Tampa Gay Bars, Baths & Male Strip Clubs Welcome the (Closeted) GOP

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Friday August 24, 2012

Businesses all over Tampa, Fla., are gearing up for the Republican National Convention, which will be held during the week of August 27, by offering discounts on their products. Tampa is known for its strip joints, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when XXX clubs also offer Mitt Romney, his running mate Paul Ryan and thousands of other conservatives deals for their services.

The Daily Bleach recently rounded up 10 of the "raunchiest stripper ads welcoming Romney and the Republicans to Tampa" and while most were from straight strip clubs, some came from gay clubs. The website notes that in the weeks leading up the RNC "a slew of x-rated websites have announced the tawdry, hardcore erotic services they're offering exclusively to convention attendees." The services include VIP cabanas, Sarah Palin impersonators and free gay steam rooms.

Dwight's Erotique Cabaret's ad says the establishment, "welcomes the RNC to Tampa with a heartfelt tribute to America's military muscle" and includes a "champagne salute to Colonel Senator Lindsay Olin Graham" - a Republican Senator from South Carolina who has been rumored to be gay as he has never married. The ad also features a buff hunky dude wearing skimpy camouflage underwear.

Another ad on the list comes from Ybor Gay Bathhouse and has "ALL RNC DELEGATES GET IN FREE" in the middle of the image. Next to the text is the RNC's official logo, which appears just under an image of a young man coming out of a pool with a big grin. The ad also says "the new steam room & our all new dark room - 'a shot in the dark,'" suggesting Republicans try out their luck in club's pitch-black sex room.

The list also features GOProud's HomoCon 2012 at the Honey Pot, a gay nightclub. GOProud is a group of gay conservatives who will host their HomoCon convention during the RNC EDGE reported that the event features a number of conservatives speakers, including the editor of the conservative news and opinion website Breitbart, Dana Loesch, who has made anti-gay remarks in the past.

When the Conservative Political Action Conference was held in the nation's capital, EDGE reported that Republican attendees hit up Craigslist to "discreetly" hookup and at this year's CPAC there was a healthy proportion of twentysomethings. Hypervocal pointed out that many of them apparently used the sketchy website to cruise.