Wednesday, July 22, 2015

15 Simple Rules for Gay Cruising

"Cruising" is my generation's word for "hooking up": searching for a sex partner as a form of recreation.  No ongoing friendship or romance is expected, although one might develop, and the hunt is nearly as much fun as the act itself.

Cruising has a bad rap.  People complain that it's an addiction.
But any activity can be addictive if it takes over your life.

It's meaningless, leading nowhere.
Who said that sex always has to lead to something? 

It's dangerous, leaving you open to robbery, violence, and HIV.
Not if you follow a few simple rules.


There are different rules for cruising in real spaces like bars, and online. Real spaces first.

1. Select your cruising venue carefully.  You can cruise anywhere -- a bar, an organization meeting, a shopping mall, a gym, a museum, the beach -- but it should be a place where there are a lot of gay men who have enough time to stop and chat.

And someplace within an easy drive of your apartment.  Nothing is worse than meeting someone you like and having him say "I live only 45 minutes from here."

2. Cruise early.  The best hours are between 2 and 4 pm in public places, and between 9 and 11 pm in bars.  If you haven't met someone by that time, give up.  When it gets late, you start getting desperate, and you are more likely to go home with someone inappropriate.

3. Cruise with a buddy.  Cruising alone makes you seem creepy, especially if you are over 40.  Besides, everyone looks more attractive in a group, and your buddy can help you judge potential partners.



4. Do not drink while cruising.  Or drink only in moderation.  The same thing with drugs.  You need a clear head to judge potential partners.  If you are drunk or high, you will make mistakes.

5. Gather information.  When you see someone that you find attractive, strike up an ordinary conversation. Talk about the music at the bar, the exhibits at the museum, the food at the festival.  Move on to questions about jobs, leisure interests, family, and so on.  If he is hesitant, or if his story has blatant contradictions, move on.

6. Don't discuss sizes or sexual acts.  Oddly, talking about sex makes you seem less sexy.  If he asks, be brief and noncommittal.  If he wants details, chances are he has no intention of following through with a meeting.  He just enjoys thinking about sex.

But what if we're completely incompatible?

No such thing.  Two people who are attracted to each other can always find something to do in bed.

7. Word the invitation carefully.  You are obviously attracted to each other, so where do you go from here?  A friendship, a romance, or a hookup?

If you invite him to do something specific  -- get coffee, go to a movie -- you are suggesting dating and romance.
If you invite him to vaguely get together at some future date -- you are suggesting a friendship.
If you invite him to vaguely go somewhere right now -- you are initiating a hookup.

8. Invite him to your place, if possible.  You are more relaxed and in control when it's your own space.  Agree to his place only if it's closer, and bring your buddy.

9. Take your own cars.    Never get into a car with someone you don't know well.

10.  Make sure that someone knows where you are.  Have your roommate in the house.  Have your buddy follow you. Don't just disappear.

11. Clean your apartment in advance.  Nothing spoils the mood more than dirty dishes in the sink, an unmade bed, and an overflowing clothes hamper.

12. Hide your valuables.  Leave your wallet in the car.

13. Bring condoms.  Safe sex practices only!

14. Don't kick him out afterwards.  If it is a daytime hookup, etiquette demands that you offer him coffee or a snack afterwards.  If it's a night time hookup, spending the night is customary.

15. Don't pretend that you want a relationship.  I've had one-night stands who made a big deal of giving me their number, and it turned out to be fake.  Hookups sometimes become friendships or romances, but it's perfectly ok if they do not.  Of course, you may want to go farther -- in that case, ask him for a date on the spot.  Otherwise, just say "Thank you for coming over," and add him to your list of memories.

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