It’s no secret that saunas and public bathhouses are places of some lewd business. In pop-culture, gays would often prowl around for partners at the gym, the pool, or the public bath. And although these depictions are more than offensive, gays all over the world often enjoy these places.
The homoeroticism surrounding places where guys freely walk around naked, showing off their muscular bodies, isn’t anything new. For centuries now, homosexuals would meet under various circumstances in bathhouses and saunas. It was a way to escape the public, while also being close to other naked guys.
The records from ancient Greece and Rome depict pederasty at such places. The history of gay saunas is long and full of controversy. In the past, when homosexuality was illegal and punishable by law, the gay community had to find a place to hide and indulge in lust and desire. And what better place than a steaming room full of hot studs?
A Short History
Gay clubs, baths, and saunas are nothing new. History is full of records showing that homosexuals would look for havens to shelter themselves from the law. As we all know, being gay was never easy. It still isn’t because of social stigmas and prejudices, but it’s nowhere near as tough as it was just a couple of decades ago.
But the LGBTQ community wasn’t always on the wrong side of the law. Back in ancient times, in Greece and Rome, men would tend to experiment more freely than you’d believe. Having a good time in a men-only bathhouse wasn’t as controversial. But as time went by, problems began to appear on every corner.
Back in 15th-century Italy, gays would use taverns and baths as places to meet each other. Unfortunately, the authorities didn’t see that as appropriate and would prosecute them for pederasty and punish the owners for allowing such an activity. The same would happen in the late-1800s Paris, as raids would constantly occur at gay-friendly baths.
The turn of the century would only bring false promises, as New York would prove to be a dangerous place for queer saunas to operate. The most famous place for gays in NYC was the Everard (“Everhard”) bathhouse. Unfortunately, it closed in 1986, leaving only a legend for generations to come.
Is It Safe?
Unlike before, bathhouses are now pretty safe. From hygiene to security, gay men have a good time without looking over their shoulders. Clubs vary from several stories high resorts full of rooms and lockers to cozy and more intimate buildings. They offer private rooms where you can have anonymous sex without anyone bothering you.
The owners don’t allow prostitution inside, making it fully legal. Of course, you can go there and not have sex. But, if you choose to have it, it will come down to pure consent. Pimping and extorting is nowhere to be seen. We dare say it’s a haven for gay life and kinky sex.
Facilities, hot tubs, showers, and everything else is kept clean. There’s no fear of sexually transmitted diseases since prophylactics such as condoms are also available. Most bathhouses have patrons and require a membership. But don’t worry — it’s often for safety reasons, and the price is merely symbolic.
Tips and Etiquette for First-Timers
If you’re considering cruising your local gay bathhouse, it’s key you learn about some basic rules. Yup! Even saunas have rules. But don’t worry if you’re confused your first time — most gays and employees are welcoming. You can ask them anything you’d like, and you’ll have no problems.
But besides the welcoming staff and the gay comradery, you’ll benefit from the simple tips we offer. Firstly, use condoms. You’ll most likely get a couple of them when you enter. But in case you don’t, be smart and get yourself one immediately. You never know who you’ll encounter, and you can never be sure if they have HIV or some STIs.
Some places offer elastic bands. And no, they’re not there because they look cool — they serve a purpose. If you place it on your left hand, others will know you’re a top guy, and if it’s on your right, you’ll show them you’re the bottom. Not everyone uses bracelets, but it can be helpful for first-timers.
Another thing to keep in mind is not to talk. Saunas and baths work in complete silence, relying only on eye-contact and touches. Bars are for chatting; baths are for seduction. Some people find talking a big turn-off, so don’t go in all chatty and loud.
In case you get a boner or become intimate with another guy, don’t expect others not to watch. Private rooms are for people who find public intimacy unpleasant. So, don’t get all freaked out if someone’s jerking off right next to you and your lover.
Lastly, since silence is golden, gays touch each other all the time. So if someone comes to you and touches your behind or penis, don’t freak out. Show them you’re either interested or not, and you’ll be on your way.
Should You Go?
Like everything else, gay bathhouses have both pros and cons. It’s inevitable to see both the good and bad sides of places like these. Therefore, we’ll quickly point out some obvious things you’ll encounter if you decide to visit. Check this out.
On the positive side, saunas and baths are way better than dating apps. For instance, you don’t have to guess who the person behind the profile picture is — you’ll be seeing them in the flesh. Also, body language is important for some people. You’ll easily see if someone’s your type or not.
Another positive is the overall experience. Besides cruising, you’ll enjoy yourself in the bath, sauna, or any other part of the bathhouse. It’s relaxing, the staff is polite, and the atmosphere is just amazing. If, by any chance, you don’t find anyone attractive, you can always enjoy yourself like at a regular bathhouse.
When it comes to the cons, there are a few. It’s like in any San Francisco sex club — people look around for the hottest guys. It’s rather Darwinist if you get what we mean. So, don’t be surprised if someone snubs you for an athlete next to you.
Also, if you’re looking for a gay bathhouse somewhere across the border, you should be careful. Some countries don’t see condoms as mandatory. So, contracting something nasty is a real possibility.
Either way, have fun. Saunas and baths are a great place to get laid, but also relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Don’t be sad if you get rejected — it’s not like everyone’s everyone else’s type. So enjoy yourself!