June 10: You saw the Presidential Proclamation of LGBT Pride Month, 2016
in the USA. Pride is out this weekend
in big cities around the globe now in Athens
, in Los Angeles in West Hollywood
, from Philadelphia
, and in Warsaw
and Washington, DC
is running now through the main events June 25 and 26. People are not proud and not satisfied
with the decision in May of not to provide PrEP
. Interviewed by PinkNews
in April, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed Scotland will make it's own decision
, regardless of what NHS England does.
Meanwhile, there is a Statement on PrEP
from community organizations involved in HIV prevention explaining the need for PrEP and asking for signatures. The National AIDS wants a judicial review
and has a related fund raising effort
underway. This is a worthy cause.
There are times we in the USA bemoan our health care system. It has many triumphs and many faults which I won't address today. One thing to be grateful for is that PrEP is widely available here
, albeit often expensive or with health plan restrictions. In San Francisco, there are now at least 6,000 people on PrEP
. We can be proud of that, as we encourage everyone to know your HIV status, get tested if you never have, and get the appropriate treatment advised by your doctor.
June 3: Although we're proud, some of us still face police entrapment
, Increasingly the courts reject these tactics. Yet though many police forces are abandoning this, the Heads Up! list
shows that sting operations and raids continue
Related to Pride, Sunday June 5 is HIV Long-Term Survivors Day
. Thirty-five years ago HIV was identified
and twenty years ago the first "cocktails" of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART)
were introduced, now simplified for many. One of these drugs, Truvada
has also been shown to be effective in preventing HIV transmission.
We must remember, celebrate, and help the long-term survivors as they live the later life that they thought they never would have.
and in Memphis
they'll do that by watching Desert Migration
, a documentary about life after AIDS
and some of the long-term survivors who moved to Palm Springs and share their stories with us now. Watch the trailer on YouTube
, read an interview with Daniel F. Cardone
, Writer and Director, and follow it on Facebook
to find a showing near you.
Let's also be proud that LGBT people are increasingly coming out in the Evangelical Community — We are everywhere!
(But you knew that...) Read the insightful exclusive interview with Trey Pearson
, the Christian rock star who just came out, in (614) Magazine
The group Everyday Sunday
including Pearson will perform at the
35th Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival
, June 17 in Columbus, Ohio.
May 29: We know that Memorial Day
is the holiday when Americans remember those who died while serving in the armed forces, especially during wartime. Though it started as Decoration Day
after the Civil War, it gradually became called Memorial Day and became standardized Monday Holiday
— making the long weekend — in 1971.
Let's also remember USAF Tech. Sgt. Leonard Matlovich
at this time, a Vietnam Veteran and Purple Heart recipient. Although he did not die while serving in the military, Matlovich was the first military service member
to come out and openly challenge the ban on gays in the military.
His challenge of the ban became public on Memorial Day, 1975
, then was on the cover of TIME Magazine
with the headline "I Am a Homosexual
." Matlovich was discharged in October.
Following his death due to AIDS in 1988, Matlovich's tombstone, without his name but with the words, "When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one
", was placed in the Congressional Cemetery as a memorial for all LGBT veterans. The ban that caused Matlovich's discharge is lifted now, and we owe him a great debt.
May 13: What's Opera, Doc?
Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd explain it to you
Beyond that, your can read about a group of gay composers and others including Wagner's son (Gay Influence)
and of course, the Hitler connection
Then there's Naked Opera
, a gay porno filmed at the the Komische Oper Berlin. More about it in the original German
or in Google's rough English translation(taz.de)
. This, however, is more inspired by Mozart's Don Giovanni (Intermezzo)
Back in the USA, industry site JRL Charts
tells us that adult video stores are paying up to $50 an hour to clean the arcades
. Sounds like a dirty job, but maybe there's some good, um, fringe benefits. One guy reported earning over $100,000 a year. Nice work if you can get it, but can you get it if you try?
Finally, I'll take you to Los Angeles, actually West Hollywood, where The Abbey celebrates its 25th Anniversary
. I never thought of it as a cruisy place when I went to WeHo years ago, but it was a landmark. Read about its evolution
from a coffeehouse-based concept to a happening nightspot reflecting the changing status of LGBT people in the larger community.
