If you’re looking for a bit of fun or just some relaxation in London, there are three main gay bathhouse options to investigate
These are not the only gay bathhouses in London, but most people with knowledge on the topic recommend the following ones:
You’ll find Sweatbox in Soho.
The address for Sweatbox is 1-2 Ramillies St, W1F 7LN.
Entrance is through the big red door on the corner.
Sweatbox is just off Oxford Street. The closest tube station is Oxford Circus.
You’ll find Pleasuredrome just near Waterloo sation.
The address is 124 Cornwall Rd, SE1 8XE – it’s in the railway arches beneath the tracks, just across from Waterloo station.
Covent Garden Spa
As the name suggests, you’ll find this bathhouse in Covent Garden.
The address for Covent Garden Spa is 29 Endell Street, WC2H 9BA.
The entry door is at street level, but you immediately go downstairs to reception.
What makes a good bathhouse?
Different things appeal to different guys.
If you’re just looking for a quick hook-up so you can get off, you’re going to be prioritising different things than if you want somewhere relaxing where you can hang out for a while.
General cleanliness is a good starting point. You don’t want somewhere that smells like a hospital; a sex-on-premises venue needs to have a bit of raunch about it, but there shouldn’t be trash lying around and there should be a general level of hygiene that makes you feel comfortable. It’s generally a good idea to take a pair of flip-flops to a sauna. Most saunas will sell you flip-flops if you’ve forgotten them.
Bigger saunas will tend to offer the full range of facilities – things such as a gym, and having masseurs available who can actually give you a proper massage.
There’ll generally be some sort of refreshments available. It might only be basic snacks and soft-drinks, but there should be something you can buy. Don’t assume that there will be alcohol available, some saunas don’t sell alcohol because they don’t want to have to deal with drunk people.
Some saunas offer other forms of entertainment as well
Some saunas will offer live shows or pool parties or other forms of entertainment. These are generally a bit of a marketing tool to get guys in through the door. You might find that you have a better time when there’s not some sort of special event happening.
You can usually tell the quality of a sauna by what their wet areas are like. Obviously, there should be a selection of steam rooms, dry sauna areas, hot-tubs, and showers, but are they clean? Are they well maintained? Are they at the right temperature? Is the lighting right?
There’s generally an option to spend some time in a private space. You may be able to book a private room or cabin, or you might just need to find an empty cabin and claim it. There should be an option to lock the door, if that’s what you want. The cabins should be regularly cleaned and should smell fresh. No one really wants to be having sex surrounded by other people’s condoms and lube packets.
If you’re into glory-holes, you won’t necessarily find these in all saunas, but most will have a glory-hole option somewhere.
Safety and Security in Bathhouses
Safety and security are also important factors. There’s a couple of elements to this. You want to feel confident that whatever you put in your locker is going to still be there when you’re ready to leave. You also want to feel physically safe. Most saunas these days are quite strict about not tolerating drug use. That’s usually a good sign – if they’re not switched on about drug use, anything could be happening.
The staff at a sauna can generally be what makes or breaks the experience. You want the staff to be friendly and efficient, but not too chatty. Don’t be afraid to talk to the staff – if you’ve got a question or a problem, let them know.
One of the main things with a successful sauna visit is that you want there to be guys there that you want to have some fun with. That doesn’t mean it has to be super-busy, but you need enough guys there so that you’ve got some options. Different saunas will be busy at different times. It can be hard to predict. But a Friday night crowd is going to be different to a Sunday afternoon crowd. Both can be good options, it just depends what you’re in the mood for.