From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The appearance of public lavatories, like this one in Pond Square, Camden, London, is the origin of the term cottaging.

Cottaging is a gay slang term, originating from the United Kingdom, referring to anonymous sex between men in a public lavatory (a "cottage"[1] or "tea-room"[2]),[3] or cruising for sexual partners with the intention of having sex elsewhere.[4][5] The term has its roots in self-contained English toilet blocks resembling small cottages in their appearance; in the English cant language of Polari this became a double entendre by gay men referring to sexual encounters.[6] See also gay beat in Australian English.

The word "cottage", usually meaning a small, cosy, countryside home, is documented as having been in use during the Victorian era to refer to a public toilet and by the 1960s its use in this sense had become an exclusively homosexual slang term.[7][8] This usage is predominantly British, though the term is occasionally used with the same meaning in other parts of the world.[9] Among gay men in the United States, lavatories used for this purpose are called tea rooms.[10][11]


Cottages were and are located in places heavily used by many people such as bus stations, railway stations, airports and university campuses.[12] Often, glory holes are drilled in the walls between cubicles in popular cottages.[13] Foot signals—tapping a foot, sliding a foot slightly under the divider between stalls, attracting the attention of the occupant of the next stall—are used to signify that one wishes to connect with the person in the next cubicle. In some heavily used cottages, an etiquette develops and one person may function as a lookout to warn if non-cottagers are coming.[11]

Since the 1980s, more individuals in authority have become more aware of the existence of cottages in places under their jurisdiction and have reduced the height of or even removed doors from the cubicles of popular cottages, or extended the walls between the cubicles to the floor to prevent foot signalling.[14][15]

Cottages as meeting places[edit]

Before the gay liberation movement, many, if not most, gay and bisexual men at the time were closeted and there were almost no public gay social groups for those under legal drinking age.[16] As such, cottages were among the few places where men too young to get into gay bars could meet others whom they knew to be gay.[17]

The internet brought significant changes to cottaging, which was previously an activity engaged in by men with other men, often in silence with no communication beyond the markings of a cubicle wall.[18] Today, an online community is being established in which men exchange details of locations, discussing aspects such as when it receives the highest traffic, when it is safest and to facilitate sexual encounters by arranging meeting times.[13][19] The term cybercottage is used by some gay and bisexual men who use the role-play and nostalgia of cottaging in a virtual space or as a notice board to arrange real life anonymous sexual encounters.[3]

Laud Humphrey's Tearoom Trade, published in 1970, was a sociological analysis and observance between the social space public "restrooms" (as toilets are euphemistically known in the US) offer for anonymous sex and the men—either closeted, gay, or straight—who sought to fulfill sexual desires that their wives, religion, or social lives could not.[20] The study, which was met with praise on one side due to its innovation and criticism on the other due to having outed "straight" men and risked their privacy, brought to light the multidimensionality of public restrooms and the intricacy and complexity of homosexual sex amongst self-identifying straight men.

Legal status[edit]

A sign outside a toilet cubicle in the Duke of Wellington gay bar in Soho which explains that it is one person per cubicle.

Sexual acts in public lavatories are outlawed by many jurisdictions. It is likely that the element of risk involved in cottaging makes it an attractive activity to some.[21][22]

Historically, in the United Kingdom, public gay sex often resulted in a charge and conviction of gross indecency, an offence only pertaining to sexual acts committed by males and particularly applied to homosexual activity.[23][24] Anal penetration was a separate and much more serious crime that came under the definition of buggery. Buggery was a capital offence between 1533 and 1861 under UK law, although it rarely resulted in a death sentence. Importuning was an offer of sexual gratification between men, often for money. The Sexual Offences Act 1967 permitted sex between consenting men over 21 years of age when conducted in private, but the act specifically excluded public lavatories from being "private". The Sexual Offences Act 2003 replaced this aspect with the offence of "Sexual activity in a public lavatory" which includes solo masturbation.

In some of the cases where people were brought to court for cottaging, the issue of entrapment arose.[22] Since the offences were public but often carried out behind closed lavatory doors, the police sometimes found it easier to use undercover police officers, who would frequent toilets posing as homosexuals in an effort to entice other men to approach them for sex.[25] These men would then be arrested for importuning or soliciting and in some cases indecent assault.

