The last time I had a chance to sit down and compile a post on this subset of the MSM community especially in Kingston and St Catherine we saw a murder of stalwart known as “Portland;” (he was from the parish) then the repeated clashes with displaced and homeless MSM/Transgender nomadic populations who for survival purposes rely on commercial or transactional sex work and often clash with regular cruisers and who are more interested in hitting it and moving on without payment in cash and kind. They often mistake such cruisers (usually very masculine men) as potential customers and the overlap has come with negative outcomes.
Effeminacy in the homeless/displaced (and their friends) populations is also not an attractive feature for sexual interest as most cruisers tend to be hypermasculine or at least not effeminate in public for reasons of safety hence the occasional clashes often very public these days and has a homophobic feel to them so as to embarrass the ‘queens’ or ‘she-he’ as they are labelled for example; seeing that the spots where outdoor sex and cruising take place are located in near remote spots in suburbia. Cross dressers clash with other cruisers (previously not used to having this most visible overlap in previous years) repeatedly which is the essence of my creation of this post and other continuing geographical changes to the ever shrinking and “crowded” areas that were once fairly comfortable are gone or so adjusted that it is virtually impossible for hook-ups and the thrills that come with such sex seeking behaviours.
The local authorities especially in downtown Kingston and the New Kingston business district (Shoemaker Gully and other unoccupied spaces for CSW) via the Kingston & St Andrew Corporation, KSAC have been eliminating spaces for beautification, public order and security purposes as the repeated cases of crimes allegedly committed by homeless MSM/transgender persons and despite the arrest and pending court cases also sentencing of at least two of them the rest of the ever increasing numbers of displaced groups leave long time expert cruisers livid about the interruptions in their sexual seeking behaviours.
Earlier this month a major clash resulting in several bruises and damage to personal items of a homeless diva led to the involvement of the authorities in downtown so much so that a bulldozer was used to demolish or flatten an area some of the displaced youth had taken up in the daytime for rest and cooking meals. This geographical change seems to be the final straw for some as the cruisers are grumbling angrily, I ran into one in Half Way Tree recently who I have had sexual encounters with and he presented his case strongly complaining bitterly that the “good spot dem gone bossy; we nuh have noweh fi go f*** again,” (the good spots are gone my friend; we have nowhere to have sex again) he also commented on the ‘realness’ or effeminate presentations of some of the group which while he appreciates their natural disposition he is not comfortable with public displays of same as it may affect or challenge his security when exposed.
So public was the clash between the cross dresser and the cruiser that led to the population change that a crowd had gathered in laughter as the cross dresser who was partially dressed at the time of the arrival of the authorities and who was led away became the centre of the effemophobic episode aided and abetted in part by the angry man who then realized his regular space would be gone for him. He took on a more public homophobic stance as a means to embarrass and belittle the cross dresser as he could not out rightly say he was same sex attracted or practising and that this ‘queen’ was interrupting his sex seeking or aphrodisiac fix.
I have also found some of the cruisers who are also bisexuals find such outdoor sexual seeking behaviours as part of their persona and is so important for such persons that they will defend any interruption to the hilt even employing a public homophobic stance or presentation as an embarrassing technique to cause removal or non-engagement of their territory in question. Bearing in mind that territorialism is also a part of cruising as operators find comfort or seek to revisit particular spaces where a previously successful sexual hookup took place.
Legendary Geographical Spots Gone
Geographical changes as evidence in previous posts some of which were major have made once legendary areas for decades (older gay men/cruisers can attest to it via oral histories)one can recall the now JUTC bus terminus in Spanish Town which was once an old defunct rice mill left unoccupied for years and used by men of all types for quick sex, it attracted not only hyper-masculine types seeking a quickie but also middle class professionals as well who would visit the KFC store just across the street tying in the transactional component to the commercial sex activity loosely tied to sexual seeking behaviours. There were a few incidents of persons being caught at that spot and it lost some of its luster eventually prior to the construction of the bus par/taxi stand and eventually the Bashco store.
Downtown as hinted to above has since major reductions in hunting space for quick sex and the latest incident had once again caused a great reduction in interest as news spread by other users of the space, the loss of the old buildings along the west Kingston stretch (old garment factories) the influx of vending practices going eastwards towards Princess Streets which were once policed by cruisers who were serious about their craft and did not entertain interference to their practice.
St Catherine has since seen a seismic shift in outdoor sex seeking patterns for the past year as major ongoing construction work of the new highway 2000 has literally shifted the pattern and area that was once free for decades (again older men can give oral histories) for unimpeded hook-ups have all moved southwards from the river bed, men from neighbouring middle class communities and new gated schemes would seek quickies with other hyper-masculine types from nearby informal communities; if not by hook-ups then basic eye candy satisfaction as the latter MSM subgroup also bathe by the river hence attracting men who like male nudity in public and who admire from afar (declaring interest here). Persons are also now being forced to take home their ‘catch’ or using guest houses and hotels that allow males sharing a room for a night (very limited) as it were instead of an adrenaline driven quickie which is almost addictive.
