Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Public Places

Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Public Places

In jurisdictions where marijuana may legally be used for medicinal and/or recreational purposes, the substance is available as consumables (pills, capsules, drinks, and food, for example) and for smoking. According to some experts, the form in which the substance is taken affects the timing and longevity of its efficacy. People using marijuana, as is the case with any other drug, must be aware of its properties under various circumstances.

Because of the nature of consumable marijuana, the actual ingestion of it in public places is generally less intrusive than its smoke counterpart. But rules as to when and where to consume marijuana still apply. One should not eat or drink medicinal or recreational marijuana in places where food or drink should not be consumed. A gentleman would not, for example, eat a chocolate chip cookie in a church, so he likewise would not eat a marijuana cookie in a place of worship. Nor would he pop open a Red Bull at a grave site. So why would he gulp down a marijuana drink as the deceased is being laid six feet under? Discretion, common decency, and common sense should be exercised.

Because of the effusive nature of smoke and the fact that it is generally not confined to the personal, private space of the smoker, both medical and recreational marijuana should be smoked freely only in open-air areas or sites designated as “smoking areas.” The fact that marijuana is being smoked for medicinal purposes does not give its user carte blanche prerogative to self-medicate anywhere, anyplace, anytime. “No-Smoking” designations should be observed and respected; and whenever discretionary smoking is permissible, the smoker should request the indulgence of anyone in his immediate vicinity. “Excuse me, sir, but would you mind if I smoke?” [There is no obligation to explain or divulge what is being or will be smoked. In jurisdictions where the substance may be legally smoked for recreational and/or medicinal purposes, tobacco cigarettes and marijuana cigarettes/joints are treated equally.]

How A Gentleman Should Sit, Stand, and Walk in Public Places

How to Sit, Stand, and Walk in Public

Women have long been instructed on how to sit, and the iconic image of the “finishing schools” of yesteryear is that of the young lady practicing comportment with a hardcover book balancing atop her head. But rarely are men instructed on the basics of sitting, standing, and walking.

Sitting

When sitting such that the lower body is exposed—on a dais or as a platform guest, during a television interview, when sitting for a photograph, or while waiting in an airport or train station, for example—a gentleman should exhibit modesty and dignity. He should sit upright, with his back against the back of the chair or seat, with both knees together, the right foot brought behind the left foot then placed alongside the back-half of the “outstep” of the left foot, toes of both feet pointing directly forward. When hands are not actively engaged, they should be placed, one atop the other or with fingers interlocked as if in prayer. Never, when the lower body is exposed, should a gentleman sit in public view with his legs wide open or spread apart at the thighs so as to expose his crotch. “Family jewels” are better kept under lock and key. And he certainly should not open and close his legs repeatedly—as if a bellows. In less formal situations, legs may be crossed by placing one knee over the other. And in very casual situations, it is acceptable to cross legs by placing the ankle of one foot atop the knee of the opposite leg. It should be noted, however, than in certain cultures (See chapter, “International Customs”), exposing the sole of one’s shoe or one’s foot is regarded as disrespectful).

Standing

When standing, a gentleman should display an upright posture, his stomach in, his shoulders squared, his weight evenly balanced on both legs. In casual or relaxed settings, a gentleman may assume contrapposto from time to time.

Walking

It is said that a man’s chest should enter a room before his stomach. For more portly gentlemen, however, that rule of thumb may be easier said than done. Regardless, every effort should be made to effortlessly carry oneself in an upright, confident, elegant manner. Shoulders squared and slightly back, chest out, stomach in, a man should walk placing one foot in front of the other, toes pointing directly forward, as if walking upon the four-inch side of a two-by-four plank. (Women, on the other hand, should place their feet as if walking upon a chalked line). While much of a gentleman’s gait is the result of genetics, body type, and culture, the overall objective of gentlemanly carriage should be to exude an understated, innate self-confidence. And to achieve that end, a young man, during his in his early teenage years, when he is perhaps most lacking in coordination on account of growth-spurts, should enroll in a local fashion modeling course that teaches—in a mirror-paneled classroom—proper bearing. Also, when casually walking in front of storefronts and display windows, for example, he should periodically—but discretely—observe his posture and overall carriage, self-correcting any obvious flaws along the way. Eventually, proper carriage will become second-nature and a part of a young man’s overall appearance.

How To Deal With Bullying

How to Deal with Bullying

Bullying—whether it occurs amongst school-age children or in the world at large—is the use of actual or perceived superior strength or influence to intimidate, take advantage of, or force another person to do something he does not want to do. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior—typically repeated—of a physical, verbal, emotional, psychological, and/or anti-social nature.

But the bottom line on bullying is this: When attempts at peaceful intervention and resolution fail to produce the desired results, and the bullying meets the criminal standard of “assault and battery” or some other crime of which the bully may be found guilty, or qualifies as the civil causes of action of “libel” or “slander” or some other tort for which the bully may be held liable, appropriate legal action should be immediately taken. [In some jurisdictions, libel and slander are criminal offenses]. The sooner a bully is made to realize that his actions have real-life, real-world legal and social ramifications and that law enforcement officers—not the president of the P.T.A., the guidance counselor, or the school principal—will come pounding on his door, or that he and/or his family might get slapped with law suits for monetary damages, the bully will be more inclined to cease and desist his bad behavior. Bullying is premeditated, malicious, harmful behavior that is knowingly and willfully engaged in, usually for extended periods of time. And as such, culpability should be meted out accordingly. Bullying oftentimes has grave consequences; many young victims are emotionally scarred for life or even take their own lives because of bullying. Bullying should therefore be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

Bullying has been around from the beginning of time: Cavemen did it; the advanced, sophisticated Egyptians did it; tyrannical monarchs of Europe did it; and Victorian-era boys at England’s prestigious public schools did it. But for the most part, until people became more transient around the 1950s, bullying had its own checks-and-balances system: Almost everyone had or knew someone who could bully the bully if need be. So whenever bullying occurred, it was usually short-lived. [Of course, marginalized segments of society—such as minorities, homosexuals, illegal immigrants, the poor, etc.,—are still systematically bullied. But such mistreatment is usually categorized within a greater social construct, be it “discrimination” or “racism” or “sexism” or “homophobia” or “xenophobia” or “poverty,” for example].

