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Cruising

Aug 8, 2016

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".

It happens all around us, from public parks, washrooms and cinemas, to sex stores and bathhouses (check out the link for directories and reviews). Some meet for sex in these places, while others use websites and apps, like Squirt, Craigslist and grindr, to set up dates before meeting in meatspace.

If you’re a transguy looking for some sweaty man-on-man action you might feel left out of the cruising scene, like cisguys aren’t interested, or you’re not welcome in cruisey spaces. Don’t believe it! In reality, lots of cis-guys are into us, but even so, you don’t necessarily have to ‘out yourself’ to join in on the fun.

I remember one time I was in a bathhouse getting cruised by a guy who noticed my chest scars. He asked what they were from and without really thinking, I told him the first thing that came to mind, which was that I’d been in a car accident and had some ribs removed. The man then asked if there was a gap in my chest and I explained that there wasn't, because the ribs were replaced by metal ones. The lesson I learned that day was that most people will believe what you tell them, as long as you say it with a straight face. Hell, he probably still tells this story... although maybe not with the same punchline. In fact, in most cruising situations, guys will accept what you tell them without question, providing their own explanations where things don't seem to fit. Even those who do ask questions, probably won't consider the possibility that you’re trans.

So if you’re not telling people you’re trans, what can you do?

Lots of things! I usually say that I’m only into giving head, hand jobs, and/or being fucked in the ass, but don’t want them to touch my dick. If they don’t respect this, then it’s totally acceptable and not at all weird to remove their hand and/or walk away. You can also hold a towel over your front while getting fucked, and wear swim trunks or boxer briefs under your towel, when walking around and enjoying the hot tub/sauna.

Your wants and needs won’t really seem odd in a place where, generally speaking, anything goes and where the worst that can happen is that the other person will walk away or tell you that they’re not interested. Don’t worry; there are always plenty of guys who will be.

 But what if I want to tell them I’m trans?

You can totally do this too! However, if you’re hooking-up in a bathhouse you should check ahead that the space you’re in is trans-guy friendly, by calling, searching reviews, or asking other cruisey transguys where they go.

Apps and websites provide an advantage here, as they let you feel out the other person, to negotiate what you will and won’t do, and disclose as trans before meeting. You can even disclose in your profile, in order to narrow down the number of people who contact you to those interested in transguys.

 How do I let guys know I'm interested?

Ah cruising etiquette! You can find out more at sites like this and this, but here are the basics.

 Make eye Contact

Try looking around the room and purposefully making discreet eye contact, then smiling and/or nodding at other guys. If they follow you they're interested.

Nudity and body posture

In a bathhouse you can show that you’re up for action by lying face up, or on your back, with a towel lying over your middle. You can also leave the door of your rented room open.

In a changing room or bathroom, you can show that you're cruising by lounging on the bench, being a bit more naked,or spreading your legs just a bit wider than is expected in the situation.

Touching

Guys who are interested will sometimes grab or rub their crotch, their chest, or play with their nipples, with discreetness varying with the location. Others may make body contact, or touch you, when walking by.

Talk

In gay sex areas of parks, guys will sometimes express interest by asking if you’ve got a light. Otherwise it's usually a silent activity, and talking too much, or making too much noise, may scare guys off.

Gesturing

Because not everyone in public bathrooms is looking for sex, guys will often signal to each other by tapping their foot and/or swiping the underside of the stall door.

How do I let guys know I'm not interested?

 Usually a simple “sorry I’m not interested” is all that’s needed. You can also try avoiding eye contact, or just walking away. If he touches you, you can move his hand away gently and tell him you're not interested. If he gets more aggressive, be more assertive, but try not to be rude. Most importantly, trust your instincts.

Safety

In some places bathhouses are illegal, and public sex is usually illegal everywhere. For example, in Canada, sex in bathhouses is legal, while sex in public (e.g. outdoors, bathrooms, and bars) is not. If you do hook-up in public, make sure to check out the space beforehand and keep an eye out for any cameras. You can find out more about your legal rights and risks here and here.

Hooking-up with people you don't know can also be riskier in parks than bathhouses or online. For example, bathhouses have lots of other people, staff and cameras around, while cruising online lets you get a sense of whether the other person is safe, establish boundaries, and negotiate what you are and aren't into before meeting. 

 

"Every sex club is different with varying rules regarding trans men, but generally if you "pass" at the door the club will let you in, but what happens once you're in the door will vary with the club. You might try leaving your underwear on at first until you get a better feel for the club's environment, or call ahead and ask them to clarify their policy". - James Darling

 

Putting it all into practice

Start with this A B C’s of cruising check list

  • Tell someone you trust where you're going and when you'll be back.
  • Wait 1 hour after brushing and flossing before hooking-up.
  • Don't let cum sit in your mouth. Swallow or spit right away.
  • Get tested for STIs and HIV every 3-6 months.
  • Be open and explicit about your boundaries (e.g. condom only, no front hole)
  • Always be prepared to walk away.
  • Clean up after yourself and don't leave trash for others to find.

 Then put it all together with this handy-dandy checklist for a cruising go-bag

  • Condoms
  • Lube
  • Wet Wipes
  • Gloves
  • Cell Phone
  • Ziplock baggies for garbage
  • A friend (don’t put them in the go-bag)
  • Flip-flops (for bathhouses)
  •  ­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________________       (add your own items here)
  •  ­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________________
  •  ­­______________________________________________

 

Resources and links

Legal

http://www.actoronto.ca/home.nsf/pages/handydandyhookup

http://web.archive.org/web/20060214013405/http://www.lambdalegal.org/binary-data/LAMBDA_PDF/pdf/262.pdf 

Cruising Tips for Transguys

https://transgold.wordpress.com/tag/ftm (site in Dutch and English)

https://dudemagazine.wordpress.com

Cruisey Blogs for Transguys

http://www.originalplumbing.com/index.php/2011-08-19-13-59-20/ask-a-porn-star

Not Updated: http://transfag.livejournal.com

Not Updated: http://mysteryfag.livejournal.com

Not Updated: http://transfagssexjournals.blogspot.ca

Find A Bathhouse/place to play/sex buddy

https://archive.is/www.bathhouseaddict.com

http://www.squirt.org

http://www.craigslist.org (personals section)

App: http://www.grindr.com

App: http://www.scruff.com

App: http://www.gotinder.com

Cruising Signals

http://gaybanker.blogspot.ca/2005/02/how-gay-men-cruise-gym-saunas-and.html

http://www.actoronto.ca/home.nsf/pages/handydandyhookup

Noah is the co-coordinator of the Gay Bi Queer Trans Men’s Working Group. When not co-coordinating, he volunteers as a case worker for Rainbow Railroad, conducts academic research on transgender health and autism, works for City of Toronto Shelter Services and yes, goes to bathhouses. You can check out his website @ www.noahjadams.com, or send him a line on twitter @noahadams

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