It is a sophisticated website listing public toilets and other areas where homosexual men meet for sex, and the mother of young children was horrified to read that the toilet in the park she visited often with her children was on the list. Croudace Bay Park, at Lake Macquarie, and the mother had been directed to the site, cruisinggays.com, by another parent who'd warned her to be especially watchful of her children on the picnics in the park. The Croudace Bay Park has attracted the most hits of the 57 public toilets and other sites of the homosexual beat on the website, 12,118 when I looked this week.
The entry for most listings tells whether there are glory holes (holes between cubicles) and spy holes between cubicles or in the cubicle doors and many include recommendations for best times and pick-up procedures. A recommended time for two, in shopping complexes in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, is immediately after school. Another recommendation, at other public toilets, is to stand at the urinal masturbating or with an erection.
It is disturbing that public toilets are used in this way, and some of the information about that use is more than disturbing. The woman who phoned me made a simple and valid point: shouldn't she be alerted by the authority that provides the public toilet that it is a sex venue? She believes that this information is more than pertinent to her decision to take her children to the park, where they may need to use the toilets. Not even men who use public toilets as a sex venue, surely, could argue that it is not!
So, should these toilets have a sign warning users that it is commonly used as a sex venue?
Homosexual men who use the public toilet as a sex venue might argue that such a sign would put them at risk of assault, and I wouldn't be surprised if that argument were held by government to over-ride any concern about the safety of children and the expectation that public toilets be used as toilets.
Is there a solution? Is there a need for a solution?