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Where to Find a Gay Bathhouse in New York City

gay bathhouse in New York City
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Can You Find a Gay Bathhouse In New York City?

So, you’re on the hunt for a gay bathhouse in New York City. I bet you’ve noticed from searching online that the options for gay saunas in New York seem limited.

Well, you’ve just encountered a common situation that bewilders so many gay travelers that visit this city each year. 

gay bathhouse in New York City

New York is a little different when it comes to gay bathhouses for a number of different reasons. Can you find a gay bathhouse in New York City? Well, technically yes. Should you go to one? That’s what you’ll need to read more about below to find out.

Firstly I’ll share the reason why New York is an outlier. You’ll find out where to find a typical gay bathhouse in New York City and also find out where the locals go.

Lastly, I’ll tell you about some more popular gay events like bars with dark rooms, sex parties, and circuit parties. You may prefer these options over the limited gay sauna options.

Why Gay Bathhouses In New York City Are Different

Gay bathhouses are quite common in international gay destinations like Barcelona, Rome, and Milan, so why is New York different? 

It has to do with New York’s, and America’s, history. In the 1980s, the majority of gay bathhouses in New York City closed their doors. This was the period of the tragic HIV/AIDS epidemic and New York was an epicenter.

gay bathhouse in New York City

Many gay men stopped going to saunas as fear and stigmatization spread throughout the United States. Almost all of these NYC bathhouses went out of business.

A couple of gay saunas remained open through this tumultuous time and are still in operation to this day. These are the only official gay bathhouses in New York, but they’re certainly not your only options.

Two New York City Gay Bathhouse Options

Most gay New Yorkers know their name, but the majority have never been to one. Currently only two traditional gay bathhouses operate in New York City, the East Side Club and West Side Club.

West Side Club gay bathhouse in New York City

Both the East Side and West Side Clubs tend to have a poor reputation for being run down, expensive, and attended by seemingly questionable patrons. As you’ll read in the section below, most gay New Yorkers have found an alternative to the traditional gay saunas.

There are a few other massage-based establishments around the city that categorize themselves as gay saunas, but they’re still called “spas” because they’re not truly gay bathhouses.

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Alternatives To A Gay Bathhouse In New York City

Since the existing gay bathhouses in New York City have fallen out of popularity, gay men have improvised. Now, there are various well-known sex parties in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

NYC gay sex party

Each of these parties typically requires you to send your name, a photo of yourself, and sometimes a reference in advance. Some though, are publicly open to everyone.

No matter where you go though, stay on top of your sexual health with private STD testing in New York. They allow you to choose exactly what you want to test and have locations all over the city.

NYC Sex Parties: Best Alternative To A Gay Bathhouse In NYC

New York Jock Party is the most well-known sex party in NYC. Information about the party is provided through a subscription-based site called MaleBox, which used to be called Members Only Club.

MaleBox hosts a couple of other sex parties too, including Scum and Packing. You’ll need to create an account with them to see all of them. Whichever one you choose, bring along some convenient lube packets.

NYJP gay sex party nyc

Hotels near Bryant Park will be closest to most of the Members Only Club sex parties, which are held on West 38th and West 39th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Three of my top hotel recommendations in this area of Manhattan are the NH Collection Madison Avenue, the chic and affordable Gotham Hotel, and one of my personal favorites, Arlo Midtown.

Check out over 25 gay sex parties in New York City with my complete downloadable PDF list, which includes direct sign-up links, contact information, event locations, and more.

Want to attend an oral-only sex party? Check out Blow Buddies NYC. This party has a discreet vibe and is easier to plan for since the location and times are publicly available.

Additional sex parties by the same organizers in New York are The Bear Party and Workman’s Lunch, conveniently held in the middle of the workday two days a week. 

RelatedGay Guide to New York City: Gay hotels, bars, clubs & parties.

NYC Sex Party Location Information

Locations of the NYC sex parties mentioned above are sometimes not disclosed online to maintain privacy and control who enters, amongst other factors. Furthermore, their locations can change from time to time, depending on the party.

Once you join a party’s email list, you will certainly be aware of any updates about party schedules and the event locations by email.

members only club sex parties

Gay sex parties in New York are typically held in some sort of large, converted apartment building space (think several combined apartments). 

They are not held in any sort of warehouse, as the groups tend to range from 50 to 100 guys over the course of the night on average.

Guys at these parties are pretty attractive, I must say! Make sure you get lucky by wearing a sexy jockstrap

For a full run-down of the hottest brands I love, check out wolfyy’s list of the best gay underwear and sexy jockstrap brands.

black jock strap for sex party

NYC Circuit Parties & Gay Bars With Dark Rooms

Lastly, the other sauna alternative for gay men in New York City is attending a circuit party that is known to have a dark room. New York has many circuit parties, however only a couple of them have darkroom spaces.

