Eye Contact
Eye Contact

Now just to put the shoe on the other foot, I have been in the situation where older men in their sixties cruise me, to the point that they are stalking me. It hurts me to do this, but I have to resort to the type of behavior I talked about above, to shake the older guy. It is almost like these older guys do not know how to take no for an answer. Sometimes there will be an older man standing outside my room, trying to make eye contact with me, while massaging his genitals. During this time, I am looking away, turning my head, staring at the ceiling, trying to send the signal I am not interested. Usually, that works. But on more than one occasion, I am looking away for more than five minutes, and the older guy still has not given up. Then I will usually say, ‘I am just resting.’ Then the older guy leaves but continues to cruise and give me eye contact for the rest of my stay at the baths.

One time I was in the whirlpool and this 60-year-old man, who had been cruising me for an hour, got in and sat near me. I was not interested, and I tried to make that transparent. I sat away from him, positioned my face so that I was facing a wall, and curled up into a fetal position. You would think that he would get the message. What did he do? He tried to play footsie with me underneath the water. I did not expect him to touch me, and when he did, I was so surprised that I yelled and sprang up! And then he took offense that I acted that way. Excuse me, but who was cruising whom? Is it not evident by my actions that I was not interested? Of course, you all know my theory of why older guys chase after Asians, (again read Racism or Preference?) While I have a problem finding someone my age, older guys are in no shortage for my pickings. It upsets me that I have to treat these older gentlemen this way, because of my work at the Gay Elder Center. But unfortunately, sometimes you have to be blunt to show someone that you have no interest. But a lot of older men approach me for conversation because I have a very approachable persona. I have no problem with that, but I always make it clear that it is just conversation we are having, that is all.

I’ve seen regulars at the Baths all the time. I am never engaging in any conversation. However, I always attempt to acknowledge the person with some eye contact and a nod. Some guys seem to appreciate the acknowledgment and return with a nod of their own. Others look right past me, without even a return glance. I always say hello when I run into someone I’ve had a hook-up. But a lot of guys do not do that. Usually, they act as if they have never seen you before. What I think is that they must be dealing with their insecurities and problems to be that rude. But on the flip side, there are other guys I have seen regularly, that have taken things a step further. Nods that turn into hellos, which turn into conversations every time we run into each other.

There is one guy, about my age, that I have seen at the baths every Saturday afternoon without fail for the past four years. If there were a Saturday afternoon regular, it would be the two of us. But it took us years to get to the point where we would even nod and say hello to each other. Now we have brief conversations, like the weather. That is because we have seen each other so many times. Friendship is somewhat tenuous and very superficial. I sometimes wonder about him, what makes him tick. And why he comes to the baths. Maybe someday we will go out for a cup of coffee, outside the bathhouse. And I can find out more about him. I will have to keep you posted.

6 thoughts on “Eye Contact”

  1. While I’ve not been to a gay bathhouse as such I do reguarly visit what is marketed as a Korean Style Bathhouse, seperate male and female facilities so completely nude. Not a sex or gay venue but the vast majority of male customers are definately not straight and well you get the idea. I’ve unfortunately had the avoidance experience on numerous occasions by guys who will always leave the sauna or tub as soon as I enter, it does hurt but I’ve decided not to let it stop me going there or they win, it’s just a form of bullying as far as I’m concerned. Besides I don’t go there to get off, I enjoy the facilities and the scenery and occasional hanky panky is a nice bonus.

  2. I just found your bathhouse stories and find them interesting. I live in New Orleans and visited the bath houses her for some time. I do miss going to them though. I have not read all your stores yet, but did I miss the location where the majority of your stories are from? PS: I’m attracted to Asians, but find very little here in New Orleans.

  3. Thank you for the articles and your perspectives, as well as others responses. While many responded to the racism issue (which I find to be inherent to human nature), I was intrigued by the “eye contact” essay. I have concluded not to make eye contact with men anymore. It just is not worth the aggravation/response I receive from men. Perhaps you can write more about the subject.

