Ever wondered what goes on in a gay bathhouse or a gay sauna? Ever been a bit curious to see what it’s all about?
Bathhouses – which are also referred to as saunas and sex-on-premises venues – are the venues where guys go to have sexual encounters with other guys.
A sex-on-premises venue can range from the fairly basic – some sort of a space where guys can have sex – to the full spa and steam-room experience inspired by the Ancient Greeks.
You might think that gay bathhouses are part of our queer history – sure, useful for guys to connect each other before the internet was invented, but a bit redundant now that we have hook-up apps, right?
While hook-up apps and online dating platforms such as Gaydar.net have definitely made it easier to connect with local guys looking for some fun, bathhouses are still very much a vibrant part of the sex lives of many guys who are looking for a bit of man-on-man action.
For example, if you’ve been chatting with a guy on your app and you’re ready to sort out the logistics of getting together, meeting him at your local bathhouse is a great option. It might be more convenient for you both, it avoids any safety concerns about going to his place or inviting him over to yours, and bathhouses are equipped for sex.
Lots of guys also just enjoy the whole bathhouse experience. It’s a homosocial space, a sexual environment, and it provides a different type of hook-up experience. A sex-on-premises venue such as a bathhouse avoids all of the back and forth chat of online dating. Everyone there is ready to go – a bit of eye-contact and it’s game on.
If you’ve never been to a gay bathhouse or sauna before, you might have a preconception that it’s only older guys that go there, or guys that you wouldn’t find attractive. The reality is that bathhouses are really diverse places. Obviously, it depends a bit where you are and the time of day, but our experience of bathhouses is that there’s generally guys of all ages and all body types, and plenty of guys that we want to have sex with. What they’ve all got in common is that they’re looking for sex, for an encounter, for intimacy.
The other thing that often surprises bathhouse newbies is that you might go to a sauna and not have sex. No one is going to force you to do anything – if you’re not getting the vibe from anyone, you might just kick back and relax, observe what’s going on around you, and then call it a night. There’s no pressure.
Bathhouses can be social places – there’s generally a lounge area where you can get a drink or a snack, watch some TV, or chat with other guys. Equally, if you don’t feel like talking, you can easily navigate a bathhouse without saying a word – body language is a really effective way to communicate.
You might decide that you’re going to stick to the hook-up apps and let the technology do the work, but if you haven’t ever visited a bathhouse then you don’t know what you’re missing out on.