Troll (gay slang)

Troll (gay slang)

Troll and trolling are Sexual s _sl. questioning or bi-curious men who cruise or “wander about looking” Cage, Ken. [ "Gayle: The Language of Kinks and Queens: A History and Dictionary of Gay Language in South Africa By Ken Cage, 2003, pg. 100"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] for sex or potential sex partners or experiences “in a notably wanton manner and with lessened standards of what one will accept in a partner.” Reuter, Donald F. [ "Gay-2-zee: A Dictionary of Sex, Subtext, and the Sublime By Donald F. Reuter, 2006, pg. 214"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] The term can be used positively or negatively depending on the speaker, usage and intent and can describe the person or the activity. Although often referring to “an unattractive older gay man” Green, Jonathon [,M1 "The Big Book of Filth: 6500 Sex Slang Words and Phrases By Jonathon (INT) Green, 2002, pg. 244"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] the phrases can be used for anyone who is trolling regardless of age or perceived beauty and troll as a slur “is primarily a visual, not a behavioral” judgment. Atkins, Dawn [,M1 "Looking Queer: Body Image and Identity in Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender Communities By Dawn Atkins, 1998, pg. 446"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.]

Origin and historical usage

Troll as gay slang is amongst the lexicon of the cant slang Polari used in the gay subculture in Britain which has become more mainstream with transcontinental travel and online communication. There is still debate about how Polari originated but its origins can be traced back to at least the 19th century.

The term troll probably became equated with cruising because a troll is a “creature of Scandinavian folklore depicted as a devilish imp who lives in dark places and “patrols” in an endless search.” Reuter, Donald F. [ "Gay-2-zee: A Dictionary of Sex, Subtext, and the Sublime By Donald F. Reuter, 2006, pg. 214"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] “The word trolla in Swedish means ‘to charm or bewitch'.” Baker, Paul [,M1 "Polari - The Lost Language of Gay Men By Paul Baker, 2002, pg. 47"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.]

“As a Polari word, troll can mean ‘to walk effeminately', or ‘to walk, seeking sex'.” Baker, Paul [,M1 "Polari - The Lost Language of Gay Men By Paul Baker, 2002, pg. 47"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] Trolling can be used almost interchangeably with cruisingColeman, Julie. [,M1 "Love, Sex and Marriage: A Historical Thesaurus By Julie Coleman, 1999, pg. 292"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] and like much of Polari usage was probably meant to disguise what was being talked about because being gay was and still is taboo and discussing gay sex in any public area can be risky.

Much like usage throughout time many gay men, even in Britain had never heard or used the term or needed to. Regular customers in the same gay bar might have different takes on the usage – one simply referring to cruising, another referring to a negative version of a troll as a someone who “will have your skin crawling in seconds with his lascivious looks and raunchy repartee,”Anderson, Dan. [,M1 "Sex Tips for Gay Guys: Troll Dodging By Dan Anderson, 2002, pg. 44"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] another meaning older gays who prefer to troll for younger guys.Herbst, Philip H. [,M1 "Wimmin, Wimps & Wallflowers: an encyclopaedic dictionary of gender and sexual orientation bias ... By Philip H. Herbst, 2001, pg. 50"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] Downs, Alan [ "The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World By Alan Downs, 2006, pg. 94"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.]


Depending on the culture the men are in, the setting, time of day (or evening), how comfortable they are about their sexuality and their intentions will all affect the trolling experience. Some men are still coming out or even a virgin to same-sex experiences; some societies punish gays with prison, public humiliation and even death. So having the appearance of just walking through the area or using a restroom comes in handy until those there for sexual fulfillment can let their guard down as it becomes obvious everyone is there with like-minded goals. For regular areas or “troll haunts” that are frequented by a recurring group of trolls there is a general rule that “as in most gay male settings, the young, the muscular, and the unfamiliar are more sought.” Leap, William L [ "Public Sex/Gay Space By William L. Leap, 1999, pg. 62"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.]

A troll’s intention will also influence actions and outcomes ranging from casual sex in a more private area to exhibitionism like masturbating to group sex, fulfilling a sexual fantasy or even the voyeuristic thrill of watching someone else have public sex. Some are looking to: perform fellatio either directly or through a glory hole, receive it, or switch roles; perform or receive anal sex; participate in group sex or a BDSM experience even including gang bangs; or simply to watch others perform sex acts. De Vries, Brian and Herdt, Gilbert H. [,M1 "Gay and Lesbian Aging: Research and Future Directions By B. (Brian) De Vries, Gilbert H. Herdt, 2004, pg. 94"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.]

A regular public bathroom at a college, public library, shopping mall, train station or even a public park could be a higher risk trolling venue while more private venues like nightclubs, bars,Mann, William J. [ Gray gays: Aging gay men and lesbians face unique challenges by William J. Mann, Boston Phoenix, May 1997"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] offices and even churches add to the sexual excitement for some escalating the experience with more taboo environments. For some potentially getting caught is almost better than the sex itself. For many gay men, public sex and trolling are seen as a rite of passage and a part of the gay culture which, like many aspects of gay life, has been used to demonize and cause shame but now is often a source of liberation. [ George Michael's new public sex allegation, The Advocate, July 25, 2006"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.]

Legal and health concerns

Public sex is often illegal and entrapment cases, although rare, still occur. Potential surveillance and public humiliation (if your name appears in a local newspaper or in legal documents) is a small price to pay compared to gay bashing, mugging or bodily injury.Otton, Garry. [ " Cruising: A Private Inconvenience by Garry Otton, ScotsGay Magazine, January 1995"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.]

In addition to safety risks from being attacked, motivated by homophobia or otherwise, all sex with others has inherent risks and catching or spreading
sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS which is a serious, (and possibly deadly) risk which can be minimized with planning to ensure safer-sex supplies including condoms are ready when needed.

Polari trivia

The term "trolley-dolly" may be “derived perhaps from a combination of lalies and troll. A trolley-dolly (contemporary gay slang) is a gay flight attendant.” Baker, Paul [,M1 "Polari - The Lost Language of Gay Men By Paul Baker, 2002, pg. 194"] Retrieved on 2007-06-06.] Some assert, however, that the phrase references the duty-free and drinks trolleys pushed by flight attendants; many people also use the phrase to refer to female flight attendants.

See also

* Cottaging
* Dogging
* Gay bathhouse
* Gay beat
* Gay cruising in the United Kingdom
* Polari


External links

* [ A Sex Stop on the Way Home by Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, September 21, 2005]
* [ Polari British gay slang]
* [ Cruising for Sex .com]
* [ The Little Black Book: This one can keep you out of trouble,] "Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund"; also available [ here.] Additionally published as [ "Little Black Book: This one will keep you "out" of trouble"] in PDF format; also available [ here.] An article that gives legal advice on cruising for sex. Note that if one actually carries this article on one while cruising it could possibly be used as evidence of intent.

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