Christopher White, Ph.D., is an expert in sexual and reproductive health with over 25 years of professional teaching experience. He’s also a huge proponent of public sex.
“I had my first gloryhole experience in 1990, when I was 19,” he writes in a new op-ed titled Sexploitations: Glory Hole-Alujah! “Bored one night in the dorms, a friend and I decided to check out the adult bookstore near our university.”
After that, he says, he was hooked, going back night after night.
Related: Down memory lane: A look back at online cruising before the age of Grindr
The art of gay cruising dates back decades, to the days when “homosexual conduct” was illegal, gay bars didn’t exist, and bathhouses were places people actually went to bathe. Men had to be creative with how they hooked up, meeting up in public parks after dark or empty bathrooms under the cloak of night.
“Years later, the art of anonymous gay sex has changed dramatically, mostly for the better,” he writes. “But I find hook-up apps take the thrill, the anonymity, and the immediate pleasure out of the game.”
White says he doesn’t like all the back and forth, the banter, and figuring out the logistics of who hosts and who travels.
“I prefer cruising,” he says. “I like walking into a public restroom and noticing too many men hanging about with a nervous, expectant energy.”
“No one exchanges names or makes small-talk.”
Related: Bathhouses And Beyond: A Brief History Of Gay Cruising
The “real thrill” of cruising, White says, was “following a hot guy: the waiting, the peeking, the hunt, the anticipation. The cruise. Part of the excitement is the chance of being watched — or getting caught.”
Despite the rise of apps like Grindr, Scruff, and Tindr, White says the cruising scene is still thriving, you just have to look a little harder for it.
Cottaging, cruising, visiting the tearooms, or whatever you want to call it often takes place on college campuses and in shopping malls, parks, and rest stops on the highway. You can also find guys cruising on beaches, wooded areas, on the street, and in adult bookstores.
He believes every gay man ought to give cruising a try once in their life.
“When you’re ready to try something a little more exciting,” White writes, “put on some loose shorts or tight jeans, and head to a local cruising spot.”
Have a fun, sexy time, and remember to stay safe — both from physical danger and by protecting yourself from STDs and HIV. And don’t forget that public sex is illegal in most places, so don’t get arrested. Happy hunting, boys!
Related: Party Like It’s 2002: A Look Back At Gay Culture In The Aughts
Yeah if the sex experts advice is to commit a crime, you probably shouldn’t listen to them.
Agree with you. This is more like advice one gets from a slutty, nutty frenemy with a drink/drugs problem. Gloryholes are especially offputting. Id never let my precious cargo dangle on the other side of a wall, blind to what or who might happen to it. A hard pass, pun intended.
Regarding cruising for sex, that’s sound motherly advice. If you’re a Mama’s boy. 😉
My dad would say, go have fun, be cool, and don’t get caught doing anything illegal.
Most mothers would say don’t make a fool of yourself and embarrass the rest of the family.
Cruising is different than public sex, which shouldn’t be illegal. But if you don’t get the difference, it’s 1) cruising is actively seeking someone out for sex, whether you have it publicly or not and 2) public sex is just that. The first is NOT illegal, at least in large portions of the US.
I don’t understand why some seem to want so badly for the time when being gay was literally a crime in America.
I mean I don’t think apps are great either but they’re far better than breaking the law and putting yourself at risk.
Baby, it was a much different time….and far better in many ways, I believe. Being closeted and clandestine had its benefits.
Anything we do in life is a risk. I believe I’d worry more about someone I’d meet on a chatline or an APP.
Piedmont Park’s tree trails (Atlanta) in the 1970’s was a sexual wonderland. Best times were 6am when the construction workers were heading to work and wanted a quick release….or around noon during lunch when the hot business men would bend over a fallen tree to be plowed. It was so real and exciting. Damn, I miss those times!!
It’s funny that back in the day the whole process of cruising was such a delight. I don’t hardly remember any bad times. Then again maybe that’s because I was so young. Lets face it. When people say ..”the good ol days” what they really mean is when there were young.
