Police in Thailand raided a gay sauna in Bangkok last Saturday and arrested 62 men on the suspicion of conducting an illegal sex and drugs party. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, 30 officers in the Wang Thongland district of the city took part in the raid after neighbors tipped off authorities to the possible illegal gay get-together at the Faros 2 sauna. Thailand has experienced an upsurge in cases of the virus in recent weeks, and bars, gyms, massage parlors, and other establishments were closed until the end of May, although restaurants have been allowed to remain open at a reduced 25 percent capacity.
After being tipped off to the possible group sex and drugs gala at the sauna, police officers donned personal protective equipment before they entered the establishment. Inside, they reportedly found staff and partygoers grouped together and drinking in violation of current lockdown rules. Police observed soiled condoms, drugs, two syringes, one packet of crystal methamphetamine, and one meth pill in the search of the premises. Police also discovered some male guests engaging in various sex acts until they were ordered to stop and withdraw by police.
The guests and staff were taken to police headquarters for questioning and the administration of urine drug tests. 30 men had detectable traces of drugs in their system, while only 14 admitted to using drugs that evening. It was not clear what specific drugs were found in their urine. The owner of Faros 2, Jinna Kritjinda, 63, was reportedly tight-lipped and admitted nothing under police questioning.
Chemsex, the practice of having sex while under the influence of certain drugs like crystal meth, has reportedly become more popular among the Thai LGBTQ+ community since the onset of lockdowns. Beam, 34, a local porn actor, told Reuters he used to go so chemsex parties about once a month before the pandemic, but admitted the parties have become far more frequent since the lockdowns. Beam described the shutdown as “a golden opportunity for partygoers” who have been shut indoors and isolated, but who still crave human interaction and sexual activity. One activist, Nikorn Chimkong, president of Bangkok Rainbow Organization, told Reuters chemsex was “a new normal” since the pandemic.
The men arrested now face up to two years in prison and a fine of roughly $1,275 if convicted on all charges. They were charged under an emergency decree that limits freedom of assembly and gathering in order to combat the spreading virus. While the signage in the picture accompanying this story shows the name of the spa as Farose, it is spelled in its social media and elsewhere as Faros.