Review : Tearoom Trade - Impersonal Sex Within Public Places Essay
Humphreys, L. (1970). Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places. Aldine Publishing Company, Chicago.
Tearoom Trade: the use of a public restroom as a place where men of all varieties go to engage in homosexual activity. By engaging in such activity they must accept certain costs and risks of this behaviour, all to receive a significant reward. As explained by Humphreys, the men involved in the Tearoom game, use these facilities because it is a social process that is structured to allow them to have a sexual encounter without any personal involvement with other participants outside these facilities. With the many rules in Tearooms, men find them exceedingly attractive as it provides a certain protection against his social image, as this type of behaviour can be seen as very inappropriate and rather illegal with the potential to damage that image. The Tearoom Trade as a sexual deviant activity.
Laud Humphreys, a sociologist, was dissatisfied with the idea of producing a study so mundane that only focuses on individuals who engage in deviant activity but nothing about how they participate in that deviant world. Humphreys found that the idea of deviant behaviour, in terms of sociology, explains it as organised behaviour that is important to the individuals that engage in the activity, yet not seen as a subculture. Therefore, Humphreys sets out to analyse the personal significance of the Tearoom…