Friday, February 18, 2005

How gay men cruise gym saunas and steam rooms

Many gyms in London, including the one I go to, have saunas and/or steam rooms inside the men's changing rooms. Men-only places like that, where guys are often naked, are bound to be areas gay men can be found. But how do like minded guys recognise each other? If you're in a such a sauna/steam room, there are many things to look for:

* any guy who looks regularly looks around the room at the other guys and eyes up any guy who enters (however discretely), is likely to be cruising

* as I've said in previous blogs, if two guys in the room catch each other's eye (because they're both looking around), they're both likely to be gay because straight guys avoid eye contact in that kind of situation

* social conditioning tends to makes everyone (gay/straight/male/female) slightly shy when naked. If a naked guy puts himself more display than seems natural then he's probably "displaying his wares" and hoping to attract guys who are interested in what's being displayed. Examples of this would be having one's legs open too wide, or simply being naked and laying down face up

* in gym saunas and steam rooms there is typically a mixture of gay and straight guys, so it can take a while to end up with a room where everyone wants action. Guys who leave to cool down with a shower and then come back are likely to be waiting for action

* a guy is probably gay if he comes in and sits in a position where he has a direct view of another guy, especially if the guy in view is naked. Straight guys will tend to try and avoid staring at another guy's tackle. Straight guys however who are not used to saunas and steam rooms where other guys can be naked will sometimes make a mistake in this respect, but then they'll either leave or take a new position

* to start action, a guy might begin by gently re-adjusting his tackle. So look for guys touching themselves, however innocent they try to make it seem. I've never seen a naked guy touch his tackle who hasn't also exhibited one of the other behaviours listed here

* instead of touching their tackle, I've seen one case where I saw a guy massaging his nipple. Gay guys, far more than straight guys, get aroused by nipple play so this is another sign

* guys who want action are not necessarily naked, because some guys are sitting there just waiting to whip their cock out from their trunks or shorts. Sometimes its possible to spot the outline of erections underneath their clothing

* and obviously a semi-hard or even hard erection on a naked guy is quite a blatent sign

Now, suppose you're a straight guy reading the above and thinking "hmmm, that's interesting, I wonder if anything happens in the sauna/steam room at my gym". Well don't kid yourself mate, if you find yourself in your gym sauna/steam room looking out for this kind of behaviour out of curiosity then don't fool yourself that your 100% straight.


Joe said...

I'm an attractive, lean, athletic built, gay man who just turned 30 this year living in New York City. I currently work in the hospitality industry on the eastside of midtown Manhattan. I've always been facinated with straight guys especially who workout at my gym. What I find most interesting about straight men is how much they need to protect their manlyhood if threatened. At the same time what really confuses me is whenever I'm on the gym floor I see so much bravado and flaunting between most of the straight guys that it almost becomes a show. (As if they needed something else to boost their self-image). Don't get me wrong sometimes I get carried away but thats a given for a gay man. Anyway, the gym that I routinely go to is conveniently a block away from my work. During the week I hit the gym and work out for about an hour and half. After I work up a pool of sweat, I head to the locker room to undress and hit the shower and then head to the "lowself-esteamroom". One afternoon I decided to go to the the sauna where in front of me were two well built straight guys talking about their workout routines. I couldn't help but listen to their conversation. As I was observing the two guys one of them got up and started to stretch his arms and then his legs and so on and so forth. I couldn't keep my eyes off him. Afterall he was one hot italian stallion. The meat this guy packed on could make Van Dam look next to nothing. I was totally turned on. What happens next was interesting, which I sometimes wonder what goes on in the minds of straight men when put in a steamroom with a bunch of guys. His buddy wanted to know if he was going to the steamroom and his reponse was "naaa man, I'm not quite sure I'll be going today maybe tomorrow it looks quite packed in there", and then they looked at each as if afraid of what would happen. Hmmm... perhaps a little too much for both of them to handle. So I was left alone in the sauna to ponder about the likes of men who are threatened by their manlyhood but yet can show off their muscles with pride.

Jon A.

Anonymous said...

think all guys who got to gym and keep staring at themselves in the mirror are very suspect.

Anonymous said...

I read this post a few weeks ago then thought I'd go to my gym's sauna for the first time, to see if it reflected reality in any way. It totally did and I achieved success! However, I'm quite sheltered/oblovious to my surroundings, so wouldn't have noticed what was happening if it wasn't for your post. Thanks GB!

Anonymous said...

Since i am not out yet, i rather write anonymously, but hey, i've been reading you all afternoon, and been thrilled by every post.
keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I'm the person who commented back in January 08. These rules are so accurate - and I think plenty of people at my City gym have read them!

