It was a night in May 1978 that would change the life of an Australian man named Barry Charles irreversibly. He was 28 at the time. While visiting New York City, he visited the Mineshaft, a “notorious fuck bar of the seventies and eighties” as he called it in an article he authored in the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services in 2003. The Mineshaft, located at 835 Washington St., was a legendary leather bar that was the inspiration behind William Friedkin’s 1980 movie Cruising.
At the Mineshaft, he saw a man in a bathtub—and twenty other men lined up, ready to pee on him. The idea excited him so much that he instantly became the next volunteer to enter the tub. When he got back home to Sydney, he was frustrated that the clubs he frequented did not have the “watersports” facilities that he now craved. At Signal, Sydney’s first leather bar, Charles realized that he could use the shared urinal, universally known as a “trough,” in the men’s room.
It is at this point that we can begin to refer to Charles as Troughman. Troughman started by crouching down and leaning against the urinal but (as he wrote) “it becomes easy to let myself go completely and, no longer kneeling or crouching, I lie right down in the urinal.” To Vocativ he stated that “I just got straight down there and started getting pissed on. It was instant rapport. These guys were all into the leather and S&M scene and they were right up for it straight away. And the bar management didn’t mind. They thought it was great fun.”
In 1998 Kellie Henneberry made a short film called Troughman about Charles. In it Charles/Troughman says, “I’m really into piss,” and adds that “being pissed on” is “my particular specialty.” He continues:
I do it because it’s a sexual turn-on for me, something that really excites me. I discovered it by accident. I didn’t even know that it existed, and then I walked into this club and it was happening. People were doing this, and I wanted to do it! And when it happened for the first time, it just opened all these amazing doors of sexual excitement.
More after the jump…