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Getting Around the System: Seattle’s nonprofit sex club gets tax break

SEATTLE — Could your tax dollars be paying for a sex club?

A local woman is looking for state and federal money to help finance her business where with a little music, a little dance and a private room, two people can do whatever they want.

Allena Gabosch runs a private sex club called called Sex Positive Community Center. KOMO News got a sanitized tour of the facilities. But author Brian Alexander saw it in action and detailed the experience in his book, America Unzipped.

“Some people were on the bondage bed getting worked over by a dominatrix, for example,” he said.

Gabosch took KOMO News cameras into her semi-private sex room.

“It’s set back from the dance floor where there are several beds even bondage beds, another spot for people to get tied up for fun and sex,” she said.

The popular club brings in roughly $300,000 a year and makes $10,000 to $12,000 in profits. But doesn’t pay a dime in federal taxes because it’s a 501-c7, an official nonprofit organization. That also means its members can write their dues off on their taxes.

“I don’t agree with that at all, not at all,” said Rachael Wesley.

“Tax breaks for what?” Barriet Debose said.

And there’s more. Gabosch also runs a charity. It’s got a library filled with sex books, gives classes on how to have better sex and offers support groups for sexual minorities.

“She obviously found a way around the system,” said Lindsay Ulery.

Gabosch defends her tax breaks. When asked whether the government should be supporting a place like hers, she answered, “absolutely.” She says her sex center even contributes to the arts by putting on an Erotic Art Fair every year.

Tabitha Blacksmith with the Secretary of State’s office – admits the state doesn’t delve too deeply into charity applications.

“We’re an administerial organization. We don’t have the authority to investigate or regulate people’s activities,” she said.

The structure is based on the honor system, and Gabosch insists she is being honest.

Gabosch says her club isn’t making much of a profit, which means her income tax wouldn’t add up to much anyway. And, she says, it’s completely appropriate for her organization to be partially funded by tax dollars.

“Guess what? Everybody who comes here — we’re all taxpayers, too,” she said.

Gabosch says doctors, lawyers and even students are all members of the club. The oldest member is said to be 86 or 87. She considers it no different from a golf club, just a place for recreation.

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