Archaic Adonians

NICK CORDINGLY asks whether the the infamous Adonians are as archaic as we think.

As a gay man in Cambridge, I have never been afforded the doubtful ‘privilege’ of being invited to the infamous and elusive Adonian Society, which invites gay undergraduates to dine and possibly do more with like-minded fellows.

However, a friend of mine recently attended the induction dinner.  And while he seems to have had a relatively uneventful time of it (he noted most feeling up of students was occurring towards undergraduates who had been before) I think the continued existence of such a society poses some interesting questions.

Giving Aloysius a hand out of the closet…

Now, it’s fine for a group of consenting adults want to get together with the possibility of having sex: it breaks no laws and if they really want to do it then they are perfectly free to.  Yet, as a friend of mine who does law remarked, the very idea of it seems like it should be illegal.

If we were to reverse the genders of the undergraduates involved, and imagine a group of young girls who were invited to a meal because fellows wanted to feel them up and possibly have sex with them, I’m pretty certain it would cause far more of a scandal and be shut down immediately.

To me, the fact that such a society exists in the 21st century is mostly an indictment of the antiquated attitude towards sex that still persists among some gay men.  The furtiveness of the whole thing seems to be an attempt to bring a thrill of illegality to sex such as existed before homosexuality was legalised in the 1960s.

It’s the same reason that some gay men continue to cottage: they seem to get kicks from trying to make sex as covert as it had to be before 1967.

Frankly such gay men need to give up on their clandestine fumbles and enter the modern world, go to the Cow on LGBT night or download Grindr.  We’re allowed to have sex as much as we like now. Stop complicating things by insisting on living in the past.

  • objective observer

    you definitely don't get any action

    • Subjective observer

      I was unfortunate enough to find out that this is not the case.

  • Adonian

    jealous you didn't get invited?

    • Adonian Secretary

      You have to be good-looking to get invited

  • yawn

    same old imagine how bad it would be if girls did it!

  • Spot the difference

    Cottaging: looking for random sexual partners with the intention of having sex
    Grindr: looking for random sexual partners with the intention of having sex with the help of a smartphone

  • Anon

    Derivative, trite, boring.

    • phuqwhatyouheard

      How is it derivative? agree on the other two


    This has been done so many times before. Yawn.

  • ISpeakForTheStudents

    I really do agree with you Nick! This is SO elitist and unfair and WRONG even! Why are all these fellows OLD RICH WHITE MEN? They have all the power to have sex with whoever they want to! And as you say, why not girls?!!? Why the sexism? I really don't understand, and if I don't agree with it it means it's objective.

    HENCE, because I think this is wrong, the Adonian society should not be allowed to exist. And other people may disagree with me, but that is because they are SIMPLE people who don't know that they are stuck in a patriarchy. I say, we should OCCUPY the Adonian Society and STOP them from doing what they do because it goes against my beliefs! I really do think this is the most sensible way to go about it.

    Some others may think that doing this will destroy my credibility as a left wing activist, but they don't understand. They are going to thank me when the it all becomes clear to them.


    I hope you guys are with me because the coalition government is DESTROYING this country, right?!?!?!

    • Andy

      I agree with the first half of this. Mostly. Then you descend into idiocy. I can imagine you jumping up and down like a hamster that's been fed exclusively on fruit pastilles.

      • Earnest

        Andy it's a joke based on someone who kept writing similarly ridiculous (though sincere) comments under the name "WeTheStudents", claiming to speak for everyone during the occupation of a lecture theatre in Sidgewick (Lady Margaret Hall or something: apologies, the name eludes me). It isn't sincere.

  • Straight Adonian

    It's not all about sex, nor is it exclusively for gay people. Don't knock it till you've tried it.

  • David Leigh

    I'm such a BNOC that I think I will be able to arrange for you to be sent an invite.

  • Larry Bhukman

    Mate, mate, don't dis it til you've tried it. It is always a wonderful evening.

    • Matty McBroide

      I don't like it because I love pusaaaay!

  • Jamie Patmore

    The meat I tasted at the Adonian was quite delicious, cured and matured. It was an explosion of taste within me as I gobbled down every last bit. I await my next invite.

    • Connoisseur

      Vino bianco doesn't go with beef.

  • NIck

    stop whining

  • Angus Dickson

    I'm sorry, but who can complain with a lovely meal and then a few blowies under the table? Surely that's every gay man's dream?! I mean, I know if I were gay I'd be off to the Adonis Society in a shot! I just wish we had a male equivalent……God knows I need the equivalent.

    • Milo Riley-Smith

      Angus! Thank God you've raised this issue. I have been thinking the same. How about you and I get some young, fresh crumpet round to mine this coming Monday night for a quick bite of lasagne and then something more? Sound good?

  • Gareth Rhys

    Big deal

  • Will Lawrenson

    Got the t-shirt

  • Grow up, please

    This is so silly. Many of the 'adult' guests aren't even fellows; indeed the society is run by a heterosexual non-fellow (although he does have dining rights). Many students who attend are heterosexual and just enjoy the company and the food – if it gets a bit fruity at times, that's just the fun of it, and Petreans engage in this kind of thing all the time – see next Saturday's transvestite 'Miss Peterhouse' competition (or perhaps don't if you don't think your constitution can take it, male rowers should stick to lycra and not experiment with fishnets).
    The students who go along know exactly what they're getting into and if they were uncomfortable with the age range they wouldn't go. As it is, they're generally quite mature people and can cope with handling a relationship (if they choose) with someone of an age that they choose, whilst balancing that with conversation with somebody of any age. We should be encouraging students to be mature enough to maintain conversation – even if superficial! – with anybody. Some of these supposedly predatory adult guests might even have something interesting to say – perish the thought – between grabbing post-pubescent youngsters' crotches.
    It's not so very different to any other drinking society. If you think that a female version would be so dreadful, perhaps all swaps with female drinking societies should be banned.

  • Jamie Crawford

    1/10 – The Adonians are a well respected society, I should know, I've been to one of their dinners.

  • Dr Guyk

    Have you ever read any Waugh? "Brideshead Revisted" isn't about wooftery, no matter how saucy Jeremy Irons looks in a mortarboard.

  • Ricky Alty

    as a teetotaler, i nevertheless enjoyed my dinner at the Adonius society. it's so nice to see a melange of all ages coming together- without the need for alcohol!
    Leave us boys to our fun.

  • Revd Slipper

    My favourite part was the game of Baroness Egg Attack. It's really quite something. And the lucky thing is that, as there are no women there, there are no human eggs, so one doesn't have to have a delicious eggy snack smelling curiously of pilchards.

  • Thomas Spooner

    is this another society all my friends are in and I'm not? anyone know how I could come along?

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  • Matt

    You’re right, it’s obviously much healthier to meet people on an app or drunk in loud music than to dress up and go for dinner with them regularly…

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