San Francisco Nudity Ban
Wiener Proposes San Francisco Nudity Ban
Did you know there is a U.S. city where you can legally walk around nude in public anytime you want? It’s called San Francisco. Of course, don’t imagine an American version of Cap D’Agde, but there has been a small known group of nudists that gather in a section known as the Castro. They simply hang out in the nude and sometimes pose for photos with happy tourists. Aside from this small, regular nudie hang-out, the nudity also plays a bigger part in events like the Pride Parade, Folsom Street Fair and Bay to Breakers race with large numbers of naked people.
Despite a few naysayers, the public nudity and nudists have become part of the city’s culture. Residents take pride in it as an only-in-San-Francisco thing. But now, supervisor Scott Wiener has proposed a public nudity ban, which will outlaw nudity in city plazas, public transit and on the sidewalks. However it will remain legal for festivals and parades.
Wiener is quoted as saying, “While most people in San Francisco, myself included, have no problem with occasional public nudity, we’ve seen a shift in public attitude because of the over-the-top situation at Jane Warner Plaza and elsewhere in the Castro.” Translation: I’m okay with seeing a naked man once in awhile, like when I inadvertently catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, but, not every day! Not 10 of them all at once!
Wiener has also cited complaints of people saying there are nude persons strolling past elementary schools and Girl Scout troops. Yes, well, the children mustn’t learn the truth: that at least half the world has penises and the rest have vaginas or something in between. And that they have one of these, and probably will one day see all types. So just cover it up and pretend they don’t exist. Besides, kids can just go on the Internet, browse some pornography and learn about anatomy from there. That’s worked really well for us so far, right? Right??
Ok I’m being facetious. But interestingly, there is another issue behind the ban that I’ve only seen mentioned in certain articles and not others for some reason: cock rings. It’s not just the daily “ad-hoc nudist colony” that seems to bother Wiener and others, but the fact that some guys are wearing cock rings in public. While some say cock rings are sexual and inappropriate, others argue that these fall into a “grey area.” Yes, they can be used for sexual purposes, but can also be worn just for decoration. (FYI, it’s a ring worn around the base of the penis, usually to prolong an erection. Don’t search it in Google images, you might regret it.)
Genital jewelry or piercings are also a controversial issue in the nudist community. Some nudist clubs and nudist organizations forbid them. Our philosophy is that an ear piercing can be just as innocent as a genital piercing. Basically if it’s not extremely obscene or giving sexual pleasure, it’s okay by us. It’s part of our philosophy of acceptance. As the owner of Goodland Country Club once said to Jordan, “As far as I’m concerned, as long as a person isn’t walking around with a dildo up their bum, they can wear any genital jewelry they want.”
Usually it’s family-oriented clubs that prohibit genital ornaments, due to the presence of children. I think it’s easy enough to explain it to a curious child. For example, you are walking with a kid who points and says, “What’s that?”
Parent: “It’s jewelry.”
Child: “Why do they have that?”
Parent: “Because they think it’s pretty.”
Now, please take my poll!
If you want to keep the freedom to go nude in San Francisco, or support others’ right to do so, sign this change.org petition! And if you’re in the area, maybe you want to join this rally on Saturday, October 20.
About the Author (Author Profile)I'm Felicity Jones, author of Felicity's Blog and co-founder of Young Naturists America. I write about nudism and naturism in today's world along with issues like top-freedom and body acceptance, and various naked topics. Enjoy, and please leave a comment when you've got something to say! :)
Well, it's my opinion that the real reason has more to do with confrontational nudity, interpreted ( rightly or wrongly ) as an intent to shock. George Davis has been a confrontational activist for quite some time. He has a history of provoking arrest to "make a point" that doesn't really need to be made among them that have no interest. San Francisco is not Cap d'Agde. It's the closest we had, but nowhere near the same. My offense is not the very predictable outcome, but the overly confrontational means. The refusal to moderate. The powers that be in San Fran did try moderating first, with minor requirements like sit on a towel. Cooperation from the other side, rather than declaring war, could have eliminated the whole issue. It's well known that the vast majority of people really don't care, and enjoy the novelty. Better would have been to let them adapt to the novelty until it's no longer novel, rather than push the limits too hard. It's my opinion that the San Francisco goose had given us golden eggs with some regularity, but now a few seek to kill the goose and get all the eggs now. As nudists, we are a minority. If we wish to gain acceptance among the majority, then the issue is what they think, and how to assuage their concerns in ways that they can accept. It's not about what we think they ought to accept, whether they will, or not. If we wish to be us, then we also must allow them to be them.
