“Are there hetero bathhouses in the area? Look, any moral or ethical rubric aside, why can’t we just treat everyone the same? People can form the consensual, age-appropriate sexual relationships they want. This doesn’t serve public safety and public health, gay, straight, or otherwise.
In prior days, such places ended up spreadling life-threatening STDs. That did disproportionately affect gay people more in ’70s and ’80s. One of the many reasons for removing laws against homosexuality and marriage restrictions was to allow gays to cultivate normative, healthy, long-term relationships and not have to seek out clandestine booze and drug-fueled parties because people couldn’t be public about their relationship.
All of my gay friends seem pretty set on getting rid of these stereotypes and images, or at least not having them define the LGBT community. Religion and all that aside, it demonstrated as a matter of both mental health and physical health that people are healthier if sex is not separated from love, affection, commitment.
What problem does such an establishment supposedly solve? What does it do to advance society and the health and well-being of gays or anyone else?”– A City Pages reader, responding to an article about Minneapolis’ gay bathhouses returning to the city
Bathhouses are just Grindr minus phones plus showers. Personal sexual safety and practices should be followed regardless of location.
like Timothy answered I am amazed that someone able to make $7869 in four weeks on the
computer . find out here…
I agree; if you approach sexual contact in a responsible manner, bathhouses are in some respect safer than just “hooking up” somewhere ALONE with someone you just met. What if it’s really an encounter with several homophobes like used to happen back in the day, and probably still does. “Gay Bashing” is very illegal now, being a Hate Crime, but that doesn’t mean diddly to some A-Holes out there. At least in a bathhouse there are witnesses, and we’re in the majority there. I no longer go to a bathhouse because I’m old and very married, but years ago they were my favorite place to meet guys. Nothing says you have to go to the dark areas first, usually I’d hang out at the hot tub, sauna, the pool, or even in the rec area and have a conversation with a prospective encounter before I went off to have a bit of fun. I don’t think anyone is going to find love at either (or should expect to), and I believe in “safety in numbers”, and Grindr is not going to provide that.
@Bellerophon69: I agree with you on some of your points. I’m too young to know about the glory days of bathhouses, so I cannot speak from experience.
A bathhouse, as a location to meet up, would probably see a few regulars who would gain reputations, for good or for ill. This could be seen as an additional layer of security: the bad eggs get bounced. The bad eggs can be ostracized. Unfortunately, those bad eggs would then turn towards other avenues for sex.
Oh right! Since Grindr, Scruff, Tinder, et. al have been around STD’s have vanished. And guys aren’t setting up their own sex parties in their homes? At least in bath houses people are meeting face to face. If people want to go to them let them go. If they don’t then there will be no business and they will close down.
Well said, honey. And by the way, how are things over at The Westside Club these days? I swear some times I miss ol’ NYC.
No one ever got an STI from a Grindr hookup. (sarcasm)
Going home with a stranger is more dangerous than an encounter in a bathhouse that not only checks for ID but where a membership is required.
“booze and drug-fueled parties….” Those happen in private homes. Bathhouses will throw out patrons for drinking and doing drugs on the premises. They have every incentive to do so.
The bathhouse in my town is a great resource for building community and for getting information about health and especially sexual health. The last 3 HIV screenings I had were performed there by a local service provider. A few men’s groups have social events there. I have made a few new friends based on connections (sexual or non-sexual) I made there.
Bathhouse? What? Public perceptions aside, that strikes me as an obsolete business model. Even if you could convince people to show up, wouldn’t they all just sit around staring at their smartphones? Just like everywhere else?
That is an image for a editorial cartoon. thx for the giggle.
Phones weren’t allowed once cameras became a feature, a friend just told me. no really I haven’t been to one since I couldn’t fit in to my SBC Lifeguard Birdwell 305’s any longer.
When I came out in 1972 bathhouses were the safest place in town for gay men. We used them to exchange coming out stories, practice our sex skills and revel in our sexuality. I don’t use Grindr, but in an age when people live on their phones, a bath house would be an excellent place for face to face contact that men complain they don’t get enough of. I don’t think gay men today are much different than we were. We all need reassurance and what better a place to get it than a bathhouse where we spent time watching videos wrapped in each other’s arms, sharing snacks as well as having some of the best sex of our lives naked.
