Gay Bathhouse Etiquette

FAQ, Bathhouse Etiquette, Questions, Gay, Sauna, Steam, Baths, Tubs

Bathhouse Etiquette. 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.

So what is the etiquette? 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.

See below to go to page two of this story

46 comments for “Gay Bathhouse Etiquette

  1. Jag
    October 12, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    I would like to ask when gam sucks how do they feel in mouth.
    Don’t you have gag reflex how you stop when long rod goes very deep

  2. Jake
    July 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    I’m keen to be gang-banged would the den or wet be OK for that? Any better places in Brisbane email me if keen to join or have advice at

  3. Josh
    December 30, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    I’ve been to bodyline many many times and it has been great all the time. Monday and Wednesday’s are two of the greatest days to go and get laid or have fun so I can’t wait to go their this Wednesday which is new year. I’m only 21 and love taking it anally. Any one in Brisbane contact me plz!

    • Matt
      January 26, 2014 at 6:53 AM

      Considering going to BodyLine, been to Wet (Bowen Hills) and don’t mind it there and I am only 18 (almost 19), are there many young guys at Bodyline or is it full of Oldies?

  4. Chris
    August 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    I’d like others to watch me suck my first cock

  5. July 4, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    What an interesting read! I got hooked and read about ten entries in one sitting. This is the most true-to-life, while intellectually written, account of gay culture I have seen — EVER. Amazing work. This should be published. I am passing this site on to as many people as I can. Your writing sheds serious and humorous light on the darkest areas through which many of us have already been. Bravo!

  6. mickey303
    July 1, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Thanks for the info. I intend on visiting a bath house very soon.

  7. SDF69
    June 4, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Went to Wet Spa last night on Towel free day, was really great as always, great mix of ages, shapes and sizes and felt really comfortable. No pretentiousness at all. Best times open Tuesday for me is between 7-8.30 PM. Gets very busy early and quietens very early.

  8. Toni
    April 15, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Love all the entries, so informative! One thing I was hoping to see in this one though was information like ~in the steam room, is the top bench for tops or those who want to be topped?~ etc. Or is there another post with this type of info that I haven’t read yet?

    • April 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      Thank you for the compliment. To answer your question there is no etiquette in regards to top bench vs. bottom bench. In the steam room guys cruise one another by stroking off. As for a bottom looking for a top, the receiver (bottom) lies face down on the bed with the door to the room wide open. That is the open invitation for a top to penetrate you. Or you place yourself in a sling, usually located in the playroom. If you are not picky about who screws you, you will have plenty of opportunity. For tops look for bottoms in the positions I described above. Hope this helps and thanks again for liking my site.

  9. R C
    November 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    An enjoyable read

  10. August 16, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Great site – informative yet quietly sexy. I am always unsure about bathhouses because I do not know the etiquette. Thanks for the advice. And continue to have (safe) fun.

  11. February 29, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    I am fascinated with this blog and think you’ve done a tremendous job. I have been a worker in a bathhouse for years. I have many stories to share.

    • October 22, 2012 at 8:48 PM

      You worked at a bathhouse for years? I figured it was usually a short term gig. What city were you in?

  12. December 31, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Your stories are great I identified with a lot of what you say

  13. Tigger
    December 1, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Great blog dude! Really enjoyed reading, keep up the great work.

  14. LV
    July 4, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    Thanks for an interesting and informative site. Now I really don’t know if I want to visit a bathhouse !

  15. Geoff
    April 15, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Thanks I wish I had looked at this earlier, I have been to a gay sauna a few times, but did not know the etiquette, I thought invitations as a receiver would be more explicit. I had many intense looks, which I returned, but did not respond to. Should I have gone to a room, laid on my stomach and waited with the door open?

  16. Erwin
    September 30, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Good and learned etiquette!

  17. Ton
    April 22, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    I started going to bathhouses about six months ago. It was great. I met a lot of interesting guys. I met someone there that I like so much, but he made be brokenhearted. I learned my lesson, don’t go to sauna looking for love, just go there and have fun. I like your blogs about the sauna etiquette. Also, sauna here in Asia is really different from sauna in your place.

  18. March 18, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Love the site, a very honest and informative view of the bathhouse scene. I wish more people would write on this topic.

  19. Sean
    September 10, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    I want to commend you on your bathhouse info blog. I think it’s an excellent thing to post for those who are afraid to try it out for the first time.

  20. Steve B.
    September 2, 2009 at 5:33 PM

    Thanks for posting this on Facebook. I found it before the link got removed.