The Abbey will also be the subject of a reality show
, coming sometime soon on E! Entertainment Television
. These shows ain't documentaries, they're usually at least semi-scripted and then edited to highlight drama and conflict. Is that
something we see in gay bars? Hmmm...
Maybe reality shows are the soap operas for the New Millennium. Both follow a tradition of wild, romantic, and tragic stories also shared by classical opera, packaged and processed into bites more palatable for the taste of the times.
May 7: CRUISING NEWS and THOUGHTS
This week XTRA
wonders Do gay guys still cruise for public sex?
The reporter had been to Dore Alley
, hooked up the next day, then went to Golden Gate Park
. They started near the Tennis Courts, found some action, but thought the guys were boring. Duh, if you were at Dore Alley the day before.
We actually know three separate places in the park, and the paths by the soccer fields and Windmills
have the most recent and better reviews with us. Meanwhile, he'll go back to Vancouver and check out cruising in a city where XTRA has question whether it should continue
Meanwhile, I read this piece awhile back by Garth Greenwell, How I Fell In Love With The Beautiful Art Of Cruising
that I'd been meaning to put here. I pretend to write; Greenwell really does, saying "that cruising itself is a kind of poetry."
and in many ways defining for a gay identity. I pointedly did not say the gay identity
because some gay men do not cruise and many cruisers do not identify as gay.
Just read it. Please.
It's long and literate and takes some thought, but it's worth it.
Two things more: An L.A. County Superior Court Judge slammed the Long Beach Police while invalidating the arrest of gay man
who was caught in an undercover vice sting in a park, finding "The presence and tactics of the decoy officers actually caused the crimes to occur" and the police "intentionally targeted men who engaged in homosexual sex." (LA Times) (Analysis at Slate)
Yet at the same time "gay city" Wilton Manors, Florida is trying to stop men cruising
at Colohatchee Park
These seems to be part of a one-man campaign, but a City Commission supports him and Wilton Manors has used plainclothes officers in the park. The place doesn't seem to be in the Sex Listings, or maybe not by that name. Your Editor will investigate.
May 1: The subject matter was in fact the return of the CFS Newsletter
April 21: My target for resuming the CRUISING for SEX Newsletter has slipped due to this week's "flood event" in Greater Houston.
Among the "emergencies and surprises" was a flood-related accident involving my car. I was not present, a friend was driving, and fortunately no one was hurt. However, the insurance claim, arranging repair, and getting on a waiting list for a rental car — next week? — all cause delay. I am working on the Newsletter and will send it as soon as I can. Otherwise, the elderly sick adorable dog
had good news from his vet visit but his new meds, and even just feeding, challenge both of us greatly and take much time.
April 18: Today's Sex Listings Reviews included notice of several places that closed, and I see these every week.
I have been meaning to write about this ever since a CFS Member reviewed London's Chariots Shoreditch
, the largest gay sauna in the UK, as well as the closing of another London Chariots
How it was at Shoreditch was covered by widely-published Patrick Strudwick in Buzzfeed's The Final Hours Of Britain’s Biggest Gay Bathhouse
and BravaDonna's Inside The Last Days Of Britain's Biggest Gay Sauna
, similar accounts worth reading. Both Shoreditch
were covered in mainstream media. As noted by Strudwick, the closing was protested by faeries and shamans whose curse on developers
was covered by VICE. There's a hotel, shopping, and office space planned for the former Chariots spot in this now high-priced neighborhood.
So many gay spaces close. VICE quoted activists and analysts, and here's another who thinks he knows What the loss of London’s gay saunas means for us
, although it's other LGBT and independent businesses, too. Is it gentrification? Changing culture, more social acceptance and inclusion? (I don't think that applies to saunas...)
Apps? There's many answers.
I actually started searching for closed saunas, bathhouses, and so on and found myself overwhelmed by the number of news stories recently on gay bars closing. It crashed my web browser. At some point I'll post to our Message Board about Closings and Change
. The sheer number, including familiar names coast to coast in the US, amazed me.