With the proliferation of the automobile and the construction of cross-country and international highway systems, coupled with the ease and affordability of air traffic, very few people today grow into adulthood living in the same town or community where they were born. And rare these days in much of the industrialized world are “hometowns”—in the old sense of the word—where almost everyone is a multi-generational resident and knows everyone else or is related either by blood, marriage, and/or common heritage. In today’s transient world, people, oftentimes in the pursuit of employment or other opportunity, simply move “across country” or to another country and settle into communities where they know no one and no one knows them. For children, despite their adaptability and resilience, such moves can be traumatic, especially in the judgmental, peer-pressure-filled teenage years. Unlike years ago, when families were larger and seemingly everyone had an “older brother” or “big sister,” or a “young uncle,” today, many children have few immediate and extended family members and, as a result, feel less secure and more isolated in their environments. Such conditions are ideal for bullies to home in on the vulnerable. Oftentimes the “new kid on the block” is subjected to verbal and physical beat-downs, sometimes to the point of trauma and tragedy.

Unfortunately, much bullying occurs on school campuses, where children, theoretically, are supposed to feel safe. And part of the reason for widespread bullying on campuses is because of the cultural outlook towards schoolyard politics and violence: The general attitude is that the playground is at once microcosm and training-camp of the real world—the place where children toughen up to the harsh realities of life. In the minds of many, playground violence is a boot camp where “standing up for oneself” is a part of growing up.

The social record is replete with cases where complaints about on-campus bullying goes unaddressed or inadequately addressed. And while there is some legitimacy to the notion that children need to learn how to defend themselves physically, verbally, and emotionally, schools also need to be safe havens for students. Oftentimes, however, school personnel and authorities lack the skill-sets, training, and counseling expertise required for effectively dealing with bullying, oftentimes presuming, incorrectly, that children, if left to their own devices, will “work things out on their own.” But the result oftentimes is that aggressive children feel entitled to abuse their more docile contemporaries on campus—under the protective umbrella of “campus discipline” as opposed to the harsh realities of the penal and civil codes.

When bullying occurs within a campus context, and the bullying involves all minors, the victim should immediately notify his teacher, the counselor, and the other appropriate school officials, including school security and the office of the principal. Immediately thereafter, he should notify his parents or guardians, who should then request an immediate conference involving all the necessary parties. If, after the school has been notified and has undertaken conflict-resolution measures the bullying persists, the victim should contact law enforcement. When the bullying involves adults, law enforcement should be immediately contacted. In the case of non-physical bullying, if the conduct continues after the school has attempted conflict-resolution, civil legal proceedings should be initiated.

Outside the campus context, whenever physical bullying rises to the level of assault and battery or some other crime, criminal law enforcement should be immediately contacted, police reports should be completed and filed, and criminal proceeding should commence. When the non-physical bullying rises to the level of libel and slander or some other civil harm, civil law suits should be filed. Indigent victims should contact local civil liberties organizations so as to be put in contact with organizations and law offices that will provide pro bono legal advice and representation in civil matters.

In essence, then, a gentleman must be aware of his legal rights. Criminal and civil laws exist in every society that specifically address the crimes and harms typically associated with bullying. And bullies should be brought to justice posthaste; a victim’s life may depend on vigilance.

Today, via the internet, both bullies and victims can seek help. Organizations such as www.boystown.org; www.yourlifeyourvoice.org ; www.stopbullying.gov ; and www.parenting.org provide 24/7 service, hotlines, telephone counselors, etc., to help both victims and perpetrators of bullying. This listed organizations have international counterparts to help victims and bullies all over the world.

No gentleman would ever engage in bullying, and if bullied, he should consider the advice presented above. And when a gentleman witnesses bullying, he should guide both the victim and perpetrator to the appropriate outreach institutions that provide assistance and professional counseling. Finally, when a gentleman witnesses or becomes aware of bullying that rises to the level of a criminal act, he should immediately contact law enforcement. Bullying is one of the most pervasive, yet unaddressed, wrongs of modern society. And a gentleman should do everything within his power to eradicate it.

The Etiquette of Fraternity Parties

Fraternity Parties

Tramping down “Frat Row” dressed in nothing but bed sheets, chanting “Toga! Toga! Toga!” to announce a party that would, by night’s end, morph into an orgy; “papering” winter-bare trees with rolls of toilet paper tossed from upper-level windows, creating a mess macabre, as if from some monster-spider gone berserk; running through the university library “butt-naked” during prime-time study-time in a phenomenon called “streaking”; and, anywhere, out of nowhere, pulling down one’s trousers—underwear and all—bending over, spreading one’s buttocks, and “winking” one’s anus for extra emphasis in what was called “mooning,” were just some of the antics American frat boys were known for in the 1970s and ’80s. So to some degree, the now-classic 1978 John Landis comedy film Animal House was more a reflection of a sub-culture gone rogue than its catalyst. By the film’s release, long gone had been the stiff-upper-lipped fraternities that thrived until the 1950s and early ’60s. Already relegated to behavioral relics had been the manners established by the earliest Greek-lettered social fraternities, those gentlemanly brotherhoods that started becoming a national phenomenon in the 1870s, in the wake of the American Civil War. And fossilized were many of the secret university literary and debate societies born in the 1770s—some bearing Greek letters—(the extant Phi Beta Kappa, established in 1776 at the College of William & Mary, being the first) that were the forefathers of the first social American college fraternity, Kappa Alpha (Society), in 1825 at Union College in Schenectady, New York. By the time Animal House was released, fraternities had already been characterized as “fun first, study later.” Their Greek letters, selected by their founding fathers to embody lofty ideals, were already being translated into English sobriquets: The ΣAE of Sigma Alpha Epsilon had come to stand for “Sleep And Eat.” Even sororities were feeling the reputation-brunt of the era: ΔZ (Delta Zeta) was pejoratively dubbed “E-Z, Sleazy, D-Z.”

Until the 1970s, drunk-driving, sexual harassment, racism, and gay-bashing, for example, were barely considered addressable issues; they were more regarded as unfortunate facts of life. It was not uncommon for a young man to boast the morning after about getting “totally wasted” or “insanely plastered,” getting into his car, and driving home, having “no recollection” of how he made it into his bed; or for male students to grope co-eds without ever thinking it inappropriate; or for people to wear “black face” for Halloween parties or make “off-color” remarks without any social repercussions; or for gay people to be casually referred to as “faggots” or “fairies.” In the 1970s, terms like “intolerance,” “multi-culturalism,” “transgender,” and “marriage equality” were more than a generation away from becoming a part of the vernacular. The “N-word” was still said phonetically and, oftentimes, emphatically. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) would not be founded until 1980. And “sexual harassment” did not receive a recognizable face until 1991 when Anita Hill objected to the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court, alleging inappropriate statements of a sexual nature during their years of working together. America was different back then; it was tolerant of intolerance.

