An anonymous Ryerson student recounts the night he received a frequent fucker card and travelled into the depths of a bathouse
I was curious. I’d heard of them before, but now that I was getting ready to go I couldn’t help but think of the negative stereotypes that surround these places. I never saw myself actually doing this. But still, a part of me wanted to. I was interested in the dark and unknown world I was preparing to enter. Ignoring the no drug policy I had read about, I popped some MDMA to open my mind to what I was about to encounter. Here I was, on my way to a gay sex club.
The closer I got to St. Marc’s Spa the more nervous I became. But I forced myself to enter. The room was stark and I saw a man sitting behind a desk who looked bored. He turned his attention towards me and I could see a quick burst of excitement in his eyes. Since the elevator was broken the man directed me towards the stairs.
As I climbed the stairs, the bass from the club above grew louder and the drug started to kick in. When I reached the top I was facing a large metal door with massive windowpanes on either side. Through the glass I could see the outlines of men sitting at the bar — some naked, some in small white towels. An attendant approached me asking for the locker and towel fee and at the push of a button the solid door unlocked, welcoming me inside. As I pushed the door open my nerves spiked — there was no turning back. I entered the room and could barely see. The walls were black, lighting was dim and the entire place felt industrial.
I began to feel as though I was travelling through a maze and the dark and narrow hallways were daunting as I tried to find the lockers.
All I could see were the scarcely clothed men brushing past me whose hungry looks made me uneasy about the policy against clothing. When I reached my locker I undressed and quickly wrapped a towel tightly around my waist. One of the men approached me and sat on the bench next to me. He was sitting close to me and was clearly excited, but I fought back the impulse I had to run. He knew immediately that I wasn’t a regular.
I decided to be open with him about my lifelong journey of sexual exploration. We discussed human sexuality and I mentioned that I recently decided to overlook labels like gay, straight, and even bisexual.
I asked him to show me around and he agreed. He introduced himself as Rob and knew the entire spa inside out. He told me who to stay away from, who to get drugs from, and who had AIDS but would fuck me bare anyway.
As we past door after door I noticed seductive looks coming from the men inside who were already engaging in oral sex. We made stops in the sauna and the sling rooms, which is where he explained that he had been a paramedic who later received a Masters in Psychology but now practices law. He explained that many other men from the top of society were regulars at the spa as well.
We spoke about our personal experiences with self-discovery and found that we both shared the impulse to run from homosexual activity and the need to scrub our bodies raw immediately after it. Our talk made me more comfortable with the entire scene. I became less concerned with the towel that I was previously clenching to my hip. He asked me to return to his room, assuring me that nothing had to happen. I agreed.
On our way over he explained that there was a guy in his bed sleeping off drugs. We entered the room and the sculpted, beautiful man was passed out on the bed. Rob could tell I wasn’t relaxed. My previous fears about my sexuality started to creep back up and I told myself to calm down, which didn’t help. He asked me if I wanted to watch them fuck. I entertained the idea and told him to go for it. They got sensual, but I wasn’t aroused. He offered to give me a massage. I accepted. He was good with his hands and I finally relaxed. He started to work his tongue down my body and to my rear, and asked if I was enjoying it. I had to admit that I was.
He asked to suck me off. I said yes. We’d been sniffing Poppers (an aphrodisiac that relaxes the rectal muscles) and he gave me Cialis (an enhancer) because I asked for it. I was straddling his chest when I noticed the man who was previously unconscious was now pleasing himself. I invited him to join us.
Rob could tell I was finally enjoying myself and told me to turn over so I could witness the act in the mirror. I felt as though I had seen myself for the first time. I was finally experiencing solace in my own sexuality and I was more comfortable with myself than ever before.
When I left I felt a sense of accomplishment. Stepping into the crowds of people hustling down Yonge Street I felt I had experienced an exhilarating secret world. I was proud of myself for having the courage to enter these blank doors that most people walk by everyday, without a second glance.
Will I ever go back? I don’t know. But, I wouldn’t rule it out.
Photo: Lauren Strapagiel