What's it like? I've never been, and a friend of mine, also a newbie, is trying to get me to go, just to see what it's like and to say we experienced it. Specifically the westside club on 20th btwn 5th and 6th. I imagine old, out of shape, disease riddled guys walking around leering at anyone in decent shape under 50.
It can be hot. Go late, after the bars close.
Ask your dad.
Travel to Toronto, Montreal, or Chicago. The bathhouses in NYC are beyond dreadful. I doubt it's different in the 15+ years I haven't gone to one of them here.
Bathhouses are fine. And they're harmless. It's a safe environment. No one is going to attack you. Practice sex--or don't have sex at all. Sometimes it's just nice to be in a gay environment and escape from the world for a while. And bathhouses are a hell of a lot more fun than trying to connect online, which is a collosal waste of time. And most times, the online thing never happens.
Did someone post from the 1980s?
Maybe it's because I'm a twenty something, but I find it completely frightening that in an environment where sex is expected, some elder queen will inevitably ask you to have sex with him, and if you tell him no, he'll be offended and prissy and do who knows what to you.
At least on Grindr I could at least laugh at him, tell him he's delusional, and block him.
R6, you sound mean.
Bathhouses have etiquette, so clearly you wouldn't fit in.
If someone approaches and you're not interested, you just shake your head now, or push their hand away gently and politely. It's very rare anyone doesn't take "no" for an answer.
But these days, most bathhouses are pretty sad places. Older guys walking around in towels, and very little going on.
Stick to the advice someone above gave: Go to one of the big, nice ones in the world. Most are just dumps.
With that attitude, R6, you won't ever have to worry about having sex.
It looks like 1975.
Here's hoping the OP is spurned by every old dribble-lipped codger she passes.
This might be the sickest thing I'll ever post.
The only time I've ever been inside of a bath house was with my father in the early 1970's. The place was under construction. It was dark and cavernous. I was about nine years old. His "friends," a school teacher and his child psychologist boyfriend, were investors or something, so my father wanted to check it out.
My parents were divorced. I had a legal obligation to visit him once a month. He was gay and had a huge house with a swimming pool stocked with naked, young latinos who lived there rent-free. Some of them were bitches. Some of them befriended me which should have been creepy but it wasn't. What could have been every young gay boy's fantasy was for me a nightmare.
We took a tour. I had a vague sense of what it was all going to be about.
There were rooms with little swimming pools and cement benches. There were lots of places to take showers. The construction workers all knew my Dad. Years later, when I hit puberty and The Village People happened, I kind of figured out what that place was for.
At the age of nine, there was so much I did not understand about adults. I should have been playing baseball with my biological father rather than touring a bath house with him. That would be sorted out in counseling sessions decades later...
Insult to injury: This was in Fresno, California. For some reason, I think this bath house was part of the Steamworks chain.
The flip side is that I am HIV-negative in part because I refused to go to bath houses and "Saunas" because they reminded me of my narcissistic and irresponsible father.
It's hard to imagine why your dad thought a bathhouse was an appropriate place to bring a 9 yr old, r11. Is he in prison now?
The chain ones tend to be dungeony with very low lighting. The independent ones tend to be brighter inside with normal or natural lighting.
I work in the same building as the West Side Club. I'm seen maybe a handful of attractive men head up to the 2nd floor. Most look to be in their 50s. Granted, this is during daylight hours. It may be a different scene at night. I've even seen Hasidim!!!
Beware the nacreous layers of permacum!
It's been my experience in NYC that attractive and young guys are more likely to visit an adult book store than a bath house. Bath houses are a bigger financial commitment and younger guys just don't want to take the risk. I've hooked up with some guys that were TOTALLY out of my league and hot at adult book stores.
R14, what type of place do you work for that you happen to be in the same building as the West Side Club?? Sounds like you'd have some entertaining stories from just watching the comings and goings!
R11, great story. I'm not sure what your father was thinking.
R19, there was a lesbian bathhouse in the Mission in SF in the 2000's.
I'll say it again. Bathhouses are a hell of a lot more pleasant than wasting your time on Grindr or in some chat room online for hours on end in which nothing gets accomplished other than jacking off alone.
And in a bathhouse, no one forces you to have sex. It's a harmless, non-intimidating place. But if you want to have sex, at least you can see pretty quickly if you have chemistry with someone else rather than have a stranger show up at your door who you 'met' online.
