Cruising: to search (as in public places) for a sexual partner.
Historically, the sexual connotation of the term cruising was used by gay men as a code word to seek each other out. Over the years cruising has been used to define both the behavior of heterosexual and homosexual men who are looking for a casual sex partner. The time spent on cruising can hypothetically be justified by the prize. Man cruises, finds a guy or gal, gets his satisfaction, and call it a day.
I have recently begun to explore the new age cruising of the 21st Century. I have been at the receiving end of the modern day car wave not on the streets, but in the world of social media. Cruisers will try their luck with a simple “Hi” and then wait for a response. Some cruisers are more straight-forth and ask; “Can we be friends.” Now, this has nothing to do with my profile picture, or who I am, because cruisers spend hours sending out “Hello’s, Hi’s and Let’s be friends” to many women or to an account who they think is a woman. Don’t get me wrong, cruisers can be women to, but for the sake of this article I will write from my own personal experience of being a woman who encounters the cruisers. While I can understand the time spent on cruising where there is likely a sex encounter at the end, I am intrigued by the new age cruisers, who more often than not there is no encounter. So what is the allure?
Cyber-relationships can be the most powerful, passionate, erotic, and life-changing connections. It is a relationship that is suspended of real time and the real world. You and the person behind the screen get to recreate your world and who you are. While you recreate yourself, you also have the power to give the other a new personality, alluring behaviors, exotic looks, all at your discretion. Relationships are passionate and connecting when one partner fills a missing need of the other. In reality, couples in relationships can meet each others missing needs, but not all of them. In cyber-space two people can meet every single need, because you created yourself and the other, a perfect fantasy. Your creative mind is able to give the other the “skills” to fill all your needs. You see what you want to see and not what is truly there. The person behind the screen is flawless.
All humans want connection. The deeper a connection, the more satisfied we are. Cyber-space gives you the power to create a flawless connection. This connection is addictive and can never measure up to a real-time relationship. Some psychologists have termed this experience, cybercoke. What the cruisers are looking for is this very powerful connection, not necessarily sex. In fact, often if the relationship does end in sex there is disappointment and the taste of disillusionment in the air. In the end, what the cruiser is hijacked by is not the true person on the other end, but how he feels when he furiously messages her.
Cyber cruisers are not always creeps, weirdos, or bored fellows; they are addicts. Not in the 12-step addict kind of way. They are addicted to the feeling of connection, in a world where true connection is beginning to fade. We all crave connection. Cruisers figured out a safe connection cocktail. They connect to others, or rather they connect to themselves, but with their own cyber-world rules. The danger of beginning to cruise is in the euphoric experience. Authentic encounters very often are not experienced with the same intensity, because those are reality, not fantasy.
So I ask you, is this a true connection?