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SexPlusInteriorDesign: Rating the Restaurant Bathrooms of Toronto
Sonya JF Barnett: "Anonymous sex should still meet certain visual standards"

image by Sonya JF Barnett

I don’t know why I’m so enamoured with the idea of having sex in posh public washrooms, but I am. Maybe it’s the idea of making eye contact with a sexy stranger and getting down and dirty in a matter of minutes; maybe it’s the risqué factor of hearing the locked knob twisting frantically; maybe it’s the way I like getting to watch in a mirror; maybe it’s the swank interior that simply turns me on (I’m a very visual person. I need atmosphere). Whatever it is, I dig it. I only wish I did it more often.

It’s certainly not a new phenomenon (the gay scene has had the lion’s share of quick hookup scenarios for decades), but it seems to be replacing the one-night stand in terms of quick and anonymous hookups. You don’t have to deal with cabs, wind up way too far in the opposite direction to your own bed, worry about whether you’re going to be found in a dumpster later, or even the Walk of Shame (not that I’ve ever thought walking home from a night of pleasure is shameful, but I hear some people do). Nope; sex in a public bathroom removes all unnecessary variables, and you still get to go out and finish your drink or dessert.

Mind you, this does all sound like I’m taking a page out of Cosmopolitan, a magazine so heinous when it comes to articles about sex (and pretty much everything else), I’m embarrassed for their writers and readers. But I still can’t help that this particular style of hookup is something to which I’m attracted. So chalk it up to being a Guilty Pleasure, much like having a Jessie J song on my iPod, or watching Revenge.

Luckily for me and my desire for more acts of the Doggie Sink, Toronto has become a exceptional city in terms of places to grab a good bite or cocktail. What comes with this reputation is the attention to detail that some of these establishments pay, right down to the all-important Water Closet. Not much turns me off more than a disgusting washroom in a public place. This is a deal-breaker.

So when I walk into the WC of a restaurant or bar, I’ll take notice if it’s perfectly fuckable. My NumberOneMan doesn’t share my delight in washroom debauchery (too “icky”), so here’s my list of the top 5 WCs I’d love to experience with a sexy stranger.

Nyood. Although the place is now a Queen West haven for douchebaggery (I recently heard the term “Cocaine Breakfast” when it comes to this place, and ohdoesit fit), theirs was the first WC that caught my attention in terms of its sex appeal. Each is a private room with full door (versus a stall in a communal washroom), and last I looked, the décor was slick black and white with large mirrors. It was when I was drying my hands on their decadent paper towels that I realized how fabulous it would be to do it while staring into that giant mirror. When I fantasize about WC sex, it’s usually this room I imagine, though my memory is fading as I get older, so I’m going to have to replace this particular scenario. Especially since I’m not likely to ever set foot in there again. 

I think I’ll replace it with L’Ouvrier. These WCs have a similar ambience to Nyood, in that they are individual, stark white, private rooms. I fantasize more about bringing in a certain bartender with me after a few of his tasty Pimm’s cocktails than the space itself. But this particular setup is enabling. I cannot take blame for my actions. 

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. Not only are these washrooms big and spacious (full rooms within a boutique hotel lobby-like space), but they actually advertised to go have sex in here. A Valentine’s package in 2010 invited their diners to take a break and go for a quick romp. Whether or not it was tongue-in-cheek (or p-in-v) is beside the point. It’s a pretty space, and totally worthy.

Stirling Room. I discovered their WCs when setting up for an art event that involved nude women, so I was already feeling… open minded. Although the stalls are fairly small, the design is moody and mysterious, hopefully just like the partner I convince to join me. But the lighting is dark enough that you probably wouldn’t be able to tell anyway. This one’s more of a stall than a room, and a bit less private than those listed above, as the doors are shutter style (read: less soundproof).

Unlovable. Not as polished as the above mentions and not as private, since there’s only one and it seems more like a bathroom you’d find in your parent’s basement, but maybe that’s the appeal. Big mirror at the sink, for your enjoyment while listening to those lined up outside pound on the door.

Logistics in any of these sometimes can prove tricky, seeing as how I’m more a skinny jeans/high boots instead of short skirts kinda gal. Some may suggest reverse cowgirl on the toilet, but as ridiculous this sounds in this story, I will not have sex on the toilet. I have standards. This is why I prefer the term ‘Water Closet’ or even ‘Powder Room’. These titles don’t imply that something less than alluring is supposed to happen in there.

Despite all the bathroom trysts I’ve enjoyed in my past, I have yet to experience one in any of those just listed. Considering that Toronto is just as famous for closing an eating or drinking establishment as it is for opening one, I better get to work.


Got a question about sex in art, relationships, parenting? Send Sonya a note at dearmadame@torontostandard.com. Anonymity assured.

Sonya JF Barnett, also known as “The Madame,” is the founder of an erotic arts community called The Keyhole Sessions and the co-founder of SlutWalk Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @KeyholeSessions

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