Certainly we were all younger during the “good ol days” but certainly times and culture were very different too. When I came out to my Dad in the 80’s, we had many discussions about safety (“don’t get hurt or hurt anyone”) and inevitably HIV and AIDS. He told me “back in his day….queer sex was safe sex.” No one got pregnant and no one got STDs. Times do change!
Cruising was part of coming out. I had to learn how to be upfront about wanting sex and I had to learn how to distinguish between a look of curiosity and one of interest. Then I had to learn to wait that was hard when I wanted sex. When it works, it’s spectacular, like the time the spectacularly handsome Clay G and I exchanged looks from opposite sides of a lively crowd of gorgeous men at the Stud. That exchange led to him teaching on his waterbed how to get f**ed.
I haven’t been cruising in the daylight since my teens
So this “expert” was doing glory holes in 1990 and wants me to take his advice? No.
Glory hole sex in the 90’s was risky for sure. However, it really depended where you were. Meaning, a glory hole in a Times Square New York bookstore was far more risker (never did it) than my favorite one in the JetPep gas station off I 59 in Gadsden, Alabama. Those big fat uncut Alabama boy dicks had nothing but cum to share and they would stand in line to dump it on a late Saturday night. The good ol days….for sure!
This is nuts. We have progressed in our promiscuity. Play safe and obey the law, guys.
Nothing wrong with promiscuity. Have at it if you prefer and let your free will guide you. Unless of course you’re all caught up in nasty religious guilt. Then by all means go to your priest and ask him about his sex life so you have that perfect roll model for guidance.
..as someone who grew up in the ERA of “cruising” with NO Grindr or Internet…I gotta say – I see the Intrigue on Cruising, but it’s NOT all cracked up to what you think it is…….its messy, complicated, can lead to problems, misunderstandings, fights, or even arrests..aint worth it……..go to a dammed gay bar if u wanna cruise……..believe me, at 16yr old, and curious,gay but NOt OUT in 1976..I got myself in circumstances that caused me to get RAPED by a 30-something yr old guy……..of course I did NOT report it – it was 1976…who was I gonna report it too? So I never did – and Learned from it…….
All i have to say is EWWW!
Anonymous sex is the recourse of a weak mind. Someone who gets off on archetypes and puts certain roles on pedestals.. Actually connecting with a real person is very different.
The concept of a glory hole evades me.
You dont know who is on the other end.
Its most likely someone you arent attracted to, so where is the arousal in that?
You can hear the dysfunction in the way he describes “hot guy”. This is someone who gets off on social concepts of what a man is, but not the real person himself.
I imagine its a turn off when the illusion shatters and the real person emerges.
A sex driven stud with a conscienceless need to shoot a load is the big allure.
The irony is, no man is that.
Mens inability to connect is a sickness, a dysfunction, not something to yield and adapt to.
I usually say whatever floats your boat so whatever he wants, but for deeper people who require more than two dimensional archetypes that dont exist in reality, this is just
Ah! the callow judgmental nature of the empty youth!
“Anonymous sex is the recourse of a weak mind. ”
Here, let me correct that for you…
“I don’t understand this action, therefore it must have no merit because I am the arbiter of all things”. What you see as shallow is a reflection of your lack of depth. That you don’t understand something means simply that: you lack the understanding. No, sex is not only meaningful in relationship. It is meaningful when it is meaningful, regardless of where it occurs or how emotionally invested the participants are. Just because you entertain false notions about men, and project imagined motives on the, does not make those notions and motives real.
Anonymous sex can be amazing and worthwhile just as sex in a relationship can be automatic and empty. Life is varied and complex child. Perhaps you will learn that if you grow up.
Judgement and self absorption are the recourse of the weak mind twink. Take that to heart, if you have one.
Right on brother!
Makes me think of Bobby Vee’s song: “Come back when you grow up girl”
Sounds like this expert is just nostalgic for his youth.
Your sex expert is full of it. The truth about cruising in those dark distant days when there was no alternative is this… forget the danger of being bashed or arrested, what nobody ever admits is it was boring as hell. Hours of hanging around damp parks or, worse, smelly bathrooms (if that was your only option), and often nothing more than a parade of unaware straight guys, or utterly hideous, extremely creepy and quite likely STD infested old pervs. Who wouldn’t rather do their cruising over a beer or a vodka in a safe bar, of online while watching TV?
