Cruising: The ins and outs of hooking up for gay and bisexual men

    You can download a PDF of this brochure at the bottom of this page.

    Bars, clubs, the baths, online, sex party's, public sex...
    There are many reasons why men meet other men: for friendship, for a sense of community, to find a boyfriend, to have sex. There are many ways to meet men: joining recreational or sports groups, getting involved with religious, cultural or social organizations or volunteering with community groups.

    If we’re looking to meet men for sex, there are also many options. However, we might have many questions about these options. What really happens in a bar or bathhouse; the phone and internet chat lines; in parks or public washrooms? How can I protect myself and others when cruising in these places? How do I let someone know I’m interested, or not? What if guys reject me?

    This Handy Dandy How-To Handbook will hopefully answer these and other questions. It was developed for those of us who are either new to cruising or curious about hooking up for sex in different places.

    Safe and Guilt-Free Sex

    There’s no need to feel guilty or ashamed if you cruise or enjoy casual sex or public sex. This can be difficult as society still holds negative views about sex between guys. We may have been raised in cultures that hold negative views about sex, sexuality or sex between men. We might have unrealistic attitudes about what happens in certain places, or the kinds of men who use these places. However, sex is normal and healthy.

    It’s not where you’re doing it, but what you’re doing:

    Learning about the culture of the places where you cruise is important if you want to have a fun and healthy experience. By knowing what to expect, you’ll be better prepared to reduce the risk of getting or passing on HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like syphilis or gonorrhea. This is important: nobody ever told us what to expect when cruising, the things we can do to get the most of our cruising experience, or how to protect ourselves and others. We need to learn as much as we can.

    We’re not identifying places where men have sex with each other in order to classify them as risky places for HIV or other STIs. Rather, these places can be as safe as you make them. It doesn’t matter if you’re having sex with someone in a bathhouse, in a park, in the back of your car, in your bedroom, or in the elevator of the CN Tower: risky sex can happen anywhere. It’s up to you to reduce the risks.

    The Bar/Nightclub/Dance Party

    Not all of us look for sex when we go out clubbing or partying, but if you’re looking, it can be easy to find - whether in the washrooms, in the middle of the dance floor or in a dark corner. We might also use the bar, club or party as a place to meet partners to go home with.

    If you’re looking for sex at bars, clubs or parties, here are some things to consider:
    • Always carry a condom and lube packet with you, even if you don’t plan to have sex that night, or even if you say you would never fuck in a club.
    • 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.
    • If you choose to leave the club with someone, it’s best to tell a friend before you leave, and introduce the person you’ve just met to your friend.
    • Sex inside the bar or club is not legal and it’s possible that the management or security staff will ask you to leave if you’re caught.
    • If you do drugs, know how they affect you physically and mentally. Check out

    If you do drugs and look for sex when going out to the clubs or big dance parties, recent local research suggests that you might be more likely to have unsafe sex if you consider sex to be an important part of the excitement of going out, if you use more than one drug, if you mix drugs and alcohol or if you use crystal meth (tina).

    The Bathhouse:

    Bathhouses (baths) are used for many reasons. While most guys go there for sex, men also go there to relax, to meet other men socially, to exercise, and to explore various aspects of their sexuality. There are also many reasons guys don’t go to the baths. Unfortunately, some of these are based on misperceptions and unfounded fears:

    MYTH: Only HIV-positive guys go to the baths.
    FACT: Both HIV-positive and HIV-negative men go to the baths. Guys who don’t know their HIV status also go to the baths.

    MYTH: That’s where people get HIV or other STIs.
    FACT: People get HIV and STIs all over the place, not just in the baths.

    MYTH: People who go to baths are more “promiscuous”.
    FACT: People who go to baths do not necessarily have more casual sexual partners.

    Entering the space

    You enter an entrance lobby where you pay to get in. You can either rent a room/cubicle or a locker. Some places will have different types of rooms. You can usually rent rooms/lockers for different time periods. Most baths make you sign a receipt before you enter. This signature isn’t for formal identification purposes; it is merely to assist you and staff in case you lose your key or forget your room/locker number. Some places will charge you a one-time membership fee.

