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Trough urinals are making a comeback in NYC

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Although I’m not into water sports, I still believe there’s a lot of sexual tension that can be felt in the bathrooms at gay bars. 

Yes, sometimes that’s because people are hooking up or doing drugs in the stalls, but I’m talking about the urinals. 

An inherent vulnerability occurs between two gay men as they are peeing side by side. The presence of queerness makes it more palpable. 

Trough urinals bring this eroticism – and vulnerability – to the next level. 

What are trough urinals? 

In simplest terms, trough urinals are long, narrow, basin-like fixtures that can accommodate multiple users simultaneously. 

My first experience with them was years ago at the Eagle NYC, and I was slightly confused because an older man was jerking himself off above it. 

The trough urinal itself looked like a fixture made for barn animals. 

I finally got the nerve to use one at the Ritz Bar and Lounge, and another person followed behind to do so as well. He must have had a copious amount to drink because he launched a stream like a power hose. I remember being worried that he was too close and some of his piss would ricochet like hellfire. 

For the most part, the trough urinal has typically only existed in old-school gay dive bars or the hetero sports realm. It’s not unlike a symbol of unhinged masculinity. 

So.Gay has discovered there’s a rise of new gay bars offering new generations a chance to whip it out on a trough urinal. 

Are trough urinals the latest trend in NYC nightlife? 

So spotting a trough urinal isn’t precisely like catching an endangered species in the wild, but unexpectedly, new establishments are embracing them. 

From an efficiency perspective, trough urinals allow more guys to pee at once, shortening the line that sometimes feels like it goes around the block in nightlife. Naturally, bars that cater primarily to men would be the obvious choice, and thus, leather and fetish gay bars have historically served as the trough urinal’s biggest champion. 

Nw gay bars are bringing them to the future. 

Animal, a recently opened queer bar in Williamsburg that took over the Breakers’ venue, has opened with a trough urinal included. 

But don’t place your bets on assumptions because a trough urinal can pop up anywhere. 

Singers, a Bedstuy hotspot, installed one in their newly renovated bathrooms. 

And if you’re thinking, who the hell cares about urinals? You’re dismissing gay culture! 

To answer your question, we’re not alone in our interest. A thread on Reddit asks, “Best through urinals in NYC?” and it seems there are hidden gems (for once, the term used unironically) all over. 

“I’m tired of pissing in regular, vertical urinals. Life is too short. Where are the proper trough urinals at?” says the Reddit author. 

New Yorkers quickly commented with their favorite suggestions, including Rockbar, The Delancey, Radegast, and American Whiskey.

It appears that trough urinals never really left the scene, but it’s interesting to see their resurgence in new establishments.

To some, a trough urinal might just be another place to piss. 

But to gay men like me, they represent spaces where my gayness has never put my manhood into question. The opposite, really: trough urinals are where men are empowered to allow these masculine and queer identities to merge and roam free like wild boars.  

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