Cottaging. Cottaging is a gay slang term, originating from the United Kingdom, referring to anonymous sex between men in a public lavatory or cruising for sexual partners with the intention of having sex elsewhere. 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.
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. This usage is predominantly British, though the term is occasionally used with the same meaning in other parts of the world. Among gay men in the United States, lavatories used for this purpose are called tea rooms.
Cottages were and are located in places heavily used by many people such as bus stations, railway stations, airports and university campuses. Often glory holes are drilled in the walls between cubicles in popular cottages. 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.
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. 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. #cottaging #publictoilets #gloryhole #gay #gaycruising #lgbthistory #lgbt #ukqueerhistory #lgbtq🌈