If your tongue
gets a hard-on just thinking about those Kristian Bjorn videos,
renew your passport, get your Brazilian visa (if your nationality
requires one) and read on.
The hunky stars and starlets in Bjorn's luscious videos are just the tip of the Brazilian iceberg, so to speak. In a country of 166 million in which at least half the population is under 30, the number of gorgeous guys everywhere is simply staggering. Wherever you go, every 30 seconds there'll be another absolute head-turner passing by. So, where do you meet these dreamboats?
Although I wrestled hard with the impulse not to share the wealth, I recognize that other guys generously shared their knowledge and experiences of Brazil with me over the years, and now it's time to give back.
So, here's what you've been waiting for:
In just about every major Brazilian city there are numerous all-male saunas. Among them are some swarming with breathtaking rent-a-hunks, in shades from blonde to black and everything in between. These places provide a safe, secure environment for meeting these dream guys and, of course, a chance to see exactly what you'll be getting.
You should also know that neither prostitution (male or female) or homosexual acts are illegal in Brazil. However, there is a growing awareness of sexual abuse of minors (i.e., guys under 18) and there have been some prominent arrests of foreigners recently. Another good reason for using the bathhouses: the owners don't want trouble and will be sure their 'staff', no matter how young they may look, are at least 18.
First I'll explain how the system works, then list a number of these places, and finally provide other resources, including whatever website information is available (mostly in Portuguese, but you'll be able to get addresses, opening hours and view the pictures without knowing the language).
How It Works
Most of the saunas open around 3:00 pm and close around midnight (there are a few exceptions). Ordinarily they don't get busy, though, until around 5:30 pm, and taper off around 9:30 or 10:00 pm. Many of the local clients are married guys who are stopping off after work for some R&R before going home to the wife and kids. You'll also notice there's a crowd of regulars, who use the establishment as a kind of club to meet friends, have a drink, play cards and socialize with the guys.
Bring with you: credit cards, R$100 - 200 (depending on how horny you are!) in R$50 and R$10 bills. The cost of an adventure with a guy ('programa' or 'brincadeira' in Portuguese) is incredibly reasonable. In Rio or São Paulo guys will ask for R$50 (about US$30) and in smaller cities perhaps R$25 - R$30 (about US$15). This is based on the rate of exchange as of September 1, 2000, which is US$1 = R$1.80. The rate of exchange may fluctuate, but don't pay more than this in local currency. If in doubt, ask one of the Brazilian clients (one will undoubtedly speak English) what the appropriate going rate is that night. You don't want to upset the local market, spoil the guys and piss off the locals. Keep in mind that the current minimum monthly wage in Brazil is R$150, so if a guy can be with a couple of clients in an evening at R$50 a shot, he's doing quite well!
You may also want to bring a pocket sized bottle of your favorite lube and some extra large condoms which you'll have brought from home (for some absurd reason they don't seem to be sold in Brazil, where they're desperately needed). If you don't speak the language, a pocket phrase book is also a good idea.
Depending on the city, the day of the week, etc. admission to the sauna can run from R$10 to R$25. You pay as you leave, which will include your bar tab and the extra fee for rental of the private cabins where you take the hunk of your choice. Cabin rentals can run from R$10 to R$20 depending on the establishment, the size and facilities of the cabin, etc. The more luxurious establishments also have masseurs who work for the house, hairdressers, etc. All of these services go on your tab, except any extra hanky-panky with your masseur, for which you pay him directly. Credit cards are usually accepted, and I have never had ANY problem using them; these are long-established reputable establishments with a regular clientele they want to keep. Bring both Visa and MasterCard, as not all places accept both. When you receive your statement at home they will show up with an innocuous name. As for the guys, you pay them directly, in cash, AFTER doing the deed.
When you enter, you'll be given your locker key. In some cases you also get your towel and flip-flops (try to know your metric shoe size) at the desk, other times from an attendant in the locker room. Some establishments will also ask for your first name when you register. If you're on the stout side, like yours truly, ask for a large towel ('toalha grande') because the standard Brazilian size is skimpy. Definitely use the sandals; Brazilians are very hygienic and will consider you a complete barbarian if you don't.
