How to Cruise for the Casual Lesbian Sex You Deserve

Sometimes lesbians want to find a wife with whom to run a small sheep farm in Wales; sometimes what we want is a hard wet fuck from a beautiful woman we barely know in the bathroom of a gay bar. We contain multitudes. But how do you make the latter happen?

I bring to you cruising tips and casual sex advice built off the years of skanky queer life experience that have solidified me as one of the leading minds in the highly un-scientific field of “Lez Slut-ology.”

The Basics

What’s cruising?

Cruising is going out into the world with the specific intention of finding someone with whom to have casual sex. If you message or approach someone just wanting to hook up, you are cruising. It’s a time-honored gay tradition and a rich part of our cultural history that forgoes respectability politics and homonormative assimilation in favor of radical expressions of queer sexuality. Cruising is knowing what you want and actively pursuing it. The term is thought to have come from queer folks walking or driving around town searching for a casual encounter.

Though cruising has gained prominence as practiced by men who have sex with men, it isn’t theirs alone; dyke communities have also engaged in cruising and casual sex for years.

Where do you cruise?

Gay men have many cruising hotspots such as bathhouses, glory holes and gyms; lesbians have a smaller array of steamy locales, and far less blatantly sexual ones. As cruising is about following your attractions and thirst, I would recommend any events or settings where you know lady-loving lady hotties abound as a great place to cruise. This includes:

+ Dyke nights at your local gay bar
+ Pride
+ Dance parties
+ Brunch
+ A-Camp
+ A Hayley Kiyoko/Tegan & Sara/Mirah/Melissa Etheridge concert
+ BDSM play parties
+ A gay picnic
+ All of Oakland and San Francisco, really (especially the last train car on BART)
+ A book fair

Of course many queers also cruise online via social media: Instagram, or on dating sites like OKCupid, Tinder, or HER. If you’ve ever seen the Tinder profile of a girl just looking for a hookup or a WLW casual encounters on Craigslist (RIP personals section), that’s a modern form of cruising. Some areas have Facebook groups for local cruising in which you can make a cruising post stating your desires (search for [City] Queer Cruising!) or there are instagrams like @_personals_ to which you can submit your very own personals ad. I’m a firm believer that Instagram is perfect for cruising via posting thirst traps and dipping into the DMs of whichever person I’m into that leaves a thirsty comment. Here’s an entire article about it!

So my golden rule is: “If there’s a hot gay around and you aren’t at like, a trauma center or a funeral, you can cruise there.” An elegant golden rule, I know.

How do you cruise?

Feel good about it!

We live in a society that indoctrinates us into believing that having desires is predatory and shameful, and that women who desire women are even more so. I think another big part of it is that many of us have experienced predatory behavior and are very scared to replicate it. It’s not predatory to want someone and let them know it. It’s not predatory to desire another woman in a purely sexual manner. It’s only predatory if you are being disrespectful of someone’s boundaries, body, and personhood. So don’t do that.

As for fears about being desirable or confident enough, remember that queer desire is complex and multifaceted and lots of types of people are attracted to lots of types of people and bodies; why not you! I suggest wearing something you feel really confident and hot in, that outfit that just makes you feel like the baddest bitch. And when all else fails, fake the confidence because we honestly all do that.


Flirting is the first step of cruising and something I know many queers struggle with. I know many queer folx, especially women, feel frozen by this deep fear of rejection and getting over that is the first step to being a more confident cruiser. Being rejected doesn’t say anything bad about you or them and it doesn’t invalidate your gayness. I fear rejection too, but learning to accept it as a likely possibility has helped me become my best flirt and built my confidence in other aspects of my life. What is important is to not be objectifying in how you interact with them. If they aren’t into it, respect the no, move on, and don’t make it weird. If you’re approached by someone you aren’t into, try to handle it the way you would want to be rejected, say thank you and politely decline.

My favorite ways to flirt with or be flirted with by women are to be complimented — find something you think is beautiful, stylish, or attractive about this person and let them know — and then having them get down to it — ask for what you’re interested in, whether it’s a number, a date, or getting fucked in the bathroom. 

Having Casual Sex

How do you actually initiate casual sex? In practice: you’re out and about and have spotted a hottie, and have been flirting by complimenting them and chatting. Maybe this doesn’t go well; either they aren’t into it or upon closer interaction you aren’t as into them as you thought you were. That’s fine; chalk it up to the mysteries of life and move on. If they do seem equally interested in you, you can take the initiative! If it’s a setting like a bar, party or social gathering where you could feasibly say “Do you want to go to my place/the bathroom/my car/anywhere else we can have sex?” you can ask that! If you’re in the middle of a protest or drag queen story hour for kids at 10 am at the public library, maybe you want to ask for their number so you can make a similar suggestion at a more appropriate time — like getting someone’s info to ask them on a date, but focusing more on asking them “I think you’re really hot, do you want to come over Saturday night?” If you are trying to get fisted in your car in the parking lot of the bar — congrats! — maybe wear something you can slip in and out of easily.

Once you get to actually having sex, you of course are aware it’s good to communicate basic stuff about boundaries and consent, even if it is casual. There’s no set list of things to discuss before sleeping with a stranger, but if it’s something like a medical condition, a boundary, or testing status, then definitely bring it up.


“Hey just so you know, I have a latex allergy, so finger me with nitrile gloves.”
“Please make sure you don’t touch my neck. It’s a trigger for me.”
“How recently have you been tested?”
“My partner and I have a rule about getting no marks from hookups.”
“I don’t like gentle sex.”
“I have been tested recently and my results came back positive for gonorrhea.”