    Once you’ve paid, the entrance attendant will buzz you inside through a locked door. He’ll hand you your room/locker key that usually has an elastic band attached to it so you can keep your key around your wrist, arm or ankle. He will also hand you a clean towel. Most venues will hand you a free condom. Some places will have free condoms available - just ask a staff person where they are if you can’t see any. Some baths will offer a free security box for you to store your valuables, like wallets or watches, for safe keeping.

    The environment

    Baths are typically laid out as a maze of corridors, rooms/cubicles, dark public rooms, and public shower and toilet areas. Many baths will also have wet and dry saunas, gym rooms, porn video rooms, whirlpools, other interesting sexual play spaces and non-sexual relaxation lounges. If it’s your first time at this bath, look for a map on the wall to locate your locker or room, or ask a staff person for help. It may take you a while to orient yourself, but this can be part of the fun.

    Room/cubicle walls usually don’t reach the ceiling, so sound travels between rooms, adding to the sexualized atmosphere but also giving you less privacy. Guys use dark public rooms for group sex or sex in front of other people. These spaces can sometimes be very dark so be careful not to walk into a wall!

    Different baths create different atmospheres and sometimes attract specific types of guys. Explore the baths to find ones in which you are comfortable. Many have websites where you can view the premises before you actually go to them.

    The experience

    Once you’ve found your locker or room, relax for a while. Although you’re expected to undress and wear your towel around your waist, you don’t have to. Although many guys walk barefoot, some keep shoes on or bring slippers. Make sure to always have your key on you as it has your room/locker number on it.

    The way someone is positioned inside their room can suggest the type of sex they’re looking for, but this isn’t always true. A guy lying on his stomach might be telling you he wants to get fucked, while a guy lying face up might be looking to get sucked or to fuck.

    If you rent a locker you can cruise in the hallways and public spaces.You can also look into rooms with open doors. Don’t knock on closed doors. Only cruise open or semi-open doors. If you rent a room you can cruise in the same way, but you also have the option of staying in your room and leaving the door open to suggest you’re looking for sex. You can sit or lie on your bed, or stand by the doorway.
      Baths are mainly about sex. However they’re more than that. They are places to relax, socialize, work out, or just take in the sights. One way to avoid disappointment, depression and frustration if you don’t find sex is to take advantage of these other uses.
        Unfortunately some of us feel pressured to conform to certain sexual norms. Going to the baths doesn’t mean you must have sex with as many guys as you can in one night, although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this if it’s what you want. Just be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.

        Bath hygiene

        Follow these guidelines 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 risk for cracked skin.
        • Avoid sharing towels. Make sure your towel is between yourself and the bench inside sauna/steam rooms.
        • Avoid brushing or flossing your teeth at least ½ hour before sex.
        • Keep your hands away from your nose, mouth, ears, eyes and hair.
        • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
        • Avoid body shaving before having intimate physical/sexual contact with others.
        • Avoid intimate physical/sexual contact with others if you have an open sore, infected cut, boil, cough or cold.

        Bathhouses are legal spaces since they’re licensed by the City. Every space within a bathhouse, except the space licensed for alcohol, is considered private space.

        The Internet and Phone Lines

        The internet has been called the 21st century bathhouse and is changing the way many of us cruise. You can hook up in gay chat rooms, post ads on cruising websites, watch, or be part of, live personal webcam shows. On phone lines you can listen to messages, leave messages, and talk live with other men.

        The anonymity of both the internet and phone lines often allows some of us to more freely explore our sexual fantasies. Sexual exploration is healthy; however, sexual exploration without proper knowledge can be risky. For example, some guys might advertise that they’re into PnP (P&P or party and play). If you’re exploring other types of sex play, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and what potential risks there might be before you engage in these activities.

        Here are some tips to keep in mind when cruising on-line 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 code and apartment number. It’s 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 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 lesser risk for HIV transmission.
        • The internet and the phone lines can sometimes de-humanize the cruising situation. Remember, you’re interacting with another person. Don’t be rude. Be aware of the language you use when responding.
        • It’s 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.
        • It can be easy to isolate yourself from the real world when you cruise online or over the phone. Look out for the following signs: you aren’t going out as much, or no longer hanging out with your usual friends. Make sure to keep your social interactions with others – be it friends, family or co-workers.

