Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ana Sultan al-Sheikh

Last night, Some friends and I visited the newest gay hammam in Beirut, al-Sheikh, the one which has recently been airing radio commercials. (Acid has also been airing commercials which feature its ladies' night. Yeah, right...like that's how Acid makes its money.)

As soon as I entered, I was overcome by the smell. It was like a mix of urinal cakes and spearmint chewing gum, and was more than a little off-putting. But the decor was nice, very Oriental, yet somehow making me feel like I was in Polynesia.

Al-Sheikh was definitely obviously more gay-friendly than the other gay hammams. No one seemed to hide the fact that they were gay, and I saw more than one could being affectionate. (I mean mildly affectionate!)

I wasn't horribly enchanted by the amenities, however. The hot tub was lukewarm, the steam room was tiny, and the stairs precarious. The staff, however, was extremely friendly and there was a nice cold pool which was dark and cavernous.

One thing immediately struck my eye: there were no condoms! Shame! We're living in the 21st century, and such an omission is tragically careless. AIDS is currently not a huge problem in Lebanon, but it can easily become one.

Secondly, I noticed that most of the masseurs, who were rather goodlooking, were foreign. When I was leaving, I spoke to two, one from Iraq and one from Syria. I don't know if they were gay, doing it for the money, or both. I didn't buy a massage, so I don't know how they are or how much they cost. But I feel that says something important about the situation in Lebanon, but I don't want to delve too far into ethnic politics.

Anyway, I will definitely go back. Well, probably. I don't have 15,000 LL to throw around whenever I feel like it.

4 Comments:

Blogger Mickeyboy said...

I have just been to Al Sheikh too. I agree with your observations. I would have enjoyed it more if I had been with someone. I did have a massage. He was a cute guy with a big boner, which I got to play with a lot, but he was unwilling to touch mine. I'll go back too, when I find a friend.
Here's another Beirut Blog:
http://beirutstreets-mickeyboy.blogspot.com/

July 09, 2006 6:17 AM  
Blogger Al-Fil said...

Whoa! Too much information.

July 09, 2006 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot overemphasize your point about condoms, as much as I'd like to. If you do intend to visit al-Sheikh, please take your own condoms with you! Do not be stupid like me and have unprotected sex in the heat of the moment. I ruined the rest of my summer, if not my life, and it's not worth it!

July 13, 2006 5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its so

December 09, 2006 11:25 AM  

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