Portland Oregon Gay Sex Clubs and Bathhouses Guide

••• Steam Portland, the city's gay bathhouse. photo by Andrew Collins

With one of the highest percentages of LGBT residents in the nation, the progressive city of Portland also has a quite strong reputation as a sex-positive metropolis. Scan the usual dating and hookup apps, and you'll find lots of guys who identify as queer and fairly political, a relatively high number of men in open or polyamorous relationships, quite a few trans persons, and in general a good variety of guys open to sex without many hangups about age, race, body perfection, and so on.

It's a pretty great city for finding hot sexual encounters if you identify a bear, too.

Portland has a pair of venues geared to guys hooking up with guys. Just off of I-84, exit 1 or 2 (depending on which direction you're coming from), the attractive Steam Portland (2885 N.E. Sandy Blvd., 503-736-9999) is a very nicely maintained, clean, and popular gay sauna. Open round the clock, this private club caters to a mix of visitors and locals - it's on the East Side, near the Hollywood and Lloyd Center districts, and it's only a 10-minute car or taxi ride from downtown. Steam is medium-sized facility, as befits a city the size of Portland - it's busy enough on weekends, but like many saunas, the crowds are sometimes a bit less on weekdays. The crowd here is pretty mixed, from students to professionals in the mid-30s and '40s to older gents.

The city's other gay sex plex has been around for fewer years, and is actually a cousin to a similar club in Las Vegas: the clean, safe, and well-equipped Hawks (234 S.E.

Grand Ave., at S.E. Ash St., 503-946-8659) is just over the Burnside Bridge from downtown, in the Inner Southeast Industrial area. This clean and well-maintained sex club has a big following with fans of S&M, group sex, and role-playing. Inside you'll find glory-hole areas, three slings, an orgy area, a water sports section, bear and fisting parties, and other intriguing elements.

Other amenities at the maze-like spot are lockers, cedar sauna, a steam room, and an industrial vibe that's something of a throwback to classic gay sex clubs or porn flicks of the '70s and '80s. The staff is friendly and helpful, too. 

Portland also has some legally sanctioned clothing-optional beaches on the Columbia River with strong gay followings, including Collins Beach at Sauvie Island, which is a 40-minute drive northwest of the city center, and Rooster Rock State Park (also known as "Cock Rock"), which is in the spectacular Columbia Gorge and reached via a 30-minute drive on I-84.

Also check out the Portland Gay Nightlife Guide for more on the city's gay scene.