        The Sex Party / Orgy

        Most of us find out about sex parties or orgies by speaking to someone who has already been to one. You might be personally invited or added to an email list. Some online sex sites have sections devoted to helping organize sex parties. Parties can be located in someone’s house or apartment, hotel rooms or a bathhouse. Events that take place in a private residence might include dinner and conversation to start the evening. There might be introductions, ice breakers to get people comfortable, and a discussion of ground rules. Depending on the size of the event, there might be multiple rooms, each differently themed. There may also be non-sexual areas if you want to take a break.

        Some events are ‘safer sex only’ parties. Others may leave it up to you to decide. There are bareback parties where guys engage in unprotected anal (raw) sex. Check in advance to know what type of party you’re going to. If you arrive at a bareback party but weren’t expecting it to be one, don’t feel pressured to participate. If you’re going to a bareback party, check out for more information.

        Some of us like to have one-on-one sex, some of us like to have group sex, and some of us like to have sex in front of other people. Sex parties can be a lot of fun but can also present particular risks. It can be difficult to keep track of what is going on when there’s a group of guys having sex around you. If you’re a top, make sure to change the condom with each different person that you fuck. If you’re the bottom, check to see that the other guy put on a new condom before he fucks you to make sure he’s not wearing a condom that he used to fuck someone else with. Periodically check, with your hand, to make sure that guys are using condoms.

        If you’re having oral sex (sucking cock) with a lot of guys, avoid deep throating as this increases your risk of getting certain STIs – like gonorrhea and chlamydia.

        The Park

        Some of us cruise in certain parks with out-of-the-way areas that are known as places where we can find casual sex. These might be wooded or sheltered areas, or areas with nature trails and bushes. Some parks are busier at night while others are more active in the morning or afternoon. Some parks close at night, so if you cruise there at night, park security or police have the right to ask you to leave.

        Usually, park cruising areas are separate from the areas where guys actually have sex. Cruising areas could include the parking lot or nature trails. Sex areas are usually in denser, bushier zones.

        Here are some tips if you cruise in the parks:
        • 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/debit/bank cards, but make sure you have at least one piece of ID with you.
        • If you’re cruising at night it will be more difficult to see your surroundings or the people you meet.
        • If you’re cruising at night and you notice beer bottles or other non-sexual garbage on the ground, be cautious as this might indicate that these areas are used by people not looking for sex.
        • If you hear someone calling for help, try not to run away. Although you might want to avoid getting yourself into an unpleasant situation, there’s strength in numbers. It could be you in that situation one day, and you’d appreciate help from others.
        • If possible, go cruising with a friend.
        The 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 use washrooms to pick up guys and have sex in more private areas.

        Here are some tips if you cruise in washrooms:
        • Investigate the washroom 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 a noisy entrance door) helps in avoiding being literally caught with your pants down - or worse!
        • Avoid engaging in sex if people who are obviously not looking for sex enter the space.
        • 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.
        • These are silent spaces, so talking might scare men off.

        Public Sex Safety

        Engaging in sexual activity in a public space is against the law. However cruising and picking up guys in public is not. Kissing another guy in public spaces is also not a crime.

        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 and values. However, you can be charged if your stall door is open. You might also be charged if you give an incorrect name or address, or if you refuse to give this information when asked. For more information about public sex, the law, and your rights, visit www.handydandy.caand click on the “Cruising” brochure link.

        Inviting Guys Home

        You might meet a guy (or guys) at a bar, on the internet or phone line, or at a social event to bring back to your place for sex. Just remember you don’t really know this person. If you’re out with friends, introduce him to them before you go. Don’t leave anything valuable – wallets, keys, money or jewellery – lying around in your home.

        Make sure you’re prepared for sex. If you want anal sex, make sure condoms and lube are nearby. Remember, sex in your own bed doesn’t eliminate the possibility of HIV transmission.

