Sex dens are gaining traction on the Gold Coast, locals claim. Cruise areas — where people in search of random sexual encounters can go to carry out their fantasies with each other — used to be problematic on the Glitter Strip with councils frequently receiving complaints about sex in public bathrooms and parks. But as the internet-era swept the world, and people gained the ability to arrange sex with strangers without leaving their homes, they soon lost their value on the Gold Coast — a place where the concept had never fully taken off.
The City of Gold Coast council and Queensland Police had previously confirmed a reduction in the number of complaints about homosexual men having sex in public places since the introduction of apps including Tinder and Grindr in recent years. According to the Queensland Government, the Commonwealth Games is expected to attract more than , visitors as well as athletes and team officials from 70 member nations and territories to the Gold Coast.
According to one Gold Coast resident who is hosting several overseas Games visitors, cruise areas have made a dramatic resurgence since the opening ceremony on Wednesday. Online reviews claim The Den Adult Concepts contains a hidden section at the back. Three television screens continuously play pornography. Cruise areas a making a comeback during the Commonwealth Games, according to a Gold Coast local who says there have been long queues.
But not everyone leaves happy. Updated May 27, She wants to leave, and has made it clear she isn't interested in sex — but Nick has other ideas.
What do you want? Nick claims when he asked the woman to strip so he could give her a massage she "complied". According to him, she eventually agreed to have sex. Nick — an active member of the online pick-up community — later shared how he pressured the woman into bed by writing a "lay report".
The terminology is simple: Get laid, write a report, then post it to a closed Facebook group for like-minded men around the world to see. Nick's explicit retelling is accompanied by an image of the woman taken as she gets dressed. Her back is facing the camera and it isn't clear if she knows she is being photographed. The account shines a disturbing light on attitudes towards consent , and has sparked a warning from Australia's eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant. Despite the fact the woman's face is not visible, Ms Inman Grant said the post amounted to image-based abuse, or what is commonly known as revenge porn, though it is not always motivated by revenge.
Nick's "lay report" is one of hundreds circulating on pick-up artist forums and closed Facebook groups, some of which show even less regard for women's privacy. The ABC has seen dozens of reports, which often include images of women members claim to have had sex with, along with potentially humiliating details of their actions during private encounters. In some posts the women are clearly identifiable, while in others their faces have been obscured. Most posts take steps to censor explicit nudity, though many feature images of women in various states of undress or performing sex acts.
In many lay reports, images of women's dating app profiles are offered up for discussion, often with little effort made to protect their identities.
Using a second Facebook account, Nick is understood to have posted a graphic video of a woman performing oral sex on him. The same group hosts several other graphic posts made by Australian men, and the angle of the images and videos in some posts suggest the women are unaware of the camera's presence. But some posts seen by the ABC chronicle the use of tactics that border on aggressive and manipulative, if not criminal.
Commonly-known approaches used in the pick-up community include "negging", which involves using backhanded compliments and veiled insults to supposedly drive a woman's desire for validation. Pick-up artists also discuss ways to overcome "LMR", or last-minute resistance, and attempt to isolate women from their friends soon after first speaking to them. The tactics can be seen being put into practice in "infield" videos produced by members of the community.
In the videos, women are secretly filmed while men wearing hidden microphones hit on them in public. Evita March, who has studied online behaviour and mate selection as a psychology professor at Federation University in Victoria said the behaviour was disconcerting.
While the most explicit content in the hidden groups does not show women's faces, some posts feature images of identifiable women with descriptions of their actions in private. In some global Facebook groups, men go so far as to harass women they've never met for perceived sights against fellow members. In one post, a Brisbane man boasted of harassing a woman in the US, after a fellow group member posted a screenshot of her rejecting his advances via text, along with her username on dating site Plenty of Fish [PoF].
In another case, a screenshot of a woman's Tinder profile was posted alongside an advertisement for her photography business, complete with an email address and contact number. The pick-up community in Australia has courted controversy before, usually due to the tactics some members advocate. In Julien Blanc of pick-up company Real Social Dynamics was kicked out of the country, in part because of a video where he suggested approaching women and grabbing women by the throat.
Similarly in Jeff Allen, who was also associated with Real Social Dynamics, had his visa cancelled by then Immigration Minister Peter Dutton who labelled his seminars as "repugnant".
Ms Inman Grant said women who believed images were being shared without their consent on social media were best advised to contact the site first. Many Australian states have outlawed the sharing of intimate images without consent, and Ms Inman Grant implored the thousands of members of pick-up groups around the world to call out the practice. Dr March said the pick-up community did have an obvious appeal to some men, as was evidenced by the thousands of members of several private groups. But some elements of the culture that objectified women may have made it easier for men like Nick to share images of the women they have slept with, Dr March said.
First posted May 26, More stories from Australian Capital Territory. If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content...
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