But today, the world is more “socially correct; it is more conscious of social wrongs. Whether in the context of hazing or partying or initiation rites, “No” means no, wrong is wrong, harmful is harmful, and a violation of the law is a violation of the law. Wrongdoing committed on a college campus or in a fraternity house by “boys just being boys” does not shield a perpetrator from the law of the land. Destruction of private property, underage or unconsented sex, physical violence, the inflicting of bodily harm, drug-use and abuse, etc., have no place in the college experience. Therefore, not only should a gentleman not engage in such conduct, he should also actively discourage his peers from doing so. And the fact that “everyone else was doing it,” or that “someone else initiated it” does not exculpate or mitigate involvement. When a gentleman witnesses wrongdoing, he should do his best to abort the wrongdoing, physically remove himself from the scene of the wrongdoing, then notify the appropriate authorities.

But not all fraternity parties are raucous events; many are conducted with utmost dignity, decorum, and tradition. A fraternity house is not only a dwelling place; it is also a hereditary edifice, filled with history, and represents the noble ideals of the organization the initials of which it bears. All guests invited at a fraternity house are to be treated and should conduct themselves as guests of a home of high esteem.

Spring Break–A History Lesson and an Etiquette Class

Spring Break

Ironically, “spring break,” as it is known today, that week of devilment, debauchery, and desperately deleted Facebook posts that occurs sometime between the first week of March and Easter Sunday, did not originate as a week of fun in the sun. Instead, it has as its origins winter athletic training. Of course, from ancient times, man has celebrated the coming of spring. (Even plants and other animals do that!) And those early celebrations have not always been peaceful and laid back—as evidenced by the Roman springtime celebration in honor of their god of wine, Bacchus, which resulted in the word “bacchanalia” becoming synonymous with orgies and drunken revelry, and Medieval Christian pre-Lenten celebrations of carnival, which are perhaps epitomized by “The Greatest Show on Earth,” the annual February/March carnival celebrations of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the winter break of 1935/36, Sam Ingram, swimming coach at Colgate University, took his team down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in order to train at the Casino Pool, the first Olympic-size pool in Florida. When the team showed up on campus after the Christmas holidays, bronzed and buffed, word spread. Two years later, in 1938, the city, recognizing the commercial potential in swimming teams from around the country converging on Fort Lauderdale for winter training, hosted the first College Coaches’ Swim Forum at the Casino Pool. And it is that event that is credited with being the benign beginnings of the modern-day bacchanalia called spring break.

But spring break did not become depraved overnight; it took decades to decline into decadence. In 1958, twenty years after the city’s first Swim Forum, an English professor at Michigan State named Glendon Swarthout overheard some of his students talking about going to Fort Lauderdale for spring break. He accompanied them, that trip inspiring his 1960 book, Where the Boys Are, the first comic novel about the annual invasion by American college students of the beaches of southern Florida in the annual phenomenon called “spring break.” [TIME first reported on spring break in April of 1959 in an article titled, “Beer & the Beach”]. Swarthout’s book served as the basis for the 1960 coming-of-age film of the same title, starring the eternally tanned George Hamilton, about Midwestern college co-eds spending spring break in Fort Lauderdale. The high-grossing, low-budget film and accompanying hit song, also of the same title, performed by Connie Francis (1960), set the stage for college students from all over America flocking to the warmth of Florida each spring in search of sun, fun, and perhaps even true love…. Within a year of the film’s release, 50,000 college students were converging on Fort Lauderdale to participate in what was to become the American college students’ rite of passage.

By the mid-1970s, the Sexual Revolution in full swing, the formula for the moral nose-dive of spring break had been calibrated. In 1974 Glen Tortorich, a public relations specialist from Louisiana, introduced a version of the Brazilian “tongas” bikini constructed of cotton, crochet, and denim. Immediately thereafter, tanned, barely covered butt-cheeks became the uniform of spring break. Then one year later, according to writer Joshua David Stein in his March 10, 2014 New York Magazine article, “A History of Spring Break,” John McGuire, an owner of Pierre’s Restaurant and Bar in Metairie, Louisiana, announced what is believed to be the first wet T-shirt contest, a fashion statement that would gain iconic status two years later in 1977 because of Jacqueline Bisset in the film The Deep. And with the Atlantic Ocean providing all the water anyone could need, wet T-shirt contests found their way and became almost obligatory at spring break venues in Florida.

By the mid-late 1980s, the event that had its humble beginnings as winter training for competitive swimmers had gotten decidedly racier and raunchier. And close to 400,000 students were insisting that their parents regard spring break in Florida as a legitimate college expense. Spring break had graduated into a college institution. Just as devout Catholics needed an annual “let-your-hair-down” respite, called carnival, from the rigors of Catholicism, so did college students from the burdens of academia. Spring break, therefore, was not a time to rest up, catch up on backed-up reading, and chill out…. Instead, it was a time to do all the things no decent, respectable adult would dare do. So everything from “balcony-diving,” a practice where students would access each other’s hotel rooms and floors by dangerously climbing—oftentimes while drunk—from balcony to balcony; to flat-out jumping off hotel balconies and rooftops into swimming pools, sometimes successfully, sometimes not; to drunken revelry, orgies, drug fests, flashing, and trashing hotel rooms, became part of the spring break tradition. And Fort Lauderdale was dubbed “Fort Liquordale.”

Just as the 1960 film Where the Boys Are had helped establish Fort Lauderdale as a spring break destination, a generation later, the 1985 film Spring Break, starring Tom Cruise, helped to solidify the annual tradition’s place in Americana. Then in 1986, that year from Daytona Beach, MTV inaugurated what would become its annual spring break broadcast (from varying locations), exposing for all the world to see, girls stripping off their swimsuit tops to bare their “milkyways,” boys “mooning” the sun, and thousands of heavenly beach-bodies entangled in hellish revelry.

By the end of the 1980s, however, the town of Fort Lauderdale had seen its share of spring breaks. So much so that the town enacted stricter laws, such as raising the drinking age and making the carrying of open containers of liquor illegal, and its then-mayor Robert Dressler went as far as to make an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America to inform students that they had become personae non gratae. [But the hard-line stance came at a cost. By 2006, Fort Lauderdale, that in the 1980s hosted upwards of 350,000 spring breakers annually, was registering numbers of around 10,000. And in 2008, the city led the nation with a 73.7% increase in vacant retail space].

