"Are there any gay bars in Cape Town?" asks B, "Being on safari was great :-), but those safari camps were very straight so it would be good to mix with a few gay guys now."
"Yes I'm sure there are," I reply.
I dig out my laptop and use Google to do a bit of research.
"There's about half a dozen gay bars," I say after a few minutes, "and there's even a gay sauna called The Hot House!"
B looks at the relevant web sites and then looks at me with a cheeky grin on his face.
"Can we go to the Hot House, GB?"
I hesitate briefly. Going to the Hot House would be interesting, but given my promise to boyfriend T, I wouldn't be able to indulge in any activities myself. It also raises the uncomfortable prospect of seeing B getting intimate with another guy. I've always really liked B, and if things had happened a bit differently back in 2009 when I was boyfriend hunting, we might have ended up together. Seeing B get off with another guy will make me think "I wish that other guy was me"! Nonetheless, it’s a reasonable suggestion, and it also raises the possibility of me seeing B naked for the first time on this trip :-).
Within an hour, we've paid our 120 rand admission fee, and we're getting changed together in the locker room at The Hot House. We walk into the main bar area together, and immediately I spot a white guy who must be in his early 30's sitting by a computer, which is next to a sign which says "Limit 20 minutes". These must be the computers that are available to the sauna goers like us, for internet surfing or watching porn. Looking down at the towel round the guy's waist, I see that it's been loosened and he's sitting there with an enormous hard-on! He gives me a piercing glance, as though registering the fact that fresh meat has just walked through the door. Elsewhere in the bar area is a healthy mix of black and white guys of varying sizes and ages, although it does seem a bit empty.
There's a big notice on the wall saying:
so we both head to find the showers. As I expected, given the kind of venue this is, the showers are open plan. While showering, I can't help myself peeking at B's naked body which looks absolutely gorgeous!Please shower before using the facilities
"I fancy the steam room," says B once we've put out towels back around our waists, "do you want to come with me?"
I sit in the steam room with B for a few minutes, but then I realise that to be a good friend, I should leave him to cruise on his own. I'm also curious to find out what other facilities there are here, so I get up and leave the steam room and go for a walk. There's a sauna, a couple of jacuzzis, a few dark areas, the usual maze of private cubicles equipped with those plastic-easy-wipe-clean mattresses, and a couple of TV's showing gay porn scattered among the maze of private cubicles.
When I return to the steam room it seems to be empty, but then an average looking chubby middle-aged white guy suddenly appears from behind a partition inside the steam room, followed by my Thai friend B looking a bit sheepish.
"Shall we go and find the sauna?" asks B, slightly nervously, once the white guy has left the room.
"That was quick!" I say indicating in the direction of the door where the white guy had just left.
"No, I didn't want him," replies B in a matter-of-fact voice, "I'm in Africa so I'm after an attractive Black guy, not a pasty old white guy!"
Inside the sauna B doesn't stay long. No doubt he wants to cruise on his own, as well as having a look at the other facilities, so he makes his excuses and leaves.
Within a few minutes, the sauna door opens again, and the white guy who had a hard-on at the computer walks in. He sits down quite close to me, and looks me up and down. About a minute later, he gently moves his right hand towards me, touching me lightly on my left knee. He's a perfectly reasonable looking guy, but I'm not here for activities, so I gently move his hand away. He looks at me with his piercing eyes again, as though he can't believe that I just did that, and then storms out of the sauna.
About fifteen minutes later, I'm sitting on a sofa in the main bar area, when the same white guy comes up and sits down next to me.
"Hi, I'm Henrik," he says, smiling at me.
"Hi Henrik, I'm GB," I reply, smiling back. I still don't want him to touch me, but it doesn't hurt to be sociable :-).
"Where are you from?"
"I'm from London, you?"
"I'm from Cape Town," replies Henrik, edging slightly closer to me.
"I'm only here because my friend wanted me to come along with him," I explain.
"Oh, are you straight?" he asks.
"Absolutely not! In fact I've got a boyfriend back in Europe who couldn't come on this trip. I hope you don’t mind that I'm not looking for anything."
But almost before I've finished explaining my behaviour, Henrik touches me gently again, this time on my chest where he almost imperceptibly rubs my right nipple with his left hand. Again I move his hand away, smiling again.
"You've got nice legs," says Henrik, completely unperturbed by what's just happened.
"Thanks you," I reply, "I go running :-)."
"Do you think I've got nice legs?"
He raises his right leg up so that I can get a better look.
"Yes, of course," I lie. His legs are OK, but nothing special!
We chat for another minute or two, but eventually he realises that he's not going to get anywhere with me and walks away. 10 marks out of 10 for perseverance! Even though I didn't end up having any fun with this guy, that fact that Henrik approached me boosts my confidence a bit :-).
Shortly afterwards, my Thai friend B comes to join me on the sofa, sitting down where Henrik had been sitting. I tell him what's just happened.
"But where have YOU been?" I ask him when I've finished my story, "have you found anyone yet to, errr, play with??"
"No, it seems very quiet in here!" replies my Thai friend B, sounding disappointed. But I'm not sure that I believe him. He looks somehow different, more relaxed, dare I say satisfied?
"Have you seen anyone in here that you like?" asks B, as I continue trying to analyse his towel and his appearance for the truth.
Now, there's a difficult question. The real answer is "Yes, the guy that I came here with", but it doesn't seem like the right moment to say that kind of thing. I pause, trying to work out what to say. If my relationship with boyfriend T comes to an end then I'd love to try dating B, but there's a danger that we're getting too far down the path of being friends. Moving from being 'friends' to being 'boyfriends' can be very tricky. I'd like to find a way of raising that idea now as a some kind of future possibility, because that should make it potentially more feasible in case I do find myself single again. But then again, I don't want to make B feel uncomfortable for the rest of the holiday. I also need to protect myself from rejection, in case it turns out that B doesn't like the idea of me being anything more than his holiday companion.
"No," I say, answering a question with a lie for the second time in ten minutes, "as you say, it's a bit quiet in here."
But gradually, perhaps because of B's relaxed and satisfied(?) frame of mind, we start talking about our past relationships. Although B has dated lots of guys, he's never had a proper boyfriend that he's lived in the same house with. Fifteen minutes later and we're still talking about dating and boyfriends when suddenly the right opportunity presents itself for me to tell B that I like him.
"You know," I say putting my hand on his shoulder and looking him straight in the eye, "sometimes I wish you were my boyfriend :-)".
That seems perfect. Even if he doesn't like the idea of me as anything more than his holiday companion, expressing my feelings as a (perhaps impossible) wish shouldn't make him feel too uneasy.
"But I'm happy as a single guy," answers B, "All these problems that you're having with boyfriend T, relationships just aren't worth the hassle!"
But now I know that it's B who's lying. In different situations, he's often expressed his regret to me that he still doesn't have a boyfriend. But it's a perfectly understandable lie. He may be saying that because he wants to let me down gently. But it's also possible that he's simply protecting himself, after all, as long as I have boyfriend T then even if he does like me I'm not available to be his boyfriend.
We chat a bit more but soon we start feeling hungry, so we head off to have a shower before leaving to find a restaurant. Again I get a chance to peek at B's naked body.
"Nice arse :-)," I say cheekily.
"But I'm sure boyfriend T's arse is nicer," replies B.
Of course, the truth is that they both have nice arses!