        Cruising 101: Some Tips
        • You can tell a lot from someone’s stare or eye gazing. Look for gentle body contact when you walk past someone. When you walk past someone and if you’re interested, look back after a couple of seconds. If he looks back at you, he might be interested too!
        • Don’t be overly aggressive. When someone tells you they’re not interested, just let it go. Don’t be pushy.
        • Spend some time observing how others cruise in the space. This is the best way to learn.
        • Know what you want and know your limits. Be clear in your mind of what you do and don’t want. Don’t feel pressured to do anything. You can stop sex at any time if you’re not feeling comfortable.
        • Trust your instincts. If someone’s looking a little strange or out of place, it might be best to avoid them.
        • Spend some time relaxing, and clear your mind. It’s important to be in the right frame of mind when cruising. If you’re feeling depressed or angry, it might not be a good idea to cruise – you may take risks you wouldn’t ordinarily take.
        • Have fun – sex shouldn’t be too serious. For some guys, sex becomes so important that it becomes almost a chore. It can also create stress if you feel you’ve got to have it, or you have to perform for your partner.
        • Don’t have unrealistic expectations. You might not always find sex when you want it. It’s okay if you don’t have sex when you cruise. If you get frustrated and depressed about not finding sex, you might be more willing to do things you wouldn’t normally do. Similarly, don’t have unrealistic expectations about meeting new friends through casual sex since many guys are looking for sex and nothing more.
        • Practice safer sex. Protect yourself and others. Don’t let the adrenaline rush make you do something you wouldn’t normally do and then regret afterwards.

        If you’re cruising in a public place such as a park or washroom, consider these additional tips:
        • Know your rights.
        • Be discrete. You’re simply putting yourself at risk of getting caught if you have full-out sex in busy public venues.
        • Do your best to blend in to avoid unwanted attention – that includes the way you dress (sorry, no disco pants).
        • If you’re in a public space, have an escape plan or route in advance. Know your surroundings well by checking out in advance the area around the location.
        • Don’t leave a mess; don’t leave litter (condoms, used tissue) or cum shots on the wall/floor as this will only generate complaints. Complaints will generate police/security presence, putting your personal safety at greater risk. Remember, police are obliged to react to complaints.

        Dealing With Rejection / Learning How to Say No

        Learning to deal with rejection is not an easy thing, especially when we’re in a place where we feel like people are judging how sexy or attractive we are. It requires a lot of self-confidence. It also helps to understand why we might be rejected by others.

        What are some reasons I might be rejected?
        • He might not be looking for sex at the moment.
        • He might have just finished sex.
        • He might be too high or drunk to have sex.
        • He might be cruising someone else.
        • He just might not be physically and sexually attracted to you.

        Getting rejected sucks. How do I deal with it?
        Just move on. Don’t make a big deal of it. Realize that it happens to everyone, and it will continue to happen. After all, would you accept advances from absolutely anybody? Don’t see rejection as an indicator of your own worthiness or physical attractiveness. You’re just not his type. Everyone has different types.

        How do I turn someone down politely?
        Being rejected isn’t pleasant. Having to reject others can also be unpleasant. However, it can sometimes become easy to only see people as potential sex objects when cruising. Cruising for anonymous casual sex doesn’t give you the right to treat someone badly. Although you might be looking for care-free sex, you’re still dealing with someone who has feelings. Keep this in mind when you’re about to reject someone’s sexual advances.

        Here are some tips when rejecting people:
        • With a smile, just say “Sorry, I’m not interested”.
        • If the person is looking at you, don’t look back at him, or don’t look back for too long.
        • If he touches you, move his hand away from you and sharke your head, but with a smile.
        • Don’t push or shove him away, or say things like “get away, you’re gross”.

        How do I deal with a persistent/aggressive cruiser?
        Walk away. If he still follows you, tell him in a respectful but assertive tone that you’re not interested. Take it as a compliment: you’re so hot you’re irresistible! If someone continues to cruise you even after you’ve made it clear you’re not interested, inform the venue staff. If you’re out with friends, find them and stay near them for some time.

        Prejudice and Discrimination

        Prejudice and discrimination exist in our communities. We often see it when it comes to sex and sexualized environments. We hear it when cruising. We see it in on-line ads.

        Avoid the following terms to prevent putting others down:
        • “Are you clean or disease free?”
        • “Straight-acting only”
        • “No GAMs, or not into Asians”
        • “Whites only”
        • “No fems”

        Using racial, ethnic or other stereotypes is demeaning and unfair. Not all trans guys are bottoms. Not all Black men are hung. Not all Latino men are passionate stallions, and not all Asian men are effeminate. We all have prejudices and stereotypes about those who are different than ourselves. It’s up to each of us to examine and challenge ourselves and others.

