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Sexuality Articles | March 30, 2005
In this article we will discuss the steps theater and club owners, and those of us in the ... can take to protect ... from arrest. As a single male that has been in the ... for quite
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In this article we will discuss the steps theater and club owners, and those of us in the lifestyle can take to protect ourselves from arrest. As a single male that has been in the lifestyle for quite a few years now, I can give you firsthand knowledge, even though I have never been busted myself. I have of course been on site on a number of occasions when uniforms come in unannounced, and have witnessed more than a few busts by the undercovers. So, let's get into the details of what to watch out for, and why.
First and foremost, there are a few things you have to understand about cops, and the way they think. They hate our lifestyle not because it is legal, unregulated fun, but because they cannot participate in it. Yes, to be sure, there are cops in the lifestyle, but you and I will probably never know who they are. After all, police have a certain code of conduct by which they must abide. We on the other hand are thrill seekers, and love to have fun. And since what we do doesn't hurt anyone, and is always consensual, This gives the badges a few interesting problems. For starters, we normally pay an admission to get into each venue, so that technically makes it a semi-public place. This would mean that everyone inside is there by choice, and would naturally be aware of the usual 'goings on.' That being the case, a cop just can't hang around and expect to catch someone. So, to gain entry, they have to find a reason to come into the building. (Or to keep us out.) Some of their best tricks are:
Running all the tags in the parking lot looking for warrants (among other things) on the owners.
Shining flashlights in parked cars looking for 'contraband.'
Hassling everyone driving around in the area.
Sitting around doing 'reports' and trying to rattle everyone's cage.
Pulling traffic stops close to the theater or club while allowing the lightbar to flash for what seems like an hour.
And other silly stuff like that. That being said, here are some of the things you can do to spot them:
· Keep your eyes open. I make it a point to be familiar with everyone in the theater before I start to play. If I see someone I don't know, I'll wait a bit and see what he does. A cop will not, and cannot, expose himself, participate, or disrobe. If he is hanging back and not doing anything but watching, I'll let him make the first move.
It's the same with new couples. Maybe you've noticed, but cops posing as a couple just don't act like a lifestyle couple. I've seen a few that are so bad that the whole theater has caught on to them, and everyone there is sitting quietly, just watching the movie.
· Watch for tag teams. This is two or three of them working together. They will sort of hang around, loosely watching each other's backs, checking out the scenery. The giveaway is that they tend to follow couples and will come in almost all at the same time. Here's a tip: The real players in this lifestyle that are single males generally do not travel in packs, and will always give a couple a chance to sit down and relax before approaching them. Don't ask me why the cops have to be so dramatic, like this is a drug bust or something. We aren't armed. Maybe it just makes them feel important.
· Try to look everyone you don't know right in the face. I love this one. You are actually looking for a disguise, or someone that will not meet your gaze. Don't stare. Just let him know that you see him. Undercover cops of any kind are phobic about being recognized, and don't ever want you to get a good look at them. Don't laugh. I have personally caught 4 undercovers like this. After they realized that I made them, they packed up their game and left.
· Check for telltale bulges in clothing. Of course, look for the leg holsters and other cop paraphernalia. Works best in the summertime when they can't hide their 'tools' behind layers of clothing.
· Pay attention to the grapevine. As single men, we try to keep each other appraised of the situation in the theaters. If you are new to the area and hear of undercover activity, listen and be careful. Also, watch the Internet buzz. There will usually be good information here. But use caution. I'm sure many of you will remember a web board known as Decadent City. This was the hottest information source about the lifestyle available on the net. People were actually making 'dates' to meet each other here, and disclosing actual locations and activities in the clubs and theaters. The Tampa board was the most active and let me tell you, it was smokin'! Naturally, the Tampa cops were following this board closely and made quite a few arrests. Oops. The point is watch what you post in open forums like that. As you might expect, the board has been shut down and is no longer in operation.
· Check for shoulder surfers. These are the guys that try to listen in on your conversations with the other regulars. They are hoping to score some free information about what's going on, and where. Since you don't know who they are, this could be very dangerous. You'll also find them around the mini-booths, and in the bookstores. Slow down, take a few seconds and do the recon. ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings.