Western Jamaica is not to outdone with cruising, Montego Bay in particular as an old incident was one of the catalysts to changes as well to geographic locations once used for long periods of time by cruisers and commercial sex workers. Beach front properties that were once free for frolic now are being eaten up by hoteliers and cordoned off by walls with fees being applied for entry, similar clashes with subgroups under the MSM umbrella as observed in Kingston also have had an impact on sex seeking patterns and also include homeless MSM/Transgender populations who rely on selling sex services for income and who sometimes mistake cruisers for potential customers, the imperatives of both subgroups vary. Cruisers are not necessarily entertaining of buying sex they tend to do so as a last resort if the hunting experience has not resulted in a natural hook-up with another man with similar sexual seeking imperatives which is not a guarantee when one goes out to fullfil those urges. There is the issue of practices in such hook-ups as penetration in the outdoors is not a major feature for cruisers as the major goal is to hit it and quit it so non penetrative practices are more favoured such as oral sex, partnered masturbation and even voyeurism which watching other men play with each other, the concerns for the length of time while engaging one’s catch is crucial without being caught or nearly caught (a type of psychological aphrodisiac).
Eastern Jamaica has had some issues I am told last year the beach and open space reduction also has had an impact especially in Portland, challenges in terms of transportation to get to the spaces that exist is one then the ones located in towns and parish capitals are also shrinking as development takes over. Renovation of old buildings, demolition of others, similar clashes of subgroups under the MSM umbrella as in Kingston to include effeminate and homeless persons as well is major features.
Negril has it unique cruising arrangements as one of the tourism spots and a few private resorts who understand the sexual seeking behaviours try to accommodate such while making income from interested parties as part of the market. Sex tourism is mainly an underground activity in as far as MSM populations are concerned; I have had requests via email mostly for such services and inquiry of their availability; men from other countries do seek pleasure from other men of different extraction (the typical belief that black men are more endowed and are aggressive in bed is a major driver). One small property allows full nudity and guests are allowed to mingle openly (no outdoor sex) while on property; the operator a year ago while allowing such freedom warns guests about outward displays of affection in public, engaging locals by mistake as those can lead to a homophobic backlash.
The St Ann impact
St Ann also has a similar beach reduction space problem and small resorts tapping into the international cruising market. A report only a day ago of a space nearing a market in Ocho Rios once used by cruisers successfully for years that has turned into a disturbing paedophile ring spot for sex slaves with children as young as 11 years old from all over the island are brought in, a group conducting a study on behalf of the child development agency revealed the preliminary findings to a media house. Now that the space’s use has changed cruisers have to seek alternatives which are few for them.
Homophobic or the appearance of homophobic attacks by feuding cruisers
Unconfirmed reports of a handcart man who was caught masturbating with another man in the downtown area very early one morning had come to light in 2014, the men were said to be by a light post on a lonely lane nearing the market district and were chased away by men who were alerted by one of the mobbers who saw the men moving suspiciously.
A corroborated report that of two cruisers who clashed over a ‘catch’ in a space that has been fought over before and as both interested parties tried to get the ‘catch’s’ attention he lost interest and left the scene and in disappointment both hunters ended up in a verbal spat with both men accusing each other in a very public way of being ‘battybois;’ strangely the origin of the argument did not make it to the audience who were in earshot of the exchange based on reports.
Another case where a cross dresser (separate from the aforementioned) was beaten with a machete by a taxi man who had parked his car some distance away and came to a spot also downtown for pleasure seeking but the cross dresser ended up somehow annoying the man and he returned to his car for the weapon where he confronted the diva and gave some sounds slaps.
Territorialism is a feature as well for cruisers as space becomes limited it is a case of who gets to the particular spot on time and finds a potential hook-up, that too has caused some unease and a minor stone throwing incident in November 2014 brought to bear. Reports at the time suggested that two more masculine men one a vendor clashed over a spot they both patrol occasionally and one came on the scene to find another already occupying the space which did not sit kindly for both parties and an argument ensued. Stones were hurled by the vendor to try to free the area so he could have the space for himself.
Impact of crime/domanship on outdoor sexual seeking patterns for MSM
The rise in crimes and shootings also nearby the shrinking hunting spots also is a challenge, police raids in response, fear of being shot or caught have also caused some delayed decision making or alternate area seeking for such pleasurable engagement.
Old rules allegedly laid down by previous dons such as Dudus Coke and Zeeks in their hayday are carried on still which include the non attack of persons within these invisible borders even if questionable activity is suspected. An incident in 2009 proved it to me as a man who left a space after a successful encounter with another man but who was observed by two other thugs was trailed by them crossing the imaginary border. It was at that point the men sought to attack the man in a homophobic sense leaving him with bruises as he ran away from his attackers. Let us not forget the problems Zeeks has found himself in – accused of murdering a an while he was performing oral sex on him.
‘Decoys’ have also infiltrated the populations it seems though not in large numbers as on the face of it a series of robberies and intimidatory actions by some although maybe same sex attracted or practicing their imperative seems more to rob persons under the guise of a hunt or hook-up.
I have since reduced my outdoor fun for now as my LGBT work, blogging and research has occupied a lot of my time and a minor injury in August (voguing too much lol) and another in October 2014 had slowed down my outs and abouts for pleasure but I am concerned about the changes and challenges though.
Safe hunting if you do in the outdoors, gay cruising traditionally prior to the advent of social media and connections being made far more easier and quicker was for men who could not socialize openly given our homo-negative culture, inability to openly cohabit as men with sexual interest at certain social class level and hence has become a tool for sexual engagement seeking I have discovered but even as the social media revolution has an impact on it there is something about the thrill of the hunt (especially when successful) and element of danger which drives the adrenaline rush for cruisers thus the desire to repeat the exercise in their lifetime.