As a concept, the darkroom is a very, VERY gay thing. I'm guessing it only exists in a very specialised type of straight club, way removed from the mainstream.
In the gay world, at least over here in sunny Europe, the darkroom is pretty much a bar/club staple.
For the uninitiated, a dark room is pretty much what you'd expect - a room with no lights or windows - thus dark - where you go to get felt up anonymously, by strangers whose faces you can't see. Or it's the place that you take the hot guy you just met in the bar, before you take him home (or instead of).
Anyway, this all makes it sound very seedy, which, of course, it is.
Paris bars do have their fair share of darkrooms, and it has to be said they are usually full of American tourists who are appreciating this 'European' novelty.
When Florida Boy and me were faced with a dark room at a bar in Rome last weekend we decided we'd give it a whirl. Neither of us was looking for 'action' but we figured it'd be kind of fun to go in there together....you can imagine.
Anyway, whilst in there there's a bit of a commotion and I feel something come whizzing past my leg.
There's a massive bang, like someone has dropped a massive bag of potatoes on the floor.
Someone screams and the mobile phones are pulled out so that the screens can shed some light on the situation.
"è Morto!" someone screams.
I look down and there on the floor, face down, arms at his sides, is a silver-haired guy. To all appearances he is, indeed, dead. Very dead.
More screaming (what is it with the screaming boys? Come on lads, let's butch up a bit) and the darkroom empties.
The barman runs into the room with a first aid kit and within a couple of minutes the silver-haired guy is being helped to the toilets. Seems he's not dead.
He has blood all over his face - from where he hit the floor, I'm guessing - and he's visibly shaken.
Me and FB get a couple of drinks and down them fast. We try not to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation and order some more beers.
As we prepare to leave 30 minutes later, I notice a guy stood against the wall of the bar.
"Isn't that him?" I say.
And, true enough, it is the passing out guy, stood with a bloody handkerchief in one hand and clutching his groin 'provocatively' with the other. Obviously he's not going to let a little blackout come between him and a good time.
As we walk home past the colisseum, I can't help but wondering if such things happened in ancient Rome. I'm fairly certain they did.
At least, I hope so.
Those Gladiators had to do something with their evenings, right?