Gay sauna worker shares hilarious, NSFW stories: From noisy straight men to drag orgies
From straight men showing off to customers attempting misguided DIY, the gay sauna is full of stories.
Jameson Farn has written all about his experiences working in gay saunas in a fascinating new book titled Bathhouse Babylon. The volume has been billed as a “behind the scenes account of the bathhouse world” offering a “private insider’s viewpoint”.
For years, gay saunas have been a place of refuge for queer people. The establishments generally allow men – those who identify as gay, bisexual, queer or even straight – to come together in a shared space to explore their sexualities.
Gay saunas are still going strong in many parts of the world, but many have shuttered as queer people became more open about their identities. Dating apps such as Grindr have allowed many gay and bisexual men to have hook-ups and other sexual experiences without walking into a gay sauna.
That’s why it’s so important that incredible story of the gay sauna is not forgotten. These bathhouses were – and continue to be – vital entry routes into queer sexuality for LGBT+ people across the world.
Below, Jameson Farn shares some of his best anecdotes from his many years working in gay saunas, from the straight men who frequent bathhouses to what he describes as “the lonely hearts club”.
Drag queen puts on a show
One such morning at about 4:30 am, one of the well-known local drag queens showed up. Still half in her gear, she quickly transformed herself into her rented room and emerged with just a towel on, followed by removing her makeup at one of the sinks with the remnants of the evening smeared across her towel barely draping around her thick waist.
The drag queen’s first visit was to the steam room, where she was followed inside by a group of admirers. After she had enough of that room, a small team of men followed her into the big jacuzzi where another show of sorts was to take place. Here, sitting on the edge of the bubbling pool of hot water, wet, naked, enamored men were climbing over each other (which then led to more sex acts) while basically getting as close as possible to ravage the drag queen’s huge c**k.
Leave it to a drag queen to get the party rolling.
The sauna is not for DIY
We had this one incident with a man who, for some reason, felt the need to proclaim to anyone that would listen that he was straight and how and he was using his time in the venue to sleep around on his wife at home. This somehow gave him a kind of confidence, yet no one else seemed to care and thought he was obnoxious.
About 45 minutes after he arrived and after hearing his ongoing proclamations, he went back to his deluxe-sized rental room where not long after, we were alerted by a customer in the room next to him that he could hear some drilling noises.
A staff member and I went to check on what was going on. When he finally did open his door, we could see wood shavings both on the floor and on top of the bed. We then saw holes drilled into the side of the wooden stationery bed with big hook bolts protruding out, and he had also managed to screw in a couple of long hooks into the ceiling.
We found out he intended on installing some kind of makeshift sling from the ceiling along with bondage constraints to hold someone down on the bed if he felt like switching things up.
When I mentioned he was damaging property, he said he wasn’t and this was no big deal. He laughed and tried to even argue it was his right to do that as he paid to come in for a good time. I told him he had to pack up and leave or I’d be turning his balls into a set of drop earrings for his wife.
Straight men are regulars
Straight men make up a fairly decent percentage of the clientele base in a bathhouse.
If a man is checking into a bathhouse, obviously he doesn’t have to disclose his sexual preference to do so, and for many men, their sexuality can even become more fluid especially if they are open to learning more about themselves, experimenting, and indulging in a variety of sexual acts.
Straight men coming into a bathhouse is not some sort of new trend either… this has been happening for decades around the globe, because no matter the social constraints, a man will find a way to get around to what he desires.
Although it is still considered a novelty, straight men are not preyed upon (unless they make it known they want to be) or made to feel like an outcast, they get treated just like anyone else in a bathhouse.
Of course, in this type of environment, if a man feels comfortable enough to somehow get the message out that he is straight, there will be men that will gravitate towards him. Some will treat it like it’s their prime opportunity to try and turn him gay, some will want to have what is considered taboo and look at him as a challenge, then some will want to teach him or hope to learn some new tricks from him.
Some straight men were also known to us for having the loudest sex, almost like they were bragging or showing off. … Men even used to imitate them passing by the room – one of the cheeky cashiers was also known to get on the intercom and imitate the sounds over the speakers.
We would jokingly refer to this as “showtime”, as without fail half the time they would then feel the need to have to tell us employees all the dirty details while they were asking for a fresh towel. But as long as they were happy and really, no one seemed to mind.
The lonely hearts club
When I think back on some of the various characters that used to come to the bathhouse, I always remember the individuals that we used to tenderly refer to as “The Lonely Hearts Club Men.”
These tended to be quieter men from a completely different and much older generation. Unassuming gentlemen, very well-mannered, and many of which would tell us they had a wife, grown children, and even grandchildren. Most of these men looked like an everyday gentle soul that minded their own business, someone you might recognize as being your retired neighbor down the street, or the kind you might spot in a grocery store.
These men that came to the bathhouse would seem to be of three types… The ones that tended to arrive first thing in the morning normally got a room and were the men that you could tell were taking a break from their regular lives (and wives). They were most of the time in the closet and would go after other men they thought could be easily charmed with their character – or just plain horny.
The men that arrived for some afternoon fun seemed to be taking a break from their daily errands and blended in well with everyone. They also appeared to get a lot of action as so many that came to the bathhouse during the day either arrived for the special lower price with its limited four-hour stay, and/or had to be home for dinner with the family or back to work, so time was of the essence.
Then there are those that would arrive during the busiest parts of the weekend, meaning late evening into the overnight. … These men would be more open-minded, weren’t shy to wear their favorite fetish gear, would somehow be in the middle of every groping and gangbang situation in a blacked-out playroom, and were always interested to hopefully make some new friends. There were very few boundaries to this kind of older man and it made us wonder where they got all their vitality but I think the place was just energizing for them to be around.
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One thing all three of these men of a certain age would have in common is a term we used to each other called the “pulling a princess” effect. Meaning, things were too hot to handle.
No matter what day or time of night, at some point one of these types of men would be soaking up the heat from either the dry sauna or steam room for a bit too long. Maybe if men were having sex in there, they didn’t want to leave and miss out on what they were seeing or feeling but they would be in there for so long that they would pass out.
Right away we’d turn the lights up, have the heat or steam shut down, barricade the room and outer area to let in fresh air while we checked on them, we would give them some juice to try and drink while attempting to revive them, very rarely we’d have to call for an ambulance who would take care of them on the spot and then be on their way.
If we recognized them to be a repeat offender of this kind of antic, that’s when we would tell each other that someone was “pulling a princess”. We knew it had begun as part of a game for them to play, as they were immediately granted attention, were fawned over, were even physically removed by men that were pretty much naked or ambulance attendants. And you knew they were up to no good when they would also try to grab your crotch while being taken out of the hot room.
Bathhouse Babylon by Jameson Farn is available to purchase now.
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