F as long as history has been recorded, gay men have needed a place to congregate for different purposes. It is an unfortunate truth that throughout time, the guy community has had more periods of persecution than freedom. Even in periods and societies where gay people are not actively reviled and punished, they are often sidelined and unacknowledged.
But because it is a community marked by resilience and adaptation, gay people have always found a way to meet up and community with each other as a group with similar interests and aspirations.
Even now, when gay people are witnessing an unprecedented period of freedom of being, behavior, expression, and association, many gay communities still maintain those meeting methods and locations that they or their predecessors used in times past. Some even come up with new methods because if there’s one thing the gays will do, it’s subversive.
Even to this day, there are several methods or means by which gay people meet for socialization or more specific events. Some of them, like online chat rooms, cam sites or social media groups, are a function of the modern, virtual age in which we find ourselves. Some others, like bars and clubs, have more history, although most have evolved in style and function as time passes. A gay elder would probably be pleasantly surprised – or just plain delighted – at some gay clubs that exist today.
Still, others have been in existence for so centuries, like the gay sauna, also known as the gay boathouse, gay steam bath or gay spa, and have managed to persevere into the modern age. Records of the gay sauna that day as far back as the 15th century exist, which should give you an idea of how much history is behind it. Talk about an oldie but a goodie.
The tradition of a public bathhouse dates back to the 6th Century BCE, and there are records of homosexual activities in several ancient societies, including, most notably, ancient Greece. In modern history, though, gay men have used public bathhouses our sex from as far back as the 19th and 20th centuries, especially in the West, where gay people often faced endless difficulties in their day-to-day life, especially in the process of acquiring a partner or even a friend within the community. As a result, gays had to adopt different ways of socializing.
Some of these gay cruising methods include meeting in parks, train or bus stations, alleys, movie theatres, and even public bathrooms and bathhouses. Some owners of the bathhouses or saunas were unaware of what was going on in their establishment; some were and tried to prevent it from happening, while others were content to overlook homosexual activity, as long as it was spooned discreetly,
Sex is often one of the activities that take place in gay saunas, but it is by no means a pre-requisite. In fact, because of modern laws and rules, as well as the new freedoms enjoyed by gay people, you are less likely to see people having sex in gay saunas, although it does still happening. Gay people are more likely to use it as a space for relaxation and even to obtain non-sexual services such as massages.
While it is technically called a sauna, the facility usually has a lot of amenities. It can have things like a swimming pool, massage room, an actual sauna, a warm room, a jacuzzi and even a place where you can buy food and drinks. Some larger saunas provide rooms that work pretty much like hotel rooms, although they are typically more basic. A few specifically provide settings for sex. For example, you might have a maze-like space with glory holes strategically positioned to offer a chance at anonymous sex. Organic rooms may also be provided, sometimes either a reproduction of certain settings like movie theatres or even parks, to further titillate the customers.
Once you are inside, you will typically receive a towel to tie around your waist, along with a key to a room or locker, depending on what services the sauna provides and which one you want. There is usually a gym-type locker room where you can change and store your belongings in the locker. After that, you can proceed to the sauna, which is pretty much like a public sauna. Several other men will likely already be there. If you’re just there purely for the sauna, you can sit back and let the steam work. If you’re looking for something more exciting, then it’s time to start engaging with other customers to see who’s game.
Unlike brothels, gay saunas have no provision for paid sexual services of any kind, so you’ll have to find someone who’s willing, make the arrangements with them and choose a spot. It’s likely, though, that the lights will be dimmed, and there’ll probably be some sweet, romantic tunes pouring out from the speakers. After all, the aim is to keep you coming back for more, so it’s important that they set the stage properly. After that, it’s just a matter of sampling all that they have on offer until it’s time to leave.
In looking for willing partners, a look or touch will often be sufficient in declaring your interest, and a nod is enough to accept a proposal. In a public space, groping is common, and although the person will usually move away after you’ve expressed disinterest, they sometimes have you be discouraged more than one time.
Whatever you’re doing, unless it’s a private room, it’s important to keep the noise level at a minimum. Although the sauna might provide stuff like condoms and mini-tubes of lube, you should probably take yours to be safe. Flip-flops are usually required as well. Rules generally vary from establishment to establishment, so before you visit one, do some research and ask questions to find out how they operate. Consent is always key, and decide on your gay safe sex practices before going – so as you do not regret anything you decide after getting hot’n’heavy in the moment.
At this point, you’re probably feeling very curious and entering where you can find a gay sauna to experience. Well, the good news is, they’re not that rare, and with a bit of luck, you’ll probably find one in your city. To make it easier for you, we’re going to talk about a few we feel are the best of the best. We’ll try to make them as geographically diverse as possible, so if you’re a person who frequently travels type, chances are you’ll come across at least one during your travels.
Take a deep breath, purchase a membership or just pay a one-time entrance fee and try one out. Who knows, you might enjoy it and even make it a regular thing.
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The Pink Beach gay sauna is located in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was established in 1989, and it is arguably Europe’s largest gay sauna, with three floors and about 1650 square meters of space. It is located in the Lausanne city site center, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.
Because of the sheer scale of the place, there are several amenities present, including a dry sauna, steam bath, whirlpool, relaxation cabins, cinema, maze, TV lounge, smoking room, snack bar, free WiFi, darkroom and lots of play space. It generally has a jiffy rating, and previous customers often rate it as very clean and comfortable. They have several other weekly events, Twin Days, X-perience Night, Journée Mixte, etc.
