The bathhouse rules

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I am a straight man who has long fantasized about sex with another man. I often go online to chat rooms to cruise anonymously but have never carried the fantasy further than that. I am interested in pursuing something in person but have never, no pun intended, had the balls to do so. I feel like a bathhouse would be a good place to start but the etiquette and scene are completely foreign to me. Do you have any tips for a first timer?



I can totally get behind personalized interpretations of sexual identity but as much as I may feel like a man myself some days, wanting to swagger into a bathhouse to fuck some random ass, I will never, not with this cartoonishly female body anyway, be allowed in one. So let's ask my intern Dmitri Lovesit for some advice. He's worked (and worked in) bathhouses internationally—he knows the score.

"The bathhouse should be that swift kick in the balls that you need to turn the fantasy into reality," says Dmitri. "For your first time, I would recommend going in the early afternoon. Most bathhouses have daytime specials ('Nooners'). These tend to attract more discreet, professional men as opposed to the weekends, when you tend to see younger guys and partiers and more drug use.

"Don't go with the expectation that you will have sex; you may initially be quite content just watching porn or watching other guys do their thing. You will enter a little porch with a secondary door. There will be a glass screen near the door and an attendant behind the glass. You will have to pay for your room or locker and sign a receipt in advance of entry. You can use an alias and go for the room. A small portion will be returned when you leave. Tipping is sexy.

"Once you come inside, you will be given a towel and key. You shouldn't expect a guided tour, but you can ask for directions and about the layout. Condoms and fresh towels are provided and you should change into the towel. Basic amenities include a dry sauna, showers, a lounge with porn and some dark areas for cruising. Some saunas offer additional spa and sex facilities while some keep it basic. The majority of interaction is non-verbal. Expect that you may be groped at any given point. If you are not interested simply say "no thanks" or walk away—most guys get the hint. If your door is open, it is usually a sign that you are receptive to visitors. Keep your valuables locked inside your locker/room at all times. Explore. Wear flip-flops if you are squeamish. Get off, rinse, repeat if necessary."

Have fun, Straight! Let us know how it goes. And who knows, maybe next time we hear from you your handle will be Bi the Way.