The Police and us - 2

The Cottage

In the days before gay clubs, bars, groups, internet ….. in many parts of the country the only way that gay men could meet was by hanging around in public lavatories. The process is called “cottaging”. Research indicates that a great many of the men who use “cottages” are bisexual married men who require quick, anonymous sex.

Sex in public lavatories remains illegal, but in the pre 1967 days and for a considerable time afterwards, some police forces spent an excessive amount of time in the loo.

Occasionally, hidden cameras were set up to catch people at it, and agent provocateurs (often called “Pretty Police”) waved their willies at gay men and then arrested them if the men responded. These days the Police tend to post notices and issue warnings where persistent “cottaging” occurs and only arrest as a last resort.

God's Copper

The turnaround

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