A lot of my stories take place in a gay sauna, even though I consider myself a sensitive person who prefers an intimate hug over an anonymous quickie. So why the many, many quickies?
To me, sex with strangers is a bit like cigarettes: every month you go without them is a good month. Every day you deprive yourself of nicotine a month feels like an eternity. It’s not that I’m a sex addict, but I do lack the patience to let life run its course. Sex tends to find me every so often. But if I actively pursue sex, I get it more often and I live life under the assumption that more sex is more good, even if it’s bad sex.
Enter gay saunas, the quick fix of gay sex.
The fifth cigarette of the day is not that rewarding, but the first one in a month is pure oral glory. On average, I probably visit a gay sauna about once a month, when I haven’t had sex for that long. Or when I have a free night with nothing better to do. Or when I think my hair looks good and I feel like showing off. Or when I just feel like showing off. Or when I just want to feel something.
When I go to a gay sauna, I hope to find someone I can talk to, laugh with, cuddle and penetrate. Finding guys to penetrate is easy. Talking, laughing, cuddling are bigger hurdles.
In part this is due to my narcissism: I only talk, laugh and cuddle with people that fit my image of perfection.
The other part has to do with the very nature of gay saunas:
I first met Guy #172 in some dark corridor. We pursued each other for a few minutes, passed each other while semi-accidentally touching our bodies and pretended not to check each other out. Penetration was on the menu, that much was clear.
Sadly, the sauna we were in was packed, meaning every cabin was taken. If Guy #172 and I wanted to have sex, we would have to do it out in the open, in the very corridor we met.
This is not unusual for gay saunas. Whenever I’m there I see people having sex all the time. I prefer having sex where no one can see me, but gay saunas are an orgy of compromises. Guy #172 and I didn’t have the time or space to talk, laugh or cuddle, but darn it, I had captured him as my first prey of the evening and I wasn’t going to let him off without me giving it to him.
We had but a wall to lean against, so that’s what we did, in full view of everybody who was there.
Here’s the thing with having sex in a gay sauna where everybody can see you: everybody can touch you there as well. To some people this is seen as an invitation. And for some reason it’s always the fat sweaty hairy old nasty Danny DeVito lookalikes that pick up on it.
If you’re a Danny DeVito lookalike who frequents gay saunas and thinks it’s okay to grope people just because they’re engaged in sex, stop doing that! You are the Bill Cosby’s of gaytopia. Nothing is more annoying than putting on a condom while a pack of Danny DeVito’s disrupts your balance trying to get a sense of what your testicles feel like.
Because that’s what happened as I pushed Guy #172 up against our wall and rubbered up to do my thing to him: people started touching us, wanting in on the fun. Guy #172 and I were more engaged in shoving other people’s hands off our bodies than we were with each other. At one point we even had to shout at someone to leave us alone.
Okay, granted, you don’t go around raping people like Bill Cosby, so let me take it down a notch: you’re the gay sauna equivalent of crying babies on an airplane. Imagine sipping on your first cigarette in a month time. Now add Danny DeVito grabbing your balls to the picture. That’s you – and I know you know who you are.
Frustrated by the people around us, Guy #172 and I moved around a bit in hopes of finding an empty cabin, or at the very least to get away from our intruders. Yet everywhere we went, we were denied the joy of consensual penetration by the hands of people who were even more of a stranger to me than Guy #172.
The bond Guy #172 and I had was mostly the sentiment we shared toward the people around us. Eventually, we more or less gave up and went our own way.
It left me feeling empty inside, but not undeterred, as it wasn’t long before Guy #173 and I started pretending not to check each other out. Within minutes we were all over each other.
To my surprise we managed to find a cabin, a space where no one could impose on our little romance. I could freely penetrate, and if that went well maybe follow up on it with some nice talking, laughing and cuddling, something narcissist me is in the mood for about 10% of the time after climaxing with a stranger.
Guy #173 and I quickly worked through the three stages of gay foreplay (kissing, oral and tentative humping), and then I grabbed a condom.
“I have this allergy for rubber,” Guy #173 interrupted me.
“And I’m allergic to HIV,” I told him.
It’s not that I never take risks or that I don’t hate condoms as much as anyone who’s never had AIDS, but like any sensible gay Guy, I only take risks with extremely cute people. I simply wasn’t high enough to consider Guy #173 that cute. I knew that if I would bareback him, I would only feel regret afterward, and that I wouldn’t want to talk, laugh, let alone cuddle him.
“I’m clean though,” Guy #173 assured me.
“Sorry, I just never have unsafe sex,” I lied as if I was Bill Cosby offering a woman a drink.
Guy #173 reiterated just how clean he was. It was hard not to believe him, as I really wanted to get my fix.
That’s another thing with gay saunas these days: back in the 80s, Bill Cosby gave us a laugh and HIV was scary. How the tables have turned. As such, Guys in saunas dispense with condoms more often than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Guy #173 only seemed concerned with convincing me he was clean. He didn’t even ask about my status. As we talked about him being so clean, I noticed the mattress we were on still contained the sweat of those who had used it before us. It made me realize I was pursuing a fix in the easiest, but far from the best place to do so.
Guy #173 took off after he realized barebacking was off the table.
I was left feeling frustrated, but nevertheless relieved. I was unsatisfied, but took comfort in the fact I wouldn’t have to spend the next month on the lookout for symptoms of acute HIV infection.
So I celebrated my little victory. With a well deserved cigarette. My first one in well over a month.