Article Title:Sex Venue: Auckland's Westside
Category:Entertainment
Author or Credit:John Curry
Published on:6th January 2006 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
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Story ID:1068
Text:'Memories, like the corners of the Westside, many misty moisty memories of the way it was ...' (with apologies to Barbra). Ah, yes, I (and many others I suspect) remember it well! Well, maybe not 'well' but remember it we do. The fear of tinea! Of crabs! The crap teevee reception! The attitude - "Thank your lucky stars we're doing this for you. Now pay us your dough and be grateful." And of course we were grateful as long as the only competition was the spooky old Gladiator Health Club (just up from the Town Hall) or the tragic but intimate Jeunesse d'Oree (upstairs in Mt Albert). And all the different blokes who worked on the counter! Particularly Neville... Mmmm, those were the days and nights and weekends... So, its glory days are long over. The last time the Westside was really busy was during the America's Cup races. Afternoon visitors from overseas had obviously told their wives or partners they were off to watch those boring boats but the only water they saw bubbling that day was in the jacuzzi at the Westside. And sometimes they even brought their partners with them. Aww, wasn't that romantic? But that jacuzzi still sees romantic encounters even now, though I confess that putting even my big toe into a sauna jaccuzi is one of the few things I've never done at those places. The Westside steam sauna is dark - even when someone opens the door to enter little light is cast upon matters inside. Fine if you like groping in the dark but I enjoy seeing at least an outline of whoever I'm salivating over. The dry sauna, however, is a charmer - intimate and comfy and if you sit in the right position you can see through the window in the door and watch who is going and coming in the showers. Why, management has even put a decent knob on the inside of the dry sauna door after all these years! The main porn telly room is about as sexy as a mousetrap with month-old cheese; even your hardened sleaze merchant might find it droop-making. The secondary porn telly room is tiny but liable to see more action than its bigger, ghastlier brother. The cubicles, however, are probably the Westside's best feature. The beds are at a comfortable height; there is a good amount of room beside most of them (so more than two is not a problem. Contrast this with the cramped cubicles at the Wingate where the beds are often too high as well). There's a small sling room, a general orgy room, and a couple of small glory hole rooms. The showers are good as long as the washing machine isn't going, when the water pressure droops as badly as my dick on blood pressure medecine. There are two toilets and a lounge area with that afore-mentioned crap telly reception. You pay for your drinks which include alcohol - spirits, beer and wine. Nothing comes free at the Westside. There's even a snack machine, but watch out, sometimes it gives change, sometimes not. You get a condom and lube with your towel, the locker room is functional and there are safe sex posters up and about. There is also a small area with some muscle development type equipment but (as at the Wingate) I doubt if anyone ever uses it. No, I lie, I have seen it used but only because I've been going to these places for a hundred years. I first visited the Westside (if that was its name back then) when it was in a little building near where the Sky Tower is now the only thrusting penis on the block. Then in the early '80s the sauna moved around the corner to the site the new law courts now occupy. This was the Westside at its most luxurious, at its height, why there was even an indoor swimming pool! In the mid to late '80s it moved to the first of its two Anzac Ave addresses - it's now at 45 Anzac Ave, above a travel agency and the Out bookshop. A couple of years back the Westside was managed for a while by an unhappy, juvenile chap whose mood swings - combined with the growth of internet dating and the decline of inner city parking - nearly brought the place to its knees. But it soldiers on, it's longevity and location mean it still gets its fair share of out-of-towners, both indigenous and overseas. And of course if you're downtown its your local, going off seven days a week, midday to 6am. Afternoons and early evenings are your best bet if you're looking for some fairly instant gratification. Costs $13 if you're a member - membership is free and all you do is give them your initials, they give you a card and after nine visits you get a freebie. Enjoy! John Curry - 6th January 2006    
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