Some of the guys will probably be eyeing you as you change and you may get approached immediately. Resist this by indicating nicely that you want to shower and use the sauna for a while. You definitely want some time to tour the place and check out the guys.
At a minimum, all of these establishments will have wet and dry saunas, a bar which also sells snacks (some offer more substantial fare), masseurs, a TV lounge showing regular programming, others showing straight and gay porn, a dark room or a dimly lit lounging area known as the 'relax', and private cabins. In others you can get your hair cut, a manicure and pedicure, a facial, you name it! Besides showing off their considerable wares in the saunas and showers (watch out for the hot and cold water because Brazilian plumbing can be weird) also check out the straight porn lounge, where the guys will be getting inspired, pulling their puds. On a crowded night at a place like the Lagoa in São Paulo, this can become a Busby Berkeley fantasy of masturbating men!
In any case, after having toured the joint and put yourself at ease, just make eye contact and smile at the gentleman of your choice. He's very unlikely to be shy about approaching you! Language may be a problem if you don't speak Portuguese, but you should be able to manage, especially if you speak some Spanish. Brazilians generally can understand some Spanish, even though you may not understand their replies.
Brazilians understand the concept of being gay differently than most of us do. For them, being gay means getting fucked. So most of these gorgeous, macho guys will often do quite a lot in the privacy of a cabine, like kissing and sucking, without considering themselves gay. DON'T push the issue by trying to fuck them. Of course, there will also be some other guys around who more obviously consider themselves gay and have a more varied repertoire. There's not much S&M or leather scene in Brazil, so you're unlikely to find fully equipped play rooms here, but that doesn't mean you may not find someone who can get into domination, or being dominated. Brazilians also have different concepts of desirability than do the inhabitants of, say, South Beach, Chelsea and West Hollywood. A surprising number of gorgeous Brazilian guys are actually attracted to more mature men, and/or to men who are heavy. So don't feel inhibited by your age or weight. You've arrived in heaven!
After making contact and striking up an arrangement, you or your companion will sign out a key for a cabine and go your merry way. When you are finished, go to your locker, retrieve the agreed-upon fee, and discreetly hand it to your companion, who will be hovering nearby. You may want to invite him to join you for a drink or snack while you're recovering.
If you find you've been chatting up someone for a while, but it's not going anywhere, it's also gracious to offer to at least buy him a drink. After all, he's working and you've been taking up his time.
You may meet the hunk of your dreams at the baths and want to see more of him. Of course, you can agree to meet again at the baths. If you want to see him outside, DON'T invite him back to your hotel until you know him really, really well. Unfortunately, initial impressions can sometimes be deceiving, and Brazil has a way of dazzling you and putting you off your guard. In addition, your hotel may make a fuss about your bringing in outsiders (particularly if they're darker skinned - Brazil isn't quite the racial democracy it thinks it is). Instead, take your new friend to a motel, which is what Brazilians call hotels-by-the-hour. Many of them are gay-friendly and they're better suited for frolicking than your own hotel, being specifically designed for the purpose. Some can be quite elaborate, with en-suite saunas and jacuzzis. Your friend will likely know of a motel, but you can also find names and addresses in local gay bar rags or on the internet.
Two last things, before getting to specifics: First, don't forget to e-mail any comments or discoveries to this site. Let's share the wealth! Second, remember that you're a guest in Brazil. Treat the guys you meet respectfully; it'll go a long way towards establishing a good rapport with your new acquaintances. Some of the guys working the baths are hard-bitten old pros just after a quick buck. You'll figure them out quickly; they're usually the ones who are WAY too eager to hustle you off to a cabine for a massage or a brincadeira. Politely brush them off and just keep looking. A lot of the guys are genuinely nice and real sweethearts. If you're lucky, you may find that you've made a long-term friend before you leave Brazil!
Where To Go
Names after the street address are the neighborhood ('bairro') in which an establishment is located. You may need it if you're taking a cab; just copy the address and show it to the driver. I can't vouch for the phone numbers; Brazil's phone system is rapidly being modernized and upgraded, which means lots of changes in numbers, codes and prefixes.
