Does George Michael have a point about cruising being "normal" gay male behavior?

I keep seeing this story in the news, and now George Michael has essentially come out and said that cruising for anonymous sex is more or less normal social behavior for gay males, and is even accepted in the context of stable, otherwise monogamous gay relationships as no big deal.

George Michael defends ‘cruising’ lifestyle

Is this true or not? Is “permission to cruise” a standard part of gay relationships?

Here’s the original story that started it all.

Being a straight guy I can’t speak to the OP based on personal knowledge. But I came across an academic researcher who lends support to Michael.

I can’t recall his name. He was a gradute student in art history giving an oral presentation of his dissertation. He was interpreting the symbolism in the artwork of Jasper Johns. More specifically, he argued that pieces Johns produced beginning in the mid-1950s that became collectively known as his “Target” period were references to “Glory Holes” – holes put into the dividers of publoc restroom stalls to facilitate anonymous sex among the men in the stalls. From other research (IIRC, he cited at least one Johns biographer) the student had learned that Johns was gay, living in New York, and frequenting clubs and bath houses where this was common behavior, before and during the time he was creating this stuff.

The audience was a group of other art students and art professors, in the early 1990s, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. I’m probably not going terribly far out on a limb in guessing that some of them were themselves familiar with the gay male urban lifestye of the 50s and more recently. Perhaps ironically, they tore some of these students new assholes :stuck_out_tongue: , but his assertions were not challenged.

The group’s response might be summed up as, “Well, duh.”

How common it is, I have no idea. I do know that even into the 90’s there was at least one public bath house in DC and some bar in a Maryland suburb that got occasional press for alleged gay sex escapades of one type or another among patrons. This was long after information about AIDS transmission became widely known. In fact there is a well-known “gay cruising” place here in Madison, WI even now – Olin Turville Park. You can Google for it along with the words gay and sex and find numerous sites with varius view on t.

I’m a gay male in a long term relationship. I do not go cruising nor does my BF. I would not say cruising is a normal activity for gay males. I would say it is not uncommon though.

If my BF told me he wanted to go cruising to try something different I wouldn’t have a problem with it. He would object very much to me doing so.

Based on the article in the OP, it sounds like GM is defending his own “sexual freedom,” not necessarily making a statement about what is or isn’t normal for gay males.

George Michael certainly isn’t qualified to speak on behalf of me. He hasn’t had his gay card that long, and the only reason he’s got a gay card at all is he was busted in a California public restroom.

Cruising is normal male behavior; straight guys just wind up having to pay for it.

I thought GM was in the closet for a number of years. Then he was arrest in the public restroom at Will Roger’s Park. (My, doesn’t that sound romantic?)

In any case, as a straight man it is natural for me to get teenage girls pregnant and then abandon them. Get off my case!

Unless of course you subscribe to the notions that nature is given us so that we might rise above it.

I honestly think that there is a decent percentage of men, gay and straight, who would cruise if they could get away with it. I’m not talking about the occasional one night stand, which has become more and more common, but cruising as a regular thin, a lifestyle. In my experience, which is obviously that of an outsider, gay culture permits cruising, or doesn’t object to it as much, compared to straight culture. If straight culture was more tolerant of it, straight men would do it too. So, I agree with George Michael, but not because I think gay men are more inherently promiscuous or anything, but because men’s sexual agendas often line up better than men’s and women’s.