Timeline of historic cases[edit]

Date Event
1943 Newspaper editor Clarence McNulty[26] was arrested for wilfully and obscenely exposing his person in the Lang Park toilets near Wynyard railway station, Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia. He denied the charges and this early case highlighted the practice of the police using pretty policemen[27] (i.e. as "bait") to entrap the public. As only one police officer was present in the toilet, the magistrate determined that the police were unable to correctly corroborate the evidence and gave McNulty the benefit of the doubt.[28]
1946 Sir George Robert Mowbray, 5th Baronet Mowbray, was fined for importuning men at Piccadilly Circus Underground station.[29]
1940s Tom Driberg was charged with indecent assault after two men shared his bed in the 1940s and used his position as a journalist several times to get off later charges when caught soliciting in public toilets by the police.[30][31]
1953 Actor Sir John Gielgud was arrested and fined £10 for cottaging ("persistently importuning").[32][33][34]
1953 MP William J. Field was arrested for persistently importuning in a public toilet. Field appealed against the conviction twice but failed on both occasions.[35][36][37][38]
1954 American mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr. arrested in a public toilet in Santa Monica, California. He was stripped of his top-secret security clearance and fired from the think tank where he was a consultant.[39]
1956 Sir David Milne-Watson was fined for importuning at South Kensington railway station.[40]
1962 On 6 November 1962, actor Wilfrid Brambell was arrested in a toilet in Shepherd's Bush for persistently importuning.[41]
1962 In 1962, the Mansfield, Ohio Police Department conducted a sting operation in which they covertly filmed men having sex in the public restroom underneath Central Park. Thirty eight men were convicted and jailed for sodomy. After the arrest, the city closed the restrooms and backfilled the site. The police later made a training film of the footage. It was rereleased in 2007 as Tearoom.[42]
1964 In October, President Lyndon B. Johnson's aide Walter Jenkins was arrested in a YMCA in Washington, D.C., and the case was subsequently dismissed.[43][44]
1968 Michael Turnbull was arrested in Hull for cottaging in a public toilet, before he became Bishop of Durham.[45]
1975 In September 1975, actor Peter Wyngarde was arrested (under his real name, Cyril Louis Goldbert) in Gloucester bus station public toilets for gross indecency with Richard Jack Whalley (a truck driver). He was fined £75.[46]
1976 Sixty-six-year-old retired U.S. Major General Edwin Walker made sexual advances to an undercover police officer in a restroom at a park in Dallas, Texas, on June 23, 1976, and was arrested for public lewdness. The general pleaded no contest and was fined $1,000 and court costs.[47]
1976 Former Judge G. Harrold Carswell was convicted of battery for advances he made to an undercover police officer in a Tallahassee men's room.[48]
1981 Coronation Street actor Peter Dudley was observed exposing himself to another man in a public toilet in Didsbury, Manchester, and was charged with importuning. He pleaded guilty and was fined £200. Some months later, Dudley was charged again with gross indecency for an alleged similar offence, though this time he claimed he was not guilty and had been set up by the police. A Crown Court jury failed to reach a verdict, but while waiting for a retrial, Dudley suffered a series of strokes and heart attacks and died on 20 October 1983.[49]
1984 The Labour MP Roger Thomas was convicted in Swansea of importuning for immoral purposes in a men's lavatory. He was fined £75.[50]
1984 Actor Leonard Sachs was fined for importuning in a public toilet.[51]
1988 Australian radio personality Alan Jones was arrested in a public lavatory block in London's West End and charged with two counts of outraging public decency by behaving in an indecent manner under the Westminster by-laws. He was later cleared of all charges and awarded costs.[52]
1990 British pop star Stedman Pearson (of the group Five Star) appeared at Kingston Magistrates Court in October 1990 and pleaded guilty to a charge of public indecency after being arrested in a public toilet in New Malden in London.[53][54][55][56][57]
1998 In April 1998, pop star George Michael was arrested for "engaging in a lewd act" in a public toilet in Los Angeles after a sting operation by local police. Although he considered the arrest to be police entrapment, he pleaded "no contest" to the charge in court and was fined $810 and ordered to do 80 hours of community service.[58][59] Later that year, Michael satirised the events in his music video for the song "Outside" and was sued by one of the officers in the original arrest for portraying him as non-heterosexual and mocking him. The suit was ultimately dismissed.[60][61][62]
1998 In October 1998, UK Labour Party MP Ron Davies was mugged at knifepoint on Clapham Common. He resigned after it became clear he was engaging in homosexual activities in a known cottaging area.[63][64][65][66]
2007 On 11 June 2007, US Senator Larry Craig was arrested in the men's public toilet in the Lindbergh Terminal of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport for allegedly soliciting sex. Craig later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and announced his intent to resign from his post as Republican senator from Idaho; ultimately,[67] he did not resign. He contested his guilty plea, paid a fine, and served out his term; he did not run for re-election in 2008.[68][69]

