Having Sex in Restaurant Bathrooms is Now A Thing
I don’t even like using public bathrooms for their intended purpose. I couldn’t imagine using one for sex.
One guy interviewed said he’s caught people having sex while laying down on the restaurant bathroom’s floor. I don’t even like walking on those floors to get to the sink to wash my hands, there is no way I can fathom laying on the floor for any reason, never mind the whole having sex thing.
- April 2014
When Constantine Stavropoulos first opened Tryst in Adams Morgan, he couldn’t figure out why the wall-mounted sink in the men’s restrooms kept breaking.
“I was really going crazy, like what is going on here?” he recalls. Then he came across a website—he doesn’t remember which—that listed Tryst’s restrooms as a hotspot for, well, trysts.
“I had one of those ah-ha moments,” Stavropoulos says. “That explains everything.” So he installed legs to reinforce the sink. And the lesson stuck with him as he opened other restaurants: Don’t use wall-mounted sinks.
Sex in restrooms is, after all, a fact of restaurant life. And while D.C. may have a reputation as a buttoned-up town, restaurant and bar owners know better. “They’re buttoned-up, except when they’re in the bathroom having sex,” says Derek Brown, who owns several bars, including The Passenger and Mockingbird Hill. “I think there’s a lot of it.” He speculates that D.C. has a lot of people with a lot of stress, and, you know, what better way to relieve it?
Whether it’s a dive bar or an upscale restaurant, no establishment seems to be exempt from the sexcapades of patrons (and staff). For the first time this year, Washington City Paper added a new category to our Best of D.C. readers’ poll: Best Restaurant to Bang in the Bathroom. The No. 1 write-in response? “Gross.” But that was followed by Nellie’s Sports Bar, The Coupe (also owned by Stavropoulos), and The Palm.
… Most restaurant and bar staff will, however, try to prevent things from getting to that point by reminding couples headed into a restroom together that only one person is allowed in at a time. “That’s generally a preventative enough measure,” says The Passenger’s Brown. “When people do this, there’s the thrill of getting caught, but they don’t want to get caught. That’s not the fun part.”
… If they can’t keep people out in the first place, there’s the uncomfortable business of interrupting mid-act. For restaurateur and barman Todd Thrasher, the story that sticks with him most happened when he was a 26-year-old bartender working at the now-closed Café Atlántico in Penn Quarter. The restaurant used to have crazy Saturday night dance parties. One night, as he was knee-deep in making mojitos and caipirinhas, a woman told him two girls had locked themselves in the multi-stall restroom. Thrasher knocked first but didn’t hear anything, so he pushed the door open to find the women almost completely naked on the floor. “One girl was on her back. The other girl was doing what she had to do to the girl with her feet against the door,” he says. “I’m like, ‘Ladies, you really can’t be doing this here. There’s a stall right there!’”
Thrasher says they ultimately put on their clothes on and left—“with their boyfriends.”