Tearoom Trade-Impersonal Sex In Public Places, By Laud Humphreys Summary

2004 Words 9 Pages
Review: Tearoom Trade – Impersonal Sex in Public Places
Laud Humphreys

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
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He has been able to present lots of aspects of the Tearoom Trade. A few of the more fascinating attitudes are the rules and roles of the “game”. Humphreys explains that these facilities had rules rather than strategies, as they are more universal because they do not differ from one encounter to another. Noticing that the most important rule was the code of silence. It is an unspoken rule that allows no biographical information to be shared among participants, thus providing protection of their social image, which they are determined to keep separate from the activities inside the facilities. There was more use of gestures of the head or eyes as communication between …show more content…
The aspect that was most courageous was the length the author went through to grasp information that he made sure would not be distorted, for instance, being beaten with other participants of the Tearoom facilities, first hand witnessing the things they have to endure. What can also be perceived as honourable is how Humphreys treats his clients. Humphreys made sure his clients remained confidential and anonymous on all accounts of his public records of this study. I find this honourable as another study was briefly explained in his book. This study of homosexuals resulted in a crack down on homosexual activity, ending up with twenty or so homosexuals locked in jail, potentially for life because of his research. Considering as I was brought up around the idea that homosexuality is acceptable, I find these results to be rather terrifying especially since I have a few males in my life that could have gone through that experience and their own sexuality to be illegal. Therefore, the fact Humphreys took into every possible account to keep all respondents personal information out of the public knowledge, provided me with a sense of

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