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, 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.


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:

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  

Post a Comment

<< Home