The gay scene
Cruising the streets
Meeting guys on the street happens all the time, but while the theory is simple, the practice requires a little more balls and timing. So, if you see a guy you like, here are a few handy tips:
- First things first, check your ‘gaydar’ (that exclusive sixth sense only known to gay men). Looks can be deceptive, and many straight men dress gay for fashion.
- Depending on the distance between you, you may need to change your angle of approach to ensure you pass by. Be casual, and if you’re unfamiliar with the art of subtlety it’s possibly best not to try. As you near each other look straight into his eyes in friendly non-threatening manner. If he does the same – and any longer than is usual between strangers – continue to look at him as you pass him.
- Now this is the hard part. At what point do you look over your shoulder to see if he’s doing the same? When you’re doing it he might only be thinking about it or he could be doing it while you’re making up your mind! Hopefully, five or ten paces on, you’ll both do it at the same time. If not, you’ll never know what you missed, quite literally.
- If he’s doing the same, you’ll both pretend not to cruise when in fact you both know what you’re both doing. Your heart pounds as you work out who’s going to make the next move. A friendly smile, a casual remark or a straight forward "Hi!" can break the ice but it does help if one of you has the courage to speak. His body language, his voice and facial expression should all tell you whether he’s interested or not.
- If, after talking to him, you change your mind, you should make a clean polite getaway. "Nice to meet you" or "see you around" and a friendly smile will usually do it, but say it as you’re leaving so as to make it clear that the encounter is over.
The Havens | 020 3299 6900
The Havens can help you if you have been sexually assaulted or had non-consensual sex in the past 12 months. You can call them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for an initial assessment. When they need to see you urgently, such as for a forensic medical examination (FME), they aim to see you within 90 minutes. They also offer follow-up care, including counselling, tests and treatments. Its medical and emotional support services are confidential. That means it will not tell anyone you have contacted or come to see them unless you want them to. And you can use any of their services without involving the police.
While MEN R US maintains that The Havens is an invaluable service, it has intel from users to indicate it could - and perhaps should - be more friendly and accessible towards gay men, bisexual men and men who have sex with men. However, should you be in need of The Havens this is not a reason not to go.
The Havens has 3 centres in London:
Camberwell Haven, near to King’s College Hospital (South)
Whitechapel Haven, near to Royal London Hospital (East)
Paddington Haven, near to St Mary’s Hospital (West)