    I wanted to say that this is something that needs to be shared with every male to know about the rules and safety in the bath houses. So great work.

  21. Lund
    December 21, 2008 at 9:41 AM

    Hi! love your site. I am writing from Malaysia and about to spend some time in the US in 2009.

    I needed your advice on why some folks get arrested in the US on charges of gay cruising (George Michael, Larry Craig etc.)

    Are the bathhouses safe – in all states?

    any advice would be helpful. cheers

  22. J. Graham
    April 24, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    I really liked reading about how to meet guys in a bathhouse – I have never been to one but would try anything once.

  23. Jay
    April 2, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    Terrific website! I didn’t know much about the world of bathhouses. I’ve visited two in my entire life and your insights are invaluable about the protocols and culture. Really interesting and thought-provoking. Thanks for taking the time to set this up for us!!

  24. February 10, 2007 at 12:28 AM

    Great group of stories not just one, as it shows the human dynamics of the psyche and the need to connect.

    These are intelligently written. I hope they’re published in multiple places.

    I have been to the baths for a variety of reasons and witnessed the very behaviors you write about.

    I love good writing on anything that is approached intellectually and takes into account the melding of dynamics.

  25. Charles Harlow
    October 22, 2006 at 6:23 AM

    Going to the Akron Spa this week. Thanks for the ideas and encouragement.

  26. Steve
    August 23, 2004 at 4:57 PM

    Hi! Thank you for writing about your experiences at the baths. It’s quite enlightening, and answers a lot of questions that no one in the world seems to want to post publicly. I’m a GAM, 22, and recently moved to Chicago. There’s definitely a few bathhouses here and out of curiosity I went with an older guy and just sort of checked the place out. I was looking for an entry that may help me with my problem. I am at the same time quite attracted to the bathhouse ‘scene,’ but I am also very, very anxious about sexually transmitted diseases. I’d like to do more, but as I’m studying to be a medical worker, I can’t afford to get a serious illness and endanger my future patients. Yet, at the same time, I am a young man, and the baths are quite appealing. Do you have any pointers on how to alleviate STD anxiety, or any ‘words of wisdom’ on the best ways to play, safely, what to do in a sudden exposure, etc… From your entries I take it you have stayed in good health for all the years you have frequented your bathhouse. I would love to explore my sexuality more, but I do not want to get sick. One issue I have is communication – since no one at the bath I went to seemed to talk, how can you best ‘ask’ about STDs? And how do you politely reject someone? … Anyways, I appreciate your time, and thanks for reading.

  27. June 25, 2004 at 2:55 PM

    I believe your stories would be great if a publisher would take a look at your work. I encourage you to try it.

  28. June 17, 2004 at 11:12 AM

    I was hoping the stories would be a turn on; so far too much whining and negativism. I know you really enjoy going and have a good time… so share it!

    Although I am sure there is always a certain amount of preference/prejudice in the Baths I think it would be better to overlook it. Than to dwell on it and let it ruin your good time

  29. April 3, 2004 at 5:31 PM

    Bravo! I truly like your concept of building this blog. Good story (Sauna Etiquette). Well written. Well done! Will pass on this site to friends, and surely will come back.

  30. John
    October 14, 2003 at 11:26 PM

    Until you mentioned the fireplace…you could have been at the bathhouse I go to in Lauderdale. There are two exact opposites just as you spoke. We have one here in jax..but is cold…uninviting…and I nearly went there tonight

  31. July 21, 2003 at 2:17 AM

    I found your website. Great site!!! I have a question though. I’ve always been curious about bath houses, so I’m glad you have this site.

    Are you at all familiar with the FTM transgender community? I know a lot of us fantasize about going to a bath house, and some apparently do in Canada and maybe San Francisco. Have you heard anything about this? Or do you have any experiences w/ seeing any at one? If so, how were they treated?

    I would love to hear anything you have to say on the subject. Thanks.

  32. V
    July 16, 2003 at 4:37 PM

    What an interesting read! I got hooked and read about ten entries in one sitting. This is the most true-to-life, while intellectually written, account of gay culture I have seen — EVER. Amazing work. This should be published. I am passing this site on to as many people as I can. Your writing sheds serious and humorous light on the darkest areas through which many of us have already been. Bravo!