I have a strange request... Would you be able to write a guide on post-sauna activity etiquette? That's the one thing I'm struggling with...

The people I've met in the sauna haven't usually been regulars at the gym, but what if they are? What if you see them working out, or in the changing room? Do you say hello? Are you friendly? Do you ignore them? Any advice appreciated GB!

Many thanks.


GB said...

There you go 'A', I've done a new posting which says something about post-sauna activity etiquette :-)

Take care, GB xxx

Anonymous said...

Dude you seem like a real homophobe. Being a straight acting gay guy who uses the sauna at the gym, I have pretty much mastered the way both gay and straight people act.. and At my gym in the sauna, there are a variety of people i know for a fact are straight (no one knows im gay there), that exhibit these "gay" motions you describe in your blog.

And its ridicules. This blog clearly shows how insecure you are, straight guys frequently go rinse off, stretch, and look around inside a sauna, and are not uptight guys who stare at the ceiling as you describe.. Sounds like you're just self conscious...

GB said...

You've left a curious comment, recent anonymous commenter, whoever you are. If you've mastered the way both gay and straight guys act, it would be interesting to know how you'd tell them apart?

I can't help wondering whether your comment stems from wishful thinking, i.e. realising that you exhibit the behaviours that I've described, and hoping that no one will suspect that you're gay as a result?

GB xxx

J* said...

This is JUST the incentive I need to go join a gym! :) Finger crossed I get more than a workout. Hwahahaaaa!

Anonymous said...

I am gay and have observed a lot, and done a lot (played with other men in the sauna), and so while your account is very good, it's not 100% complete. Here are some more of the missing parts (but by no means all of the missing parts):

1) Gay man: May not talk too much.
Straight man: Seems he has a need to talk about something, usually sports, to break up the uncomfortable silence. Although, only if the guys are already talking. If not, he is often way too afraid to begin a conversation with another man, especially if the other guy is naked. It's like saying, talking to a naked guy would be showing some interest. I was in a sauna once, and the straight guy was a bit drunk, and didn't realize I was naked. When he did, after having quite an exchange of dialog with me, he got all quiet just the same upon realizing he was talking to a naked, probably "gay" guy.

2) Gay man: May talk a considerable amount, especially if others are talking... which is to blend in. But is still hoping that when the room clears of all the boorish homophobes, he can suck a cock or "play" with another man's joystick.

3) Straight man: May not want to be sucked or touched by another man, but does not mind being admired, and may even stroke his cock to the stimuli of the gay man's cock. This is the straight guy who gets pleasure out of seeing another man's cock erect, but is too afraid to have another man touch his. Playboy observed that when it took out the element of men with a hard on, their readership plummeted 60%.

This indicates a few possibilities: A) 60% that buy Playboy, are actually gay men (not too likely). B) A considerable amount of men are Bi that buy Playboy (again, no too likely). C) Straight men get aroused watching another guy's erect equipment and his sexual prowess that he exhibits in general.

I think it's a mix of all three simply because Playboy has one of the greatest readerships of all magazines! (well looker ships, anyway). Men like to see how to be masculine. And watchin' another man is one way men learn and get aroused.

4) Gay man: Like you said, will position himself to be very apparent: Lean back with legs open to almost "parade" their manhood, putting hands on back of neck, to further open chest--a display that direct your focal point to their cock and balls. Works really good, me thinks.

Also, will smile a lot more. As if to say, I'm all yours... take me all in. (Not mentioned in your story.)

Also, very comfortable to be naked--beautiful an proud of his awesome body. After all, think about what goes on in the gay guys head: A) I have worked hard to look this good, and I am proud of how I look. B) I am not all inhibited like a straight guy might be. Please look at my cock, and let me be entertained by your shock and amazement, i.e. I am bigger than you, my body is sexier than you, and I am not afraid to admit it, like a straight guy might be (and in all most all cases is).

Only gaymen are "that" comfortable with their body and/or sexuality because they are the one's getting laid, getting action, and getting the constant admiration.

Yes, straight men get laid too, of course, but not to the quantity that a gay guy does. That's well documented in hundreds of articles comparing the two orientations. What is said, is, "Gay men are simply more successful at getting sex because men in general, are more willing participants without having to have an emotional connection (like many women desire and need before allowing a guy to have sex with 'em). Men, for example will happily "Blow and Go" and think nothing of it, except, that was good--even straight men, married man, a guys who insist the are not the slightest bit gay. I have met and blown at least half of them.

