Devin Randall's picture

A Sex Expert With A PH.D Says We Should Go Back To Cruising

SF Weekly released an article a couple of days ago written by Christopher White.

Christopher White holds a PH.D and has 25+ years of experience in sexual and reproductive health, but in this article Christopher started off by sharing his own stories and expressing his opinion of gay cruising.

I had my first gloryhole experience in 1990, when I was 19. Bored one night in the dorms, a friend and I decided to check out the adult bookstore near our university. We nervously gave the clerk $5 for our tokens and headed into the damp, musky-smelling “arcade” in back. Slipping into an empty booth, we giggled when the gay-porn actors moaned and grunted ... my friend and I burst out laughing and ran out of the booth, straight out the front door.  

I went back the next night, by myself.

White continues by expressing that while hookup apps like Grindr (which was recently bought out by a Chinese gaming company) and Scruff can be fun a times, they don't give the same feeling as cruising does.

Then after giving his own experiences, White goes further into the history of the cruising culture in the gay community.

Cruising has a long history, especially during times and in places where “homosexual conduct” was illegal and gay bars or other meeting spaces were nonexistent...

In the mid-’90s, there was a crackdown across the U.S. In some places, newspapers posted the names of men who were busted, shaming them and causing the loss of many jobs and the needless destruction of many personal lives — and leading to more than a few suicides ... Around the same time, pop star George Michael was arrested for cruising in a park in Los Angeles. He responded by recording the song and music video “Outside” in celebration of his sexuality and love of public sex.

As for my own thoughts:

I'm not gonna talk about the dangers of cruising like getting arrested for public park sex, that's obvious in itself. Instead, I want to talk a little about the history and impact on gay culture.

Those last few paragraphs were the best.That's where I wish the story had been extended.

I want to learn more about the history and culture behind the gay community any time I can, so reading those few paragraphs at the end of the article were thrilling to me.

I'm not big on cruising (though, if I were would I really say it?). That said, I recognize that cruising was a big part of gay culture before I, a 22-year-old black, gay writer, even hit the gay scene.

There's a lot of history and culture that, while not as strong, is still going on today in places not publicized.

These are gay Meccas, if you will (and by saying that I've insulted millions of people).

These are seedy, sexual hubs that also have ties to gay men's history. And no, that's not over the top or too ceremonial for what's ultimately random strangers tapping feet and exchanging fellatio. 

Cruising is a part of our culture, cruising is a part of our community.

While I may not be a big part of it, there are people like Christopher White who cherish it and want more to join in.

And in its own way, that's pretty cool.