Out of the frying pan and into the fire is the motto for this last week: And that’s a damned good thing.
Spent some time in Chicagoland and couldn’t let a night go by without a visit to the best gay bath in the States, Steamworks. Located in the heart of Boystown, this non-descript (no signage, industrial looking building) spot hides five floors of hot guys, open attitudes, a killer gym setup and enough dark corners to get into trouble. Multiple times.
Took rideshare from The Waldorf, a longtime favorite hotel, smack dab in the middle of the Magnificent Mile just off Michigan Ave. It started life being called The Elysian, but ultimately transferred management to the Chinese government (Anbang Insurance Co). They’ve made some nice improvements like inviting in Michael Mina to do the in-house restaurants and room service, while keeping their rooms in great shape. The level of service is definitely up to flagship Waldorf Astoria standards. Beautiful spa and gym. They have a saline lap pool in the basement, which is nicely designed, but a little cave-like.
So… 15 minute Uber to Halsted St. Friendly check-in at Steamworks. Snagged a XL room with video. As always, the place was spotlessly clean, updated, full of guys and felt sexy as fuck. There’s no way you can come to a place like this and not want to blow a load or two. This is the purpose. The design.
I buck the towel trend in baths and usually sport a tight, low-rise pair of briefs- so I stripped down, got my key and went for a walk. Hit the upstairs gym for about 20 minutes, as it’s not everyday you get a little pump while in your underwear. Pull-ups, push ups, squats, some abs and I was ready to do this.
There’s always a nice diversity to the guys at SW: Fit, fat, average. Black, white, brown and everything in-between. The timid who are exploring for the first time and guys like me who enjoy direct eye contact and the confidence to get what I want, when I want it. To me, this is the whole enjoyment behind a bath in the first place: The ability to cut through the bullshit of Grindr, see what you want and just go for it. No endless chats. No catfishing. It’s all out front and you’re either attracted to the guy or you’re not. The simplicity of it all is especially refreshing in a community that now thrives on complications.
The wet area on the first floor is massive- So much so that you can get lost in the steam room and probably fit 100+ guys in the whirlpool. The shower in that area is circular and communal, leading to fun times for an exhibitionist like me and equally as much enjoyment for the voyeur. They keep this space perfectly clean, including balanced, fresh water. I’m not a huge fan of playing in steam rooms, so I made a quick round and headed upstairs.
Cruised the rooms and a dark, back gloryhole/sling/video area. Let me stop for a sec… It’s funny to mention the lighting in a place like this, but it’s so nicely done at SW. Red LEDs, dim and directional. It’s the kind of lighting that makes everything and everyone look sexy. There’s enough of it to let you see where you’re going, but not so much that you’d confuse this for a church. Ended up standing on the upper deck of the main gloryhole room and watched a little of what they had playing on the tv’s above. Felt a hand through the hole rub my crotch, which was already getting pretty thick and decided to let the guy blow me a little. It’s a hot experience watching porn above you while feeling some anonymous throat swallow your dick. After a few minutes, I felt as if I had a homing beacon on me, as the room filled up with guys, several looking to take over for the dude who was currently blowing me.
Don’t get me wrong: A group scene can be hot, but this was damned near 25 guys. It got a little intimidating to be honest and I ended up bolting out of there, back to my room.
The private space came with a large plasma TV, a bed, a huge double sling and a lockbox. If you have never had the pleasure of fucking or getting fucked in a sling, you’re seriously missing out. Top or bottom, it’s the perfect position for the maximal amount of fun. While I wasn’t in the mood to get fucked that night, I did spend the next hour slinged-up, flipping through the 50+ channels of porn while doing some hardcore edging. It was simple, but thank to the room being covered in mirrors, it was hot. I then also realized why the gloryhole room filled up so quickly: There are closed-circuit cameras in many of the public rooms which you can watch on your room televisions. Sort of a higher-tech way of seeing who’s around and who’s getting into trouble. Clearly, I was being watched by a lot of guys as I was getting blown and they wanted to see the show for themselves, in-person.
