Traversing the Subway Sauna

Published in Esperanto Magazine – Melbourne Edition:

Exploring Melbourne’s gay sauna scene was never something I really thought about. In all honesty, the only thing I knew about gay saunas was that they were a breeding ground for desire – a safe haven for men to enact their wildest sexual dreams.

Being 20 years old and at the height of my raging libido levels, I was constantly revelling in promiscuity and pleasure. Despite that, I still felt gay saunas were a little too much for me. So when my friend David suggested we go there, I didn’t know what to expect. Boy, was I in for one crazy surprise.

We decided to explore Subway Sauna, which is conveniently located right next to Flinders Street Station. With its fully tinted black windows, it hardly looked inviting. Upon entering, the first thing I noticed was how red the walls were. It gave the place a grungy feel, and strangely enough this only seemed to increase my curiosity.

What baffled me the most however was how casual all the guys were there. All of them were stark naked – so much so that I felt like I was part of a secret nudist community. They had no problem flaunting their bodies, and while I didn’t either, I still felt a little insecure walking around completely nude (I didn’t in the end – I chickened out and wore a towel.)

As David took me around for a tour, openness seemed to be a recurring theme at the sauna. None of the showers had any closed doors, and you were free to watch as much hard-core porn as you wanted in the internet lounge and theatre room, jerking off to your hearts (or dicks) content. I momentarily walked past a room with a sling, and David explained to me that the room was purposed for really kinky sex – in other words, strapping yourself to the sling and letting complete strangers fuck you all night long, with you unable to do anything as the leather restraints held you down.

And of course, a sauna wouldn’t be a sauna without the Jacuzzi Room. As much as I wanted to relax and make a splash, all the men in there were eyeing me like their shiny new toy and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have my first orgy experience in a jacuzzi full of strangers.

Out of all the different areas though, the highlight was definitely the private rooms. Not only because it was where David and I were going to get down and dirty, but also because it was the most bizarre area yet. Located in what the sauna called the “Maze,” the rooms were a series of large cubicles that created a maze-like environment. David told me that this was the area where you could pick up strangers to have casual romps with – like cruising gay beats, you had to stand around and maintain eye contact with someone who took your fancy. If they reciprocated, then bam! You’re in for a wild night of pleasure and fun.

The only problem was, the walls of the maze were surrounded by mirrors. Being the klutz that I am, I kept bumping into them and profusely apologising thinking I had bumped into someone, only to realise that I was talking to my own reflection. This happened a number of times, and I kid you not when I say I have never suffered so many small bruises from smashing into so many mirrors.

Each of the private rooms were adorned with a leather mattress and a mirror that covered the wall so that you could witness yourself having blissful, passionate sex. Again, the environment was quite open despite the privacy the cubicle offered. Unfortunately, the walls were thin enough that you could hear other men doing the deed in other cubicles. Everything could be heard – from the feverish moans and the slapping noises of skin against skin, to the loud slurping of blowjobs and the climactic screams of “Fuck!” and “I’m cumming!” Though what intrigued me most about the room were the soap dispensers that sat next to a tray full of condoms – I was fascinated with how the dispenser produced endless amounts of lubricant, which made sex all the more fun. I felt like I was in heaven.

All in all, it was a weird experience to say the least, but not one I regret. In fact, experiencing the world of gay saunas just goes to show how diverse the city of Melbourne really is. Would it be my regular scene? Probably not. But would I go there again? …Maybe, just for the awesome lube dispenser and infinite packets of condoms.

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