NOTICE TO THE M2M COMMUNITY

We have been informed a number of times that Durham Regional Police are receiving a number of complaints from the public about local cruising areas and therefore they are stepping up patrolling these areas, which means potential arrests. You may want to consider connecting online and meeting in private (or meeting and then going to a private location, not a public area) if you wish to avoid potential hassle.


WE ARE CRUISE

DISCLAIMER: We offer the following information around cruising to assist in making cruising safer for those who choose to hook-up in public spaces.  This should not be taken as an endorsement or recommendation of cruising public spaces by the AIDS Committee of Durham Region.

CLUBS, BARS, AND DANCE PARTIES

If you are looking for sex at clubs, bars or parties, here are some things to consider:

  • Always carry a condom and lube kit (available for FREE from the AIDS Committee of Durham Region or any of our Safer Sex distribution sites) even if you don't plan to have sex that night. You never know when you're going to get lucky and you may want to participate in some activity that you have a concern may be too risky for your health.
  • If you're feeling depressed or angry, going out and looking for sex might not be a great idea. You might be more willing to do something you usually wouldn't do and may regret
  • If you choose to leave the club with someone, its a good idea to tell a friend before you leave, and introduce the person you have met to your friend(s) that way you have a back up.
  • Remember sex in the club is not legal so keep an eye out for the bouncers or management and realize you may be asked to leave and not all that nicely!
  • If you are high know how what you have used affects you physically and mentally and don't take risks no matter how horny you are... if he is that hot stay for a while till you are less high and make the decision you really want to make. Sex and drugs increase the chances that you will take a risk and get it on unprotected. Check out our drugs and partying page for more drug information.

SEX PARTIES

Most of us find out about sex parties or orgies by talking to someone who has already been to one or we find out about it online. Most often they are by invitation only. Some events are 'safer sex only'. Others may leave it to you to decide. There are also parties and events that are advertised if only by word of mouth as 'bareback parties' (fucking without condoms). KNOW IN ADVANCE WHAT KIND OF PARTY YOU ARE BEING INVITED TO! If you arrive at a bareback party and weren't expecting it don't let yourself be pressured in participating it is your choice. If you are going to a bareback party, check out www.actoronto.org/bareback so you know what you are getting into.

Some of us like to have one-on-one sex, some of us like group sex. Sex parties can be a lot of fun but can also present certain risk. It can be difficult to keep track of what is going on when there's a group of guys having sex around you.  Especially when they're hot and having hot sex!

If you are a top, make sure to change your condom with each different person you fuck.

If you are a bottom, check to see that the other guy puts on a new condom before he fucks you.

If you're sucking cock with a lot of guys, avoid deep throating as this increases your risk of getting certain STI's - like gonorrhea and chlamydia.

PARKS

Here are some tips if you cruise in the parks/public areas:

  • Avoid being seen by those who aren't in the park for sex
  • Be aware of your surroundings - avoid areas that are too isolated
  • Have an escape plan in case you encounter an aggressive or violent person
  • Avoid carrying a lot of money or credit/bank cards but make sure you have at least 1 piece of ID on you
  • If you are cruising at night and notice beer bottles or other non-sexual garbage on the ground be cautious as this might indicate that this area is being used by people not looking for sex.
  • If possible, go cruising with a friend


TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SAFELY CRUISING IN THE DURHAM REGION, CLICK THE PHOTO TO SEE THE FULL BROCHURE

 

PUBLIC WASHROOM

Public washrooms can provide a quick and convenient opportunity for casual sex, but can also present greater risks for your personal safety, considering they're in busy public buildings with non-cruising men also using the space. Although some guys actually have sex in washrooms, others us washrooms to pick up guys and have sex in more private places. Here are some tips if you cruise in washrooms:

  • Investigate the washrooms in advance to see if it looks safe
  • Watch out for security cameras inside or outside the entrance area
  • Washroom layout is important. Those that allow advance notice of someone walking in (like a long entrance corridor or noisy entrance door) helps in avoiding being caught with your pants down or worse.
  • Wait for a sign that the other guy is also cruising - a smile, crotch grabbing or rubbing or if he's in the next washroom stall, foot tapping, gesturing or being silent for a long period of time.

Engaging in sexual activity in a public space is against the law. However, cruising and picking up guys in public is not. You can be charged if you're caught exposing yourself or having sex in a public space. If you're exposing yourself or having sex in a toilet cubicle with the door closed, you shouldn't be charged but this really depends on the police officer's personal biases or values. However, you can be charged if the stall door is open. You might also be charged if you give an incorrect name or address, or if you refuse to give information when asked.

BATHHOUSES

Bathhouse Myths

  1. Only HIV-positive guys go to the baths -- both HIV positive and HIV negative men go to the baths. Guys who don't know their HIV status also go to the baths.
  2. That's where people give HIV or other STI's -- People get HIV and STI's all over the place, not just at the baths, plus bathhouses make condoms readily available to their patrons.
  3. People who go to the baths are more 'promiscuous' -- People who go to the baths do not necessarily have more casual sex partners than other people.

Bathhouse Tips

Some guidelines to follow if you're going to have sex in the baths. Many of these tips are good for other sex situations

  • Shower with soap between each sexual partner this includes blow jobs
  • Check yourself regularly for sores, rashes or pimples
  • Cover any sores, or cuts especially the soles of your feet if you choose to walk barefoot
  • Wash hands regularly with warm water and soap. Avoid over-using alcohol based hand sanitizers as they dry your skin, increasing your risk for cracked skin (a potential means of HIV transmission)
  • Avoid sharing towels with others
  • Avoid brushing or flossing your teeth at least one hour before sex
  • Avoid body shaving before having intimate, sexual contact with others (shaving cuts)
  • Avoid intimate, sexual contact with others if you have an open sore, infected cut, boil

INTERNET/PHONE

The internet has been called the 21st century bathhouse and has changed the way many of us cruise. It provides us with an anonymity that no other place does. Here are some tips to keep in mind when cruising online or on the phone lines:

  • Keep a record of where you are going when going over to someone's place
  • Avoid giving out your phone number and address too freely to strangers
  • If you're inviting someone home and you live in an apartment, meet them at the entrance lobby. This way you avoid giving out your entry buzz code and apartment number. It is also easier to turn someone down if they're not already in your apartment
  • Don't assume the person you're hooking up with knows how to protect themselves or you from HIV transmission
  • Sometimes cruising from the comfort of your home might give you a false sense of safety. Just because you're inviting people back to your place, or going over to other people's homes, doesn't mean you're at a lesser risk for HIV transmission
  • It is easier for other people to lie about themselves when you aren't actually meeting them for the first time face-to-face. You can't control this. Think in advance about what you would do if someone you cruised is not what he made himself out to be
  • Always remember that it is easy to isolate yourself from the real world when you cruise online or over the phone. Keep an eye on yourself. If you find you aren't going out as much or at all make an effort to keep your social connections. The internet can't replace your friends

Chicago's 'Center on Halsted' has produced some great 'Safe Online Dating Tips' CLICK HERE to read.

They have an excellent suggestion called, "Silent Alarm", read about it on page 4 of the document.

* Information for this page was taken from the booklet "Cruising: The Ins and Outs of Hooking Up for Men" published by ACT (AIDS Committee of Toronto)