Sanctum (Snctm) is a new exclusive high-end sex club in New York City. The New York Post got to go inside and it looks pretty awesome. Very Eyes Wide Shut meets an Ariana Grande music video meets Fifty Shades of Grey. But a question came to mind as we watched the interview with the founder: Are gay men allowed inside?
Snctm may be new to New York, but it has been around for quite some time in Los Angeles. Bill Maher and Gwyneth Paltrow are among its fans, and HBO got invited to film this very NSFW short film profiling the club out there.
The club has a steep price for its male attendees who walk through its doors. Men pay $1,500 to $1,875 (the discount rate applies when you bring a woman) to attend each party. Annual VIP memberships are available for $75,000, which includes “admission to all parties, access to private rooms, unlimited Cristal Champagne and a sterling silver pendant of a lion that shows they’re a top-of-the-food-chain kind of guy.”
Women are let in for free, but have to apply with an application including full-body photos and answers to questions like, “You see your fantasy come to life, what does that look like?”
“We had close to 1,000 applications for this event and we’re letting in about 100,” Snctm founder Damon Lawner, a divorced father of two, explained to the New York Post. “It’s a highly curated crowd.”
Reporter Heather Hauswirth writes; “Lawner describes the New York men who made the cut as ‘masters of the universe.’ Certainly, Wall Street is well-represented, as is the tech industry. There are no recognizable celebrities, but there are around 25 relatively attractive 20- to 60-something males sharply dressed in tuxedos.”
When asked by Goop what they are looking for in attendees, Lawner responded, “Beauty, intelligence, wit, success, sexiness, wisdom, openness, non-judgement, desire to explore, fearlessness.”
The New York Post and HBO short film both describe a heteronormative environment despite female on female sexual activity being welcomed. So we couldn’t help but wonder: are dudes getting down with each other as well? And since the application process is so strict about gender; is someone’s sexuality also vetted?
The club has a strict ask before you touch policy, so maybe if a guy sees another guy he wants to jerk-off, all he has to do is ask. But that isn’t something that seems to be happening. We’re curious if it’s because it’s not actually part of the sexual freedom Lawner is trying to explore.
However, the founder’s interview suggests otherwise. “It’s not about sex,” Lawner says. “It’s about a conversation about all of us as individuals and the freedom to explore this together.”
That sounds like a very liberating sexual conversation. But is Lawner embracing homosexuality, bisexuality and sexual fluidity specifically for men with that conversation? That is what we asked a rep over at Snctm via email. We have yet to hear back.
Obviously, we have our own jerk-off gatherings, bath houses and invite-only sex parties that are for gay men. But if Lawner is talking sexual openness, it’s interesting to see if he can walk the walk as well.
It’s not so much about letting gay men in because we already have similar spaces. It’s about letting straight men explore their own sexuality by allowing gayness into that experience.
Now that sounds fearless to us.