But just as the saying goes, “Don’t stop the carnival,” the same rings true for spring break. And the waves of students moved to more welcoming shores—first 240 miles north to Daytona Beach, until that city’s 1989 crackdown, then further up to Panama City Beach as well as to Texas’ South Padre Island. Cancún, Mexico, and Negril, Jamaica also benefited from the Fort Lauderdale exodus. [In 1988, after a hurricane devastated Cancún, the city was rebuilt specifically to serve as a spring break mecca. And based on 2014 arrival numbers, Panama City Beach, PCB as it is called, ranked number one in terms of annual visitors, registering 500,000 students]. Spring break’s reputation as “lewd and lascivious” endured into the 1990s, as evidenced by the 1997 and beyond VHS Girls Gone Wild series by Joe Francis depicting college women exposing their breasts on camera.

According to a March 30, 2009 TIME article by Loren Bohn titled “A Brief History of Spring Break,” the American Medical Association has been issuing warnings to spring breakers on binge-drinking and high-risk sexual behavior. And universities make available to students “safe break bags” containing such items as condoms, sunscreen, and sexual assault pamphlets. Efforts to “evolve” spring break are also underway. Alternative spring break programs that focus on community service rather than salacious activities are becoming increasingly popular. Atlanta, Georgia-based Break Away, founded in 1991 by Vanderbilt University alumni Michael Magevney and Laura Mann, trains college students to, while away on spring break, engage in social causes such as tutoring migrant farmers in Florida or registering voters in Mississippi. According to the organization’s data, 2009 saw student participating levels at around 68,000.

But traditions, by definition, are enduring. And spring break characterized by excesses continues to be more the norm than the exception. But even at spring break, a gentleman must behave like a gentleman. And as such, there is one, basic, catch-all don’t: Thou shalt not jeopardize a bright future for one week of hedonism. Drunkenness, date-rape, drugs, sexual misconduct, indecent exposure, nudity, racist and other intolerant conduct, etc., cannot be condoned and will not be excused in the name of “boys being boys on spring break.” Social media killed off “the good, old-boy network” years ago! So today, that which is done in public (and oftentimes, private) becomes global knowledge in a matter of seconds. Besides, a gentleman should always be a gentleman—regardless of whether he is being observed or recorded! Buy today, with practically every bad act being recorded, one minute of inappropriateness could haunt a young man for his lifetime. By all means, a young man should enjoy spring break. But he should, before arriving, compile a list, preferably in writing, of what vices he will not indulge. And, of course, he must be committed to acting, always, within the boundaries of the law. By establishing parameters in advance, then remaining committed to them (and having trusted friends remind him of them in the face of transgression if necessary), a young man is likely to enjoy his much-deserved vacation and return to his campus with his reputation intact and, probably, enhanced.

Holy Moly! The Etiquette of Gloryholes

Gloryholes are the ultimate expression of near-anonymous, faceless sex. In the stereotypically physical beauty-obsessed world of gay eroticism, gloryholes are bastions of non-judgmental, appearance-irrelevant intercourse; they allow for a man to negate or mask his perceived physical inadequacies, or to separate his sexual persona from his social one. For some men, it is the sheer randomness of the gloryhole that makes for its appeal; while for other men, it is the juxtaposing of distance and intimacy that they find especially alluring.

A gloryhole is a makeshift or purposefully constructed hole in a wall or partition–usually between public toilet stalls, the booths of adult video arcades, or in designated areas within gay men’s bathhouses, for example–that enables people on both sides of the wall or partition to engage in sex with each other or observe each other as one or both engage in masturbation. The holes, typically with a diameter of three to six inches, are strategically positioned such that a man of average height, while standing, can insert his penis through the hole, or a person sitting on the toilet in one stall can “sit back, relax, and enjoy the show” as he observes the goings-on in the adjacent stall. Besides the penis, the tongue, fingers, or, perhaps, the hand, may be inserted into the hole. But gloryholes are primarily associated with oral or anal sex, the former requiring the fellator to kneel in his stall in order to perform fellatio, and the latter requiring the receiver to align his anus with the gloryhole and place his buttocks flush against the partition.

Public sex—of any kind—is illegal in most jurisdictions around the world. A gentleman would therefore be wise to refrain from using gloryholes in public facilities. In “private men’s clubs,” however, there are usually legal protections. But even in such establishments, health concerns persist. Gloryholes were at their apex during the Sexual Revolution of the 1970s. But with the coming of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, they experienced a rapid decline. (In the ’80s and ’90s, people were cautious about having sex with people whom they knew and could see, let alone with people whom they did not know and could not see!) But gloryholes—to the dismay of many people—are making a comeback in the 21st century, and the modern gentleman who intends to use a gloryhole must be mindful of the health risks as well as of the etiquette associated therewith.

Whenever there is a possibility for body fluids to be exchanged, condoms should be used. No true gentleman would offer his unprotected penis through a gloryhole. And when a gentleman is presented with an unprotected penis, he should, without saying a word, gently tap the presented penis with his fingers, immediately thereafter offering an appropriately sized, individually wrapped condom to his counterpart through the gloryhole. (Yes, a gloryhole enthusiast should always equip himself with condoms of various sizes–just in case). If the condom is refused, the gentleman should decline the offer for sex (oral sex included), moving on to another gloryhole in the hopes of finding a health-conscious partner, or, if none can be found, walking away in all his glory to perhaps return on another occasion to find a suitable partner.  Some men regard condoms with fellatio to be counterintuitive–like sucking a latex dildo. But considering the high-risk, Russian roulette nature of unprotected gloryhole sex, a fruit-flavored condom might not be that unappetizing after all.  Also, fellators should be mindful that the penis is a delicate instrument that must be played-with gently. 

A gentleman interested in being penetrated at a gloryhole is expected to provide his preferred lubricant. And as with all acts of intimacy—even at anonymous gloryholes—hygiene before and after engagement is highly recommended.

Rarely are gloryhole areas kept clean. But they should be! Conscientious establishments provide industrial-grade paper towels and sanitizing spray-cleaners so that gloryhole users can wipe clean the partitions, the perimeters of the holes, and the floor areas—before and after use.

The Etiquette of Traditional Men’s Saunas; Gay Saunas with Rentboys; Gay Bathhouses; Fetish Parties; and Strip Clubs

Men’s Saunas

Some men—heterosexual men—enjoy male-only socializing on a regular basis. And like clockwork, on their way home from the office, they stop off at a men’s sauna. There is where they get to congregate with their own kind. There, they can untie their ties; slip off their slip-ons; relax, dressed in nothing but a bath towel; and talk politics, sports, play cards, drink beer, and discuss the affairs of the day, men’s-style.

Admission to most men’s saunas requires membership, but memberships are easy to secure and are usually renewable on a monthly or annual basis. But for out-of-town patrons, day-memberships are offered. Unlike exclusive men’s clubs, saunas typically welcome all—for a reasonable fee. With a valid passport or some other form of government-issued identification, any man of legal age can purchase the desired membership and enjoy the facilities.

