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The Legend Of Troughman: Sydney's King Of Golden Showers

by Robin Lee
17 June 2013 9 Comments

A search down under for the elusive Troughman, legendary watersports enthusiast from Sydney's gay scene...

I spent 18 months living in Sydney, Australia. Due to going over there with a few quid there was little requirement for me to work. So I never. With the aid of my scooter and a few like minded friends my time there soon turned into endless party hopping.

Shannon, my next door neighbour, was a gorgeous husky voiced blonde from St Louis Missouri. Her and her childhood friend Kevin had decided to spend a few months in Sydney so that he could explore the city’s hectic Gay Scene after several years shrouding his sexuality in the ‘Oily baseball cap and Jeans’ town in which they’d grown up. He got a job in ‘The Nightshift’ Sydney’s premiere 24 hour gay bar,  proudly and fearlessly out for the first time in his life. Shannon was financing her stay with a big redundancy pay out so, like me, had free time. We’d spend days on end scooting between the beach, cafes and bars.

Our regular bar in the wee hours was ‘The Q bar.’ It had pool tables and a retro black and white photo booth, Shannon would take great pleasure in us piling in, so she could cheekily wop out a boob or two as the flash went off. She was a good value mate. We’d often pop over to take the piss out of Kevin serving up cocktails wearing just leather shorts and body glitter. One night the pink drinks were on the house, there was a celebration, the clientele were especially giddy. ‘Troughman’ had been in. I presumed that this was someone who cleared the guttering of leaves or unblocked the drains and couldn’t understand why this was worthy of celebration. The reality was far more bizarre.

We were informed that ‘Troughman’ was an enigmatic saint amongst the gay men of Australia. His sexual proclivity for ‘Golden Showers’ (being urinated on) had gone completely turbo and he, for several years, had taken great pleasure in lying nude in the urinal troughs in Men’s toilets at gay clubs. Revellers pissed on him, for several hours. His initial flourish of activity unintentionally developed a majesty he was not comfortable with and he had rarely been seen since, apparently he suffered from acute shyness…!

Other than this one vice little was known about Troughman. He’d become a Living Legend. Sightings were rare, yet many people claimed that they’d pissed on him, it was a common but largely fabricated badge of honour, like an old punk bragging that they’d seen The Sex Pistols at St Martins. So for him to have shown up for a couple of hours of piss-baptism on a weekday evening was a religious experience for the gathered squirters. A revelation. The gay-perv equivalent of Jesus nipping into a chapel in Harrogate for a quick lunch time wanksterbate with the teenage choirboys.

Of course the attendees at such events would often be ingesting recreational drugs of which, after body absorption, the excess is expelled in urine, therefore he would be getting spangled as the punters dangled.

It sounded too absurd to be entirely true. The next morning I bumped into Vince, a local Café owner and mature Queen, he looked like Julius Caesar after 20 years on donuts but spoke like Julian Clary and walked like C3PO. I relayed the story to him. I asked him whether this Troughman geezer was real. Turns out he was. Vince gave me the full story. He had known him when they were both young clubbers. An intelligent, polite and private man who went about his life with quiet consideration but, a bit like Clarke Kent going into a phone box moments before a falling crane threatened to squish friendly civilians, he would arrive at a gay club and in a blur lasting a fraction of a second he would be undressed and on his back in the porcelain sporting nothing but a cape of steaming piss, drinking the bladder donations of all comers. Of course the attendees at such events would often be ingesting recreational drugs of which, after body absorption, the excess is expelled in urine, therefore he would be getting spangled as the punters dangled.

At first he was considered an edgy envelope pusher but soon he became a tourist attraction and for him this caused the appeal to diminish. The masochistic pleasure of stinging eyeballs and the wet womb-like comfort of the warm deluge of gay passion and pre-processed narcotics was his yearning, not being blindly idolised. Troughman became to the gay scene what Marlon Brando became to acting. He would rarely be roused him from his retirement.

