Pride Day At The Gay Baths
For any gay man, summer is a reason for celebration. Not only is the weather warm and beautiful, but it is also when most cities in North America host their Pride Day festivities. We have come a long way. Since Pride Day generally falls on a Sunday, many in the gay community take the preceding Thursday and Friday off work. That way four days can be completely devoted to enjoying all of the festivities leading up to the big Pride Day parade. If you want to know for sure who is gay in your office, look around to see who is working Thursday and Friday on Pride week. If they took those two days off and will be back on Monday or Tuesday, then you know.
Most heterosexual people associate Pride Day as a celebration of the advancement of the gay and lesbian cause. It is seen by outsiders as the one-day all gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and transsexual people can come together bursting with Pride - to celebrate being gay for just one day. But from what I have observed, many gay men do not observe Pride Day in that manner. Pride Day (or week) for a majority of gay men is the one-day they can do whatever they want to excess - to party, get drunk, get stoned, and squeeze in as much sex as possible in a 24-hour day.
Now, I bet your asking yourselves, what does Pride have to do with the baths? You would think that with all of the festivities on the streets, the baths would be a ghost town. After all, there is the parade to watch, booths to visit, and so many people on the streets and in the bars celebrating being gay. Who would want to be in a bathhouse on Pride Day? Well it just so happens that Pride Day (or week) at the baths is the single biggest money making day of the year.
Let us start with Pride week (events leading up to the actual Pride Day parade). Many men from across the countries check into local baths for the entire Pride weekend, as it is cheaper than a hotel (Although there are other Out-Of-Towner's who stay with friends) Over the weekend these men go bar and club hopping, before returning to the baths looking for more action. And as I mentioned at the top of this essay, many men take the Thursday and Friday off work during Pride week. So it is easy to see why Pride week has twice as many gay men prowling the halls of a bathhouse, than any other week of the year. On those days (and nights) leading up to Pride Day, the baths are just as crowded as a regular Saturday night. With all of the celebrating and events just before Pride, scores of gay men pushing everything to excess - drinking, drugs, so why not sex as well?
But what I find interesting, is that on the day of the parade, many openly and closeted gay men are at the baths. It is almost like, they want to be part of the Pride Day festivities in a gay environment, but not go to the parade at all. A lot of guys are at the baths lounging around, aware that the Pride parade was happening. I get a sense that these men feel that being gay is only a part of who they are. It is not all of who they are. One year I was shocked to see a rather well known gay writer at the baths on Pride Day. This is a man who is an icon in literary world, highly respected for his work. Because of his celebrity within the gay community, you would think that he would be marching proudly in the parade to the cheers of the crowd, since he is so well known and respected. But there he was, lounging by the pool, working on his tan. Obviously he has his reasons for not going to Pride. And other gay men obviously feel the same way for a variety of reasons. Some men have seen the parade so many times, that it has become redundant. While others feel the crowds are too large and intimidating, especially for some of the older gay men who have a hard time maneuvering through the large crowds. A few men feel that Pride should be a 365-day feeling, so why have one day designated to it. While a handful of other gay men feel that the event has become hypocritical. After years of gaining acceptance from the heterosexual community, the parade re-enforces negative stereotypes in the media with images of half-naked gym bunnies, drag queens and butch lesbians. But there are other gay men who head to the baths early, for none of the reasons I have just mentioned. They go early to secure a good room, because they know that it will be a madhouse of men later in the day.
Once the parade is over, new wave of gay men start arriving, all hot, sticky, stoned, drunk and incredibly horny. After seeing so much flesh and skin during the three-hour parade, these men are ready for one thing – SEX! Within a half an hour the baths become jammed packed, but the staff is ready for the influx. Bowls filled with condoms and lube are placed along the hallways and in the lounge area. Extra towels have been ordered as the washing machine is running non-stop, just to keep up with the demand for new towels. Rooms are being cleaned in record speed after someone leaves. Waiting lists for rooms and lockers gets longer and longer. The room attendants carry walkie-talkies for that one-day, so they can be in constant contact with the front desk.
As the late afternoon turns into nightfall, there is much more freedom of having sex that day, than any other day. Men are walking around completely nude, instead of wearing a towel. There are blowjobs and other types of sex/orgies happening openly in the hallways. Many couples arrive at the baths looking for a threesome. And some men call ahead of time wanting to reserve a room, or two!
I remember one year there was one guy who did nothing but run up and down the halls blowing every guy he could find, including me! And I remember another year there were so many guys coming and going, that the hot water ran out! It forced a lot of guys to take cold showers, which is not what they had in mind. In short, it is one big orgy, with everybody having sex with everybody. And I am just describing what happens in the afternoon. In-between the partying in the streets, many men will drop by the baths, get off with somebody, and then leave to continue the celebrations on the streets – all in 20 minutes. When night falls it gets even busier, with even more men checking into the baths, looking to get off. Sex is happening openly everywhere. The orgies usually die down at around six – in the morning!
So if you are curious about what the bathhouse in your city is like on Pride Day, maybe you should drop by. Who knows who you may run into.