I wish that bathhouses would have a resurgence in popularity. I like them.
Not to be too intrusive but did your Dad ...survive that whole scene right before the plague hit ,or did he become infected?
[quote]Insult to injury: This was in Fresno, California. For some reason, I think this bath house was part of the Steamworks chain.
I have a hard time imagining that Fresno would even have a bathhouse. Although I know they were a lot more prevalent back in the day.
r12, one of my brothers and I filed charges and testified in court, which did send him to jail for a year. He was a general self-centered perv in addition to being a pedophile.
We did this at the urging of a psychotherapist. It was an unpleasant way for me to come out, but we all eventually got over it.
It was a very ugly chapter in my family's history. This happened just a few years prior to all of the Catholic Priest scandals became public. You didn't talk about such things and no one would believe you. There wasn't even a language that could be used to describe sexual abuse of children.
Someone asked about my father's STD status. He once told me that he had sex with "probably at least 1,000 guys". I know for a fact that some of them were runaway boys he picked up at the Greyhound station. Sorry, I know that's gross. I know that he had Hep B but not HIV. He was a power top. Who knows what else he got and spread around.
Sorry to have hijacked this thread, but I did answer the OP's question honestly!
I'm a reasonably happy gay man. Places like bath houses and circuit parties just don't appeal to me, but I've been slutty. And I don't want to be a hypocrite. I would never, ever expose/subject a child to my sexuality.
I was a young AIDS research scientist in the 1980's in SF. I can vividly recall the debate about bath house closures. I never saw the inside of one. After an LTR break-up, my version of serial monogamy is hardly different from a bath house aficionado. They probably have lots of clean towels and nice tubs. The concept seems attractive, but I am damaged goods and can't ever go there.
I go in Europe they are spa like and don't have the trolls the American ones have.
R24 sounds like a story that needs to be told to a therapist .
R1 and R4 nailed it, OP. They can be fun but you need to go late in the night, just before or after the bars close.
The Watergarden in San Jose is very nice. I like the large pool and spa area. In the summer it is packed with naked guys just laying out and floating in the pool.
Go during the week, after work hours. Hot married guys who love to fuck young guys :)
Or better R29: hot married men who wants to be fucked, because their wife would never give them that kind of pleasure...
[r6] "some elder queen will inevitably ask you to have sex with him, and if you tell him no, he'll be offended and prissy and do who knows what to you"
[r6] I'd rather deal with the "prissiness", as you call it of an "elderqueen" than with your sensitive, hysterical twink-ego.
as soon as you sprout pubic hair you'll realize there is more to being human than being (or pretending to be) young.
I'm with you, R21. I vastly prefer bathhouses to Grindr and online hook up sites. They're much more matter of fact and efficient.
Steamworks is clean and modern. Cleaning staff are constantly scrubbing the place and pushing their little carts around.
Sometimes if I just want to get laid I'll go to Steamworks, wander around a bit, fuck a guy, and go home.
At least with bathhouses you're already naked and in a sexually-charged atmosphere. You're there and you're ready to have sex should the opportunity arise.
I really only go to Steamworks (Toronto) and the clientele is all over the map in terms of age and attractiveness. But late on a Friday or Saturday night you'd be shocked at how many hot guys pack the joint.
You can do whatever you want in a bathhouse. Have sex, don't have sex, jerk off, have crazy kinky sex, have vanilla sex, grope, whatever. The decision is completely yours and the options are right in front of you.
And there is definitely a bathhouse etiquette. It's not a desperate atmosphere at all and you certainly won't be gang-raped by horny old trolls.
In terms of how safe it is, it's as safe as you want it to be. Steamworks has condom dispensers everywhere as well as STD literature, onsite sexual health counselors, onsite STD testing, numerous showers, water fountains with mouthwash, etc.
I have seen guys barebacking there, of course. But that's a personal choice. One that no one will force you to make.
I agree wit R21 too. The only downside is the problem of STDS because for some condoms won't always help prevent them. Still don't get crazy or stupid and practice safer sex. Also once you've gone you can then decide whether this scene is for you or not.
resurgence of bath-houses? Great! Then I can have a big resurgence too!
Wow. A thread from the gay ghetto circa 1975.
Too bad you didn't see the AIDS epidemic coming. And that many of you didn't survive to see gay marriage equality. I guess you felt the sleezy, anonymous sex was worth it. It's very sad. I wish you hadn't been so self-loathing and hadn't trashed yourself like this. Freedom and equality weren't that far away.
