We use cookies to track usage and preferences. See Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
CA
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Christmas Presents
   You are currently viewing the Canada version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 285 > CRUISE CONTROL

CRUISE CONTROL

SOME OF US DISLIKE COTTAGING AND CRUISING, SAYING IT PAINTS A NEGATIVE PICTURE OF OUR LIFESTYLE. BUT FOR YEARS, WHEN HOMOSEXUALITY WAS ILLEGAL, THIS WAS ALMOST THE ONLY WAY GAY MEN COULD MEET EACH OTHER

HISTORY OF CRUISING

OUTSPOKEN: Zia has no qualms about admitting to cottaging

Fifty years ago cruising and cottaging weren’t the fetishes or fantasies that they arguably are now; they were a necessity — the only way for most men to meet other men, albeit it a risky one.

From the early 1950s, there was a witchhunt afoot, with Conservative home secretary David Maxwell Fyfe vowing to “rid England of this plague” as he despatched undercover policemen to prowl in parks, cruising grounds and public toilets. Their enticements led to the imprisonment of an estimated 1,000 gay men each year but that didn’t put a stop to the covert goings-on.

That’s because, a leading gay rights campaigner believes, cruising and cottaging represented the only way for gay men to explore their sexuality. Bernard Greaves, who, as a policy adviser to the Liberals in the Seventies, became the first openly gay man to hold national office in a UK political party, points out: “The idea of being ‘out’ wasn’t a concept at all and it was easier to find sex cottaging than it was in bars.

“There were no gay bars as such, anyway. People lived in a straight world and lived straight lives.”

Now 74, Bernard was born near Leek, in Staffordshire. “You grew up in isolation and you didn’t know anyone else who was gay. In fact, the word ‘gay’ wasn’t in use, the word most people used at that time was ‘queer’, and there was no readily available information or knowledge about homosexuality.”

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Attitude - 285
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - 285
$6.99
Or 699 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.77 per issue
SAVE
60%
$35.99
Or 3599 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.68 per issue
SAVE
43%
$3.99
Or 399 points

View Issues

About Attitude

On the cover, exclusive interview with The Walking Dead star Daniel Newman Plus: Declan McKenna talks pop & politics; First Dates’ Fred Sirieix gets Active; previewing the BBC’s major new gay drama; one British man tortured for being gay; cruising through the years; and Attitude joins the great PrEP debate.
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points