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In particular, for this writer, amid the strife and confusion of the moment, the idea of potentially missing out on sexual contact for a year or 18 months, until a vaccine has been obtained, seems unfathomable though some hope arrived with the news that coronavirus antibody tests could be made widely available. He believes this might explain why queer apps have been filled with people who could still be hooking up despite the social distancing and self-isolation rules. Is there something almost appealingly subversive about the current situation, which fans a certain sexual appetite?

Queer sex has often flirted with danger and transgression, from cottaging scenes in the s to sex at the height of HIV though survivors of that crisis have been vocal in how we might weather this one. Most of the time in secret, so if something were to happen no one would know where you are. A lot of men are expressing frustration, some more cheerfully than others. Others say their libido itself has taken a hit. How about you?

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Some hope remains. Several people think there has been a noticeable change in attitude on Grindr, with people content to just chat and exchange pleasantries. People seem to be either broadening their ideas of what they are attracted to, or just looking for a conversation now that sex is not possible.

Or is it sometimes for gratification? A booster shot when self-esteem is low?

'Margate will never be MarGAYte’ say homophobic leaflets targeting Kent Gay Pride parade

How has the festival developed since? We started taking on bigger bands, more of them, and making it a bigger event. Last year, we introduced the Piazza where we feature local artists. New, young artists like Mad Yella, and a couple of others that are emerging out of our scene which is brilliant. Today it has such a great feel about it and there seems to be a really good creative hub down there. There are some talented people who live down here.

We also put together a radio studio in the Winter Gardens and broadcast all the different artists and DJs live all weekend down there on Mi-Soul as well. What are your favourite memories from past Soul Festivals? Watching Deniece Williams doing the Sunset Stage; she was such a show woman, so amazing, and she just had everybody eating out of her hands. With an attitude of welcome and acceptance, Sundowners bar is a Margate institution.

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A seafront bar has stood on this site for decades, seemingly unchanging despite the ebbs and flows of the world around it. Four years ago however, co-owner Duncan Bayles took over the venue, and since then his subtle changes have seen it blossom into an always-open hangout for the many diverse tribes of Margate. From families sitting out on the stunning terrace for a Sunday Roast, to partiers dancing round the pole that Duncan installed on the dancefloor, Sundowners is a place of welcome, acceptance and safety, not just for the local gay community, but for everyone. There used to be a very old-fashioned buzzer system to get in, which was the first thing I took away, so that the door is open to everybody.

One old boy often sits in the corner. The bar is hosting the prestigious Drag Idol competition heats, and. In the early days it was hard to persuade drag queens from London down to the coast. And that makes a lot of difference. Acts will say that they love coming and performing to the audience here. The commercialization of some of the other Pride festivals - which Duncan says are. Does he ever get any time away from the bar? Their iconic image has set sale to a thousand postcards, and the nostalgic joy of a British Beach Hut is as sought after as ever - even three centuries after their conception.

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The first incarnations appeared as early as the s as bathing machines horse-drawn. Despite a dip due to the boom of package holidays in the s, there are now over 20, beach huts across the UK. As we discover when speaking with the owners and renters of beach huts in Thanet, the appeal can be so much more than a glass of wine and a bat-and-ball at sunset.

They mean freedom, family, and treasured memories that for some reach back through the generations. She and my aunt pulled up two chairs. Renters are given the first opportunity to renew their lease each summer, and with family roots so entrenched they are understandably very reluctant to part with them. However, there are downsides, too. Patricia Goss, 71, has been coming to Westgate since the age of eight, and remembers renting an old-fashioned beach hut made of fabric with her own parents and brother.

Aptly named Elysium, the family purchased the hut after a spell in hospital gave Louise the push she needed to finally move to Margate, a dream she has had since being a child and picnicking on the beach with her grandparents.

Sundowners, Margate: Hours, Address, Sundowners Reviews: 4/5

I would pass the huts when buying an ice cream and promise myself one day I would have one. Susan Troke still remembers how, as a seven-year-old, she would spend her summer holidays out on pedalos, riding on stuffed donkeys, and grinning happily for photos with new friends. His brother chatted her up first, but luckily she preferred my dad. They go crabbing, too. It gives us and our sons a social life.

For more information For more information on beach huts, visit yourleisure. Opportunities are also available for community groups, schools and nurseries to hire a Community Hut on either Margate Main Sands or in Ramsgate. Thoughtfully decorated in a sunny yellow, the artwork - a copy of a s Southern Railway poster - was painted by John himself. As an interiors and architectural designer, he painstakingly copied the nostalgic print over three weeks in his garage. Bright pink deck chairs, gerbera flowers and a faux lawn are evocative of times gone by.

Because the privately owned huts are smaller at six feet by six, shelving has been carefully erected to squeeze in the essentials. He is very good at sitting and begging with his paw. People fall for it every time! We come down here and we read a book, or we do a puzzle, go into the sea, or simply chat. This is our escape, our little home from home. The ultimate Thanet book that has left an indelible impression on every reader that has experienced it. Really it should be handed out at the station like some sort of Bible and off-kilter guidebook to every fledgling Thanet-ite.

It bears all the hallmarks of a crime novel, but features some vicious satire and pitch black humour in amongst the horror. And it features a brief love letter to The Loop! Funnland sits in the fictional Kent town of Whitmouth, but it certainly bears all the hallmarks of Thanet. The story, as well as the setting, may sound familiar. Two young girls were vilified by the press due to their involvement in the death of a fouryear-old. Now, many years later, the girls have new identities, but as a serial killer stalks the streets of Whitmouth, the past returns to haunt them.

First published in , the book is set several millennia in the future, where civilisation has collapsed and the populace of Kent eke out a harsh, practically medieval existence. The future sits on a precipice, where mankind will either save itself or slip into oblivion. A challenging, sensational read.

A novel about the Shell Grotto! How can you resist? But these plans change when a mysterious cavern adorned with shells is discovered. Weird, unsettling and wonderful - just like the Shell Grotto itself! We specialise in second hand silver and gold jewellery. We pride ourselves in a vast collection of jewellery at competitive prices, with an express repair service available on site. Handmade Jewellery tailored to suit the individual customer, all from our traditional workshop on the premises email s.

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Registrations now being taken for Nursery, Reception and Year 3 Small class sizes offering individual attention Inspirational outdoor learning curriculum Focus on core academic skills Extended day for working parents Happy, creative, focussed environment Spacious modern and traditional facilities. The internationally renowned Carl Freedman Gallery may be new in town, but the owner is no stranger to Margate.