For the love of all things holy, don't try the West Side Club (or any NYC "bathhouse").
I don't think they even have a sauna/steam room or any public sex area.
In other cities (especially Europe) they are great. In NYC, the invite-only sex parties are really fun though.
[quote]The only downside is the problem of STDS
Yes, because no one ever caught an STD in the wild... it only happens at bathhouses. Practice safer sex wherever you are and you decrease your chances of catching something. Simple as that.
But I agree with most, go somewhere other than NYC. The ones in Montreal are very clean and modern, places where you can hang out with your friends on a cold day.
What a nasty little shit you sound like, r6. I wonder what's going to happen to you, and how many fucks you *won't* be getting in the real world when you're tired of virtual sex and wanking off alone at home in your mother's basement.
You can get an STD just as easily in the safety of your home as you can in a bathhouse. It all depends on what you do and who you do it with. Make safe choices wherever you are and you'll be fine.
R37 - Just spent 2 weeks in Montreal but never went to a bathhouse.
I sort of wanted to go since I haven't been to one in years, but I was afraid there would be too many twinks and musclequeens there.
Yeah, how about that? An old guy (56) who doesn't want to be around younger ones. :)
Can you recommend one in Montreal? I assume the ones in the Village would be mostly younger guys, but I may be wrong.
And to OP et al: if you're in Amsterdam, check out Thermos. I went once about 10 years ago, and the place was great: really clean and large, and all sorts of guys. Hope it's still the same.
A friend of mine went to one on a recent trip to Florida. I was sort of surprised because he is really not the type. Its like Daria Morgendorffer going out for the cheer leading squad. When I asked him why he went, he replied, "its like being offered a ride on an airship, a way to experience something from the past." Fair enough. Having never been to one I had to ask what it was like.
"You mean it smelled like sex?"
"No. More like mold and stale cigarette smoke."
The guys there were a mix of ages but really no one under the age of 35 or so. He thought it was sort of grim, no one really smiling or seeming to have a good time. He said he did "fool around" with one guy, but he grew bored with him and soon was wishing he was back in his hotel room, smoking pot and watching South Park.
His account reaffirmed for me that a bath house is probably not something I would care for. But, if they ever bring back airships for travel, I'm there.
[quote] I was a young AIDS research scientist in the 1980's in SF
Who on earth ever called themselves an AIDS research scientist?
I don't think it's your father who has a pathological problem R11.
Oasis and GI Joe are my favorites. They both have a wide assortment of men. All ages, all body sizes.
GI Joe has a wonderful rooftop, so, it's a nice spot to lay out in the sun. Oasis has a heated pool.
[quote]Who on earth ever called themselves an AIDS research scientist?
Scientists who do research on AIDS for starters. A Google search finds many people by that title on LinkedIn.
Is it possible this is the first time you heard that term?
It always amuses me that people will scoff at bathhouses, yet have no problem using Grindr and other online hookup sites.
That moldy locker room smell is the worst.
I went to the West Side Club a few times in the mid 90s. I had fun and even met a guy that I ended up dating for a while.
I'd urge every gay guy to go to a sex club at least once. If you hate it, you can always leave.
The ones in NYC are AWFUL! It's amazing to me that no one has at least tried to build a decent one. None of them have been updated in decades; they don't repair anything; exposed wires and pipes; poor ventilation. The rooms or cubicles are terrible (smelly and dirty, with obvious remnants of the last 600 guests). East Side Club (if that's still around) is particularly tragic, but the West Side Club is only marginally better. At least the WSC gets a hot clientele in the wee hours of Friday and Saturday (although there is remarkably little sex, just lots of posturing). But they are both terrible.
Nice ones I've been to: Steamworks in Toronto and Chicago; San Jose Watergarden; Club Orlando; and Club Dallas.
The "nice" ones are clean and feel safe, have comfortable areas to lounge and relax, clean a room and replace bedding after a guest leaves; have functioning and well-maintained wet areas; and attract a decent mix of guys from 20s-60s.
There was a nice one in Columbus Ohio, it was clean, with a great outdoor pool, decent little gym.
I was there like 6 years ago, it may have changed since, I was impressed at the time. Lots of sexy guys, good conversation, a couple good 'rub outs'.
R43 - thanks so much!