April 16: Some "new news" about the first sexually-transmitted Zika case reported in Dallas at the beginning of February: It was transmitted from one man to another man.
The CDC only went into detail about the case on Friday, April 15
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but if you are a man who has sex with women, or with both men an women, be aware of this
. Also, now with more investigation into possible neurological and brain-related issues and illnesses associated with Zika being reported among adults, it's worth your attention
The most recent posts in our discussion of Zika
are here, with some detailed information specifically here
. The last two include the new information about the expanded range of the Zika-carrying mosquitoes as well as more about sexual transmission and prevention.
Of course, I pay a lot of attention to Zika because I live in the mosquito-ridden Greater Houston area. As I said last week, because this site is used by a large numbers of men who have sex with both men and women, it's especially important to me to provide this information. It's up to you to make judgments and decisions regarding risk, just as you do with HIV and other STDs.
Beyond this, I have other items to write about here and it's time to change the subject
. This will come Monday.
— I hope, and I was so tired when I originally wrote this that I got some dates wrong, now corrected.
I've been delayed or called away many times by the needs of the elderly sick adorable dog
I mentioned last week. He and I will visit the vet Tuesday for a series of tests. Please be patient if I get behind on work again and wish us luck.
April 11: The Zika virus is back at the top of the news again.
We've discussed this
starting in February when it was learned and revealed that Zika could be sexually transmitted. Although this especially affects women in their childbearing years who may become pregnant — and their babies
— it is important for men who have sex with both men and women and also for men who only have sex with men
This is because Zika causes not only the widely publicized birth defect of microcephaly but also has been linked with a smaller number cases of the serious neurological disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome. I have a round-up of today's news and other information
that I've added to our Message Board discussion this evening. Important points:
- The mosquito that spreads Zika may in a much larger area of the US than previously believed, not just the Southern or Coastal areas such as my home in Greater Houston.
- There are small numbers of additional neurological and brain-related issues and illnesses associated with Zika being reported.
- Federal health officials and the Obama Administration have requested more funding from Congress to fight Zika; Congressional leaders say they should use funds not yet spent that are set aside for Ebola research.
- The CDC has updated its information on sexual transmission of Zika, including guidance on prevention emphasizing use of condoms, including vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or fellatio, if you are concerned about getting or spreading Zika via sexual transmission.
Because this site is used by a large numbers of men who have sex with both men and women, it's especially important to me to provide this information. It's up to you to make jugdments and decisions regarding risk, just as you do with HIV and other STDs.
The situation is developing and changing as research reveals more information; we can expect things will change. Let's hope one change will be rapid development of a Zika vaccination.
April 4: So what's up with the loos in Oxford?
I heard from GayStarNews
that this UK city adopted a PSPO
[definition] that says, "No person shall remain in a public toilet without reasonable excuse."
What excuse could I give them? Hmm...
From the story, Chris Ashford
of the Northumbria University, School of Law commented on the action, "It’s far from clear how Oxford City Council plan on enforcing this new measure. Will we see a return to the agent provocateur tactics of past decades that criminalized so many gay men? PSPOs are a sweeping measure and one wonders if this is the most appropriate and effective response. Also, irrespective of the motive of a council , it’s about who ends up getting caught up."
Although the Oxford Council says they were concerned about those who use drugs or sleep in toilets, GayStarNews suggests that "it paves the way for other councils, with a more overtly anti-LGBTI agenda, to introduce similar local legislation."
That page about Professor Ashford says in part, "My sexuality research explores the intersection of law, sexuality and technology and has focused upon the phenomena of public sex and male for male sex work through the prism of queer theory."
When I say that, naturally I wanted to hook-up with him — no, not like that
, but through LinkedIn. Clearly we have interests in common, and of course I'm thinking back to a much earlier US researcher "
and his dissertation and book Tearoom Trade
. Does anyone still call them "tearooms" anymore?
