What on earth is a guide to visiting gay saunas doing on a travel blog – I hear you ask? Well, you know how some people’s travel experiences are all about eating the local street food, and for others travel means visiting temples and ruins? For me, visiting gay saunas is a central part of the travel experience. When I visit a new place, the first thing I do is run a quick Google search about the gay scene in the area, and if there is a local gay sauna, chances are that more often than not I’m going to be paying my entrance fee and meeting the locals in a steamy haze of wandering hands.

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But I am well aware that for many people, visiting a gay sauna for the first time can be a daunting experience. When I visited a gay sauna in Bangkok (my first ever time), that was certainly the case. So here I give you a little rundown of the dos and the don’ts that will enable you to make the most of the experience.

#1. Bring Condoms

Even if you are not planning on having sex at all (I rarely plan on that, but y’know, sometimes things happen) bring condoms anyway. Most gay saunas around the world will give you a couple of condoms with your entrance fee, and many will also have condoms to purchase. But this is not a guarantee. Always err on the side of caution and be safe.

#2. Eat Carrots

My Mum always told me that eating carrots would help me see in the dark, and that is a superpower that you definitely need when you are visiting a gay sauna. The steam rooms always seem to be as dark as possible. There is an obvious reason for this – the idea of anonymity is a turn on for a lot of guys, and it enables them to have a fumble in the dark and get their rocks off. For me, however, I am all about seeing the face. If you are too, then you might feel more comfortable in the better lit areas of the sauna. Nobody is forcing you to navigate a pitch black steam room with hands grabbing you from every angle, so don’t feel as though you have to.

#3. Practice Towel Folding

Okay, when you head into a gay sauna, you will pretty much always take all your clothes off and then you’ll wrap a towel around yourself. Of course, you are not obliged to get fully nude and you could wear a pair of skimpy swimming trunks underneath, but generally speaking, naked is the way to go. Because the only thing you are wearing is a towel, the way you fold your towel is imperative. If you think that just wrapping a towel around you like you’ve come out of the shower will do, you might want to think again. After many a sauna visit, I have discovered that the optimum method of wearing a towel is to fold it in half across its length and then to wrap it low on your hips. This basically means that it is just covering your junk and it’s a sexier look than a towel that’s been slung on any old way.

#4. Gropes in The Bubbles

My favourite part of the sauna experience is almost always the hot tub. The hot tub area always seems to be better lit than other places in the sauna but a multitude of sins can also be hidden underneath the bubbles. Basically, you just need to be prepared for hands to reach out and grope every part of you in the tub. If you are not into the guy who is feeling you up then just brush his hand away. If you are into him, well, you already have him feeling you up in a tub.

#5. You Don’t Have To Do Anything

Many gay saunas have lounge areas with books and magazines, and I will often visit a gay sauna just to relax and lounge around in a gay friendly environment. Just imagine that you are heading for a day at the health spa instead of a quickie in a lube-smelling steam room and the whole idea of a gay sauna changes. If it’s your first time and you are not feeling so brave, just lounge around and enjoy it.

#6. But If You Do Want To…

And, of course, if boom-boom is on your agenda, you will have plenty of options for that too. Pretty much all gay saunas have private rooms – sometimes they are included in the cost of your entry, and sometimes they cost extra. Your private room is likely to be a no frills affair with some kind of rubber mat on the floor and just enough room to grind up against your new friend. In truth, these are not the most romantic of places, but you are probably not visiting a gay sauna to find the love of your life, right?
 
There you have it. There is absolutely nothing to be scared of, and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do when visiting a gay sauna. And if you have any other questions, just ask in the comments below and I will get back to you.

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