Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Cottaging vs Bog Shags

Dear Lee has recently accused me of having sex in toilets.

Well, this is true, but dear Lee does it in a way that, surely accidentally, allows readers to infer that i go cottaging - ie hanging around public toilets in the hope of receiving random jollies.

This is not true, and I'm now going to elaborate on the difference between Cottaging and Bog Shags.

Cottaging is seedy. Gents' public loos - they're not pleasant places. If you're lucky they smell of clean hospital. If you're unlucky they smell like a kidney infection, and look like a sewer.

Public toilets are not nice places to hang around. They're cold, usually outdoors, and... oh yes... have you ever seen the kind of man who goes to one to have sex?

I've found myself in a cottage three times. The first time was at the age of thirteen, when, naively, I went to a gents in a small public town, and was rather puzzled to find myself sharing a trough with two old men who were helping each other wee.

The second time was when I nipped into a Gents in SoHo just after I'd moved to London, and found my flow interrupted by a sharp pinch on my arse from ... well... Jabba the Hutt in a mac.

My third experience was an odd one. After a long evening being entertained by an adorable and sophisticated Italian in Hoxton, we both collapsed, sweaty and exhausted on his bed.

"Do you want to go out somewhere?" he asked, his dark eyebrows beetling across his... (ok, i'm stopping this now: look, he was v. pretty).

I was dead impressed. Here was a man who after a frankly experimental evening-in was planning on taking me out... at three a.m! I was struck by the fact that Italians were not only pretty, but also dead cultured and also knew exciting bars that were open sensible hours.

I followed him out into the street, and then watched as he ducked down some stairs into what was no doubt one of London's Most Secret Watering Holes.

Imagine my horror when I instead found myself in a dark, smelly pit, with no lighting, and vague shuffling shapes in anoraks. My chic friend had taken me cottaging. I was surrounded by creatures of the night - randy Zombies from Debenhams.

I ran home....


Now, let's talk about the far more pleasant subject of Bog Shags. A bog shag happens when, overwhelmed by lust-of-the-moment, you end up dragging a boy into the nearest palais du shag - frequently, the loos in a club.

It just seems the right thing to do. Its somewhere convenient to nip off to. Not my ultimate destination on a night out.

I'd argue that sex on trains counts as a bog shag. After all - we'd do it in a carriage if we had one to ourselves (and, once on the Jubilee line at 5am, we did).

And no - it's not unusual. I've done a gentle straw poll, and I'm not the only person (gay or straight) to have grabbed a Bog Shag in a nightlclub.

After all - you can't have sex on the dancefloor.

Well, okay. I did once.

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