Cultural response[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ (Dalzell & Victor 2007, p. 165) "cottage noun a public lavatory used for homosexual encounters (UK)."
  2. ^ Andre(Dalzell & Victor 2007, p. 642) "tearoom; t-room noun a public toilet. From an era when a great deal of homosexual contact was in public toilets; probably an abbreviation of 'toilet room'.
  3. ^ a b Mowlabocus, Sharif (2008). "Revisiting old haunts through new technologies". International Journal of Cultural Studies. Sage Publications. 11 (4): 419–439. doi:10.1177/1367877908096004. ISSN 1367-8779. OCLC 438850398. S2CID 145664316.
  4. ^ Sex Tips for Gay Guys by Dan Anderson; Published by Macmillan, 2002; ISBN 0-312-28873-5, ISBN 978-0-312-28873-0
  5. ^ "Spies like us: His new thriller uses the latest DNA research and mobile phones as deadly weapons. So why look for inspiration in a Brompton cemetery? Henry Porter recalls a mix of luck, judgement and detective work 21 June 1999". The Guardian. I watched from the corner of my eye and began to notice something else: the men seemed to be pairing off and dipping from view. Finally the penny dropped – I had hit cottaging hour among the moss-covered memorials to Kensington's long-dead bourgeoisie.
  6. ^ Fantabulosa: A Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang by Paul Baker; Published by Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004; ISBN 0-8264-7343-1, ISBN 978-0-8264-7343-1.
  7. ^ James Redding Ware (1909), Passing English of the Victorian era, ISBN 0-85409-932-8
  8. ^ Michael George Schofield, Gordon Westwood (1960), A minority: a report on the life of the male homosexual in Great Britain, p. 74, Most homosexuals regard 'cottaging' as very sordid and look down upon those who resort to this method of finding partners.
  9. ^ Maupin, A. (1984). Babycakes. p. 105. ISBN 0-06-092483-7. 'I was busted for cottaging... You know..doin' it in a cottage... A cottage', Wilfred repeated. 'A public loo.'
  10. ^ Rodgers, Bruce Gay Talk (The Queen’s Vernacular): A Dictionary of Gay Slang New York:1972 Parragon Books, an imprint of G.P. Putnam’s Sons Page 195.
  11. ^ a b In 1970, an American graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, Laud Humphreys published a famous and controversial PhD dissertation, Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places, on the tearoom phenomenon, attempting to categorize the diverse social backgrounds and personal motives. See (Humphreys 1975).
  12. ^ Johnny Caldwell (8 Apr 2008). "'Cottaging' closes campus toilets". BBC News. A university toilet block has been closed for more than two years over fears it was being used for sex.
  13. ^ a b Chris Ashford (2007), Commons Publications: Memorandum by Chris Ashford, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Sunderland, This submission will focus on addressing the subject of "anti-social behaviour" in public toilets, specifically the subject of sex in public toilets, a practice referred to as "cottaging" ... Evidence of sexual activity in these spaces has traditionally taken the form of sexualised graffiti and/or the drilling of holes in lavatory holes. These holes are termed "glory holes" and dependent upon their size may be to pass a penis through in order for the men to engage in anonymous oral sex and on rare occasions intercourse. They more often serve as a peep hole through to the other toilet or out towards the urinals. On those occasions the person entering the cubicle would check that the adjacent cubicle is empty before unblocking the cubicle hole. These holes are often blocked up by tissue paper which will be removed so that one cubicle occupant can view through to the other. The addition of metal plating on cubicle walls is often an effective mechanism of preventing this. Alternatively the cubicle can be designed with a solid brick wall so as to make the cutting or drilling of a hole impossible.
  14. ^ Tom Geoghegan (27 Sep 2005). "A public inconvenience". BBC News. To many, the UK's public toilets are a source of national shame. But an international conference under way in Belfast could be the first step towards their rehabilitation.
  15. ^ "Council vows to fight public sex". BBC News. 16 Aug 2006. A council takes action to stop people using public toilets at a park in Derby for sex.
