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Police Plan Undercover Gay Sex Sting at Boston Area Park

The Enterprise reports that police in Brockton, Massachusetts are planning a "summer offensive" to rid the city's D.W. Field Park of gay men who allegedly travel there for sex.

DwfieldSaid Brockton Police Chief William K. Conlon: "Word is out on the Internet that this is a great spot for men to meet. I want the park to have a family atmosphere, so we are going to have a police presence up there through the summer. This is a long time coming. It has been bad up there for too long. I have been trying to work with the police to have permanent patrols up there, but if they are going to only be there for the summer, I suppose it's better than nothing. A tougher police presence is definitely needed. There were people there from Fall River, Revere and Sharon. I do not have a problem with people's sexuality, but there are kids up there, mothers with strollers and families feeding the ducks. They don't feel safe anymore, that is what really gets me going."

The police department says it has been receiving complaints from area residents about "sex toys, condoms and drug-related items" littering the park.

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  1. You mean someone left their Jeff Stryker dildo in the park? That was silly.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jun 29, 2007 1:10:39 PM

  2. On the one hand, it is pretty nasty to find used condoms and other things in a park. I can agree with that part. Is it too much to ask that people don't litter?

    But on the other hand, is there really a big problem? Does it really merit so much police attention? My gut feeling is that this has more to do with homophobia than wanting to improve the park's atmosphere.

    I'm curious as to what the laws are in relation to sexual activity outdoors. Is there a curfew in the park, meaning that it "closes" at a certain time?

    I also wonder why, in the age of legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, there are gay men who still cruise parks for anonymous sex? I know that there are still closeted gays, gay men married to women, etc. but I always believed that with more acceptance and with removing legal discrimination that the old institutions of the bathhouses, the tea rooms, etc. would become a thing of the past because they would no longer be needed or would no longer be the only option that gay men had to meet one another.

    Anybody in Mass. have any ideas?

    Posted by: Jonathon | Jun 29, 2007 1:12:36 PM

  3. Does it make me a self-hating homophobe if I'm okay with crackdowns on gay sex in parks? Because: (a) ew; and (b) really? Is anonymous sex in a park a good idea?

    Posted by: Mike B. | Jun 29, 2007 1:14:28 PM

  4. The shape of said park is too funny...

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Jun 29, 2007 1:18:02 PM

  5. No Mike B, it doesn't make you self-loathing.

    Actually, quite the contrary. A healthy self-esteem would see that sort of behavior as..unproductive.

    Posted by: CF | Jun 29, 2007 1:18:53 PM

  6. >>I also wonder why, in the age of legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, there are gay men who still cruise parks for anonymous sex?

    Doesn't surprise me at all. How many gay couples do you know that are actually monogamous?

    Posted by: chrisb | Jun 29, 2007 1:24:16 PM

  7. straight people leave crap in parks too (trust me i know) and are usually a lot rowdier about it....are they targeting them?? this is definate homophobia fire the police chief!!

    Posted by: alan brickman | Jun 29, 2007 1:25:18 PM

  8. I'm sure if they catch two straights fucking in the park they will arrest them too. I say bust it's tacky trashy and unfortunate in this day and age to have to get your rocks off with a stranger in the woods. And frankly who needs the pine needles stuck to their ass?

    Posted by: Carrie B | Jun 29, 2007 1:28:11 PM

  9. Alan,

    Why is your first inclination to fire the police chief? He's doing his job -- people shouldn't be having sex in a public place.

    Use or pay a hooker. Seriously.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 29, 2007 1:30:07 PM

  10. Jonathon...cruising for anonymous sex in public places is generally borne of the sort of shredding of self-esteem that happens from growing up in families and in a society that regards same-sex desire as unacceptable/disgusting/immoral/etc...So, to answer your question, this sort of activity will lessen as homophobia lessens. When every gay kid grows up believing he is okay being 'different' and that his adolescent desire to fall in love with another adolescent boy is something to be celebrated rather than ridiculed, then and only then, will you see this sort of behavior fade away.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jun 29, 2007 1:35:59 PM

  11. LOL, Gienpiero.

    I found the police chief's comments quite reasonable.

