Public toilets and gay men have gone fist-in-hand since communal lavs u-bended it on to the scene. But in 2015 we no longer have to skulk around dirty loos looking for love.
Now sausage-jockeys don’t have to frequent filthy washrooms, you’d think we’d refrain from doing so.
Gay men are associated with the art of pairing the right Aquascutum Herringbone twill trouser with the perfect Yohji Yamamoto chunky knit. As well as having the same skill with a feather duster and fur-hemmed marigolds as Nigella Lawson has with a rolled up tenner. And all poofs are guaranteed winners of any quiche baking competition.
So if crafty-butchers are male versions of Channel 4’s cleaning queens Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie why do homos accept the putrid odours, urine-soaked floors and lack of scented hand wash that characterise toilets of gay bars?
But the stereotype of the hygienic, clean-freak batty-boy is exactly that – just a stereotype.
Yours truly has undertaken extensive research up and down the country over the past 16 years, examining the quality and cleanliness of loos in poof pubs and bender bars. To this day not one homosexual drinking establishment’s lavs has matched, or surpassed that of a common-or-garden All Bar One.
Take the men’s bogs at that one on the corner, for suited gentlemen.. one of Soho’s busiest bender hangouts. They refurbished their lavs a couple of years ago – a decade late but nevertheless. The walls are caked in what looks like a dodgy sponge effect blood and primary red tiles, and gloss cream tiles with a mini pyramid mosaic texture. Clearly, the person responsible for this interior atrocity spent too much time in Rupert’s slash-room. Inhaling the intoxicating fumes addling their creativity.
Only two cubicles for the boys. Both are missing proper toilet seats and locks. Loo roll, if any, has all the silkiness of an acrylic cardi from Primark.
Their stainless steel communal urinal wasn’t fortunate enough to be part of the upgrade and has no doubt seen more cock than that of all the Catholic priests residing in the Vatican. If steel could talk. The damn thing is hanging on by the skin of its rusty screws.
That bar that’s famous for its go-go boys’ WC is also a delight to visit. It’s positioned in the basement, as most powder-rooms are in Soho. However, the stench punches you in the honker before you’ve even hit basement level. Waders would be the correct footwear for a widdle in this gaff but sadly Tom Ford hasn’t released a range to-date. Soap is like a brightly lit sky in Blighty during February. Is Jo Malone alien to bar managers?
In most fag-boozers there’s the perfume-pushers trying to scrape together their bus fare home, pressing you to squirt a soupçon of their tired and mankey bottles of JPG, Paco Rabanne and Kouros. Or forcing Tesco’s basic own brand soap into your palms before you’ve had time to readjust.
Undoubtedly nostril curdling whiffs, wee wee streams and dated 80s style décor are the theme of gay bar bogs.
If you know of any shirt-lifter haunts’ loos that come up to standard – do share. Thabulous would love to be proved wrong.
Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you’d like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.
I’ve lived in the Old Smoke since 1999 with a career in fashion, fitness and events. I discovered the joys of writing beginning of 2014. Since then I’ve been tapping digits to keys. Subjects include food, theatre, exhibitions, London life and other topics that tickle my taste-buds. Other publications include Timeout, Gay Times and So So Gay Magazine.
Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.