Actually, cruising in parks was tons of fun back in the 70’s to the 90’s. I wouldn’t know about restrooms, they never appealed to me. The parks only became dangerous later on when more heterosexual folks were aware of what was going on. There was something quite appealing about sex under the stars or at the top of a sea-cliff with the waves crashing below, and something poignant about the men you met. Some became bar-buddies or friends, some were trapped in marriages and lives they never wanted and were wildly appreciative of the attention they got from other men. Land’s End, Buena Vista Park, and areas in Golden Gate Park were like sexual playgrounds, as was the Ramble in Central Park.
I stopped doing it about 20 years ago as it became dangerous at night. The areas are still frequented during the day, but that was never my thing. After dark there were only men there for the same reason, i never wanted to risk offending strollers or others.
“utterly hideous, extremely creepy and quite likely STD infested old pervs. ”
Here is a man who seems unaware that STD’s are equally likely to infest youth…in fact more likely to these days as so many are using PReP to replace condoms. It ain’t “old pervs” who gave us multi-drug resistant clap and syph.
And perhaps you are unaware that the only way to avoid becoming old (likely synonymous with “creepy old perv” to you) is to die young?
I am not judging, but sex outdoors has no appeal,
and I don’t even like using public restrooms for their intended purpose
I did some lurking in the bushes back in the early nineties. Then I got my shit together.
Honestly, the vibe in those places was often pretty creepy. The men were frequently unappealing. They weren’t the hot guys I saw out for a run or bike ride. I could spend hours in an obsessive-compulsive loop just waiting for the “right guy” to come along. I’d waste an entire afternoon, and leave feeling totally wound-up and unsatisfied. In that state of mind, an orgasm was merely ejaculation. There wasn’t a release and there wasn’t anything pleasurable about it.
I’m wondering if there are many other guys who got caught up in that sort of thing and have felt the same way.
It was not that kind of experience at all for me, though i was always out cruising just after sunset until fully dark and never after the parks were officially closed (11 pm back then). Sometimes it was boring, sometimes it was transcendent. Mostly it was fun or at least interesting on a number of different levels. There were men that I had sex with many times over a period of years. Clearly they were not able to meet men outside of that venue, but we nonetheless came to know each other at least in terms of what made us feel good.
And really now, that “an orgasm was only an ejaculation” is no more than your moral judgement. And orgasm by definition is always “only an ejaculation”, the lack of pleasure was coming from you, not the nature of the venue.
The orgasm being only an ejaculation wasn’t a result of my moral judgement, it was the result of frustration and desperation. But that was just my experience, and only on those times I wasted HOURS trying to get some. Sounds like you had more success and fun than I did!
I will file that suggestion under Hell No, same place where jumping out of a plane is.
Also the Universe responded not even 24 hours later…https://www.queerty.com/18-men-arrested-florida-public-park-gay-sex-sting-subsequently-named-newspapers-20170605
That Universe thing is a bitch!
If there were guys like the one in pictured in the article, I’d love it … but every time I tried, it was always old/ugly guys… I always wanted to find that closeted hot jock… to no avail…
I enjoyed bath houses adult bookstores and sometimes parks but as life would have it, you don’t score every time, it’s not always the perfect meet up. But when it is, it makes it all worth it. Cruising is awesome and natural for most men. As far as glory goes they are cool, as long as I see and am attracted to the other guy. They weren’t my thing really as I like to see the whole person before engaging. And only when I’m single. When in a long term committed relationship I didn’t feel the need to get on the hunt. Both lifestyles are equally splendid. I think it’s important we support each others experiences. We all have our own ideas of what we like. I may not be into the same things others are but I certainly support everyone’s experience to live live to their design. That’s connection. That’s loving your neighbor. That’s accepting the human race for what it is.
It’s completely irresponsible of you to publish this, Queerty. This “sex expert” is advising people to break the law, and you’re okay with it? I guess titillation outweighs everything to vapid, hedonistic gay men who view sex as the sole purpose of their sad little lives.
Not only is this dangerous and stupid, it’s an easy way to get arrested and become a sex offender in some countries/states.
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