A Saturday morning during my second year in Florida. We're all sitting at breakfast, when my housemate Barney abruptly announces that he plans to go to a bathhouse.
Yuri and I hide behind cereal boxes to hide our shock. Barney is a former bodybuilder who runs a mostly-gay gym. He lives a scrupulously healthy lifestyle: low-fat diet, daily exercise, meditation, herbal supplements. And, after he lost his partner to AIDS three years ago, no hookups.
He dates, of course, and occasionally he invites us into his bed to "share," but he would never dream of casual sex.
"Are you ok?" Yuri asks. "I don't think you liked bathhouses."
"Well, I haven't been to one for ages. But think about it -- I'm 61 years old, I have Cute Young Things clamoring to get into my bed all the time, but all the guys my age are taken or not interested. I figure the bathhouse is my best place to find someone my age.
"You know it's mostly for anonymous sex, right?" I say, dubious.
"But you often make a date with the guy afterwards. At least, you did in my day."
"Well...do you want us to go with you, show you the ropes?"
He chuckles and turns back to his egg white omelet. "I was going to bathhouses while you were still in diapers. I think I can handle myself."
We advise him that the bathhouse would have a lot of older guys in the mid-afternoon or early evening, so he goes about 5:00 pm, after pumping up at the gym. I can't wait around to hear the details.
The rest of the story, with the Giant he picked up, plus Wade the Beach Boy, is on Tales of West Hollywood.