Bathhouses, first and foremost, are a place for men to have sex. It is a sexual playground for men to do whatever they want. A place to get sex 24/7, like a 24-hour convenience store. Come to think of it, the Baths are like a supermarket. You can shop for whatever you are into. You have Latinos, Twinks, Bears, Chubs, Asians, Blacks, whatever type of guy you are interested in, you will surely find in a Bathhouse. There is something for everyone at the baths, much more than in the bar or club scene. As you will read in my stories, I have seen some weird combinations at the baths over the years.
There are two myths about a Bathhouse. #1, only dirty old men go to the baths. #2, only gorgeous men get lucky at the baths. Neither is true. As I have mentioned at the beginning, there is something for everyone. Sometimes, men use the baths to try and find a type (Asian, Chub, Bear, etc.) they cannot find anywhere else.
The rules are very simple; a bathhouse is usually located in a side street or out of the way neighborhood. Most of the time, there is no sign on the door. You walk in and see a cashier located behind a protective window. On a wall will be a list of prices to purchase either a room or a locker. A room will give you privacy. If you get a locker, cheaper than a room, you have no place for privacy (in case you meet a cute guy!). Most places will give you the option of locking up your valuables (watch, wallet, jewelry) in their safe. Once you pay, the cashier will buzz you in and you open the door. The door will automatically shut behind you. There is no chance of strangers walking in by accident.
Depending on where you live, a membership maybe required upon entering a bathhouse. The reason? According to some state laws, a bathhouse can only operate as a private men's club, hence the need for every customer to have a membership. While some bathhouses may only need you to fill out some information on a card, other bathhouses may request Photo ID to be provided upon purchase of a membership. If you are closeted or married, there is no need to worry about having your personal information leaked, or having your identity stolen.
Bathhouses need customers to be profitable. How would they be able to keep customers if they leak personal information? Trust me, bathhouses are very discreet when it comes to keeping membership information confidential, so you have nothing to worry about. The good news is that memberships may also give the customer special deals or huge discounts, if he plans on making multiple visits to the baths. After years of going to my friendly bathhouse I have recently purchased a membership, to save money since I go three times a week. In short, every bathhouse does not requires a membership, but be prepared if your local bathhouse does.
Once you get in, you take off all your clothes, place the towel around your waist, and then go cruise. You should take a shower before you cruise. That way you are nice and fresh for whomever you encounter. Then after the deed is done, take a shower afterwards. This way you can re-fresh yourself for the next guy you find. For some, it is not uncommon to take three to five showers in one visit! That is how many times some guy's gets lucky at the baths. Now some men are quite paranoid about foot fungus, so they bring slippers or sandals (Read Accessories to learn more about what to wear at a Bathhouse).
A bathhouse consists of dozens rooms, all lined up among a maze of hallways. You spend most of your time walking the halls looking for a score. Everyone knows why each other are there. Men are lying in their rooms seeing what passes by them. Or they are standing in the hallways or lounging around seeing what is walking about. Everybody is cruising everybody. There is even a bulletin board for people to advertise themselves. For example: "Room 218, submissive bottom, shoot your load inside me." The board has dozens of messages like that.
Most places will have a sauna and/or steam room. Some even have a whirlpool or an outdoor or indoor pool. There are showers to clean up, and porno rooms to pass the time. Condom are available free of charge (usually located at the front desk) but lube is going to cost you. Every bathhouse has some sort of snack bar and a pay phone. In addition there is a lounge area, where you can sit and read the gay magazines (Advocate, Genre, etc.) or watch television.
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