  4. I think I will come back here and read more of your stories, even though those I’ve read so far have seemed rather shallow and unimpressive. Still, it’s an interesting attempt to write about something I, too, have experienced and marveled at. I’ve found a few very dear friends at the Baths and had great pleasure there as well. I’ve also caught STD’s (in pre-AIDS days) a few times and come away as lonely as when I went in, despite my sexual gratification.

    I was glad to read that you volunteer at a gay elder center. I hope you, in all your youthful beauty (which does not last forever, by the way) might learn some wisdom from these men as well as compassion. I am an old, but still handsome and in shape “rice queen,” I guess. As far as you’re concerned, completely off the gaydar and probably not even a possible friend. Well, dear, there is a reason you frequent the baths so much and endure so much rejection while searching for your ideal partner. It is because you have put up barriers to true friendship and love. Sometimes life surprises us and presents a friendship that blossoms into love. What a lovely thing that is! Often it is with a type that we never even thought of before.

    When we are young we usually search for ourselves or an idealized version of ourselves. But as we mature we realize there are other quite satisfying choices if we only look. In my case, I gradually became aware that men who were quite different from me – a red-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian – were as thrilling to me as gay white youth. In fact, they were often more exciting lovers. Gradually, I became quite entranced with the Asian male, but not because of the cliche reasons. There is something special there that contrasts so nicely with the Western man and his concepts. There is also an almost Greek acceptance of older-younger relationships that benefit the younger while rewarding the older as well. This pairing may be viewed by cynical outsiders as exploitation, but the participants know it is not. It is warm and friendly and caring, but not boring. It is not for everyone, but don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.

    I hope you can get out of the bathhouse soon and find a nice cuddler who appreciates your physical beauty and personality. In order to be cherished you might try looking in some new directions and letting yourself fall in love with kindness and consideration rather than sexual athleticism. Find someone who enriches your life as well as thrilling you in bed from time to time. Just cuddling the one you love can be better that all night sex with a stranger.

    As far as America is concerned, you just have to realize that the ideal is the Brad Pitt blue-eyed blond. He’s equivalent to the gorgeous blonde babe with the big tits- e.g., Marilyn Monroe – for straight men. But wiser, more international men will recognize your excellence. EM Forester, the famous author, was gay and chided the British in Colonial India for not being able to see the beauty of the natives who were all around them. Because they weren’t white (and socially equal), they were invisible to the Brits. It was their loss, wasn’t it?

    Please, forgive me for going on so long. I wish you happiness and would welcome your reply, if you choose to make one. Please remember that I haven’t read all your stories. Perhaps I will change my mind about you when I have read more.

    PS: Not satisfying your partner fully is the mark of a lousy lover, gay or straight. But in the baths, many are selfish.

    1. Wow! It´s very touchy what you say here, at least for me. It´s a wise lesson beyond the superficial hornyness that drive us to have a sexual encounter which we dispose just seconds after the last shot of cum.

  5. I enjoyed reading your stories. I’ve only been to a bath-house (we call them saunas down here) once ever and it was such a disaster I’ve never gone back! Although I’m quite often complimented about my looks, I had no ideas what the rules were. Because I’m shy, every time someone looked at me, I’d look away – sheer force of habit – and blush, even if I was interested. Consequently, after a while no one was even pretending to notice I was there anymore. I was devastated! I thought I must either be extremely ugly after all or have committed some cardinal sin only sauna-patrons know about. I holed up in a corner in the porn room for a while (not the best solution!), gave up, had a wank, raced home and had a cry. I’ve never gone back – I think clubs are more my thing. Looking back on it now, I guess it was just my naiveté and shyness that must have made me seem hyper-aloof to everyone else there, and when I think back on it now I have a good laugh! I still haven’t plucked up the courage to go back though, even with my partner, who goes quite regularly. Anyway, that’s my (very limited) experience of bath-houses.

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