Gay hook up signals
Elysian Park is one of the few public parks in Los Angeles that continues to have a strong cruising culture. Police around the United States still regularly conduct sting operations in gay cruising grounds, often pretending to seduce the men there in order to entrap them. The stings are a hangover from an era when gay sex was still illegal in the country. Dinco says queer men are easy targets, and are especially vulnerable to systemic forms of violence when cruising in public places like parks. Speaking to queer men from all over the world for this piece, I heard again and again how they came of age knowing that to be visibly gay in public was to be in danger.
Cruising Isn't Dead—If You Know Where to Look
All sorts of men cruise: Most gay men, at some point or another, have cruised for sex in public. The only thing one needs to bring, generally, is a penis. The reasons why men pursue sex in public are multiple, with no definitive answer: Police actions against cruising also were historically ritualistic, in their abusive and homophobic dimensions. Before the Stonewall Riot of , which signaled the beginning of the contemporary GLBT civil rights movement, gay men and lesbians were considered sexual deviants.
They were subject to criminal prosecution, incarceration, and forced institutionalization in mental wards. As well, gay men and lesbians might have faced loss of employment, places of residence, and reputation, if they were exposed as being homosexual, through being caught cruising—or for simply being in a gay bar; dancing with another person of the same sex; holding a social event in public or private; or participating, especially after World War II, in early GLBT civil rights organizations, such as the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis.
Then as now, the press, with the collaboration of the police, published pictures of accused homosexual sex criminals, frequently destroying lives in the process. More than one gay man or lesbian committed suicide upon being exposed. Yet, we should remain cautious about the conditions of his arrest, which amounted to being in a suspicious place, and performing suspicious acts, but in the end, doing nothing patently illegal.
Craig is guilty of several things, not the least of which is poor judgment, plus tapping his foot, lingering outside the stalls suspiciously, and reaching under the stall wall with his hand—but not of establishing physical contact with a police officer. As Laud Humphreys demonstrated in his classic and controversial study of public cruising in the s, Tearoom Trade, outsiders to the game of cruising rarely are involved in the action.
Cruising happens every day in many places. In fact, as you are reading this sentence, men are having sex someplace public, somewhere right here in Minnesota. However, the vast majority of people remain unaware of this activity, which is precisely the point. Cruising, when done properly and discreetly, harms no one, and delights many—until police operations; media attention; and, yes, sometimes the indiscretion of cruisers themselves draw our attention to this everyday phenomenon.
Many of the men arrested in the stings in the Twin Cities last summer have seen their lives severely affected by the process of entrapment and vengeful publicity that has characterized these operations, in a manner disturbingly similar to the pre-Stonewall times. Did you know that some of these men have been forced to register permanently as sex offenders? Did you know some have lost their jobs through being charged with sexual assault for touching a fully clothed police officer who had been sending the right signals, of course, including verbally requesting touch on the thigh or buttock, and subsequently legally were declared a sex offender?
Certain licensed professions, such as nursing, social work, and K teaching, forbid legally defined sex offenders from employment, regardless of the circumstances of the designation. But are we really prepared to say that men engaged in consensual sex, albeit in public, are as dangerous to society as predatory child molesters and serial rapists? Jerry Burg, a Minneapolis attorney who often serves as defense counsel for men arrested for cruising, describes how courts in particular jurisdictions increasingly are labeling men caught cruising as sex offenders, and meting out punishments that speak of a deep loathing of gayness above and beyond the enforcement of public order.
These may include random drug and alcohol testing; confiscation of computers and denial of Internet access; prohibitions against owning or viewing pornography; random searches of persons and property; and mandatory sexual offender psychotherapy evaluation and treatment. What is a misdemeanor offense in Hennepin County could get a cruiser tagged as a sex predator in Ramsey County or Dakota County.
This eccentric application of punishment reveals more about the continuing problem of homophobia in law enforcement and the judicial system than about effective policing strategies, from which Burg identifies an alarming trend towards pathologizing sexual desire, not simply behavior, in the sentencing responses of certain courts to men who cruise. Many instances today are too reminiscent of outrages of the pre-Stonewall period, where to be gay or lesbian was to be constantly and consistently vulnerable to the official disgust of heterosexual society.
Admittedly, it is hard for many GLBT people to defend public cruising, especially in front of straight people. In fact, many gay men actively disavow public sex, with responses along the lines of: Indeed, our GLBT civil rights organizations largely have been silent on the parading of the new sex offenders on the front pages of our newspapers—except for a statement by OutFront Minnesota regarding the Craig case that, ironically enough, supported the police.
Unlike the s, when police entrapment for a relatively victimless crime was recognized by gay men and homophile organizations such as the Mattachine Society for what it was—the heartless enforcement of homophobic social attitudes—today, GLBT people demur. We shuffle our feet, and we blush. We focus on the positive images designed to reassure and recruit straight allies: This is not a defense per se of public cruising.
The problem is the degree of punishment, not punishment itself. This history of rabid homophobic entrapment arguably puts the onus of humanistic and fair enforcement of laws prohibiting sexual contact in public places not on gay men and their behavior, but on law enforcement. For instance, cities with progressive enforcement strategies utilize CCTV cameras, public signage, and police patrols with mild misdemeanor citation violation of park hours, for instance to control cruising—experimenting successfully with less punitive measures to discourage public sex, or at the very least make it less visible.
