Raw was the third gay sauna established by entrepreneur Max Lim in 2003. It was located at 45 Ann Siang Road #02-02, at the peak of Ann Siang Hill, just behind Maxwell Food Center and a 5-min walk from the Tanjong Pagar MRT station, telephone no. 6222-2252.
riding on the maleculture brand and website established by Lim since the early 1990s.
Raw's competitive advantages were its budget entry fees, 24-hour opening hours and a 'barracks' containing individual rooms for those desiring to stay for prolonged periods. It pioneered the concept of theme nights, which later spread to all saunas. This introduced variety and catered to subsegments of the gay crowd such as chubs, foam party lovers, minority races, foreigners and sun worshippers. It also experimented, for a short period, with an a la carte restaurant on the ground floor, a male-to-female drag cabaret and male undergarment/swimming trunk fashion shows. It was the only sauna to proudly hang a rainbow flag, an LGBT icon signifying diversity, outside its main entrance. It was located next to Ann Siang Hill, already a popular cruising ground. Membership was initially required but was scrapped by Lim after some time to boost business.
This article was written by Roy Tan.