Police busted a gay bath house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on Saturday and seized about 40 homosexuals on suspicion of prostitution.
The 24-hour bath house in a basement at Baochun Road is the first gay venue to be raided by Hangzhou police.
Photos of young men in shorts were pasted at the entrance to the venue, which had a bathroom, a lobby and 10 single rooms.
A sign at the gate warned visitors that the premises were for men's leisure only.
More than 30 police officers raided the house after receiving evidence. Two men were caught having sex with each other on the scene, and were seized with other patrons.
A man surnamed Zhang, 47, from Shanxi Province, was charged with paying to have sex with sex worker Shao, 23, from Jiangsu Province at the bath house. Both were punished for involvement in prostitution, police said.
The boss of the bath house, who was identified as Sun, was also a homosexual.
Each guest could enjoy himself at the bath house after paying an entry fee of 30 yuan (US$4.38). They could seek partners among other visitors or pay another 198 yuan for a male sex worker.
The bath house was reported to host 40 to 50 guests every night. Some gays from other cities would seek partners here during their trips to Hangzhou. Police have suspended its operations.
Chinese laws specify that sex acts based on money or goods come under the definition of prostitution.
(Shanghai Daily August 4, 2008)