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TBT: Everyone’s First Experience with The Rising Sun Bath House

For all the freshmen out there, and sophomores who were just too innocent to notice, Madison had what obviously appeared to be a house of prostitution working under the guise of a “bath house,” named The Rising Sun Bath House. It was finally shuttered in October of last year, with charges to “conspire to run a house of prostitution,” but if we don’t learn from history, we’re doomed to repeat it. Let’s have a look back at the time a few of our staff writers explored this dingy handjobatorium, in hopes the new Taco Bell doesn’t do the same.

Sometimes after a long night of going hard, you decide to go for just one more drink.  You were feeling very adult this close to graduation, so you decided to hit up some bars around the square. So you’re walking along with your buddies—or alone (we’ve been there too)—and all the bars start to, kind of, blend together.  You push onward to find that last cheap beer, because face it—everything tastes the same to you right now.

Low and behold, you begin to hear angels and horns as Gabriel himself calls your attention towards a dingy little doorway nestled between two other bars. This little hole in the wall is perfect! The Rising Sun Bath Housesounds harmless, right?  You open the door and are greeted by your archenemy—a staircase to the second level. 

This is it.  The moment you fucked up.  When you saw those stairs, you should have tapped out, went home, and slept if off.  But no, you’re a Badger, and determined to have a cheap beer.

You walk up these steps—which are coated in plastic by the way, just like your grandmas furniture. To your surprise, it looks nothing like a bar.  Nope—it’s just a landing with, like, 7 doors that are all closed, two of which have rout-iron gates covering the doors.  So someone really doesn’t want you getting into these rooms… or really doesn’t want something to escape.  The walls are off-white and cracked, the carpet stained and dirty, and the lights flickering. There should be a few red-flags coming up in your mind right about now as you wonder “WHAT FRESH NEW HELL IS THIS?!”

Well, there are only two signs hanging up: one is a Jim Henson poster—you know, the guy who created The Muppets—so that’s of no help. And the other sign is black with white plastic letters that says “Welco_e to R_si_g Sun, 1 hr $140, half hr $80.” 

Ah, no big deal… you’ve just stumbled across Madison’s prostitution ring.Now would be an amazing time to leave,but thanks to that wonderful plastic wrapped staircase—and your drunken promenade—you’ve just taken a tumble down the steps.  It’s probably okay, you weren’t cursing that loud.  One of the doors begins to creek open (ok so maybe you were yelling profanities at the top of your lungs) and an overweight, trashy looking, moo-moo clad woman stares back at you.

“What do you want!?”  You mumble something about wanting a beer—and your mommy.

“This is a bath house.” Phew!  Well, kinda phew, at least it’s not a brothel, but still pretty greasy… thank God you’re still just standing there. You quickly continue down the steps, almost falling again, and then walk to Applebee’s where you can still get half priced apps late-night, and top shelf long island ice teas for under $5, all the while wondering “was that real?”

If you haven’t had the pleasure of drunkenly stumbling upon The Rising Sun Bath House, we don’t recommend it. Save yourself the cardiac arrest and stick to what you know. If you’re gonna study go to the library, and if you’re gonna tie one on go to The Library.

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