George Michael has thrown down the gauntlet defending cruising as a normal part of the culture of homosexual men
. In a culture accustom to defining deviancy down
, there seems to be no bottom. The question is will the gay community back him up on it. If one critizes cruising will one be labeled a puritanical homophobic throw back seeking to impose a Judeo-Christian morality on others?
Only time will tell. But it's good to remember that the most open minded person thought the idea of gay marriage silly and look where we are now. Fortunately, most voters still think it's silly.
Two observations and then I'll tell of my own cruising experience at 17.
First, I reference the culture of homosexual men. The key part is not the homo part. It's men. Gay guys are still guys. Straight guys would be rutting around doing all kinds of kinks if the ladies would let us. Women - whether they admit it or not - are the brakes in a sexual relationship. Sure, there's fun, but for the most part, women aren't going to do some of the wackier things that a man would jump at; two being having an "open relationship" and the other being "multiple partners". 99% of women say nix to that and the 1% left over are screwy nutjobs.
Gay guys don't behave this way because they are gay but because they are guys. Gay male sex is sex with the brakes off. No chicks no brakes.
Now, one thing that I think is particular to gay guys is the bathroom/park scene. A few years ago the former Mr. Panayiotou left the comfort of the Beverly Whileshire hotel and got pegged in the park bathroom across the street. Speaking for myself and my limited conversations with other males, I'd say in most cases, straight guys would rather stay in a king size bed at the Beverly. There must be something about the danger. Even if you pick up a guy at the park, you can always go back to the hotel - or even step down to a room in a 4 star.
There's parks in nice conservative Cincinnati that are now completely turned over to gay guys and heroin addicts. What's up guys?
For myself, I'll admit that a gay guy once tried to pick me up. It scared the crap out of my. At 17, my best friend and I went to a porn shop in the blue light district of Ft. Wayne. In Ft. Wayne in 1987, this consists of a half block of 4 adult bookstores. I could pass for 21 and Mike had a fake ID, but we were still nervous. This was well before the internet allowed easy access to the adult world and porn stars were future overdose cases and AIDS victims and not best selling authors
and stars in their own right.
Mike and I circled the bookstore a few times trying to build up courage. A surf looking dude was sitting on the front steps stoned out of his mind. He stared at us each time we walked by. We joked about him and finally we walked into the shop.
It was well light and clean. There were men and women in it. However, it was still a horrible place. Mostly, because at the front of the store some middle aged woman was sitting in an elevated glass enclosed box half dressed. From what we could tell, you shoved dollars to her and she did as requested. I saw Scully and Mulder go to one of these in an X-files later on. It didn't look so gross on the TV.
Anyway, we looked around and quickly because bored. You can only look at so many video covers and bondage equipment and marital aids in a brightly lit room with other people before you get bored. Finally, we got some quarters, walked down a hallway to one of those little video booths. It was a long hallway that curled in on itself to make room for as many slots as possible. Mike entered one both and I another. Each booth had a seat, a box of Kleenex a 7 inch TV and a channel selector. You put in your quarters you got a few minutes to channel surf. My quarters ran out first. Not knowing what to do with myself and getting a bit paranoid, I just stood outside of Mike's booth (giving him a respectful distance of course) waiting for him to come out (Haaa!). I was leaning against the wall when it happened.
The stoned surfer dude had come up behind me. He wrapped his arms around me with one hand on my chest and the other holding something very precious to me and said something - I didn't hear what it was. The embrace panicked me and I threw the little dude pretty hard against the wall. I was about 6 foot but skinny as hell at this time, but that junkie sure did fly. I yelled "Mike help me!" The guy ran off one way and I headed the other. I speed walked my way out of the store and waited for about 15 minues in the parking lot across the street.
Finally Mike came out wondering what happened. I told him then got pissed he didn't come help me out. He said he heard the crash and me yell, but thought I said "Mike Channel Three!" which he said was gay black porn which had pissed him off. He had then wandered around the store a bit looking for me.
I never went back.
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