The bathhouse in my city is still usually very busy and a fun alternative to hanging out at a bar. It’s funny to see a lot of guys checking their phones while there….the apps show all the guys who are within a few feet of you (meaning they are also at the bathhouse) and it’s very convenient to invite someone to your room and give them the room # without having to walk around the halls in a towel….just saying….lol
Count your blessings, PinkoOfTheGange. The last time I wore my Daisy Dukes, the grandchildren started playing Tic Tac Toe with my stretchmarks.
If you don’t like bathhouses, then don’t go to bathhouses. The author of the featured comment needs to learn to enjoy what makes him happy without judging what makes others happy.
I think the comment above again repeats the same desire from some in our community that we should model our lives (including our sex lives) after those of straight people. That’s perfectly fine for some, but a lot of my gay friends who have tried–it didn’t really work out for them. Not that my personal friends represent everyone of course, but I keep hearing the same failures and unhappiness from all kinds of gay media.
Frankly, the social norms for straight people aren’t really working all that well for them anyway–so why should we feel compelled to copy them?
It’s great that our relationships are now more accepted and legally recognized (for now) and we should continue to fight to maintain that–don’t get me wrong. Truthfully though, I think the gay community is still finding its way and it’s best role in mainstream society.
Exactly! You hit the nail on the head. For me, and most gays that I know, gay rights means having the same rights, privileges, and federal protections as heterosexuals without having to conform to someone else’s ideals. Gays, just as heterosexuals, are not a monolith. We have to be accepting of the vast diversity and individuality that exists among us or risk becoming the very thing that we fought so hard against. And to answer the author’s question, yes, there are hetero bath houses. They may be inconspicuous but they definitely exist.
Yep, it’s called homonormativity and many a gay person these days wants it. They have forgotten that it was gay liberationists who fought and won them the freedom to be conformist. Nothing–not a thing–that LGBTQ people have achieved came from someone’s beneficence, it is the result of struggle and radical action. Also, bathhouses are a far safer alternative–if properly regulated–than most other spaces for people having sex. You can require no phones, weapons, etc.; you can offer free STI screening; you can provide PrEP, free lube, condoms, etc.; and you can have security present to address any issues. It’s a better option that public cruising sites, meeting unknown men and bringing them home, and so on.
Some good comments above. If there is a business niche for bath houses then let them be. Frankly I think they are safer than Grindr or other hook up apps. The issues regarding stds and such exist not because of bath houses but because gay men like to hook up. At least the bath houses had regular free testing, as well as, provided condoms and lube.
A totally unqualified puritan lecturing the rest of us on what is good and healthy sex. Why should we care?
Str8 people have sex parties ad nauseum. My straight brother goes to them all the time and generally a guy has to bring a girl to keep it equal guys to girls. The reason there aren’t str8 bathhouses perse is strictly due to women’s safety.
We don’t have those restrictions so bring on the gay bathhouses. At least you’re really seeing what you get and are much more safe than with hookup apps. As far as std’s have fun be safe and get tested, that goes for gay and straight.
The writer adove has not done his homework. Group sex is part of human nature which he missed completly. It’s all part of human bonding. Go preach to straight people if you must hurl nonsense, you’re in the wrong class. We’ve had committed long term loving relationships from forever ago. And we still continue to bond with group sex just like our straight counterparts, now and forever. Sorry to burst your tiny bubble.
Out you go Mr. str8 and misinformed.
The reason women don’t visit bath-houses is because women are not into anonymous, indiscriminate sex like men are. Females just do not have the constant, powerful sex drive that men do. It’s got nothing to do with lack of safety.
If women go to sex parties, it’s usually to keep hubby happy. Women are enablers, don’t forget.
For those of you that haven’t met Jax he is also a Milo apologist.
Jaxton-As usual, completely Missinformed. I have my proof, where’s yours? Let’s see it.
Honey if you want to have the hetero-normative life…bully for you.
But put a sock in it when you think you should be the arbitrator for others legal and consensual acts.
Woman wants anonymous sex in str8 bathhouse…..
Back to your inflato Brian/Jaxton. She’s much more understanding of you than we are. She’ll believe anything you say. Now after she has satisfied you, your info to back up your statements? Spill. Or back to your cage with you.
Lol – that article mentions swingers clubs. In general, swingers clubs are attended by paid female prostitutes or wives who go there with their husbands to keep him happy.
There is no – repeat, no – female equivalent to the all-male bath house designed for anonymous and indiscriminate sex.
Again, no proof women have low sex drives, don’t go for anonymous sex and are “enablers” whatever that means. Come on cupcake let’s see your proof. It’s hard being stupid, isn’t it Brian.
