October 14, 2009
August 27, 2009
Cruising is a term used by men to describe the practice of sending and receiving verbal and non-verbal signals, which show that you are attracted to someone else. There are various methods of cruising ranging from subtle to extremely direct methods, and men “cruise” each other in various different places and settings i.e. street, saunas, bars, parks, internet etc. Cruising is just another way that men express their desire and attraction to each other. To many men there is a certain thrill or excitement attached to cruising but it can also potentially involve putting yourself in the way of harm. Therefore, it is important to minimise these risks and help avoid any danger to yourself or others.
In order to cruise safely here are some helpful tips:
1. When you arrive, have a good look around and identify possible escape routes in case of an emergency. It might also be worth visiting the area during the day to get a sense of space, routes, open and enclosed areas etc.
2. Try not to carry any valuables on your person such as wallet, jewellery or phone.
3. Bring condoms and lubricant with you if you intend on having sex – don’t assume the other person will have brought some. It might be a good idea to bring some anyway (just in case things go further than expected).
4. If cruising over the internet, avoid giving out personal information such as address, primary email address, telephone number etc.
5. Meet in a public place to begin with – you can then decide if you want to continue on with the relationship.
6. If sending a photo – avoid nude and explicit shots. Remember, these can be copied and distributed.
7. If posting a photo on your profile, avoid nude and explicit shots as anyone can access these.
8. If possible, tell a friend when you intend on going through a text, email or phone call.
9. If meeting for a drink, watch what you drink and stay in control. Avoid leaving your drink unattended because of the risk of your drink being spiked.
10. If cruising in a sauna, remember to keep hydrated, particularly if you’ve been drinking or taking drugs. Also, carry condoms and lubricant on your person by placing them under the strap on your keychain.
11. Never use Amyl nitrate or Butyl nitrate (poppers) with Viagra. Both work by opening blood vessels to allow greater blood flow and together, can cause heart failure (even in men who have no history of heart problems).
12. Remember that cruising should be fun and safe, if you feel unsure or think things are heading in a direction you don’t feel comfortable with – leave. You are under no obligation to do anything with anyone.
13. The Rainbow Project discourages you from any sexual behaviour in public places – whilst cruising itself isn’t illegal, having sex in public areas could lead to you being arrested and charged with a criminal offence.
The Rainbow Project does not recommend cruising or cottaging due some elements of it which are illegal, and due to the dangers associated with attacks and unsafe sex. However if you decide to go for it keep these following tips in mind to ensure a safe and pleasant experience:
- Bring plenty of condoms and lube and insist on safer sex; respect yourself and your health!
- Be discreet when having sex. The more discreet you are the less chance there is of police activity or gay bashers.
- Only go cruising when you are not too drunk or on drugs. You will need to be on your guard at all times
- Leave your wallet and ID at home. Some attacks involve robbery and you do not want your identity to become known to your attacker.
- Wear clothes and shoes you can run in and do not wear headphones.
- Before you start checking out the men, check out the surroundings for exists and escape routes
- Be aware that some gay basher might pretend to be gay. Trust your instincts!
- Take any used condoms, wrappers etc. home with you. This kind of litter will draw complaints and police attention.
Being at a cruising or cottaging area is not illegal, but having exposing yourself or having sex in public where someone could see you is without doing something unusual like looking peeking underneath a cubicle door or taking out the binoculars.
If you get arrested, stay calm, co-operate but only give your name and ask for a solicitor. The solicitor will advise you on your rights and what to say and is bound by client confidentiality.
If you get attacked remember that this is a crime, whether or not you were involved in something illegal. Report the attack to the local police station and ask to speak to the Minority Liaison Officer. Someone from The Rainbow Project can escort you if you prefer someone else there. If you are not sure about reporting the attack, come and speak to someone in Rainbow first to consider your options.
SAFER CRUISING ON THE INTERNET
When you are mentally healthy you feel good about yourself, enjoy relationships, learn confidently and overcome your difficulties. When you aren’t, you may feel overwhelmed by misery, anger or fear.
- You do not know who you are talking to; in a chat room anyone can pretend to be anyone and any age.
- Do not give out your home address or landline number or any other details until you have met the person and trust them.
- When you arrange to meet up let someone know where you are going to be and arrange for them to contact you during the meeting and let the person you are meeting know you have made these arrangements.
- Do not get too drunk; you need to stay on your guard and your performance now or later might not make the best impression.
- You are under no obligation to have sex with the person you are meeting up with. If you decide to go ahead insist on safe sex and bring condoms and lube.
- No chat room company will allow their staff to contact customers. If you are being blackmailed contact the Minority Liaison Officer at your local PSNI office.
For the safest form of cruising visit a gay sauna. After paying an entrance fee you will be in a safe and clean environment with like-minded people and condoms and lube freely available and it is legal! Going to a gay sauna does not mean you have to have sex; some men go just for the company or just to relax and be themselves. Most saunas provide a service where you can make an appointment with a member of staff to show you around the facilities first if you are nervous about going.
August 24, 2009
gay singer george michael intends to sue the people who are behind his sex scandal allegations; he was spotted – and photographed – in the notorious gay cruising area of hampstead heath
August 19, 2009
|Men having sex with other men in public (observable) places have always presented a challenge to advocates for civil rights for queers. On one hand, the LGBT rights movement in the United States has historically included a push to transgress social and cultural norms of sexual behavior, which are often used to repress alternative modes of sexual expression. On the other hand, the increasing legal and social acceptance of queer sexuality and the emergence of more private spaces to find sex partners has mitigated the need for cruising and other outlaw forms of sexual expression. Additionally, as gay rights advocates continue to press their cause in legislative and judicial fora, condoning public sex seems increasingly to be a liability. Recent highly visible controversies involving men who are looking for sex with other men in public places reveal sharp ideological divides in queer communities over issues of sexuality and identity, as people argue about the role of sexual behavior in constructing gay identity and the place for unconventional expressions of individual and group sexuality in an increasingly mainstream social movement. This paper analyzes the discourse in queer fora surrounding public sex for the ideological rifts and ruptures it reveals.
