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Message Board > Special Interest Forums & Discussion Groups > Cruising History   Berlin Museum Exhibit On Gay Sex In Public Toilets

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  #1  
Old 1st December 2017, 03:28 PM
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Berlin Museum Exhibit On Gay Sex In Public Toilets

From GayStarNews comes Museum holds exhibition dedicated to gay sex in public toilets.
Quote:
Fenster Zum Klo: Public Toilets, Private Affairs is running now at Berlin’s Schwules Museum.

It features photographs taken by Marc Martin. The French photographer has embarked on a project of taking photos in public toilets. His work, which often includes models, broadly explores male fantasies.
The museum opened in 1985 as the world's first gay museum.
Quote:
[Martin] says among many members of the gay community, public toilets ‘remain more a source of shame than pride.’

However, he believes public toilets have offered, ‘sites of unbridled freedom.

‘Differences were blurred and otherwise separated cultures briefly mixed. Despite being disparaged as sleazy and dirty, they allowed for immediate, anonymous sexual contacts. They were a godsend to those who could not entertain at home and expose their sexual proclivities to the outside world.’

The exhibition of Martin’s photos is accompanied by quotes about urinals from the likes of Jean Genet and Rimbaud. There will also be accompanying talks and film screenings.

These will include a talk from film historian and journalist Marc Siegel on ‘Tearooms, Cinema and Desire’...

...[Siegel] says that although times have moved on, and many men now meet for sex via hook-up apps, sex in public toilets offered some advantages.

‘One of the great things about sex in public toilets is that it’s free, it allows for encounters with people across boundaries of class and race, and you don’t have to sign on to a sexual identity before engaging in it.’
The exhibition is sponsored by BVG, Berlin's public transportation system. The U-Bahn had many toilets that had been used by gay men for sex; most have been closed since 1990. BVG allowed Martin to use these for photo shoots and also included their logo on the exhibition's posters, flyers, and book.

The photos in the article look great! Now, where can I buy one of those books?

Bob S. ~ Manager/Editor
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  #2  
Old 2nd December 2017, 10:14 AM
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Interesting idea for an exhibit... and to think that the government public transportation system is the sponsor!

One aspect that I like is...

Quote:
Dr Kevin Clarke, spokesperson for Schwules Museum, told GSN: ‘The necessity of gay men to “hide” and meet in “secret” places such as parks and public toilets is an important aspect of gay history.
People in their teens and 20's do not realize that it was not that long ago where being gay or having gay sex was not only a source of embarrassment for the family - but in many places it was against the law - and in some countries still is.

I still remember a few bathrooms where the walls were covered with "Be here Tuesday for a good time" and crude drawings of penises...
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Old 4th December 2017, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jonn3 View Post
People in their teens and 20's do not realize that it was not that long ago where being gay or having gay sex was not only a source of embarrassment for the family - but in many places it was against the law - and in some countries still is.
I see enough reviews in the Sex Listings with guys being arrested in US parks, also the occasional college campus or shopping mall (if a mall's still open), that I think it's still happening. But it's less than before.

The college campus thing might be a matter of time and opportunity; maybe going to a dorm room is inconvenient? The park arrests are especially in Southern states -- a lot in Florida -- although there were those arrests just in the last few years in California which were tossed out by the courts.

I remember in the '80s when I lived in DC being cruised on the Metro regularly. Hmm, I don't recall restrooms in Metro stations; were there any? The student center at the university where I took evening classes for work was quite active, though. Guys waiting in every upper floor elevator lobby to see who would come out when the doors opened!
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  #4  
Old 6th December 2017, 11:03 AM
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You do still hear of the occasional arrest - but usually just if it is TOO much in the open - I know of a couple of parks here in LA where they have had problems with guys being just off the trails...

Colleges are funny - it always seems to be the library bathrooms that are listed as the active sites! I know when I was in school the dorm room never would have a good place - between the roommate(s) and bathrooms down the hall there were always people wandering around so no chance of privacy if you wanted to remain discrete.
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Old 7th December 2017, 12:03 PM
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The park arrests seem to be especially common in places like Polk County or Martin County, Florida. In Polk, it's almost like a regular sweep of the parks, then the cruisers come back, then the sweep comes back, again and again.

I don't know what it is about the state. I remember visiting Orlando twice in the '90s. Both times every rest stop on I-4 between Orlando and Tampa seemed to have cruising glances, although we had places to go and Parliament House with sufficient diversion at night.
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  #6  
Old 8th December 2017, 09:58 AM
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The funny thing is making gay sex illegal and socially unacceptable is what started things like cruising in parks and bathrooms to begin with. Gays had no way (pre Internet) of finding and meeting each other and those places were considered the only way of finding a partner.