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· This is a good one you may not have thought of. Identify the alpha males that each theater has. Keep an eye on their actions. If they aren't playing, then you probably shouldn't either.
· When a theater gets too HOT, expect for it to be raided. The raid could come at anytime, day or night, but it will come. I would strongly suggest rotating the party to cooler locations every two weeks or so.
· Update: I have been hearing for some time now that at least in the Tampa Bay area, that there are no more 'lewd and lascivious' conduct arrests going on at the theaters. I have not been able to verify this new 'urban legend.' If anyone else has heard anything about this, please E-mail me at [email protected]
And a few words about your car while you're in the party zone...
· Carry no sensitive items in your car.
· Always follow the rules and posted speed limits to the letter. (Seat belts, no rolling stops, etc.)
· Keep all signals and lights in good working order.
· Make sure the vehicle is clean. (No unpaid parking tickets, expired or obscured tags, etc.)
· If you have a vanity plate, listen up: The cops know who you are and are tracking your movements. I know of one bust that happened because of an active couple that had one. It just goes to show you that you can't give them anything that's easily targeted.
The cops in Tampa Bay are especially keen on the type of car as well. I have a friend that drove a nice looking black Cadillac and he was stopped at least twice a week. He didn't get a ticket each time, but it became a hassle. He now drives a much less noticeable car. Sure it's petty, but still, it's something to think about.
Now, what can the theater and club owners do to make us feel a bit more comfortable? Plenty. Here are just a few suggestions:
· Install some kind of early warning system or signal. Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. Now that we're in the computer age, I'm sure you guys can come up with something really sharp.
· Install doors on your theater entrances. Lose the curtains, beads, and such. This one simple step will go a long way toward making us all feel safer.
· Use cameras at the entrance and the parking lots. Those retail models with the 'zoom in' feature work best. The front door camera should be concealed at eye level so you'll get a clear shot of everyone's face before they enter. Maybe even a sign that says, 'Smile, you're on candid camera!' You will be surprised at how well this works.
· If you run a theater and you allow smoking, I have it on good authority that this will be the hot new reason for the fuzz (and the health department) to visit you. If you have clean air laws in your state, or local ordinances that apply to theaters, I strongly suggest you shut down smoking in your theater immediately.
· Make sure your clerks keep their ears to the ground. See to it that they get to know the regulars. If the buzz is that the cops are prowling, make sure they get the word out to the other customers they know. Once the news is out that's pretty much the end of operations for the boys in blue for the night.
· Put the brakes on the open, rampant gay activity. I have seen more raids because of this than for any other reason. The cops just don't have a tolerance for it. As a side note, I have found that couples generally don't like to come into a place where there is open homosexual activity. So try to do something. The word will get around that you've 'cleaned the place up, ' and they might pass you by next time around.
As for the club owners, you should also take precautions. This is not to imply that the measures you already take are not adequate, but what would happen to your reputation if even one of your members were exposed to the public? Take a look at these ideas:
· Monitor new member and visitor activity. Do they fit in? Are they players or just watching? Do they seem unusually nervous or shy? Make sure you have the genuine article, not an undercover cop looking for an excuse to raid your place on a Saturday night.
· Keep out all drugs and prostitutes. It goes without saying, but these are still the two best excuses cops use to gain access to your club. If they even suspect this, they'll turn the place upside down looking for evidence. They will also cause considerable discomfort to your members. Don't give them a reason.
· Watch those zoning laws. This is how they closed down Taboo in Tampa.
· Consider a trail period for all newbies. Unless they come highly recommended by an active member, I would come up with a few novel ways to control their activities at the club. Something that would let them get comfortable and mingle, but would expose police personnel almost at once.
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By using these ideas you can be reasonably sure that your private activities will stay private. The cops are always trying to come up with something new, and I'll keep you up to date every month. Talk to you again soon and be safe out there!
This article compliments of the Singles Choice Newsletter.
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