"And Where Would You Like to Go This Evening?"
by C. J. Kurkowski
I admit I was pretty horny yesterday. I just sent the person I was dating for five days back to St. Louis. I wanted to end the relationship. It didnít feel right. Something didnít click. There were no feelings there. But thatís another story to tell.
In his immediate absence, I wanted to move on. Try to get rid of the unwanted feelings. Lucky for me, the gay community has so many outlets to get rid of those unwanted feelings. Unfortunately, it makes you feel cheap and under-appreciated.
Last night I had an urge. You know how it is. You have this sexual tension that just needs to be released. Well, I decided to find a way to release it. I had several options in mind. I could sit in the chat rooms on Gay.com or AOL to see who I could pick up, or I could just go to my local bathhouse. I picked the second option.
Admitting that I went to a bathhouse is a stigma to me. When I was younger, I worked at a bathhouse in Los Angeles. It was the only job I could get at the time besides flipping burgers. Working in the bathhouse gave me a deeper understanding of the gay communityís dark underbelly.
There are several aspects to my decision making of why I wanted to go to the bathhouse the other evening. One of them concerned money. I broke it down like thisÖ I pay twenty one dollars a month for an internet connection. From that internet connection I could go into the chat rooms on AOL, IRC, and Gay.com. Being in a chat room is a hit or miss situation. I will either settle for something less and get off with the first person that messages me, or idle in rooms until someone who likes my profile decides they want to chat with me. Then we go through the whole rigor morale of age, stats, location, top or bottom, etc, etc, etc. This whole ordeal can take hours.
If I went to the bathhouse, I pay my twenty bucks, walk around partially naked and try to pick up someone that is willing to have sex right then and there. The twenty bucks you pay gets you eight whole hours of cruising. More than anything, I felt like a kid in a candy store untilÖ I got off.
After I released my sexual tension, I started walking around the bathhouse. I kept thinking to myself, why did I do this? What was the gratification? My mind raced with odd thoughts. I started looking at people. There were some really beautiful young men walking around. Why were they here? These men are beautiful and young, surely they could find a boyfriend. What draws a man to a bathhouse? Is it the seediness of the environment? Is it because you can get off quickly with as many men as you want? What was their gratification? Why did they have that zombie look of determination in their eyes?
I know that when you go to a bathhouse there is going to be the same pretentious attitudes as there is in the bars. The moment of clarity when you walk through that door of the bathhouse is that you know what you are going to get into when you go in. The chase ends. The mind games stop. You are there for one thing and one thing only. Sex.
I did see people walk around talking with each other. Some people even came in with friends. At times it looked as if I was watching a coffee house conversation. It felt surreal. I felt alone.
I left the bathhouse and walked out into the cold, dark Chicago night. I took a course through some alleyways to get home. A police patrol car passed me. My sulking head didnít look in the direction of the passing vehicle. I felt cheap.
I walked into my apartment and grabbed a glass of wine. I sat down and spoke with my roommate about my experience. I looked into his eyes and saw the reflection of emptiness in my own eyes. He told me that he thought about going to the bathhouse a few weeks ago when he was extremely horny but decided against it. He didnít want the stigma of stating that he went to a bathhouse to get off. I got up and went to bed.
C. J. Kurkowski is a freelance writer living in the Chicago area. He has published poetry, and non-fiction pieces for 256 Shades of Grey, The Statesman, OUT in Chicago, and NOTA.