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TnO

Welcome to the Bathhouse: A Straight Man's Guide

Posted by Japhet / April 15, 2007

200700314_bathhouse.jpgThe average heterosexual probably envisions a bathhouse as a place where gay men can go, twenty-four hours a day, to have sex with whomever they want.

I know I did and frankly I was jealous. After all, bars are iffy, swinger's clubs are too expensive and masturbation gets old. I was ready to step across the pond and join in the game the other team was playing, if just for one night, but I was also worried.

What were the rules? Would I run into someone I know? How far would I go?

Luckily, I had a guide. A friend of mine (and a regular to this type of establishment) invited me to check out Excess, a spa at 105 Carlton St.

After entering, we were offered our choice of a locker for $8 or a room for $30. My friend, I'll call him Ducky, got us lockers, explaining that if we wanted a room, whomever we ended up with would probably have one.

He also briefly explained the rules of the joint with the proviso that I only really needed to remember four of 'em:

Silence is golden. Easy and quick sexual encounters are the name of the game and no one wants to have their fun spoiled with intimacy, disclaimers or any kind of recognition beyond basic physical need.

Non-verbal negotiation. A look generally indicates interest but often, a guy will touch you to see if you're interested. If you're not into the guy who's approaching you, don't look at them or push away their hand. Usually, they'll back off.

Come inside. If you pass by a room and the door's open, that means you're invited to at least solicit a proposal for sex by standing in the doorway and waiting to see if you get an invitation.

If the question is "drugs" the answer is "yes." Poppers, a nitrate inhalant that acts upon the body like alcohol intoxication except it hits you in seconds, are used by a lot of guys to increase their pleasure and reduce lack of control. You don't have to use them but feel free to take a snort if offered.

Proceeding inside, we first came to a bar area where men in towels were lounging on sofas, watching porno. Passing through, we came to the first of many confusing hallways. Ducky knew where he was going and led me to the locker room where we stashed our clothing and, garbed in white towels eerily reminiscent of a high school shower, we set out to get lucky.

It was a good thing I had a guide because I would have been hopelessly lost without him. Every doorway seemed to head off in a new direction and a lot of passageways seemed to randomly turn at sharp angles, leading you into claustrophobic dead-ends. Turning a corner, one would happen upon other men, in varying states of undress, alternately watching porn and doing things to each other. The crowd was split almost down the middle between Caucasians and Asians (of both the east and south-east variety). Some of the rooms were quite dark and you couldn't see anything but that didn't dispel the ever-present feeling of being watched.

I've heard girls talk about how they sometimes feel like they're on display but I hadn't felt that meat market vibe since the swinger's club and it was rather humbling, here moreso because the sex was less regulated and there was definitely an anything-can-happen feel to the place.

After a brief stop at the showers (hurray for hot tubs!), we parked ourselves in one of those bizarre, cubist-inspired rooms and I steeled myself for what I believed would be the twentieth-century equivalent of a Maenadian orgy. Minutes later, I was forced to reevaluate my initial idea of a bathhouse. Men entered and left the room and but no one was being pushy and I was largely left to my own devices.

I was surprised that there really was not a whole lot of conversation. Instead of the verbal sparring that constitutes the usual negotiation for sexual favours, men would sit down and size each other up, waiting for an unspoken acknowledgement that their services would be required. No one spoke and because there was no sound on the porno loop, the overall mood was one of solemnity punctuated by bouts of hardcore sex.

After some initial hesitation, I dropped all pretense of objectivity and decided to get the ball rolling. Adopting a pose that suggested I was open to whatever, I leaned back and waited for the first guy to approach. He wasn't long in coming and neither was the second or third.

Most of the men were older than I was and while not many of them were good-looking, I figured I couldn't really turn any of them down because, as a tourist, I wasn't there to find someone I was attracted to. I suppose quite a few of the other inhabitants were pickier but it still seemed like good odds to me.

This being a public room, there wasn't any anal sex going on and most men seemed content to provide blow-jobs and feel me up. One would wander off and another would take his place. Surrounding our little party were about half-a-dozen guys on average, watching intently and jerking off.