    And Jonathan, don't you think George Michael has plenty of options available to him for no-strings sex and yet he cruises in public. It ain't about the options.

    Posted by: mark m | Jun 29, 2007 1:36:50 PM


    Thanks in advance.

    Posted by: tony the tiger | Jun 29, 2007 1:37:47 PM

  13. It's not so much homophobia as it is heterosexism. Why must breeders and their spawn control 100% of all public spaces? I remember reading about a park in a Spanish city where, on the borders of a particular area in the park where men cruise each other, authorities posted signs alerting park visitors what goes on there. The signs say that if you don't like it, you should stay out of that area. Problem solved.

    Why do men still cruise for anonymous sex? Not everyone wants to be married or be in a relationship. It's interesting how emulating a straight relationship/marriage is seen by a lot of gay people as the equivalent of being responsible, decent, mature and respectable. All this condemnation of men who cruise for sex - "eww, gross, who would do that, they must hate themselves, be self-loathing" etc. - it kind of reminds me of a story I read about upper middle class blacks and how having lighter-toned skin is considered more attractive in the african-american community. Internalized homophobia and internalized racism - neither are pretty.

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 29, 2007 1:47:40 PM

  14. Chris:

    Speaking for myself -- I'm not looking at this as some kind of gay/straight Sophie's choice. I don't think gays need to emulate straights for respectability.

    Having sex in public places seems to be primarily a health risk issue. I'm not saying that people having sex in public places aren't using protection, or doing it with a monogamous partner. But I think it's more likely that it's a fast fuck with little protection and if you're skulking around a park looking to bust a nut, chances are you're not going to be upfront about your health status.

    And not just HIV. Syphillis et. al. are the new black, at least according to posts I've read on this site.

    As a gay non-breeder, I'd rather public parks weren't littered with the detritus of nights of passion.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Jun 29, 2007 1:52:58 PM

  15. Chris, let me be the first one to say... that is the dumbest fucking analogy I have ever heard. Cruising for sex in public places is a behavior. Skin tone is a genetic feature determined by the amount of melanin in one's skin.

    If monogamous relationships aren't your thing, that's fine. But go to a bar or use the internet to hookup. Don't try to pass off people who have anonymous sex in public parks as victims of straight-washing.

    Posted by: chrisb | Jun 29, 2007 2:01:00 PM

  16. Public park sex is gross but I would love to watch a reality series about cops who get picked to trap guys in public parks. I'm sure they're hotties and do a lot of questionable things to bait someone into grabbing for it.

    Posted by: Dan | Jun 29, 2007 2:03:09 PM

  17. Mike B:

    Is the unsafeness of public sex a fact or a perception? I remember reading that men who meet for anonymous sex actually use protection more consistently than those who practice serially monogamy. Is anyone actually looking at the rates of STD transmission between men who have sex in parks? Medical issues are often a proverbial fig leaf behind which lurks prejudice and common presumptions are often wrong.

    I realize that Mass. is not the Netherlands and that I've probably been living in the SF bay area too long, but... if there was an area set aside for this activity, trash receptacles were provided and littering laws enforced, it would go a long way in taking care of the trash problem.

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 29, 2007 2:06:56 PM

  18. Guys cruising parks and truck stops are almost always deeply closeted. However, too many times the police will entrap guys who simple solicit sex rather than perform any acts. There's nothing wrong with taking a guy home from a park if you understand the risks, but the police will bust you for it all the same. The Palisades Park police are notorious for these "shame" arrests.

    Posted by: anon ( | Jun 29, 2007 2:24:06 PM

  19. Gah, folks, if you need to hook up anonymously, please use the internet. Stay out of public places - I don't want to have to see you getting off in public whether you play safe or not (because inevitably, the people I want to see naked are never the ones who do get naked).

    You can make out in public places, just keep your clothes on and get a room somewhere - there are plenty of motels in the area you can hop into.

