Comedian reveals he was raped at gay sauna in New Zealand

Comedian and author Adam Kay has revealed he was raped in a gay sauna in New Zealand in new book.
Image: Charlie Clift/BBC

Gay British comedian and best-selling author Adam Kay has revealed he was raped in a traumatising encounter at a gay sauna in New Zealand.

Adam Kay previously worked as a doctor in the UK. In 2017, Kay published his diaries from the job as the best-selling book This is Going to Hurt.

Earlier this year, the BBC adapted the book was adapted into a TV series starring Ben Whishaw that’s streaming in Australia on Binge.

This month, Adam Kay has published a new book, Undoctored, sharing how he left his career in medicine for comedy and writing.

Warning: distressing content

In the book, the author recalls the period where he was working as a doctor and doing comedy part-time.

In 2012, Kay booked a gig performing a comedy set at a medical conference in New Zealand.

The comedian, who’s gay, explains at that time he was closeted and was married to a woman. During the New Zealand trip, Kay planned to cheat on her once before returning to his “heterosexual life”.

In the book, according to the New Zealand Herald, Kay recalls a trip to a sauna “sounded like probably the most appealing/least appalling option and the best chance of getting what I wanted pronto and incognito”.

Kay explained how he planned the trip while keeping a low profile. He said he gave a false name and put on a French accent at the entrance.

Instead, Kay said the trip took a dark turn when he was raped by a man inside the venue.

“A man in his 40s stood up, took my arm and wordlessly led me to a dimly lit cubicle, where he raped me,” he said, adding that the man “thanked” him afterwards.

‘I said no’

Adam Kay explained he tries to give people the benefit of the doubt. After the assault, he tried “to work out if there could have been some kind of misunderstanding, something I did wrong”.

But he writes that the traumatic encounter was rape, and not a miscommunication.

“The truth of it is inescapable, I was clear,” he said.

“I said no when it became obvious he wanted this interaction to go a lot further than I did.

“I said no, again, when he started. And I said no when he overpowered me and pushed my head into a wipe-clean cushion that stank of antiseptic.

“The smell took me out of the moment and briefly back to hospital. Being transported away was no bad thing.”

Kay said he tried to scream, but didn’t believe there was any chance he would be heard.

“Not by this man who didn’t want to hear and not by anyone else, thanks to the rhythmical pounding of the music,” he said.

“He peeled himself away from my body, and muttered ‘Thanks’ before leaving.

“Thanks. You don’t say thanks to someone you’ve just raped, do you? Was coming here in the first place my consent?

“Not pulling my hand away when he took my arm. Was that a way of saying yes, in a language I’d never been taught, negating everything I would say afterwards?”

Adam Kay discusses years-long struggle after sexual assault

Adam Kay writes in the new book that he never thought about reporting the crime to the police.

“Saying it out loud would make it real,” he said.

“I would never be able to deny it or pretend it never happened, which already felt like my only way of getting through it.”

He also said at the time he believed the police’s response would be “you can’t get raped if you go somewhere looking specifically for sex”.

Kay says for a decade, he didn’t tell anybody about what happened to him.

“Maybe I was too ashamed,” he wrote.

“Or maybe I just knew from the moment it happened that I would never forget it: every minute, every second, etched into me in indelible ink, would be with me forever.”

Adam Kay’s new book Undoctored: The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out of Patients is out now. This Is Going to Hurt is streaming in Australia on Binge.

If you need support, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. David Thibodeau
    20 September 2022

    Unsurprising, there are a lot of MSM predators that prey upon young gay men in gay spaces. The gay bars especially are filled with drug rapists. A lot of men don’t take no for an answer.

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