I do understand the police saying you can't just go at it in the open - these are areas for the general public - but I have never understood them busting adult theaters or bookstores. If you go in an ABS or porn theater you know what to expect - it is not really "public" - and it should be understood by going there you accept what you might see.

And the fact they would often publish names - sometimes even pictures - in the newspapers - well that is just wrong!

What I am glad about is they are now tossing out convictions on entrapment - there is no reason to have a cop hang out in a bathroom just trying to get someone to make a move and then arrest them.
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Old 8th December 2017, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jonn3 View Post
What I am glad about is they are now tossing out convictions on entrapment - there is no reason to have a cop hang out in a bathroom just trying to get someone to make a move and then arrest them.
That change is in California now, with those arrests tossed out in Long Beach and San Jose and the ensuing lawsuits against the cities and police departments. Not so likely to come to Florida or here in Texas soon.

When I lived in San Diego in the 90s going cruising at Blacks Beach or San Clemente Canyon (aka Marian Bear Park) was for the thrill of it, doing something taboo. There were other places, in person and online, to find men. The risk of arrest was extremely low, especially if you took care to avoid "civilian" non-participants.

So I think this will still happen in California, whether in a community college toilet or a canyon park or wherever. Horny guys are opportunistic, and now that the places can be combined with proximity-based Apps maybe there's more opportunity than before.

The Apps are "disrupting" cruising, just like everything else, and you can get a man almost on-demand. But you still need a place if you don't want to take it home.

Honestly, I'd love to combine the Sex Listings with a proximity-based App. There's a lot of technical issues to overcome between here and there, maybe some legal and procedural ones too. But I can imagine...
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Old 12th December 2017, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by infopop View Post
The Apps are "disrupting" cruising, just like everything else, and you can get a man almost on-demand. But you still need a place if you don't want to take it home.

Honestly, I'd love to combine the Sex Listings with a proximity-based App. There's a lot of technical issues to overcome between here and there, maybe some legal and procedural ones too. But I can imagine...

As one of those guys who does not want to take it home until I get to know the guy I can see the benefit of a proximity based App -

Having very bad "gaydar" there are so many times I think "is he looking like he is interested?" but never dare make the first move and an App to let you know someone is there for the same thing would be great! The only problem is downloading the App - I wish there was a way to do it without basically telling Apple you are gay because you want the hook up App!
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Old 12th December 2017, 11:41 AM
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I doubt Apple (with Tim Cook, after all, the gay CEO) nor Google really care if we're gay -- except that it's another marketing demographic.

Of course, if you let someone else look at your phone they might wonder, "Honey, what are you doing with Grindr on your phone???" Some couples share passwords or PIN codes, some don't.

Guys keep asking me for an App. I've actually been working toward a mobile-optimized version of CFS, or at least of the Sex Listings. Guys with privacy concerns could use a "Private" or "Incognito" tab in their browser, or even try Firefox Focus or some other privacy-oriented browser that makes it easier not to keep your browsing history. ("Honey, what's this gay site you keep looking at...?")

For me personally, it's not a problem but I know a lot of guys who identify as straight, DL, or whatever use CFS and don't want to leave digital footprints behind them.

Last edited by infopop; 12th December 2017 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 14th December 2017, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by infopop View Post
Guys keep asking me for an App. I've actually been working toward a mobile-optimized version of CFS, or at least of the Sex Listings. Guys with privacy concerns could use a "Private" or "Incognito" tab in their browser, or even try Firefox Focus or some other privacy-oriented browser that makes it easier not to keep your browsing history. ("Honey, what's this gay site you keep looking at...?")

For me personally, it's not a problem but I know a lot of guys who identify as straight, DL, or whatever use CFS and don't want to leave digital footprints behind them.

I love the idea! As one of those who grew up in the era where you always kept gay sex on the DL it would be a wonderful addition to the site.
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  #11  
Old 5th April 2018, 09:37 PM
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College Tearooms

I live near a Big 10 university. There are some tearooms there that have been active for more than 50 years. They are still a fun place for some quick anon.
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Old 6th April 2018, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jonwill View Post
I live near a Big 10 university. There are some tearooms there that have been active for more than 50 years. They are still a fun place for some quick anon.
I noticed your location in your Profile. If you're thinking of Purdue, three places in two different buildings are in the Sex Listings - I should combine the ones in the same building. Not many reviews there lately, but there are some "star ratings" in the last few years. See:

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN: reviews at CRUISING for SEX
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN: reviews at CRUISING for SEX
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN: reviews at CRUISING for SEX

If you're going to one of them, help us out and leave a review. Thanks!
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