What You Won't See in the South Florida Blade This Week
The editor liked most of it, but felt that the proposal for a public sex park was "nutty".
Men who wish to have sex with men anonymously, casually or with NSA (no strings attached) constitute an underserved market and a prickly social problem. These men are single, partnered, married, polyamorous, on vacation, from out-of-town, on the down low, young, old, good citizens, criminals and every other descriptive imaginable. Above all, they are horny, and this sometimes drives them to have sex in public places such as parks, highway rest areas, moonlit beaches, restrooms, adult video arcades and to jeopardize their safety via online hook-ups.
By not providing a safe and reasonable public outlet for casual, anonymous and NSA gay sex, we make guilty those men who, while answering a natural, perpetual and eternal urge, risk losing their reputations and sometimes their lives.
The righteous among us say that this type of sex is bad and should not be facilitated. They also say it should be persecuted and punished when it happens in a public place. My response to them is summarized in the following rather long sentence.
Because all the police crack-downs and sting operations, and all the media exposures and outings and public humiliations and career/marriage wrecking persecutions, and reinforced concrete/metal stall dividers in public restrooms, and surveillance cameras, and mean-spirited church ladies writing down license plate numbers and murderous thieving hook-ups and hysterical legislative prohibitions and the overarching spread of untraceable social disease have not been able to make even the slightest dent in this type of behavior, perhaps you will join me in concluding that it is time for us to accept the premise of this type of sexual need and to furnish safe circumstances that will facilitate it in a socially acceptable and healthier way.
Here is what I envision. There ought to be municipally owned and operated (or licensed) “male sex parks”. They ought to be located in commercial areas that have nearby discreet parking options. These parks ought to be roughly one quarter of an acre in size and securely walled with one metal-detecting entrance/exit where admission is paid and personal possessions and/or clothing are checked. There should be some shelter from rain, some benches and some trees and sturdy landscaping. There should be toilets without walls because in this type of venue, there is no reason for privacy and also because building separate stalls would only encourage drug use and unsafe sex. There should be dispensers stocked with condoms, lube and hand sanitizer.
These facilities should be staffed by municipal employees who monitor the behavior of the attendees. They would be highly trained safer-sex rangers who would be skilled in the management of male sexual interaction. They would expel those who cause trouble or attempt unsafe sex.
If, at this point in my description of such a venue, you find yourself dismissive, I think you need to examine more fully the unsuccessful current alternatives and your real motives for supporting them. Consider the inordinate amounts of public resources spent chasing this type of behavior and processing offenders. I would suggest that most of the offenders are no less noble as citizens than were our ancestors who drank illegally during Prohibition. What sort of wrong-headed panic is really at the root of persecuting and stigmatizing men who want this kind of sex? Why would you be against funding or licensing service providers who would move sex off the beach, out of public parks and rest areas and out of the hands of internet thieves and murderers? Why would you be against a solution that would help stop the spread of HIV by establishing a controlled and sensible environment for male sexual behavior that is part of our nature?
I have estimated the public revenue that such a venue would generate in Broward County alone. While my calculations are somewhat unscientific and based on “drive-by” data involving public sex seekers, numbers of “on line now” local guys, men cruising bars and going to bath houses and sex clubs, I can very conservatively suggest an annual revenue of over $1,000,000 per facility given a per visit charge of $10. And that would be net of my $250,000 annual estimated cost of operation. This does not even take into account the amount of resources we would save in police time, and the amount of money saved in health care costs due to irresponsible sex. And, think of the increased tourism revenue.
We should be embarrassed by the fact that what I propose has little chance of becoming reality in our lifetime, and we should examine our own motives for supporting current anti-sex laws that are rooted in moralistic nonsense rather than the public good.
It has been one year with no resultant hysteria since the police themselves in Amsterdam suggested the decriminalization of cruising and sex in certain public parks provided the sex took place at night and away from established paths, and with a warning against sexual litter. While their proposal is laudable, mine does more to foster safer sex. If there is any purpose to the public sector, it is to direct us against our antisocial individual inclinations by monitoring and facilitating interactions. Those should include sex. Our sidewalks are well maintained for the safety of pedestrians. We ought to be equally fastidious and proactive about inevitable sexual congress.