Bangkok Police Arrest 62 In Gay ‘Chemsex’ Party

(stock photo)

Wow, and we thought the U.S. gays went a bit wild here and there during the pandemic…

Via The Strait Times:

Thai police said on Sunday (May 23) that they had arrested 62 men for breaching coronavirus restrictions in a raid on a gay “chemsex” party, the country’s largest such crackdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The men were arrested on Saturday night at Faros Sauna 2, where police also found drugs, needles and used condoms, said Police Colonel Ekapop Tanprayoon, superintendent of Bangkok’s Wang Thong Lang District police station.

“(In the past) we have reprimanded people for gathering to drink at home,” Mr Ekapop said. “But under the current circumstances, there shouldn’t be so many people in such a crowded area.”

The establishment reportedly boasts 50 bedrooms, a swimming pool, and a karaoke space.

News Round-Up: December 8, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in as Supreme Court Justice with Donald Trump & Justice Clarence Thomas (public domain)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Gaily Grind: Guests at the Brussels “daddy orgy” where an anti-LGBT Hungarian politician was caught breaking lockdown rules thought the police who arrived to break up the party were part of the sex party, the organizer claims.

Fox19Now: Wyoming police are investigating after someone allegedly stole an LGBTQ Pride flag from a front porch and burned it. The Fitzpatric family says the vandal came right up to their front porch and even tripped on their Christmas decorations in order to snatch it up.

New York Times: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a long-shot request from Pennsylvania Republicans to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state, delivering an unmistakable rebuke to President Trump in the forum on which he had pinned his hopes. The Supreme Court’s order was all of one sentence, and there were no noted dissents.

Pink News: Donald Trump spends dying days of presidency legalizing discrimination dressed up as ‘religious freedom.’

Edge Media: An 18-year-old suspect accused of murdering a 15-year-old boy lured him into the woods in Cheshire, England, with a promise of sex before clubbing him to death a year ago, the prosecution in the case charged in court.

AZ Central: The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, upholding a lower court’s finding that there was no misconduct, fraud or illegal voting in the general election. Trevor Wilkinson, a student at Clyde High School in Texas, was suspended after he wore nail polish to school. Now, over 125K people have signed a petition in support of his freedom of expression.

Instinct Magazine: Despite lowering before 2019, HIV infections are on the rise again.

Christmas Music: From Annie Lennox’s holiday release, A Christmas Cornucopia. As Slant Magazine wrote in 2010: “’God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ marries the traditional with the modern in a daring and ultimately very successful way. Lennox’s commitment to the material is palpable.”

Zoom Does Not Want You ‘Zooming’ Around Naked On Its Video Platform

(stock images via Depositphotos)

The folks at Zoom, the video conferencing app, saw the number of daily users surge to more than 200 million during the month of March from a previous high of 10 million. The jump is mainly due to people self-isolating thanks to the ongoing coronavirus health threat.

Originally designed with business meetings and conference calls in mind, users are now utilizing Zoom for virtual birthday parties, Easter celebrations, dance classes, teachers engaging with students, and yes, even sex parties.

Rolling Stone did a deep dive into how some organizers of actual sex parties have moved into the digital space as a way to help individuals not only cope with fears of what’s going on in the world, but also as a way to stave off boredom.

However, Zoom does not want people using its app for sexual purposes.

“Zoom‘s user policies explicitly prohibit any obscene, indecent, illegal, or violent activity or content on the platform,” a spokesperson for the platform told Rolling Stone.

The spokesperson warned that the company would take a “number of actions” against those found using the app for “any activity that is harmful, obscene, or indecent, particularly as would be understood in the context of business usage,” including “displays of nudity, violence, pornography, [and] sexually explicit material.”

“We encourage users to report suspected violations of our policies, and we use a mix of tools, including machine learning, to proactively identify accounts that may be in violation,” added the spokesperson.

What’s not clear, exactly, is what “machine learning” tools are or how an algorithm would pick up on nudity or sex acts during a video chat. And the company’s privacy guidelines note that “video, audio chat content is not stored” on the platform “unless a meeting is recorded by the host.” That would seem to make monitoring content pretty difficult.

A gay man in Brooklyn (using the pseudonym Oscar Buzz) told Rolling Stone he’s been organizing underground sex parties for gay and trans men for years but started his Zoom events when the quarantine began.

Buzz describes his near-nightly Zoom sex parties as “a way to connect with the community, make sure they’re ok, and make sure they feel good about themselves.” He adds that he doesn’t charge for organizing his online parties.

Buzz, who asked Rolling Stone not to print the name of his events for fear of being kicked off Zoom, says the company has to know exhibitionists have been using the app for a long time.

“I think this is another instance of a business that wants to pretend it doesn’t do these things, but of course it does,” said Buzz.

As a nod to Zoom’s “corporate tool” messaging, he recently added a themed “business suit” party to his line up where participants pretended they were part of a mock business meeting – until the clothes came off.

Still, Buzz and other online sex party organizers do have concerns about the platform given the news that Zoom is being investigated for possible lapses in security practices.

For example, internet trolls have learned to exploit a screen-sharing feature in order to “Zoombomb” actual meetings. Some of these instances have included white supremacists hijacking a webinar on anti-Semitism to spread messages of hate.

There’s also a fear of not knowing who might be recording the virtual sex parties. Even though there’s a built-in feature that notifies participants when they’re being recorded, there’s no way of stopping someone from surreptitiously whipping out their phone to record when someone whips it out.

In any case, folks are going to find a way to make a “love connection” (wink wink) somehow, even during an epidemic.

As advice guy Dan Savage tweeted today, “Seems like Zoom could maybe turn a blind eye to consenting adults organizing safe online sex parties on their platform. How hard would that be?”