Typically, upon arrival, a gentleman provides his name and is then assigned a locker and given its corresponding key. In his locker, he should secure his clothing and his valuables. The client is presented with the key (typically attached to an elastic wristband) and is advised to safeguard it on his person throughout the duration of his visit. (Some saunas also have a security-box system whereby patrons are each assigned an extra locker, typically accessible only by the check-in clerk or some other designated sauna staff member, into which valuables such as wallets, jewelry, and cash are placed). Each client is also provided a couple of towels, soap, and a pair of rubber slippers for use while showering or walking about the facility. Some men prefer to carry their own rubber slippers. Personal shower slippers should be scrubbed and washed clean prior to use at the sauna. Walking about a sauna wearing slippers with street-soiled soles is definitely a faux pas.

Generally, once checked in and assigned a locker, a gentleman proceeds to the shower room. Some saunas are equipped with individual shower stalls; but many have community shower areas with multiple showerheads. Nudity and semi-nudity are commonplace in the locker and shower areas. Even in the community shower areas, most men shower in the nude, wearing only rubber slippers. Some men opt to shower in brief-cut swimwear, sometimes wearing their swimwear or underwear under their bath towels for the duration of their stay at the sauna.

The “dress code” at a sauna is a towel wrapped at the waist, covering the loins. Dressed as such, men sit and have drinks, play cards, look at television, etc. (Because the overall facility is generally air-conditioned, some men prefer to cover their torsos with a T-shirt. But a man who prefers to be clothed is free to do so).

Standard amenities at a men’s sauna include a dry sauna, the steam room, a jacuzzi, a fully equipped gym, an on-staff professional masseur, a heated pool, a small theater (where “men’s movies” are typically available on at least one channel), and a bar/social lounge. Today, some saunas have open-air decks for smoking customers. Food and drink, as well as other services, are available on account: A gentleman presents his key; the attendant creates a tab based on the key number and provides the requested goods or services; and the gentleman pays his bill at check-out.

There is a certain congenial atmosphere in a men’s sauna. Strangers meeting at the bar offer each other drinks—the way men do at a local drinking hole where “everybody knows your name.” And men typically initiate conversation with ease. Somehow being clad in nothing but a towel engenders a certain familiarity and openness. Many friendships and business relationships are forged at the sauna.

And to facilitate payment, credit cards are generally accepted. While there is no need to tip bartenders and waiters, masseurs and locker room assistants (who keep a watchful eye over the lockers and dispense fresh towels, etc.,) should be tipped in cash. It is advisable, therefore, that a gentleman keep a suitable amount of cash in his clothing locker so that he can easily access the cash (without having to return ot the check-in desk to request access to his security box) in order to tip his attendants.

Gay Saunas/Bathhouses (with and without “Rentboys”)

The A.I.D.S. epidemic, which began wreaking havoc on humanity in the early 1980s, prompted the closing of gay bathhouses all over the world, especially in the United States. Some, however, survived, even if underground or under disguise (as “private men’s clubs”), and others have since emerged or re-emerged on account of tempered hysteria and heightened public health consciousness due in part to advancements in A.I.D.S. awareness and advocacy, research, prevention, and treatment. But through it all, from the glory—and gloryhole—days of the 1970s, to the dark decades of the 1980s and ’90s, to the emboldened gay culture of present-day—there has always been bathhouse etiquette, even if unspoken and unwritten.

The difference between a putatively heterosexual men’s sauna (See above) and a gay bathhouse/sauna is that men attend the latter primarily to engage in casual, non-committal, spontaneous, anonymous sex with other men. And the etiquette has evolved accordingly.

Gay Saunas with “Rentboys”

In countries where prostitution is legal, some gay saunas encourage the membership of male sex workers, their attendance providing an “added attraction” for the venue. (Some establishments offer special discounts, membership incentive packages, and special amenities to their rentboys). The quantity, variety, and quality of the rentboys can make the difference between the success or failure of a gay sauna.

Saunas with rentboys typically offer all the services and amenities of regular men’s saunas (See above) but have, as an additional feature, individual “suites” containing a bed, a private bathroom, and usually a wall-mounted viewing device that offers gay, bi-sexual, or heterosexual adult films and videos. Some establishments also offer standard cabins, equipped only with a bed. For a fee, simple cabins and suites may be reserved for 30-minute periods, with overtime billed in 30-minute increments. Depending on the establishment, condoms and single-use packets of lubricant are available for a fee or on a complimentary basis. The suites and cabins are serviced after each reservation.

Generally at establishments with rentboys, the rentboys are officially distinguishable from regular clients by their lounging towels. But towels aside, a rentboy is usually obvious: in the prime of his physical beauty (between the ages of 20 and 30) and very engaging.

One of the pluses of an establishment with rentboys—at least from the point of view of the clients—is that the environment is a “renter’s market”: The sex workers actively compete for clients. It is not uncommon, for example, for a rentboy to feign adjusting his towel in order to “flash” his attributes; boldly and completely remove his towel and walk about the sauna in-the-buff; or sit or stand, even if self-invited, next to a patron, oftentimes making suggestive physical contact, in order to entice a “trick” (called a “programma” in Brazil).

Rentboys are typically skilled in the art of tacit communication: an eye caught across the room, a smile flashed in passing, the nod of a head, speaks volumes…. But even with their oftentimes disingenuous “I love you”s, “You’re so beautiful”s, or the more brazen “Do you want sex?”s, a rentboy is exactly that: a man for rent. He is a sex worker and should be treated as such. His aim is to get paid, not to fall in love or to forge a friendship. And despite their wile and charms and sweet enticements, their goal is to exchange sex for money. Interactions with rentboys, therefore, should be handled, first and foremost, as business arrangements, not as romantic exchanges, friendly relations, or casual encounters. When it comes to sex for money, there should be little or no room for “misunderstanding.” Parameters must be established beforehand. What is requested, desired, and expected must be specified. And the fee must be agreed upon—in advance of any engagement of services. When there are language barriers, the sauna staff should be consulted or engaged. On staff will almost always be a person fluent or at least conversant in English. And when all else fails, sign language, a display of the agreed-upon fee, etc., should be employed so as to minimize any occasion for misunderstanding. Some rentboys present themselves in pairs so as to form “threesomes.” Only a sauna-savvy, rentboy-experienced client, well-versed in the language of the rentboys, should ever engage two or more rentboys simultaneously. And, of course, the same businesslike approach as recommended above should be employed. There should, for example, be no ambiguity as to how much each rentboy will be paid and what duties each rentboy is being paid to perform.

