Nakedness at the Straight Men's Steam Club

I like a good steam or sauna session and I was getting fed up of gay saunas (bath-houses in USA) where the emphasis is NOT on the hot rooms (which aren't even usually hot enough)

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Old 10-26-2008   #1 (permalink)
MarkLondon is offline

Nakedness at the Straight Men's Steam Club

I like a good steam or sauna session and I was getting fed up of gay saunas (bath-houses in USA) where the emphasis is NOT on the hot rooms (which aren't even usually hot enough) and most guys parade around the cubicle areas in towels.

I heard about an old-fashioned steam club in the East End of London. Actually, I read about it on a gay cruising listing site, but it did say that the venue was mostly straight, the facilities were good, guys massaged and schmeissed* eachother, and it was possible to get a hand or blow job but you'd have to be very discreet about it. One unfavourable comment was that there was a bunch of old loud cockneys shouting across the lounge about whether they'd had a bath yet.

(* Schmeissing: a european jewish tradition of cleansing for males. The schmeisee lies naked on a bench in a steam room with a towel over his head and the schmeisser (also naked) gives him a thorough going over with a large raffia mop-head fully charged with soap-suds. Like a combined massage and scrubbing. It's supposed to be a mutual thing. If you recieve but don't give, you're known as a schmeissing ponce, lol.)

So I decided to check it out. I took a towel, swimming trunks and a track suit with me, not knowing what the dress code was.

I changed into my trunks and carried my towel out of the locker room and walked through the lounge area where men were sitting around in towels or bathrobes or loose casual wear. The wet area was downstairs, so I headed there. It wasn't glamorous or fancy. The floor was smooth concrete and most of the seating was plastic garden chairs, with a line of open showerheads along one wall, glassed-in steam rooms were along another wall and there was a sauna cabin and a plunge-pool. A few guys were wearing trunks like me, but most were buck-naked. They were mostly older guys (40s to 70s) but there were some young jack-the-lads around too.

I went into the first steam room, the coolest. Two guys were lying on marble-top tables being massaged by other men. I sat in there for a few minutes. It all looked above-board. I moved into the second steam room which was quite hot and I had a good sweat. No-one was being massaged there, just one or two men sitting around. Finally, I braved the really hot room. It was almost scalding! The hottest steamroom I've ever been in. Two guys were in there, a boxer and his trainer I think, because one was being encouraged by the other to run on the spot in there.

When I was done I came out and had a cold shower in the main room. I realised my trunks were all sweaty and most guys in the room were naked, so I took them off and rinsed them out under the shower. Then I sat down naked on a bench.

A naked middle-aged guy sat next to me, said hello, and before long I found out he was a regular there, that he was a van-driver with a dodgy back, a non-practising jew and that he and his wife had just painted their bedroom a shade of lilac. I did peripherally notice that he was medium-hung and cut (of course) but that was not the subject of my focus. He found out I was a first-timer, unmarried, had cured my back problems caused by desk-work by going to the gym, and had decided my own bedroom colour scheme. And I suppose he peripherally noticed that I was average and uncut.

Feeling a little self-concious as a gay man amongst mostly naked straight-seeming men I made a policy decision to look people in the eye rather than the crotch. Well that worked! I had several conversations, including some with shouty old cockneys in the lounge and some interesting Latvian construction workers in the smoking area (who told me they had bought their non-english speaking workmate a T-shirt emblazoned with "I'm only here for the blow-job" to wear on-site, lol).

Well, next week I'm going back and the shoutiest oldest cockney (73, with two stents in his coronary vessels and a wife who can make a lemon purse it's lips when she bites into it - he says, lol) says he will schmeiss me. Though that's after he had mentioned that they all knew what sometimes happened in the massage room and didn't approve, and I'd replied that that was not why I was there. It is primarily a social club and community centre, not a pick-up joint, and I'm aware of that.

I'm not the only gay man there by any means. But I loved bathing and sitting around in various states of undress with a bunch of other men most of whom were straight and our focus was not on our genitalia. The men there are aware of their and others' cocks, but not obsessed by them.

I haven't announced my gayness to them, but but I don't hide it and they're not stupid. We just get along. I wish there were more venues where that could happen.
MarkLondon is offline  
Old 10-26-2008   #2 (permalink)
starter is offline

Sounds like you had a good time there and to talk about what shade of color you were planing to paint your room with a random guy seems like a place that's a good place to hang out and relax.
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Old 10-27-2008   #3 (permalink)
9x6uncut is offline

what is the name of this place?
9x6uncut is offline  
Old 10-27-2008   #4 (permalink)
MarkLondon is offline

Originally Posted by 9x6uncut View Post
what is the name of this place?
I PM'd you, 9
MarkLondon is offline  
Old 10-29-2008   #5 (permalink)
xenon-naturist is offline

I discovered this place recently too and it is great. Gay saunas are full of guys who are full of themselves and despite dick being the reason they are there, cling desparately to their towels. Far better to be somewhere where everyone is older, fatter and buck naked. There is an attractiveness there that is totally lacking in a gay place.