(continued below)

Anonymous said...

5) Gay man: He is more likely to go into the sauna naked or with only a towel. Again, straight men are not that willing to strut their stuff--especially in western culture and will go into the sauna wearing a swim suit or gym shorts. (Talk about boring!)

Western culture almost believes that a man should not expose his genitals. Where as in Europe, men always expose their genitals, even in public. It's a matter of different perceptions of acceptable public nudity culture.

But back to the point. Gay men have 5+ erogenous elements to be satisfied. Straight men have 2+ (cock and mouth, i.e. kissing).

Let's explore this. A straight man in almost every case does not ask that his 1) nipples be sucked, that his 2) ass be penetrated or that a cock be inserted into his mouth. A tittie, yes, but never a cock. The tittie only goes in so far. The cock goes all the way (if the man is big) into the throat area and 3) cuts of the air. This can be highly exciting in terms of ramping up one's personal orgasm.

All of this, and more, the gay man knows and understands. The straight man, not so much. What I am saying is, we have much more to gain and to be rewarded, so we may put out more effort in getting 'er done, 'eh, "im" done.

For example, every guy has a prostate. But in general, only gay men benefit from it, while straight men's prostate 1 in 3 get cancer? Why? Many reasons, but mostly because it goes unused (in straight men). Not only in terms of pleasure, but more importantly (in terms of cancer), the prostate secrets seminal fluid and if not ejaculated regularly, it (the ejaculate) becomes carcinogenic--being a possible cause of why 1 in 3 men get prostate cancer.

Clearly, less gay men are in that group... statistically speaking.

Gay man: Not only does he want all of the above, but there are huge erotic elements that come with each one. My point? A gay man has a lot more going on in terms of sexual reward than a straight man. So he has more incentive to "get it on". And given the fact that there is no more willing, better place than a sauna, he is going to be hot on the trail to harvest such encounter--especially, in a steamy hot room full of (hopefully) naked (hopefully young) men.

A straight man not only has no incentive (cuz he's straight and doing another guy is not appealing), but also, because the straight man only wants to cum, whereas a gay man wants to cum, be penetrated, be gagged with a huge cock, be nipple teased, be controlled an have the guy have his way, and he wants to please and be pleased.

Finally, and lastly, the gay man finds the straight man irresistible, even though the gay man realizes the straight man is straight. I know this, because I have flirted endlessly with straight men (in the sauna) just to see if I can get them to go to the wild side.

Not that I am attempting to make them gay, hell no. Just to the point that I want them to admit that getting sucked off, or getting aroused feels just as good too, even though it may have been as the result of another man.

Of course, to be clear here, I am fully aware that there are guys out there that are so straight, that if they even contemplated such an act, would want to throw up. So do realize that we gay men understand what some straight men do not. And that is, that men range in sraightness. There are 100% straight men, and then there are 100% gay men.

Then, there are men some where in between. This does not make them bi, just more tolerant and more free to explore different forms of arousal and sexuality.

Believe me, a gay man has a very keen sense of which men are 100% straight from those who are, say, 92% straight or less. And these are the straight men that we so much love to tease. The 92% ones. Why? Because they are teaseable, and that makes us feel good--especially if we win them over, and they (the straight guy) gives in to letting us suck his so adorable, virgin cock.

Steve said...

Interesting theories / observations. Generally I can't really comment, as I have never been to a steam room or sauna at all, much less in order to check out other men with adventure in mind.

However, the one point on which I disagree with you is about straight men's erogenous zones. I get hugely turned on when my wife strokes my chest, especially the nipples, and/or my chode & perineum. Having the nipples sucked or chewed is better than kissing, and just short of the pleasure of being inside her. Trust me, I am not alone among straight men in this regard -- though it took me a few years to realize how well my nerves in those areas would respond if only given a little attention.

As to cock in mouth -- I have no idea what that feels like, and there's no way to find out when one's only relationship is a straight one. In any event, my gag reflex is fully intact so it doesn't seem all that appealing.

Accordingly, perhaps you have a point in your comparison. On the other hand, I never have to worry about STDs or excrement on my cock, so there are distinct benefits to limiting the range of activities.

GB said...

Interesting :-), Steve. However, it's taken almost 6 years for such a comment to appear, so my guess is that there aren't many straight guys like you who enjoy having those areas stimulated! Anyway, glad to know that not all straight guys miss out :-).

GB xxx

Boccadoro said...

Very good tips, I think that essentially gay guys find easy to understand who's gay and who's not, the problem with straight gym guys is that they are all vain, so that makes it much more difficult

Anonymous said...

