As a haver of lady bits, I’ll start by telling you that the idea of fucking in a hot tub is garbage.
Sure, it seems like it’s all warm and wet and partially clothed—but underwater P-in-V sex is an unlubricated nightmare and open season for a yeast infection, while oral sex requires a snorkel or precarious perching.
THAT BEING SAID, hot tubs are still sexy as hell. This is because 1) I have too many movie scenes stored in my spank bank to give up on aquatic banging, 2) you are warm, wet, and hopefully naked, and 3) fingering and wet humping—that’s dry humping in a hot tub—are still pretty cool.
So, in these final coldest weeks of winter and in this month dedicated to love, I undertook an investigation of soaking pools and hot tubs in Portland to rank which ones are the hottest.
The outdoor communal soaking pool at Kennedy School is a delight because it’s warm, open to everyone, and only $5 a person, per hour. You can carry a tasty cocktail in a plastic cup to enjoy while soaking or step out and into one of their cute li’l bars!
But it is NOT sexy. In fact, it’s the opposite, because the sheer number of small children paddling and splashing about like tiny idiots reminds you of the HORRIBLE CONSEQUENCES of getting it on. Also, last time we were there, it was very crowded, and we got stuck in a corner where there was a clump of hair and some suspect foam, along with a woman reading a self-help book about co-dependent relationships. Boner killers, all.
5736 NE 33rd, mcmenamins.com/kennedy-school
Common Ground Wellness Center and Everett House Community Healing Center
Bodies are beautiful, y’all. I am so down with everyone taking it all off and letting their respective junk luxuriate in a hot tub or sauna. (As long as they put their bare ass on a towel!)
But at these two communal centers for healing—one on Northeast 33rd, the other on Northeast Glisan—the nudity is deliberately not meant to get you off.
While they’re not associated, both Common Ground and Everett House offer adult-only clothing-optional outdoor hot tubs (Everett House’s has a waterfall!) and a sauna. Each also offers women, LGBTQ, and trans/genderqueer-only hours.
Both also have strict rules about not touching or kissing, and Common Ground even discourages patrons from talking to other patrons while there. You probably can’t help but glance at everyone’s bodies as they climb onto a sauna bench or splash down in the tub, but the vibes are more curiosity than creeper. Yay, non-sexualized nudity!
(Pricing at Common Ground is $17 for one hour, with a sliding scale of prices for additional or less time, while Everett House is $22 per hour)
Knot Springs is very bougie. Located in that black building that looks like the Death Star overlooking the Burnside Bridge, Knot Springs bills itself as a social club, and on weekends it’s absolutely popping off.
There’s very little age or body-type diversity—read: it’s mostly youngish, thin white people who can afford the two hours for $55 price tag. (But maybe that’s something you like?) Nudity is a no-go here, but the suits some were wearing were intended to encourage checking out.
Knot Springs is also super nice, from pandan-infused water and oversized Pendleton towels to three separate pools (a cold plunge, a warm pool, and a hot tub), a sauna, and a steam room. It was sunny on a recent Saturday, and me and my girl wrapped those big-ass towels around us, grabbed complimentary Knot Springs branded sunglasses and sat out on the patio by a gas fireplace and took in the river views. If this is New Portland, I’d totally fuck it.
33 NE 3rd, knotsprings.com
Crystal Hotel Soaking Pool
The place you rode that pony at ’90s night is also a getaway available only to guests of the Crystal Hotel.
Down in the basement, in a dimly lit room with bamboo around the walls, is a secret warm saltwater pool. Grab a glass of sparkling wine or water and do some light underwater stroking, then rush your wet parts up to your room to flood your own basements, if ya know what I mean.
Before you despair that this soak-then-fuck fantasy is too rich for your blood, rates at the Crystal start at $85, so you and your buddy can totally bone for less than $50 each!
303 SW 12th, mcmenamins.com/crystal-hotel
I would like to live in the loft above Yakuza restaurant. So much.
It’s 1,200 square feet of space with high ceilings, balconies on two sides, a sweet kitchen setup, and a deep clawfoot tub that facilitates the best bubble bath. (Or you can reenact that scene from Pretty Woman where Julia wraps her giraffe legs around Richard Gere.)
Restaurants like Extracto, Yakuza, DOC, Nonna, Beast, Dame, and Expatriate are all within blocks, making this the ultimate staycation spot. AND THEN there’s the Japanese onsen-style tub out back. Lined with river rock and kept hot 24/7, it’s semi-private since the restaurant staff has to walk by from time to time, but there’s a curtain to provide some shielding. A cold plunge pool and outdoor shower are also available.
We stayed an extra night ($150 per) when we visited recently, blissed out on a routine of outdoor soak, indoor soak, eating, and (of course) fooling around.
Above Yakuza, 5411 NE 30th, yakuzalounge.com/lodging
Portland Tub and Tan
It would be ungentlewomanly of me to kiss and tell—ah, who am I kidding: I FUCKED AT THE TUB AND TAN.
Me, my dude, and (I can only guess) hundreds of others have fucked at the Tub and Tan. But place your fears aside, because the Montavilla Tub and Tan is way nicer than it appears on the outside (including the grammatically incorrect sign out front warning eastbound drivers on Southeast Stark “Hey! Your going the wrong way!” Journalism shudder!) The website says their filtration system completely filters all the water every 18 minutes, and computers monitor the pH and chlorine levels to keep it from getting gross.
It’s $60 an hour for two people, and you have your pick of indoor or outdoor tubs. There are private changing and shower rooms attached to your tubbing area—ours had red and blue lighting over a tropical plant-and-Buddha theme happening. It’s very ’70s porn, and perfect for anyone who’s dreamed of starring in a Jackie Treehorn production.
A panel lets you pick from tons of satellite radio stations, but I was mildly insulted that it wasn’t just 100 channels of baby-making tunes. In any case, two hours is just enough time to get in, get-it-on, and get out.
8028 SE Stark, tubandtan.com