Happier Campers. “I’m not talking about your daddy’s bathhouse,” George E., of Houston wrote in to tell us. “There is nothing dirty or back room about it anymore. In fact, the bathhouse here is nicer and cleaner and more luxe than the country club my family belonged to when I was growing up.”
It’s no secret that in the 1970s and early 1980s gay and bisexual men gave bathhouse sex its infamy. Promiscuous, anonymous and delirious. But fabulous? “Yes,” says Aaron W., of Santa Fe, “because its reputation is nothing like its reality. Nowadays, it might even be the safest way to go about sex.” According to a poll of 4,319 BastardLife readers, Aaron may be on to something about bathhouses, because 57% of you told us you had no objection to visiting one for sex.
Tyler G., of New York told us, “We have a couple of bathhouses here in New York, but they are run down and a bit dirty. I thank my lucky stars I travel for work a great deal and get to partake of the cleaner, often quite modern and lovely private bathhouses across the U.S. My favorite is The Club in Ft. Lauderdale and in Houston. Always affordable and always clean. Houston’s The Club has a giant pool, a large whirlpool hot tub, two floors of nice, tidy and clean rooms, showers, and a steam room that’s packed with hot men enjoying what men who like men enjoy.”
Edward R., of Siesta Key said, “The Crew Club in DC is also quite nice. Like with most bathhouses today, the facilities are new, clean, and modern. The steamy sauna at the Crew Club could easily be in Architectural Digest for it’s zen tile design—and in Playgirl for its cute uninhibited men.”
Stephen of Chicago wrote, “I used to enjoy using Manhunt and Grindr but there were too many hustlers trolling around, I felt unsafe having strangers come over, and most of the men wasted my time with email after email only to arrive at my home looking nothing like their pictures and stats. I play safe at bathhouses so for me it’s a safer way to have a mini sexcation where I can actually see what I am going to get before I get it.”
“It’s simple,” Jerry B., from San Fransisco told us, “the world will always associate bathhouses with AIDS and the dark days of gay sex. But I find it much darker risking my life by going off with a stranger from a bar or from a website. Given the way the world has changed, and given how nice bathhouses have become, it’s easily the safer way to have hook up sex these days.”
A small percentage of you told us you would probably never have sex in a bathhouse. “It’s not a moral thing though,” Jeremy R., of Atlanta said,” I just don’t think I have the balls to go through with it.”—N.B.