Law enforcement, unsuspecting passersby, and happy children can stumble by.
Big cities like Los Angeles and New York have bathhouses that, depending on the night, may have better crowds than the national chains — North Hollywood Spa, Tampa Men’s Club, Denver Swim Club.
The Everard Baths in New York City was the most written-about bathhouse in history until it closed in 1986 at the height of the AIDS epidemic.
For them, bathhouses were a necessity — spaces frequented out of need and desire. I have heard some younger gay men — guys closer to my age — say they would never set foot in a bathhouse “because they are filled with old guys.” Let’s face a fact: This is often true.
Many of the bathhouses I’ve been to are filled with older men, but this fact neither diminishes the fun to be had in them or takes away from their experience.
In our minds, we lift his shirt the rest of the way and tug on the brim of his trousers with our teeth.
If you make eye contact with him and discover (wordlessly and without complete certainty) that you are both interested, then voila! Now all you have to do is work up the courage to talk to him, give him your number, or nod to the exit.
Take a pilgrimage to see them — it will be bittersweet, considering how many died during the plague years — but save the public cruising for one of New York’s many gay nightclubs.
Above image: Shelley Seccombe, "Sunbathing on the Edge, Pier 52" (1977), contemporary archival digital print, source: Leslie Like all other parts of gay culture, gay bars have changed.
Let go of your needless ageism and try something new.
There is something great about being naked in a gay space. hey are both erotic and comfortable, foreign and familiar.
While a trip to Portugal or Limanakia Beach in Greece (another famous gay beach) sounds awesome, outdoor cruising and nature sex can be found in the United States too.