Gay Cruise Gold Coast – The Commonwealth Games have reportedly led to a resurgence of gay cruising areas in adult sex shops on the Gold Coast. Photo/Getty
The Commonwealth Games have reportedly fueled the revival of “gay cruise zones” in adult sex shops on the Gold Coast after they were pushed to the brink of extinction by hookup apps including Grindr.
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Cruise zones, where people looking for casual sex can go to fulfill their fantasies, used to be problematic on the Glitter Strip, where municipalities often received complaints about sex in public bathrooms and parks.
Club R Gold Coast
Several adult stores tried to capitalize on the demand for spontaneous sex between strangers and opened “cruise zones” in the back of their stores, behind sex toys and blow-up dolls. But as the Internet age swept the world and people gained the ability to arrange sex with strangers from the comfort of their homes, they quickly lost their value on the Gold Coast, a place where the concept had never really taken off.
Gold Coast City Council and Queensland Police have previously confirmed complaints about gay men having sex in public places have fallen since apps such as Tinder and Grindr were introduced in recent years. Until now.
According to the Queensland Government, the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast are expected to attract more than 672,000 visitors, as well as 6,600 athletes and team officials from 70 member states and territories.
And just days before the event, many of those visitors are already in town — and they’re looking for a good time. Cruise zones have seen a dramatic resurgence since the opening ceremony on Wednesday, according to a resident of the Gold Coast, which hosts a number of visitors to the overseas games.
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He said he regularly visits “cruise clubs and areas” because of the lack of gay bars on the Gold Coast to meet like-minded people. According to him, there are often “too many mind games” with online dating apps.
“One of the guys who lives with me has been at one of the clubs every night this week and there have been long lines to get in, which is pretty unheard of around here these days,” he said.
“I know another guy who has been going there all the time this week as well because of the new talent in town.
“That’s what sets them all apart: You can just walk in, get what you want, and get out when you want.”
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At least two venues that purport to offer “cruise zones” are still operating on the Gold Coast: The Den Adult Concepts at Mermaid Beach and Club R at Surfers Paradise.
An influx of visitors for the 2018 Commonwealth Games has brought the Gold Coast’s cruise destinations to life. Photo/Getty
Online reviews claim that The Den Adult Concepts has a hidden section at the back. It’s a common feature in sex shops around the world, including in Sydney, but it’s a little-known concept on the Gold Coast that has never quite caught on.
To get in, customers pay a $15 entrance fee at the “back counter” and then have to check in, but according to one user, “Daffy Duck will be fine.”
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“It’s all a little on the heels, but that adds to the appeal for most people,” it continues.
According to The Den Adult Concepts Facebook page, the store offers “quality products for adults, a male-only movie theater and a men’s club.” But not everyone leaves happy.
“The main thing is that it’s there… There’s a huge lack of gay venues on the Coast.”
Surfers Paradise’s Club R, which advertises itself as “a true private cruising club”, has been operating in the area for over 20 years. It has cruising areas, playgrounds and private docks, as well as an adult shop and lounge for private members. Customers can pay $12 for “everyday access,” but concessionaires have discounts.
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A spokesperson for the venue told the Gold Coast Bulletin that business had softened in recent years as guys started finding each other online. But the employee said many Club R customers have heard horror stories about online hookups and prefer to meet face-to-face.
“I think places like this are good because they prevent men from going to beaches, parks and toilets,” he said.
In 2016, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported that more than 140 massage parlors had opened on the coast in just one year in anticipation of the Games.
Last year, it was revealed that the Gold Coast beach park had received rave reviews from travelers who rated it as an excellent place to “connect the city” on gay travel website Cruising Gays.
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Phillip Park on The Spit, earmarked for a new cruise terminal proposed by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, gets a four-star rating for its large, open car park, good lighting and “lots of bush along the beach”, the Courier – Mail reported.
The guide encourages visitors to “bring out the gear and have fun,” though it also warns to watch out for patrolling police cars and the reef heads who like to hang around.
However, the reviews have drawn criticism in the online community, with some fearing that the after-dark activities made the park unsuitable for families.
There have been calls for the council to clear some trees and bushes to prevent hidden connections.
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