The 24 Hour Day
The 24 Hour Day

People keep asking me when the best time is to go to the baths. The problem is that there is no real clear-cut answer; there are different times when different things happen, with different crowds.

So here I take you on a 24 hour day of an average bathhouse.

8 AM – 12 PM

8 O’clock in the morning is usually when a staff change takes place. Because the baths operate 24/7 there is a crew that works around the clock. One crew works 8 AM to 4 PM. Another crew works from 4 PM to Midnight, Then there is an overnight shift from Midnight to 8 AM. The most senior staff that have been with the baths for years work the 8 AM to 4 PM shift. This is also the shift where much of the cleaning takes place, because it is the slowest time of the day. Beside the cashier, there are 3 cleaners working during this shift. Mopping the floors, dusting the furniture, cleaning the toilets etc. But you probably want to know how the crowd is like, not what the cleaning staff does.

The majority of customers have already left earlier that morning; but there are many men sleeping it off from the night before. They are snoring away a drunken stupor, sleeping off a drug-induced session or just snoozing away after multiple sex sessions. Over and over again you will hear the cashier announce over the PA system that tell such and such room needs to either check-out or renew. They are on overtime. It is always interesting to see the cast of characters emerge from their rooms to hit the showers and start a brand new day

But you will also see a handful of guys cruising up and down the hallways looking and needing to get off. They couldn’t find it the night before, after the bars closed. They come here hoping to get some and strike out as well. They hang on until the early mornings, obsessed, hoping to get lucky, so they can go home.

Ironically this is the time I like going to the baths. It is quiet, not a lot of people, and you get to see some fascinating characters, for the reasons I had mentioned above.

12 PM to 4 PM

I have written about The Gay Bathhouse Lunch Special in a previous blog posting. No need to re-hash this. Suffice to say that there is a much bigger crowd than the morning crowd, as it generally starts at around 11:30 AM and usually dies down by 1:30 PM. At 2:00 PM the crowd is now mixture of househusbands (gay and straight), guys either having the day off or playing hooky from work, and college and university students in between classes. You also have guys still from the night before, just hanging out seeing what is coming through that door. Many tourists from out of town often drop in at this time, just to check out the bathhouses in the area. In addition you also have couples coming in together, having per-arranged a hookup through the Internet. Either they meet somewhere and come to the baths together. Or they meet-up at the baths. Yep you have a mixed bag of men and it can get busy. And it also can be dead as a doornail. It truly varies.

4 PM to 8 PM

New shift begins as a crew changeover takes place. The AM staff is finished and the PM staff takes over. These are the folks that will be working until midnight. Some bathhouses prefer to have their staff work the same regular shift over and over again. But other gay saunas like to alternate staff. One week days, next week evenings. This is also the time when new customers start to trickle in. This is referred to as the ‘after work’ crowd. Guys (gay and married closeted men) who are finished work, looking for a quickie. Getting in and out as soon as possible. I have literally seen guys come in, get fucked, take a shower and then leave. All in 30 minutes! You also get University students dropping in after class. Things wrap up at around 7PM, with only a handful of guys who decide to stick it out for the long haul regardless if they get off or not.

8 PM to Midnight

Yes this is a surprise, but it can get really really dead at this time. The reason? Guys are at the bars or on-line looking for their hook-up. The baths are their last resort. So during this time the hallways are pretty empty. Bathhouse owners recognize this lull which is why many of them put on special events starting at 7:30 PM to get the after work crowd to stay and any other guys who might be interested in dropping by. Events could include a big name gay star giving a special performance, college night where students get 50% off, even a lights out special. Without these types of special events, the baths are a ghost town. But things start picking up at around 10:30 PM to 11:00 PM. Guys have given up at the bars and the game playing online. So towards the stroke of midnight, rooms begin to fill up. This is also the time many homeless men, looking for a place to crash for the night, begin arriving. Management does not like people spending the night, as it means a loss of business. The more guys that check in and out, the more money they make. A person spending the full 8 hours is a loss of income for them. Which is why beginning at 11PM management puts the music on FULL BLAST. The hope is that no one will fall asleep, and decide to go somewhere else. But homeless guys have nowhere else to go. So they put up with it because it is either sleeping with loud music or sleeping out on the streets. What a choice.

