You would think the only thing coming between you and a hot guy at the baths would be the towels both of you are wearing. However, you will often see guys wearing more than just their towels to get extra attention, known as accessorizing. The importance of accessorizing is the impression you want to make on other guys you encounter at the baths. Standing out amongst the crowd sends a specific signal to other guys. But at the other end of the spectrum, you could be accessorizing for comfort. Whatever the reason, if you regularly go to the baths, it is always good to come prepared with a few items. Here are the most common things men bring with them.
Some men like to accessorize their towel look by adding leather to their appearance. Over the years, I have seen various men in leather at the baths. But overwhelmingly, most men wearing leather at the tubs are BEARS. Strong signals get telegraphed to other guys interested in S&M or any other type of domination. The message is saying that you like that stuff too. The fashion statement of wearing leather at the baths varies between men. Some wear a leather vest with their towel. Others have leather straps over their chest and arms. While a few will don a leather hat. However, some men will wear a leather strap over just one arm. That is to send a signal to other men about their preferences. The strap on the left means top or dominant. At the same time, a strap on the right implies bottom or submissive. Straps on both arms mean they can be versatile.
However, a few guys disregard the towel and wear a fetish leather outfit with leather pants, a hat, and boots. Noticeable is the number of leather cock-rings worn, particularly by men over sixty. Wearing a cock-ring, supposedly keeps an erection up for a long time, even after ejaculation. Yet, every time I visit the baths, I see many elderly gay men wearing them. I would have thought Viagra was supposed to put the cock-ring industry out of business!
Many guys are very paranoid about what their naked feet may step on. With many bathhouses in the dark, you can never see what is on the floor. That is especially true in bathrooms where some baths do not have urinals. Often the area where the toilets are situated can appear “wet.” Also, in the porn lounge or any central cruising spot where guys get it on, semen can be on the floor. Many guys don various footwear; Sandals, flip-flops, bedroom slippers, and even socks as they cruise up and down the hallways. I do not recommend wearing socks because your feet will get wet and uncomfortable, if you pass through the “wet” area. Generally speaking, the much older men (in their early sixties) and Asian men (due to paranoia) usually wear footwear at the baths. I have even seen some Asian guys wear socks AND sneakers. That is real paranoia, and it looks just silly. Wearing sandals has crossed my mind, but I have decided against it. I think wearing something on your feet defeats the feeling of total nakedness at the baths. I love that feeling, and wearing footwear does not feel the same.
Some men will be at the baths naked with a towel on, but wearing a t-shirt. That signifies the man’s insecurity about his “physique.” You might think perhaps he is feeling cold. No. In the wintertime, management usually puts the heat up to summer-like temperatures. Since 99% of the gay population is obsessed with body image, many men feel apprehensive about showing their merchandise. Gay men worry it may hurt their chances of hooking up with someone. It can seem competitive and threatening at the baths, surrounded by Twinks with 5% body fat. Because of that, some gay men tend to cover up what makes them insecure. If it is thinning hair, a baseball cap is worn. If it is the stomach, a shirt is thrown on.
But not everyone is insecure. You have the gym bunnies who love going to the baths to flaunt their bodies. They don’t wear a towel but instead, wear their designer underwear. They strut up and down the hallways, as if walking the runways of a fashion show. Some of the men I see wearing nothing but their undies look SEXY!
You may see a guy now and then at the baths wearing nothing. That is right, completely nude as he cruises the hallways. Rules state that everyone has to wear something to cover their midsection. But management does not try to enforce that rule. Once in a while, a bathhouse staff person tells the “nudist” to wear a towel, but that is rare. Being naked has its drawbacks. Since everyone has seen the merchandise, the mystery of the man is gone. Based on what they have seen, some guys may take a pass. But on the other hand, if the merchandise is “unbelievable,” it may be good to advertise to get attention.
People have often asked me if it is possible to go to the baths only as an observer without getting hit on. The answer is yes, and here is the secret. Do not get undressed. No rule says you have to take off all of your clothes. Being fully clothed is a sign to other guys that you are off-limits. Some men might even think you work at the bathhouse, as all patrons know that staff is off-limits. My friend Ari will do just that. When he goes to the baths, he stays fully clothed, sits in a part of the bathhouse, and watches people passing him by. No one bothers him. If he sees someone attractive, he will pursue him while fully clothed.
While cruising the halls looking for the next hookup, many men carry stuff to occupy themselves during the down periods at the baths. It can range from water bottles to avoid dehydration, cigarettes to smoke while cruising, condoms and lube to be prepared, and books to pass the time. I have even seen some guys carry their cell phones with them, which I do not recommend, as cell phones will probably be stolen or misplaced. So many guys have lost their room or locker keys over the years. Having your cell phone vanish would be a much more valuable, irreplaceable item. I would recommend any expensive stuff to be kept in your car. Some baths will allow you to keep your valuables in a separate safe, monitored by the desk clerk. But by far, the most popular item men carry with them at the baths is Amyl Nitrate, better known as “poppers.” For all newcomers, poppers (Amyl Nitrate) are sold in small bottles for inhalation. This drug is prevalent in the gay community, as it enhances an orgasm’s intensity and relaxes the anal area during sex. So you can see why men love their poppers and won’t leave home without them. Some men wear a small bottle of poppers on a chain around their neck. That is because many guys want to have their poppers easily accessible. You have to be ready with the number of quickies that occur at any given time at the baths. Quickie encounters may take place when you least expect them. I see more men carrying around poppers than condoms!
Depending on how many sexual encounters you may have, it is good to shower after each hookup. You can be fresh as a daisy for your next hookup. All bathhouses have liquid soap in the shower area. However, many men prefer to avoid the liquid soap the baths provide. It can be harsh and dry for your skin. So it is common for many guys to bring personal toiletry items. You see them carrying a small bag with soap, shampoo, hair gel, a shaving kit, aftershave, deodorant, and moisturizer. Nothing is worse than being inside a bathhouse and needing something, like a razor. You can only exit the baths to go to the drugstore if you pay the penalty. You must re-pay to return if you go out, unless you have paid for in and out privileges. While some baths do sell toiletry items, many do not. So it is good to come prepared with everything you may need.
Items For The Nightstand
Every room at the baths has a nightstand beside the bed where you can put your cigarettes, water bottles, and other assorted items. When cruising the hallways and passing dozens of rooms, the one constant you will see is condoms and lube on the nightstand. Sometimes you may even see poppers too! Leaving condoms and lube on the nightstand signals other guys interested in anal sex. But it can work oppositely. Some guys not into anal sex will avoid a room with condoms like the plague.
Some men prepare for everything. This one guy that I know takes it to the ultimate extreme. Every time he visits the baths, he comes ready. The nightstand is overflowing with stuff. There are condoms, two different brands of lube, moisturizer, massage oil, a box of Kleenex, a roll of paper towels, water, a package of wipes, scented candles, a small clock, a little radio (for jazz music), shampoo, liquid soap, hair gel, poppers, and a pack of cigarettes. This guy doesn’t do poppers or smoke. But he brings them anyway, for any potential ‘hookups’ with men that may require them during their romantic encounter. Isn’t that so thoughtful?
These are just a few of the items men bring with them to the Baths. Most bathhouse visits are impulsive, so keep some of the stuff I’ve mentioned in your car. That way, you can be prepared, making your next visit to the baths all that more pleasurable.