  16. ^ David Northmore (11 April 1998). "Finding private passion in a public place; Why is it that some gay men go in search of sexual encounters in lavatories?". The Independent. But Robert Cole, 40, despises the time he has spent hanging around public lavatories. "I started cottaging at 12 because I was too young to go to pubs, but wanted to find a boyfriend. But it then becomes compulsive and a mechanism for avoiding sorting your life out" ... This month sees the publication of a survey of men who cottage in north London by the Aids Education Unit of Barnet Healthcare NHS Trust. More than 200 men were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire, and the results are eye-opening. Twenty per cent of those questioned started cottaging between the ages of 10 and 14, and 32 per cent started between the ages of 15 and 19. And the survey's finding that just over 75% of those questioned also regularly visit gay social venues and groups somewhat destroys the myth that cottagers are sad, closeted individuals who are unable to come to terms with their sexuality.
  17. ^ Prejudice and Pride: Discrimination Against Gay People in Modern Britain by Bruce Galloway; Published by Routledge, 1983; ISBN 0-7100-9916-9, ISBN 978-0-7100-9916-7.
  18. ^ David Smith (26 October 2008). "The web of desire or just deceit?: The internet has made it easier than ever to find a partner for casual sex, but having it all on a plate could mean that we end up losing our appetites". The Observer. Cottaging in toilets or bushes, in places such as Hampstead Heath, has reportedly declined or even vanished because sex is so readily available via broadband. The author and Gaydar user Mark Simpson once observed: 'If Joe Orton had his time again his diaries would have been just printouts of thousands of Gaydar profiles and alarming digicam photos.'
  19. ^ Ashford, Chris (2006). "The only gay in the village: Sexuality and the net". Information & Communications Technology Law. Taylor & Francis. 15 (3): 275–289. doi:10.1080/13600830600961202. ISSN 1360-0834. OCLC 441920510. S2CID 143673992. Just as the creation of the information society has allowed for the expansion in e-commerce and online communication, so too has it allowed for the expansion of online sites and communities that support minority sexual practices and activities. One such activity is the cottaging phenomenon, which involves men seeking sexual satisfaction in public lavatories with other men. Like many other groups, participants in this online community have embraced the emerging technology, utilising message boards and online discussion to offer advice, spread awareness of locations, arrange sexual meetings in the physical world and share cautions and warnings.
  20. ^ Humphreys, Laud (2011). Tearoom Trade: a study of homosexual encounters in public places. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-0-202-36942-6.
  21. ^ Public Sex/gay Space by William Leap; Published by Columbia University Press, 1999; ISBN 0-231-10691-2, ISBN 978-0-231-10691-7.
  22. ^ a b Kirchick, James (1 November 2009). "Cruise Control". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 10 October 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  23. ^ Walter Bluhm (23 June 1965). "Police Observation". The Times. No. 56355. p. 13. The officers described the toilet in question as a notorious meeting ground and referred to 26 convictions as a result of their observations.
  24. ^ Helen Chappell (17 October 1984). "Far from gay / Prejudice against homosexuals". The Guardian (London). There's all the extra police interest – raids on gay bookshops, the changes in the Police Bill, the belief of the 'pretty police' in their holy quest to stamp out cottaging.
  25. ^ Clifford Williams, "Gay men and the police 1950-2010" in The Journal of the Police History Society (2019)
  26. ^ "McNulty, Clarence Sydney (1903–1964)". McNulty, Clarence Sydney (1903–1964) Biographical Entry. Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  27. ^ Higgins, Patrick (1996). Heterosexual dictatorship: male homosexuality in postwar Britain. Fourth Estate. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-85702-355-8.
  28. ^ (French 1993, pp. 95–97)
  29. ^ "Baronet Fined". The Times. Aug 28, 1946. p. 2. Sir George Robert Mowbray, 47,... president of Reading University Council, was at Bow Street yesterday fined £20 and ordered to pay £5 5s. costs for importuning men for an immoral purpose at Piccadilly Circus Underground station.
  30. ^ Parris, Matthew; Maguire, Kevin (2004). Great parliamentary scandals: five centuries of calumny, smear and innuendo (revised ed.). Robson. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-86105-736-5.
  31. ^ Humphry Berkeley (May 16, 1978). "The private rights of a public man". The Times. Issue 60302; col A. p. 14. The extreme homosexual promiscuity of the late Tom Driberg, as revealed in his posthumous autobiography, must have surprised all but his closest friends.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  32. ^ Rhoda Koenig (28 February 2008). "When England hounded a hero; John Gielgud's arrest for cottaging in 1953 sparked public outrage and, for the actor, private agony. A new play tells the story of the scandal". Independent Extra.
