The ‘Bathhouse’ Has Always Been A Part Of Mainstream Culture, Tracing All The Way Back To The Historical Dates Suffixed With B.C. It’s Embedded In Our History With Discoveries Of Ancient Greek Records That Expose What Was Then Not Such A Secretive Lifestyle.
The accommodations in history were magnificent with marble brick columns lining mosaic shallow pools of warm water. They were communal areas intended for bathing and socializing among someone’s peers, friends and family. Now occasionally, some had other intentions and bathhouses served to fulfill the sexual desires of the men that frequented the establishments.
As the years progressed, the bathhouse dissipated due to the onset of private bathrooms. No longer were they needed. After years they did reemerged and took on a new role as a ‘convenient hookup’ spot for men who wanted to have sex with other men. The wave created the modern day ‘gay-only facilities,’ that were less elaborate, and centered on privacy and dark, discreet areas.
Somewhere in the 1960’s, bathhouses were labeled gay saunas, and they began popping up throughout the country. By the time the 80’s rolled around, the number of bathhouses had exploded, and their were thousands across the country.
When the general public took notice of these ‘scabs of society,’ authorities began to raided many of these facilities and arrested patrons for sodomy and any other de facto anti-gay laws that could keep patrons behind bars or at the very least incur any number of fines.
The results led to the reputations of the bathhouses being soiled, and became known as nothing more than seedy sex establishments where the perverted went to play. This led people to lose interest in the establishments. As such, the number of facilities started to decline.
With the invention of, hookup apps, came the slow demise. Today, there are an estimated 100 or less bathhouses in operation in the United States, with Houston having two locations. Midtown Spa, and Club Houston.