If you’ve never stepped foot through the doors of a gay sauna or bathhouse before, what are the unspoken rules for behaviour? And what happens when they’re broken? Gays.com takes a humorous look at the age-old etiquette in gay sex venues and gives some tips for your first trip.


Keep your mouth shut

Silence is golden in the gentleman’s health spa. Anything else risks destroying the mood which must, at all costs, remain highly sexually-charged. The only soundtrack that is allowed is the pounding techno or dance music to which you will stomp the corridors in an endless circuit for miles on end as you attempt to seek out the lesser spotted Dick of Doom. To break the boredom, you may well be tempted to break into a full-throttle rendition of Rihanna – or, god forbid, Olivia Newton John in Grease – but resist you must. Body language and decorum is everything.

Caught in a compromising situation

The gay world is a disturbingly small place, and it is, therefore, not improbable that you may well bump into Nigel from accounts payable who is indulging in some double entry book keeping in his off hours. Discretion is everything. Acknowledge those you know with a nod, but not hysterical squeal. It goes without saying that the unexpected meeting should never be alluded to again – particularly at the Christmas party, in the presence of others, after one too many sherries.

gay bathhouse etiquette
Discretion is sometimes everything.  

Image is all

Along with the absolute necessity for silence, frequenters of these establishments should maintain as macho an image as possible. No mincing around the corridors – even if the family of verrucas you’ve been lovingly tending is causing you some serious discomfort. Thrust your chest out, swagger along like you’re John Wayne, and maintain correct posture at all times. Cut the camperama.

Keep your hands to yourself

Just because there are a bevy of beauties (if you’re lucky!) wandering around with their cocks on full display does not mean you should lunge at them in uncontrollably every time they pass you by. Technically, grabbing someone’s tackle or Growler when uninvited to do so is classed as sexual assault in many countries. Judge the situation carefully. Just because a couple is at it hammer and tongs with the cabin door open, isn’t an open invitation for you to plunge in and start banging away.

gay sauna pool
Relaxing in the pool.  Photo:  Artur Potosi, Flickr.

Dominating the scenario

All bathhouses contain communal areas. Should you witness a particularly rampant orgy occurring, and you know full well that colostomy-clad geriatrics surrounds the hot guys trapped in the middle of it, you'll need to navigate the scenario with appropriate care and tact. As tempting as it is to barge the unwanted out of the heave your artillery to the frontline, do try and remember that you too may one day be that desperate pensioner who everyone ignores.


Try before you buy

The dark rooms in gay saunas have their own particular rules. Anything and everything goes in these spaces. Should you waltz in you should be prepared to be groped from all angles like a prize piece of meat covered by rancid flies at an outside bazaar. If you want to see what you’re about to eat, check the guy out carefully before you enter the room - then staple yourself to him, brace yourself for the onslaught and accept that you’re probably going to lose him in the ensuing carnage. Under no circumstances is it cool to stumble drunkenly into the room, waving a cigarette lighter around (particularly in the presence of poppers) as you search for the rose amongst so many thorns.

Check out saunas and bathhouses listed on Gays.com or our guide to the top saunas in London.






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