It's great to go from work, take off the suit, put on a towel, go downstairs then hang it up and walk starkers into the wet area. A strange combination of vulnerability but also I think strength: the weak guys are the ones who sit around in their shorts or even underwear.

I have only once been there when not everyone was naked, strangely these were some Russian guys - I'd have thought that with the Russian sauna culture they'd be totally comfortably in stripping off, in that environment at least. There were 4 of them, however 3 eventually left and the remaining one did strip - I only recognised it was the person because he walked around holding his wet underwear. He wasn't good looking or hung but, most of us weren't, and it was just good that he joined in. The only other person to wear anything was the overweight guy from the cafe (which sadly is not good) waddling around at the close of play. I don't see how anyone could work and not be - or at least become - comfortable with nakedness.

Was interested to read your comments on the gay aspect - have only once seen a anything, a German who had a wrap and was very obvious in his intention. When it had quietened down, I exchanged a massage with him and took the chance to tell him that it was not a gay sauna so to drop the action and also the wrap. If anyone wants to do anything, they can follow up off site.

Whether one is comfortable with nudity or unsure but wanting to try it - or perhaps you are comfortable but have a mate who is not, this is a great place to visit.
xenon-naturist is offline  
Old 10-29-2008   #6 (permalink)
MarkLondon is offline

Yes, a strange mix of vulnerability and strength in revealing yourself to other men in a straight environment. The only time I was concerned about what I was showing was after I spent too much time in the cold plunge-pool, lol!

Although there are plenty of older and out-of-shape guys there, there are also some fit guys, younger locals and groups of Russian/Ukrainian/Latvian youths too. And some of the middle-aged guys are in good shape, not that that matters... We're all just guys mostly naked together.

Some very self-assured and confident men were not well-hung at all. And a few guys were revealing impressive gear that might have gained them adulation elsewhere but it didn't count for much there.

You're right, Xenon, guys can follow up outside the club if they want to. It's not appropriate to treat the venue as a sex club. It's not. And that's why I like it.

Last edited by MarkLondon; 10-29-2008 at 08:16 PM..
MarkLondon is offline  
Old 10-29-2008   #7 (permalink)
AG08 is offline

Originally Posted by MarkLondon View Post
Yes, a strange mix of vulnerability and strength in revealing yourself to other men in a straight environment.
This is why I support communal nudity in the men's locker room, communal shower, sauna and steam room. The guys hiding behind a towel and showering in their underwear or swimsuits are the ones with the hangups about their sexuality, not the guys that are naked.
AG08 is offline  
Old 10-29-2008   #8 (permalink)
andme24 is offline

This is very common in asian cultures with many international standard hotels with health clubs which are segragated and the men are naked throughout the place. Seen as normal part of life it seems
andme24 is offline  
Old 10-31-2008   #9 (permalink)
xenon-naturist is offline

The sad thing is that whereas here the guys are mostly older and mostly naked, in Finland the guys would be all ages and all would be naked - and this wouldn't be unusual enough to merit mention on a website. In Germany or Holland everyone would be naked and it wouldn't just be guys but mixed sex.

I was speaking to one of the regulars he was of the view that the place won't be there in 20 years, as it doesn't attract younger guys - maybe the influx of Russians will change this but sadly I think he may be right.
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Old 11-01-2008   #10 (permalink)
starstruck is offline

"schimeissed" is a very ugly word. The word gives me the creeps.
starstruck is offline  
Old 11-01-2008   #11 (permalink)
lvsxy808 is offline

Frankly, I'd rather have the cock.

Maybe not from the sources you have called yours
Maybe not from the directions you are staring at
Twist your head around, it's all around you
All is full of love.
lvsxy808 is offline  
Old 11-07-2008   #12 (permalink)
hairybase is offline

what's the name of this place?
hairybase is offline  
Old 11-07-2008   #13 (permalink)
goodwood is offline

Hey Mark -
Sound like a great place. If I was in town i would stop by. Good find.
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Old 04-27-2009   #14 (permalink)
gymfresh is offline

This is a good, old-fashioned bath house (in the non-gay sense). I went there a couple of times about 5 years ago with a couple of friends and we enjoyed it. I was tipped off in some detail beforehand about codes of behavior (it being both a very straight bath and in a very working-class area) and really enjoyed myself. Of course, I also enjoy myself at Holmes Place, or just about anywhere you drop me.

Good report.
gymfresh is offline  
Old 04-29-2009   #15 (permalink)

Originally Posted by starstruck View Post
"schimeissed" is a very ugly word. The word gives me the creeps.
Doesn't affect me- there are a number of interesting Jewish expressions.

I haven't been to this club but it does sound a good place, though I'd generally prefer a mixed steam room and sauna.

club, men, nakedness, steam, straight

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