The Out of Towners
The Out of Towners

Whenever a three-day long weekend rolls around, a steady stream of Out-of-Towners always passes through the doors of the baths. Whether it is Labor Day weekend or Easter, it is still the same for tourists who are gay (single or couples). The trip would not be complete without visiting the local gay baths.

Here is a statistic: some guys stay at the baths all weekend. Consider it; renting a room, even for a whole day, is much cheaper than a hotel. Typically these men who come and stay for the long weekend are from small rural areas surrounding the city. These small towns hardly have gay men, and the gay ones are not “out.” But smaller communities are not the only ones with a gay bathhouse drought. Some larger cities have made gay baths illegal. So for these men to experience the gay baths, they must cross state lines. But long-distance travel is worth taking part in the gay baths regularly. Every long weekend, men from surrounding towns and borders trek to the nearest gay Bathhouse and make a mini-vacation.

When you rent a room for three days, it gives you in and out privileges, so you can come and go as you please – just like living in a hotel with all the amenities. Every Bathhouse features the same things. There’s a communal shower area with sinks and toilets. Nearby is a “wet area” featuring a steam room, a sauna, and a whirlpool. The room you purchase will have a bed, a little closet, and a small night table. There are two lounge areas, one with porno flicks playing and the other with regular TV. You have a snack bar that serves food and coffee. But if you prefer something else to their menu, you can get dressed and eat out. Or order in and get delivery right to the baths! The pièce de résistance is naked bodies running around, right in front of your eyes, 24/7 during your stay at the baths. No wonder why so many men check into the baths for the long weekend.

For example, I know of one patron from a small town who drops by the baths not just during a long weekend but every weekend. He is a television reporter working on his craft in a small local station, dreaming of making it at the network level. To achieve his dream, he has to climb the ladder up. Subsequently, the tiny town he works in has a gay population of one – him. So to combat that, he jumps in his car every Friday after the 6:00 newscast and drives three hours into the city – just in time for happy hour at the gay bars. He checks into the baths first and then makes a weekend of bar and club hopping, drinking, and getting as much sex as possible, mostly with men he runs into. He even manages to find time with the gay volleyball league on Sunday Mornings! Then on Monday morning, he will get up at 5 AM to drive back to the small town he works. In seven days, the cycle will start all over again. Fortunately, he is anti-party drugs. Good thing, as he would never be able to handle his weekends as he does.

Other tourists come out of curiosity to see what the gay baths are all about, like any other person out of town. They’d stop at the local gay bar, gay restaurant, gay bookstore, and even the gay coffee shop. Why not the gay baths? It would not be a complete visit without checking out that scene. They visit the baths solo or as a couple, probably in an open relationship. Regular bathhouse customers have the best sexual experiences with people out of town at the baths. One friend, Joey, told me of a sunny, hot Saturday afternoon; Joey ran into a lawyer from the South. He had a terrific Southern accent and was in town for a weekend conference. He had a few hours before meeting with other delegates for dinner. Joey found him cute, but it was always his experience that men who like to talk do not necessarily want sex. So Joey and the lawyer spent two hours together talking in the lounge, sauna, whirlpool, and even on the outdoor patio deck, catching a few rays. Joey felt the lawyer was cruising him but dismissed it. Having been wrong so many times, Joey just forgot about it. Then the lawyer had to go, so Joey walked him to his room. Suddenly the lawyer pulled Joey in for a goodbye hug. As the lawyer hugged Joey, he could feel the lawyer’s erection. The lawyer shut the door and was all over Joey. The lovemaking was beautiful, but Joey could not help berating himself for the time he wasted by talking. The two hours Joey and the lawyer spent talking could have been used for sex instead. But on the other hand, since Joey got to know him on that intimate level, the lovemaking was even more passionate than Joey had experienced with other men.

Out-of-towners can be some of the best sexual experiences bathhouse regulars have. About a third of them are in an open relationship, and the other third are married and in the closet. With the men in open relationships, some couples have a rule that they can fool around if either is out of town. There are those men who take full advantage of it. Instead of wasting time cruising gay bars, these men can cut to the chase and score with up to five guys at a bathhouse. Closeted married men in town for a conference or convention love the gay baths as well. They don’t have to worry about anyone seeing them in a gay bar trying to pick someone up. Gay bathhouses are out of the way, secluded, and behind closed doors. There is no worry about getting caught in the act.

What is fascinating about these out-of-towners is meeting some of the most interesting new people. I have met men from not just across the country but worldwide. You get to hear what their gay community is like and how it compares to the gay communities they visit. You also hear what gay baths are like in countries like Great Britain, Germany, Poland, and even Hong Kong.

