meeting out in parks and forests is earth element cruising
in saunas is where we cruise in the element of water
bars and sexclubs are where we go into the fire
in our secret queer firepits of passion, heat and transformation
mobile apps and dating websites are the air element of cruising
where the mind leads the way via the cyber maze
in saunas, bars and parks our other senses come online
smell and sound and taste and touch
we intuit whether a connection is possible, we use our instincts
few words are shared, the language is of the body and spirit
this kind of love in the dark is as old as humanity
the new kid on the block is the mobile app, taking dating websites, which have only been with us a few years themselves, into our pockets and a new selection of men to check out in every neighbourhood
it used to be in London (and across the land) there were public toilets on every high street where men would courageously go to cruise, exposing themselves to strangers and taking their chances;
to go cottage cruising took bravery: there was a constant risk of attack or arrest
the modern cottage is the mobile phone app, cottage in a pocket
via grindr, scruff, growler etc guys get to cruise, flirt, show our cocks and arses, negotiate sexual, often chemically enhanced, favours, just like we once did in toilets
no more public toilets in which to expose ourselves to each other but now we do it telephonically, without the risks and dangers that used to be involved
the danger lurking in cottaging produced adrenalin, made the whole risky adventure very exciting
today the buzz required to turn us on, tune us in and take us to the sexual feast comes for many from the chemicals: meeting in each other’s homes, though safe and comfortable, just doesn’t hold the same adrenalin rush that public sex used to
back in the 1980s the fear also lurked strongly in the few tiny saunas that were dotted around the city, and with reason: police raids did happen
suddenly in the late 90s as the AIDS crisis abated a new confidence came to gay life and suddenly there were large saunas and sex bars popping up around town
the heyday of that sudden sexual explosion may be already over: ManBar, Fort, Playpit, H20, Fitladz have all passed away though the Hoist, Central Station, BackStreet and the Vault still remain
clubs like Hard On and Cum-Union, and Recon Full Fetish offer occasional spaces where many men mingle and indulge their fantasies
whether these are spaces of giving and sharing or using and abusing is debatable…. men will be men…..
saunas now have a reputation as drug fuelled hangouts
used to be a sauna was a quiet space to go relax after partying, now they are party venues in their own right, some have a neighbourhood feel but others just feel like breeding grounds for insecurities, anxieties and bad attitudes as well as possible physical nasties
and our parks.. .our beautiful sacred groves such as Hampstead Heath and Clapham Common: much quieter spaces than they used to be
outdoor cruising can also be scary, especially at night, so most prefer to stay home on their apps
so we missing out on the exercise, fresh air and time with nature….
this matters …. we need time in nature, she gives us goodness…..she makes us feel natural…..
on the apps it’s all about looks and ‘selling ourselves’ as commodities in a commercial, capitalist, unnatural, culture
we get reduced to faces on screens but at the same time we never had such a great forum for sharing our dreams
the apps provide fascinating glimpses into gay life
chem using party boys sit alongside those who refuse adamantly to go that route
young guys are free to explore their interests in older men without the world knowing their business
social as well as sexual connections are possible which means even in places with no gay social infrastructure, connections can be made
apps facilitate drug sharing and entertaining at home…. the home party scene is taking over from clubbing…. a few mates, a few strangers…. some powders and pills make for a night (or 3) of thrills
the apps and the drugs make promiscuity fun for all, not just the courageous few
the drugs switch off the inner critic and allow uninhibited play
negative guys see the liberties and excesses enjoyed by the positive
they see a brotherhood of sensual sleazy joy
the strongest form of brotherhood available to gay men right now
sexual, raw, passionate, ecstatic
a recent grindr conversation with a 21 year old:
Wanna be choked, pinned down, cock forced into me
– R u Poz?
– U want to be Poz?
– Sired means infected?
– Why is being Poz hot?
Part of sleazy community
CRUISING CRUISING CRUISING
INHIBITIONS WE ARE LOSING
ENTERING THE GAME
DO IT WITHOUT SHAME
SEX IS THE LIFE FORCE IN US
THE DIVINE PULSE OF LIFE AND PASSION……
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ELEMENT?
ARE YOU A WATER FAERIE WHO LIKES TO PLAY IN STEAM?
AN AIR BIRD CRUISING THE CYBER STREAM?
ARE YOU AN EARTH SPRITE WHO GETS HIGH ON TREES AND THE OUTDOOR BREEZE
OR ARE YOU A FIRE BEAST WHO LIKES TO RAISE THE HEAT
IN GROUPS OF MEN PARTYING ON THE SEXCLUB SCENE?
Sex is part of who we are
an urge we have to explore
different strokes for different folks
through the elemental doors
Gay life celebrate sexuality with a passion impossible in human existence until this time in our history. But we still not facing the sexual-spiritual connection, we still not understanding that ‘Unrestrained desires and unbridled gratification of libidinal urges only lead to disintegration and destruction’ (Swami Adiswarananda in ‘Facing the Restless Mind’), though certainly we lived through the experience of this in the AIDS years and are doing so again now with the rising levels of mental health and drug issues amongst gay men. It’s important that we have our sex spaces, that we celebrate the sexual urge. But that’s not the whole of who we are. If we do not also explore our nature as beings of love, creativity and spirit we are limiting our life experience and limiting who we are, and our soul energy will diminish. HIV is not the doorway to brotherhood – that door is already there as men who love men. Love of each other as human beings is the real way into brotherhood. Sex is then the celebration of our natural elemental nature as men who love men, men who fuck men, men incarnating the soul force of the universe, bringing joy, love and brotherhood to a world that has been fucked over by men who fight, men who exploit, men who hate FOR FAR TOO LONG. Gradually the times change and men who love men have huge role in bringing this change. There is more to our fucking than play and indulgence. We are changing masculinity on this planet, turning its focus from war to love, from greed to pleasure, from domination to cooperation.
There are some, even amongst gay men, who still pour shame and scorn on the extremes of our sexual athletics. There is much concern at the moment about the amount of drug use going on in our liberated sexual playgrounds. Yet sex is at the root of who we are. Sex is the lifeforce. It ain’t going away. If we let it, it can lift us to heaven, it can strengthen bonds of love, it can open minds, it can reveal our oneness with all life, reveal our nature as beings of energy/spirit. It’s fundamental to our existence and elemental in its expression. Water, Earth, Air, Fire: try them all! Let sex take you higher.`