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Encyclopedia > Gay beat

In Australia, the term beat is used to refer to an area frequented by gay men cruising for casual sex, and where sexual acts occur. This use of the word parodies the beat walked by a police officer or a prostitute. Most commonly, public toilets, parks and nightclubs are used as beats, though quite often a suburban car park becomes a beat once night falls. Cruising for sex, or cruising, describes the act of walking or driving about a locality in pursuit of a partner for (often quick and anonymous) sex. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Police. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ...



Although little is known about beats in the early colonial and Federation periods, it is known that specific areas in larger cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have recorded histories of use for this purpose through the 20th century to the present (Moore, 1995). This article is about the Australian city. ... Melbourne is the state capital and largest city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-largest city in Australia (after Sydney), with a population of approximately 3. ... Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the state of Queensland, Australia. ...

Social and sexual behaviour in beats

Presently, beats are known to be actively used by gay men, bisexual men, and men who have sex with men. Due to the casual nature of most of the encounters, beats have been identified as areas of high risk for the transmission of HIV, syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections. In modern society, gay is a word which can be used as either a noun or adjective. ... In human sexuality, bisexuality describes a man or woman having a sexual orientation to persons of either or both sexes (a man or woman who sexually likes both sexes; people who are sexually and/or romantically attracted to both males and females). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Human immunodeficiency virus (commonly known as HIV, and formerly known as HTLV-III and lymphadenopathy-associated virus) is a retrovirus that primarily infects vital components of the human immune system such as CD4+ T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells. ... Syphilis (historically called lues) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by a spirochaete bacterium, Treponema pallidum. ... Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), also known as sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), are diseases that are commonly transmitted between partners through some form of sexual activity, most commonly vaginal intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex. ...


Engaging in sexual activity in a public place is against the law in all States and Territories. Police have been criticised for excessive patrolling of known beats, and the defence of entrapment is commonly used by those caught when charged. However, people using beats are also more likely to be subject to homophobic hate crimes and other general crimes than gay men who don't use beats, prompting some to welcome the police presence (Moore, 1995). In Sydney at least, gay beats have attracted some attention from radio "shock jocks" like Alan Jones. This has led to a police presence at those he identified. In jurisprudence, entrapment is a procedural defense by which a defendant may argue that they should not be held criminally liable for actions which broke the law, because they were induced (or entrapped) by the police to commit said acts. ... A hate crime (bias crime), loosely defined, is a crime committed because of the perpetrators prejudices. ...

See also

Cottaging is a gay slang term for having sex in a public lavatory (a cottage) or for cruising for sex or picking-up sexual partners in public lavatories with the intention of having sex elsewhere. ... Cruising for sex, or cruising, describes the act of walking or driving about a locality in pursuit of a partner for (often quick and anonymous) sex. ... Gay cruising describes the act of searching a public place in pursuit of a sex partner. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Gay cruising. ... Gay cruising describes the act of searching about a public place in pursuit of a partner for sex. ... Gay bathhouses, also known as (gay) saunas or steam baths (and sometimes called, in gay slang in some regions, the baths or the tubs), are places where men can go to have sex with other men. ...


Moore, Clive. 1995. ‘Poofs in the Park: Documenting Gay "Beats" in Queensland, Australia’, GLQ, vol. 2. pp. 319-339.

External links

  • Queer Australia's list of beats by State
  • Medical Journal of Australia 2005; 183 (4) - Epidemic syphilis among homosexually active men in Sydney
  • The Anti-Violence Project's Sydney Safety Information
  • Squirt's global listing of gay cruising areas



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