Explore the rich, moist beginnings of our bathhouse culture.
Everything is so out in the open now. It wasn’t always that way. Gay bars had mysterious names like Incognito and the Mask — and they rarely had windows. Now there are fewer and few bars in big cities. Everybody is online, hooking up and dropping out of gay locations. Bathhouses are in decline as well, often seen as centers for illicit drug use and transmission points of STIs. The bathhouse has had a long, storied history as not only a place of sexual assignation but a cultural hub and a man-only space (sorry, Bette). Let’s take a trip down the slippery tiles of Memory Lane — be careful not to fall in the wet areas!