I very quickly learned that staying in one spot makes a guy seem like the village bicycle and it's best to move around. Ducky was busy following that advice and I was soon left to my own devices.

Coming upon an open door I looked in to find a man, face-down on a bed. Seeing me, he beckoned me to come inside and, after lubing up and providing me with a condom, indicated that I should fuck him. I gamely tried to get into the spirit of things but just couldn't go with it. The blowjobs were one thing but between the lube and the condom, I couldn't feel anything and the general unfamiliarity of the situation hit me. I excused myself and after spending 5 minutes trying to find my locker and nearly 15 minutes attempting to locate the exit, I made it outside, feeling exhausted and generally out-of-it.

I didn't run into anyone I knew and while I don't think I would do it again, it was surprisingly different from the sex I'm used to. The guys were generally rougher and they tended to fetishize one part of the body at a time. More importantly, they were male and while it's easy enough to go with the flow, there's a difference between kind of liking how something feels and really loving it. I ended up going way farther than I thought I would but, as Colin Powell once said, "You don't know what you can get away with until you try."

Despite it being one of those experiences that would undoubtedly translate very differently for each and every person who gave it a shot, bathhouses are everything you've probably imagined and maybe some things you haven't. As far as I'm concerned, it only confirms how much fun you can have if you're inclined to enjoy that kind of thing. Lucky bastards...

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Photos from the Excess website

Discussion

53 Comments

Ryan C. / April 15, 2007 at 08:38 pm
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Holy...
Fucking...
Jesus.

So who wins, Jenny or Japhey? Seriously, whoa!
Gloria / April 15, 2007 at 08:50 pm
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Japhet, dude .... awesome. Your tone wasn't too squeamish, and you wrote in a honest, informative way. Nice.
Tlonista / April 15, 2007 at 08:57 pm
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I've got to ask, what was with the previous version of the post that wasn't half so informative? Just an early draft that was posted by accident?
Japhet / April 15, 2007 at 09:06 pm
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I hate to admit it but I forgot a quotation mark in one of my links and for some reason, the main part of the post, the real meat of it, wasn't posted.

And then I added some more information.
sookie / April 15, 2007 at 10:45 pm
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Colin Powell would be proud.
Matt / April 15, 2007 at 10:55 pm
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Stunning. Jenny's legacy has been proudly maintained. This is the real fucking Tn'O deal.
Lisa / April 15, 2007 at 11:19 pm
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Uhm this is an entirely different story as the one you posted this afternoon. What gives?
Ryan C. / April 16, 2007 at 12:04 am
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Check three comments above yours Lisa, and thy questions shall be answered.
Sameer Vasta / April 16, 2007 at 04:02 am
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The fact that you incorporated a Colin Powell quote into a story about bathhouses makes you my new hero. Awesome.
zuckoff / April 16, 2007 at 08:30 am
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This commentary belongs on PRI (Public Radio International). Fun, arousing, hot. "This American Life!"
Colon Power / April 16, 2007 at 11:04 am
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More like colon power.
Chip / April 16, 2007 at 12:04 pm
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You gave a very accurate picture of the bathhouse experience.

They're very tame and much less crowded than they were pre-AIDS. They were mobbed and very wild back then.
Blissfully Wed / April 16, 2007 at 12:44 pm
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Beautifully written and very informative.

Thanks for sharing.
Voice of Reality says... / April 16, 2007 at 02:52 pm
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Sorry dude. You are not straight.
Gloria / April 16, 2007 at 05:20 pm
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Probably a troll, but hey ...

Kinda funny how having sex with one dude (as far as Japhet reveals here) compels some people to label a guy gay. What are gay men who bang males every day? Super gay? What if a gay man has sex with a woman? Is he straight?

Hey tormented gay men? It seems we've found a cure ...
Huh / April 16, 2007 at 07:00 pm
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"Not straight" is not the same thing as gay.
Japhet / April 16, 2007 at 07:16 pm
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I identify as straight 'cos guys simply can't get me off like girls can. I don't fantasize about guys and I don't seek them out

It's not some badge of honour, it's simply a preference.
Gloria / April 16, 2007 at 09:29 pm
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Not being completely straight seems to imply a little gay, unless you're a little asexual.

