San Francisco has long been one of the most sexually liberal cities in the United States, from the ’60s Free Love and ’70s gay rights movements to the city’s (relative) welcoming of Kink.com, but that could be changing when a new law banning public nudity comes into effect on February 1st.
“Hold up, bro,” I hear you say, “public nudity was legal in San Francisco?” I take it your travels never took you to the Castro District’s unofficial “clothing optional space” on the corner of Castro and Market Streets. Mine did and, man, was it an entertaining intersection. Wandering down there during a stint living in the vicinity of the Castro, I’d see shirtless men enjoying a Friday afternoon beer with friends, homeless people spacing out on the (chained and locked) steel chairs as commuters walked by doing their best to ignore undesirables, and even a lonely 1970s Teisco electric guitar in want of an owner. I also saw plenty of freely swinging dicks, many pierced in the Prince Albert style. Nobody seemed to mind much – we are in the heart of SF’s most outlandish community, after all – and it wasn’t entirely uncommon to see folks strip off and soak up the sun in the small corner court. Sure, some visitors to the area seemed appalled at the gratuitous displays of genitalia, but city law protected public exhibitionism as long as it wasn’t explicitly sexual – naked guys having a chat, sure; a naked guy with an erection, no dice – and it was eventually accepted by most as one of the more unique cultural attractions of San Francisco.
Now, those nudists, both part-timers and, like activist Gypsy Taub, the vastly more dedicated, who once went without “proper” attire for pleasure are stripping off in protest of a law that will ban public displays of the naked human form. Author of the ban, Scott Weiner, a candidate for the County Board of Supervisors is facing tough opposition, but likely nothing he’ll take too seriously, as protestors challenge his controversial new law. While the County Board of Supervisors narrowly voted the bill into effect, the nudists have one final protest planned… and we’re all invited!
Want to keep SF nude-friendly? Get your naked ass to the San Francisco Federal Courthouse (450 Golden Gate Ave, 17th floor, Courtroom #5) at 1.30pm on Thursday, January 17, where the nudists will have their case against the City of San Francisco heard by Judge Edward M. Chen. Who knows, you could end up immortalized on YouTube in all your (censored) naked glory like the valiant crusader for liberty and freedom seen below.