Cruising for sex is fun!
There are lots of places in Hamilton where gay men meet, hook-up and have sex.
As well as the bars, clubs, bath houses, phone apps and websites, there are parks and commonly known spaces where men go cruising to meet each other and fuck.
Cruising in public places has always been part of gay life for centuries and through out history. Men of all kinds, including many that you might never meet on the gay scene, hang out at cruising spots.
You can have some great hot sex cruising but if you want to go cruising, there are a few basic precautions you should consider taking to keep it safe and fun.
Before You Start
Advice to get you started
If you are new to a particular cruising area, get to know the layout during daylight. Locate the exits and check for dead ends. Try talking to other guys who use the cruising spot, ask where they go and about the kinds of men who use the spot. Find out about the best and safest days and times to visit.
Keep in mind how will you get home late at night? Check for night buses, local cabs and consider carrying your phone (this will help if you need to call someone to pick you up or if there is an emergency).
Read the local news and gay websites (like the Polari Project), keep an eye out for posters or notices alerting you to any trouble in the area. Talking with other guys will also keep you informed of hot spots and what’s happening there. If there has been any trouble or police issues, it’s often best to let a place ‘cool down’ for a while and go somewhere else.
It’s highly unlikely that you will encounter any trouble while cruising. However, the following are some basic tips to consider minimising the risk or responding to an incident.
• Try to let a someone know where you’ve gone.
• Leave valuables you don’t need at home and try not to be conspicuous with items such as jewelry, mobile phones or wallets. If you are driving, don’t leave valuables on display in your car and park in a well lit area.
• Be aware of your surroundings, such as exits and dead-ends – especially at night. You are safer in areas where other men are cruising, so try to avoid becoming isolated.
• Using a personal stereo can also stop you being aware of signs of trouble. You need all your senses when you’re cruising.
• Once you’ve hooked-up, choose places for having sex that are discreet and out of view from the general public, security cameras or cops.
• Carry condoms and lube with you. Don’t rely on other guys to carry them. If you are going to get fucked try putting the condom on the guy yourself.
• Trust your instincts if you feel unsafe or when you see someone behaving oddly. Steer clear of large or rowdy groups that you’re not sure about. Avoid confrontation; if you feel you’re in danger try to move away to a safer place.
• If you are attacked or see someone else being attacked (again very unlikely), shout for help to attract others’ attention. Don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk by intervening – shout, alert others nearby and call the police immediately.
• Drinking alcohol or taking drugs can affect the choices you make.
• Give yourself a time limit for how long you will be out cruising and keep to it.
• In an emergency, always dial 911 or contact your local police station.
How to Cruise
Tricks to help you pick-up
Make eye contact and smile. If he keeps eye contact with you and smiles back, that’s your cue to go and talk to him! If not, this may not be the right time.
• Say “hello”. Someone has to make the first move, so why not you?
• Talk about something you can both relate to. It’s a great way to break the ice, but don’t make it too personal. The weather, sports, TV and films, or the place you are hanging out in are all safe bets for a conversation.
• Tell him your name. If you do, he’ll probably tell you his.
• Ask him a question. Most of us like talking about ourselves. Ask about him to show you’re interested – maybe his work or any hobbies.
• Listen to what he says. Respond to what he says and ask more questions to show you’re paying attention. Hopefully he’ll ask you questions as well, and before you know it, you’ll be chatting away!
gay boy body language It’s not all about talking though. Body language makes up a big part of the messages we give out. This is true when we’re cruising as well. A lot of how we communicate with other guys is non-verbal – particularly in places where there’s not much talking like a cruising park, a sauna or some other kind of sex venue.
If you spot someone you like, even if you’re trying to hide it, chances are your eyes will give you away. We acknowledge people with our eyes, and attempt to warn people away with our eyes. For many men, when they are being checked out, their automatic response is to look away, even if they find the guy attractive. Avoiding eye contact is like turning your back on someone while they’re talking to you. If you like the person who is making eyes at you, it is best to communicate your interest back!
The eyes are a key signal in cruising. If he keeps looking away, and won’t maintain eye contact with you, chances are he’s not that interested and looking around for something/someone else to capture his attention.
• Think about how you will show someone if you’re interested or not. Be polite yet firm if you are turning someone down.
• Pay attention to how you stand. If you stand up straight and keep your chin up, you will look and feel more confident.
• Being tactile is a good way to show interest. If you’re talking with someone and it’s going well, try touching their arm briefly. If it makes him uncomfortable, back off a bit.
1.. 2.. 3.. Turn and look…
As you walk through the cruising area, park or sex spot and you see a guy you like, make eye contact with him on approach. As he passes, count to three and then look back over your shoulder to see if he is looking back too. If he is, you can stop and signal for him to follow you, or change direction and follow him, or go into a bush or sex area and see if he follows.
If Something Happens
Hamilton has the second highest number of hate crimes in Canada. Gay Bashers are also a cause for concern while out cruising a park. Generally speaking, be aware of anyone who approaches you in groups, or anyone who seems overly aggressive or questions you about what you are doing there, etc.
