Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sex And The Sauna

Dear ‘Pre,

As a straight guy who goes to the gym, you may have been surprised by my revelations of sex in the sauna in my recent episodes here. You wrote and I quote: “And as for the gym sex. Wow. Does this go on, really? How, when there are so many people about? Or have I just been oblivious?? But ang galing din the way the ‘human interest’ aspect is filtered in your stories. Funny/interesting.”

Your email reinforces a long-standing theory my gay friends and I have regarding most straight men: straight guys are clueless as to most gay activities, even when these happen right under your nose. I think Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom placed a “gay-bi-clueless” gene among straight people as a form of protection, and ignorance truly is bliss (that also pertains to us gay folks who get away with it).

But the cluelessness of straights may not be enough to make you feel safe the next time you step inside the sauna. Well, here’s a more powerful mantra for you to chant softly to yourself before going in: Nothing will happen to you if you don’t allow it.

Seriously. Because in most high-end gyms (which is where you go anyway), the membership fee alone is enough to weed out folks—gay and straight alike—who are, uhm, how do we put this in a politically-correct way? jologs in their behavior. (Shit, there is no politically-correct way.) So expect that they won’t act in a very palengkera way. Yes, some of them may act really offensively troll-like (not surprisingly, they tend to be physically unattractive and older—“desperation is a tender trap, it gets you every time,” as Bono sings), but they act offensively troll-like to fellow gay men, not to straight men.

(At this point let me sneak in a caveat: I speak in the most general of terms. An exception or two may find their way inside the gym, into the sauna and manage to startle and irritate you, if you’re cosmically unlucky. But given the odds against it, if indeed that happens then God—or Fate, or the cosmos—willed it so.)

If a gay man spots you inside the sauna and is attracted to you, he’ll send out little clues to show that he’s interested, like little unspoken signals of “Psst! Aren’t you a dish!” thrown your way. The fact that you never noticed any of these clues can mean two things:
[1] No signals were sent at all because: (a) specifically, you are not his type; or (b) generally, you are not physically attractive enough for most gay men (which may or may not be a blow—pardon the pun; what pun?—to your ego, you choose);
[2] There were signals sent your way in the past, but you never picked them up.

“How long are we going to pretend we’re not minding each other when in fact we’re just waiting for the other one to make his move?! I’m getting dizzy with the heat!”

In the case of [1], you don’t need to worry because he’s not interested in you. In the case of [2], if you don’t pick up the signs, nothing will happen. Because he’ll immediately get that you’re not interested, raising the likelihood that you’re straight; so it’ll be useless for him to pursue.

Now that you’re more aware, if one day someone inside the sauna starts showing you signals (staring at you; looking at your crotch area; lifting up his towel by “accident” so as to allow you to take a peek at his family jewels…etc.) that he’s interested in you, you only need to ignore him. Sex is like drugs: just say no.

The worst I can imagine is that you entering the sauna and interrupting two (or more, you’ll be surprised!) guys going at it in some way or form. If that happens, you have several options:
[1] Leave and go to the steam room instead. C’est la vie.
[2] Stay, but show them in no uncertain terms that: (a) you are not going to join in the fun; (b) you do not appreciate being a spectator. You may think, “Heck! I paid for the right to use the gym’s facilities in the way they’re supposed to be used! Go get a room, dudes!” I for one agree that it’s your right to use the sauna and expect the others to behave (well, at least while you’re there). In fact, there was a time when they put up signs at the gym warning members from engaging in inappropriate acts while inside the sauna and steam room.
[3] Step out and report them to the floor staff. You have the right to do that, of course. But it is a bit problematic, especially if you cannot prove to the staff that something inappropriate was happening. May I recommend that you refrain from this drastic action unless necessary.
[4] Because you’re straight, it is unlikely that you will either: (a) stay and sit quietly in one corner with your eyes closed while allowing them to continue; or (b) join in the fun. So I will not bother to elaborate on them.

‘Pre, don’t be surprised that gay men seem to be able to get off even in unlikely places. Given that for the longest time society looked down on us, we developed methods of going around the straight world’s restrictions. Our attitude is similar to a local bank’s tagline: We find ways.

Yours truly,


“Are you one of us?”

P.S. – In the interest of greater understanding between straight and gay men, I am coming up with a series on The Cluelessness of Straight Men in a “Dear ‘Pre” format. Brothers, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Sisters, if you have any suggestions on topics, just let me know. Coming soon, here on The McVie Show.


joaqui_miguel said...

"Our attitude is similar to a local bank’s tagline: We find ways."

lol. This is not the first time I heard this in reference to PLUs. This is both funny and true. :)

Vince said...

Panalo ang entry! :-)

Tristan Tan said...

welcome to our world pare.. if ever you see me in action, feel free to join in... haha

Aris said...

hala! baka matakot na si 'pre na mag-sauna. o baka ma-curious... at sumubok! lol!

clinton said...

I love the last part - We find ways!


Anonymous said...

...everything is a matter of choice... you do things not by chance but by choice...

very well written...

tonie said...

this is so true! at times i get so uneasy maybe because i've done it only twice and never attempted to do it again without any helping hands! whew!