Before you head out for a night of clubbing or gay cruising, make sure you’ve got a sexy adjustable leather harness.

Also check out these sexy Skysper briefs that go along great with a pair of mid-rise sporty tube socks. For more accessory ideas, head to my curated list of gay party essentials.

MEAT New York: Gay Circuit Party with Cruising

In my opinion, the most noteworthy circuit party with a dark room is MEAT NYC. This is a large-venue circuit party with internationally-renowned DJs, hosted by John Blair Promotions. The music at MEAT is honestly some of my favorite.

Alternative to a gay bathhouse in New York City

MEAT is currently held at the popular 3 Dollar Bill Nightclub in Brooklyn. Every so often, the party’s location does change, so just keep an eye out.

You can find the list of scheduled parties on the MEAT New York website (accessible via their Facebook page linked above). The site will redirect you to the appropriate ticket sale website, which is usually SeeTickets or Showclix.

While some circuit parties are usually pricy, I’d say attending a MEAT party is definitely worth it. See even more photos and videos of the party on the MEAT NYC Instagram page.

EAGLE NYC: Top New York Leather Bar with Cruising

Another famous and popular space for gay cruising in New York is EAGLE NYC. Popular among the mature and leather community, this relaxed NYC gay bar is a mix of a traditional bar and a cruising spot. 

EAGLE NYC is popular for exploring your dark side in a dimly-lit space. On Wednesday nights and weekends, everyone wears sexy jockstraps.

Alternative to a gay bathhouse in New York City

Learn more about EAGLE NYC and dozens more popular New York gay bars in wolfyy’s Ultimate Guide to Gay Bars in New York City.

There are endless opportunities to meet gay locals while you’re visiting. While not all of them always have cruising, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t stop by!

Should I Go to a Gay Bathhouse in New York City?

Given all the options above, you might still be pondering this question. While the final choice is certainly up to you, I’ll share the general opinion of New York gay locals to help you decide.

In general, local gay New Yorkers do not go to the two gay bathhouse options mentioned earlier. Uninformed tourists definitely try them out, but online reviews don’t portray any good experiences. I at least have not met anyone who has gone there anytime recently.

gay bathhouse in New York

With all the other options that gay travelers and locals have, going to a gay bathhouse in New York City is simply not common anymore.

Gay men in New York have more dynamic options, like traditional bars that also offer cruising, obviating the need for traditional gay saunas. 

Looking to meet other gay travelers to explore with? Join wolfyy’s Gay Travel Facebook Chat and introduce yourself to some new friends!

Tips for NYC Gay Cruising & Where to Stay

For those visiting New York City for the span of a workweek and won’t get to stay the weekend, your best bet is attending one of the NYC gay sex parties.

Many of them take place after business hours Monday through Thursday. Some are directly after the workday at around 6 PM and others are later in the evening.

Midtown Manhattan gay area

If you’re able to spend the weekend in New York, I recommend purchasing a ticket to one of the circuit parties mentioned earlier. If those large parties are not your favorite, then I would check out one of the bars linked above that is noteworthy for cruising.

These gay bars are definitely full on weekends, but weekdays are also popular, especially if there’s a special weekly event.

If you’re not in town for one of the planned circuit parties or sex parties, you still have some options available to have some fun by meeting other guys in NYC.

New York City gay bathhouse alternatives

I recommend booking a private apartment rental in one of New York’s gay neighborhoods if you can find an affordable deal.

Hell’s Kitchen apartment rental is absolutely the best option to be in close proximity to local gay men. This is the most popular gay neighborhood in Manhattan and frankly, the guys here are insanely attractive. 

Alternatively, Chelsea apartments are another great option, especially if you’re interested in higher-end rentals. Chelsea is among the most popular gay areas of New York. 

gay cruising during covid

If you prefer to go with a standard hotel option, you’ll be best off with one of these Midtown West hotels which are all within a short distance to either Hell’s Kitchen or Chelsea. I’d also recommend these gay hotels in New York City.

No matter where you end up, don’t forget to wear your sexiest underwear or some hot gay party accessories

Sneaking out of work for a daytime sex party? Bring your favorite lube packets that will fit easily in your wallet or sock! For something bigger, go with a 1-ounce bottle of ID Glide, or share the love with a bottle of Swiss Navy lube.

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First New York City, Then the World.

Don’t miss these epic, popular gay circuit parties around the world.

Get wolfyy’s full downloadable list of gay sex parties in NYC to see all planned events during your visit.

Browse wolfyy’s gay travel guides to cities around the world. See travel guides by world region, view destinations by country, or use the wolfyy map explorer.

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