I guess it is time for me to weigh in on the Castro district issue in San Francisco CA. For those that might not have been following this issue, District 8 supervisor Scott Wiener has been openly considering introducing a ban on public nudity in the Castro district of San Francisco where public nudity is legal and practiced. The news on this issue began last year when there was discussion around (skid mark law) mandating a requirement that anyone sitting (nude) in a public place must sit on a towel. Duh! If we were talking about Nudists/Naturists there would be no need for such a mandate. This is Naturists/Nudist 101. Always sit on a towel! However, the pitch of the conversation got more heated when several complaints were lodged (and verified) that men were wearing “cock rings” in public. Again Duh! This is not a normal Naturist/Nudist adornment. Cock rings are designed to maintain an erection which is antithetical to any behavior of any Nudist/Naturist I know. Supervisor Wiener (reluctantly) threatened the ban based on inappropriate behavior of those persons who were making use of the freedom of which most of us can only dream.
The vast majority of the articles that I have read on the subject talk about “the Nudists” when discussing the issue. I am sure that many of the folks there are Nudists, many (I would argue) are not! Being nude does not a Nudist make. Naturists/Nudists do not behave like that. The freedom entrusted to them has been compromised by their behavior. They have mismanaged their opportunity to be a positive example to the country and have therefore set back advancements in public understanding of benefits and moral character of the practice of Naturism/Nudism. The struggle with the public equating nudity and sex is already difficult enough without some people (being called Nudists) wearing cock rings (sexual paraphernalia) in public. All of this is headlined while the public is wrestling with the notion that people are (legally) walking around nude in public – which is to many (uninformed) a threat.
Let’s be clear. I applaud the legality of nudity in public. I believe that forcing people to dress a certain way or dress at all is immoral and (in my opinion) a violation of civil rights. However, we must be good stewards of our rights when they are (finally) earned. We need to stand up for the right while distancing ourselves from (and correcting where possible) the bad behavior of people using the Nudist moniker to display their wares.