• Matt Cook
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


In 2004 Darren Brady, founder of gay lettings agency Outlet, told the Independent newspaper that gay men ‘are more imaginative and more aesthetically minded with our homes — we also tend to be cleaner. Just look at gay men’s obsession with grooming, which applies to our homes as well as our bodies’.1 Brady signals a particularity in gay men here whilst also reflecting a broader cultural ‘fetishisation of the home, its possessions and its decoration’.2 The rise in individualism and disposable income had by this time contributed to an extension of what was already an intensely home-focussed culture.3 Many more people had their own homes or their own space within a shared home,4 and they ‘gained the space, comfort and stimulation indoors that they had previously encountered only by going out’.5 This had knock-on effects for the conduct of sex lives and relationships — and in ways which accelerated ‘the privatisation of gay life’.6 The increase in personal space meant something too for the way homes were styled and organised — more often now according to one person’s preferences. Gay men gained a particular profile in this respect and gave further visibility to the tendency and identification I explored in the preceding chapters.7 In 1982 The Economist noted the greater disposable income of gay couples and cited a Gay News survey which had found that gays were more likely to buy household consumer goods than the average.8


Sunday Time Preceding Chapter Independent Newspaper Mixed Tense Shared Home 
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    As Daniel Miller has it: Daniel Miller, The Comfort of Things (Cambridge: Polity, 2008).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Matt Cook 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Cook
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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