Club One-Seven (better know simply as One-Seven) was touted to be Singapore's largest gay men's fitness club when it opened its doors on Friday, 13 April 2001.
In the months running up to its opening, the gay scene was rife with anticipation and speculation about the newest men-only sauna and fitness club. One-Seven was officially opened to the public with a special, by-invitation-only preview party held on the evening of the 12 April 2001. Invited guests (who could register on the its website) enjoyed free entrance from 6pm till midnight, and received complimentary passes for their next visit when they filled out a user survey form.
With its spanking new facilities, huge floor space and discreet, well trained staff, many expected One Seven to become the Singapore scene's favourite playground. Its location also added to the convenience, sandwiched between two major bar strips, and within a few minutes' distance from many of the gay scene's favourite hangouts. Its exact address was 17 Upper Circular Road between Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. The Raffles Place MRT station was the closest. Its telephone number was 6223-0017.
Some of the facilities included a state-of-the-art gym with machines and free weights, open-air hydro-pool where guests could soak their aching bodies, huge (the size of a bank vault) steam room, many private rooms for small and large group activities, as well as a cafe to meet the guests' more mundane hungers. They provided partygoers with a late night venue on weekends, continuously staying open from Friday afternoon all the way till Monday morning. The majority of clubs and bars in Singapore closed at 3am.
Photo: The row of shophouses along Upper Circular Road in which Club One-Seven is nested.
Nude nights were introduced from the very beginning, capitalising on their popularity ever since they were pioneered by Rairua. They started on Friday from 7pm till Saturday morning. Saturdays from 7pm to midnight are 'short towel', and after midnight it is 'skin'."
One-Seven was the first to have an al fresco swimming pool which later had to be covered up, as office workers in the neighbouring building could have a bird's eye-view of the frequently naked men lounging around the poolside. The floor above, which was formerly occupied by a bank, was acquired and renovated at great expense in 2004 which effectively doubled its cruising space. Two men were arrested here by undercover policemen for homosex in 2003. Their penalty was commuted from a potential 2-year jail sentence under section 377 of the Singapore Penal Code to a mere $600 fine under section 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act in what may be a landmark ruling in Singapore legal history, as far as gay rights are concerned.
It closed in early 2015 and its premises were taken over by the management of Keybox, another gay sauna.
- The Club One-Seven website: (taken offline after its closure).
- Blowing Wind discussion on Club One-Seven:.
- Sylvia Tan, "", Fridae, 23 March 2001.
- Alex Au, "The arrests at One Seven and Section 20", Yawning Bread, November 2001.
- Alex Au, "Raiding our minds", Yawning Bread, July 2002.
- Alex Au, "Sam Schwartz and the police, part 2", Yawning Bread, 15 October 2009.
- Alex Au, "Sam Schwartz and the police, part 1", Yawning Bread, 15 October 2009.
This article was written by Roy Tan.