I might check out GI Joe the next time I go to Montreal (and I will be back - that is a wonderful city).
NYC folks: I went to Wall Street Sauna a few times years ago (late 90s-mid 2000s). I liked that place! It was totally bare bones, but there were a lot of nice guys. Note that I didn't say "hot" - hot seems to mean young and muscular, and most guys there were not. BUT most were really nice and very fun.
I actually went out to Queens one time to a baths there - somewhere off Flushing Blvd., I think. The place smelled awful, the carpet was squishy, but I ran into the epitome of the Italian Stallion in his 30s - big, beefy, handsome. Sadly, he liked black guys, and let me play just a bit. And yes, his name was Ant'ny.
R48 Years ago an eledergay told me that as far as NYC goes, if an establishment that caters to gays is run down and crappy looking, chances are its a mob operation. They are really not set up to serve gay people, they are more like a money laundering operation.
If you like disgusting most likely aids positive old fat men of every race trying to touch you, go.
[quote]Yes, because no one ever caught an STD in the wild... it only happens at bathhouses. Practice safer sex wherever you are and you decrease your chances of catching something. Simple as that.
This bears repeating. When I go to bathhouses I just do mutual JO or a little oral, usually receiving. It's fun and quick and pretty safe. I was just tested last week and, as usual, I'm negative for everything. I've never had an STD. I know it's possible I could get one, which is why I regularly test, but I've never had one.
R45, who says we don't?
You're tired old dinosaurs. Time to move on.
This is a brand new day where gay people don't have to skulk around in the shadows. That goes for all of this shit. it's pathetic, dysfunctional, and indicative of mental problems. Not all gay men Are mentally ill and need this sort of activity, which basically involves trashing yourselves and using other people purely as objects.
[quote]Years ago an eledergay told me that as far as NYC goes, if an establishment that caters to gays is run down and crappy looking, chances are its a mob operation. They are really not set up to serve gay people, they are more like a money laundering operation.
That makes a lot of sense, r51. Thanks for the explanation. I couldn't understand how on earth these places maintained operations in expensive real estate with such obvious little income.
[quote]This is a brand new day where gay people don't have to skulk around in the shadows.
No. They skulk online on Grindr and ManHunt instead. That's WAY riskier if you ask me.
[quote]That goes for all of this shit. it's pathetic, dysfunctional, and indicative of mental problems. Not all gay men Are mentally ill and need this sort of activity, which basically involves trashing yourselves and using other people purely as objects.
You think lust, desire, and men having sex with other men is indicative of mental illness? I would suggest that YOU are the one with mental health issues.
Or you're just a troll.
One of the best times in a sauna for me was also in Columbus, like R49. Overall they atmosphere was friendly without attitude. The ones in smaller US cities and in Canada and Europe are much better - and you gotta see Babylon in Bangkok to see how lavishly appointed these luxury saunas can be - with hot guys and relaxed friendly atmospheres. And by friendly I mean relaxing, chatting and hanging out in their hottubs, pools, sundecks. cafes, bars, shows.
There is a sauna etiquette as has been pointed out, and often it is just the first exchange of glances that shows you how to proceed. Looking away is enough if you not interested. Usually I am the one approached so I have not, thankfully, met people like the OP and R8. Maybe it is the NYC attitude. The WSC is especially grim and dreadful and as a top I found it scary how many were tweaked and asked for bareback sex. Same problem with Manhunt. Never went back to either.
Stopped going to saunas in general years ago around the time of the internet. I prefer the private sex parties that are small and only by invitation. Or Growlr or Scruff. I am not attracted to the guys on Grindr unattractive.
I've visited Mega-Plex in Providence RI a number of times.
I've had some good or blah times when wandering about in my towel.
The place is D E P R E S S I N G in appearance. Obviously the owners know that men will still shell out their money hoping to suck and fuck so they don't improve the look.
As others have said, bathhouses have men of many different shapes, sizes, colors and desires.
Personally, when my cock's making demands that I know won't be satisfied locally, I'll make the 90 minute drive hoping to get off. Overall, I've lucked out with some memorable fun (a muscle bear one night, a hot 3some another time, an insatiable Marine cock sucker), shooting my load before heading home.
No serious pressure to satisfy some old troll or obese man. Give it a try if you're in need of a man who needs what you've got to give.
Should I bring my own soap?
