When I was 18 now quite a bit older I ed the jeers when two male schoolmates drunkenly snogged each other on a night out. Inside, part of me I wished I was one of them.
Years of mulling things over, the occasional mild dalliance and, on the night, six pints, climaxed in me visiting a gay sauna. His manicured eyebrow rose sharply and said it all.
My night in a gay sauna
This is a gay club, you know? Once inside the communal changing area was much like a swimming pool — benches in the middle of the room and your own, ed locker. You then strip and put a towel round your waist.
The facilities were impressive: a sauna, warm room, swimming pool, dark room and, upstairs, individual rooms with either a wipeable mattress on the floor or a bench with a mattress on it. No codified rehearsal of buying drinks and dating a few times — you just get it on. It was also interesting because it gives you an idea how women feel when men look at them. And it makes you instantly picky. There were a lot of quite old, overweight and unattractive men there.
My life in sex: ‘many men visit gay saunas. very few will tell you that they do’
I found myself becoming pretty choosy within minutes, which was a surprise. It was rather busy so I thought this rather inconsiderate. Whilst wandering around I visited the steam room, sauna and the TV room which came complete with water fountain and drinks vending machines. People were hanging out there watching TV and having a chat.
Speaking to other sauna-goers, I got the impression there were many regulars who would go there and meet other regulars. Any unwanted advances were quickly recognised as such and met with a polite retreat.
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After an hour-and-a-half of, metaphorically, fumbling around, I met a guy. I will spare you the details, but suffice to say it was safe and enjoyable. Would I go back?
Probably not. Am I glad I went?
Odd as it may sound I now feel more secure in my hetero sexuality than before. The best of our politics, international affairs, culture and business coverage, straight to your inbox up here.
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