Few of the mainstream public know enough about what's going on there.
Yes I'm gay and I'm out. I want to tell you more about these places. These are the homo harems
Of today, though they have been around for thousands of years, the first gay sauna in Sydney was discretely opened as a place called KKK or Kens Karate Klub about 40 years ago, it closed up 3 years ago.
Now 49 - I went to Kens for the first time in 1985 - 30 years ago after hearing about this place from
My first gay friend Neil. I was fascinated, all this was new and close by.
The first time I walked up those stairs of this non descript place I was a nervous wreck. I had only just came out , like many men I wanted to find out. I'm grateful to still be around to tell this tale.
Safe sex does work.
During the AIDS crisis of the 80s these places where seen as no go zones of risky disease spreading outcomes. I will never forget the sight of dying friends or the fear becoming infected . No one ever even talked about these places let alone admitted going. Even amongst fellow gays, you where shunned as a degenerative slut by your social peers. There where codes of secret silence of which still survive today.
Of the 3 remaining saunas still in operation today in Sydney, the busiest one is at 357 Sussex Str in the City near Chinatown, called Sydney City Steam commonly known by locals as simply 357. The number mentioned alone is a sort of discrete code.
This place has a story I want to tell. This is where men go to have sex with other men, though many of those men are not "Gay" or "out" . It's a melting pot of young, old, gay, bi, closeted, curious, married , in closed or open relationships, tourists or out of towners. From high earning professionals to the unemployed everyone is civilly mixed in.
Despite all this new technology of hook-up apps or online dating , these places are incredibly busy.
Saunas have this physical immediacy about them. There is this male bonding thing going on.
After paying at the secure reception, you're given a key to your locker and a towel, the first area looks like a gym, get undressed then wrap the towel around your waist, walk around the maze of 4 levels. First thing to do is have a shower, then there's the steam room, sauna, toilets. Up one level is a movie room showing constant porn off course.
Guys are either chilling out, though generally frantically running around looking to forefil their desires. When it's busy there may be up to 200 patrons , either soaking in the hot tub or steam , or searching for the physical partner. There are plenty of cubicles or tiny rooms just big enough for a single or double vynal covered mattress to go in once you've found one or more partners.
There are several areas public or private to have sex in. Suanas are places of exibition where men can fuck or wank then shower together, there are many guys who only do sex in front of others either one to one or in groups with an audience or not. Then there's the dark room where it's not just group sex but Anonymous as well, or the glory holes where the penis is shoved through a hole in a wall to be sucked by total strangers. Yes I know this may sound a bit much but not everyone does everything. There's a lot of soft sex amongst the heavy scenes.
Guys are coming and going at all hours, the busiest times for the openly gay are Friday , Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons. The more discrete customers come at all other times. There is a 24 hour limit per visit, yes you can get free unlimited pass outs. No I don't own a share in this business ! Despite writing this article I'm not there all the time !!!
The suana culture goes against the public's currently politically motivated image of gays petitioning for marriage equality ,complete with surrogate kids on the way.
Saunas are the secrete men's business, the man cave.....
Love can be found for some in between the predatory lust. The great thing about saunas is the absence of prostitution , there's no exploitation, its all mutual. So maybe male to male sex is a bit more evolved than Straight sex. Nudity is democratising, it becomes more about the other stuff like their age,
Ethnicity, body, image, vibe, persona. Body language replaces conversations here.
Saunas can be social, there are plenty of gangs of friends, you can be chatty.
Some guys virtually live there, lingering around for many hours chilling out.
Most have fantasies about the type of guy they're into, some so open minded anything goes. Generally it seems once the sex is done that's it, no matter how good it was, for many there is no social integration after that, though there are many regulars you may bump into. You may have sex with multiple men who you would never introduce to your friends, there's a lot of odd instant coupling.
My observations say 20% are Bi, 30% in relationships , and the rest single.
Yes there is safe and unsafe sex , it's obvious. It's about individual responsibility, there are free condoms and STI testing on site. With the new HIV preventing drugs lately we've entered a new era of unprotected anal sex again, though this does not save you from all those other nasty STIs.
There are many men who would still never want anyone to know they go to saunas, because they are straight , married, in relationships, not out ,in denial or just ashamed of them selves. There is
Still a stigma around them. It's not the kind of thing you mention to your mum or straight friends you've done when they ask what you did last night.
One of my friends funnily enough refers to saunas as "Day Spas". And even claims them of his private health insurance fund.
There is still the Shaming aspect about all this because people who do saunas are seen as sex addicts, though I feel shame is about how we treat each other, if we've treated others fairly and accept our selves , we have nothing to feel shame for, but many of us feel it because we are made to, or because our actions are not widely accepted. The darker side of the sex scene is the self obsession or narcissim, men - gay or straight seeking the flesh unfortunately forgetting the person under the skin, after a while leaving us numb. The sex scene can make everyone feel like discarded peices of meat , with little consideration for other person's emotions in the pursuit of our self focused impulsive desires, and this is what mainstream society does not fully encourage or accept.
Thank you for reading. * This is my first serious story for my new Blog.