Sleepless in Seattle: Gay Sex Clubs in the Emerald City

Men wearing leather
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Seattle has a pair of quite popular venues for gay cruising and hooking up—Steamworks Seattle and Club Z—and each is within just a few blocks of the other on a busy stretch of Lower Capitol Hill.

Conveniently close to several gay bars including the unabashedly cruisy Seattle Eagle, a favorite with guys into leather, uniforms, and fetish, and the Cuff Complex, which can get very cruisey but also attracts a fair share of guys who just want to dance and socialize.

For out-of-towners, the location of Seattle's sex clubs is pretty handy, as there are several hotels and gay-friendly bed and breakfasts within a short distance and downtown's considerable selection of accommodations within anywhere from a 10- to 20-minute walk.

Steamworks Seattle

Part of the popular North American chain of gay bathhouses called Steamworks, which has other locales in Chicago, Berkeley, Vancouver, and Toronto, Steamworks Seattle by far the more popular of the two bathhouses in town. By all accounts, the management of this establishment (known as Club Seattle until a few years ago) has invested quite a lot of money into making this a clean, attractive, and upscale-feeling space.

The crowd, although it varies just as is the case at most such clubs, is usually pretty diverse in age and style, representing a mix of Seattle's varied population. Popular events include Thursday "lights-out" parties, jockstrap nights, Bear gatherings, and DILF and Twink nights.

The loosely industrial/modern look—with art deco glass blocks, mood lighting, corrugated metals walls, and angular furnishings—adds a cool vibe to the place. The bathroom stalls have douche stations (you buy a hose from the vending machine), and private rooms and locker areas are generally kept very clean.

Flat-screen TVs airing porn are in all private rooms and in plenty of public areas around the club, and rooms also have USB, electrical outlets, and bins where you can lock up your belongings. There are also slings, a slurp ramp, a maze, and nicely equipped steam rooms, exercise areas, and saunas.

Club Z

Right around the corner, you'll find Club Z, which has more than 50 private rooms and 80 lockers and tends to cater a bit more to older guys, bears, and those looking for a friendlier scene.

Although Club Z's layout and design aren't quite as fresh as Steamworks, the rates are about a third of the price and fans seem to still enjoy the club for its older crowd. Also, the management has made a number of improvements in recent years, including the addition of a steam sauna.

All patrons of the club must either rent a room or a locker (or both), but if you come as a pair you'll only need to rent one room and one locker between you. Patrons have a 72-hour limit for staying at the club, after which they must leave for at least 12 hours before returning to cut down on crowds and prevent homeless men from taking up residence in the private rooms.

Club Z offers weekend HIV and STD testings as well as a variety of weekly parties including Saturday Movie Night, Leather Night, and holiday events like the "Get Nailed By Cupid" Valentine's party.