Do You Use Public Areas For Sex? Then Read On...
It wont be a surprise to many, that some men go cruising for sex with other men in parks, lay-bys, beaches, toilets and other places across Cornwall & The Isles Of Scilly.
Healthy Gay Cornwall has an unbiased view regarding Sexual Behaviour In Public Places, and we undertake outreach sessions in these areas to educate men that use them about safer sex, personal safety, sex and the law etc. We also give out free condoms and lube at the site to reduce levels of HIV and STI infection.
We NEVER take any personal details (names/registration numbers etc) - whilst we work in partnership with other agencies, we work completely confidentially and would only pass on information if we saw something that put someone's well-being at risk, or an act of terrorism occured etc.
If you do go cruising (or are thinking about doing it) read our guide below to keeping yourself safe, and on the right side of the law
Know the law
Sex in public places is not necessarily illegal, as long as others don't see you, or know that you're having sex. Having sex in a public toilet ("cottaging") is ILLEGAL FOR EVERYONE. You can be charged under the Sexual Offenses Act 2003. Be discreet in your actions, and dispose of your litter (condoms etc) in a bin.
Check out the area before you go
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE AREA? is it safe for you? Have there been complaints about that site? check the local newspapers and websites, and talk to other cruisers. Know how to get out of the area if you run into trouble, especially at night. Remember that not everyone may be there for the same reasons you are, and may not have good intentions.
valuables like iPods, Jewellry, large amounts of money - remember what you might be engaging in makes you very vulnerable, especially of you don't know the people you're with. Also - its not a good idea to go cruising if you've been drinking or taking drugs, especially if you're intending to drive there. These can also affect your judgement of a situation - particularly around safer sex and personal safety.
Condoms and Lube. These are available free from our website. Take something to attract attention (if you get into trouble) and your mobile phone. Wear sensible shoes, some of these places can be muddy or slippery.
Be control of the situation
TELL the other person what sex you want and don't be forced into something you aren't happy with. If you're not sure or happy with the situation LEAVE immediately. Try and let someone know where you are going (this might not be easy, but it would keep you safer if anything bad was to happen)
If you run into trouble
Make lots of noise (shouting "fire" attracts more attention than "help"), get away ASAP. If you end up on the floor cover your head and keep moving
If you see someone else in trouble
KEEP CALM AND ASSESS THE SITUATION. Don't rush in and become a victim yourself. Call the Police. Try and remember what the attacker was wearing and what they looked like. See how the victim is, they may be hurt and need medical treatment.
REPORT INCIDENTS TO THE POLICE
if you don't let the police know whats going on in the area, they won't know where or how to help. You don't have to explain why you were in the area (remember you are not breaking the law just by being in that area) - just tell them about the incident.
CONTACT THE POLICE: 999 or 112 (mobile only) IN AN EMERGENCY
call 08452 777444 for non-urgent matters or speak to your local diversity officer
You can report any incident or crime through CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111 - you don't have to leave your name.