Get the paper here
August 11, 2009
Posted by The Times Picayune, October 04, 2007
By Christine Harvey St. Tammany bureau
St. Bernard Parish Councilman Joey DiFatta, who on Thursday withdrew from the 1st Senate District campaign, has been stopped twice since 1996 for suspicion of engaging in lewd behavior in public restrooms in Jefferson Parish, records obtained by The Times-Picayune show.
DiFatta, 53, acknowledged that reports he had been stopped are true, but he denied any wrongdoing in both cases. He said he was not prosecuted in either case and has no arrest record.
“If I had done something wrong, I would have been arrested,” DiFatta said Thursday afternoon. “I was not. I will deny that I was involved in any activity of that nature.”
Earlier Thursday, DiFatta called reporters to announce that he planned to withdraw from the Senate race. He said he has been having chest pains for a few weeks, and elevated enzyme levels indicate he might have had a minor heart attack in the past few days. As a result, his doctor advised him to slow down and make some changes in his life.
DiFatta, who has served on the St. Bernard Parish Council since January 1996 and is currently its chairman, denied he is stepping down from the Senate race for fear that the reports would become public. In fact, he said he did not know the reports had surfaced when he made his decision.
Kenner police issued a misdemeanor summons to DiFatta in September 1996 in connection with a peeping Tom incident in a men’s bathroom at the former Mervyn’s department store at The Esplanade mall, according to a Kenner Police Department incident report obtained by The Times-Picayune.
The report states that DiFatta watched a man use the bathroom while peering through a hole in a bathroom stall. The man held DiFatta until police arrived, at which time he was issued the misdemeanor summons and ordered to appear in court.
DiFatta said the man eventually withdrew his complaint, and the case was dismissed. A spokeswoman for the Kenner Police Department said the record was expunged.
Tapping foot in stall
In the second incident, Jefferson Parish deputies working an undercover detail in a men’s bathroom at Dillard’s at Lakeside Shopping Center in March 2000 stopped DiFatta after he indicated a desire to engage in sex with an undercover deputy in an adjoining bathroom stall, according to an interoffice memorandum written by Sgt. Keith Conley, one of the deputies involved in the investigation.
The report said DiFatta slid his foot into the deputy’s stall and tapped the deputy’s foot. In the report, Conley noted that such activity is common among men to indicate a willingness to participate in sex.
The deputy inside the stall, Detective Wayne Couvillion, responded by tapping his foot, and DiFatta reached under the partition and began to rub the deputy’s leg, the report states.
The detective asked DiFatta, “What do you want?” according to the report, and he replied, “I want to play with you.”
DiFatta also used a hand signal to indicate that he wanted to engage in sex and used language that indicated the same, according to the report. Conley, who is now the Kenner city attorney, confirmed the report’s authenticity Thursday.
The incident did not culminate in an arrest because the deputy in the bathroom with DiFatta terminated the investigation after several children entered the bathroom, the report states. Conley noted in the report that DiFatta appeared well-versed and comfortable with the routine.
Conley wrote that had the investigation been allowed to continue, it likely would have concluded in DiFatta’s arrest on obscenity charges, including a possible attempted crime against nature.
Conley confronted DiFatta outside the bathroom, and DiFatta apologized and said he would not return, according to the report. DiFatta also said he has a problem with such behavior and had sought counseling for the addiction in the past, the report states.
In both instances, DiFatta produced his commission from the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office identifying him as a captain. DiFatta said Thursday he did not show his commission either time until officers asked him for identification, all of which he keeps in his wallet.
Struggling after Katrina
When he chose to run for state Senate, DiFatta relinquished the opportunity to run for re-election to the St. Bernard Parish Council. His term ends in January.
DiFatta said he has enjoyed serving the parish and its people and thanked his supporters.
A jeweler who had received several political endorsements in the Senate race, DiFatta also noted that the stress from enduring Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath might have gotten the best of him. He lost his Chalmette home to Katrina, and it took him almost 14 months to rebuild.
In the interim, he has been a strong voice for his constituents, traveling often to Washington, D.C., to fight for recovery help.
DiFatta has notified the Louisiana secretary of state’s office that he intends to withdraw from the race, but his withdrawal won’t be official until he files the paperwork, said Jacques Berry, the office’s spokesman. Regardless, DiFatta’s name will remain on the ballot for the Oct. 20 primary, as the state already has printed the ballots, he said.
Any votes to be invalid
Poll workers will place signs in the precincts where DiFatta’s name is on the ballot letting the voters know he is no longer in the race and that a vote for him will not be valid, Berry said.
DiFatta’s latest campaign finance report shows that he has almost $69,000 in the bank. DiFatta said he will use the money to pay some outstanding bills, though he noted he can hold onto the money to use later.
DiFatta’s abrupt departure from the race leaves two candidates — Reps. A.G. Crowe and Ken Odinet — fighting for the 1st District seat, which includes St. Bernard Parish and parts of St. Tammany, Plaquemines and Orleans parishes.
Odinet, who lives in Arabi, said Thursday that he was saddened to hear DiFatta has been ill. Crowe, a Pearl River resident, said he wishes DiFatta a speedy recovery.