Bathhouse Boys

The stories behind a gay sauna in London.

Bathhouse Boys

"So, when do you think we’ll open?" asked Tomas, as they sat down at McDonald's for their lunch break. "The whole place seems to be just as much of a building site as the last time I saw it. These renovations seem to be dragging on forever!"

"It was supposed to be December..." explained Steven. "December at the latest. I don't know, they're saying start of March - but I guess that the middle of March is more realistic."

"Let’s assume that it’s going to be the end of March..." suggested Andrew. "Just to be in the safe side. We don't want to get our hopes up."

"You’ve worked here before?" asked Charlie, trying to keep up with the conversation while struggling to stop his burger falling apart in his hands.

"Yes..." nodded Andrew. "Steven and I were working here before they shut for renovations. I'm not sure how many of the original team are coming back."

"I replied to their job ad in December..." said Charlie.

"I’ve never been to a sauna before..." said Tomas.

"What?" exclaimed Steven. "What do you mean?"

"How can you never have been to a sauna?" asked Andrew.

"I don’t know..." shrugged Tomas. "I guess I’ve always been in relationships. None of my friends were into that kind of thing."

"How weird..." said Steven. "It’s like you’re missing out on part of your education as a gay man. I feel like your community has really let you down."

"Why did you want to work in a sauna?" asked Charlie.

"I’ve always worked in retail..." shrugged Tomas. "I just wanted to try something different."

"You do know what happens in a sauna, right?" asked Andrew.

"I think so..." nodded Tomas. "In the interview, they asked me if I knew G. I said something like - Which season of Drag Race was she on? I'm pretty sure they thought I was joking."

"Where are you from?" asked Andrew.

"Poland..." replied Tomas.

"Poland?" repeated Andrew. "I thought you were from Yorkshire?"

"Yorkshire?" laughed Charlie. "Why would you think that he was from Yorkshire?"

"I’m normally pretty good with accents..." shrugged Andrew. "I just assumed that he was from somewhere up North."

"That’s compliment, right?" asked Tomas.

"Um, sure..." nodded Steven. "I guess."

"One of the first nights I was working here, this guy attacked me because he was on G..." said Andrew.

"Does G make you violent?" asked Charlie.

"Not usually..." said Steven.

"Anyway, he was on something..." continued Andrew. "I thought he was hiding drugs up his bum, but when I asked him to show me, he pulled out a massive dildo."

"He attacked you with a dildo?" asked Charlie.

"No - he pulled out the dildo and then he attacked me..." explained Andrew. "We had to call the police. It was a bit embarrassing when I had to show them the footage from the security camera."

"Hold up - message from Klaudio..." said Steven, checking the message that had vibrated into his phone. "He wants us back there now. There’s more cleaning to be done."

Photo by gaspar manuel zaldo / Unsplash

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