Home Gay Editorials Some Simple Tips For Those New To Gay Cruising in 2024

Some Simple Tips For Those New To Gay Cruising in 2024

by Hayden
A man walking through the woods, with his back to the camera

Cruising, a vibrant part of gay culture, offers excitement and unique connections, but it also demands a sense of caution and awareness. Let’s dive into some casual, yet essential tips to make your gay cruising experience enjoyable and safe.

At its core, cruising is about anonymity and the thrill of spontaneous encounters, much like the scenes depicted by Tom of Finland. His illustrations remind us of a time when being gay was either illegal or socially frowned upon, adding a sense of danger and excitement to these seedy meetups.

But there’s obvious risks, too. It’s been there for as long as men have loved each other. It’s important to remember the roots of cruising, especially considering the past, where in places like the UK, police actively patrolled “molly-houses”—meeting locations for homosexual men—and arrested any suspected men on counts of sodomy and buggery.

Where to, honey?

When choosing your cruising spot, whether it’s the seclusion of public parks or the secretive corners of bars and restrooms, remember each location has its own unspoken rules. Engage all your senses: listen for footsteps, keep your voice low, and use non-verbal cues like eye contact and subtle smiles to communicate interest or disinterest.

Preparation is key. Always carry essentials like condoms and lube for safety. Dress smartly with easily removable clothing – think jogging shorts or jeans without a belt. Avoid high-top boots or skinny jeans, as they might hinder your spontaneity.

Skinny jeans and Nike sneakers

What NOT to wear (via StyleRug)

Be aware of the risks in popular cruising spots like gloryholes and public restrooms. Always know who’s around you and have an exit strategy. Group activities in controlled environments are often safer but require discretion and awareness. Let someone you trust know what your plans are.

Gay cruising spots, beat, the bogs… just know where you are.

Know your local “beat”—the cruising hotspots of your town. For instance, New Zealand calls it “doing the bogs.” These areas can attract police patrols and “queer-bashers,” so stay vigilant. Remember, this is a practice stemming from a time when men had to protect their identity. Not everyone that cruises is out, and I probably don’t have to explain all the baggage that entails.

In the digital age, cruising has extended to apps and websites, but if you’re using your phone, keep it discreet. Put it on silent and avoid being too absorbed: you might miss real-life cues or risk theft. Familiarize yourself with the area, especially exits and paths, for your safety. You should also know the indecency laws of your cruising area, and how they pertain to what you want to do. You might be surprised to know that, for example,  having sex in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark is legal at specific times of night. 

Two men kissing in a bar

Two Men Kissing In A Bar (via The Guardian)

If you’re the unfortunate victim of a crime, like theft or assault, or witness any wrongdoing, remember that you have the right to report it to the police without fear of judgment for your location.

RELATED LINK: Embracing Queer Ecstasy With Grass And A Touch Of Ass

Even in the modern era, cruising will probably always be a thing. No matter how convenient apps have made hookups, as long as society tries to hide away gay connections, the yearning of men will find a way. Might as well be smart about it when you go out, yeah?

Sources: Atlas Obscura, Travel Noire

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