A Case For The Bath House

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    Jan 08, 2012 6:15 PM GMT
    And probably going to be major troll-bait.

    MoralFags, this is for you!

    A Case For The Bath House

    Agruably, the bath house has a deserved reputation of being a very seedy place where men go to seek anonymous sex with each other... and perhaps less charitably as one might read in Encyclopædia Dramatica, "exchange STI's".

    In our supposedly HIV aware culture, and after at least one entire generation since the massive infection rates and the death till of AIDS in the 1980s, one would think the bath house culture to have been extirpated even from the biggest cities of America.  And in many cases, it has been greatly reduced: New York City once had a dozen bath houses, now reduced to three shabby operations that pale in comparison to the offerings in Montréal and Toronto. 

    Now I can speak only anecdotally of the population that frequents the remaining bath houses, as I've never actually visited one: but it would seem that  based upon a general consensus of opinion, bath houses are frequented by aging, out of shape men, and rarely visited, much less patronized by fit younger men. 

    All of this could be very hit or miss though. Why would anyone who is decently fit and attractive need to use a bath house when seeking anonymous - or at least conveniently accessible sex? 

    There is (or was) a recent thread created by someone who is by all accounts, very fit and very attractive.  A multiple MOTD winner here on RJ. While it is not my purpose to call anyone out (I do not judge) it does strike me very odd that such an advantaged man in terms of looks, fitness, relative youth, and wealth would seek out a bath house over more "modern means", such as dating/mating apps like Grindr or Jack'd or Scruff or Manhunt or A4A... or any of several other places men to find a quick hook-up. 

    It might be that the while Grindr and its many cousins offer some degree of screening of potential hookups, there is a great deal of flakiness with folks who use these apps.  The men in the little black boxes (mobile devices) are but pleasantly arranged pixels with metadata that can be conveniently dismissed as less than human; there is no immediacy of contact (despite the actual network speeds involved: the bottleneck being the level of interest or distraction of one or both users of the services).

    The bath house experience, by contrast, must be much more immediate: you pay our entry fee and get a towel, and prowl about the rooms or the wet areas looking for that assenting nod or that grab of the ass or other very obvious contact that MUST have an immediate response: either you engage the other man and reciprocate (if not exceed) his initial advance, or you will politely decline, brush his hands away and move on to the next guy. 

    Perhaps (speaking more toward those very fit/attractive guys, and less for the "trolls") opting for the bath house removes some of the bullshit that comes from trolling Grindr (and its cousins) and provides the path of least resistance to getting one's dick wet or ass pounded with a reasonably attractive guy. 

    This is not to justify or to condemn the continued if not marginalised existence of the bath houses - in fact, it is a purposeful outlet that definitely is a better alternative than the furtive, usually illegal YCYL activities often carried out in public (usually gym) facilities.  Rather, it is an option even for the beautiful people should they not be bothered to deal with the fickle princesses on Grindr or go through the vetting process of popular local sex parties if you are from out of town on short notice. 

    And now, let the flames consume all creation. 

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    Jan 08, 2012 7:47 PM GMT
    *edits for spelling and notification for bump lol
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    Jan 08, 2012 8:05 PM GMT
    Hmmmm. Now I'm going to have to go to Toronto and Montreal to accumulate my own anecdotal evidence.

    Another place which has been rumored to have porn-star-hot men is The Hothouse in Cape Town, ZA.

    But of course I wouldn't know "first hand". icon_wink.gificon_wink.gif
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    Jan 08, 2012 8:16 PM GMT
    It's a funny thing. I've never been inside a bonafide bath house - closest I came to it was with a fellow RJer (we happened to be in Toronto for pride at the same time and met up/hung out for the weekend).

    We both tried to work up the courage to go in just to check it out (and he being a massive bodybuilder would likely have been the "meat shield" attracting anyone else first).

    We got the idea as the other RJer stopped for his bi-hourly protein snack at a cafe right next door to the Steamworks.

    As it happens, The T.O. Steamworks suffered along without our impromptu patronage, after we saw some of the folks who emerged periodically (hint: it wasn't at all a pretty sight)... lol
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    Jan 08, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    And, I will add that I've heard that not everything in a bathhouse revolves around sex. I heard that one night at the Steamworks, during the 2010 World Series, that the game was so intriguing that everybody was sitting in the T.V. room watching the game and cheering the Giants to victory. I can only hope that people can imagine how that must have looked! A bunch of guys hanging out in towels on couches and on the floor watching the World Series! Can you imagine that!?

    Just imagining, of course.