Male Couple in a Sauna, both wrapped in white towels
Image Credit: Getty Images

Listen to your elders; they have something to say.

And, in the case of a viral clip shared on Twitter X this week, that “something” is a story about getting passed around a gay sauna like a hot potato.

In the video, we’re greeted by a polite-looking older British chap making tea in his kitchen. Sans context, things quickly take a rather surprising turn when he begins reflecting on his visits to a Detroit sauna as a 19-year old, where he was literally picked up and used like a sex doll by the other men there.

“I loved it. I loved it,” he says cheerfully with a giggle. “I used to c*m and c*m and c*m. And, I reckon, about four or five times in a couple of hours was not unusual.” Well, alright then!

Watch the clip for yourself here:

His regrettable impression of the Black sauna denizens aside, it’s honestly kind of sweet how wistfully he remembers being ridden like a village bicycle—but also a bit sad as he laments not being able to do anything like that anymore, lest he risk a heart attack. Now, out of safety, he never busts more than twice.

On social media, the clip—which has now racked up over 25 million views—sure is making the rounds (not unlike the old man himself, back in the day). Once viewers are able to pick their jaws up off the floor, the natural question is: “Where on Earth is this from?”

As it turns out, it’s part of British television documentary called “Secrets Of The Gay Sauna,” which initially aired on Channel 4 back in 2016.

Filmed in the wake of gay marriage’s legalization in the U.K., the doc—as the title might suggest—took audiences behind the closed doors of a sauna and sought to de-stigmatize what, exactly, goes on there.

“In this film, we enter the infamous world of the gay sauna for the very first time,” intones a narrator in the documentary’s opening minutes, “meeting the men who come here for sexual adventures and the workers who clear up after them, as we find out: What really happens in a gay sauna?”

Its primary focus is the CS2 sauna in Nottingham, a nondescript building in the middle of town owned and operated by couple Joe Corr and John Gains who *spoiler!* get married over the course of the film, having been together for over 30 years.

Now, if you’re a gay man yourself, chances are you may have been to a sauna much like CS2, so perhaps the answer to “What really happens in a gay sauna?” isn’t all that surprising to you. But the doc still has its delights, particularly as Joe, John, and other sauna-goers—the majority of whom are older, like the 69-year old Narvel from the above clip—speak candidly about their experiences.

As Joe and John take the cameras on a tour through their health club main floor and the much more secretive upper level—which is darker, dungeon-like, and designed for cruising—the narrator tells us, “Customers come here at any time of day–during their lunch break or after a night out to have sex with perfect strangers. And at £12 a visit, business is booming.”

And perhaps it still is? So far is we can tell, the CS2 sauna’s doors are still open. Here’s hoping Joe, John, Narvel, and all the other horny old buggers are still getting their rocks off to this day!

If you’d like to check out the documentary for yourself, you’re in luck. As of last month, it now streams in full on YouTube courtesy of Australian LGBTQ+ content hub, We Are Pride. Check it out below:

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