Guys just read my website if you want to know what goes on
[quote]Give it a try if you're in need of a man who needs what you've got to give.
Yeah honey, shoot your shot.
R56, I said NOTHING about "men wanting to have sex with other men". That's a curious projection. BEING gay is not about cheap, exploitative, self-loathing encounters. I think I was pretty clear that I was talking about the culture of the gay ghetto, with its implicit creepiness and self loathing. You can read this thread and see a mentality that is hopelessly outdated and shrouded in disturbing creepiness. That's not how I see myself as a gay person. Sorry, but it's very sick.
Oh fergawdsake, if it weren't for bathhouses, I wouldn't have gotten laid. I don't drink and I get uncomfortable in bars. I like outdoor cruising, but I don't want to fuck outside (normally) and I've been to batthouses my whole life, never got an STD and actually met the love of my life in one.
I saw him across a dim orgy room. He was watching. I went over to him, we touched, but I could only see long hair and an outline. I took him out to where there was a bench and some light and we smoked a joint together. He asked me to go back to his place, and everyone lived happily ever after. (If ever after is three years.)
What R32 said.
I like the idea of the bath house. It's ancient in very appealing way.
On one hand, I can say I am glad for the experience. On the other hand I say...what was I thinking.
Let's talk about the old 8709 in LA back in the early 80's. The best of all, but very picky. I made it in once, but got turned down later because I wasn't spectacular looking.
What did it look like? Are there cut glass chandeliers and plush curtains and dozens of gilt mirrors?
The Hollywood Spa on Ivar was busy and fun. Something for everyone. Exiting at 2am into Hollywood back to your car was scary though.
r67, only the clientele was dazzling. In the just before AIDS era, some of the most gorgeous men you'll ever see hung out at the 8709. You didn't go for the decor. I remember about three stories; I can't recall a whirlpool or steam.
The 8709!! Yipes, I could go on and on and on.
I'll be back. ;-))
I've never seen the inside of a bath house
Or listened to the fucking all night long
But I see these are the things that bring you pleasure
So I'm gonna make some changes in our home
w/ apologies to Tammy Wynette
Sorry I meant R6
Is that really you, cackle-cackle?
I've missed you.
What's gas up to in Half Moon Bay?
About 3.85 here in L.A.
Haven't been in a bath house in more than 30 years. But had some good times there in the 1970s.
No one forces anything on you, or at least, didn't then. "Sorry, I'm resting," was the polite turndown.
Of course, in the orgy rooms you've gotta be a little more flexible. And some clubs had a totally dark - I mean no light AT ALL - room where you just had to let whatever happen. I never liked those, better to see what you were doing. I remember thinking once what a hot guy was sucking my dick, and then I pulled his toupe off! And he was young!
So, I gave it all up in 1981, missed it, but alive and long term relationship and negative.
Rita Mae Brown went to one once in a bathrobe, just to see what it was like. She was impressed with how caring and kind people were. I do think you could make some positive, albeit primarily sexual, connections there at times. Not a bitchy environment.
The Club in Fort Lauderdale is decent. Clean. Newish. I think built in the last 10-15 years. They had moved from a former location on Broward Blvd to a brand new building. There's a lot of posing and some older guys around but in general it't not a bad place to go bust a nut.
The ones in NY are disgusting and depressing as mentioned.
I cant believe it took until r42 to call out r11.
[quote]That's a curious projection. BEING gay is not about cheap, exploitative, self-loathing encounters. I think I was pretty clear that I was talking about the culture of the gay ghetto, with its implicit creepiness and self loathing. You can read this thread and see a mentality that is hopelessly outdated and shrouded in disturbing creepiness.
Spoken like an entitled New Age gay person who has forgotten - or worse- doesn't even know who had to pave the way for the now socially-accepted homosexual "normalcy" and level-headed equality he takes for granted in whatever part of the world he lives in.
Yes there stiull exists your idea of "self-loathing", yes there was/is lurking-in-the-shadows promiscuity. Some people do not get a choice. But rather than show compassion for those who are/were forced by social morals to behave that way, you choose a holier-than-thou proclamation of your sanity and morality. Not everyone lives in a well-adjusted Metropolitan community free of homophobic triggers.
There are a lot of gay men (to this day) who did not have the good fortune to develop in a socially functioning homo-friendly environment. They should be helped and supported by the luckier, younger, freer-willed generation, not ridiculed and accused with psychological dysfunction condemnations.