It is best for a client to clearly express his sexual desires prior to engaging a room or a suite for an encounter with a rentboy. Whether a rentboy is “active,” “passive,” or “versatile,” for example, should be clearly established, even if such “labels” tend to expand or become less defined once in private. In some cultures, a rentboy may profess to be “only active” when booking a client within earshot of his co-workers, then express more a more flexible posture once in the privacy of a suite. What is important, however, is that expansions are permissible, while retractions are not. A rentboy, for example, should not profess to be “only-active,” or “top-only,” then convert into “primarily passive” or “passive-only” once in the privacy of the suite. A client who engages a particular service should obtain at least the contracted-for service. It is also acceptable for a client to request to “see the goods” or the see that the goods are “in working order” prior to engaging the services of a rentboy. And a client should take note of “very busy” rentboys, for even a young man in his physical prime might experience “performance issues” during the course of a long, active day at the sauna….

A gentleman should research the “going-rate” for rentboys in the jurisdiction or at the particular sauna prior to his visit. Typically, a rentboy, especially the exceptionally beautiful ones, will request the top going-rate (or may even request twice as much if he feels the client is naïve or uninformed). It is the responsibility of the client, however, to decide what price he is willing to pay for the particular rentboy, given the overall going-rates and the particular attributes of the rentboy, then hold fast to the offer. Rentboys, even the exceptional ones, are usually willing to accept 25% less than the top going-rate. And on “slow nights,” they might even be willing to offer a 50% discount. Even sex workers have to occasionally put their merchandize on sale!

Reputation” is paramount amongst male sex workers. And it is not uncommon for patrons to exchange on-site reviews of particular rentboys. However, the general rule should be: “If you can’t say something good, say nothing at all.” After all, no gentleman speaks—especially disparagingly—of of his bedfellows….

Unlike food, drink, cigarettes, and professional massages, for example, charges for which are kept on a running tab and paid with cash or credit card prior to departing the facility, rentboys are paid directly, in-hand, in cash—after services have been rendered. A client, therefore, should carry enough cash to pay for his estimated sexual encounters. Generally, the client keeps his cash in his clothing locker and retrieves it to pay the rentboy. (Most rentboys will eagerly accompany—or even lead—the client to his locker in order to be paid). Never, ever, should a rentboy be paid in advance. Money, not orgasm, is a sex worker’s climax. So advance payment will almost always make for an anti-climactic encounter, from start to finish.

A tip may be offered for exceptional service. But tips are neither required nor expected. Alternatively, a rentboy may be invited for a drink or a snack either before or after the encounter. A gentleman should tip, in cash, his cabin/suite steward, bathroom custodian, and locker room attendant prior to departing the facility. He should also tip an exceptionally good bartender prior to departing.

During the course of his stay at a sauna with rentboys, a gentleman should take actual or mental notes of his charges. (Because running tabs are kept based on key number, and because several people may become aware of a client’s key number during the course of his use of the facility, there can be, on occasion, attempts to attribute superfluous charges to a gentleman’s tab. On the rare and unfortunate occasion where a gentleman must object to what he has reason to believe is an inaccurate tab, the objection should be discretely raised with the facility’s management staff.

Hygiene on the part of clients and rentboys is paramount. Most saunas provide basic soap, but a gentleman is expected to bring his own skin products and moisturizers. Besides arriving already- cleansed, then utilizing the on-site facilities for additional cleansing, a gentleman should always have breath-fresheners for himself and to offer to his companions.

No sexual act that endangers or puts oneself or others at risk should be engaged. Use of condoms must be regarded as mandatory. And sex workers should be treated with dignity and respect. When engaged with a sex worker, a gentleman should be generous with his compliments. All efforts should be made to make sure that the experience is emotionally uplifting to the sex worker.

Gay Bathhouses (without rentboys)

Because most jurisdictions declared bathhouses illegal on grounds of public health in the 1980s, many gay bathhouses (also called “gay saunas”) are today officially registered as “private men’s clubs,” and, as such, require “membership.” Therefore, in order to enter most bathhouses, a man must become a member, even if just for a one-time usage of the facility. With proper documentation (a valid passport or driver’s license, for example) establishing legal age, and for a relatively modest fee, a membership can be obtained. Gay bathhouses are exceedingly confidential about their clientele, for in order for such establishments to survive, their members must be assured of utmost discretion on the part of the establishment’s management and staff.

Most gay saunas open for business in the late afternoon, around 3:00 p.m., and close around midnight, with the busiest hours, because of a professional clientele, extending from around 5:00 p.m., to around 10:00 p.m. There are some saunas, however, with extended hours. Amigo Sauna (www.amigo-sauna.dk ) in Copenhagen, Denmark, for example, is open from 12:00 noon to 7:00/8:00 a.m., thereby also serving the late-night, after-party clientele. Sometimes dubbed a “ho”-tel, it is not uncommon for a young man visiting Copenhagen, but with no sleeping accommodations, to spend the night at Amigo Sauna, using one of its 28 first-come, first-serve cabins as a makeshift bedroom.

If the ambiance of a traditional men’s sauna engenders camaraderie, and the atmosphere of a gay sauna “staffed” with rentboys suggests a meat market, then the dimly lit environs of a gay bathhouse are like a multi-level men’s boutique, after-hours, filled with come-alive, speechless, sex-craved mannequins—in all shapes and sizes and naked except for bath towels covering their loins—searching for intimate companionship, department by department, dressing room by dressing room. Few words are uttered amongst the patrons of a gay men’s sauna. There, the official language is body language. And it would behoove a gentleman to know its accents.

From the outside, many gay bathhouses have a barely legal, creepy-crawly, on-the-D.L.-ish appearance. To enter one is to at first think, “This is probably not a good idea….” Or, “Hope they have hidden cameras—just in case…. But then again, on second thought, do I really want to be captured on videotape entering a gay bathhouse? What would my boss, or worse yet, my parents, think if the footage ends up on the Six O’clock News?….”) Rarely are gay bathhouses located on prominent streets or housed in high-profile buildings. Signage, if any, is usually minimal. The objective is to go unnoticed—except to its clientele. Today, for the most part, gay bathhouses have websites and advertise via the internet. They also rely on client reviews, word-of-mouth advertising, and people seeking them out. [Some gay travelers make it a point to visit the gay saunas in every city they visit]. Once inside, however, a gay bathhouse looks much like a men’s sauna or men’s sauna with rentboys: There is the check-in desk, behind which are the security boxes for personal valuables; there is the general locker room for shoes, clothing, backpacks, etc; there is the shower room, but almost never with individual stalls, thereby allowing clients to get close-up views of each other and of what is to come; there is the on-staff masseur; and, of course, there are the bar and lounge areas, the gym, the dry sauna, the mini-theater, the steam room, the pool, the jacuzzi, etc. And some establishments have live shows, featuring everything from drag queens to male strippers to live sex shows.

