Updated September 25 2022
Who We Are and How We’re Changing
Rain City Jacks is a private social club that hosts indoor events for our members. The mental and physical health and safety of our community are among our highest values. We recognize that members need to feel safe to openly share space with each other in order to enhance our mental and physical health, not threaten it. The advent of widespread COVID-19 and monkeypox outbreaks have profoundly affected how we operate. All current, past and future members need to understand what to expect at Rain City Jacks events.
Retaining Our Traditions
As a traditional JO club, we curate unique, intimate group events for men in ways that minimize risk, foster positive self image, embrace diversity and frame sexual interactions as fundamentally good, free of shame and full of satisfying options for safer play.
The original purpose of JO clubs (NY Jacks 1980) was to organize group sex play while preventing amoebiasis. Accordingly, a no-penetration/no-fluid-exchange policy was fundamental to their identity. Just two years later, that purpose was redoubled in rapid response to the HIV crisis, leading to a global expansion of Jacks culture as the scourge of HIV/AIDS led men who have sex with men to seek alternatives to what seemed a binary choice of risking “SEX=DEATH” or abstinence in miserable, self-imposed celibacy. JO clubs made it possible for MSM to find fun, connection, meaning and satisfaction without risking their lives.
This initial focus on safer sex has persisted in JO clubs for over 40 years and from it has sprung communities that actively prefer non-penetrative sex play, value a simple and sex-positive communal experience, or find the Jacks environment a socially safe space to meet friends and potential partners. In other words, Jacks culture became far more than “safe sex,” but a unique and social celebration of shared maleness in all its myriad manifestations.
Adapting to Reality
Things have changed. Rain City Jacks is one of many JO clubs that is forging a way forward that retains our traditions but accommodates new circumstances. Just as HIV changed the nature of clubs that were concerned primarily about amoebas, COVID-19 and monkeypox (MPV) outbreaks affect JO clubs in very real ways. Every club is finding their way to new policies and operating procedures, and Rain City Jacks has been steadily developing and adapting how we function to continue to offer our community a unique home to connect and bring men together as only in-person interaction can do.
We meet indoors in private spaces that are conducive to safely and legally facilitating a group masturbation experience. Our gatherings typically last two or three hours and draw large numbers of members. We may also experience prolonged skin-to-skin contact while at events. These circumstances mean that while we may be avoiding most sexually transmitted infections, we are still at risk of contracting airborne respiratory infections and transmissible skin diseases. With these two new outbreaks, we are adapting so we can keep operating. Here is how we are changing the ways RCJ functions.
All current, past and future members of Rain City Jacks are required to be fully vaccinated for both COVID-19* and MPV** before they may be admitted to any Jacks event.
*For COVID-19, individuals must have received at least one dose of any WHO-approved vaccine within 365 days of attending an event.
**For MPV, individuals must have completed a full two-dose course of JYNNEOS or equivalent vaccine at least 14 days prior to a Rain City Jacks event they want to attend. MPV vaccination is not required if a member has already recovered from a monkeypox infection and has been clear of the disease for at least 14 days.
Effective October 1, 2022, members will verify their vaccination status by legal attestation, both verbally and in writing (see Membership Agreement and Waiver below).
Rain City Jacks will not require presentation of vaccination credentials or disclosure of official health records of any kind. This change better aligns Rain City Jacks with King County Public Health policy.
Rain City Jacks includes a screening system at the door, including temperature-checks and verbal attestation of being symptom free. Our screening process also ensures that every individual is fully enrolled as a member before entering and has completed legal agreements
Membership Agreement and Waiver
Effective October 1 2022, a new participant waiver is required before admission. This includes legal attestation of having been fully vaccinated as described above and affirmation of agreement to never attend any Rain City Jacks event while potentially infectious with specified diseases including COVID-19 and monkeypox. Other diseases will be included, but we do not restrict admission to anyone who carries HIV or the endemic HSV-2 and HPV viruses, as long as they are asymptomatic.
At the same time as our deployment of the revised waiver, our membership agreement will also be revised. New members will sign this new agreement while enrolling while current and renewing members will sign it whenever their memberships are up for renewal.
For Those Born Before 1972
While there has been suggestion that having been vaccinated for smallpox over 50 years ago may offer some protection from MPV. Rain City Jacks is not making allowances or exceptions for childhood smallpox vaccinations, and is encouraging all members who can receive the vaccines to seek them out and get both doses as soon as they can. Our decision is based on a 2007 study published in the journal, Clinical and Vaccine Immunology which states,
“Our findings from this study suggest that remote (30 years prior) vaccinia (smallpox) vaccination does not provide complete protection against systemic OPX (orthopox) infection…”source: Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2007 Oct; 14(10): 1318–1327
If you have not yet received your monkeypox vaccine, and you want to someday return to a JO club, it’s up to you to get that shot. In King County, Washington, follow this guidance:
• Contact your healthcare provider.
• If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, you can contact Public Health’s Access and Outreach program, 1-800-756-5437 to be connected to a medical provider.
• The Sexual Health Clinic at Harborview is also vaccinating people who are eligible for vaccine. Contact Public Health’s Public Information Call Center at 206-477-3977 to check availability and eligibility.
• Limited Supply of monkeypox vaccine is available at Sea Mar Community Health Centers
• Public Health is also facilitating community vaccination events by partnering with healthcare providers and community organizations to reach people at highest risk.source: King County Public Health
Bivalent boosters are now available for all members of Rain City Jacks. We urge you to get yours as soon as you are able by talking to your healthcare provider, calling your public health authorities or visiting your local pharmacy. If you’re not sure where to get your COVID-19 shot, check this official vaccine finder website.
Rain City Jacks is its members and volunteers. We thrive and endure because of your support, and because we all value the club’s unique culture. We look forward to the future and thank you for helping make us all we are, just by being part of our community.
Always take extravagantly good care of yourself.