You're no different than a "Christian" Fundamentalist hater. And if you haven't experienced any hate or intolerance in your life, let me be the first one to show you what it feels like.
"Go fuck yourself, asshole. I don't agree with you, so you must be a pervert!"
[quote]I think I was pretty clear that I was talking about the culture of the gay ghetto, with its implicit creepiness and self loathing.
That wasn't clear at all. The conversation is about bathhouses.
[quote]You can read this thread and see a mentality that is hopelessly outdated and shrouded in disturbing creepiness. That's not how I see myself as a gay person. Sorry, but it's very sick.
Outdated and creepy for you, maybe. Perfectly normal for others. You seem to have an extremely rare and unusual perspective on gay sexual development. Who are you to judge others from your lofty perch of sexual enlightenment? As R76 point out not everyone has the luxury of coming to sexual maturity in an open, tolerant, liberal environment. In fact, most don't. Gay sexuality is STILL shrouded in shame and risky behaviour for many, if not most.
As R76 also point out perhaps your energies might be better spent on helping and supporting and being compassionate towards those who aren't as fortunate as you. Instead of judging them so harshly and calling them disturbing, creepy, outdated, and sick.
r62 is too ugly to fuck.
Chariots Vauxhall or Shoreditch, London
Hothouse, Cape Town
But again, I believe R62 thinks that any expression of queer male sexuality outside of what he thinks is acceptable and normal is dirty and sick and indicative of mental illness. If he doesn't like it then it's wrong.
His views are inherently conservative and anti-liberation. I suggest that he's filled with more self-loathing than the bathhouse queens he so detests.
Surely, he's aware that straight people have dirty filthy sex too, yes? They have sex clubs, sex parties, orgies, online hookups, etc.
Fresno never had a bathhouse. It was probably the YMCA.
Or more likely, a fiction troll.
Carol is that you? Come up with a new one?
Oh, the glories of the old 8709. Lush, beautiful men - sadly many are no longer with us. I was there right before the terrible epidemic. Speaking of which, what celebrities did you encounter in the bathhouses? My best was Rudolf Nureyev at the St. James. I still don't see what Bobby Kennedy saw in him.
I didn't move to LA until the late '80s and I think 8709 was gone by then. Where was it located?
The one I remember that's no longer around is The Corral Club (on Cahuenga in Studio City/Universal City). I still have my membership card from that one.
Is the North Hollywood Spa still around? I remember that when it had a different name, but I can't recall what it was. How about the two Roman Holiday locations? Never visited either of them, or Flex or Hollywood Spa for that matter. The only ones I've been to are Melrose Baths, Midtowne Spa, and the one in Wilmington.
The 8709 was 8709 3rd Avenue near Beverly Hills.
[quote]Years ago an eledergay told me that as far as NYC goes, if an establishment that caters to gays is run down and crappy looking, chances are its a mob operation.
Up until the 1970's, most gay saunas AND bars were run by the mob. It wasn't so much money laundering as it was seen as just a somewhat "seedy" business opportunity that they could exploit.
It smells like rotting carcasses because everyone there are old dinosaurs.
Yes, but I had more life, love, sex, happiness and sorrow in one year of my life than you have had in your whole miserable, pinched existence, twink trash.
[quote]carcasses because everyone there are old dinosaurs.
Come on, DLers! Who did you run into at the baths?
You bitches better keep your mouths shut!
LA's gay bars of the '70s. (Some bathhouse discussion too.) Wow. Times really HAVE changed.
R63 here. In that post, I'm talking about 8709. It was great, in the heyday of the bathhouse era.
NYC in the 70s had a lot of good places, including the Club Baths and Man's Country with the tractor trailer truck upstairs...always wondered how they got it in there.
The thing about the baths that was great is that you could walk around in a towel and check out the merchandise and maybe hook up, maybe not. (Most people did.)
By the 80s, an air of desperation hung over the bathhouse scene and I don't know if they ever really recovered. They said the same thing about Fire Island. Haunted memories.
I have no idea what 'self-loathing' has to do with wanting to shoot your nut with other hot dudes.
I saw one guy get turned away from 8709. They supposedly had a policy of turning away out-of-shape guys but I only saw this happen one time and the guy was a very in-shape model! We dropped him off. He was going in on a guest pass so we waited outside in the car to make sure he got in. Turns out he gave the door guy attitude when he wasn't ushered in through the doors to paradise immediately. "Sorry," the door guy said. So model boy stormed back to the car. "I can't believe it! They won't let me in. Um, hello, I mean LOOK AT ME!" I just remember rolling my eyes and starting the car.