Bathhouses are wonderful until everybody dies.
The whole issue of bathhouse closures was a referendum trying to limit gay male sexuality. I was a physician in SF doing AIDS research and was involved in discussions prior to the closures. The data did show that the risk of AIDS was higher for those who frequented bathhouses, but it didn’t take into account the likelihood that men who went to the baths tended to also have more different sexual partners. The decision was done prior to the knowledge that HIV was the cause, and many gay men were in denial that it was directly sexually transmitted. Poppers were blamed until studied more carefully, and then the baths came up. I had one guy say he wanted the baths closed because then if he slept with someone, he didn’t have to worry. It was at a time when condoms were just beginning to be pushed as a preventive.
I think bringing the baths back is a great idea. I don’t know how popular they would be in the era of Grindr, but they are part of our history. Gay men had to find places to meet and most places have some areas that become known hookup areas. It may be a rest stop, bathroom, or park. The baths and subsequently sex clubs became legal places to do this. I loved the baths when I had first come out. You’d go to the bars and if you didn’t find anyone, you’d head off to the baths. The atmosphere however is different as it was more laid back as it’s difficult to be that uptight wearing just a towel, but it was also clear why everyone was there and there was less pretense. In this time, the baths and sex clubs are about the only place where it’s entirely gay men except for entertainment which was in a non-sexual part.
I can see the author who is obviously not a gay man, has issues with unrestricted sexuality. Perhaps liking to have anonymous sex with many hot men is a result of not being allowed to have “public” relationships but I would be curious to see if that were true. Susan Sontag once wrote that to understand gender sexuality look to the sexual behavior of gay men and lesbians. In her thesis, she says that gay men act sexually without female influence and likewise lesbians without males. She joked that any woman who would have sex on a bathroom floor with a stranger is either paid or just a fantasy. I tend to agree with her, but perhaps with the acculturation of us sinful gays with the sexually limited heterosexuals we will find that all we really needed to be happy is monogamy. There was truly no public health benefit to the closure of bathhouses and if as the author posits that gays will “cultivate normative, healthy, long-term relationships and not have to seek out clandestine booze and drug-fueled parties because people couldn’t be public about their relationship” is true, then the baths will close since no one will go to them. I think what will happen is that gay men will have a committed relationship but also be open for outside sexual experiences and anonymity is a positive. Most men can separate sex from emotion and that anonymous activity poses little direct risk to the committed relationship and as men we don’t get pregnant, there wouldn’t be a risk of that entanglement.
How? It get’s the Republicans off the streets!
In my experience, many of the men who went to the baths were men who were married and looking for something their wives couldn’t give them. There were even some bathhouses that did a big business on the lunch hour. Those married men had no intention of ever coming out or ending their marriages — they just wanted occasional man play, and that was their outlet. They weren’t really part of the gay community.
I’ll say that the most sexually voracious guys I ever encountered in a bathhouse were closeted and/or married to women, priests, and others who were obviously from anti-gay religious cultures.
That is very true. Bath-houses that are designed for sexual encounters are generally for men who want a quickie before going home to the wife and family. The nuclear heterosexual lifestyle tends to be very stifling sexually for men.
IF gay bars are having trouble staying open not sure it’s a business model that will do well.
Bathhouses are safer than Grindr etc.. How many people have been murdered by a hook up at the baths? In reply to the naysayer about heterosexual bathhouse-like establishments, there are many, I’ve been to them in Tampa, Miami, New York, and Chicago, only difference, they didn’t have steamrooms or showers.
Bathhouses are the only reason why I am still having sex. I have been on several hookup sites and have “meetings” with a few hot guys but overall I am NOT comfortable with following a stranger home or letting a stranger into my home, regardless of how hot he is. I had a dream a few years ago where I actually woke up swinging my arms violently trying to fight off a guy I was suppose to meet in a couple of days. Read that again because I hadn’t even met the guy yet but when that dream happened I let him know that I had changed my mind. I got all sorts of insults for canceling but those insults confirmed my suspicions that my gut instinct that the guy looking for a place to live were probably correct. He looked a bit TOO perfect to be looking for some one my age (59) and he was only twenty-eight, or so he said.
