The Full Castro

According to Lauren Smiley’s cover story in the latest issue of SF Weekly, some locals aren’t taking too well to the recent mini-explosion of nude men strolling around the Castro. Nudity, per se, isn’t illegal in San Francisco, but even lots of gay men don’t like running into twigs and berries while doing their shopping. It’s a long feature story, here’s how it begins:

In Chinatown, it may be the Year of the Tiger, but in the Castro, it’s almost always the Year of the Cock. Judging from a walk down Castro Street, cocks are the unofficial mascot. You’ve got the Sausage Factory (an Italian restaurant named with a wink), Hot Cookie (a bakery that sells chocolate-covered cookie cocks), and Rock Hard (a porn shop full of gigantic, X-rated cocks). To cap it off, the Castro just elected a supervisor named Scott Wiener.

But this year, the neighborhood found out that the male anatomy can still cause a stir when the real-life cocks arrived. In broad daylight. At the plaza on the corner of Market Street, right by the F-line trolley stop. Sometimes flapping down Castro Street. Or hanging out in line for coffee at Starbucks.

These cocks were not metaphorical or ironic in the least bit. They were sometimes more than 60 years old. Or dangling amid red pubic hair. Or cinched with rings, or pierced with metal, or hanging free with nothing on at all. They felt entitled for a reason: The law in San Francisco is more or less on their side. At least, they know it’s extremely unlikely they’d ever be prosecuted for walking around in public naked.

I’ve never been one of the “naked people.” Not at nude beaches, not at the clothing-optional gay campground where I’ve spent my summer weekends for the last ten years. But like almost all non-naked people do, I can’t help observing the seemingly inviolable and inversely proportional nudity vs. attractiveness rule.

(Tipped by JMG reader Michael)
[Photo credit: Kimberly Sandie]