In the midnight crackdown, the authorities caught a total of 13 men, some of them naked, reports China Youth International.
Police were first notified of the venue, after residents suspected the large number of strangers frequenting it were brothel patrons, said the report that appeared in gaystarnews.com.
The organizer, a 37-year-old from Chongqing identified only by his surname Wang, was among those charged with group licentiousness.
From December, he started recruiting guys seeking different kinds of gay sex on QQ, an online chatting app. In just over two months, some 2,800 of mostly middle-class people have joined in and 800 have visited the apartment, said the gaystarnews.com report.
Similar to the gay men arrested in Shanghai earlier this year, seven people from the current case were given 10 to 15 days of “administrative detention”, while five others were “educated” before being freed.
China legalized adult gay sex in 1997 and removed homosexuality from an official list of psychiatric diseases in 2001, so private consensual sex is largely within the law.
However, in the name of public order, the state has banned what it calls “group licentiousness”, such that consensual sex involving at least three people – be they men or women – can result in up to five years of imprisonment.
“As far as I know, [sex] clubs for both gay and straight people are widely seen in the entire country,” said Liang Wenhui, a Guangzhou-based student activist who recently sent 3000 letters to lawmakers calling for same-sex marriage.
“In China, sex has been stigmatized,” he told Gay Star News. “Whether gay or straight, such behavior is simply undesirable.”
Liang thinks the government should be more lenient with private sexual behavior that hurts no one.
Last month, state-broadcaster CCTV ran successive investigative reports on the sex trade in Guangdong, where Guangzhou is situated, and slammed provincial officials for ignoring prostitution, according to the South China Morning Post.
There have since been massive raids on prostitution rings in the province and at least two police chiefs were suspended.