Basic objection was that one encounter could introduce content to one's sexual identity ... but if you did it and it doesn't do anything for you, does it necessarily mean you're a little gay? Does physical engagement really count for that much? If it does for you, then go for it ... but I just don't enjoy it being assumed every time.
Japhet / April 16, 2007 at 10:43 pm
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I'm of the opinion that something can feel alright as far as it goes but if it doesn't really do it for you, it doesn't go that far.

If you're not straight, you're bisexual right? This would imply that you enjoy both men and women, to a varying degree, and I can't say I enjoyed the experience.

It was alternately bizarre and interesting, and there were moments where it felt good, but when it was all said and done, it wasn't something I was left wanting to repeat.

I don't think the argument that everyone is bisexual holds much water but I do think that a person can enjoy most things up to a point. Once they reach that point, whether it be their comfort level or represents actual interest, there's no moving beyond it.
Chris / April 17, 2007 at 12:13 am
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Next, vegetarian guide to steakhouses
Andrea / April 17, 2007 at 11:14 am
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Who cares if he's gay or straight or whatever, it's a good blog.

I'd like to point out that $8 entry seems like a good deal. This is based on my complete lack of knowledge of these matters. But, I'm just sayin' is all.
kat / April 17, 2007 at 03:18 pm
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mr. voice of reality wouldn't object to two women experimenting with what they find attractive about the opposite sex, and he'd certainly not call those women gay, so why would he call japhet gay?

because peple are childish.


Jenny / April 18, 2007 at 06:19 pm
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*sigh* I wish the Pussy Palace women's bathhouse had actually held an event before I left BlogTO.

Would've made a nice sidebar!
Jenny / April 18, 2007 at 06:37 pm
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I wonder if Tim would let me come back and write a "Women's Guide on Pegging Guys."
Japhet / April 18, 2007 at 08:03 pm
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Do it! TnO's basically just me at this point and that would be something I'd have difficulty writing.
Japhet / April 21, 2007 at 01:13 pm
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An <a href="http://www.metafilter.com/60338/Embedded-reporting"; target=_blank">interesting conversation</a> that erupted from a link to this post, sent by a friend.
Ryan C. / April 24, 2007 at 07:54 am
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dear God in Heaven, Jenny, <b>PLEASE</b> come back and write that article, just for old times' sake.
Colinsito / May 7, 2007 at 10:44 am
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great post. It is great to see straight men get over this fear of gay men.

I am the co-founder of Squirt.org and it has the largest collection of bath house locations and reviews. Curious minded might want to check it out.
Alex Fayle / May 8, 2007 at 03:00 am
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Japhet:

Thanks for the article and the link to the "interesting conversation."

It got me thinking back to my university days when I'd occasionally fool around with women. I would call it exploring my bi-side, but I still identified as gay. Yeah a great pair of tits in the right sexual situation could excite me, but like Japhet and the anal sex thing, going all the way with a woman just didn't do anything for me.
Dwersepef / May 14, 2008 at 05:25 pm
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Anita T. / March 24, 2011 at 09:04 pm
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You should read CROSSOVER: Straight Men - Gay Encounters by Robert Greene. It explains what compels heterosexual men to try same sex encounters. It was a nice group of short stories.
Sex Doctor PHD / July 12, 2011 at 07:25 am
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Japhet, congrats for have the balls to try that!

And thank you for sharing. This argument about being gay or not is ridiculous.

You ARE NOT GAY!

The people who have never tried it MIGHT BE GAY!


saying that "I've only ever been with women...so I'm not gay"

is like saying "I'm allergic to peanuts, but I've never eaten one"

Most gay guys, will admit that they've been with women in some way. But they didn't like it as much as with men.

Most straight men, who are not afraid of their sexuality and who are not racist or sexist pricks, will tell you that they've looked at, thought about, kissed maybe touched a guy once..but it wasn't for them!