Midnight to 4AM

So when is the best time to head off to the baths and get some action? Right now, as this is their busiest time. But only on certain days: Sunday to Wednesday you get an average number of guys, as the workday is only nine hours away. But Thursday, Friday and especially Saturday it is packed with wall-to-wall men. As the song goes, it’s raining men! Guys have struck out at the clubs and have gotten nowhere online. The baths are their last resort. It can be a double-edged sword, with this entire sex action-taking place. On the one hand it is wonderful to see all this good-looking flesh on display. But it is a buyers market for guys to pick and choose. Guys are only judging you on your looks. So if you have hit the genetic lottery, you are in your element. Not only are you desired, but also you can get what you want. But if you are just average in the looks department, you might as well have stayed home. You are invisible. And the rejection really hurts. With so many guys to choose from who are a ’10’ how do you compete if you are just a ‘6’. You can’t. And that is what is so soul destroying. You think it is busy now, but it will get even busier once the bars close. Guys don’t want the party to end, and the baths is the only place that is open. So once bars close, bathhouses get even more packed with twinks fueled by drugs and booze. Ready to continue their PnP activities. All of these twinks seem to know one another, even if they belong to different factions or groups. Instead of sex taking place, a gossip board starts happening. With this twink telling that twink what so-and-so twink did. The gossip gets passed from twink to twink to twink. It is kind of fascinating to watch. Other guys are not interested in this gossip chain. They want sex, but instead these twinks so preoccupied gossiping about who is sleeping with whom?

4AM to 8AM

By this time things die down as everyone is sleeping off the drugs, the booze and the non-stop sex. They are drained out. You do have those still trolling the hallways looking for more action, or any action as they have struck out. Come 8AM, the day starts all over again.

So we talked about Monday to Friday. What about the weekends? Well Saturday is just like any typical day. But after midnight it is jam packed with men looking to hook up. What about Sunday? Same thing. However Sunday afternoons are something special. It is the one time where the word continuity comes in. Regulars, who come in at the same time, weekend after weekend. Think Sunday afternoon tea with friends. That is the only way I can describe it. It is not about the sex, but the interaction and the community of people you meet every weekend. Yes it is superficial, both the sex and the relationships you form at the baths. If you can keep that in mind, you will enjoy Sunday afternoon as well. It is also the time most Married Men show up. Read my blog post to find out why.

So in summary, best time to get laid? Thursday, Friday and especially Saturday after midnight. Remember you will be competing against guys who are an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. Best time to experience a great social interaction? Sunday afternoons.

See you at the baths.

11 thoughts on “The 24 Hour Day”

  1. Hey, I read most of your entries way back in August. Tonight I remembered your site all of a sudden and got a headache from trying to remember where I originally found the link to this site πŸ™‚ I finally found the site again by doing a search. I just wanted to let you know that your entries are fascinating, especially to a new-comer such as myself. Are you going to write new entries any time soon? πŸ™‚ Take care, Tom

  2. You’re right – it’s hard to predict when is best. I personally think Sunday afternoons tend to be busy (but not necessarily good!), while quieter times can be more horny. Frankly… Just go!

  3. Your blog is fascinating. I’m enjoying reading about the many facets of the bathhouse world. I have to admit I am curious and would like to go to a bathhouse at least once in my lifetime. But, I’m stuck in the midwest. I believe the closest city that has one is St. Louis or Denver. I imagine you have been to several bathhouses. Excepting the one you frequent in your city, which bathhouse is your favorite to visit?

  4. Great summary of the Sauna schedule. It’s the same here in London. a real motley crew of characters at different times. In Vauxhall Chariots they like to keep the cabins closed, so people have nowhere to have sex, and end up for a quick wank in the backroom and then go home. Chariots Shoreditch used to have that Sunday tea party feeling, but then they decided to have a huge television blare loud sports programmes and kill the mood. And Pleasuredrome in London, “cleaning” stuff constantly searching the ailes with light and chloride kind of trying to squeeze the customers out of their premises.

    Hard to find saunas that actually want their customers to have the best facilities, and a good time. Gimme the money and bugger off seems their policy. That’s why I can’t be bothered anymore to go, and many with me. Saunas are dying down slowly in london U.K.

  5. Your stories are great and say exactly what I am feeling going to bath houses. There aren’t any good ones in NYC now. I like Paris, Barcelona, Toronto, and other foreign spots. My favorite though is a 16th-century bath house in Budapest. Wow, beautiful spot. The most unusual one was one in the old Jewish Quarter in Aleppo, Syria.

  6. Your stories strike home – they are universal. You could easily be describing the two bathhouses in Dallas! I will get busy and send you one of my stories sometime.

  7. Very interesting stories i read so far this morning. i have not spent time in bathhouses, So it is fun to learn about the culture. I’ll be back…

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Bathhouse Blues