Behind-the-scenes of a gay bathhouse
Having worked in gay bathhouses in North America for a number of years, Jameson Farn has now written about his experiences.
Bathhouse Babylon takes us behind-the-scenes of what goes on in saunas and sex-on-premises venues, with plenty of saucy anecdotes and sexy stories to bring this world to life.
I caught up with Jameson to talk about the book.
“With time on my hands during the pandemic, I thought it was time to pull out the diaries I kept from when I used to work at the bathhouses in North America…” says Jameson, explaining what prompted him to write the book. “I wanted to see what I could make of it all.”
“I always loved the job, no matter what was happening – there was a thrill to it all…” confirms Jameson. “At the time, I just moved forward as best as possible with everything as it came about, and tried to evolve with it all. I also prefer that edgier side of life – I’m easily bored with predictability, so I accepted the best and worst of every situation. Working in a bathhouse seemed to bring all of that in a very in-your-face type of way – literally. I wouldn’t say that I’ve seen it all, but I have definitely seen a lot from another side other than a customer – it was my place of work every day of the week.”
“I loved working at a bathhouse and never hid the fact that it was what I did for a living…” says Jameson. “You don’t make big money, but you meet everyone, from every walk of life. It’s an opportunity – especially if you’re young – to learn how to have a rapport with all kinds of men. All types of people work in a bathhouse – no matter their educational or financial backgrounds. Some are happy and proud to let people know they work in one. Others – depending on how they live and their situation – may prefer to tell people they work at a fitness centre or nightclub. Being in that business for over a decade, you do experience almost everything imaginable. On a daily basis, you see a side of life that not many get to experience, and it can take a toll and leave you very jaded if you don’t have a proper life balance set in place. I failed at that sometimes, but I’ve also learned a lot from it. It’s actually been beneficial in how I live now.”
“If it’s your first time, you’ll probably have an idea of what a bathhouse will be like, but try to be realistic…” advises Jameson. “So many first-time visitors arrive with the grandest of fantasies of what will take place for them, only to be disappointed. Just be yourself and all the fun stuff will happen. These are places where men also come to just relax from the outside world, so keep your expectations on an even level. Men in bathhouses also seem to become more intuitive and get straight to the point, so if you give off a vibe like you are vulnerable and scared, or have a big ego, it will dictate what kind of men come your way and what you end up doing.”