Been There Done That
Being a bathhouse regular, you repeatedly meet and see some of the same guys over and over again. With some men, you can be friendly. With others, you can acknowledge and give a nod or a sign of recognition. Then there are those you ignore. Being ignored by other men is the way bathhouses are. If you can’t take that level of rejection, then don’t go. But what happens when you have slept with someone once at the baths, and then you run into him weeks later? Do you pick up where you have left off? Do you ignore him? Or do you acknowledge that person and engage in small talk as if nothing has ever happened? Well, depending on the situation, all three are applicable.
Picking up where you have left off
Recently my friend Aaron hooked up with Jake, a bouncer at a leather bar. Aaron keeps telling me that every encounter with Jake gets better and better. Jake is a magnificent lover devoted to giving another man the utmost pleasure. Each time these two run into each other at the baths, they pick up where they last left off. Jake understands these encounters are one-night stands and go no further than the bathhouse. Whatever happens at the baths should stay there, IMHO.
The hours a man spends at the baths are a fantasy. Within those walls, gay men can do whatever they want. Sexual freedom and liberation are rampant in that environment. Thus the relationships you form with other men at the baths are entirely superficial. Once someone steps outside a bathhouse, they return to the real world. So in a sense, you only know that person in the heat of the moment. That is not the way to begin a relationship. In that context, you are running toward each other in slow motion. Who knows what this guy is like with clothes on? So, picking up where you last left off with the same guy is okay. Enjoy it! As long as you know, this is a superficial sexual relationship, and nothing will develop from it. But everyone is different. Some couples have met at the baths and become married, still going strong. So who knows?
Do you ignore that person?
You’ll inevitably run into guys at the baths you’ve slept with once (or even a few times). These men show no interest in picking up where you last left off. There could be several reasons, such as zero chemistry, sexual incompatibility, bad breath, etc. The list is endless. But how you decline another roll in the hay is the key. Some guys take the easy way out. They act as if they have never seen you before. In short, they ignore you. Not so uncommon at the baths.
Case in point, my friend Timmy once met this GORGEOUS man with the looks of a supermodel. He seemed very shy, but that did not stop either one of them from hooking up quickly. Timmy thought they had a great time, but when Timmy ran into him again, he might as well have been invisible as he got ignored. While there, the Gorgeous guy spent the entire time chasing after all the other twinks. It did hurt Timmy, but he learned a critical lesson. Enjoy the moment cause it doesn’t last forever.
Another time my friend Alec hooked up with the same guy two times. When Alec saw him again, he decided to take a pass for a third roll in the hay. The second time was like ‘been there-done that’ and sexual incompatibility. But that did not stop the guy from scoring with someone else. All the while, the guy left his door wide open for everyone to see. According to Alec, they did it all over the baths. Not only in their room (with the door wide open) but everywhere in the bathhouse; the hallways, the sauna, the steam room, the shower, and the whirlpool.
Alec did not object to him seeking someone else out (this is a bathhouse, after all). But Alec admitted it hurt to see his escapades right before his face. Alec told me when the shoe had been on the other foot, he had been more discreet, even seeking out the person to ensure no hard feelings.
The bottom line is to be warm and friendly to everyone you interact with at the baths. Even if you encounter someone you have been intimate with, always try to give at least a friendly acknowledgment.
But be warned; not all men are like that. Most likely, they will ignore you. If you see someone again, they probably don’t remember you as it’s been a while. Or he is an asshole who views other guys as objects just to get laid. That’s how the baths are, so don’t take the rejection personally. The cold shoulder is not about you. The guy has blinders and is too busy looking for someone to hook up with, so he doesn’t even notice who is around him. It truly has nothing to do with you.
Then there are the men who have no interest in the other person sexually after two or three encounters. Again, it is that ‘been there-done that’ feeling. But some men are confident and greet former hook-ups warmly, friendly, and affectionately. For those men starting their gay journey, this is hard to compartmentalize. One minute you are intimate, two hot, sweaty bodies together. The next minute, you sit in the lounge commiserating on the latest episode of some TV-Series. Either he does not want to start things up again, or you are wary, for whatever reason. What is nice is that both of you are not awkward or ignoring one another. You are friendly.
If only all gay men could end relationships like that.