Cruising commonly takes place in parks, beaches, forests and other spaces next to urban areas, as well as in every kind of public toilets and rest areas of highways.
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- Above: Alex lurking in a park.
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If you know any place that is not available on our map, you can add it and share it with everyone. Here you have a list of places and spots next to you where you can practise Cruising in in an anonymous way. A good coffee shop has a feeling of de-stress and coziness. And since I love being around men — their presence automatically makes me feel comfortable, like being in a locker room — I love coffee shops in gay neighborhoods. Cruising comes naturally to these places, since people-watching and cruising are basically the same thing, and what better way to lick the foam off your lips than having someone lick it off for you?
The blocker restricted sites according to keywords. Unzipped, Attitude, and The Advocate were my first signs of gay life; the first proof I had that others were out there. Armstrong, my life was changed forever. I grabbed the book and ran to the restroom. I sat in a stall for an hour, turning the pages slowly, trembling. Some of the best cruising happens in places where you least expect it — at museums, art galleries, theatres, libraries, and the opera. At these places, stay primed and ready, and go with your instincts if you are getting a cruising vibe from one of your fellow fine art patrons.
He is not studying the Mame poster behind you. Linger until everyone has left the restroom. Bend him over in the bathroom stall or, better yet, find some austere and dramatic place you two can tuck away for some privacy.
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You might miss the first 15 minutes of Act Two, but nothing ever happens in the first 15 minutes of Act Two. Maybe it is located in a gayborhood, or maybe it is the one business in your conservative town where you can be yourself. Visit often, be friends with the people who work there, and keep an eye peeled — ready and restless guys are around every corner. I knew my barber was a keeper the first time I sat in his chair: Zero on the sides.
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Unlike all the straight barbers I have had in the past, my barber is a 6-foot-tall sweetheart who knows exactly what haircuts gay men are wearing these days undercuts, fauxhawks, pompadours, high-and-tights. But what he did not know is that his shop is total cruising zone. That is, until I filled him in. Many barbershops are cruising zones, especially if they have gay-heavy clientele.
As we wait, we are watching men being groomed, knowing that at some point we will be up there, turned and swiveled for the guys to inspect from every angle. Following the logic of the barbershop, any waiting room can be a cruising zone. You can feel the cruising vibes as soon as you walk in and sign your name — always wear something sexy when you go get blood work done. I have never been to a gay AA or CMA crystal meth meeting, but I have heard from friends who attend them that these groups are notorious eye wars.
This makes sense to me because I have attended a few HIV support groups, especially after I first tested positive, and the cruising vibes were strong. People come together and need each other when they are in difficult places, and sometimes sex is part of that. In my lowest moments, I have cruised for sex simply because I needed to be around someone else or forget my problems for a little bit. There is something important about this type of cruising, because while it might not be totally healthy, it is totally human. Craigslist was launched out of San Francisco in Almost immediately, people began posting personal ads for sex services, companionship, kink, and to satisfy every fetish you can imagine, from sitting on cakes to voyeurism to some considerably darker fare minors, cannibalism, you name it.
Craigslist changed the game for men seeking men. Sites catering exclusively to gay dating and personals came later. Gay sex sites came with them — BarebackRT. Gay cruising had found its home on the web, and suddenly we needed to spend more time in front of our computers. In , the fabric of gay life changed again. In the future, we will look back at a massive turning in gay culture — when gay hookup apps, which locate other users through the geolocation devices in your smartphone, hit the market. In , Grindr had 4 million users in countries across the globe, with 1.
Those numbers have doubtlessly increased today.
Any mention of Grindr in will inevitably result in some eye rolls. Tiresome arguments between guys who hate hookup apps and guys who love them continue to rage across gay media outlets. Some say Grindr and other apps have destroyed gay life. Others say they have simply redefined it. Regardless which side you fall on, hookup apps are here to stay. I think the success of hookup apps was fairly foreseeable.
If you give gay men an effortless way to hunt for sex on-the-go, everywhere they go, all the time, they are going to go for it. We have always have been doing this — Grindr simply made cruising easier.
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Scruff was launched in , the year after Grindr hit the app store. Scruff is an app that essentially does the same Grindr does, but with different features unlimited profile text, more in-app search tools and, some would argue, catered to a slightly different user base. In , Scruff reported 8 million users worldwide. Today, there are dozens of gay dating apps in addition to these two: X, and many others all trying to get in on the action.
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Leather festivals like International Mr. Nothing is discrete at Folsom. While public sex is typically not allowed at leather events themselves, the plethora of parties happening in conjunction with them are the main sexual fare. White Party Miami the whole week of it. White Party Palm Springs.
Purple Party in Dallas. The Pines Party on Fire Island. The list goes on, and on, and on. All over the world, from Tel Aviv to Rio de Janeiro, gay circuit parties have turned modern gay life into something global and glamorous — and expensive.
Cruise culture has changed — no doubt about that. Some guys say cruising is dead, simply because it is harder to cruise for sex in public now.
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Train stations, parks, and public restrooms have more security personnel and fewer cruising patrons — particularly when many guys can just sit at home and hookup on Scruff. Cruise culture is alive, but it has been monetized. Circuit parties, which are essentially massive cruising fests, are beautiful, expensive things that cater to gay men with enough disposable income to afford tickets and travel and clothes, and drugs, and hotel rooms, and harnesses, and all the many other costs that inevitably factor in.
My impulse is to wag my finger at an industry that caters to the rich — but I also love circuit parties.
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After the devastation of the AIDS epidemic and after generations of gay men seeing their lifestyles portrayed in ugly ways, the feeling of being in a warehouse filled with gay men celebrating themselves and their sex is radical and life-changing. It is a feeling I think every gay man should experience. I saved the best for last. Backrooms are relics of an earlier time, when managers and owners generously created a space where their patrons could do what they needed to do with each other and looked the other way — or perhaps joined in. But gay bars today are now flocked with bridesmaids and visited by health inspectors and must struggle to stay afloat in a world where hookup apps have hurt their business, meaning backrooms have all but disappeared.
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