Word of the Gay

*Straight talk on Gay language, one word at-a-time.

Archive for S&M

#21 “cruise”

The term “cruise” refers to the act of seeking a sexual partner – either the act of moving from one place to another, or the interaction between two individuals.  More recently, “eye-fucking” has also been introduced into the vernacular as a more vulgar, colloquial term to use.

Gay men recognize “cruising” as more than just eye contact, but as a sort of sport – to see who can get eyed, or “checked-out” more times while walking through a gay district.  Some popular areas for cruising include, but are certainly not limited to: parks, beaches, supermarkets, shopping centers, gyms, bars an restaurants.

– verb

1. to move around in order to look for a possible sexual partner 

2. provocative, direct eye contact with possible sexual partners; meant to casually attract a person as you are walking down the street, or are driving in secluded areas

Related: cruised, cruising, cruisy

One movie is tentatively related to this term:  The 1980 cult film, “Cruising” featured Al Pacino as an undercover police officer sent into the beat of the “sleazy” underworld of gay S&M and leather culture in New York City during a rash of serial killings.  Pacino is sent into the scene as a decoy for the murderer, and the film chronicles his encounters with leather daddies, johns, and ultimately the killer.  This film didn’t win any Oscars, and it certainly wouldn’t win any glaad Media Awards either. 

[Origin: The terms was coined in the 16th – 17th Centuries when referring to ships at sea, then given to individuals.  The gay meaning is most likely derived from mid-Twentieth century North America, when the popularity of the automobile, the full development of the highway system and gay culture combined – resulting in “cruising” spots from Mexico to Canada.]

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#10 “top”

Navigating the sexual playing field is a bit more complicated for gay people than our straight counterparts. We have to define our sexual roles in different ways due to the fact that our sexual partners have the same set of “equipment” as we do. Inserting tab “A” into slot “B” does not apply. So, we make use of slots “C” and “D” quite a bit more – and it’s oh, so fun!

In gay culture, the term “top” refers to people who are the dominant, or active person in the sack.

-noun
1. an individual who penetrates, or takes an active role during sexual activity
2. the perceived dominant individual in a relationship or sexual encounter
3. in the S&M and leather community; an individual who takes a dominant role or “charge” and identifies as a sadist, dom, domme, or dominatrix

-verb
1. the act of taking an active role during sexual activity (topping, tops, topped)

-advjective
1. to be bossy or take charge in a given situation

:”I am a Top.”
:”I am interested in guys who are strictly into topping.”

Reference: Ramon Johnson has a great entry on his About.com profile dedicated to the different labels gay men assume when describing themselves sexually.

[Synonyms: active partner, active, ass-bandit, back-door man, booty bandit, bugger, butt pirate, dom, domme, dominatrix, giver, master, pitch, pitcher, top man]