymously to the newspaper.
“We open at 6am, and lots of strippers come here after work to unwind,” said that employee. “There’s lots of skinny-dipping and the girls are making out with each other and partying. It looks like a porn movie.” This employee added that there is “a big problem with customers having sex in the pools, and the management doesn’t know how to handle it.”
Apparently New Yorkers’ penchant for watching a lot of lesbian porn on the Internet is not enough; we must also re-enact said porn in real life. The Post described a crowd that ranged from “toddlers to octogenarians,” on a recent visit, and explained that, even in this mixed company, “tattooed twenty-somethings” were having sex-capades (breast fondling, and, as far as they could tell, jerking off) in the hot wading pool, as house music pulsed, and plenty of booze was an arm’s reach away.
What’s the big deal, right? Well, for starters, public sex, per city law, is illegal. “No establishment shall make facilities available for the purpose of sexual activities,” says the code and, furthermore, “such facilities constitute a threat to the public health.” [Ed. note: Thanks, Obama]
An official at the Health Department said that the spa has been inspected repeatedly to assess compliance with city code, and that “the department does not hesitate to take corrective actions, including closures, when an establishment is found breaking the law.”
After the Post itself made inquiries with the spa, the Health Department did indeed shut it down last Tuesday. Purportedly, it was the result of an investigation into a “near drowning” of a 6-year-old on February 19. In the meantime, Spa Castle has submitted to the city a new safety plan.
What remains to be seen is if this safety plan does anything to address further reports like this (beware, this is pretty gross):
“I had to stop going on Saturdays because it was like a full-on, urban high-school orgy in the outdoor pool upstairs,” according to Whitney Ward, a 42-year-old photographer from Manhattan. “Under the water mushroom… in the outdoor pool I would would see lots of girls sitting on guys’ laps and they would be bobbing up and down. It was pretty obvious they were having sex. I’ve also seen guys rubbing one out the wet way,
Another man, David Chan, 46, added, “Now I have this picture in my mind of other men’s sperm swimming around in the hot tubs. This is supposed to be a place where you can bring your family.”
Indeed, when Chon opened Spa Castle, he envisioned it as a family friendly place—but it’s hard to say exactly what type of family he had in mind.