For those who say "I've only looked at, thought about, touched, kissed women...my entire life! did you ever play sports? did you shower after that? did you wear a blind fold in the shower? lmao....if you fall into this category YOU still don't know whether or not you're gay! And you might be confused and miserable when you find out that you have to go against your entire life's beliefs just to be happy!

Japhet is NOT GAY! and HE knows it! went there, got the tee-shirt came home...not for him!

END OF ARGUMENT.

as for anyone who refutes that...read this post one more time and ask yourself why you haven't been able to hold onto a long term happy relationship yet in your life.

Doc
Petter / November 20, 2011 at 05:04 am
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Even IF we accept the notion that sexuality can be adequately defined by a one-dimensional spectrum like the Kinsey scale, with no further dimensions and no allowances for circumstances, change over time, &c. – even if we accept that for the sake of argument, saying “He may not be gay, but he’s clearly not straight, ergo he’s bi” is an shoddy argument. It sounds like an argument that “straight” applies only to a perfect zero, 0.000…, on the scale, and the moment you have a homoerotic thought, boom! Self-identification be damned! You’re bi!

Preposterous. If we use that definition, then whom exactly can we ever describe as “straight”? Can even the straightest of men be entirely certain that they never felt a fleeting desire or attraction, since forgotten or repressed? By this standard I suppose the really straight and the really gay are fictional, or Platonic ideals. Is it perhaps an attempt to define non-bisexuality out of existence?

I think it’s noteworthy that both Wikipedia and more importantly the Kinsey Institute do not describe the scale in such terms. Instead only a 3 is described as “bisexual” (i.e. the roughly equally balanced), and they describe 1, 2 (and 5, 4) as respectively “predominantly” heterosexual (homosexual) and “incidentally” or “more than incidentally” homosexual (heterosexual). This makes sense because the bins, the integral values on the scale, are supposed to provide rough descriptions for a continuum – the whole point is that it’s a continuum! (And it’s now pretty widely acknowledged that while Kinsey’s scale was a good idea and a good start, it’s by no means sufficient to describe human sexuality.)

---

I also find it interesting that the comment above by Chris, though it appears a flippant dismissal of Japhet’s claim to be straight, inadvertently provides a good analogy:

“Next, vegetarian guide to steakhouses” – and we surely won’t suggest that someone cannot be a vegetarian just because at some point in their life, they decided to try a steak and a couple of chicken wings! If they sneak out every Tuesday night to guiltily chow down at Swiss Chalet I will agree that they are a closet carnivore, their self-identification deceptive; but if they merely try it once and decide to stick to salads from now on, they’re just a vegetarian who made an exception one dinner-time, and hopefully enjoyed at least the chicken wings.
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marley / May 28, 2012 at 10:06 am
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Being gay requires a sexual attraction to the same sex. The author is not gay as he has no sexual attraction to a man. I've had straight friends (under the influence) have sex with men. They are much like the author in all respects, open minded and open to new experiences. Does that make them gay? Nope, I wouldn't say so.


To note I am a gay man and I have had sex with woman. I was aroused because of the act of sex, the same way I am aroused by sex with men I find unattractive. Does this make me a little straight?

My point for those who don't quite follow is this. The action does not make you gay nor straight, but your attraction is what determines your sexuality. A man who stays in a marriage for 30 years, built a life and raised kids with a woman, but suddenly starts having sex with men was always that gay man married to a woman.
Kim / June 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm
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These places are discussing trash god only know what happens in these places with under age younger boys it makes me sick to know these places are available
Evek replying to a comment from Kim / June 28, 2012 at 12:37 am
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Trapped in the Christofacist bullshit world, are we, Kim? Grow the frack up and stop believing religious fundamentalist nonsense about bathhouses and gay people that isn't true.
minibrings / August 24, 2012 at 11:09 am
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Japhet:

I'm impressed. Even I, as a gay man, have never been nor have a desire to go to a bath house (I'm a germophobe of sorts). For a straight man to do it, and be honest with yourself.. nice.. if we had more like you I think there would be less homophobia going around.
Jake Gyllenhaal / November 27, 2012 at 06:36 pm
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I am not saying the OP is gay but I don't think he's being totally honest with himself. I think the OP is definitely bi curious he was curious enough to go a gay bathhouse and that's a huge step. OP said he enjoyed getting blow jobs by other men. It seems to me the OP definitely went further man most straight men would. It is one thing to think about getting another man to suck your dick and quite another to get several to do it.
N / December 29, 2012 at 07:40 pm
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Great review!
Me / January 2, 2013 at 07:01 pm
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Great review, I've been to this bathhouse tons of Ike's and its accurate, except for the part of porn playing in the lobby when you walk in, they just have normal tv shows on...
fraktol / January 12, 2013 at 05:44 pm
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I'm just curious about Japhet's ability to achieve physical arousal and the implications regarding this facet of his sexual nature.

I for one find it little different than the arousal achieved during masturbation, but I do think it's impressive that sexual function can be achieved in the absence of a compatible subject.

I wish all straight men were as willing to truly explore their sexual nature, and I hope Japhet allows himself to be receptive to the possibility of romance and further sexual intimacy with men, because you never know when things might click. I didn't like coffee or beer when I first tried them, and I still love chocolate milk.
i love analsex with sexy blonde girls / March 3, 2013 at 09:11 am
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Howdy! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having difficulty finding one?

Thanks a lot!
Curt / October 22, 2013 at 03:01 am
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I love what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!

Keep up the awesome works guys I've incorporated you guys to blogroll.
Steve / November 3, 2013 at 02:00 am
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I wanted to know if I was ready for a bath house yet? I only fooled around with two guys. One 6-7 years ago and one a few times a month ago and kind of still can't stop thinking about it all the time... I love women and my wife but never knew how much I would like certain things I have tried so far!

I want to try more but want to go slow with certain things. I don't know how to find a partner to do it with... I was told try a bath house called Northern Sauna in Flushing but how do I do it? What time is even best? What do I say to guys? What should I do?? What do I wear? Do you just get naked? What do you do while inside??

Anyone out there to help with some of these questions?
shower pods / November 11, 2013 at 05:52 pm
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Hi there would you mind letting me know which
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Cheers, I appreciate it!
More light / November 15, 2013 at 08:51 pm
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Out of curiosity, did you use protection when you were receiving oral sex?
james / January 7, 2014 at 06:22 pm
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No straight guy is going to ever want a gay guy touching him or anything. this is simply made to keep gay guys believing it's actually possible

get over it. no one would ever want you unless they were gay themselves or a straight girl..

the fact that he puts that comment by collin powell at the end just furthers how silly this whole situation is..

"You don't know what you can get away with until you try."

like honestly. do you think there's a straight guy actually thinking that?
furniture movers new york / February 11, 2014 at 11:09 pm
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Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I'll just
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Donny replying to a comment from Sex Doctor PHD / March 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm
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To Sex Doctor PHD.

Your 100% correct. Every thing you said in your post I have noticed with those type of straight men. It's sad when someone can't put there mind at rest and let there c**k do the thinking....though sometimes that can get you into a little trouble....;)
Donny replying to a comment from james / March 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm
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Actually James there are tons of straight men like that....for example Urge Sex Maze...is a place where MEN gay or straight will go to enjoy use of glory holes...Men know that woman are horrible when it comes to giving blowjobs because they don't understand the feelings we have when we receive them. So therefor some straight guys who are comfortable with their sexuality will attend a glory hole so they can fantasize that the man giving them this insatiable blow job is really there fantasy of their ideal woman they'd prefer.

One more thing, the straight men that do these kinds of things does not make you GAY or ever BISEXUAL. It means your comfortable enough to go get your C**K sucked by a mouth...an experienced one at that.

Never forget, the brain is your most powerful sex organ.
Sunshine replying to a comment from Kim / April 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm
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No children allowed.
Consenting adults 18+only-or they'd lose their license.
I'm more concerned about the clergy sexually assaulting children than I am gay males. The gay adult male wants an equal partner-adult peer-not a teenager!
Clergy, that I've read about, in the past have wanted to abuse, dominate & humiliate children...not adults.
Adults would have kicked their asses!!

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