Jul 27, 2016

Street Cruising in San Francisco: 15 Gimmicks that Landed Me or My Friends

When I lived in San Francisco, street cruising was common: you happened to see an attractive guy on the street, and after minimal conversation, at most a drink in the nearest bar, invited him into your bed.

Street cruising was not planned.  You were on your way to the gym or to dinner or to the underwear party at the Lone Star, wending your way through the after-work crowds, when something about the guy incited your interest and prompted you to make contact.

If you wanted to be successful, you couldn't depend on your biceps and bulge alone.  Every guy in town could bench press 350, and was either gifted beneath the belt or knew how to stuff a sock.

You had to have something special, a little boost that set you apart from the crowd.

Here are 15 successful street cruising gimmicks.  Each of them landed me or one of my friends.

1, The Leatherman. had a scuffy beard, nipple rings, and a tattoo of Hot Stuff the Little Devil.  He wore chaps, a leather vest, and no shirt everywhere, to the grocery store, to the dentist, to church. He never left South of Market, where such things are not completely bizarre.

2. The Unicyclist.  Another example of partial nudity, with a twist.  He rode a unicycle down the street, wearing only short pants and white gloves and carrying a little horn.  When he saw a guy he liked, he circled and beeped.

3. The Construction Worker.  San Francisco was all professionals and service industry workers, very few blue collar jobs, so everyone had rough-and-tumble fantasies about a guy in a yellow vest with a toolbelt covering his crotch.

4. The Teddy Bear Artist.  He made a living building custom teddy bears: in leather jackets, in bondage gear, sporting gay pride flags.  There was always a small teddy bear hanging from his belt.

5. The Golden Retriever's Human.  Even if the guy's face and physique nothing to write home about, who's going to pass up an opportunity to play with the dog?

6. The Maserati's Owner.   You can hardly engage in street cruising while driving, but the Maserati's Owner simply sat in his frightfully expensive convertible, an ostentatious symbol of wealth (especially in San Francisco, where cars are a burden, not a necessity).

7. The Pie Man.  Whenever he wanted to cruise, he bought a pie at the bakery and carried it down the street.  Conversations involved asking for "a piece," asking if he could "eat something that big," and so on.  The next day he donated the pie to a homeless shelter.

8. Pushing a Shopping Cart Jake used a shopping cart to take his laundry to the laundromat.  being mistaken for homeless when he was obviously well-fed and well-housed got him a lot of attention.

9. The Golfer.  I've never met a gay man who was actually into golf, and Castro Street is probably five miles from the nearest golf course, but lugging one of those bags full of clubs down the street is definitely a conversation starter.

10. The Bible Boy.  My friend David picked up a "screamer," one of those guys who carry signs and Bibles and yell about "abominations."

11. The Edwardian.  He wore a waistcoat and a boater hat and carried a walking stick, looking for all the world like he was on the way to tea with E.M. Forster and P.G. Wodehouse

12. Santa Clausaka Bearnard, a writer who had a bestselling series of fantasy novels set in the days of King Arthur.  He was eccentric in a lot of ways, but in the wintertime he capitalized on his resemblance to Santa Claus by wearing lots of reds and blacks.  A surprising number of guys asked him to slide down their chimney.

13. The Alien.  A very tall black guy, bald, dressed all in white with a gold medallion hanging on his neck, he looked exactly like the an emissary of the Galactic Council in a science fiction movie.  He gave his name as Darvon Klaa, and said he was from "A small planet very, very far away."

14. Brad Pitt.  

15. The Skateboarder.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood

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