Bathhouses in gay New York City were permanently shut down in 1985. While the gay sauna scene was once renowned in New York, it had a difficult time recovering following the mass closure. As a result, the gay cruising NYC scene does not rival that of Europe, and most of New York’s best cruising opportunities do not transpire in gay saunas, but rather in sex bars and warehouse parties.
If you're looking for an original style New York gay sauna, however, we recommend hitting up The East Side Club. This two-star rated gay sauna NYC provides all the amenities of a standard bathhouse and draws a more mature crowd. Expect a steam room alongside a traditional style sauna and private cabins. This is a membership gay sauna, however, so one-off visits can be on the more expensive side.
The West Side Club is another two-star facility located near one of the most iconic gay areas in New York, Chelsea. This gay sauna offers something very similar to its East Side brother, but it tends to attract a more diverse crowd. For a solid cruising NYC experience, this place sure delivers.
Meanwhile, Northern Men's Sauna in Queens draws in a rainbow of gay New Yorkers. Alternatively, the Russian and Turkish Baths are not a gay bath house. They are a traditional European coed bathing experience. However, the baths offer men-only hours Thursday (12pm-5pm) and Sunday (8am-2pm) and it’s a known place for gay cruising in New York City.
Cruising NYC: party in the dark
If you're looking for a little more binging and a little less purging, try some of these New York bars that put an emphasis on hooking up (see New York Gay Bars & Clubs for full venue details).
The Eagle still serves as the gold standard of gay leather bars, and its New York venue offers hot bodies and hard drinks. Once you've had enough of the latter, drag one of the former to a dark room. While The Eagle is obviously not a typical New York gay sauna, the cruising opportunities are still possible, and you'll likely make a couple of friends along the way.
Meanwhile, The Cock in the East Village offers similar amenities as The Eagle but trades the leather atmosphere for the feel of a good-time dive bar.