Most importantly, use your instincts. As badly as you might want to get laid, if something seems “off” about a guy or a situation, its better to go home and jerk off, than get into a bad situation.
If you have been assaulted, even while out cruising for sex, it isn’t your fault, and you deserve help and care. Seek medical attention if you need it. If you feel able and comfortable – report your attack to the Police.
What to do if you are confronted by a Police Officer
Be aware of the potential legal consequences of your behaviour – all provinces and territories in Canada have laws that can be used to prosecute men for having sex in public places. Know your rights and what you would and wouldn’t say if you were ever questioned.
If you are stopped by the police for cruising you could be warned, cautioned or arrested – which might result in you being prosecuted or sent to court. The police officer(s) who has stopped you should explain the reason for you being stopped and if any action further action will be taken against you:
More often than not, you will be given a formal warning by the police and they may take your name and address. This is not a conviction and will not be entered onto the police national computer but may be recorded on a local police database.
Try to remain calm and be respectful as lashing out towards a Police Officer isn’t going to help the situation even if you feel you have done nothing wrong. A good idea in general is to always get the officer’s full name and badge number, ask what the formal charge is, and remain keen and observant about what is said / done by the officer(s) during your encounter with them or your arrest.
Police and security officials are always a concern while out cruising. Despite what many people say, there is no way to tell if someone cruising you is a cop or not.
When can you be arrested?
(a) you have broken the law (committed an offense)
(b) you are breaking the law
(c) you are about to break the law
Not sure if you are under arrest?
If police stop you, always ask if you are under arrest, and for what crime.
What happens when I’m arrested?
If are are arrested, you may be taken to a police station and charged, given a warning, or released, within 24 hours of your arrest. You might also be given a notice to appear in court.
You do not have to go to a police station if you are not under arrest.
Know Your Rights (and Responsibilities)!
If you are arrested, you must give your real name, age, and address, and you have a right to get a lawyer (AND parent if you are under 18-years old). Remember that if you don’t identify yourself, the police can hold you until they find out who you are.
If you are arrested, the police must:
Tell you who they are (and show ID)
Not harm you, but can touch you
Tell you that you are under arrest, and explain why
Tell you your rights
You have the right to…
Know why you are being arrested
Have a lawyer (if you make a statement, and if you are questioned)
Have an interpreter
Remain silent after letting them know your age, name, and address, until your lawyer gets there.
REMEMBER: The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Lawyer Referral Service can give you the name of a lawyer within or near your community for a free consultation of up to 30 minutes. Call 1-800-268-8326 or 416-947-3330 in the Toronto area.
Security Guards & Camaras
We now live in a world filled with cameras. When cruising keep your eyes open, particularly for cameras and one-way mirrors at the entrances of washrooms in public places, in parks, etc. If they actually catch you in action, they can definitely alert security to how many times you are going in / out of a washroom and how long you stay, etc.
Keep an eye for security guards in surrounding areas, or for notices that indicate the washroom has been inspected at various times throughout the day. This likely means someone is making the
rounds and will likely be back.
Signs like “Are you concerned about this washroom?” or alarms and numbers posted where people can report suspicious activities are almost always a sign that security or management know that sex happens there and are trying to crack down. Always keep aware of your surroundings!
The Word NO
Rejection and the word “NO”
Not every guy you’re cruising after is going to return your interest. There could be many possible reasons and not all relate to you personally. Maybe he isn’t looking for sex or you aren’t his type. It is important to remember that you have the right to cruise him, and likewise, he has the same right to refuse you for his own reasons.
This covers everything from “No, I don’t want to have sex with you” and “No, I don’t want to fuck” or “No, I’d rather not give out my phone number”.
You also have the right to stop if something is not working for you. Be polite, but don’t think you have to do anything that you are uncomfortable with. You also have the responsibility to stop if someone asks you to.
There’s nothing wrong with stopping sex that’s not working for you, rather than carrying on and feeling crap afterwards, or taking risks you later regret. Just be polite and gracious about it.
If a guy is clearly not interested in you, move on and find another one. Chances are that at some point you will reject other people too, so act as you would like them to act towards you. Remember that rejection is all part of cruising guys too. Everyone gets rejected at some point even the “hottest” guys.
Generally most people will take the hint when you are not interested in them. But you will eventually come across someone who doesn’t give up!
To deal with aggressive and persistent guys:
Be clear in your rejection. Don’t give confusing messages, for example, don’t look back to see if he is still following after you have said no. This could give him the impression that you are just playing hard to get.
Be assertive without being rude. Forcefully (but not violently) move his hands from your body, walk away, shake your head, or move out of the cruising areas until he has lost interest. Tell him with words. If he continues to pursue you, say in a firm voice something like ‘No thank you’ or ‘I am not interested in having sex with you’. This works best if others can hear you.
Don’t touch or join in unless invited!
Talking rarely occurs before you have made contact with someone. So being invited to touch means having to make some non-verbal contact. Sometimes this may include a light touch on the leg or brushing your hand against his. But there is a big difference between these signs of interest and walking up to someone and groping them or pushing in on sexual activity.