  33. ^ "Fine For "Persistently Importuning"". The Times. 22 October 1953. p. 5.
  34. ^ Munn, Michael (2007). Lord Larry: the secret life of Laurence Olivier : a personal and intimate portrait. Anova Books. p. 165. ISBN 978-1-86105-977-2.
  35. ^ Robinson, Shirleene (2008). Homophobia: An Australian History. Federation Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-86287-703-0.
  36. ^ Parris, Matthew; Prosser, David; Pierce, Andrew (1995). Great parliamentary scandals: four centuries of calumny, smear and innuendo. Robson Books. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-86051-957-7.
  37. ^ "Charge Against A Bio-Chemist". The Times. Issue 52514; col D. Jan 8, 1953. p. 3. William James Field... [charged] yesterday with persistently importuning men for an immoral purpose in Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square on Tuesday night. He at first pleaded Guilty, and was thereupon remanded in custody for a week.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  38. ^ "Queen's Bench Division; Conviction Of Importuning: Appeal Fails, Field v. Chapman". The Times. Issue 52748; col E. Oct 9, 1953. p. 11.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  39. ^ Sylvia Nasar (March 25, 2002). "The sum of a man". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 July 2012. Nash was arrested in a police trap in a public lavatory in Santa Monica in 1954, at the height of the McCarthy hysteria. The military think-tank where he was a consultant, stripped him of his top-secret security clearance and fired him ... The charge - indecent exposure - was dropped.
  40. ^ "Baronet Fined". The Times. Jan 12, 1956. p. 4. Sir David Ronald Milne-Watson,... was fined £15 on a charge of persistently importuning for an immoral purpose at South Kensington railway station.
  41. ^ "News in Brief: Conditional discharge for television actor". The Times. December 13, 1962. p. 17. Wilfred Brambell ... was conditionally discharged for a year and ordered to pay 25 guineas costs at West London Magistrates' Court yesterday for persistently importuning for an immoral purpose at Shepherds Bush Green on November 6
  42. ^ "Tearoom :: About". Archived from the original on 2014-07-29. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
  43. ^ "The Jenkins Report". Time. 30 October 1964. Archived from the original on July 27, 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  44. ^ Johansson, Warren; Percy, William A. (1994). Outing: shattering the conspiracy of silence. Routledge. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-56024-419-6.
  45. ^ Lucas, Ian (1998). OutRage!: an oral history. Cassell. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-304-33358-5.
  46. ^ Richards, Stephen (2003). Crime through time. Mirage Publishing. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-902578-17-0.
  47. ^ Pace, Eric (2 November 1993). "Gen. Edwin Walker, 83, is Dead; Promoted Rightist Causes in 60's". New York Times. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  48. ^ Joyce Murdoch, Deb Price, Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court (2002) p. 187.
  49. ^ "Coronation Street actor dies". The Guardian. 21 October 1983. p. 2.
  50. ^ Julia Langdon and Paul Hoyland, 'Thomas may delay resignation to help Labour's poll chances', The Guardian, 5 March 1984, p. 2. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  51. ^ "Sachs fined". The Times. Jan 17, 1984. p. 3. Leonard Sachs, aged 74, compere of the BBC's Good Old Days television show, was fined £75... for importuning men for an immoral purpose in Notting Hill Gate Station public lavatories.
  52. ^ Rosie Mckay (7 December 1988). "Former coach Jones denies charge of indecency". The Advertiser.
  53. ^ Simpson, Dave (26 June 2008). "Let's Go Round Again". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  54. ^ "We Are Family" (Documentary interview with 5 Star). BBC Television. (7 January 2003)
  55. ^ "Virgin TV Edit - TV, Sport, Movies & More".
  56. ^ Larkin, Colin (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of R&B and Soul, (p.121). Virgin Books/Muze Inc. London, England. ISBN 0-7535-0241-0
  57. ^ Rees, Dafydd & Crampton, Luke (1991). Rock Movers and Shakers, p.172-173 (1991 Rev. Edition). ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, U.S. ISBN 0-87436-661-5.
  58. ^ "BBC News - UK - Court fines George Michael for 'lewd' act".
  59. ^ Hall, Allan (15 May 1998). "George sentenced to sex therapy". Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland).
  60. ^ A. Wallace Tashima (3 December 2002). "Marcelo Rodriguez v Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou" (PDF). United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit. Archived from the original (.PDF) on 27 June 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  61. ^ "George Bust 'Bad Karma' Says U.S. Cop", Sunday Star, 5 March 2006
