A Straight Man’s Guide to the Bathouse

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I recently read an interesting post over on blogTO.com, about a ‘straight’ man’s first foray into a bathhouse.  To, as the author puts it, ‘step across the pond and join in the game the other team was playing, if just for one night‘.

The Ritz bathhouse 1976Gay bathhouses are also known as gay saunas or steam baths,[1] and are commercial bathhouses for men to have sex with other men.  Not all men who visit gay bathhouses consider themselves gay, regardless of their sexual behavior.  (source: Wikipedia)

Admittedly, you don’t have to be seeking sex when in a these places, as there are generally facilities for relaxation – dry or wet saunas, hot tubs, showers, gyms (occasionally, but that’s a different workout lol), swimming pools (rare), masseurs (you pay extra of course), and so forth.

But let’s be honest, most of the guys aren’t there for a soak in the tub, they’re looking for something a bit more.

It’s interesting to get an outsider’s point of view on what the baths are like, even if his initial thought is that having places like this make finding sex so much easier for all gay men.  As if it’s just one big fat orgy of sex.. and admittedly, for some that go to these places, it can be.

Sauna-Lelaki-PenulisHidupku.Com-1

However historically, bathhouses were havens for men who had sex with other men, and date back to the 15th century, if not earlier (think Ancient Greece).  These places, especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, were places where men could meet with other men to avoid being arrested or publicly humiliated for engaging in homosexual acts.

Over time, these establishments became part of the larger gay community, becoming meeting places to spend time with friends.. But now with how much easier it is to be open about your sexuality and the advent of internet dating sites, these businesses have gone back to being more about sex and less about community.

fairoaks_indexIn the past, the baths served as community spaces for gay men. Even now, some men choose to go to the baths with their friends (even though they may not necessarily have sex with each other).[38] While many men talk to each other at the baths, even forming long-lasting friendships or relationships, many others do not, preferring, for various reasons, anonymity.

What interested me most of all regarding this post, is how calm and seemingly confident this ‘straight’ man was being in a ‘gay’ space, and being approached, touched, or sexually aroused by other men.  For someone who was just experimenting, he was surprisingly relaxed about the whole thing, and per what he wrote, the moment he put himself in an inviting ‘pose’, he seemed to attract a bunch of attention quite quickly.

After some initial hesitation, I dropped all pretense of objectivity and decided to get the ball rolling. Adopting a pose that suggested I was open to whatever, I leaned back and waited for the first guy to approach. He wasn’t long in coming and neither was the second or third.

Seems a bit too easy, if you ask me.  Which may say more about his appearance than the place or environment itself.

I’ll admit it, I’ve been to bathhouses/saunas many times over the years, and at no point has it ever been that easy to find someone to play with.  In fact, I’ve had many experiences in these places of getting no attention all evening other than a brief grope or a nipple tweaked as I wandered around.sauna

My guess is the blog author probably is a reasonably good looking guy, is comfortable with his body, and is most likely in fairly good shape.. Which, let’s be honest, will most likely garner a lot of attention in these sort of places.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do applaud the author’s willingness to try something new compared to his ‘normal’ sexual routine, and more guys out there should be more willing to experiment.  But it just seems like he paints this picture of easy sex at the baths.

Normally (from both my own experiences and friends I’ve talked to over the years), when a person goes to one of these places for the first time, they’re nervous and scared to run into someone they might know (which the author did touch upon briefly).  And most likely, it would take a bit more time to get used to the place and the surroundings before being comfortable enough to engage with the other patrons.

Or maybe that was just me.  LOL

Click the link below to read the full blog post.

http://www.blogto.com/tno/2007/04/welcome_to_the_bathhouse_a_straight_mans_guide/

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