  33. Invisible
    January 6, 2003 at 12:54 AM

    I have just started to read your Bathhouse blues . I have become the 40 GWM so I guess I am invisible . I am closeted and never had the balls to go to a bathhouse . I have learned so much from your stories . I am so naive . I knew nothing of the gay life or bathhouses . I kind of want to go now . I answered a personal ad in yahoo that was looking for a white top . The reason I answered was he was the same age and lived close by and was looking for discreet get together We see each other every week (a standing date) He is Chinese and we have mutual fun .

    We both like sucking and being sucked but he is a bottom so it works great , we did switch once but I can’t say I cared much for being a bottom . Maybe you can write why some like bottom . He says he just does . I think he is a lot more experienced than me but stays closed lipped . He is my first Asian , I have only been with whites but I was only around whites growing up well I was around blacks so I guess you might be right . Another problem is I am a outdoor type person who likes to go to the mountains and desert in my jeep on day trips and camping on the weekend , but he is a city boy and doesn’t want to spend his weekend getting dirty . I had not gave a lot of thought to it because I am not a night club , dining out kind of guy but you said something that made me think yea people should associate with people that have the same interest I wish we had more in common I would love to take him with me but I never seen a Asian out on the trail 4 wheeling either .

    It sounds so crazy sucking off a stranger in a bathhouse or jumping into a pool and having people touch you or the glory hole . I feel you have taught me so much and I feel I almost know you now . I wanted to thank you and tell you a little about myself I hope you find work soon and if you move to LA you could show me a bathhouse

  34. Bill
    January 6, 2002 at 11:50 AM

    Cool site! Many of my questions were answered since I’ve never gone to a bathhouse. Still haven’t built up the nerve but hopefully someday I’ll meet another guy and try it together.

  35. Ben
    December 4, 2001 at 3:43 AM

    Thanks for taking the effort to write down all your encounters at the bathhouse. Personally, I have went through a two hours educational tour by reading all your stories.

  36. Ronald
    November 10, 2001 at 11:25 PM

    Hi you know, I found your comments quite interesting because actually the only time I have been in a place like this was in Toronto and I remember I did not want to enter because all the things I had been told about these places. Nowadays I sort of regret not to enter because I was curious. Definitively I am planning to go one more time and visit this place to have my own opinion. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  37. Jeff
    August 31, 2001 at 1:21 PM

    I enjoyed reading your stories, thank you for sharing them with us. I have never been to a gay bathhouse but I did got to a local men’s bathhouse. Yes, it was actually a bathhouse with steam room, hot tub, showers, etc. But, it was definitely not designed for sex and in several hours I did not see any sex and only saw a couple hard cocks. I was wondering… is it possible to go to a gay bathhouse and NOT have any sex or touching? I would like to go but I just want to check it out without any physical contact. Is that acceptable within the bathhouse or should I expect that at least some physical contact will take place? I would love a response from you to my email address above but I understand if you get too many messages to respond to. Thanks.

  38. Joe
    May 29, 2001 at 6:59 PM

    I really like your writings, and it has mirrored many of the things I have noticed at the baths. Thanks for the honest discussion as to what the baths are really like, good and bad parts. Keep up the excellent work.

  39. Jason
    March 16, 2001 at 1:34 AM

    Hi this is Jason and I’m 20 years old. I was wondering if you can help me. For the last year or so I have wanted to go to a bath house and meet guys, but I’m nervous about it. The only clubs I have went to is local clubs. I always stare at the men in the locker room but know they are straight. Well to keep this short is a bath house a good place to stare at men and just touch? If you can answer me I will be appreciative, thanks Jason.

  40. March 8, 2001 at 2:17 PM

    LOVE IT!

  41. Jamie
    January 21, 2001 at 5:28 AM

    You write well, are obviously an intelligent man, and have a very good site. I have only been to a bath house once, not really my caffeine-laced beverage but a coming out process. I don’t like or dislike Asians, you’re people like the rest of this funny animal – please accept a virtual hug from a newbie gay guy who’s heart you’ve touched with your stories. I hope that you have a happy and long life, and find Mr Right (even though you don’t seem to be looking for a particular “him”). I’d say “god bless” but it doesn’t mean much from an atheist!

  42. Larry
    January 16, 2001 at 3:46 PM

    I read your stories on going to the baths for the last ten years. You are a good writer. You might try a series of short stories using the bath house as a frame. They wouldn’t have to be pornographic at all.Just tell the lives and contacts of all the people who meet at the baths. I used to go to the baths but stopped when the AIDS epidemic began.

  43. Kevin
    December 31, 2000 at 5:30 AM

    Like the articles. Had many of the same thoughts over the years (also about the same number of years going to the Baths). Have a safe New Year!

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