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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Remembering a Timid Guy from the Sauna Last Year

The memory I'm about to recount continues after my faux pas at the gay sauna last year. What I saw and experienced in such specific bathhouses opened my eyes to another world of human behaviour I never thought existed. For the first time in my virgin life, I was exposed to the act of cruising for what it is in a practical field. Where men with the knowledge that animal instinct is the modus operandi here, prowl and circulate the bath in search of other hot guys. 

While I was there, I remember noticing another timid guy in glasses hovering around the other hot guys. Me and him were always alone and wandering, a clear sign that we weren't really getting anybody. I knew my sympathy went out to him, but deep down, I was also heavily affected about myself. 

At that point, I remember trying to come to terms with what it means to be naked in an environment where the kind of person you are, what you arewho you arewhat you do in life, what your status of wealth says, doesn't matter at all to the very last bit within those walls. It also made me wonder how attractive does a guy have to be in order not to feel left out when one visits such a place.

So after my friendly talk in the steam room chased everyone away, the timid guy in glasses turned to me and acknowledged that we were from the same country. 
"Damn. Just my luck! What are the odds of wanting to be in a foreign environment where you could explore this taboo side of life without having to worry if a fellow citizen from the same country would be here", I ranted from the back of my head.

But as I recalled how he too was having such a lonely time in the sauna, I threw all preconceived notions out the window in the spirit of wanting to be a kind acquaintance. We spoke in English for a bit and afterwards, switched to a local language in which he was better at conversing in. It was obvious that he was happy that there was somebody he could talk to. Then it begin to dawn on me how rude it was to talk in the sauna, but I didn't know how to tell him to stop so I let things be.

From the conversation, I learnt that he has been working illegally in a restaurant up north for about 3 years without any papers. His father owns a small grocery shop in a small mining town back home, and his mother was somewhere in North America working in manual labour. He came to this country in search of a better chance at earning foreign currency.

When asked what his future plans are, he said he plans to earn more money, save up and probably go home to his father. His parents don't know nothing about his current life or situation. Upon hearing his story, my heart went out to him even more. I guess maybe it's because I truly understand from the core of my heart what having to be in his position really means. I am aware, and I know. As I looked at him, I remember thinking what a tough phase of life he's going through on top of having to be gay from where we come from.

However in terms of gratitude, it made me realise that I came from a place where I had better access to lots of different things such as getting a tertiary education, living abroad and being exposed to the world and its people like I never thought of before. But most importantly, it made me realise that despite the depressing condition that I'm in, I have a family that I can go home to. A family that would hear-me-out if I told them the truth because they love me. 

He told me that he was here in this city because he didn't know any gay saunas from where he lived, and that he hoped to find someone special in here. I silently felt even worse for him because he was practically invisible at the sauna. It was obvious that the men surrounding us were all good-looking, hot, successful in their careers, well to do, confident and extremely far from our league.

As he continued to make conversation, I realised that time was ticking and that I came in here to have fun. Even though I don't seem to be piquing anybody's interest, I still owed it to myself to at least try and get some action. I excused myself from him politely and moved away. Somewhere in between my trying to engage other guys for some fun, he lingered around and followed me wherever I went. It came to a point where he was very clingy but I didn't have the heart to tell him I wasn't looking for anything more than just conversation.

I ended up in the Jacuzzi after some action between numbered guys. He spotted me and requested to feel me up for some fun. I just couldn't indulge him because I wasn't feeling any attraction and it would have felt somewhat weird. I steadily declined in a friendly manner and suggested that we remain as acquaintances. "Well whaddya know M, you're just like any other guy in here who rejects people", the inner voice scolds.

After nearly about 4 hours in the sauna, he finally mentioned he was leaving. He requested that I went out with him to the lockers so that he can give me his email. I accepted the piece of paper even though I had no intention of keeping in touch. I was at a point in life where I was just so negative with my gay self that experimenting was all I had in mine. I was also trying to work on my sense of homophobia. But whatever it is, I will always remember him because he made me realise a lot of things. I hope he's doing well and I hope he found someone good because I think he deserves one.

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