But because of the nature of a gay bathhouse—a place where men go “cruising” for free, anonymous, spontaneous, non-committal sex with other men—it has some unique attributes:

-Whereas at a bathhouse with rentboys the client gets to pick and choose, for a fee, his desired partner, at a regular gay sauna (perhaps with the exception of its “dark room” or fetish room), the atmosphere is more akin to cat-and-mouse or “by invitation only.”

-While all men’s saunas provide towels for their clients, only some provide rubber shower slippers, the primary purpose of which is to prevent the spread of foot fungus. Also, in some cultures, for example in Brazil, it is considered unhygienic (and uncouth!) to walk about barefoot in the public-indoors. It is therefore wisest for a gentleman to carry his own shower slippers. That way, he can be assured of the availability, fit, and cleanliness of his sandals (Most saunas sanitize their sandals, but one never knows….)

-At saunas with rentboys, condoms and lubricant are typically offered for sale. But at a gay bathhouse, prominently placed at the check-in counter will be large, self-service dispensers of complimentary, individually wrapped condoms and single-use packets of lubricant. Sex is the name of the game at a gay sauna, so the establishment, in the interest of public health in general and the health of its clientele in particular, facilitates safer-sex.

-Though there are bars, lounge areas, and rooms for relaxing in the company of other men, very little “socializing”—besides that which occurs when actually engaged in a sex act—takes place at a gay bathhouse. For the most part, men are “on the prowl,” or “lurking in the dark,” looking for other willing participants. As such, except for the rooms that must be well-illuminated, such as the check-in/check-out room, the shower room and restrooms, the locker room and gym, and the bar, the rest of a gay bathhouse is dimly lit or dark (as in the case of the obligatory “dark room”), the purpose of which is to encourage random, anonymous sexual encounters.

-Unlike a sauna with rentboys, where sexual intercourse takes place in reserved rooms and suites that are serviced by sauna staff, in gay bathhouses, there are simple, spartan cubicles that are available on a first-come (Honestly, no pun intended) basis. (Some bathhouses offer clients the option of reserving cubicles for specified periods, ranging from 30 minutes to full-day. Cubicles available for reservation are serviced [Okay…, pun somewhat intended] by bathhouse staff before and after each occupancy). Each cubicle is equipped with a door that can be locked or latched from the inside; a twin-sized, vinyl-upholstered (so that it can be wiped cleaned) cushioned bench that doubles as a bed; a waste basket; wall-mounted dispensers of industrial-grade paper towels and toilet tissue; and a spray-bottle containing some fresh-smelling deodorizing sanitizer. For hygiene purposes, the floors inside the individual cubicles are never carpeted, allowing occupants to wipe them clean (The last thing a gentleman needs is to slip or sit on a previous occupant’s bodily fluids or, worse yet, body solids!) and for bathhouse staff to give each cubicle a full-scale cleaning during closing hours. But as a matter of personal hygiene, public health, and common courtesy to fellow patrons and the staff, a gentleman should wipe clean any cabin he occupies before and after use, remembering to wipe clean doorknobs and latches, for as it is said, “The disease is in the details.” And, of course, used condoms should be concealed in paper towel or toilet tissue prior to being discarded in the trash can.

There is a whole etiquette pertaining to cubicles at gay bathhouses, beginning with their doors: A closed door, obviously, means “Do not disturb”; but a cracked door means “You can peek in to see what’s going on inside, but don’t enter”; a halfway-open door means “Stop and take a look, but eventually move along so that someone else may get a chance to see the show”; a wide-open door means “Voyeurs welcome! [to observe from the threshold.] And the more, the merrier!” (A fully opened door may also be an invitation to “Step inside, become a wallflower, and enjoy the show”). The body position of the cubicle-occupant also speaks volumes. The general rule is that a fully opened door is an invitation to enter. But a gentleman must know what he is getting into before stepping into a cubicle: A man standing naked in his cubicle, facing the doorway, is inviting guests to perform oral sex on him; a man fully reclined or half-reclined on his back with his genitals on display is a “top”(“active”) and is inviting “bottoms” (“passives”); a man lying on his stomach, thereby exposing his buttocks, is a “bottom”; and a man sitting on his bench may be “versatile”—a top and/or bottom, depending on the circumstances and the chemistry between him and his guest.

Generally, when a cubicle-occupant has found a suitable sex partner, he closes the door behind them so as to ensure their privacy. But oftentimes, cubicle occupants are “trying on for size” their various guests, dismissing them or approving of them with only body language. Encounters can be very brief or endure for extended periods, depending on mutual interest. But when it comes to cubicles, “Mi casa es mi casa….” The occupant summarily decides, typically without a word, who stays and who goes—no questions asked, no explanations proffered. Such is the nature of the gay bathhouse. Neither rejections nor approvals are to be taken personally. Men are there to satisfy specific desires, and when they receive or do not receive them, they move on, no strings attached. Contact information is rarely offered or requested. Again, the objective of bathhouse sex is anonymous, non-committal sex. A bathhouse is not the venue for seeking romantic love or long-term lovers—even if a gentleman should always be open to the possibility.

Some cubicle-occupants invite group sex. But even within the context of group sex, there is still room for rejections and approvals, most of which occur with only body language. There is personal preference—even in orgies. And everyone isn’t always invited to the party.

-Some bathhouses allow for sex to occur almost anywhere within the facility. Others prefer that sex occur only in cubicles or in the dark room and/or fetish room. Groping, flashing, masturbation (even if not ejaculation), etc., however, occur throughout most of the facility.

-Generally, men walk about the sauna, their towels serving to both conceal and reveal. Passing each other in narrow, dimly lit hallways, they oftentimes touch each other, intentionally or otherwise. Unwanted touches are gently and politely “brushed off,” while welcomed touches are indulged with a smile, sustained eye contact, or even a response in-kind. A backwards glance to take a second, departing look, may be just that: a departing look. But a backwards glance with a quick, forward-moving head-gesture probably means, “Come hither.” In general, while traversing the passageways and communal rooms of a bathhouse, men will ignore the men who do not interest them and invite, via body language, the men who do. And the signals are generally obvious to anyone with a normal capacity for body language and an understanding of personal space. Stalking a man, or following him against his will, no matter how attractive he may be, is a definite no-no. People’s likes, dislikes, and preferences are not to be taken personally at a bathhouse. Sexual attraction is in the loin of the beholder. Rejection by an irresistibly beautiful man should be respected. Likewise, the unexpected approval by an exceptionally beautiful man should not be met with cheers, high-fives, or applause. Instead, a gentleman should thank his lucky stars, enjoy the encounter, and move on gracefully at its conclusion. It is not uncommon, for example, for two men to have sex in a cubicle one minute, then the next minute pass each other in the hall as if they have never seen each other. Such is the nature of the gay bathhouse….

