Cruising used to be a simple as hitting the bar, park, bathhouse, tea room, department store dressing room, frozen food section of the market…I could go on…wait, WHAT DA FUNK WAS I SAYING? Okay…rewind...let’s try this. Cruising used to be a “see you somewhere and give you the signs” experience. Now, thanks to modern technology cruising can start with many miles between the potential partners. Regradless of how we cruise, many of us do it for several different reasons. Sometimes, it’s nothing hotter than the prospect of some strange dick or ass, and some of us just like the thrill of the hunt. But no matter why…or how…or whether you meet on the chatline, the internet, or by the urinal at your local bar, safety should still be a concern.

There are many general safety tips, as well as some that are specific to how and where you meet. The following are what we consider to be the most important to keep in mind.

Refrain from going cruising or hooking up when drunk or after taking drugs that may affect judgment. Stick to cruising areas that are known to be safe and don’t have a history of attacks and muggings. And don’t forget there is safety in numbers. Better to cruise in areas popular with other gay men rather than isolated, out-of-the-way spots.

Give information about where you are going (or who you are hooking up with) with someone you trust. If you meet someone in a bar, call a friend and let them know where you are going and/or leave the info with a staff person at the bar that you know.

If you are connecting with someone from a chatline, find out (ad verify) as much as you can about the person and give the info to a friend. If you are meeting someone you talked to online, make sure you give the email address and/or profile name of the person to someone, as well as the site that where you connected. One thing to remember, if they are not willing to share the same info they ask for (i.e. phone number, face pic)…tell them to MOVE DA FUNK ON!!! On the same hand, be willing to share the info you request to help put your potential hook up at ease! These tips are important whether you are going to meet them, or if they are coming to your place.

If you don’t have anyone you trust to give info (or want to go the extra step), save it in an accessible place in your computer or leave it in a note in your residence that can easily be found. If the person is coming to your place, then email may be your better bet.

If you meet on a chatline or the internet, go the extra step to get to know a little more about your prospect. Sometimes the person on the other end of the computer may not be who they say they are...and better you find out who they really are before they find where you are!

Prior to meeting, be sure to get a picture of your date’s face, and find out when it was taken. Not just to make sure that he is as “good looking”, “sexy”, “hot” as he described himself in his profile…cause we all know that one man’s hot is another’s HELL FUNKIN’ NO…but you should also have a face attached to the other info about him that you saved.

If you are connecting for a leathersex date, think carefully about how much you want to relinquish to a stranger. Do you want to be tied up alone with a stranger with no way to make contact with the outside world if necessary? The first rule of leathersex hooking up is USE COMMON FUNKIN’ SENSE!!!

Lastly, watch (and listen) for inconsistencies (bullshit) or strange behavior (foolishness). If you have a gut feeling that sumthin’ just ain’t right…then CALL DA FUNKIN’ THING OFF!!!