Fiasco here! I’m one of the organizers with the Hot Times Collective, and I want to address a question that often comes from people who have never been to a queer bath house before. I actually had this conversation with a friend last night–they were nervous about what to expect, and didn’t want to come off as “awkward” or “creepy”. I figured it was worth sharing with y’all. Of course, activities and events are always different and your mileage may vary.
When you enter the May Day event, there will be a guy in the window–his name is Billy; he’s the manager of SeaDogs, and a gentleman to boot. He’ll take your money, take your ID, cross your name off the guest list and let you in to the building. Then you’ll get your locker key, a bottle of water, and a towel and someone will read you the rules for the night. You’ll be in the lobby area–a sort of non-sexual zone where bottoms are required. There’ll be snacks and couches and probably people to chat with.
The first thing to do is go get changed–we don’t really care what you change into–I’ve changed from jeans and a t-shirt into another pair of jeans and an identical t-shirt. Some people wear coveralls, some wear lingerie, or costumes, or nothing at all! The important thing is to change. Be aware that it gets, literally, hot and steamy in the bath house (there is a hot tub!) so take that into consideration when picking what to wear.
The rest of the evening is up to you. There will be demos throughout the event, books in the reading room and queer porn on the TVs. If you see something you like going on in a room, ask if you can watch without being too disruptive. Remember, people come to the bath house with the expectation that they may be asked to kiss or have sex or be observed, so don’t be shy about your desires and accept or give rejection with grace. Though we in Hot Times are all about consent, there are a few people at the event who won’t respect that, and we don’t know who they are.
If you have a problem, the Hot Times organizers (like me!), volunteers and T-team members are here to help. Volunteers are great to go to if you’re looking for information about the area you’re in. If they can’t answer your question, they’ll send you to an organizer. We’re also the people to come to if you feel someone is being disrespectful or non-consensual, or you have a concern about what’s going on in the space. The T-team are a group of volunteers who practice active listening for anyone who feels like they want to talk. There will be a T-team room with resources and activities, as well as information on support services available in Halifax. We have a general policy against calling the police until all other options are exhausted. Due to insurance requirements we are have to call an ambulance for all injuries or accidents, no matter how small. You don’t have to TAKE the ambulance, but we have to call one.
The doors close at midnight to new attendees–you can still go out to smoke, and can leave whenever you like. At the end of your night, return the towel and key for your ID, and go home happy!