Once Upon a Dixon place I read this story at Dust Tea Shoulders and World Famous *Bob*’s Queer Campfire Story. They will be hosting another Campfire in November and it is totally worth checking out.
Below is my story. It is a story of drama and intrigue and umm drama… sort of.. It’s about falling in love in a bathhouse really…
When I think about the campfire, I think back to my summer camp times at Flying Moose Lodge, lovingly referred to by its campers as F.M.L. It’s there that I learned to be a faggot, camping in the woods of rural Maine with 50 other boys, no showers, no running wanter, no electricity, only tents and stars and bonfires. We often told stories late into the night, while we drank hot coco and ate burned blueberry pie right out of the dutch oven. The stories we told were of conquest and terror, of creepy happenings and the campers who a mythical number of years ago were sucked into a hydro – electric dam and spit out in pieces. I don’t want to tell those stories tonight, I want to talk of when I first fell in Love… Perhaps in its own way its a horror story, for love, often is, a tad bit horrific. Here is my story, I am titling it;
‘Expressions of Self Love’, An excerpt from a larger piece I am working on, called ‘My life’.
This specific entry is called ‘Sauna.’
We met in a Sauna in East London. Which sounds classy I know, but I promise you, it was not. It was the Shoreditch Charriots. For those of you who have never been, Chariots is a rather successful brand of Gay Bathhouses that dominate the U.K.’s Capital. They specialize in a faux-Grecian theme, you know painted ivy and gladiatorial porno-wresteling mosaics on the wall. What I remember most was the smells, a delightful mixture of pre-cum and poppers mixed with chemical cleaning solvents and that light metallic scent, which I have come to recognize as desperation. it’s the scent that lingers around burnt out lights, and those duct tape patches holding red pleather mats together.
I had just turned 20 when this story takes place. I had recently lost 50 pounds, grown out my hair and begun dancing regularly. When I looked in the mirror I was a stranger to myself. My body had become alien and yet delightful, and I was deeply enjoying exploring it with the help of others. That said I still had a lot of hang ups about sex.
It had a lot to do with how I viewed myself. Like mainly everything. I was deeply uncomfortable in my own skin. It’s not just because of the aforementioned fluctuating weight. I think it had everything to do with being uncomfortable with self pleasure. I’d jerk off nightly into a tissue because i never wanted to see the cum. I thought it was messy, and yes, a bit shameful. My gay cum was a symbol of my continued failure at achieving heterosexuality. I was this really faggoty, glitter wearing, queen by day, and a huge internalized homophobe in the sheets. My sex was timid, and vanilla and never beautiful.
However I had begun to work through this issue of self love, of in all places, the Chariots Steam room. The first time I went to a bathhouse at all i sat quaking in a toilet stall for almost an hour, listening to the sounds of men shit in the cubical next to me, Petrified, that they were going to sense my presence, kick down the door and drag me out and laugh at me. Shame me for my body and let me know that I would never be like them. It was only when i got to the steam room, dim lights, misty air, hidden hands, that i exhaled, relaxed and allowed myself to be present.
I first noticed a big change in myself, the third or forth time I visited the chariots steam room. I was blown to competition, and yet still kept sucking some other man’s dick. It was in that orgy room that I began to be okay with orgasming. to still feel sexy, to still love my body in the moments after climax. I know that sounds simple, but for me it was really hard.
It was there I learned I could walk into a room filled with men, who all had that hungry look in their eyes, that desire to touch taste and lick one another, and simply by the virtue of not being terribly British about it, but just taking off my towel and standing in the center of a room pulling my own nipples and moaning in that fake it till you make it sort of modality, I could convince any number of men to join me and rub my body.
It was heaven. I became addicted. it was a delightful feedback loop, they wanted me, I wanted them, we wanted eachother, BAM it was sex therapy at 11 pounds a session. I would show up in that Sauna room on extended lunch breaks, on weekends, when I was meant to be at a friends art show, and I would indulge in the caresses of a hundred unknown men. I began to feel sexy. Actually sexy, for the first time in my life. Yet the visit this Tuesday was different. When I paid my 11 pounds, and walked into that locker room I did so with the predetermined decision that I was going to fall in love.
Fall in love you say? yes! LOVE OH LOVE. the most noble of pursuits. The subject of good poetry and prose! How I wanted it. I had up until then, never really been in love. Not even with myself if I am honest to you. But on that Tuesday, from the moment I had awoken, I felt that I was fated to fall in love in the steam room. I was ready! Ok I was hardly ready, Love is Scary and Messy, but I told myself my future love was going to see all the fear in me, and be ok with it. He was going to be a guide to me. My gateway drug to love. This handsome hunky gay bearded self possessed daddy billionaire, just looking for an awkward, not a boy not yet really a man, expat with half a degree in film theory. Yes I was going to fall in Love that day I just KNEW IT.
At first, when I got there it felt like any other time I had been to the bath house. I slipped on a pool of cum, some one had definitely shat all over the dark room if the smell was anything to go by, and so far the only person who had displayed any interest in me was quite clearly crazed. Not crazed like askance from the normal, or crazy like he’s probably a really good poet, just, you know, your average crazy.
But un-daunted I found my way to the sauna steam room, found a nice place on the second tier of the bench, up between the muscle daddy, (Likely candidate) and the twink (Not so much, but you never know.), and I relaxed into the orgy I knew was coming. I breathed in, breathed out, let my towel slide from my body and offered myself up as sexual tribute.
Often, to make the experience of a largely anonymous orgy more enjoyable, I close my eyes. I like the feeling of being pleasured by faceless individuals. I l love not knowing who is touching me of feeling greedy hands grab me as if only my body can satiate their hunger.
At some point I had slid into the arms of the muscle daddy, woof, and found myself contorted around his body, my tongue licking its way across his pecs and up to his shoulder, while his calloused fingers pulled at my flesh. As he slid his finger into me, wet off my own sweat, I discovered his arm. Not the muscle daddies arm, his arm, my lovers arm. My eyes were still closed, the sounds of moaning all around me, I kissed it once and it felt like home. I kissed again. deeper. More intense. with ferocity and hunger. I moaned. Some where he moaned. WE MOANED. It felt as if we were falling into each other. And if by magic while I was kissing his arm, he was kissing, and licking and biting mine; it felt so divinely circular. Me biting him, him biting me, it was… completion.
In a sea of sweaty men, in an orgy largely of my own devising I opened my eyes to gaze upon my love. I traced the contours of his flesh up his arm, and to his face, where with horrifying actuality, I realized I was in fact making out with my own arm. My love, the man I had gone to meet in the steam room, the man I had felt all day fated to find, was in fact myself.
Orgies are not normally where one looks for spiritual and personal development, but sometimes its where you find it.