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What Your Mother Never Told You

Advice from Uncle Bill & Auntie Andrea

Hey there, Uncle Bill:

A friend of mine asked me this question, and I thought I would ask you 'cause you seem like you're the fellow who would know, or would know who would know... anyway...

What are someone's rights and/or resources when caught by the police for cruising, tricking, having sex in public places? What are the consequences, and where does the whole thing fall legally. Thanks!

-- Anonymous

Hey there, Anonymous One:

I checked with the webmaster at, and he gave the following response:

"There is no 'right' to have sex in a park, rest area, toilet, sexclub, or bathhouse. In fact, it is illegal for anyone to have any sexual act in any of these locations. You can only be sure you are legal if you are having penis-vagina sex in the missionary position in the privacy of your home with the windows shut so no neighbor can see what you do. Sad, but very true.

"As far as how to respond to the law, one should know that if an officer is present in a known cruise spot and has the determination to arrest someone, what you do is almost irrelevant. Men get arrested every day for merely glancing at a man who turns out to be a cop.

"If you do get stopped by a cop, don't volunteer any information. Be cordial, provide identification when asked, but don't allow a search of your property and make it clear, in a non-threatening manner, that you are aware you have rights and will not be intimidated. Sign nothing. Admit nothing. Officers routinely use all sorts of things to intimidate, feeding off the feelings of shame that are often found in cruisers who have literally been caught with their pants down.

"Just remember this: You have done nothing morally wrong. Legally you may be in the wrong, but force the state to prove it!"

So that's the word from the Web, Anony-babe. If you want further legal and practical advice, I recommend a visit to the following sites:

If you want to cruise for sex in public places, check out the situation with the locals or regulars if you can. Often they'll know whether an approaching party is a regular or a possible risk. Many guys don't want to strike up a conversation with a stranger in a setting like a vista point, a rest stop, a public beach, or a washroom (after all, you could be a cop, too), but others are happy to share information. It's the best way to get the lowdown on the current situation.

Any act of public sex is a high-risk activity. Be very discreet, extra-alert, and if possible, move your activity to a safer place like a hotel or private home.

-- Uncle Bill

Auntie Andrea

Hello Dear Readers!

Your Uncle Bill forwarded me a wonderful question, received via email from a reader, which was unfortunately lost in a disk crash on my home computer.

I really want to answer her question, though -- every few weeks, either via ATM, on internet discussion groups, or (most often) in person, I hear this same question. There are invariably complications and details, but the underlying concern remains virtually unchanged, and it goes like this:

Dear Auntie Andrea:

I'm lesbian, and I'm attracted to a bisexual woman. I don't mind that she's bi, but I'm worried that she's eventually going to cheat on me, or leave completely. What should I do?

-- Apprehensive in Anytown

First things first, I suppose: Lesbians are attracted to women, bisexual women are attracted to women, so there's no inherent problem by definition -- I'd give it a better chance than a crush on a straight woman! The woman asking does not mind that her potential partner is bisexual (or perhaps she does, and says so), but I have no reason to doubt her sincerity either way. Truth is, it doesn't matter -- the fact that instinctive human desire transcends recent sociopolitical labels is how we get into these situations in the first place. The attraction doesn't mind.

The second statement, the fear of being "dumped" down the road, is a valid concern which has nothing to do with the declared orientations, or genders for that matter, of the people involved. The possibility of a long-term relationship really depends on a lot of factors which have little to do with them either -- truth, faith, honesty, and commitment are not gender-based traits. Nor is basic compatibility.

That said, being abandoned in favor of a man is a concern I hear often among lesbians speaking of relationships with bi women. In the context of a lesbian/ bisexual relationship, it's an understandable concern. Is it justified? That depends -- what matters is not what a bisexual woman might do, but what this particular bi woman might do. The capability for being attracted to either sex is not necessarily a need to be, much less a compulsion (the behavior of one particular female ATM advice columnist notwithstanding), and perhaps this bi woman would be perfectly content settling into a monogamous relationship with a woman.

If non-monogamy works for both partners, that too is a possibility -- it requires a lot of communication and honesty between all parties, which are good qualities to have in any relationship. However, it's unrealistic to expect all women, or even most, to enjoy non-monogamous relationships.

If either partner is invested in monogamy, and the bi woman is thinking about a man in her future, there's an obvious problem. If either partner is thinking of another woman in her future, that's a problem also. Either way, this is better addressed proactively in the form of honest communication now, than reactively in the form of an unpleasant confrontation in the future.

Then again, maybe the bi one is thinking of a woman as her life partner; perhaps she likes to date a few good male friends on occasion, but doesn't need to. This is workable -- provided that the particular bi woman in question is thinking of this particular lesbian to be that life partner.

The only way to know is also the answer to the lesbian's question, "What should I do?"

The reader whose letter I unfortunately lost to corrupted mailbox ended up deciding to slow down and spend a little more time listening to the signals she was receiving from her desired partner.

I'd take that advice. Going out on a few dates and then progressing to a short-term relationship seems like a great way to start a long-term relationship to me -- genders and labels irrelevant.

-- Aunt Andrea

What your mother probably never told you was that Uncle Bill & Auntie Andrea are available to answer all your questions on sex, love, relationships, et cetera. Send them c/o Anything That Moves, 2261 Market St., #496, San Francisco, CA 94114-1600, or email We'll only use your initials or a pen name, so don't worry, your mother won't find out...

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