Interesting observation: I’m finding that the more muscular I get, the more guys approach me as sub or are looking to sexually service me in some form without reciprocation. Even more so now that I’ve gone to a very military, nordic-looking buzz cut. Now don’t get me wrong: I’m great with someone taking my needs into consideration, but for me to act ‘selfish’ or be a true ‘dom,’ it’s really just a role play. It’s not in my nature to be a serious prick. I can play the game if it means the sex will be hotter, but as the norm, I’m a fair and balanced guy in the bedroom. I give, I get, I like.
Did another round and found myself interested in who had their door open. While there were a ton of guys clearly wanting to be fucked (open door, naked, ass up), I was more interested in the open door of a muscular, compact Hispanic guy. Snapback cap. Nicely filled pair of Calvin Klein briefs. Tube socks. Sitting on his bed. One of my types, perfectly, right down to the outfit.
I walked in, shut the door behind me and without a word, the guy went to work on my dick. He had an Oscar-winning mouth… Literally, I had to think about Margaret Thatcher naked on several occasions to ensure I didn’t blow my load. I flipped him around and spent some time eating his hole, which by the sounds of it, he enjoyed a lot. For me, rimming a guy is the litmus test as to whether he’s going to be easy to fuck or not. When they arch their back into your face, it’s like putting out the welcome wagon for a top. This guy was definitely going to get his ass fucked.
Sometimes all it takes is a little spit and some rhythm to get a bottom fired up: This dude went from dead quiet to grunting animal in about 15 seconds. That he left his tank top and snapback hat on was a huge turn on for me. He was definitely into playing sub, as he almost never touched himself the entire time I was fucking him, remained rock hard and seemed to like me pounding him as hard as I could go. His room had the right amount of mirrors to give the both of us a perfect view no matter position we were in.
After flipping him onto his back, he asked me to flex for him while still fucking. I was cool with that. He hit my weak spot (rubbing my armpits) and as if by a Christmas miracle, also said the magic words that every top wants to hear: ‘I’m on PrEP. Don’t pull out.’
Signed, sealed, delivered. I fucked a load into him, dripping a little sweat onto his torso as well. It was fantastic, flexible, cardiovascular sex. I didn’t want to ruin it by sticking around to talk, so I said thanks, wiped off my body with his towel and got back to my room. Baths are built by the sound of fucking… Not wedding bells.
I spent a week laying low on the beaches of Malibu, renting a house on the water and generally just doing a whole lot of nothing. Went to sleep with the sound of crashing waves, enjoyed being able to forgo air conditioning with open windows and got a *little* color thanks to the near-magic California sunshine. Got daily workouts in at Equinox Santa Monica. Kept my diet in check and stuck mainly to a seafood and lean protein menu, with only one huge cheat at The Ivy Shore location (1 lb of fresh baked cookies to go). Most meals were simple affairs, sans one major dinner with friends at Nobu Malibu. It turned into a marathon meal, wherein the crew at Nobu suggested everything and handled us like pros. 4 hour dinner, great conversation, incredible food and the atmosphere that only a Nobu can deliver. It’s one of my favorite places to eat in the whole world. They’re that good.
Didn’t venture into LA once: I consider that an achieved goal. The thought of breaking bread at Rao’s new(ish) location in Hollywood made me briefly reconsider, but nope. Traffic into LA on the PCH was enough to keep me in the Beach Cities. I had everything I needed right where I was.
Best part about the beach house? It was on private sand, on a portion of the PCH that’s not easily accessible unless you have a home. I spent 90% of my house time in an AussieBum speedo or less. While I can’t say that I’m a full-fledged nudist, I’m totally down for wearing less when the opportunity presents itself. It’s a mix of ego and sex, to be honest. A true nudist doesn’t equate being naked with sex… Which is how I know I’m not yet to that label.
I’ll wrap-up on Fire Island in the next edition, but it didn’t take much time there to realize it wasn’t where I felt all that comfortable. More on that trip later. For now, let me send thanks to all of those who have kept up with me throughout the years and continue to- The emails and messages I get about 15MM are much appreciated. Like most things in my life, It’s not work if you’re having fun doing it.
And clearly, I’m having a lot of fun.
Safe summer travels. Be well,