Anyhow, perhaps some of the more schorlarly or activist UK readers of this site might wish to hear his upcoming May 6 lecture on the future for law and homosexuality
March 26, 2016:
Since this is
Easter Weekend it's time to mention The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision
, published last summer by artist Douglas Blanchard
and author the Rev. Kittredge Cherry
. It was in the Advocate
awhile back, and now it's creating an uproar about censorship on social media in LGBT Christian blogs
, more scholarly reviews
, and now reaching into The Huffington Post
. I do admire Rev. Cherry for many reasons, not least of which is her gift to take advantage of publicity.
Is it sacred? Is it profane? Is it really even gay?
I do claim more than a little experience with all those things, yet "Who am I to judge?" (Someone else said that not too long ago...) For me it is essentially human
and puts the ancient tale in a contemporary guise. Whatever your belief system, scruples, or lack thereof, this art is beautiful and deserves to be seen and publicized. Take a look for yourself
Full disclosure: Although I don't call myself Christian, I have donated to keep Rev. Cherry's work going, and it is important to me.
March 26, 2016:
Now that you know I don't shy away from religion, let's throw health and life and death and survivors into the picture
. I was reminded by the Columbia Journalism Review
that the April 8 debut of "Last Men Standing,"
a documentary film and part of the San Francisco Chronicle's project
about survivors of AIDS, is right around the corner. If you haven't got a ticket by now, you're probably out of luck.
You know Keith Griffith, my friend and the founder of this site was one of those survivors who did not quite make it. I know other survivors, you may too. There are many of them among us who may need some kind of support, assistance, or maybe just a little love.
Let's give them that.
And be on the lookout for the film at a theatre or any other media.
March 19, 2016: There's a section of our Message Board called Aging and Cruising for Sex
, and it's actually one of our more active areas, addressing generational change as well as aging issues. I admit, I'll be 55 this summer. There are some middle-aged and older guys who like to shoot the breeze, ya know, and some [raises hand] who write too much.
Seriously, a lot of the discussion there lately has been about generational change. How different it is now from when I was a teen in the 1970s or when I came out in the 1980s. Less Than 50% of Teens Identify as Straight, Says New Study
was the most recent one. The click-bait headline came from OUT's
summary of Broadly's Teens These Days Are Queer AF, New Study Says
, a story and interview of "trend forecasters" at J. Walter Thompson, the advertising agency whose new study speaks as much or more about gender and identity than just who has sex with who. Read the Broadly story for details and first person quotes.
It's interesting that we rely on people who sell us things to tell us who we are, but that's besides the point. Or is it? The study was just presented at Austin's SXSW
last week. "...In an original survey of 1,000 12- to 19-year-olds, J. Walter Thompson Intelligence found that 81% agreed that gender doesn’t define a person as much as it used to. What does this mean for brands? Drawing on new data, we speak with innovators from creative industries about evolving attitudes on gender and an age-old teen desire: the quest to find an identity that feels authentic.
March 19, 2016: Ah, authenticity.
We want something "real" that lives up to our fantasies. Separately, the National Resource Center On LGBT Aging warns us, Looking for Love? First Look Out for You!
Published last month, I received this short two-page set of "Tips on How LGBT Elders Can Avoid the Infamous Sweetheart Scam
" just this week. More than one friend of mine has been taken by someone they met through social media, a hookup app or site, or even (as in the old days) someone met in person in a bar.
As Keith, the late founder of this web site used to say advising cruisers how to avoid entrapment, "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is."
It doesn't matter how young or how old or how worldwise you think you are. Take care of yourself.
There is also a discussion for this subject
March 12, 2016: More than you'll ever want to know or think about Donald Trump's dick:
You all heard that thing about Donald Trump, right? Yeah, now you're asking yourselves, "Which thing?" Or maybe it's "I dont't want to know!!!!" OK, so it's the thing from the rallies, the insults, the debate, and media circus last week about his dick.
This week sex toy manufacturer Pipedream asked Trump to to "come to an actual American manufacturing plant, have his penis molded and finally put his money where his mouth is..." Yes, they asked to make a dildo out of Trump's dick.
I put a summary of this on our Message Board — it's not too late to weigh in, although the Twitterverse has moved on. But wait, there's more!
