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What do you need cruisingforsex.com when the NY Times can tell you all about where those suburban New Yrokers go for quick, casual sex? Read it here to find out just where to go, especially you married guys!

 

A Sex Stop on the Way Home

 

By COREY KILGANNON

Published: September 21, 2005

There is a narrow parking lot in Cunningham Park in Queens surrounded by playing fields for adult softball and youth soccer and baseball. At one end of the lot, retirees arrive to practice their golf and mothers in minivans gather to wait for their Little Leaguers.

 

The cruising scene in the parking lot of Cunningham Park in Queens.

The other end is popular with another set with a much lower profile in this suburban setting: gay men cruising for sex. Their playing field is the parking lot itself and the goal is a sexual encounter, usually quick and anonymous.

 

Manhattan may have its gay bars and such traditional pickup spots as the woods of the Ramble in Central Park and the piers of the West Village. But in the less-accepting climate of the suburbs and the boroughs outside Manhattan, gay men often resort to courting one another from the relative safety and privacy of their cars. They troll remote parking lots that become de facto pickup spots well known in gay circles but not to the general public.

 

Long Island spots include Two Mile Hollow Beach in East Hampton, the Field 6 parking lot at Jones Beach, a rest stop near Exit 52 on the Long Island Expressway and the park-and-ride lot on Route 110 in Melville. Each has its own culture and often its own set of protocols, ranging from parking position to the flashing of headlights or blinkers as mating calls.

 

The parking lot in Queens seems to be especially popular with men who lead ostensibly heterosexual lives but show up for sex because it is quick, easy to get and secretive, regulars say. The lot, along Hollis Hills Terrace just south of 73rd Avenue in Queens Village, is close to several major parkways, and its location helps make it popular with men who commute between New York City and the suburbs, where they often have a house, a mortgage, a wife and children.

 

"The vast majority of men who come here are married," said one longtime parking lot user, who like the other men interviewed there recently would not tell his name because of concerns ranging from embarrassment to fears of gay-bashing.

 

"I can't tell you how many guys I've had here who were wearing wedding bands, with baby seats in the car and all kinds of kids' toys on the floor. It's on their way home and they don't have to get involved in a relationship or any gay lifestyle or social circles. They don't even have to buy anyone a drink or be seen in a gay bar. They just tell the wife, 'Honey, I'll be home an hour late tonight.' "

 

Regulars say that the married men enjoy the risk and recklessness of semipublic sex, which usually means receiving oral sex in their cars or having other sexual encounters in the woods nearby.

 

"Some aren't getting it at home," the man added. "Some say, 'I'm not even gay. I'm just bored.' "

 

Almost any time from noon till 9 p.m., when the lot is officially closed, the scene is the same. The narrow section has two long rows of parking spaces into which the men back their cars, forming two rows of cars facing each other with a thoroughfare between them.

 

Each newcomer trolls this thoroughfare with all eyes upon him and surveys the other men in cars, who may either perk up and look interested or shut the window and look away. Then with a dramatic swoop, the driver will back his car next to the car of the man he is pursuing.

 

It all has the deliberate positioning, shifting and movement of a chess game. The parking lot is a fishbowl and the action unfolds like a soap opera each day. Some longtime lot regulars who are openly gay enjoy gathering to observe and narrate the forays and entreaties as they occur. The lot serves the lonely as well as the lusty, they said, helping men seeking friendship and a place to socialize and bond.

 

"There's so much loneliness among gay men," one lot user said. "A lot of guys just want someone to talk to."

 

The parking lot's use as a gay cruising spot goes back at least to the 1960's, several older men said. "I spent the halcyon days of my youth here," one said. "This place was paradise back then."

 

As for sex, the regulars say that they prefer the parking lot to gay bars since there is little in the way of drugs and alcohol and there is more honesty about sexually transmitted diseases. Many regulars say they make arrangements to go home together or to a motel since a strong police presence makes sex in the car or the woods too risky. They add, however, that for certain men, this risk only increases the excitement and allure of on-site sex.

 

 

(Article continues at nytimes.com)

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Things obviously haven't changed since my youth in the suburbs, when the local bus terminal parking lot was filled with guys cruising for sex every night. But what is the point of the Times publishing information like this? If the sources knew they were talking to a reporter, they must be kicking themselves now, because they have made it much harder for the police to ignore what's going on there--although, of course, the article may also attract new participants to those spots.

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