I don´t need to know you

Katia Repina

2014 - Ongoing

Spain

“To remain being a man is not only something absurd, It is also something outdated.”

Jordi Roca, 2012

The collaborative project by photographers Katia Repina and Luca Aimi explores cruising

in Cataluña, Spain. This process of searching for sexual encounters in public places such as parks, beaches and parking lots, has traditionally been viewed in the context of male homo- sexuality. I Don’t Need To Know You ventures further in an attempt to reveal and understand the complexity of motivations and feelings that drive the subjects – broadcasting a sense of loneliness, shame, guilt, exclusion, adrenaline, the narrative poses disturbing questions in search for hid- den reasons and excuses.

Silence and anonymity are the main characteristics of those engaged in cruising. The practice of cruising is the direct result of a cultural system based on inequality. It responds to the need to create spaces for minorities, where they can satisfy individual desires without the need to explain and justify themselves, or spend any money. Many people who go to cruising areas, do so because they can not go anywhere else. However, there are plenty of men who take up cruising for adrenaline. Almost every participant is not proud of what he does and is scared that somebody will recognize him. Unlike other homosexual places, the practice of anonymous sex in public spaces does not generate a collective identity.

Some participants, though they have sexual interactions with other men, claim that they are heterosexual, that they are not really interested in other men and are actively opposed to being identified as homosexuals. Gay men go to cruising areas, on the contrary, as they feel attracted to other men.

Sexually transmitted diseases is another important issue to consider when we talk about sex between strangers. Cruising is associated with unsafe sex, as many men who practice it determine the state of health of their partners from appearances. This usually means that more attractive people are blindly perceived as healthy.

The extreme simplification of a sexual relationship is natural for some people, and rare for others. Cruising is often practiced by people who lead a “normal” life, who have a family, children, and who fulfill mere fantasies, desires, through these escapades. The project shows a sexual practice that is unknown to many, giving a voice to people who are hiding because of fear of being recognized or misunderstood. Through watching and listening to these stories we are immersed into the atmosphere of excitement, fear, adrenaline, doubts, shame or absence of it, the silence, the secrets, the curiosity...

After all, these emotions are what makes a human being feel alive.

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