Given the technological and social changes we’ve seen in most Western countries in recent decades, you would imagine that the need for gay men to go cruising for sex has become a bit redundant. If you want a quick, anonymous sexual encounter (or something more) then you can simply put your smart-phone to work or head to your nearest sauna or sex-on-premises venue. Right?
Perhaps surprisingly, the proud tradition of cruising is still going strong and no matter how discreet you are, having sex in a public place clearly comes with some risks. You’re always pretty vulnerable mid-fuck. Homophobic thugs will often target known cruising spots. There are numerous cases of men being mugged or robbed while cruising. Also, the men who frequent cruising spots may pose a greater sexual health risk – they could be closeted, less-educated about HIV and other STIs, and more inclined to have sex without condoms.
CRUISING & SAFETY
Most of the time, men cruise without getting into any trouble or difficult situations. However, it’s useful to be aware of ways to look after yourself – and other cruisers. Here are some suggestions. We’ve also included some tips for making your time cruising more enjoyable.
When the weather gets warmer, a lot of guys fancy some outdoor fun. Here are a few handy hints if you like a bit of al fresco cruising.
TAKE CONDOMS & LUBE
Even if you don’t plan to fuck at the cruising area, you might change your mind in the heat of the moment. If you haven’t got any condoms and lube, other guys may be happy to spare some.
WEAR SOMETHING SUITABLE
Don’t wear expensive gear or a new pair of shoes. The ground may be muddy and if it’s dark you may not be able to see where you’re walking. Put your keys, money and anything else you don’t want to lose in a secure, zipped pocket.
LEAVE VALUABLES @ HOME
You won’t need your credit cards or a lot of cash. If you take your phone, put it in silent mode and keep it out of sight. Don’t walk around checking Grindr on your new smartphone. Not only will you be advertising it to potential pickpockets, but you may not notice if guys are cruising you.
GET TO KNOW THE AREA
If you don’t already know the area well, walk around and check it out when you get there – especially if it’s likely to be dark by the time you leave. Find out where the exits are and where any paths lead to. It’s a good idea to stay fairly close to where most guys are concentrated.
BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT
Even once you’ve hooked up with someone, there may not be much verbal communication. However you can’t expect him to read your mind. If you’re confident and make it clear what you want, the chances are he’ll be more relaxed too. If you want to fuck him, tell him – or take out a condom – and see how he reacts. If you want to get fucked, he’ll definitely get the message if you put a condom on his cock.
KEEP CLEAR OF TROUBLE
There may be occasions when you need to refuse unwanted advances or find yourself in a difficult situation. Try to avoid confrontation, but be prepared to raise your voice or push someone away if they continue trying to do something after you’ve said no. If you’re the victim of a crime, like theft, assault or homophobic abuse, or if you witness something happening, you might feel reluctant to go to the police in case you get asked why you were there.