What is Cruising?

June 04, 2022

What is Cruising?

We’re talking cruising basics, classic cruising signals, and safety practices.

As with many slang terms, “cruising” has several definitions depending on who you ask. As a coded term, it’s evolved over time, but its central meaning has remained the same: to cruise is to look for sex.

 In broad terms, cruising is the art of picking someone up in a public place. That can mean anything from casting eyes around a crowded bar hoping to find a guy you’re interested in, to heading to a cruising location you found on Sniffies in the hopes of finding a quick fuck. Cruising is the act of looking to meet another guy, with the implication that something sexual will come of that meeting. 

But cruising is amorphous — it can happen anywhere as long as you’re open to it. With that in mind, let’s discuss some cruising basics. 

Typical cruising signs

One of the reasons cruising is so difficult to define is that it’s just more of a…vibe, really. Much of cruising relies on lingering eye contact, and subtle physical cues which indicate that another guy may be interested in you. 

While some cruising signals may be ambiguous, there are a few that are universal. Grabbing your crotch, in any cruising situation, however subtly, is a foolproof way to indicate to someone that you’re interested. And, in a bathroom stall, the classic foot tap is the traditional way to indicate interest. It’s important to know these signs and make sure they’re reciprocated in some capacity before moving forward with any guy.

Things to keep in mind when cruising 

Safety is key when cruising. We’ve gone over a few safety tips before, but it’s always a good idea to make sure your location is secure, and that you feel safe with the guy you’ve chosen. Consent is non-negotiable, and in cruising situations, it’s particularly imperative that you are absolutely sure you have consent before moving forward in any way

Sexual health is also important. Make sure you’re mitigating your risk as best you can, and get tested regularly. Understand that there’s risk involved with cruising — that’s why a lot of people like it! But you should be aware of the risks you’re undertaking before experimenting with cruising. 

Where does cruising take place?

Cruising can happen anywhere — that’s part of what makes it hot. You can cruise someone in a gay bar, or you can cruise the guy who just stepped into the elevator with you. The only limit is your imagination. 

But cruising someone is more straightforward in traditional cruising locales. Cruising history dictates that places like parks and locker rooms, both birthplaces of cruising, will host people more likely open to cruising. Bathrooms, bathhouses, and bars are also locations where you’re likely to find success when cruising. 

It can be difficult to suss out places in your city where guys know to go — not every urinal or sauna is a cruising location. When in doubt, check the Sniffies map; it’s the simplest way to find a variety of local cruising areas near you, and check out which guys have committed to going.

Written by HUSH staff