This weekend Perez Hilton reports that The Weiners Circle, a Chicago hot dog stand, has a special this weekend marking Trump's visit to the city. This would have been for the rally cancelled Friday? "For this weekend only, you can order a Trump Footlong (one hot dog), a Trump Package (two hot dogs), or the Trump Super PAC (four hot dogs with fries and a drink). And of course, all 'huge' Trump Footlongs are only three inches long. LOLz! I don't read this type of stuff, really I don't. The things I do for you...
As Trump moved on to Cleveland, protesters on social media said, "Trump show us your penis", from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Cleveland.com site. Looks like Trump's dick just won't go away.
To sum it up, we have "The Long History of Presidential Penis Innuendo" from Politico. Not as, um, detailed as I hoped, but it does bring back the nuggest about James Buchanan, the only President who was unmarried all his life, being said by his opponents he was gay. Andrew Jackson called him "Miss Nancy." That sounds like something Andrew Jackson would do. I like McSweeney's article about Buchanan, although as with many men then and now, perhaps it's just complicated.
March 4, 2016: Or maybe read this before you fuck:
It may not make a difference depending on your own situation, but the CDC has news: As many as 185,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. could be prevented by expanding testing, treatment, PrEP
. This was picked up by the Advocate as CDC: PrEP Will Help Reduce HIV Infections by (at Least) 70 Percent
with a little different spin, emphasizing the role of PrEP. Maybe that makes sense for the Advocate's audience.
Per the CDC "Increasing the use of PrEP, a daily anti-HIV pill, among people who are uninfected but at high risk could prevent an additional 17,000 infections over the same time span."
Of course, so many people including ones who use this site do not know their HIV status. This is they emphasize testing and treatment
March 4, 2016: Separately, POZ reports PrEP Fails in Gay Man Adhering to Daily Truvada, He Contracts Drug-Resistant HIV
. As one researcher puts it,
"I certainly don't think that this is a situation which calls for panic. It is an example that demonstrates that PrEP can sometimes be ineffective in the face of drug resistant virus, in the same way that treatment itself can sometimes be ineffective in the face of drug resistant virus."
I posted more on all of this in our Message Board
. You are welcome to read and post your thoughts and questions.
February 27, 2016: Did you cruise in or near San Francisco's Tenderloin years ago?
Some LGBT historians are trying to use old cruising areas as historic sites to prevent demolition of existing buildings to make way for a new large mixed-used development.
From the group's report, "The corner of Mason, Turk, and Market streets, which connected to the Market Street hustling district, was known as the 'Meat Market' or 'Meat Rack' for the amount of gay hustling and prostitution that took place there,"
saying this and other cruising spots might be eligible for historic designation. From The Bay Area Reporter
's Review of Market Street development to include LGBT ties
February 27, 2016: Whether or not that makes history, some of us have seen history and are now living monuments to a time gone by.
is concerned LGBT Seniors Shouldn't Die Penniless and Alone
. Read the first-person account by Bruce Williams, "a 68-year-old gay man who has led a productive and responsible life but who now has to work just to survive."
Williams was fired from an executive-level job because he was gay, forcing him into early retirement. He now works at his local LGBT center to assist those of our community in what he calls the "third third" of life.
February 27, 2016: Don't miss Ian Horner's review The Boatman - a true story of cruising in India
including an interview with Australian writer John Burbidge. In the 1960s Burbridge, then in his 30s, found his attraction to men in six years when his job took him to India while still closeted to his colleagues.
Some of Burbridge's words: "It's not a memoir about same-sex love, but more a memoir about same-sex exploration, or same-sex addiction. It's not about relationships, of love in the romantic sense... India was the adolescence I never had in Australia. It was my time of taking risks, of getting out and doing things I wouldn't have dared do years before. I had to wait a few more years for love in a personal relationship."