        HIV and Casual Sex

        HIV status will likely not be discussed during casual sex. You can avoid passing on HIV to someone else, or getting infected with HIV, by using condoms and water-based lube when you fuck.
        Some of us who are HIV-positive choose to only have sex with other HIV-positive guys to avoid potential rejection and discrimination. However, we might make assumptions about the HIV status of our casual partners. Sometimes we guess right, other times we guess wrong. Just because someone didn’t ask for a condom, doesn’t mean he’s also HIV-positive. Local research with guys has shown there are many reasons why we may not ask to use a condom, including shyness, unassertiveness and depression.

        Some of us who are HIV-negative are afraid to have sex with guys who are HIV-positive. However, it’s likely we’ve already had sex with guys who are HIV-positive without knowing it: maybe HIV status wasn’t discussed, or the other guy didn’t know he had HIV. We might make assumptions about the HIV status of our casual partners. Sometimes we guess right, other times we guess wrong. Just because someone didn’t ask for a condom, doesn’t mean he’s also HIV-negative. Some HIV-positive guys assume that if you don’t ask to use a condom, you must also have HIV. Local research with guys has shown there are many reasons why we may not ask to use a condom, including shyness, unassertiveness and depression.

        Each one of us has the responsibility to protect ourselves and the other person from HIV transmission.

        If you're HIV-positive, it's important to be aware of your potential legal responsibility when having sex, whether or not you believe HIV prevention should be solely upon your shoulders. In Canada, some people with HIV have been convicted on criminal charges for fucking someone without a condom and not telling them about their HIV-positive status.

        What about other situations? What about if you use a condom to fuck a guy? Carefully using a condom may lower the risk of HIV transmission enough that you would have no legal duty to tell the other guy about your HIV. However, the law is not yet clear on whether disclosing your HIV status is required even when using a condom.

        What if you’re HIV-positive and get fucked by a guy who doesn't use a condom? The risk to your partner is lower than if you fucked him, but in theory, criminal charges could still be laid if you didn't tell him your status. The law isn’t clear on this point either.

        Using a condom for fucking will lessen the risk of you passing on HIV to someone else. Legally, it will protect you more than if you don't use a condom.

        Are You a Trans Guy?

        It’s probably not easy cruising for sex as a trans guy. Some of us experience discrimination. Since most people’s perception of gender follows physical appearance, transgenderism and even transsexualism might be difficult to understand by those who are not trans themselves.

        The bathhouses are not always the most welcoming places. We might find it hard to get in if we appear more feminine. Inside the baths, some guys might feel uneasy about us. This is simply their lack of understanding or experience. Don’t get too discouraged, but equally, be cautious of someone that’s not so friendly. If you’re being harassed, seek support from venue staff.

        You might want to bring dental dams or other latex barriers to bathhouses as they typically only have “male” condoms available. You could split a male condom length-ways, but this might be impractical without scissors or a knife. “Female” condoms and dental dams are available at sex stores. Check local HIV/AIDS organizations as they might have some for free. Visit ACT; we have “female” condoms available upon request.

        Many people have other misconceptions about trans people. A lot of guys assume we only engage in certain sexual acts, that we should be sexually submissive or that we only bottom. Don’t feel pressured to perform sex that you don’t really want.

        Are You a Man of Colour?

        Although ethno-cultural/ethno-racial background doesn’t make up our complete identity, skin colour can affect our cruising experience in a society that places particular emphasis on whiteness. We may have satisfying cruising experiences, or we may occasionally feel somewhat rejected or excluded based on our skin colour. We may be confronted with inaccurate sexual stereotypes, comments or attitudes from other men. We may also hold these beliefs ourselves.

        These situations are sometimes quite obvious, but they can sometimes be so subtle we might not even be aware they’re happening. However, it’s important to think about how our experiences of exclusion or rejection might lead to situations where we place ourselves, or others, at risk. We might feel obliged to have certain types of sex we wouldn’t normally engage in, or to take sexual risks we might regret later on.

