Editor’s note: This column may contain content that is offensive to some people.
So exactly what are Bush Bunnies and Tea-Rooms anyway? Well, for those older individuals you’ll know what I’m talking about. For those who don’t know, let me explain. Before gay and Leather communities became accepted and long before they became mainstream, we had code words and other signs to help us communicate amongst each other without others knowing what was going on. The terms Bush Bunny and Tea-Room were some of those.
A Bush Bunny was someone who liked to have sex in the bushes or woods. We would cruise the local parks looking to hook up with someone for sex. When we would find someone, we would head into the trees and bushes to get it on. Once you were done, you’d leave or look for the next trick. Totally anonymous with no strings attached.
When I first came out hummmpmpm years ago, in the town where I lived, parks were the only place to find other gay men for hooking up and having sex (the nearest gay bar was over an hour away). Back then we weren’t looking for a lover or a partner, we were looking to find someone we could play with to get our rocks off.
The early leather clubs used to have “club runs” where everyone would get on their cycles, head to a designated outdoors campsite where they would gather and would have a great time. Lots of fun and lots of sex. All in the great outdoors. The oldest continuous leather run is Badger Flats Run sponsored by the Satyars MC.
Tea-Rooms were a code word for a public bathroom. Typically, this would be any park or highway rest area restroom. Again, it was a place to find a sex partner for a one-time hookup. These were popular (and still are) with many truckers. They could stop at a Tea-Room, relieve some stress, sleep and then go on down the road.
For both cruising a park or a rest area, the biggest part of the mystique was not only the anonymous sex, but the thrill of whether or not you would get caught. Because it is illegal to have sex in a public place, this was the allure, the possibility of getting caught. The adrenaline rush of “bad boy” sex was and still is a turn on for some folks. For me, it’s the anonymity. Sex with an anonymous person is and always will be a turn on for me.
However, sex in public space regardless of your sexual orientation is illegal. Always has been, probably always will be. Unless you’re a voyeur, most people don’t care to see others having sex in a public space.
So what can you do? Well, first of all, you can meet people in the park or at a Tea-Room, that’s not a problem. But when it comes to getting it on, take it home or take it out of the public venue/area. Find an off-the-beaten-path spot down an old dirt road. Go somewhere that is NOT on public property or someone’s property where they can have you arrested for trespassing. The old saying “get a room” has a whole new meaning here.
Bottom line, take it out of sight and out of public places. (Yeah, I know, some of you are saying “Practice what you preach. Believe me, I’m trying and working at it!! Hard to break a park whore).
But if you’re hell-bound on having sex in the woods, there are many avenues now for you to choose from. There are several men’s only campgrounds where you can go, camp out, and have lots of fun. There are several in Missouri and some in northwest Arkansas. Great places, great times, no issues.
If you are interested in these places or have an interest in learning more about the history of the Leather community, please get in touch with any person in WOOLF. We meet each fourth Saturday at 5pm for our monthly munch at Club Boomerang and have our education class at 7pm at The Center. Please come join us and learn more about the leather life!! l