  62. ^ Cole, Mike (2000). Mike Cole (ed.). Education, equality and human rights: issues of gender, 'race', sexuality, special needs and social class. Routledge. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-7507-0876-0.
  63. ^ Parris, Matthew; Maguire, Kevin (2004). Great parliamentary scandals: five centuries of calumny, smear and innuendo (revised ed.). Robson. p. 385. ISBN 978-1-86105-736-5.
  64. ^ "Courting danger on the Common". Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland). 28 October 1998.
  65. ^ Staff and agencies (15 July 2002). "Fallen former Welsh secretary to re-marry". The Guardian. The former minister alleged he was robbed by a man he had befriended late at night on Clapham Common – a well known cottaging location for gay men. Mr Davies said the next day he had accepted the stranger's offer of a curry, but was robbed as he gave the man a lift to his flat.
  66. ^ "Monitor: The resignation of Ron Davies – A walk on the wild side". The Independent. 31 October 1998. IT IS impossible – as indeed it would be unwise – to separate totally a politician's private conduct from his public life. Whether homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual, what can damn those entrusted with high office is when they indulge in reckless, corrupting and promiscuous behaviour. People recognise this when they see it and they have every right to be told about it. In that respect, a homosexual minister who goes cottaging is as deserving of censure as a heterosexual magistrate who goes kerb-crawling.
  67. ^ Craig's Lust. Slate, August 28, 2007
  68. ^ Quatro, Scott A.; Sims, Ronald R. (2008). Executive Ethics: Ethical Dilemmas and Challenges for the C-Suite. IAP. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-59311-783-2.
  69. ^ Harris, Paul (2 September 2007). "Sorry I quit, says anti-gay senator arrested in airport toilet". The Observer.
  70. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (29 March 2007). "Prick Up Your Ears again: Revisiting Stephen Frears' Joe Orton biopic brought back memories of 1987, when it was a good time for gay cinema, but a bad time to be gay". The Guardian. The impressively matter-of-fact scenes of Orton cottaging – picking up sexual partners in public lavatories – won't ruffle any feathers now that George Michael's extracurricular exploits have made that practice a topic fit for discussion in the People's Friend. If the story was set in today's Britain, Orton could simply have done his cruising on Gaydar, though you'd have to agree the film would be the poorer for it.
  71. ^ Grew, Tony (17 July 2008). "Interview: What's wrong with angry? Gay play revived for Edinburgh". Pink News. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  72. ^ Reid, Kerry. "Chinese immigrant's story in Chay Yew's insightful 'Porcelain'". Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  73. ^ Spencer, Charles (20 February 2009). "An erotic relationship of convenience". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010.
  74. ^ Arditti, Michael (6 November 1993). "Dance: At the theatre of blood and bruises: DV8 tread a fine line between athleticism and masochism. Their new work MSM goes one step further". The Independent. Unlike his previous work, which was created from company improvisations, MSM is based on detailed research. The piece sprang from a project at the National Theatre Studio in which Newson and six hand-picked actors conducted formal interviews with men who 'cottaged'. They were given two days' technical training by a consultant and worked to a very specific brief, with guideline questions including personal background, age, job, how they defined themselves sexually and first 'cottaging' experience.
  75. ^ Nightingale, Benedict (1 March 2008). "Plague Over England at Finborough Theatre, London SW10". The Times. The protagonist is Jasper Britton's recently-knighted John Gielgud and the central event his conviction for some Chelsea cottaging that amounted to barely more than a smile. But this was 1953, a time when the Montagu scandal would soon be inflaming the pharisees and Pecksniffs. The actor contemplated suicide and faced ruin, only to find that his public was more supportive than even the gay impresario Binkie Beaumont, who had to be gently blackmailed into retaining Gielgud as the star of a pre-London tour. Days after being fined and pilloried in the press, he walked on to the stage in Liverpool to a standing ovation.
  76. ^ Starkey, Dan (30 June 2017). "Penis-Gun Game Explores Illegal Gay Hookups In The '60s". Kotaku. Retrieved 27 December 2023.