I feel casual nudity ought to be legal everywhere! The use of genital jewelry should not be a part of the same issue! Don't let genital jewelry become a deal breaker for our clothes free freedom!
If the SF nude scene resembled Lighthouse Beach on a good weekend, I'd oppose the ban. But, it sounds like the nudity in SF is disproportionately male, old, fat, and gay. Generally not what most people want to see. So, I'm not signing. Besides, people outside of SF really shouldn't be inputting to a local matter.
EVIL BE, TO HE, WHO EVIL THINKS ..... A COCK RING IS AN ATTRACTIVE ADORNMENT 4 THOSE WHO WISH TO WEAR ONE, OR TWO, OR THREE !!!~~~~ peter watling jp/ dribblepussy@ twitter...give me a ring, sometime .....cha cha cha
I've been reading a few articles on this, and I have a couple of observations. Wiener is certainly handling this the wrong way. He's making a big deal out of something that's not really harming anyone. On the other hand, I think some of these "nudists" who are drawing his wrath aren't really "nudists", but rather exhibitionists. This is one of our big challenges, right? Anybody can get naked and call themselves a nudist, but are they really adhering to the common principles of nudism that most of us have agreed on? The cock ring substory is interesting, and I don't buy that anyone really wears it as ornamentation. Pierced genitals is one thing, but the primary purpose of a cock ring is to serve as a sex toy. And that's fine. You can be a nudist and enjoy using a cock ring. But I think if you're sporting a cock ring in public, you're broadcasting an intention that's related to sex (regardless of what your intention may be). And that's something the nudist community generally frowns upon.
Interesting and well written as always. I always admired San Fransisco's nude-friendly status,and I've followed every story related to it,just to see if the naysayers were right and the sky would fall in. They were not correct,apparently,and the sun rises over the Golden Gate just as it always has. Is Scott Wiener's ban really only inspired by cock rings? If so,that's a poor platform. While I personally think some of the larger ones look a tad ridiculous (the larger RINGS that is,lol),I don't think it's inplicitly sexual. Do they arrest people for explicit t shirts or for public profanity? I think THOSE things could potentially send a worse message than an unclothed human ever could.
Hi Felicity, I wrote a story for Huffington Post about the nudists in Castro. I even went nude with some of them. They were all very nice people. I've read people say why can't the nudists go to the nude beaches? People who say that obviously have never been to Baker Beach the 'popular" nude beach of SF. Mark Twain's saying the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco is true. The day we did this story, it was about 75F and 100% sunny in The Castro and about 60F with cold marine layer at Baker beach. Nudists want warm weather and Casto is on the "sunny" side of SF. As far as cock rings did the supervisor do a "Wiener" count? I saw nothing weird. The guys we're all nice friendly, respectful guys. Personally I think Wiener is the problem, not the nudists. Here's a link to my story: http://www.terracottainnblog.com/2012/08/im-nude-recreation-specialist-at.html
@j238 So what if someone told you that you're not good-looking enough to go nude in the Castro? Or even nude on the beach? Or that you can't because of your sexual orientation?? If you don't think there's something very wrong with what you've said, then you don't understand nudism or the issues here at all. And what happens in SF can affect *everyone* who enjoys naturism or nude beaches in the U.S.
@MikePhillyR Thanks for sharing your opinion! I'm not sure if only cock rings provoked Wiener to propose this ban, or if it's more so people complaining about the number of nudists hanging out every day. Probably some combination of both. People keep worrying about the nudity being "offensive," when people can just easily be "offended" by someone's explicit t-shirt or profanity and yet it's legal to wear it and curse. I agree that there are much more offensive things out there than the unclothed human body!
@nudist_resorts Thanks Tom, it's great to hear that they are such a nice, respectful group of people! Wish I could join them.
@FelicityJones I knew my post would be upsetting to some people. Naturally, I presume you've been campaigning for New York to emulate the law in San Francisco. Of course, in the egalitarian spirit of your post, you'll be removing the word "young" from the name of your organization.
@FelicityJones The guys I talked with said that occasionally on weekends they do get women joining them. Also they said they do get tourists asking if they can have their picture taken with them and most agree. They also said every once in a while a woman will take off her top when she poses with them for a photo. It's all very innocent and fun for tourists.
@j238 "I knew my post would be upsetting to some people." --> But do you understand WHY it's "upsetting"? And you didn't answer my questions. If you are pro-discrimination you don't belong here. Frankly, you're not welcome in the young naturist community.