Where to Find a Gay Bathhouse in New York City
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.
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
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.
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
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 that operate around Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Each of these parties typically requires you to send your name, a photo of yourself, and sometimes a reference in advance.
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 site called Members Only Club.
Hotels near Bryant Park will be closest to most of the Members Only Club sex parties, which are held on West 38th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.
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.
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.
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.
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, check out wolfyy’s list of the best gay underwear and sexy jockstrap brands.
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.
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.
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, EAGLE NYC is more of a traditional bar, as opposed to just a cruising spot. This relaxed NYC gay bar is popular for exploring your dark side in a dimly-lit space. Don’t miss jockstrap night on Wednesdays.
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.
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!
Recommendations for NYC Gay Cruising
If you’re a first-time NYC gay traveler that was initially looking for a gay bathhouse in New York City, I’ll give you a couple of different recommendations based on when you’ll be visiting and how much time you have to spend.
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.
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 weekday event.
NYC Gay Cruising Post-COVID
When the pandemic began, New York City had imposed strict regulations about mass gatherings. But now, most parties are back! With proof of full vaccination, you’ll be able to attend any of them.
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.
I’d recommend booking a private apartment rental in one of New York’s gay neighborhoods.
A 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.
First New York City, Then the World.
Get wolfyy’s full downloadable list of gay sex parties in NYC to see all planned events during your visit.