Not too long ago an article appeared here on Queerty (they took it down because of the obvious lack of support for the attacker) where a “thing” that was being taken care of stabbed a poor guy in both eyes and robbed him after being told to get out. My deepest fear has always been a pick up murder/robbery and every time I read about a middle-aged man found dead in his house, apt or has gone missing for several days makes me think of a hookup gone bad. Bathhouses are the safest place for people like me and I don’t give ONE damn about people ranting on and on about diseases. There are plenty of people who get/got infected with god only knows what that have never set foot in a bathhouse, don’t forget. The guys who were found badly beaten or killed: too bad a photo ID wasn’t required for entrance to their house or apartment. Thats harsh but reality and the times we live in are what they are. Your next online hot one could be the next Andrew Cunanan that you were unfortunately unaware of.
I’ve never been to a classic kind of bathhouse, so I’m guessing what it’s like. Any straight gym with a whirlpool, steam room and a sauna would be the same thing as a gay bathhouse, no? There’s plenty of naked guys at my gym, and some of them will do oral sex if you ask. I’ve had a few “straight” guys who just want a BJ, and they got one. As an aside there is a nearby “book store” where guys go on their lunch hours to get a BJ. All I can say about that is WOW. Young business types and young working class guys all go there and it is HOT. As far as I know nobody butt fu*cks in the book store but there are quite a few guys dripping cum out their mouths when they go back to work at 1pm. And, tough you’ll see an older guy now and then, for the most part this is a book store for 20 and 30 year olds. Nice not to see the older trolls (nothing against older guys) perving the young guys in this place. You just have to check you clothing to be sure your not all jizzed up before going back to work. (that happened to me once, but my friend cought it). Okay. This place changes the meaning of “lunch time”. It’s yum.
Book store? What is this? 1972?
There are gay bathhouses in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, etc. The next time you are in one of those cities you should check one out.
Also, in addition to bathhouses, some US cities actually still have private sex clubs. Google it. They once were all over the US, and still exist in Europe, Latin America, parts of Asia, etc. They dispense with the “bath” part, but are still safer than hook-up apps, provide lube, etc.
Here in Sacramento, we have a bath house called Sac Buddies. We are 1.5 hours from Steve’s Place in Reno, and 1.5 hours from the Steamworks in Berkeley. All three are very popular, packed on most nights & weekends. For those who simply desire to have sex, anonymously, whether they are married, single, straight or gay, find such venues provide the perfect outlet. Strip clubs, designed for straight men, are all over… both types of clubs are for adults only, behind closed doors, meeting the needs of their patrons. Live & let live…
Sometimes i am so bewildered by american puritanism…
It seems according to the comments above that bathhouses are something of the past for gay people in America.. ?
Just come to Europe, it’s very much alive. And you find lots of young men going there, without looking all the time on their cellphones to check grindr.
The issue with Bathhouses, frankly, is that while the utopian ideal of friendly places to have sex with strangers without judgment was a thing in the 70s and 80s, it is not in the shallow, incredibly subdivided community of today. I went to my first one (in DC) a few months ago. And nothing was happening. Two conventionally attractive guys fending off the advances of the majority, two other pairs who looked like they could be siblings hooking up with each other, and 10-15 other people wandering around forlornly and giving each other the stink-eye. I walked out knowing that if I wanted to be sneered at I could do it for free, out on the streets, or in the comfort of my own home. At least when someone rejects you on the apps it doesn’t cost you anything — and there’s more of a chance someone will actually find you attractive.
“and there’s more of a chance someone will actually find you attractive.”
It sounds like you went there with the belief that all heads were suppose to turn when you took off your clothes and walked around with your towel wrapped around you. Didn’t quite pan out the way, huh? It happens/ has happened to the majority of us. Some nights your the lone star that they all want and other nights your avoid like a lone cactus in the desert. There are young guys who follow each other around like little puppy dogs all night and leave having had sex with no one and others whom if you only knew how many people they had been with you would question whether or not you should add yourself to their list. In other words its a hit or miss situation. I have had nights where before I walked out the door a thought went thru my mind to simply stay home and go on pornhub.com or a tube.com site and “get off” because of the feeling I had that it was going to end in disappointment and other times when I thought that but went anyway I had the time of my life up to that point. Again, its hit or miss and you can’t control either.
I think you should go back and try it again only this time just keep in mind about what I said regarding good nights and bad nights (hit or miss). We’ve all had them, in the bars, public sex cruising areas (those that are left) and hookup site. Rejection isn’t always a bad thing. It keeps you stronger depending on how you look at it. Look at it this way too: the queen who sneered at you might be frustrated because the one he was after did the same thing to him.
