I stumbled across this site and thought it was so interesting that it was definitely in need of a mention here. Yes, bathhouse blog! How inventive is that! Perhaps there are a thousand of them out there and I'm the ignorant novice yet to be reading one, but what a novel concept! This particular man swears that his stories are true (not sure if I care if they are true or not, as they are still an interesting read), but doesn't give us much in the way of details about himself or his location, etc. Again, this is okay; it's the other people in his stories that are almost the more pivotal characters, as they are the motivation behind his writing process.
His stories originate over the past ten years and cover all sorts of experiences. Many of his articles examine the basics like bathhouse etiquette, the reasons men go to the baths, when they go, and who they are. These stories may not get you off but they provide a very interesting characterization of a system that many gay men are drawn to without really knowing why. While these articles of course only provide anecdotal evidence of this phenomenon I'm inclined to believe a lot of the assumptions our author suggests. Besides these informative articles the author also writes about his own experiences finding sex. These may be straightforward quickies, but more often the author analyzes what people are after (“Rice Queens”), busy times (“Christmas at the Baths”) and how to attract (“Eye Contact”). If you've been to a bathhouse before you should have experienced all of these things and will probably find that our author knows what he's talking about.
With all of the authors purveying of information about bathhouses he rarely gets to his own specific sexual encounters that might create another dynamic to his writing. I realize he is trying to separate the writing found in erotica anthologies and that found in academia. Yet, since he is not an academic, he would be advised to spice it up a bit so that it stays interesting to more of the audience and doesn't run the risk of just being a user's manual for bathhouses. This small complaint could easily be rectified, and despite it, I still found myself intrigued by what this young man had to say about an institution most of us have patronized at some point.
Four Stars out of Five!
This unnamed thirtysomething gay Asian male documents his ten-plus years visiting gay Bathhouse/Sauna/Steambath/Tubs throughout the US. Eloquent and thoughtful, the writer is candid about his observations of how gay or closeted straight men participate in the ritualistic maneuvers of bathhouse cruising.
At times funny (one entry was about the amount of wedding rings the narrator picked out in a night at the baths his record was 20) and thought provoking (the racial bias of GWM towards GAM, or GAM towards other GAM), what makes this website so interesting is the way the author weaves his narratives. He refrains from the standard highly charged eroticism of writing about bathhouses (although don't be fooled, some of the stories he relays are quite titillating), instead concentrating on even-handed reportage of the goings-on at a bathhouse.
The author also offers a revealing discussion on how GAM is viewed as sexual beings in the gay community. Reading the torrent of letters from gay Asians and gay men of other nationalities was a real eye opener. The e-mailers that fostered the stupid idea that gay Asian men are undesirable made me want to stab them in the eye, while reading the thoughts of other GAM makes me feel empowered. Bathhouse Blues is the best thing I've read about the sexual politics of gay sex in a semi-public arena.
Well written and entertaining site packed with interesting stories and information, whether you are a bathhouse regular, or have always wondered what goes on in these places. The author delves into pretty much every topic you can imagine being associated with ‘The Tubs’.
Bathhouseblues offers a truly unique slant on this age old pastime. Though the blogger prefers to remain anonymous, his honest take on the etiquette of bathhouse cruising is as educational as reading a professional sex/human behavior report. The observations are based on his personal experience, and it's not at all what you'd expect. This blog is an interesting read!
What a good effort here to educate and enlighten people on an area that is little known by outsiders - the gay bathhouse.
The writer has over ten years of experience in regular attendance at bathhouses, and I think his clear writing and experienced viewpoint can be of great help, in particular to men who are considering a first time experience. Every culture, every minority group, every group activity, all have their own traditions, their own communication practices, and their own behavior standards, and that is quite true of the bathhouse as well. A lot of marvelous fun can be had, but bathhouses can be dangerous as well, due to drugs, disease, and unsafe decisions and activity. This site may help you to negotiate your way safely through your adventure, and that's a public service.
You have to wander through a bunch of advertising to get to the free content here, but that's a small price to pay. Ignore the ads that abound - or visit them to help the writer pay for his free site - but do click on through to his essays. Reviews recommended.
Many guys have donned a white towel and roamed the halls of a bathhouse, but few care to write about the experience. That's why this anonymous Web author's essays are worth a browse. A self-described 31-year-old halfway-out-of-the-closet Asian guy "in a large urban city in North America" (aren't all large cities urban?), our omniscient guide's been hitting the dark halls weekly for a decade.
So, you'll gain some insight into an oft-misunderstood scene. However, be advised that it's all straight talking expository dialogue, earnest and in some cases, a bit wide-eyed. Still, the author's intentions are noble, even though he misspelled bathhouse (at that time with only one 'h') in the URL.