great outdoors

The LAPD’s Crackdown On Park Cruising Fun

If you’ve ever been to Los Angeles, you know Griffith Park, Elysian Park, and Sycamore Grove are lovely places to go for a hike, grab some exercise with the pooch, and cruise for some oral action. The Los Angeles Police Department wants to crack down on one of these three activities.

The police are treading very carefully here to make sure nobody thinks the crackdown is an attack on the gays — even though, by default, it is. The LAPD’s own research shows it’s almost exclusively men cruising the parks, and they’ve concluded these men, skewing Latino, often don’t identify as gay. How they’ve deduced this, we’re not quite sure.

But one look at the ground littered with condoms — ostensibly nearby where families with children are having picnics and enjoying the sunshine — has us cheering on the crackdown. Because littering is wrong.

EARLIER: A Nova Scotia Mayor Wants to Close a Public Park to Cruising. Here’s Why That’s a Terrible Idea

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  • ionos

    The crackdown is okay irrespective of the sexual orientation of the cruisers. Its unsafe and its unhealthy. In 2010 in LA there are plenty of other ways to get some action within the privacy of four walls.

  • EdWoody

    Hey, at least they’re using condoms. That’s one thing to be happy about.

  • El Brucio

    I take exception to the “ostensibly” part. Don’t you ever remember being a kid in a park with your friends?

    You end up running all over the place, playing hide and seek, exploring, and a lot of that involves going through the wooded area of the park.

    I imagine all it takes is “Hey Dad, look at all these old balloons I found that someone just threw away!” before dear old dad goes on a letter writing campaign to city hall.

    I’m not saying removing evidence of sex would eliminate police discrimination against gays in this area, but I imagine it would certainly lessen the political will behind it.

  • romeo

    In 2010 there is plenty of ways to get laid, four walls or not, without creeping around in public parks. I’ve always thought that was mainly a closet scene. You know “straight” guys. Elysian Park is way scary, BTW. Especially at night. Yikes.

  • James UK

    Provide more trash cans. It’s cheaper. And the fiscally conservative thing to do.

  • scott ny'er

    @El Brucio: I remember playing in the park and there was always piss in one area and beer bottles in another, broken and unbroken. Of course, that was the late ’70s, early ’80s. It still sucked for us tho.

  • terrwill

    @El Brucio: “You end up running all over the place, playing hide and seek, exploring, and a lot of that involves going through the wooded area of the park.” Thats what the Gay guys are still doing…… : p……

  • Dame Helga von ornstein

    I put cruising a park in the same category as cruising the internet. Crazy.

    I just cant see going off into the woods with a stranger knowing full well this person may be a cop who is going to lie the he didn’t set the whole thing up knowing his word would be believed over mine and arrest me. Or worse yet a robber or mugger. The only person whose true intentions you can vouch for are your own.

    The same goes for internet cruising. People (though not all) will sit in front of a monitor full naked and give their address to a total stranger not knowing for sure who is going to be the one to knock on your door.

    I see FAR more risk than just HIV and STD’s in cruising the parks and internet than I do bathhouse sex. At least at bathhouses you have showers and condoms and a private room to boot.

  • jason

    You shouldn’t be out in the park fucking like animals. Animals do this, not human beings.

    A lot of the men who go there are simply being licentious and horny – as are most men regardless of sexual orientation – but they need to realize that it’s tacky and gross.

    I truly believe that you should be arrested and charged if you are caught doing this.

  • Pygar

    I guess I’ll just have to read John Rechy to relive the good ole trampy days of yore.

  • Michael

    This sounds a bit fishy on two parts. 1st off, I’d like to see just how many complaints the police are actually getting. 2ndly, maybe I’m completely wrong since these are married men, but if someone is going to go have sex in a park I kinda doubt they’re going to be too worried about using condoms. I’m not buying “this isn’t about targeting gays” since, I’m assuming, the place they’re having sex is far off the beaten path and if they were that worried about litter they should place a friggin trash can there.

  • terrwill

    @Dame Helga von ornstein: My dear Dame, your comments on park cruising are correct. Exteriour crusising is both dangerous and dirty. However, online I have had a lot of luck using the internets to hook. Have hooked with lots of very hot “straight” guys who drop off their girlfriends and can cybercruise for cock in the safety of their bedrooms. As long as you use a series of safechecks you meet with some hotties……..

