We're coming to the end of our first ever Cruiser Beware Month so the politics and rules of cruising has been much on my mind. Yesterday, sitting naked in a beautiful sauna, looking at the handsome and equally naked men around me, I had a thought that would surprise many who've known me for years: there are places where acting on sexual desires are just out of place and restraint should be followed. In fact, some places will prove better for your well-being if you turn-off sex for a few minutes of your day.
This sauna, a beautiful Korean-style facility in the 'burbs of Atlanta is very much the classic sauna experience. You can check in and stay for hours and hours. You're expected to be naked if you're in the wet areas, but you can put on the orange shorts they provide if you want to go into the public areas and order a meal or perhaps meet up with your friends of the opposite sex, get a haircut, or maybe do some work on your laptop using their wireless connection. I've been a few times and love the place for the relaxing atmosphere, the great scrubs they'll give you if you ask, and yes, for the men who are often very easy on the eyes. Yesterday, as I sat there checking out this naked, tall, skinny white boy, probably about 20, with his enormous, but flaccid penis, it felt just a little "wrong." Maybe I was over-stepping the implied agreement we'd made with one another?
I'd already been thinking about this from my own experience from this weekend and then I got this listing update for a YMCA in North Carolina where a Cruiser seemed beside himself that straight men had the nerve to go to his Y and, heaven forbid, sit in the sauna on a regular basis.
"Doesn't matter when you go: morning, mid afternoon, late afternoon, early evening. The same 20 or 30 guys will show up and sit in the sauna for 30 minutes. Gay guys are cruising, but nothing can happen. Sometimes it's almost like a tag team with these regulars."
As someone who has done my share of sexual play at the Y, including the infamous YMCA in San Francisco that served as the basis for the classic disco ditty, I always knew that people came to the Y for many reasons. Just as people come to a park or use the toilet for any number of reasons. Remember the announcement earlier this month about the way the Dutch had decided to designate portions of a public park as places reserved for sex, while other parts of the park were for kids and still others for picnics? If you've been doing this as long as some of us have (!), you can appreciate every place men meet has the potential to be cruisy. But just because of this doesn't mean it is always the smartest course of action.
For me, had that tall, skinny boy looked over and smiled, I'd have had a reason to introduce myself and invite him down to my motel room, but in that particular setting, the only on-site place we might have gone was into a bathroom stall, and even that seemed wrong. Some places should be all about relaxing, calming yourself down, and removing the mind from "normal" thought processes. I don't know about you, but for me cruising would totally mess up my chances of relaxation. It hardly needs to be said, but just in case here goes: cruising for sex is a great thing in most locales and under most circumstances. It is a normal and everyday occurrence for huge portions of the straight, gay and bi populations. But sometimes, like for example when all are required to be sitting close to each other in the nude at the sauna, maybe you should be contemplating the meaning of life and not the way that ass curves when he bends over to pull up his underwear?!