Men’s “leisure spas” in 1970s New York

February 23, 2007 at 7:11 pm 5 comments

I’m not talking about the gay baths. I’m talking about places for weary, straight adulterous pervs executives, “working late” in Manhattan—luxurious palaces tucked away among the hustle and bustle of the city, where nubile young attendants would attend to their every whim and desire. “Will that be BankAmericard, MasterCharge, or Diner’s Club?”

These are real commercials. They aired on late-night public access, mind you, but still.

Our first stop is the Taj Mahal on West 46th.


Begin your timeless trip in the Maharaja lounge, which swings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, where your eyes will be stunned by the most beautiful hostesses to be found anywhere East or West, ready with your complimentary refreshment. Then it’s on to be bathed in the swirling lotus whirlpool. And finally, led to a world where time isn’t allowed to enter: one of our sumptuous relaxation chambers. There, special oils and lotions are applied by the hands of a goddess.

Gah. Just look at these two boorish sleazebags. Here’s Merv:


…and here’s Maury:


A short cab ride east on 46th Street brings our middle-aged horndog to The Retreat. Let’s see who’s in the waiting lounge…


Holy crap, it’s Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones! Compare:

Jim is fed grapes by two Roman beauties, one of whom is African-Roman. “Hmm, grapes are tasty. I think I’ll give my followers poisoned grape Flavor Ade instead of orange.” And whaddya know, he did!


In the days of Caesar, men lived life to its fullest, with sensual women pampering their gladiators with secret delights. Now you too can leave your hectic, mundane life and escape to a fantasy of pleasure at The Retreat. Come visit our palace of Roman pleasure where beautiful toga-clad goddesses will lead you into the Roman ritual of sensous delights. Relax and refresh yourself in our Gladiator’s lounge, large authentic sauna, lemon cream facials and exotic hot oil rubs anointing your body. Choose your slave girls for a champagne-milk bubble bath in our golden whirlpool tubs. Let the games begin! [my emphasis]

The slave girls bathe and rinse Jim, because he’s been a dirty, dirty cult leader.


Still, for the boned-up gent on a budget, nothing can beat (har, har) the classic Times Square porn theater. This one is the Costco of the sticky-floored odeons of yore.


What can you get in the sex entertainment field for $2.49? Well, you might be able to get a hooker for two and a half minutes. Or, you might be able to get to see eighteen minutes in a peep show. $2.49 couldn’t even begin to buy a glossy hardcore magazine. You might be able to see a topless dancer—that is, until your drink ran out. Or, for $2.49, you could see three top-quality hardcore porno features at the Orleans Theater. The Orleans Theater—$2.49 at all times. On 47th Street, west of Broadway. The Orleans Theater: your best hardcore film bargain!

I wonder if that $2.49 included a moist towelette. Then it would have been a really incredible bargain.

Yes, getting a nut was profoundly more interesting in the 70s.

Props to Sean Flannagan of Deeplinking for uploading the video.


Entry filed under: 1970s, bizarre, nostalgia, pop culture, TV, YouTube.

Should I change my pic? Ow. My shoulders. Ow!

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jason67  |  February 24, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    This post makes me want to take a really hot shower… alone!

  • 2. Sean  |  February 24, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Glad you appreciate the upload! NY is so boring now.

  • 3. Puck  |  February 24, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Sean,

    I absolutely love stuff like this.

  • 4. If you’re just joining me… « Puck’s Prattle  |  October 30, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    […] Men’s “leisure spas” in 1970s New York […]

  • 5. Emilio Barciela  |  June 2, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I was there.

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About me

I am a student of Sociology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. I hold a degree in English Literature, also from Concordia.
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