Femme4Femme Cruising Struggles

Ah yes, the story of my life. When I was asking for input and questions for this piece, I got so many questions about femme4femme cruising! Cruising as a femme lesbian who wants to have sex with other femme lesbians is an arduous path walked by thankless heroes. Femmes are so frequently made to feel invisible in our community and it makes our desires feel invisible too. On top of that Femme4Femmes have no built in gender dynamics which makes flirting a free-for-all.

My main word of advice on this is just go for it; your femme crush isn’t going to know you’re a femme fucker unless you let them know! If you spend too much time wondering if that pretty girl is a top or if she’s only into butches or if she even likes girls, you’ll miss the opportunity to actually find out. And just think about how you’d feel if another femme didn’t try and get at you out of that same indecision. I’ve definitely walked away from a femme I was interested in without approaching because they were with a butch or masc, only to learn years later via them hooking up with me that they were in fact primarily into femmes. So if someone is hot but you’re unsure, go for it. As for execution, be direct and make your intentions and attraction to them clear! Passivity is a hindrance to sluttiness.

Getting in the Habit

Cruising is very much about getting all up on each other in the now, but what about when you want a consistent hookup down the line? Maybe you know you don’t want a relationship right now, but would like to be having sex regularly and coordinating frequent one-night stands is a headache. Or you hooked up with someone, feel thoroughly satisfied after you’ve gotten all wet and sweaty together in that dark bathroom/the backseat of her Subaru/your bedroom, and both want to fuck each other again sometime. In both these situations you can maintain a casual sexual relationship and pencil in a sex appointment down the line. If this is the case, remember to have follow-through on making plans. As my grandma always used to say, “no self-respecting dyke wants to fuck a flake, Chingy.”

It’s not hard to be respectful and kind to someone you’re having casual sex with while remaining totally casual. You can communicate transparently about your situation, needs and expectations (I’m only looking for casual dynamics with people right now/it’s hard for me to fall asleep in bed with other people/my work schedule makes it hard to commit to plans too far out/I started seeing someone monogamously and can’t hook up anymore) so they don’t feel misled or confused. You can be respectful of their time by keeping plans with them and texting them back promptly. You can be aware of and compassionate about the fact that they have things going on in their life besides fucking you, and acknowledge that stuff without becoming a primary support person in their life. Sometimes, of course, that’s a tough boundary to keep, or we might find ourselves wondering if we want to keep it at all. If that’s the case, you may be…

Catching Feelings

By far the most issue I heard about when researching this piece was catching feelings, which while not necessarily a bad thing in the grand scheme, can be scary, overwhelming, and run counterintuitive to the whole “friends who just bang and aren’t romantic” situation.

The best way to prevent yourself from getting romantically in over your head with the person you sleep with is to be real with yourself, be real with them, and to set clear boundaries (all of which I touched on in my article about navigating polyamory as a non-primary partner). If too much intimacy makes the lines blur for you, maybe don’t do sleepovers or deep processing with your fuckbuddy. If you have a tendency to catch feelings, examine that and recognize whether it’s something you feel able to change or not, and if not, let your casual know. Casual sex isn’t for everyone and there’s no shame in just enjoying solitude or monogamy.

Too late!

So it’s too late. Somebody already caught feelings. But that doesn’t mean it’s doomed. There are three ways this situation can go depending on who is the Catcher of Feelings, and I’ve been on every end of it.

You caught feelings

It started chill but now you are maybe falling for her a little. Be honest with yourself about how it’ll feel for you to be only casual with someone you want romantically, and set boundaries for yourself based on that, even if it means you stop seeing her. And don’t expect her feelings to change because yours did; that way lies madness, etc.

They caught feelings

If you can tell or she tells you she wants to be more and you know you don’t feel the same, let her know. Be direct about what you prefer and give good boundaries if they aren’t, which means ending it if you think it’ll make things worse. It’s perfectly fine to be emotionally unavailable as long as you are real about it. I know it’s been fun, but make sure you don’t lead people on

Both of you caught feelings

This one actually isn’t a problem because if you both have feelings you can just be together! Sometimes these relationships naturally progress into something new and it catches you both by surprise. True story: I met my partner of 2+ years because of a very pointed femme4femme cruising post I made looking for a specific kind of scene. We played and then dated casually and eventually realized we loved each other. In fact, while I have not entered into romantic relationships with everyone I’ve cruised, most of my best romantic relationships began as just fucking around.With the information I’ve given you, I hope you will go out and cruise responsibly with respect in your mind, lust in your heart, and a purse full of gloves (spring for the nitrile; you’re worth it). Stay thirsty, my gays.

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Chingy Nea

Chingy Nea is a writer, filmmaker, and critically acclaimed ex-girlfriend based out of Los Angeles and Oakland

Chingy has written 5 articles for us.


  1. Hi this article is great but I am extremely offended at the implication that you can’t pick someone up directly from the library, please remedy immediately thank you.

  2. “Passivity is a hindrance to sluttiness.” Truer words of wisdom were never spoken.

    Also, your grandma sounds like the best grandma ever. I hesitate to ask, because major potential for foot-in-mouth, but I’ll ask anyway, does she date ?

  3. “+ A Hayley Kiyoko/Tegan & Sara/Mirah/Melissa Etheridge concert”

    I sold my ticket for Hayley next week because my ex is gonna be there, and it’s too fresh.
    When I told my mom about how Hayley is Lesbian Jesus, she tried to convince me to go anyway. It

  4. “another big part of it is that many of us have experienced predatory behavior and are very scared to replicate it.” This sentence, this article, reframed so much for me! Feeling all kinds of validated

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