As part of my queerducation a group of friends finally convinced me to go to a nearby sauna. Every time we hang out, they suggest going and usually I just stay home rather than go. I’ve always been very curious about going but for some reason very reluctant to do so.
In my limited experience (episodes of QAF) it seemed like the prime example of all things seedy – dark building in an old Gotham-esque neighbourhood where you don’t find many people walking around, only open at night, dark, unlighted rooms, creepy (but hot) guys, lots of touching and grabbing, lots of leather, getting down to things you would never do with your own boyfriend.
Not even close. For one we went in the middle of the afternoon. The building was located in a business district and I didn’t even notice it till we were in front. I had to ask my friends if they were sure we were at the right place since there were no signs at all. There was way more lighting than I expected, lots of men walking around in towels. Besides the sauna and showers, there was a gym and a couple of sitting areas, one with regular TV, coffee and drinks and another with adult entertainment. I tried not to sit down or hold any doors in the adult room (my close friend Purell didn’t come along for this trip). There were a lot of guys (the older ones in particular) who seemed to be regulars and knew each other. I was new and consequently I was given “fresh meat”status but all it did was make me uncomfortable – lots of strong, suggestive stares. You couldn’t take a shower without guys coming in to stare. If you passed close to someone, most times they’d quickly cop a feel. Seriously.
Finally a couple young attractive Cubans who were also popping their sauna cherries came in and were pursued all evening by the patrons leaving me to take in the scene. I was told it was all about the look and feel: no words are usually said until a connection has been made. The “rooms” were more like prison cells and with more than adequate lighting. The guys ranged from early twenties to sixties, the mean age being closer to sixty. Some were good-looking, most were not. We spent 3 hours there.
Bottom line: would I do it again? I doubt it. Why? It was kind of seedy and a bit depressing. I’ve always thought of sex as being special, even if it’s a one-nighter, something to be done in comfortable private quarters not in a place where complete strangers can hear you calling for your ancestors in the throes of passion. Maybe this is a view I have to retire to my mental attic where Santa Claus and unicorns have taken up permanent residence. I heard a lot of the guys were single or married (to women) and came here to get off since it was more difficult to hook like-minded guys elsewhere. I wonder if this is the life I should expect: being alone, going to places like this, hoping to get laid, then going back the next week and the week after. I haven’t dated that many people because I have always enjoyed being unattached but I’d like to build a life with someone eventually. When I mentioned these thoughts to my friend, I was told that while I’m an amazing friend, I am a terrible person to be in any sort of relationship with and if I don’t change I will BE one of those men.
Harsh words. I guess I walked into that one.