|Tourists pose with and photograph a local nudist, PHOTO BY RINK
Public nudity is allowed in San Francisco, so long as the individual is not visibly sexually aroused. Itâ€™s therefore OK to parade around letting it all hang out, as long as youâ€™re not enjoying it too much. One has to wonder about cold days, when blood naturally flows to certain areas, but weâ€™ll put aside that thought for now.
Cock rings seem to be de rigueur in the male nudist scene these days. Instinct magazine and other publications have even dubbed the Castro â€śCock Ring Row.â€ť Itâ€™s perhaps no wonder that school parents are now complaining about tours that may expose kids to the display. (See page 2.)
District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener is now considering a legislative proposal to ban or further restrict public nudity. Openly gay SF police Sergeant Chuck Limbert has indicated that he would likely support such legislation, given the rising number of complaints and the growing practice of genital-enhancing jewelry.
Last year, Wiener introduced a bill requiring nudists to carry a towel or similar item, so that when they sit down, there will be some barrier between their butt and bodily fluids and the seat. Itâ€™s one of the more interesting sections of the San Francisco Municipal Code. â€śExcept as provided herein, every person is guilty of an infraction who, (l) while present as a customer in the public eating and drinking areas of an establishment whose primary business is to serve food, exposes his or her genitals, buttocks, or anal region; or (2) sits on any public bench, public steps, or other public seating area without clothing or other separate material as a barrier between his or her genitals, buttocks, or anal region and the public seating.â€ť
Waiters, waitresses and entertainers also may not expose their â€śgenitals, pubic hair, buttocks, natal cleft, perineum, anal region or pubic hair regionâ€ť and the code goes on.
Even if finding a pubic hair in your salad is a gross out, you might still wonder what the big deal is about public nudity. We are born into the world without clothing, after all. The earliest hominids surely paraded around in the buff for a while. It at first seems like just a moral issue.
That wasnâ€™t always the case. At some point, people decided to wear clothing, and this appears to have happened very early on, around 107,000 years ago and probably far beyond that, since natural materials donâ€™t keep well in the archaeological record. In addition to group affiliation, it seems that people were trying to ward off parasites (even though clothing back in the day often held lice), cold, and to protect themselves- especially their privates. It was only later that clothing took on a more moral significance, with women binding their breasts, for example.
The earliest clothing then likely emerged due to health and protection concerns that, for the most part, still exist today. Should we de-evolve this wisdom and march around busy, often bacteria-filled, urine-stenched public places uncovered? Clearly the â€śCock Ring Rowâ€ť participants think so and donâ€™t mind the risks. But instead of watching those individuals, weâ€™re more interested in watching what will come of Supervisor Wienerâ€™s predicted forthcoming proposal.