First published on 20 May 2011. Updated on 20 May 2011.
The way gay men approach online cruising can range from an idle pastime to an eight-hour-a-day obsession. Manhunt and Gaydar chatrooms have slowly replaced Perez Hilton, bigdickdaddy.com and, dare we say it, Kyile Fan Club sites in queer bookmark tabs on web browsers throughout the country.
The fact is that time spent looking for action online could be better spent scoring it in the real world. Like wild canines turned into pampered pooches, gay men are losing their natural instincts to cruise. By living precariously through our avatars – wellhung9, thickpound4U and other alphanumeric gems – we have lost touch with the god-given ability to pull a man out of the frozen peas aisle of Coles straight into our beds with nothing more than a sideways glance and subtle grab of the crotch over the frozen yoghurt.
Time Out is a big advocate of getting out of the house and experiencing what this city has to offer, and we believe that that should include the age-old art of urban cruising. While baby boomers and Gen X-ers may still tap into their cruising instincts without too much difficulty, Gen Y might need a few tips to get their outdoor motors running. So here they are:
1. The Man Scan
Just as you use your legs to walk, you should be putting your eyes to work by scanning for trade within your line of sight. While looking ahead set your gaydar to stun and see what possible trade is around. Keep it subtle. You don’t want to look like you’re on crack.
2. The Crossover
This is that moment when the person who has set your man scanner off walks past you and meets your eye. That fleeting exchange of eye contact is crucial in the next phase, so keep it brief, sexy and confident. The wrong look may suggest you are a Mormon looking at a quick conversion challenge. Not hot.
3. The Look Back
This is the clincher and comes in a few stages. The initial look back should be carried out while you’re still in motion. A slight turn around to see if you have made an impact is all that is needed. If the look back is reciprocated then slow down until you come to a standstill and lean against the nearest pole, wall or other inanimate object and continue the eye contact.
4. The Southern Cross
As the name suggest, this phase of the cruise is all about the southern region of your body; namely your crotch. While looking and leaning, move your hand slowly and casually towards your pockets and sensually re-adjust your package. If you're on target, this move says 'I have slightly lose morals and I'm good to go'. If your gaydar has malfunctioned and has led you to a straight man who is actually looking at the hot chick behind you, then you can hit the ejector button with the 'I'm hanging a little to the left and need a slight wheel alignment' defence that all straight men can sympathise with, especially in the hot weather. If you're on target and the Southern Cross has been well received, proceed to the next phase.
5. The Kill
It's make-or-break time so prepare to move in. While you may have been sporting a poker face up until now, it's important to initiate some positive facial expression as you begin your descent. A slight smile reinforces your interest and confirms you're not crippled by Botox. Smile fleetingly, not longingly; you're not completely out of Mormon territory yet. At five metres from target give a small nod; at three metres draw attention to your mouth by wetting your lips; and at zero metres say, "Hey, what’s up?" If the response is "One guess" then it’s fair to assume you will be having sex within the next 15 minutes. If the response moves to the weather, re-align the conversation by repeating the Southern Cross move at this close distance until you have repositioned your target to your bedroom.