Then came Mardi-Gras night. Shannon and I stood dutifully on the Parade route to see Kevin working his angel outfit with the other boys from the bar. At nightfall we found a party. At about 1am she got a text from Kevin saying that Troughman was rumoured to be in action The Hordern Pavillion, a 3,000 capacity venue and the destination of choice for the dedicated ravers. It sold out months in advance, we had no chance.

I then had a flash of inspiration. I remembered a mate once telling that there are two dead-cert ways to get into a sold-out gig. One was to be an ambulance man, the other was to have a job there. Ever resourceful, Shannon and I sped off to change into black T-Shirts, then went to ‘The Nightshift’ where Kevin leant us four buckets, filled with ice, and two walkie-talkies that were dormant under the bar, our hard-working bar staff disguises were aided by the fact that neither of us looked gay. After a wobbly Scooter ride we stepped up to the staff entrance of the Hordern Pavillion, put on our finest ‘knackered-already-and-we’re-here-til-7am’ faces, the security guards glanced at our ice and gave an acknowledging workers nod. We were in. Easy-Peasy. Now to find the star of the show. Straight to the Gents.

Just as we thought the night could not get any more batty we entered the packed riotous toilets. There was two drenched naked nude men nose to nose, one shouting “I’M TROUGHMAN” and the other “NO I AM TROUGHMAN!” and many onlookers passing comments like “Troughman never wears swimming Goggles!” and “Troughman’s bald, neither of you are!” It was like being trapped in a Ketamine induced Spartacus/Life of Brian/Birdcage style nightmare. The frenzy over a potential Troughman appearance had caused not one but two men to masquerade as their hero in order to highjack the adulation for the night. Each had set up in different toilets, not knowing that the other was present. As soon as the punters realised and had informed the fame stealers of the confusion the confrontation had taken place.

I thought of Vince, he was around 35-40 years old, so deduced that Troughman would be around the same age. These tribute acts were no more than 30. ‘Pissed Off’ (sorry) they both left, accepting the crowd had rumbled them as frauds. Hilarious. Shannon and I returned the borrowed stuff to Kevin, and relayed the story. We went to the photo booth bar for a monochrome ending to a mad day. I lived in Sydney for a few more months. I’m not gay but somewhere inside I feel a hollowness at never attaining the trophy of splashing a wee on him.

Apparently Troughman is now a total recluse and there was rumour a couple of years ago that he had passed away. He is documented on Wikipedia and has had a pop record made in his honour.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Donna martin 9:30 am, 15-Jul-2011

This story gets even better when you google him.

robin lee 9:43 am, 15-Jul-2011

just found this... http://queenslandpride.gaynewsnetwork.com.au/adult/troughman-the-interview-001889.html

robin lee 9:45 am, 15-Jul-2011

the guy in the above interview may also be an imposter, as the name given on wikipedia is different

Nadia Conway Rahman 10:27 am, 15-Jul-2011

I love how a troughman sighting became a badge of honour. And people spoke of him in hushed tones: "Aye, a beast, more urine than man; pink and wrinkly like a newborn rat" - "oh no, I saw troughman! tall and windy, slightly yellow". etc cetera. So medeiveal.

Lia 12:16 am, 16-Jul-2011

Ew...these men would lay on the FLOOR of toilets in a gay bar? There's no way that's true.

Lia 12:19 am, 16-Jul-2011

Oh frick. You made me google http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandana_code

Martin Quirk 3:08 pm, 27-Jul-2011

Brian Eno's paen to the wonders of golden showers; 'Here Come The warm Jets.' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP-RFsuv-8Q

John-Paul 6:42 pm, 26-Oct-2012

"the wee hours". C'mon.

Herschel 11:17 pm, 26-Oct-2012

My brother (tho not gay) lived in Sydney is those heady rock/drug/gay/wild days and he just told me: 'there's a bar in sydney with his denim shorts framed on the wall'

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