  • jason

    I once met a man in a park and begged him to be my daddy.

  • jason

    The thing about male sexuality is that it’s very tactile. Men will basically let anything do them as long as it has a beating heart.

    Male horniness knows no bounds, basically.

  • Dame Helga von ornstein

    @Pygar: Yes, those were the days. Those were the days when the piers of NYC were open air bathhouses and people just got down and dirty with sex.

    Now we live in the aftermath with a totally different outlook on public sex and reality. Hopefully this link will cheer you up.

  • Dame Helga von ornstein

    @Pygar: Here is a reposting of that link. For some reason or other the first one didn’t appear like a link normally does. Hope you enjoy it.

  • Dame Helga von ornstein

    @terrwill: Well good for you. It’s always nice to hear about someone who got lucky via the internet. I know several HOTTT and free pornsites on the net but for the most part I leave it to the bath’s. I tried those circuit parties but saw more lonely looking, meth’d out muscle marys there than I care to remember.

    I have had boxing lessons, martial arts classes and I am from the south (I’ll stop there but I am sure you can figure the rest) and I still can’t see letting a total stranger in my house.

    I have no doubt you are capable of taking care of yourself physically and know not to over-indulge in “whatever” (regardless of how hot he is) so that your common sense does not become impaired, which was the case of several sensational Craigslist murders over the last three or so years. The one where that poor guy, Michael Sandy, chased out on a freeway, hit by two cars and then drug back onto the median by the same thugs who then rifled his pockets really hit home for me.

    Good luck, take care and be careful everyone who opt not for the safety of the bathhouse with a hot shower, rooms, lockers and in most cases security guard(s).

  • merkin

    Im glad to see there’s not really anyone here trying to defend the right to cruise in the park. I mean, its not up there with rape or murder, but its unsafe (in both senses of the word) and it spoils the park for everyone else. I know that leaves only 6,999,999 other ways for gay men to hook up but i think we can manage.

  • Hyhybt

    It depends on exactly what they’re trying to stop, and what you mean by ‘cruising.’ Finding someone in the park to have sex with should be fine, so long as you then go somewhere private. As long as they’re only stopping people from actually having sex in the park, no problem.

  • Jon

    @merkin: What is wrong with cruising in the park? There is NOTHING wrong with sex. Having sex in a park doesn’t “spoil” the park. When did gays on this site become so Puritanical. Live and let live. Also, if there are condoms all over the place then nothing “unsafe” is happening. The only problem I have with the issue is the littering.

  • zenflo

    Jon, most of us concur that while in a park, catching the eye of a handsome gent, having a chat, and going somewhere else — non-public — for fun is just dandy.

    Cruising is fine. That is not the same as having sex in a public park.

    Keep it in your jeans until you and your new-found partner have found the privacy that we so very much want you to enjoy. And no, the restroom does not count. Nor does under the bridge.

    It’s 2010, and with all the options out there, park sex is both a cliche and skanky.

  • Jon

    @zenflo: Public sex is part of our culture whether you like it or not. Having sex in private is a “rule” of the hetero society. Conforming is NOT an option. Sex is a natural and beautiful thing and should be done anywhere that you find it. While I’ve only experienced this pleasure a few times, I’ve never seen gay men cruising directly next to a playground. Of the above mentioned Los Angeles parks I’m only familiar with Griffith Park and the “gay cruising” areas are nowhere near where children play, but are located in more remote and secluded areas. These crackdowns have absolutely nothing to do with protecting children or families, they are only meant to harass the gay community. And whether you are into public sex or not you should be appalled by the harassment targeted directly and solely upon gay men.

  • ossurworld

    Read PARK DWELLERS, a book by Mal Tempo, a hilarious account of park cruising….

  • Hyhybt

    @Jon: What I’m appalled at is the idea that, whether or not public sex is currently part of “our” culture, some people believe it should remain so.

  • Jon

    @Hyhybt: Is there a logical reason that it shouldn’t remain so? Exactly who is it harming other than prudish straights and conforming gays? I would use a similar argument to what I would use for gay marriage…how does what two consenting adults do in the woods effect you?

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