CruisingGay.com's Blog

July 27, 2009

Cruising for sex [the Wikipedia definition]

Filed under: Gay Cruising — Tags: , , , — cruisinggay.com @ 1:56 pm
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Cruising for sex, or cruising is the act of walking or driving about a locality in search of a sex partner, usually of the anonymous, casual, one-time variety. The term is also used when technology is used to find casual sex, such as using an Internet site or a telephone service.

In a specifically sexual context, the term “cruising” originally emerged as an argot “code word” in gay slang, by which those “in the know” would understand the speaker’s unstated sexual intent, whereas most heterosecuals, on hearing the same word in the same context, would normally misread the speaker’s intended meaning in the word’s more common (and presumably less threatening) nonsexual sense. This served (and in some contexts, still serves) as a protective sociolinguistic mechanism for gay men to recognize not only each other, but those who may wish to do them harm in broader societies noted for their homophobia.

In the latter half of the twentieth century, decriminalization of homosexual behaviour increasingly became the norm in English-speaking countries. The protective barrier once provided by the term “cruising” as a “code word” has therefore largely broken down, and arguably, become increasingly irrelevant. Thus the specifically sexual meaning of the term has passed into common usage to include the sexual behavior of heterosecual persons, as well.

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