Last year I finally found the courage to go to Sauna Center in Madrid, just when I'm about to open the main door people start to storm out. A guy had taken a dump while waiting to pay the entrance fee. I took that as a sign, turned around and left.
No, you had to be pretty sharp looking to get in the 8709. But I also think it was a question of greasing the :PALM of the door man.
My cock's in serious need of attention and worship and I haven't had a fat cock in my face in ages... I'm thinking of a visit to a bathhouse this evening.
Yes, I'm feeling slutty... looking to cruise meat.
Wish me luck you sexual puritans... I'll play safe if I get a chance to fuck as well.
I imagine it would be difficult to turn a profit on a bathhouse, especially in a place where the real estate is as expensive as NYC, unless as mentioned above you were running it as a front for a whorehouse or selling drugs.
Can we agree that wherever three or more people come together for purposes of sex, the odds of one of them being a creep goes up exponentially?
The logistics of heterosex makes anonymous sex hangouts problematic, but if it works for gay males, why not. It's better to go to a place designated specifically for recreational sex than to use a public toilet or a park where you're running into people who just want to have a picnic or take a crap.
I haven't been to one in many years, but I remember that there used to be homeless guys who'd pay for a locker and then come in and sleep for the night. Probably not gay-- just looking for a cheap place to sleep, I guess.
Worth a bump
Man's Country in Chicago around 2000: I went a few times. It was seedy as expected. Mostly older (40+) but some younger. There was a room with a sling that I saw used once with a huge crowd watching. I thought it was kinda hot and kinda creepy. The steam room was gross, though I enjoyed watching one guy suck about five men's dicks while I sat there. There was a whirlpool with a little waterfall and a space behind it. I went there with a younger guy desperate to suck my cock, but I only let him suck my balls - as if that were effective against an STD - and then he got pissed. There was a public bucket for scat which I avoided looking at at all costs. In one private room a leather daddy spent forever dressing up his blonde gorgeous boy in all sorts of accoutrements with a major crowd looking on. There was a dark room with group action. I joined for a j/o with a very handsome and sweet black dude. Also, many of the men there were a bit older and black, as opposed to all the white twinks closer to Halstead. I found it refreshing and generally less snobbish. However, I could not get past my fear of contracting STDs and never let loose like I wanted. Now I can't really imagine going back.
most are not worth visiting. but go at least ONCE, OP, what are you waiting for?
It's wonderful to see all these posts about the 8709. I was from the provinces (Seattle then,) and going to Los Angeles the 8709 was really big time.
The choice of words in some of these posts about HIV disease and older gays betray a lack of empathy and understanding of gay history, as well as the general moralistic Puritanism of our culture. No one who has lost a friend or family member would entertain such callous condemnation. I guess we must have been the same when we were in our 20s.
What we did not have then are the ready forums of dialog and discussion among gays across generations that sites like DL offer. Pointless bitchery, sure, it's fun. But as one who has known dear ones lost to or dealing with the epidemic, regardless of the reason, sometimes it cuts to the quick. The less of us to feel this kind of pain, now or in the future, the better.
 I agree. I am between the generation that nearly got wiped out and the one that sees HIV as more distant and less threatening. It's hard to communicate the sense of loss and fear to someone who did not experience friends and acquaintances getting sick and dying - though there are some documentaries that would be good starting points. I posted about Man's Country in 2000. While I was there, I imagined how wild it could have been - or I could have been - twenty years earlier. I didn't disparage the older guys who were there, though I guess at the time I was freaked out by the public barebacking - which now seems almost par for the course. Which brings me to grindr and Craigslist... They aren't really so different from a bathhouse, especially with all the requests for raw and walk-ins. Just a new age. I hope another generation doesn't have to experience a crisis like AIDS was in the eighties, but I also hope that people will respect the epidemic that others lived or didn't live through.
Have never been but anyone with a pulse has to wonder what it was like pre-HIV
R110 Has that guy ever BEEN in a bathhouse? This one is flat out WRONG:
[quote]And there's no cigarette smoke clogging your lungs, no obnoxious drunks, and no blaring music, like in a bar.