So if you are looking for a cheap place to stay on your next trip, try looking up the local gay baths. Even though you are far from home, you will feel quite at home in a familiar atmosphere.

12 thoughts on “The Out of Towners”

  1. Just wanted to say thank you for this blog. My town’s not exactly a center of gay culture, but a new club opened here earlier this year. Though not exactly a “bath house,” (It has no shower/sauna facilities) it is a sort of men’s club. This website helped me work up the courage to visit!

  2. Enjoyed reading your stories and experiences about bathhouses. I am one of those out of Out-Of-Towner’s you refer to. I live in a small town and am in the closet so the bathhouses in Houston, Austin and Dallas are my only chance to have man-to-man sex. I can accept that you’re experience with Caucasian men have given you a certain viewpoint; I disagree about the GAM thing. I enjoy Asian men and Hispanics men. I often look for 30-45 year old GAM because they are lots of fun and normally are not just looking for a quickie. But it may be different where you are. Enjoy your essays. Have had many of the same reactions and experiences. Hope to read all of them as time permits.

  3. Thank you for writing about your experience in the bath houses. We don’t have a bath house anywhere close to our town.

  4. I have never been to a bathhouse but would like the experience can you help me locate one here in Ottawa

    1. Ottawa used to have two bathhouses open 24/7, one in the basement of 1069 Wellington and the other in an unmarked building at 487 Lewis. The one on Wellington got taken over by a bathhouse chain and cut back its hours (so no more option to stay overnight on a weekday), while the other was sold to a local gay bar and apparently has been going downhill ever since (also cutting back its hours, but racking up mostly negative online reviews – no idea if they’re even still ‘up’ as the website no longer resolves and I’m, uh, out of town…)

      When these were 24/7, they were marginal as somewhere to sleep. Bring your own blanket (they supply just a towel and a bedsheet), sleep in what is little more than a wooden cubicle with a mattress (the walls don’t reach the ceiling), constant noise, often second-hand smoke (although that’s less tolerated now and good riddance, the average bath house is a barely-compliant firetrap of wooden partitions and no windows). No amenities to speak of, really. They were, however, half the price of the worst motel in the city.

  5. Great reading ! How very true everything you say. I am what you call the “Out of Towner” and I have had casual encounters with GAM’s. I’ll be frank … I would not see myself in a LT relationship with a GAM but GAM’s have the PERFECT body type for me. Hard, smooth and great shapes. The personality is the greatest. Age 44 and in great shape!

  6. Your stories are WONDERFUL! Thanks so much for putting your journal on the web. I am here in NYC visiting. . on business. . . .I am an attractive GBM from the SOUTH. . .I have NEVER, EVER been to a BATH. Would love to have the opportunity to visit one before I leave on Sunday morning. Do you have a suggestion for a FIRST-TIMER. . .and any advice for a FIRST-TIMER! I look forward to your reply

  7. I used to stay all night at a certain bath and brought pajamas (contrary to your statement it is somewhat cool in some baths!) to keep warm. I had upscale oriental cotton pajamas. Again, I had only worn them to take naps in. Well, I found out that pajamas seemed to turn on some people wildly. It seemed that this one guy saw me as WASP to the bone or something and was mesmerized by me in pajamas. I really couldn’t believe it. (Age at the time 32).

  8. Hi, I have been reading your stories for some time. I really like your writings. I often visit bathhouses in many countries, Taiwan, China, Brazil, Argentina, US (many cities). The places I like the most are Taiwan and Beijing. I am interested in knowing more about you

  9. I love going to the baths in St Louis, Chicago, and Indy. Everything you say is right on the money. I go every Saturday night. I teach H.S. so I also go on holidays. On holidays there are usually some very hot flight attendants there on layover. The last time in Chicago, I met two gorgeous Germans. We had a very hot time. I have been going for many years, after the divorce from my wife. I have a great body so I am very lucky at the tubs. I do like Asian boys who are in good shape. They are always respectful and I find that extremely sexy. Do you want to find someone with whom you can have all-out mind-blowing sex? Or are you satisfied with the kind of sex you’re having now? I enjoyed your stories. Unfortunately, they are true. I can attest to that. Keep up the great personal narratives.

  10. I have recently gone out to gay bars and clubs to fool around with guys but I would really like to fool around in a bath house. I have seen some examples from Tales Of The City and Queer As Folk. I have been to Bijou on 4th st. but I would like to be around other naked guys. I am 21 yo and will practice safe sex no matter where I am at. If you could suggest a place Manhattan or nearby, could you tell me, thanks. thanks for the stories on your site, very helpful and responsible writing.

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