Nudity and tourism

Photo by Mike Koozmin/SF Newspaper Co. LLC

KQED's Forum weighed in on Sup. Scott Wiener's anti-nudity law Oct. 18, and I particularly enjoyed the attempts by all to avoid the use of the word "cockring." I taped a show for KPFA's morning mix (to air 7:30 am Oct. 19) and host John Hamilton told me that "cockring" wasn't on the FCC list of unacceptable words and it was ok to use it, but that's KPFA, not KQED. I also laughed at Michael Krasny confessing that he was beeing "lookist" when he said he'd heard that the men at Jane Warner Plaza weren't all that good-looking.

At any rate, here's the real story: A friend's mom was visiting recently from Switzerland, and what did she want to do in San Francisco? She wanted to go to the Castro and see the naked men. Of course.

You see the buses going down Market Street with all the tourists, sticking their cameras out the window to get a shot? It's a tourist attraction. 

Remember -- when the sea lions first arrived at Fisherman's Wharf about 20 years ago, and hauled themselves up on the docks, the city tried to get them to leave -- they were loud and stinky and unappealing. But they wouldn't go -- and after a few weeks, the merchants realized how good they were for business.

I asked the Convention and Visitors Bureau, now known as SF Travel, if banning nudity might be bad for the tourist industry -- and the local economy. The folks there haven't gotten back to me. But I don't know; maybe the city economist should study this nudity ban.


"Got it - we must defend defecation and farting rights"

Since that's all you do on this site, I would think you would want to defend such rights.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 10:07 pm
Posted by Troll II on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

Winner of the week goes to this guy/girl.

Obviously it's sarcasm, but it's close. You can almost see this being a real post from a couple of the resident nutbags. Big points for references to European countries, the 1970s when you got here, and Scott Weiner being right wing.

Posted by Scram on Oct. 19, 2012 @ 9:02 am

I had an anti-nudist actually compare the proposed ban to Kristallnacht. No, I am NOT making that up. Miz Dolores' post is spot-on.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:45 am

argh... I meant a *nudist* compared the proposed ban to Kristallnacht, of course. I've also seen comparisons to slavery. For realz.

But while we're comparing things with other things, could someone enlighten me as to the difference between the Castro nudists and a trenchcoat flasher such as might have been seen in a vintage Carol Burnett Show sketch?

Is there one?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:46 am

I'm not sure what kind of deep-seated shame the anti-nudity folks have, but its just really sad and embarrassing. We all have bodies. You're just jealous some of us have the gall to be proud of natural ourselves no matter how we look. I'm not a nudist, but I support the rights of the nudists 100%. Their presence reduces shame and stigma that is so rampant, especially in the gay community. Those trying to ban nudity encourage shame. Shame is a deadly virus that impedes upon our ability to discuss things like safer sex in a sex-positive open manor.

Posted by mark on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

We run the risk of alienating them with those existing laws - so let's repeal them. In the spirit of freedom, like freedom for nudists, I demand the liberation of Happy Meals and cigarettes at pharmacies.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

So, since Tim is so concerned about tourists, clearly he'll support cracking down on aggressive panhandlers who harass tourists.

Happy Day!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

certainly not about the profit margins of businesses. he doesn't even like business nor does he believe in the concept of profits, which he thinks should all go to the government.

Tim simply doesn't like "law and order" nor the cops. So if you walk around naked, or smoke pot, or squat or occupy somebody else's property, or protest, or generally make a nuisance of yourself, Tim likes you.

Yes, he's that petty.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

I can tell you that for the most part- my neighbors and I are sick of this people. This includes both gays and straights. For the msot part these "gentlemen" are not fromt he area- but come to our neighborhood and take over what was supposed to be a public parklet and have turned it into a naked parklet.

I am straight with kids and have lived in the Castro for many years now. I used to enjoy walking my kids down castro to shop etc. Now I have no desire to do so. The sad fact is that these people are sick- they get off on walking around and making you look at their penis. I once was walking with my daughter and essentially had a weird naked guy following us as he "window" shopped". The other issue is that for kids in the area- the penis is right at eye level for them- just a couple feet from their face depending on how close you get. No thanks. If these guys enjoy public nudity so much- head on out to the Bayview or Sunnydale and do the nudity thing there and see how it goes.

Posted by Castro Guy on Oct. 19, 2012 @ 7:48 am

"For the msot part these "gentlemen" are not fromt he area- "

Have you asked them for their address? (Answer: No, because I hate them.) Regardless of where they live, it's currently legal for people to travel from one neighborhood to another for the day or longer. You want a ban against that too? The conservative supervisor for the area may agree to that too.

I don't believe any of the hateful fiction that you wrote. I live in the neighborhood to and I have seen nothing of the fiction that you wrote. You made the whole thing up for your rabid agenda.

With the Castro's well-known reputation for sexual openness, one wonders why some uptight prude who apparently doesn't posses the parenting skills to explain what a penis is to their child---should she ever see one---would move into the Castro to begin with! And then when the prude starts seeing things they wouldn't see in sanitized Marin, they want to change the Castro into another Marin. It would be easier to MOVE TO MARIN and take your hate with you.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 19, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

Seriously. Not making a thing up. Lived here for years. Raising a family here too. The very nice gay couple across the street from me also thinks the guys down the street are freaks and keep their kids away from them.

The issue is that the neighborhood doesn't want this. It is not a right nor should it be. I am guessing you are in fact one of the nude perverts that likes people looking at your penis. Go away.

Posted by Castro Guy on Oct. 19, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

Penises have been swinging openly throughout the Castro for decades. Where have you been to not see that? Oh, that's right, you made the whole thing up. In fact, you probably don't even live here. Your ignorance of the area proves that. I wish these out-of-towners would worry about their own neighborhoods instead of coming to ours and trying to change it. Again, if you don't want your little darling to see naked guys, why did you move to the Castro in the first place? There has been nudity and naked guys in the Castro for decades.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 19, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

"Penises have been swinging openly throughout the Castro for decades."

I've spoken to a couple of old-timers (>20 years in the neighborhood) about this, and they agree that the nudists are a new phenomenon. They basically took advantage of the creation of Jane Warner Plaza, which as we all know is only a couple of years old.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 9:49 am

Ignoring the other places where penises may have been swinging in the 70s - maybe in places less outdoors and susceptible to San Francisco's chilly evening fogs.

Posted by Fantomina on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

And let's ban breast feeding in public because many find it icky. Let's ban headscarves in public because it frightens some people.

These naked guys might make some people uncomfortable but they do NO harm. History will not look kindly on this. It's the beginning of SF becoming the new Orange County.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

and start with you and your comments, OK?

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

What we need are more tour buses coming through our neighborhoods, spewing out those hydrocarbons so tourists don't have to actually experience our streets/shops, etc.

Posted by TinyTim on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

Troll II was a great movie.

What are the pros and cons of the nudists? Where are we tolerant of nudism, and where are we not?

Nudism in public parks and beaches (Baker Beach, for instance) seems to bother no one. But the men who stand bare at Castro and Market seem to frustrate and horrify locals.

Is there a chance this has less to do with nudism in and of itself, and more about how we think of urban/pastoral space?

Just a thought.

Posted by Fantomina on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:17 pm