    Posted by: beergoggles | Jun 29, 2007 2:27:49 PM

  20. Doesn't ANYONE have directions to that park? This is the second time I've asked!!!


    Posted by: tony the tiger | Jun 29, 2007 2:37:54 PM

  21. Chris B:

    I disagree. I think it's a very accurate analogy of how minority groups respond to majority group prejudice. I'll explain:

    You're right, skin color and sexual behavior are different - skin color is blameless and behavior a choice. The point I was trying to make - you have, in both case, a minority group and something that distinguishes the group from the majority (in general, men are more sexually active than women and gay men are the most sexually active group of all). Gay men are, on average, more sexually active and promiscuous than heterosexuals. This is not a judgment, just a statement of fact. You yourself, or any other individual, may not be, of course.

    So while skin tone and sexual behavior are very different attributes, they also qualify as distinguishing characteristics. Gay men are perceived by society as being promiscuous and promiscuity is seen as negative. Black people are considered inferior by a large segment of the white majority and skin color, along with other physical characteristics, are used to place people into racial categories.

    The theory is (and it's debated still): black people with more caucasian features suffer less prejudice, which has lead to an internalization of that standard among blacks, leading to a preference for lighter skin (for example, studies regarding the preference of minority children for white dolls.) "Straight-acting" gay men suffer less prejudice and violence than effeminate gay men. In the same way that gay men have internalized a preference for straight-acting men - even outside of the selection of sexual or romantic partners - , it would be logical to suspect that gay men may have internalized other heterosexual standards.

    The point of my analogy was that I see the enshrining of monogamous relationships based on a heterosexual marriage as the best way gay men can be as a similar internalization of majority prejudice. This is just my opinion, of course.

    So what is the actual truth? Are men who have anonymous sex with other men self-loathing and maladjusted? Is anonymous sex really more dangerous? Are these presumptions actually supported by objective research?

    I was not saying that gay men who have anonymous sex in public parks are victims of "straight-washing". I'm just pointing out how interesting it is that so many gay men on this site claim to have absolutely no idea how another gay man could possibly want to have sex with an anonymous stranger. Anonymous stranger sex is different from sex with a loving partner. There are good and bad things about both.

    You don't like anonymous public hookups. That's fine. But is that a sufficient argument for banning them? There's a park near my apartment where the town has put in a frisbee golf course. I have no desire to play frisbee golf and on numerous occasions I've nearly been hit by a frisbee while jogging on an adjoining pedestrian path. But I believe that a park is for all residents and I understand that in order for some people to enjoy the park, others may need to avoid a certain portion of it. What I'm getting at: why is it so horrible that a certain segment of the taxpaying citizen population wants to use the park for anonymous sex?

    It's going to go on, no matter what police activity occurs. So why not regulate it instead of banning it.

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 29, 2007 2:53:53 PM

  22. Great answers, guys. And yeah, I wasn't thinking about George Michael. He even went so far as to claim it was part of gay culture. I guess he has a point, but I had really hoped that such days were long behind us.

    And the whole "shame arrest" thing.... I don't get it. Sodomy is no longer illegal in the United States, so why is it a crime for someone to propose/solicit sex to/from someone else? Why can someone be arrested for inviting another adult to have sex with them?

    Posted by: Jonathon | Jun 29, 2007 2:55:14 PM

  23. MikeB:

    "Syphillis et. al. are the new black"

    Please tell me that I'm totally misunderstanding--haven't got a clue-- what the phrase "the new black" means, but I can't figure out what the fu....

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 29, 2007 3:34:21 PM

  24. This park ain't no different from a "Lovers Lane". Next, those house-frau bitches shouldn't be wandering thru the brush, at night, to begin with.

    Lastly, if they feel so damn "unsafe" in a park full o horny homos who ain't bothering them, perhaps they need to take a stroll thru Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York one late night.

    Posted by: zabadak | Jun 29, 2007 3:40:33 PM

  25. Um, forgive me, but the reason they are cracking down on it is because it is against the law. There are public decency laws in most cities, towns, and states. Having sex in public is against those laws. Doesn't matter if your gay or not, if you're caught with your weiner in someone's hole, and you're in a park, you're breaking the law. It drives me nuts when people go on and on about entrapment, homophobia, denial of rights, etc., when what they are doing is illegal.

    Posted by: Kamasutra Jones | Jun 29, 2007 3:58:30 PM

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