Gay Paris in the 1920s

It’s a shame Evelyn Waugh didn’t write more about the nitty-gritty of gay life. He certainly had the material. He destroyed some of the diaries covering his gay phase, but kept others. In December 1925 Waugh and a friend visited a gay brothel in Paris, a café on the Rue des Ourses. Waugh, who was then 22, chatted to a 19-year-old dressed as an Egyptian woman, his friend to a “peasant boy.” Waugh thought his new companion attractive and even arranged a tableau whereby the young man might be “enjoyed by a large negro,” but balked at the price and left without having consummated the acquaintance. “I think I do not regret it,” he wrote in his diary.