Q&A: Can We Talk About Cruising?

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QUESTION: I’ve been doing some research on rest areas and their connection to closeted gay sex and I haven't been able to find a definitive answer on whether or not this is a myth. I was wondering if you had any information on this phenomenon, whether or not this is an actual culture, a complete fib, or just an exaggerated truth.

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Photo: Indigo Skies Photography

People of all genders and sexual orientations sometimes have sex in public spaces, including rest areas.

I’m not entirely sure I know what you mean about men having sex with men at rest areas being an actual “culture”, but it is true that some men who have sex with men have sex in public spaces such as parks, public restrooms, and even highway rest areas.

Sometimes this is called “public sex”. Other times, people call it “cruising”.

Some men share information about cruisy areas in different cities on websites such as CruisingForSex.com.

Men who have sex with men may also use smart phone apps, such as Grindr, to find other men in their immediate area who they might want to hook up with or otherwise to get know. Then again, some people use Grindr to make new friends or for good old fashioned dating, too.

That said, if you’re a man who wants to use a rest area but who isn’t looking for sex, rest assured that you can still use highway rest areas without fear of someone trying to get you to have sex with them.

People of all genders and sexual orientations sometimes have sex in public spaces, including rest areas, so you can carry on with your life and not give it a second though if you’re not into it.

But if you’re asking because you’re interested, learning more about cruising may help you make the connecting you’re interested in.

Next Question: Could I Be Allergic To Semen?

I think I have an allergy to semen. Any advice on how to deal with this, and who I should talk to about this problem?

Answer:

Although rare, it is possible for women – and even some men – to experience a hypersensitivity or allergy to semen. If you think that you may have such an allergy, we’d recommend that you ask an allergy specialist about this.

Some women react to the semen of each male partner that they have. Others only seem to be allergic to the semen of a particular partner, or only after a significant hormonal event in their life such as starting birth control pills, having a baby, or going through menopause.

In the mean time, you may be able to address the issue by using a condom during sexual activity with a partner so that you don’t come into contact with any semen. However, if you are severely allergic –such as if you break out in hives or experience difficulty breathing or swallowing, then you should speak with a healthcare provider at the earliest opportunity and not put yourself at risk.

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Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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