-The “Dark Room” is a particular feature of gay saunas. (Traditional men’s saunas and gay saunas with rentboys do not typically have dark rooms. And why would they? A “dark room” would theoretically be irrelevant in the case of the former, and self-defeating in the case of the latter). The overall rules of gay-sauna-sex etiquette get lost or are somewhat abandoned in the “dark room.” It is, in effect, a free-for-all, anything-goes space. And anyone who enters it forfeits the normal boundaries of personal space. Besides full-blown sex occurring therein—oftentimes in the form of orgies—there is also indiscriminate touching, groping, masturbating, fellatio, fisting, and everything else in between. But despite the oftentimes frenzied atmosphere and the forgiving lighting (or lack thereof) of the place, rejections still occur and must be honored. “No” means “no,” even in the dark. And a hand abruptly removed from a body part means “Don’t touch me. I’m not interested.” The smell of a typical dark room would be most politely described as “eclectic.” But a gentleman should insist on maintaining personal hygiene standards. And the use of breath-fresheners prior to entering is generally appreciated.

-The Maze is a classic component of the gay sauna sans rentboys: It features a series of narrow, dimly lit hallways, leading in confusingly different directions. Strategically or discretely positioned along those hallways, men display themselves and touch and are touched by passersby. Occasionally, a hall culminates in a room featuring a particular fetish.

-Fetish Rooms are also not typically a feature of traditional men’s saunas and gay saunas with rentboys. But some gay bathhouses accommodate the major sex fetishes and fantasies, even if their devotees are not expected to dress in full garb—on account of the unofficial sauna dress code being that of a bath towel, not of leather or uniforms or rubber wear, for example. [Incidentally, some men prefer to remain fully clothed while visiting a sauna. Generally, a fully clothed man suggests “observer” rather than “active participant,” and he should be treated accordingly].

For the insatiable passive man, especially one with a penchant for bondage and submission, there is the “sling room,” where he is secured, spread-eagle, in a swing-like contraption such that any man or groups of men may have their way with him; for the urophiles (also called “undinists” or “golden shower” or “water sports” enthusiasts), there are large troughs into which they may urinate upon others or be urinated upon by others; and while no leatherman would walk around a sauna dressed in harness or chaps (Somehow, leather and heat seem incongruous), some will don a collar or an armband so as to tacitly identify and announce themselves.

-At the end of his stay at the sauna, a gentleman settles his account with cash or credit card and tips his bartender; masseur; and locker, bathroom, and cabin attendants in cash. There is, of course, no charge for sexual encounters, though there will be a charge for reserving a cabin.

Basic Courtesies when Using Gay Bathhouses (with or without Rentboys)

Certain basic courtesies should be observed when enjoying a gay bathhouse:

-Privacy is paramount in gay saunas. Patrons should therefore never use their mobile or other recording devices to record and/or videotape the environs of the facility when such recording will capture the images of persons who did not consent to being recorded. To do so would be an invasion of privacy. Even live stage performances should not be recorded since rarely do the performers consent to being recorded. And even in cases where there is performer-consent, rarely are the recorded images confined to the stage and those performing thereupon: The privacy of patrons sitting close to the stage is almost always comprised by peripheral recording.

-When in traversing a gay sauna a gentleman encounters individuals whom he knows from other walks of life, only a brief, unspoken acknowledgment—such as a slight bowing of the head or a smile indicating recognition—is required. Unless otherwise encouraged, there is no need to engage in conversation since the nature of a gay bathhouse is one of anonymity. And, of course, a gentleman would maintain the confidentiality of such chance encounters. The general rule is: “What happens in the sauna, stays in the sauna.”

-For some men, gay saunas are havens of sexual acceptance. Despite the silent rejections and frigid aloofness that normally characterize such establishments, there is a pervasive unspoken code of politeness and respect. Gay saunas are imbued with a certain sense of fraternal familiarity, and every gentleman entering a gay sauna is expected to uphold that code.

-Drugs compromise judgment and should therefore be avoided in saunas. Given all the goings-on in the typical sauna, it would behoove a gentleman to have all his wits about him.

-A gentleman should avoid activities that may cause harm to him or another person. A gentleman should refrain from participating in any activity with which he is not comfortable.

-Men use the dry sauna to experience dry heat. Men who want steam heat use the steam room. If while sharing the dry sauna with others a gentleman wishes to increase the moisture level in the room, he should request permission from others present prior to pouring water from the designated pitcher onto the hot rocks.

-Permission should always be requested and granted prior to changing television stations in communal television lounges or changing movies or videos in mini-theaters.

Strip Clubs and Strippers

Some gentlemen frequent strip clubs. For others, it is a once-in-a-lifetime or on-occasion occurrence. And for yet others, their only encounter with strippers occurs at bachelor parties or when surprised (oftentimes to their utter embarrassment) by a “strip-o-gram.” But regardless, there is an etiquette that should be observed when interacting with sex workers, whether at their place of business or elsewhere.

Different jurisdictions have different laws pertaining to burlesque shows. In some jurisdictions, full nudity is allowed, while in others only partial nudity is permissible. In some jurisdictions, dancers may initiate physical contact with patrons, while in other places physical contact between performers and patrons is strictly forbidden. A gentleman must familiarize himself with the laws of the jurisdiction.

Whenever a gentleman occupies front-row or stage-side seating at burlesque shows, he should possess sufficient cash to reward each performer—regardless of the quality of the performance. Applause should be offered upon the first appearance of the performer, at various points during the performance if applause is deserved, and at the end of the performance. The objective should always be to treat a sex worker with dignity and respect.

Fetish Parties

Fetish party organizers establish, publish, and enforce dress codes. Compliance is required. But a gentleman is not expected to leave his home dressed in full regalia. Instead, he would be wise to transport his fetish gear to the event in a satchel, then change into full dress at the venue. Most fetish party venues have lockers that, when not complimentary, are available for a very modest fee—similar to the fee for checking a coat. Some events have designated changing areas; but at less established events, a gentleman may have to doff his street clothes and don his fetish gear in the reception area as other attendees enter and exit.