TowelTalk | CATIE - Canada's source for HIV and hepatitis C information

Programming Connection


AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT)

Required Resources

Human resources

A professional counsellor experienced in working with gay, bisexual and other MSM and comfortable relating to men in a highly sexually charged setting is the only human resource required.

Most clients who access counselling services in this setting begin their interaction with the counsellor through a flirtatious exchange, so the counsellor must not only be intimately familiar with emotional, sexual and psychological issues faced by men in a bathhouse context, but he must be comfortable receiving sexual advances from men who are naked while he remains dressed and respectfully addresses but does not participate in these advances (essentially, “behaving as a professional” in this sexualized space). He must be able to engage the client at a personal, human, nonjudgmental level to allow the person the opportunity to open up in a short time.

The counsellor must also maintain excellent relationships with bathhouse staff and community service providers so the former will grant continued access to the premises and the latter will provide expedited access to referral services. 

Material resources

  • Evaluation forms
  • Literature on sexual health

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