In San Francisco, you’ll see naked people on bike rides, lounging at Baker Beach, running at Bay to Breakers or walking the Folsom Street Fair .
A few years ago, Bay Curious curator Kelly Hardesty was walking with her daughter in Castro when they saw a naked man, who wore nothing but white sneakers. Her daughter said, “Mom, mom, he’s naked.” She replied, “Yes, he is naked.”
Kelly didn’t want to splurge on that, as it wasn’t exactly the most unusual sight in the city, but then a postman looked at her and said, “I remember when I started my route, and the sight of people naked shocked me too, but now I don’t think so ”.
This made Kelly wonder:
“Is it cool to be naked in San Francisco … and if so, has it always been this way?”
The state of California has incident exposure laws, making it illegal if someone is naked with the intention of being sexual (like masturbating in public), or intentionally offensive (like someone who blinks). If you’re just naked, California leaves it up to local governments.
In the first half of the 20th century, San Francisco had no public nudity laws. At that time, the local population was not very naked, so it was not a problem. But then the 1960s came, and many saw nudity as a form of political, artistic or personal expression.
University students toured the country. In San Francisco, hippie culture was thriving, and Golden Gate Park became a favorite spot for nudists looking to get closer to nature. According to the police patrolling the area, there was also an indecent amount of sex in public.
“It was not uncommon for a girl to come out of the bushes in the Panhandle without clothes and stand right in front of her with her hands up,” said Thomas J. Cahill, who was chief of police at the time. . “I was in the park and two started going to the lawn next to me.”
Posted on NatCorn 1st August 2020
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