'I sat down and told my parents, they both said they already knew. My mum found out the number of a local youth group and I have been going every week since'

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It is perfectly natural to be thinking about sex when you are coming out.

Gay Saunas

There are gay saunas in most cities in the UK. Gay men go to saunas to meet other gay men and to relax and have sex. If you are thinking of going to a sauna there are a few things to think about beforehand:

Sauna etiquette
When you arrive you pay at the desk and you will be given a towel and a locker key. Once you have these you can get changed and explore the sauna. There are usually lots of different areas, so take your time and have fun.

Saunas tend to have rules, so ensure you are aware of them. You will be expected to keep your towel on in the public areas. If a guy is interested in you it will be obvious but don’t feel you have to have sex with someone just because they fancy you. If you don’t fancy them, don’t have sex with them. If you have any worries about your safety get a member of staff.

Whether a sauna has condoms and lube depends on which sauna or part of the country you’re in. Rather than relying on the sauna having them, take your own. If there are no dispensers around the sauna, you could keep condoms and lube:

• in your locker
• under the key band that goes round your wrist or ankle
• tucked into the towel around your waist.

Start slowly and heat up and cool down gradually. Build up the time you spend in the hottest parts of the sauna. Avoid going from the hottest part of the sauna to the coolest part or into cold water or outside. You can get dehydrated after a few hours in a sauna so drink plenty of water or fruit juice. Heat puts stress on the body so try not to get overheated. If you stay in the hottest part of the sauna too long, you risk fainting from overheating.

If you have been drinking alcohol before you get to the sauna or if the sauna is licensed to sell alcohol you have to be careful – heat and alcohol don’t mix well. Alcohol dehydrates you and makes you more likely to faint from overheating.

You may be tempted to drink or take drugs to boost your confidence but if you are under the influence you are more likely to make bad decisions and take risks. Pace yourself, take lots of breaks and drink lots of water.

Many guys end up in a sauna still on a high after taking drugs in a club.

One drug, GHB, has been in the news due to people collapsing in clubs and saunas after overdosing. This can leave you unconscious or cause a fit. Because of this some saunas now ban people found with GHB.

Things most likely to lead to passing out (or worse) are:

• Mixing GHB and alcohol
• Taking too big a dose of GHB.

See our Drugfucked website for more information on GHB and other drugs.

This article was last reviewed on: 27/10/11
Date due for next review: 27/10/13

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