After its invention in 1968, homosexuality was, for some, a strange and mysterious thing. Predominantly a nocturnal creature, these secretive and seldom-seen beasts were difficult to study scientifically, but in time, mankind learned to understand, accept and even love, in a non-anal way, the homosexual. And in the fullness of time it became apparent that there was much that could be learned from the gay, and indeed many gay things that could make the straight world a better world. For example...
Given that rushed sexual intercourse in a public convenience is one of life's great pleasures, it's perplexing that polite society has not taken up cottaging with more gusto. Remember, ladies, if a toilet is not your erotic bag, then there are always public parks. Think of cottaging as a bit like speed dating without the bar - and if that's an issue, maybe BYOB cottaging is the way forward for us. One thought: would be even more comfortable in ACTUAL cottages. Maybe that's something the government could look into.
2. THE COLOURED HANKERCHIEF SYSTEM
Genius. With a quick glance at the waistline, you know exactly what a potential partner is into - brown for those who take it up what John F. Kennedy called "the third input", yellow for watersports, red for rough stuff, and so forth. Could very easily be applied to heterosexual courtship - white for a girl who doesn't really put out, for example, multi-coloured for a woman who will pretty much do anything, and a Hello Kitty print hanky for a girl who has a massive pile of cuddly toys on her bed that she may well make you kiss goodnight.
3. THE 'CLOTHING OPTIONAL' PUBLIC HOUSE
With their blacked-out windows and man-only queues, gay just-leave-your-boots-on pubs can only hint at what might be happening within. But what a brilliant idea! Slide in, let the boys out to hang loose, grab a cold one (a BEER, you filthy-minded sod) and watch naked female punters circulate and jiggle. Just one caveat: avoid the pool table at all costs, you never know who's behind you.
4. THE 'BEAR' CONCEPT
In these metrosexual times, it's not considered attractive to be burly, bearded, and in possession of a chest that looks like a mongrel's back. But in gay circles, match this description and you are a 'bear', both cuddly and threatening, and you have entire publications and clubs devoted to your furry majesty. And who among us can't say that, once in a while, it would be nice to let yourself go a bit and stop shaving and waxing for a few months?
5. THE SOCIAL ACCEPTABILITY OF THE AMYL NITRATE-SOAKED RAG
Let's not mince words here: if you periodically yank out a poppers-drenched cloth from your pocket every five minutes and take an enormous lungful, society frowns on you. And yet it's perfectly acceptable - well, more acceptable, at least - to shoot off to the loos every few minutes and return with your nostrils looking like the top of an iced bun. It's bloody double standards and we're damn well fed up with it. That's why every first Thursday of the month is Nitrate Night at the White Hart. All welcome.
6. THE COMBINATION PORN SHOP, CLOTHES STORE AND TRAVEL AGENT
Everything you need, all under one roof. Not that one NEEDS porn, you understand. Honest.
7. THEIR TARGETING OF VULNERABLE FORTYSOMETHING DIVORCEES WITH LARGE AMOUNTS OF DISPOSABLE INCOME
Genius. You know the type: husband's just ran off with the PA, boatloads of alimony and nobody to spend it on, so it's time to dye the hair, get a nose piercing and then large it every weekend in the company of men who are good with colours, paying for all their drugs in the process. Surely it would be better for both parties if we straight blokes were getting some of that action? After all, ply us with enough pharmaceuticals and that "action" might plausibly be repaid. Come on, fag hags, get wise!
8. THEIR INTOLERANCE OF ANY GAY MEN WHO HAPPEN TO BE APPEARING ON BIG BROTHER AT ANY GIVEN TIME
We've got to hand it to our gay chums - when it comes to voting out the solitary irritating shrieker that is de rigeur in every series of Big Brother as soon as possible, they show no mercy, aware that yelping campery and tight shorts make them all look bad. Humourless lesbian Millie Tants generally get short shrift too, which proves that, as a species, we're getting there, slowly but surely.
9. THE MUTUAL KNEE-TREMBLER
No real need to explain this one.
10. THEIR ESTABLISHING OF 'DISTRICTS'
Every major city has a gay district, and we think it's a fine idea that could be easily applied to other popular pastimes. How great would it be, for example, to enjoy a pint in the Darts Enthusiast District, or the Real Ale Enthusiast District? You could even follow the gay example and have a district specifically for heterosexual people who just want to get drunk and have sex. They tried it in Newcastle with the Bigg Market and it was apparently a great success.