Sexuality is a complicated business, and there always will be men and many women who enjoy the thrill of public sex; the eroticism of space it represents; the desires it unleashes. After 60 years of GLBT people fighting to be accepted as who we are, we should be able to come up with a better strategy for addressing consistent behavior than by returning to techniques proven to demean more than dissuade. Well, I was recently alerted to this activity when I decided to go star gazing with my daughters at the rose gardens.
But, as a woman who feels that I should be able to walk around at night just the same as any white man can, I say you cruisers should really try to be less intimidating. All Rights Reserved. Lavender Media, Inc. Search for: By Lavender June 5, Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Issue Was this the s again? So, this is where we stand in You can be arrested for tapping your foot. The Politics of Cruising Ivy Diefenbach says: August 22, at 9:
Gay men hang out there despite — or maybe because of — a nearby “[You'll be] within earshot of the shooting range, hooking up, and then. Dear Straight People, Have you ever wondered how gay men are able to Ryan Gosling, then your gaydars are probably ringing off the hook!.
Meeting gay guys is hard. First you have to determine if the guy you're interested in is gay or straight. Then you have to approach him and strike up a conversation.
A favorite of those seeking a thrill in the early Internet age, as well as more than a few closet cases, the site has long been home to detailed information about where to seek anonymous trysts in mostly public locations—from a cruisy toilet near the Disney World monorail to a steamy locker room in the basement of a Moscow health club. To ensure the publicly horny aren't caught in a sting by law enforcement—who have historically played the part of affable co-masturbator, until they arrest you for solicitation—users were and still are encouraged to report any suspicious behavior to the site itself as a "heads up.
Have you ever wondered how gay men are able to recognise one another? Since you clicked on this article, I assume that you do.
At Your Own Risk: The Politics of Cruising
To get started in the pick-up game, you need to go where gay men are and learn to approach them. And not just one or two guys, but many guys. Nothing conveys indecision and nervousness like hesitation. Indecision and nervousness are not attractive traits. So practice the three-second rule:
10 Things You Can Do To Pick Up More Gay Men
Maybe you've seen the recent video that purports to show "what actually happens when gay guys see other gay guys and straight people aren't around. Upon recognizing one another's gayness, and realizing they're in a space utterly devoid of heterosexuality, the three men launch into some light runway…. The underlying tension of the scene stems from the idea that these men are only free—or perhaps safe —to unleash their purest gay selves in the company of others like them. Halperin writes in How to be Gay. Because masculinity is the only "natural and authentic identity" in a patriarchal society, expressing one's femininity is viewed as a performance on top of that state of being. A feminine "performance" can prove dangerous for men, regardless of sexuality, just as failing to sufficiently "perform" femininity can prove dangerous for women. Actually, a woman's feminine "performance" can also be used against her—see knee-jerk questions about rape victims like "What was she wearing? Some of these systems have been historically used to broadcast sexual desires, like the hanky code , which saw its peak usage in the s and '80s. Men who participated in this form of flagging placed differently colored handkerchiefs in the back pockets of their pants:
All sorts of men cruise: Most gay men, at some point or another, have cruised for sex in public.
The first time a friend took me "up the Heath", cruising in the woods at the top of London's Hampstead Heath, I was terrified and turned on in equal measure. Being summer, it was still quite light, but most people have had a lifetime of being warned about men lurking in the woods - and here I was taking two buses to get to them. Going "up the Heath" is a bit of a rite of passage for many gay men, often the first time you've done the anonymous sex thing, and it's something you are usually initiated into by a friend who already goes up there. Mine steered me down the steep path behind the pub car park to the main drag, a path through the trees about the size of a main road, lined not with lamp posts or speed cameras, but with men sitting on every available horizontal plane, leaning against every tree.
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Life pre-Grindr? Yes, there was such a time. LGBTQ history is a fabulously rich and diverse subject full of heroes and tragedies and love, but what about the nitty gritty of just how did guys find each other in past centuries? Especially in the late s to s U. Judy Grahn in Another Mother Tongue talks about her informal survey of people to see if they had also experienced what she had in high school in the U. About half of those surveyed said they recalled something similar. Some customs like a single ear piercing have also been very popular in the Western world. Yup, a dream world did exist. Every time and place has had its own understanding of sexual identity and sexual practices. Today we use labels like bi, straight, and gay, but many other cultures have had or still have other constructions.
10 Things I Learned About Gay Hook-Up Culture From My Day On Grindr
Unlike many gay men, I had never used Grindr before. That all changed this past Monday, when I logged on, created an account and started searching for hookups. I got on not because I was interested in hooking up with anyone off the app, but because I wanted to explore. I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. Now, I know. For those of you who don't know what Grindr is, it's the gay man's essential hook-up app, used for quick hookups and meetups, ranging from wild sex, to jerk-off parties, to oral sex and threesomes. When you open the app, it's a candy store for hookups.
How the Art of Signaling Is Changing
The man, who looked like he worked at a host club, glanced at me and then put his hand out to offer me something. At the time, I figured he was just trying to hand me a pamphlet for his club, and ignored him as I walked past. It turns out there are quite a few cruising techniques in Japan, most of which are naturally unknown to the average Japanese female or straight male. Below are four signals that I know about, either from what friends have told me or my own experience. It turns out that it was probably not a pamphlet, but a single tissue that the man had offered me. Had I accepted it, I would have been accepting his invitation—which could have led to an awkward situation for the both of us once he realized that I had no idea what was going on. The Secret Handshake This happened to me while I was working as a dispatched temporary staff at a restaurant in Tokyo.
The Secret To How Gay Guys Recognise One Another
How the Art of Signaling Is Changing
.HOW TO PREPARE FOR A HOOKUP