Gay Bathhouse Bodyline Re-Brands As Sauna X

Sydney’s iconic gay sauna, Bodyline, has bid farewell after serving the community for over three decades, making way for its successor, Sauna X, under the management of 357. Bodyline, which opened its doors in 1991 despite initial resistance, held the distinction of being Sydney’s first officially sanctioned gay bathhouse.

Following its closure, the long-standing owners of 357 announced their plans to take over the premises. Sauna X, situated at 10 Taylor Street in Darlinghurst, adjacent to ARQ Nightclub, commenced operations on April 15th.

The team behind Sauna X paid homage to Bodyline’s legacy, acknowledging its role as a sanctuary for post-clubbing gatherings and Mardi Gras recuperation. However, with changing times, Bodyline faced challenges in reclaiming its former prominence.

Since acquiring the location on March 28th, the Sauna X team has been diligently renovating the club to offer patrons an enhanced experience, with further improvements slated for the coming weeks and months.

Bodyline’s inception was marked by adversity, as initial development approval was denied by the South Sydney Council. Legal hurdles, including opposition under New South Wales’ Disorderly Houses Act, posed obstacles to its establishment. Nevertheless, a landmark ruling by a NSW Land and Environment Court judge granted Bodyline permission to operate as a sex-on-premises venue.

In contrast, 357 celebrated over two decades of operation at its Sussex Street location. However, co-owners Ty Dovans and Luke Frappell recently announced the closure of the sauna in May, as the building undergoes transformation into an 18-storey hotel.

Despite this closure, patrons can anticipate 357’s return in a new, expansive venue before the year concludes. The final farewell to the Sussex Street location is scheduled for May 6, 2024, marking the end of an era while heralding a new chapter for Sydney’s LGBTQ+ community.

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