FIND LOVE IN A GAY BATHHOUSE is an Eight Step Guide to Finding Mr Right in a Gay Bathhouse and then Making the Relationship Work by Marcel Wiel. The book is a new gay relationships how-to guide for bathhouse and sauna fans who also want to find true love.
This fascinating book has win a lot of praise and worldwide attention among gay men. The author has received critical acclaim for its original and witty style.
Marcel Wiel, 46, is a London-based journalist currently working at the Guardian as deputy editor of its syndicated news service. A long-time bathhouse goer, he met his partner Pierre six years ago in a bathhouse as well as previously several other potential Mr Rights. FIND LOVE IN A GAY BATHHOUSE is a digest of over 25 years’ experience of getting the most out of bathhouses by making high quality contacts.
Get to know Marcel Wiel in this exclusive Queer ME Up Interview. He tells us about his experience writing this book and shares some recommendations on finding Mister Right in the gay bathhouse…
So guys can really meet Mr Right in a gay bathhouse?
Definitely. All too often gay men are wrongly told that meeting a significant other in a sex club is impossible. But the fact is, like most things, life is determined much more by our actions and behaviour than where we happen to be. Sure, we can use sex clubs like saunas just to make contact with other men for sex, but where is it written that this is the only thing that happens? I despair of this idea, partly because I believe it’s steeped in homophobic prejudice, but also because it’s so limiting. Maybe it?s because for straight people, saunas are often linked to prostitution. But in all my years of going to saunas, no-one has ever asked me to pay for sex. In fact, I’ve found these places to be very (for want of a better word) democratic and it’s thanks to this equality of power among sauna users, that a relationship can be born.
What inspired you to write Find Love In A Gay Bathhouse?
Lots of things. First off, that’s how I met my husband six years ago and I wanted to honour this. I’m very grateful that the venue exists, and I wanted to shout about it and tell people that there are these places where you can go, have a wild old time, plus maybe come away with the beginning of a fulfilling, long-term relationship.
Secondly, I’ve always wanted to write a book and people always say for your first book, write about what you know. Indeed, my experience of sexual encounters in saunas has been that the really great ones were always what I’d call ‘sex-plus’, namely communication, intimacy and an exchange of information that went beyond the sex.
An encounter in a sauna doesn’t have to be just a shag in a darkroom if in fact you want something else. And with a bit of guidance and thought, this can happen.
Your book is an eight-step guide to meeting Mr Right in a bathhouse; tell us how did you come up with these steps?
I knew from the start that I’d have around eight chapters, which is quite a manageable number, and I also knew there were going to be for sure steps about how saunas work (at the beginning) and one about making a relationship last (the last step).
Also, I definitely wanted to discuss having a positive mental attitude (Step 2) as well as STIs (Step 4). I then ‘built’ a method for making high quality contacts around these, making sure everything I had to say about saunas, sexual encounters and making relationships happen were included.
Throughout the writing process, I always had it in my mind how it was for me, hoping that readers could identify with my experience.
And what can guys do once they find Mister Right in the gay bathhouse?
I really believe that meeting your Mr Right is much more of a journey than a destination. It’s only after there’s been a big exchange of information and trust has been built, that both men might realise that the other could be his Mr Right – and this is very unlikely to happen with someone you’ve just met.
What’s much more likely is that there’ll be quite clear clues that this encounter can be moved on to something more. Like, rather than say to yourself ‘Wow! that was the most amazing sex I had’, you’re thinking ‘Wow! what an amazing guy’. Plus, you’ll both want to see each other again.
If these two things happen, swap numbers immediately and call each other real quick to meet again. Don’t let things fizzle out or get all coy and shy.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I did a quick calculation of how many sexual contacts I’d had in saunas between 1983 and 2005 when I met my husband: 1,140 (approximately). So I laugh when I hear women being described as ‘loose’. Compared to a sexually active single gay men, they are nuns.
I’ve also realised that because men produce countless of millions of sperm a day, we are by nature prone to the machine gun approach of ensuring their genetic survival. And it doesn’t matter if they’re gay and are never going to have kids; those basic building blocks of what it is to be human are present in all sexualities. That’s why gay men tend to have more sex than straight people: it’s not the gay-ness that is fueling their sexual appetite, but man-on-man aspect of things.
Was there anything you found particularly challenging writing ?Find love in a gay Bathhouse??
Being ruthless about cutting superfluous content, like in my first draft, when I went on (and on) about great sexual encounters I’d had in saunas over the years. It was really fun remembering them, but the friend, who gave it the first thorough edit, advised me to drop all that stuff. ‘It’s a self-help book, not some porn review,’ he said and he was right. Also, I’ve found in writing that the more attached I am to something I’ve written, the greater the chance that it should go straight into the rubbish bin.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you buy my book, please don’t skip the chapter on sexually transmitted infections. Having sex with lots of people who themselves are also having sex with various people in a sex club such as a gay sauna is THE perfect environment for picking up an STI. But it doesn’t have to be that way – and even if you do, which is fairly likely if you use saunas a lot, at least it won’t be something really serious and potentially life-threatening like HIV or Hep C.
Also, if you are having sex with various people, get into the habit of having three-monthly sexual health check-ups, especially if on occasion you haven’t used condoms. Get informed, not infected. And don’t forget to moisturise.
FIND LOVE IN A GAY BATHHOUSE gives tips and advice on:
? finding a beautiful relationship somewhere dripping in hot men
? confidence, self-esteem and making instant attraction happen
? feeling good about your body and the pros & cons of Viagra
? staying safe and why sexual health check-ups matter
? the all-important second meet – and with the right man for you
? and much, much more …
Learn that attraction isn’t about having a porn star body and find out how to turn great sex into long-lasting love.
FIND LOVE IN A GAY BATHHOUSE is published by Homohappy Books and is available in print and in various ebook formats at www.findloveinagaybathhouse.com.