1. How would I know if a married man is on the down low at the gym?

2. When a guy is not in the locker room, what signals will he send to get your attention. I am trying to figure this out.

close encounters said...

GB - just in case others still read this post, the claim that gay men get less prostate cancer sounded intriguing, so i googled it ... it appears that men you bottom aren't so lucky ...

gayFCA said...


Are you talking Nuffield Health at Cousin Lane? Great place mate.

Kevin X

GB said...

Yes gayFCA, the last time I checked this place was the Nuffield Health gym in Cousin Lane. I haven't been there for many years, so I'm wondering, is there sill an interesting men-only steam room there in the upstairs men's changing rooms?

GB xxx

gayFCA said...

The very place. I have had many a happy time here. It use to be called Cannons, and was taken-over some years back by Nuffield.
The upstairs changing-room is still the same with a men-only steam room.

Kevin x

Anonymous said...

I read this and wondered, just wondered if you were talking about Ciusin Lane. There is also another Nuffield close by which has a male only spa wih steam room and dry sauna, dim lights and very from lighting in the steam room. Guaranteed fun. In fact on,y the other week When in the steam I was convinced I was sitting with an absolute straight boy. There was an old gentleman who was cruising but he is approx 45 years my senior. This straight boy just sat with his eyes 'closed'. He must have seen me looking at his body and bulge. Next thing I know our knees make ever so slight contact and so I very gently rub my knee against his to see how he reacts. There was no reaction. Next thing I know he uses his towel to wipe his face but exposes a full on erection to me. Sadly the old gentleman saw and stayed. So we left and had a play in the showers together. My point to this is that I was completely convinced this guy was totally straight. I'd seen him on the gym floor and thought he was beautiful but not interested in guys. And when I saw him in the steam he first off looked utterly uninterested. So it makes it very difficult. Still not sure if he was gay or bi, or if he just fancied a bit of cock and play as it was nothing intense.

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful for this postings; they make me feel I haven't fallen from planet Mars.
In a nutshell: I'm close to my mid-forties, but, fortunately, I am slim and look (a lot) younger; been married for a long time but it has soured big time (things that have been said and done/undone/never-done built up so much debris that it's now at the point of no return); job is a cesspool, so I try to go every morning and lunch to the nearby gym, and end my workout with a nice 20-ish minute steam room. (I forgot to say, I am not squeamish about nudity, so I sit only a towel and show as little as possible).
A couple of weeks ago, I was alone in the steam room (full power on, so not enough visibility even to see your own cock!); at some point I heard the door and saw a silhouette crossing the room, leaning on the wall next to me and literally "feel" a stare. I will be honest and say it didn't occur to me it may be a signal, but I raised my head and looked too, almost awaiting a conversation to start (can I be such an idiot?). I barely see the guy, but looks very young, maybe in his mid 20's, fit and cute. However, what my brain didn't know, my cock did, and got a raging boner that I couldn't figure out in panic how to hide... The guy moved on the bench, next to me, opened his towel and started stroking his cock. I got confused to the moon and back and, most likely didn't return any sign. Before I realize, the moment's gone. The guy vanished in the same cloud of steam he came from and when he exits I hear another guy walking in.
Again, I must confess I was hoping he'd come back and give me a hint or anything; it didn't happen but I've been thinking about the moment ever since. Of course I did my homework and googled "The practice and theory of body language in male only saunas and steam rooms" and, certainly became aware of these things.
The entire episode sent my heart rate on a rollercoaster, but the overall feel (as insane as it sounds) is NOT promiscuous a single bit. What boggles me more than anything is the melting feeling of sitting (for a split second) next to a human that has the guts (unlike myself – YET) to share his desires in such a bold yet gentle way. Am I fantasizing? Maybe. Would I try it? Maybe.

GB said...

@ recent Anonymous commenter, Good luck next time! GB xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi GB, great article / great thread.

As a bi curious guy with some great experiences with men under my belt the idea of having a chance encouter at the steam room of the gym is a huge turn on.

Planning on going this week to the gym in the gay village area of my city that i've read online is good for some cruising fun in the showers or group fun in the sauna.

I'm mostly hoping to either A) Just watch some fun go down in the sauna and maybe show off a little. I'm good looking and extremely well endowed so hopefully won't be too many complaints, or B) maybe engage in some touching if the vibe is right.

Since those are my limits, i guess my question is: as nobody's discussing anything beforehand, do you have any advice on the best way to stick to my boundaries and avoid being pressured while also making sure not to insult anyone?