A retail ‘sex complex’ in South Lansing, Michigan, has been shut down for operating a backroom sex club during the state’s coronavirus restrictions.
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail told the local news outlet City Pulse that, while the retail store Fantasies Unlimited in the front of the building has been closed during the current shutdown, the “men’s lounge and maze” located in the back has been open for business violating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s statewide orders.
“There’s a lot of close contact,” said Vail. “No way they are 6 feet apart.”
Carol Siemon, the Ingham County Prosecutor, ordered police to serve a cease-and-desist letter last week but the owners of the sex club continued. Police returned on Friday to shut down the business.
Local NBC News affiliate WILX reports the club announced it was opening in early May in a since-deleted Facebook post.
A sign on the door to Fantasies Unlimited (which sells pornography, lubricants, poppers and sex toys) asked all customers to practice social distancing and wear masks.
A website for the club referred to the space as Club Tabu and describes itself as a maze of “paths and hedges,” designed to be “very dark and made with walls that have a few holes in them.”
“This is an alternative club, with an emphasis on gay/bi/ts/tg,” writes the owners. “No one will ever be turned away, however, this is by no means a ‘swingers lounge.’ Although we would love to cater to every specific need and fantasy, this club is primarily focused on ‘male/trans fantasies.’ If there is a great enough need, we will designate a day for couples with bi to meet.”
City Pulse spoke to one customer, who declined to be identified, who explained the club is comprised of a large area with rooms for private encounters. The venue also features TV screens playing porn films, ‘glory holes,’ and a room with a sling.
Some on social media have called reporting the story the equivalent of ‘slut-shaming.’ But there have been dozens of stories on restaurants opening up in violation of their state’s safety guidelines and that hasn’t been called ‘food shaming.’
At this writing, the coronavirus pandemic has killed 98,426 Americans, including 5,421 deaths in Michigan so far.