Every bathhouse I've been to has all three, not to mention drugged-out messes. (Although smoking has gradually been cut back or restricted to outdoors in recent years.)
And "refusals aren't common"? Seriously? Maybe if you're an Adonis, but trust me, refusals are more common than acceptances.
And they rarely have "fully-equipped gyms," either.
I'd rather get a massage and a handjob from a masseur I found on Craigslist. I go about once a month. No strings attached and I satisfy my skin hunger. And it's very safe.
about 3 yrs ago I went to a bath house in London, England. OMG, I ended up hooking up with this man right in the steam room. He was in his 30's and was absolutely gorgeous, I was 28 or so. He is the most beautiful man I've ever been with. the other men in the room attempted to touch me at the same time but he wouldn't let them. It was an amazingly hot experience, he was absolutely gorgeous. I've been to the Eastside one in NYC. scary place. unattractive, older guys. except for this guy in his early 20's. his was cute, we hooked up.
I resorted to bath houses those times b/c I was touch starved. My appearance (thai & bulgarian) isn't such a big hit here in the States. I'm not a fan of them, but they worked when I was in need.
Sun City in Paris is OMG HOT HOT HOT.
I had no idea. Had only been to a skanky depressing bathhouse in NYC one time, and that was my only comparison. If I were sex-addicted I'd have ditched my Paris travel guide and spent the whole week in that place. Honestly 50% of the men in Sun City were definitely attractive, and 10% were WOW attractive.
Sexy Frenchies and horny tourists, a win-win combo. And beautiful, clean, spacious, well-lit (not too dingy, not too bright) facilities.
I hear great things about the bathhouses in Berlin and Amsterdam as well. Sigh... Europe really has it all over the US when it comes to this aspect of gay life.
Bath houses are almost exclusively for old guys who can't type or use the internet
R117, that's only true for US cities where bathhouses are lousy and skeevy. (NYC for example)
If it wasn't for a bath house, we wouldn't have Bette Midler.
With the current emphasis on gays getting married and having kids, I'm sure bathhouses will disappear in a generation. (Showing that marriage exists to promulgate sexual stability in society, not just have kids. Otherwise, the young keep looking for sex rather than work to make society and the economy function.)
Ever gay man should visit a bathhouse at least once. It's a product of a bygone era and experience specific to gays.
Just read Dante's Inferno, and you'll get a good idea.
Agree that Sun City in Paris is a must see. Hot guys everywhere.
Der Boiler in Berlin is also one of the best in the world.
But there's no need to wonder what it's like inside. Just go to the sauna's website to check out the photo galleries.
The late Allan Berube wrote a history of the gay bath house.
There was a bathhouse in Fresno. It was part of the Steamworks chain, which had locations in Honolulu, Berkeley, Fresno, Sacramento in the 1980s. It was well kept, had great music (post-punk), and was very progressive for its time and place.
[quote]At the age of nine, there was so much I did not understand about adults. I should have been playing baseball with my biological father rather than touring a bath house with him.
Oh, lighten up Mary!
It was a building under CONSTRUCTION, not the real life set of "The Ritz" you drama queens!
bath houses are clean and smell like clorox. bleach kills all germs, even Anthrax, so you don't really have to worry about picking up ebola there.
[quote]I agree wit [R21] too. The only downside is the problem of STDS because for some condoms won't always help prevent them.
Yup, right on time, the Queen warning us how fallible using a condom is, oddly implying that not bothering at all is the best option!
Do you ever think that people who claim condoms didn't work are lying about using them altogether, or that they never got it put on properly? I'd say these types of stories cover the whole meager percentage of the "condoms don't work "statistics."
Didn't you just describe most gay bars too?
If I on the lottery, I would open a lesbian bathhouse.
I like R110's link.
I visited a bath house last week, for the first time in over 30 years, and it hasn't changed one bit. It was full of fat old trolls wandering about, trying to grab on to every dick in sight.
Bathhouse Raid in Egypt (pics of the bust at link below)
The reporter on the scene said
"‘With pictures, we reveal the biggest den of group perversion in the heart of Cairo. In the bath, there are spaces for group perversion… Police arrested the men who were in the baths, caught in the act during a group sex party. They also arrested the head of the den and all the workers. They were immediately transported to the prosecution with no clothes. Their clothes were taken as evidence in the case. ‘The El Mostakbai program will be shown next Wednesday the whole story of the dens for spreading AIDS in Egypt.’