February 19, 2016: Are you a married man — to a woman — who has sex with men? We have a fairly new discussion Married Guys Going Gay AGAIN?
where we're looking to hear from you. You don't have to be a member to read it, but our free and totally anonymous membership is required to add your words to the discussion. Not a member? Register here
February 19, 2016: I came across another specifically cruising-related article this week whose title I'm sure resonates with many of you: Is my gym a bathhouse? (Part 1)
from Canada's Daily Xtra
. Take a gander at it and see if the author's experience is like yours.
February 19, 2016: Finally, I was sent Ben Miller's review this week of Larry Kramer's new book, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: VOLUME 1: Search for My Heart: A Novel
. I was taken by this passage from The Queer Art of History and Larry Kramer's The American People
"Through the book flows a river of ceaseless hate. Kramer's observers are constantly ‘marveling at how much human behavior has passed under so many bridges to flow into the swollen river of cascading, accumulating, unattended-to death.’ The hate of seemingly everyone, from Jamestown landlords to PurITAN patriarchs to a young Ronald Reagan, for queer people."
Also see the NY Times' review
mentioning, among other things, Abe Lincoln's sex scene.
In these times when it seems the world is swirling with hate and fear, let's try to break the cycle.
February 12, 2016: Still following Garth Greenwell, I found another interview, Different Kinds of Lives
, quite interesting. From the final question: "...I'm so glad that new possibilities have been opened up for queer people, but they've come at a great cost, and they have been delivered only to very slim parts of the population. So I don't think it's true that gay kids growing up today-and I feel like I can speak with some authority as I was a high-school teacher for seven years-I don't think it's true that gay kids are growing up free of queer shame. I don't think that's true. I hope it's true that there's more of a possibility that they're encountering narratives that work against that shame."
February 5, 2016: The week I featured a "Barebacking Bonanza" of video clips was the same week we all learned that the Zika virus could be sexually transmitted. In light of the popularity of barebacking, not to mention the videos, I wanted to share what I could find about Zika and what it might mean to gay men and other men who have sex with men. It's on our Message Board: So The Zika Virus Can Be An STD...
As I state there, I don't give advice and I do believe information is important. However, clearly the main focus has rightly been on women who are pregnant and their babies.
January 29, 2016: "Cruising spaces can be spaces of exploration and empathy." That comes from Garth Greenwell whose interview with the Guardian about his new novel "What Belongs to You" was published this week. Is that going too far? I've seen it in action. Read more: Garth Greenwell on his debut novel: 'I've been cruising since I was 14'
. There's also a New York Times review
of the novel, or you could simply get a copy
and read for yourself.
January 23, 2016: Here's a new article on gay cruising, And The Beat Goes On
from Australia's Star Observer
. Cruising is global, but you knew that
. I later wondered, "is it possible to cruise Sydney Mardi Gras
January 15, 2016: I was able to make some time to help with Steven Blum's new article about CRUISING for SEX, Cruising Isn't Dead-If You Know Where to Look
. This one covers not just the site's history, which many of you know, but also perspective from yours truly, the Manager and Editor - by name, actually. Keith, who founded this site in 1995 had his name known and I'm simply the steward of his legacy. This appears on Broadly
, which is positioned as VICE Media's sex-positive news site. I also set up a Message Board discussion
for the article if you'd like to give feedback, opinions, etc.
October 27, 2015: Katherine Wisniewski had solicited help from CFS Members
on a piece about the early days of cruising on the Internet and the legacy of the late Cruisemaster Keith Griffth, founder of this site. I helped her along with others to gather information and it evolved into The Rise and Fall of Cruisingforsex.com, a Digital Atlas of Casual Encounters
on Atlas Obscura
. She called CRUISING for SEX "a turning point in the history of the internet, and in the history of gay life in the United States. This intersection was only possible thanks to the vision of a man whose life contained multitudes of contradictions-almost as many as the sexual mores of the community that he sought to empower." She traces how Keith worked with porn star Scott O'Hara on the site's print predecessor, STEAM Magazine, how CRUISING for SEX rose in 1990s and 2000s and the challenges faced as the Internet changed. I detailed more of that on our Message Board
Now in 2016 I'm continuing to work on software updates, edit and publish daily content on our sites, all while juggling a string of emergencies turning life into surprises every day.