I’ve been going to bathhouses for as long as I’ve been out. They should be a part of the community and frankly, they’ll be times when you don’t meet anyone and then, they’ll be times when you’ll end up having great sex.
I said this in reply to an earlier post, but: bathhouses still can serve an important purpose in the gay male community. In addition to bathhouses, though, there are also sex clubs, or parties in gay clubs, that cater to specific subgroups. For example, some clubs have leather sex parties, or bear parties, etc. At one bear party I went to a few years ago, there were all kinds of guys, of all races, ages (18+ through perhaps 75), and people paired off, tripled up, etc. There was safe sex equipment for those who wanted it, people had to understand the etiquette to participate, and some people just enjoyed watching as voyeurs. Not every bathhouse or sex club experience is like this, but there should be options beyond public sex, hook-up apps, or monogamous sex at home. And bathhouses can be viable businesses; isn’t everyone in the US supposed to be for capitalism?
I live in Minneapolis area and while I may not have the opportunity to go, I would love the idea of a local, upscale bathhouse. Unlike many others, I am closeted (for a lot of good reasons) and unable to be too public. So a bathhouse would be the best place to meet guys for intimate contact.
Even though Minneapolis has a welcoming attitude toward gays, I also doubt a bathhouse will ever happen because we just have too many folks that will try to keep it closed down for our “own good”.
If a person approaches sexual contact in a responsible manner, bathhouses are in some respect safer than just “hooking up” somewhere ALONE with someone you just met. What if it’s really an encounter with several homophobes like used to happen back in the day, and probably still does. “Gay Bashing” is very illegal now, being a Hate Crime, but that doesn’t mean diddly to some A-Holes out there. At least in a bathhouse there are witnesses, and we’re in the majority there. I no longer go to a bathhouse because I’m old and very married, but years ago they were my favorite place to meet guys. Nothing says you have to go to the dark areas first, usually I’d hang out at the hot tub, sauna, the pool, or even in the rec area and have a conversation with a prospective encounter before I went off to have a bit of fun. I don’t think anyone is going to find love at either (or should expect to), and I believe in “safety in numbers”, and Grindr is not going to provide that.
Bring them back? Where did they go?
Bathhouses, Grindr, etc are crutches which reduce gay men to random sex acts. We deserve better than bathhouses and Grindr.
Many people have found the love of their lives on such venues. Don’t be so narrow minded. Maybe you’ll then, find yours.
I was around when we were trying to teach safe sex in th 80’s. Closing the bathhouses was devastating to that effort. Everyone was everywhere,unseen and we couldn’t get to them.
When guys came to a bathhouse they got tested for all STD’s and HIV and many were willing to even sit in a group setting and participate in “hot horny and healthy” a Sex Ed groups that was fun and informative the NY gay men’s health crisis developed for use everywhere by everyone.
It was of absolutely of NO HELP for everyone to disperse. None!! It hindered all the education we were doing. Respectfully
The article at the top which released this torrent of tolerance, acceptance and hunger for delicious debauchery, includes, “as a matter of both mental health and physical health that people are healthier if sex is not separated from love, affection, commitment.”
“People are healthier” – I think in most of my bathhouse hook ups I was loving and loved, affectionate and certainly committed to whatever was at hand, or more often hands.
Sorry, but I view bathouses, and those that frequent them, as dirty, undesirable, possible disease carriers. There’s a reason I won’t “date”, or really even talk to anyone that’s a recent transplant to my smaller town from any larger city. We get a lot of dirtbags from ny, philly, nj, etc here, and the anything goes mentality towards multiple random anonymous sexual partners just doesn’t cut it here in smaller town Pennsylvania. You might view it as puritanical, I see it as being safe.
No. I view you as a narrow-minded, not very bright, snob.
My first experiences where in booths or other places in adult theaters. This resulted in me catching an infection (venereal disease) that, luckily for me, was easily treated. I discovered the bathhouse in my city and I was nervous my first time. When I went inside I found a clean environment with free condoms readily available. This has been my experience with every one I visited.
Face it – you’re men, you’re horny. You’re all the same.. .whether you prefer sex with men or with women.
However, when men prefer sex with women, they crash into a reality called “women have a much less constant and less powerful sex drive than men”. This is why these men need to coax consent out of women using cash payments. Think prostitution.
When men prefer men, consent is not an issue. It’s a case of “you’re hot, I’m hot…let’s [email protected]”. The rules of engagement are totally different. That’s why male-male is easier and more promiscuous in general.
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