According To Yelp, Newport’s Best Gay Cruising Spot Is…

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Not what you’d expect.

In the modern world, much of our lives are ruled by algorithms. They determine what we see on Facebook, what we find on Google, whether the NSA thinks we’re a terrorist and so on. If they’re the correct algorithm, then we don’t even notice that they’re there. It’s when they go wrong that you notice “a glitch in the Matrix”. If there’s one place we see a lot of glitches, it’s Yelp, especially when they decide to let us know what’s going in at Newport’s gay cruising spots.

Yelp has a few issues, but one of its biggest is that it’s trying to create a reality based on reviews. It then uses some kind of algorithm to take these reviews and create lists. These lists are then published online to get clicks for Yelp’s website.

Sometimes it works. Their “Best Restaurants Newport, RI” list is passable, though Newport’s more “foodie” residents might take some issues with it, especially if they’re the type to call themselves foodies.

Sometimes it fails spectacularly in utterly bizarre ways.

How did we discover this?

Well, from our website’s dashboard, we can see some of the search terms that brought people to our site. Today we saw this…

Curiosity got the better of us, so we googled “Places to have public sex in Newport RI”. Our post on the worst places to have a threesome in Newport was ranked #1. #4 was “Best Gay cruising spots in Newport, RI – Yelp”. We had to see what Yelp had to say on the subject. The results were hilariously uninformative.

Seven spots were listed, but only two are actually in Newport (the rest being in Providence or even further afield).


Nope. Not being gay, we’ve never cruised The Landing for men but we’d have a hard time thinking of it as a great spot for cruising…or at least a better spot than all but one of Newport’s locations. It’s a complete meat market, sure, and Wednesday night have always been Newport’s guilty pleasure…but it’s not very gay and as best as we can tell, the only reason this popped up in Yelp’s net for the topicĀ is that people use the word “spot” a lot in reviews. Literally no one used the term “gay” in a review for The Landing once.

And now for the top gay cruising spot in Newport, RI…as determined by Yelp…

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