Being a straight guy I can’t speak to the OP based on personal knowledge. But I came across an academic researcher who lends support to Michael.
I can’t recall his name. He was a gradute student in art history giving an oral presentation of his dissertation. He was interpreting the symbolism in the artwork of Jasper Johns. More specifically, he argued that pieces Johns produced beginning in the mid-1950s that became collectively known as his “Target” period were references to “Glory Holes” – holes put into the dividers of publoc restroom stalls to facilitate anonymous sex among the men in the stalls. From other research (IIRC, he cited at least one Johns biographer) the student had learned that Johns was gay, living in New York, and frequenting clubs and bath houses where this was common behavior, before and during the time he was creating this stuff.
The audience was a group of other art students and art professors, in the early 1990s, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. I’m probably not going terribly far out on a limb in guessing that some of them were themselves familiar with the gay male urban lifestye of the 50s and more recently. Perhaps ironically, they tore some of these students new assholes , but his assertions were not challenged.
The group’s response might be summed up as, “Well, duh.”
How common it is, I have no idea. I do know that even into the 90’s there was at least one public bath house in DC and some bar in a Maryland suburb that got occasional press for alleged gay sex escapades of one type or another among patrons. This was long after information about AIDS transmission became widely known. In fact there is a well-known “gay cruising” place here in Madison, WI even now – Olin Turville Park. You can Google for it along with the words gay and sex and find numerous sites with varius view on t.