Rio de Janeiro
r. Min. Alfredo Valadão, 36
Chances are you'll be staying in Copacabana, so Roger's is extremely convenient. Walk up r. Siqueira Campos towards the mountains staying on the left-hand sidewalk. After crossing r. Toneleros you'll pass a large, older shopping center. Keep going, in another block or so you'll arrive at the very small r. Min. Alfredo Valadão. Cross the street and turn left; the entrance is halfway down the block, marked by a discreet sign. The pioneer establishment in Rio, with a choice selection of handsome hunks anxious to make your acquaintance. One of the places where Mr. Bjorn recruits -- I have some very fond memories of Roger's, from over the years!
r. Cândido Mendes, 117
Easy! Take the Metrô to the Glória station. When you exit you're likely to be facing the Glória church on a hill ahead of you. Make a 180 degree turn and walk AWAY from the church, towards downtown (which will be visible from where you are). The next corner is r. Cândido Mendes. Turn left, without crossing the street. Walk up the street for about a block; you'll see an overhead sign saying Club 117. This place is very large and popular, with three floors, and is relatively new. Previously it was a love motel, which explains the unusually large cabines which are really self-contained suites. Don't be put off if there are women at the counter; they're the owners. You won't see them again until you leave. Plenty of hot, good looking guys. Check for special events, like video-karaoke nights, strip shows and big dick contests! Sunday afternoons are reputedly very busy. On my most recent trip, a few weeks ago, I scored big time on a Tuesday afternoon: a sweet, 6'6" (1,95m) hunk of Afro-Brazilian with a real 11" (28cm) he just loved to share!!!
r. Borges Lagoa, 287
(11) 5573-9689 or 5539-qc103238
Easy! Take the Metrô to Santa Cruz station. When you exit you'll see a very elaborate church. Walk towards the church, but on the opposite sidewalk. In a couple of blocks, after passing a Citibank branch, you'll come to r. Borges Lagoa. Turn left and walk downhill about three blocks. Be careful as you walk, because the sidewalk has some abrupt steps that drop off! The Lagoa is a blue and white building occupying the corner and adjacent buildings. Now get ready, because this is the mother-lode of Brazilian rent-boy saunas! Unsurpassable for quantity and quality. There's star quality everywhere in Brazil, but this is like MGM: more stars than there are in the heavens! Not to be missed! Friday nights it stays open until 5:00 am, with shows and an especially large and festive crowd. You may never want to leave!
r. Francisco Leitão, 71
(11) 853-7061 or 853-6998
No subway yet, although one is planned, so you'll need a cab. Just give or show the address to the driver. If he plays dumb, ask to be dropped at the corner ("esquina") of Av. Rebouças and Henrique Schaumann. These are very major streets that everyone knows. At that intersection there's a big McDonald's and a big branch of Banco Itaú. Cross to the Banco Itaú side. Follow the street alongside the bank - the one parallel to Av. Rebouças - for a short distance until arriving at r. Francisco Leitão, which is the first street parallel to Henrique Schaumann. Turn up r. Francisco Leitão, on the left-hand sidewalk, where you'll shortly come upon the Fragata. This is a somewhat older, smaller and lower-key establishment than the Lagoa, but being located in the midst of São Paulo's most upscale areas it attracts its share of gorgeous guys. This is where I met one of the most gorgeous guys on earth: a security guard who's a Tom of Finland look-alike with a huge dick and the bluest eyes I've ever seen -- the color of sapphires. Best of all, he was sweet and timid because he spoke with a slight stammer. You're bound to get lucky! Certainly worth checking out.
Av. Pernambuco, 2765
Bairro São Geraldo
You'll need a cab. It's just off of Av. Cristovão Colombo, a main drag. This is a relatively new and large establishment in Brazil's southernmost big city. I was there early in the week and it had quite a good-looking crowd. The guy I went with, who was very pleasant, only wanted R$25, which I gather is the going rate.
r. Rio Branco, 390
In the same area as Plataforma. I haven't been recently, but in the past the guys wandered around in speedos. This means it was hard to tell exactly what they have to offer. But with competition from Plataforma, things may have changed.
