Public bathhouses have existed since the sixth century, and have been formative locations in forging queer identities for nearly as long. Writers Truman Capote and Gore Vidal were among its more notable patrons. Spa cruising culture has waned since the height of the AIDS epidemic when mayor Ed Koch raided and condemned many public health spaces, Everard included. But our fair city's Missed Connections page contains more than enough dispatches — from both the year-old Russian Turkish Baths on East 10th Street and just about every Equinox — to prove that spa steam rooms are still rather steamy. On the other side of the country in Los Angeles, spa culture is similarly active. Yet many of its bathhouses are neither Russian nor Turkish, but Korean — frequented mostly by families and located in Koreatown, the city's most densely populated ethnic enclave.
in 'spa night', traditional korean values meet gay cruising culture
Seoul Spa in Security Square Baltimore - RUNINdc
The uniform rules in the wet spa is very simple and totally non-negotiable. Nothing should be worn. Thankfully, I went earlier in the day, when it was not busy. After getting in the buff, I quickly showered than took a dip in the first bath which was a hot jacuzzi that had a large tea-bag running hanging from the faucet. After minutes, I headed straight for the hot sauna which was set at F. Dry saunas are made of wood which absorbs excess humidity from the air — keeping everything dry. The dry heat felt relaxing and luckily I remembered to bring my Spa-issued kitchen-sized hand towel to sit on.
Seoul Spa in Security Square Baltimore
Filmmaker Andrew Ahn says he totally understands why so many movies are made about straight white people. His life would have been a lot easier if he had taken that route. Ahn is the director of Spa Night , a new movie about a Korean American fresh out of high school who begins to experiment with his sexuality at a Korean spa in Los Angeles. And while he managed to produce a surprisingly intimate look at diversity within the Korean community, Ahn's experience making the film shows the sheer difficulty of bringing new stories to the screen.
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