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Amsterdam's Gay Culture and Public Sex: Navigating the Legal Cruising Spaces

As a traveling 25-year-old sexologist, I found it fascinating when my dutch gay friend told me there are space in Amsterdam where you can go have sex in public. And it's legal. They're called cruising spaces and were designed for gay men in mind. I believe it's the only country in the world where this is a thing.

It all started with Amsterdam's long history of being a tolerant city towards the LGBTQ+ community. The city's liberal attitudes towards sexuality have allowed cruising spaces to flourish, with many men viewing it as a way of expressing their sexuality freely. As a non-Dutch person visiting Amsterdam, I was completely unaware of the existence of these cruising spaces. I asked every other local I talked to and they had no idea that these spaces existed. Some had mixed feelings, saying it shouldn't be allowed since anyone can walk through the space and see them, even kids. My response was that there are signs but maybe they should be more obvious.

Cruising spaces are often found in public parks, parking lots, and saunas. I think these areas offer an environment where men can explore their sexuality without fear of judgment or persecution. For many of them, cruising is an essential part of their sexual identity and a means of finding sexual gratification. I walked through two of the parks where it's allowed and found lots of used condoms on the ground. PSA to Amsterdam: install some garbage cans. And PSA to everyone using these spaces: pick up after yourselves.

However, cruising could potentially have some health risks. Men who engage in cruising could be more likely to have unprotected sex since the use of drugs and alcohol in these environments is very common and make people care less about risks. The anonymity of the encounter may also result in increased incidents of violence.

Despite the risks, gay cruising spaces play a vital role in the development of Amsterdam's gay culture. Apparently (even if locals aren't even aware) cruising has long been an important aspect of the city's gay scene, and many view it as a way of maintaining sexual freedom and individuality. These spaces provide a way for men to connect with each other, sometimes forming lasting friendships and relationships.

If you're interested in exploring Amsterdam's cruising scene, it's important to prioritize safety. Here are some tips for navigating the cruising spaces in Amsterdam:

  1. Practice safer sex: Always bring condoms and lube with you, and use them. Don't be afraid to ask your partner about their STI status.

  2. Let someone know where you are: Before heading out to a cruising area, let someone you trust know where you're going and when you plan to be back.

  3. Be aware of your surroundings: Keep an eye out for anything that seems suspicious or makes you feel uncomfortable. Trust your instincts and leave if you don't feel safe.

  4. Approach others respectfully: Don't be pushy or aggressive when approaching others. Respect their boundaries and be open to rejection.

In conclusion, cruising spaces in Amsterdam offer a unique perspective on human sexuality (you should've seen my face when I found out). They provide a space for men to explore their sexuality and connect with other like-minded individuals. However, it is essential that people engaging in cruising take precautions to protect their health and well-being. I also think it's unfair that's it's only geared towards gay men, what about lesbians? What if I want to go fuck there too? My friend said I could but it might not be well received.


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