Av. Souza Naves, 520
Not far from downtown in Brazil's most Teutonic city, but you'll need a cab. I went on a slow winter night (yes, they have winter in Southern Brazil -- kind of like winter in San Francisco) but there was one guy on duty with a to-die-for body and a dick the size of the Empire State Building. After giving me a very satisfying massage (in a cabine with a table) I gave this guy's dick an equally satisfying tongue and throat massage until he came -- in quarts! If not much is happening when you go, you may want to ask the locals if there's a currently hotter spot.
Sauna 1097 (aka "Hot House")
r. Guajajaras, 1097
In a central area of Brazil's third-largest city, this is a popular, friendly establishment! Friday afternoons seem to be especially busy! Mineiros (the natives of Minas Gerais, the state of which B.H. is the capital) are famous in Brazil for being extravagantly endowed, although they seem to grow 'em big just about everywhere in Brazil. It's gotta be something in the water!
I haven't been there in a number of years, although I'm dying to make a return visit, so I haven't visited the following establishments which advertise (or imply) that they feature guys. My guess is that most baths in the north do, because this is the poorest area of the country and chances are many of the guys who go need the money. Check these out and report back for the rest of us!!!
This is the original capital of Brazil, founded in the early 1500's, now capital of the state of Bahia and still the most African city in Brazil. A very special experience! Famous for its exotic food, its devotion to Afro-Brazilian religion, and its Carnaval, very different from the celebration in Rio. A visit to Bahia, as the city is also known, can be an unforgettable spiritual and sensual experience.
Ladeira de Santa Tereza, 02
(71) 322-3813 or 321-2708
r. Tuiuti, 183
r. Junqueira Ayres, 230
r. Prado Valadares, 16
(71) 326-4585 or 243-5495
This is one of the biggest cities you probably never heard of: the capital city of the state of Ceará, with two million people and miles of gorgeous beaches along the north-east coast with year-round beach weather. Not to mention the fascinating folklore and hot, hot, men. . .
r. Rodrigues Junior, 1425
(85) 221-6667 or 985-9308
r. 24 de maio, 1084
r. Vicente Leite, 2020
Aldeota (nr. Av. Antônio Sales, behind TV Jangadeiro)
(85) 244-1999 or 981-9991
(I've seen this one mentioned favorably in local Brazilian gay magazines.)
This is the "Venice" of Brazil, built on a series of rivers and islands. The great metropolis of the Northeast, with some three million people, it has miles of Miami-style beaches in the Boa Viagem area. Recife adjoins the city of Olinda, a colonial era UNESCO world heritage site. Olinda was the capital of Dutch Brazil in the 1500's, and is filled with rich churches and beautiful houses and squares. Recife and Olinda are also both famous for their Carnaval celebrations. In these listings, please note that Boa Viagem is the beach area, on the south side of town, and Boa Vista is a neighborhood near the center of the city.
Av. Cons. Aguiar, 4790/207 (Second Floor?)
Blue Termas for Men
r. José Domingues da Silva, 147
(81) 462-3707 or 341-1707
Termas Boa Vista
r. Dom Manoel Pereira, 63
(Open until 6:00 a.m.)
r. do Sossego, 62
This is the green, steamy equatorial metropolis at the mouth of the Amazon. Check out the streets lined with mango trees, the cruisy Praça da República in the heart of town, the cotton-candy pink-and-white opera house from the rubber boom days, the ice cream parlors with 101 exotic tropical fruit flavors, the wildlife at the Goeldi Institute, and, of course, the wildlife just wandering around! Yum! Many of the people have native Indian ancestry and are short by North American or European standards, but don't be misled. Big things often come in small packages!
Rod. Arthur Bernardes/r. da Pratinha, 332 (near airport)
Local free bar papers like O Grito in Rio, São Paulo, Recife and Fortaleza; Nuance in Porto Alegre. Magazines like G Magazine or Homens, sold on newsstands in gay areas of Rio, like Copacabana, or São Paulo, like Av. Vieira de Carvalho, downtown. Roteiro GLS is a pocket-sized Brazilian gay guide sold at some local venues, including Club 117 in Rio.
Brazilian gay Internet sites include http://www.netgay.com.br (look for 'saunas' and 'escorts') and http://www.bananaloca.com.br (this last one is a subscriber site with some free info; try looking for 'roteiros' or 'roteirão'). Also try http://www.mixbrasil.com.br (some free content; look for 'guias' or 'roteiros').