CHAT


 
FEATURE

Bathrooms


Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

Bathrooms – they're where we shave, shower, and shit. And sometimes where we have sex.

For most of us, the association between lust and lavatories goes back to our youth – the bathroom was the one place in the house where a guy could justifiably lock himself in, thereby ensuring the privacy to engage in a little self-exploration. And public restrooms were the easily accessible places where strangers whipped 'em out, dropped their drawers, and performed bodily functions.

Small wonder, then, that bathrooms bring to mind not just faucets, but fucking, too. While bathrooms may lack the creature comforts of bedrooms, they've played host to many hot, often wet, scenes. Once that door is closed, anything goes. The shower's a great place to stroke your vulnerably naked body all over, soaping up secret places to the point of stimulation. One hygienic fellow says, "I really enjoy messing around with my boyfriend in the shower. It's great to go down on him while hot water's drenching us."

Grooming rituals, too, can be imbued with eroticism. Our hygienic homo continues, "Sometimes I'll walk in on my partner when he's shaving, and watching him can get me really horny. Maybe it's the whole male thing, or memories of my dad, but for whatever reason, just the smell of shaving cream is an aphrodisiac."

Not every bathroom scene is quite so clean. The room is a place of excretion, too, and plenty of scintillating scenes have been enthroned on the toilet. The facilities need not be in use – just sitting there and sucking dick can be fun, and if humiliation's part of a scene, the john's a great setting. But if a guy's into water sports, or something even edgier, the commode can serve as a porcelain prop, an integral part of the sleazy fun. The tub, too, has seen its fair share of funk. Not only is the setting erotically evocative, but cleanup is a breeze.

The locker room incorporates many of the aspects of a private bath, while adding the dick-delighting feature of a group of grope-worthy guys. "There's something about standing under a steamy shower, surrounded by other naked men, that's really stimulating," says one fervent gym-goer, "especially after a hard workout. And then, there's the row of urinals..."

Even more random – and a lot riskier – is sex in a public restroom. Despite public disapproval and police entrapment, men's rooms have served as sites for male/male meetings since time immemorial. It's a rare dude – whether het or otherwise – who hasn't stolen a glance over to his neighbor's cock, just to see what the other guy's got. And that has, on many an occasion, led to a certain amount of self-stimulation, or even a bit of mutual manhandling.

The folkways of "tearooms," or in the even quainter British parlance, "cottages," are considerably complex. From tapped feet to passed notes, there are ways of making one's intentions known. And a glory hole – a dick-sized aperture drilled through a cubicle's partition – makes the sexual possibilities more convenient and entirely clear. Says one gay guy in his 60s, "I confess. In my youth, I spent untold hours in public restrooms, sitting there smoking, waiting for a friendly stranger to stop by next door. It's amazing I never got arrested...or came down with lung cancer."

Because men's rooms are often cruised by closet cases and cheaters, there are many who argue that tearoom tricking is a relic of the pre-liberation past. Says one longtime observer of the queer community, "Restroom sex is furtive, often incomplete, even dangerous, and the setting is less than spotless. But to many men, danger and scuzziness can be stimulating. And though it's argued that the presence of restroom sex makes non-participants uncomfortable, most guys who are cruising are discreet – they don't want to get caught. It's tough to justify putting resources into police entrapment of such a victimless crime."

Such arguments don't hold sway with other gays, though. No matter what its pleasures, getting it on in a public men's room is risky shit. Complains one young man, "It's icky and demeaning to suck the dick of some faceless man who's managed to maneuver his manhood under a toilet partition. And when there's a high-profile bust, it gives us all a bad name."

Still, Mother Nature, in her wisdom, forged a close anatomical connection between the geography of excretion and the territory of sex. The bathroom reminds us of that, and of the cock-hardening connection between getting dirty and coming clean.

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion



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