        Challenge other people about their inaccurate attitudes or inappropriate behaviours towards you. If you’re in a bathhouse or bar, don’t ever be afraid to ask staff and management for assistance if you face prejudice and discrimination of any type. Don’t ever allow anyone to put you down because of your skin colour or ethnic background.

        Are You New to Canada?

        Coming from a society where sexuality and sex - especially gay sex - is not as openly discussed as in Canada can be a big challenge. Finding yourself in a new society in which sex between men is more acceptable, and where sex is more easily available, might make you feel like you want to explore every part of your new-found sexual freedom. At the same time, you may be experiencing conflict between your sexual desires and your cultural or religious heritage.

        Make sure you know how to protect yourself from HIV transmission and from other STIs. Reading this Handy Dandy Handbook is a good start. Learn as much as you can about safer sex. Visit for a list of community groups and organizations that serve specific communities of men where you can meet other guys who share similar experiences.

        Are You Older / Younger?

        Cruising can be just as rewarding for older guys as for younger guys. However, there are particular things you should be aware of when you’re older. If your ability to defend yourself from physical violence is lessened, whether due to age or health, you might want to be more cautious when cruising or inviting strangers home. Consider taking self-defence courses.

        It isn’t always easy to feel valued as an older man, particularly in a community that often seems focused on youthfulness. Some of us may feel more isolated or less accepted because of our older age. This can have negative effects on our self-esteem. It can also lead some of us to drop condom use when we meet a sexy younger guy who doesn’t really want to use a condom.

        Accepting the aging process means accepting the human change process. It means accepting you’re still physically and sexually desirable to others. It means realizing you’re not alone. It means having the capacity to be a fulfilled sexual being, if that is what you truly want for yourself.

        If you’re a younger guy, you might find that a lot of men are attracted to you. While this can be flattering, it might sometimes make you feel you’re always being hit on. As a younger person, you have the right to say no to unwanted sexual advances. At the same time, it’s important to realize that not all older guys are trying to take advantage of you. Younger men have much to learn from men who have been around for a while. Make the effort to get to know older guys, even if you’re not sexually attracted to them.

        You might assume because you’re having sex with other younger guys, you don’t need to be concerned about HIV or other STIs. This isn’t the case. Protect yourself and others.

        The Ins and Outs of Cruising

        We hope this Handy Dandy How-To Handbook answers some of your questions about cruising. By learning as much as we can about the venues we meet men for sex, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to visit them. Regardless of where – or how – you meet others for sex, take the steps to protect your health and the health of others.

        For more information about condom use, pick up the Handy-Dandy How-To Handbook called “Condoms. Unwrapped”. For more information about dating and relationships, pick up the Handy-Dandy How-To Handbook “Getting Together”. Visit

        Glossary of Terms

        Bareback/barebacking: Fucking (having anal sex) without a condom.
        Blow job: Sucking someone’s dick/cock (having oral sex).
        Bottom: The receptive partner during fucking (anal sex). The bottom is the person whose ass (anus) is penetrated by the partner.
        Casual sex: Typically, having sex without any ongoing commitments or obligations to see the person again.
        Cruising: Actively seeking casual sex partners.
        Deep throating: Taking someone’s dick/cock (during oral sex) deep to the back of your throat.
        Group sex: Having sex with two or more people at the same time.
        Hooking up/ hook up: Meeting someone for casual sex.
        PnP / Party and Play/ P&P: Using drugs while having sex. Typical drugs include cocaine, crystal meth, marijuana, GHB, ketamine, poppers, Viagra.
        Public sex: Having sex in a public space (park, washroom or other location).
        Top: The insertive partner during fucking (anal sex). The top is the person who puts his dick/cock into the ass (anus) of his partner.
        Trans: Geneally refers to someone who’s gender (internal identity) does not match what society expects of their sex (physical body).

        For more information on HIV/AIDS and safer sex, contact your local AIDS organization.


        Funded by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network.
        AIDS & Sexual Health Infoline 1-800-668-2437; or 416-392-2437.
        Published June 2005
        Design: art of design – AOD Group
        Select photographs by Wolfgang & Gilberto Prioste
        Special thanks for invaluable input from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Peter Bochove.

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