Despite its rather deceitful name, Clubsauna Amsterdam is located in Gay Frankfurt, Germany. It is the longest-running gay sauna in Germany, having been in operation since 1969. It is situated on four floors, so you can be sure that there are several amenities. The interior is clean and simple, with neutral colors and wide spaces.
Some of the several amenities provided include outdoor seating, a terrace or garden, a relaxation room, a dry sauna, a steam bath, a solarium, a whirlpool/jacuzzi / hot tub, massage on offer meals, a darkroom, and video shows. The staff has been described as friendly and professional, and the other customers are courteous. The customer base is diverse, so if you’re in Germany and you’re trying to confirm a gym daunt with a mixed bag of customers, try this one.
This gay Sauna is located in San Jose, Costa Rica. It is comprised of a big Sauna with two steam rooms. The larger steam room usually sees lots of action, but a dark room is Leo available. There is a snack bar area, as well as a large jacuzzi area with a swimming pool that’s usually heated. Private parking is also available on the premises.
Before you visit this sauna, it is advised that you learn basic communication in Spanish to communicate any issues with the entrance attendants. The sauna also includes a fitness center for those interested in completing a workout at the same time. Visit Club Hispalis in the early morning instead of at night.
This sauna is popularly known as the most popular sauna in Gay Athens, Greece, and it is not hard to see why. It is a modern sauna with cutting-edge facilities for relaxation and excitement. It boasts facilities like a foam & spa labyrinth, ground floor garden, bar, and roof garden viewing the Acropolis. Its crown jewel is the X-Action Area, Athens’ biggest dark room.
This area is used for a number of different events, including drag and strip shows, gay movie viewing, naked parties, etc. Other amenities include free WiFi; an Internet room; free towels, slippers and condoms; private cabins, and a mini-shop selling things like magazines, underwear and swimwear.
Red Sauna is located in Uckange, in the Lorraine region of France. It is the only gay sauna in Uckange. It boasts modern facilities like a steam room, music cafe, bar, jacuzzi, private cabins, terrace and more. It opens on Monday (Nudist Day), Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It has an area of up to 600 square meters, with a dreamy decor featuring a lot of gold and gilt.
Red Sauna offers free condoms; no, you can also get massages on request. If you are not interested in using the glory holes, you can step out into the garden or sun terrace and just relax and breathe. The bar is stocked with drinks for customers who want a bit of Dutch (or French) courage.
This is a modern yet surprisingly intimate gay sauna found in Gay Vienna, Austria. It is small compared to some of the others on this list, but it has impressive amenities like a Finnish sauna, massage services, a cocktail bar & casual eats. The decor is warm and muted, with some Renaissance-style art on the walls.
Despite the small space, it has an Internet room and a relaxation room. It also has individual lockers for customers. If you’re looking for a gay sauna that feels personalized and intimate, then schedule a trip to this one. It boasts customers of all ages and body types, although racial diversity is somewhat lacking. Still, you’ll definitely find your type of man here in one of the world’s best gay sauna.
Central Escalator Sauna is one of the best-known saunas in Gay Hong Kong, having been in existence since 1991. It is called CE for short and is one of Hong Kong’s oldest gay saunas & cruise clubs. It is located on Cochrane Street near metro Central Station in Hong Kong’s city center. The sauna is well known for its friendly attitude, and it usually accommodates a mix of international guests. However, overall, the venue is small and dated.
Open hours are 1 pm to midnight and its peak time is from 7 pm – 9 pm on weeknights and 3 pm on weekends. It has amenities like steam baths, saunas, showers, jacuzzi, solarium, TV lounge, full body massage chairs and so many others. It has a diverse clientele, with older white ex-pats, and Chinese and Hong Kong locals making up a greater percentage. International tourists and visitors can also get found there.
The Rec Room
The Rec Room is situated in Gay Johannesburg, South Africa. It is one of the most popular gay saunas in the country and has been operating for about two decades. It is a modern, colorful venue that is always constantly innovating to keep things interesting. They welcome gay and bisexual men from all over and even occasionally host themed nights just to keep things interesting.
They also have tempting offers like fifty percent off all alcoholic drinks on Wednesdays and Two-for-one entrance on Thursdays. They provide intimate spaces for hook-ups, as well as a fully-licensed bar with a wide range of drinks available.
Steam Works Toronto
This vast facility in Gay Toronto, Canada, sits on 11,800 square feet, with a full gym and a huge hot tub. The sauna belongs to a group that has properties in Chicago, Seattle, Berkeley as well as Vancouver. It is a combination gym, sauna and bathhouse that is open 24/7 everyday system of the year.
It has membership fees that vary depending on the level, i.e., Regular vs. VIP. Students also receive 90-day free days (note, there is an age limit of 18, so you should come with a valid ID. Their amenities are top-notch, with a menu, gym equipment, as well as a hot tub and jacuzzi.
Xteamworks Bath House
Xteamworks is located in Gay San Juan, and it is Puerto Rico’s only exclusive gay sauna. This location is tucked away on one of the main eastbound streets from downtown, located above a sign store. Here guests will find the discrete doorbell to enter.
The venue features facilities like steam rooms, saunas, dark rooms and private rooms to satisfy every need. The friendly staff is also always on hand to answer any questions. It features a mixed crowd and offers a safe, fun space for members to have fun.
If you want to get an idea of the action you’ll find here, their Twitter has some extra spicy content too…