cruising

The Heart in Exile – The Strange Case of the Peculiarly Prescient Pre-Gay Novel

It’s LGBT History Month. So I thought I would share with you my hitherto hidden love for my favourite ‘gay’ novel. The Heart In Exile, published in the UK in 1953, by Rodney Garland – real name Adam Martin De Hegedus, an Hungarian émigré. Though as the date and morose title, the use of a nom de plume – and my fondness for it – would suggest, it’s not very gay at all. In fact, it’s thoroughly pre-gay.  Like the 1961 film Victim, it involves… Read More »The Heart in Exile – The Strange Case of the Peculiarly Prescient Pre-Gay Novel

Cruising the Streets

Mark Simpson gets mixed messages on the High Street   (Another ‘lost’ Attitude column – this one from 1999) It was one of those indecently mild Winter days. The sort that makes everyone feel a little bit naughty. As if you’re bunking off school, or cheating on your partner. Walking down the High Street enjoying the feeling of my sap beginning to rise prematurely—and probably pointlessly—I notice an eminently humpable fellow in his late twenties bouncing towards me on his box-fresh trainers, sports bag slung… Read More »Cruising the Streets

The Global Glory Hole

Mark Simpson on the enduring allure of anonymous sex in an age of gay marriage and ‘anti-social networking‘ I was sixteen when saw my first glory hole. Or rather, saw my first filled glory hole. It was in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, a public-spirited, snobbish spa town well-served by shiny Victorian lavatories. The throbbing, fleshy wall-fitting in my tiled cubicle was quite a sight. Glorious, even. Truly an impressive, proud piece of polished plumbing. Cottaging, or cruising for sex in public lavatories and parks, was once a mainstay of… Read More »The Global Glory Hole

Larry Craig: The Deep Fried Famous Potato

by Mark Simpson Whether or not Idaho’s Senator Larry Craig likes cock or not, following his arrest for ‘lewd conduct’ in a men’s room at Minneapolis airport this week one thing is for sure: a lot of cock has been written about him. Here’s Melissa McEwan offering a typical – if relatively kind – commentary in the Guardian: ‘Voting against the interests of the LGBT community displays either a callous lack of feeling towards people with whom he shares a vested interest, or it’s a… Read More »Larry Craig: The Deep Fried Famous Potato

Trading in the Past: Queer London

Once upon a time the streets of the capital heaved with jolly sailors and guardsmen looking for gentlemen to have fun with. Then gay liberation came along and ruined it for everyone, moans Mark Simpson (Independent on Sunday, 11 September, 2005) I consider myself something of a traditionalist. I enjoy traditional activities, such as cruising the Dilly, picking up guardsmen, sailors, dockers and young working men. I am, in other words, a hopeless romantic. For “trade”, the masculine erotic economy which girded the loins of the… Read More »Trading in the Past: Queer London