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Guide to the Buzz Bense Records of the 890 Folsom Clubhouse
1991-26  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Records of a variety of primarily gay male sex clubs that did business in a building rented and manged by California Certified Sex Educator Buzz (Bernard G.) Bense. The buidling was located at 890-894 Folsom Street in San Francisco. Bense leased and opened the building in 1986, and closed it in 1991 after it was sold by its owners. Legal documents, correspondence, public hearing documents, newsletters, publicity fliers, and other printed ephemera document groups holding events at the clubhouse, especially JO Buddies, business issues, and police harrassment after the closure of San Francisco bathhouses in the wake of the AIDS epidemic.
Background
The multilevel warehouse space at 890-894 Folsom Street was rented by California Certified Sex Educator Buzz (Bernard G.) Bense and opened in November, 1986. The building--also called the Sextine Chapel of Inanna and dubbed the "sex headquarters" by the San Francisco Sentinel--served as the clubhouse for the JO Buddies and the headquarters of Nomenus, a tax exempt religious corporation with the purpose of creating physical sanctuaries for the Radical Faeries, a spiritual, political, and community group. Buzz Bense was the founder of the JO Buddies, a gay masturbation circle, and has been called "a leading impresario of the city's sexual underground" by Playboy Magazine. The building's space was rented to a number of private-membership safe sex clubs, including the San Francisco Jacks, the Jack and Jill events of the Mother Goose Club, and the San Francisco Golden Showers Association (GSA) after the closing of San Francisco bathhouses and clubs in the wake of the AIDS epidemic. Most of these clubs catered to gay men; one club was geared toward lesbians (Club Klitz) and another, the Jack and Jill events of the Mother Goose Club, included gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and their friends. The building also housed a graphics studio. Various benefits for AIDS and other queer causes were held at 890 Folsom.
Extent
0.4 linear feet (1 box)
Restrictions
Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
Availability
Collection open for research. One folder containing personal information is restricted.