Gay Men Arrested for Public Sex on Fire Island

At least three people have been detained or arrested and charged with lewd conduct on Fire Island for activity taking place between Cherry Grove and Fire Island in the area familiarly known as the “meat rack” since June 13.

LmpcRadar Online reports: “Few details are known—the National Park Service has not yet confirmed the arrests or said why they have now begun patrolling the land. On the weekend of Friday, June 13, at least one gay man was detained in the small wooded area popularly called The Meat Rack, which is both a cruising ground and also a thoroughfare between the two gay towns of Fire Island, Cherry Grove and The Pines. The following weekend, at least two were arrested. In the first event, an eyewitness said he saw five or six rangers with a gay man (described as somewhat overweight and clad in khakis and a polo shirt) on his knees and in handcuffs. The men were searched after their arrests. In the other event, a man was stopped and ‘panicked and tried to get rid of the drugs,’ according to a second-hand report by one Cherry Grove resident; that man was either charged with possession or detained further and charged. The man arrested with him was given a citation for $125 for engaging in lewdness, that resident said.”

According to Choire Sicha at Radar, the arrests are the first of their kind on Fire Island.

Last week I reported that the National Park Service had announced it would be cracking down on public sex in the dunes outside Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.

Comments

  1. MT says

    Not for nothing, but it’s about time they cracked down on the meat rack. It’s not only gross, it’s downright dangerous to be doing that kind of stuff.

  2. says

    Here we go again. The brainwashed morality police get up on their high horses again.

    Except for the fact that on the beach you might get some mosquito bites (or, now, get arrested), it is no more dangerous than to hook up in a bar or online and have sex. Sex panic, anyone?

    Waiting for the guys who claim that anyone who doesn’t have sex in the location they happen to prefer is a) pathetic b) old c) a troll. Guys: if you don’t like sex outside, don’t have sex outside! But don’t jump on the bandwagon of the straight prudes who don’t want any of us to have sex anywhere.

    “gross” — isn’t that just what they say about gay sex? Yuck!
    “dangerous” — the gay lifestyle according to Paul Cameron.

  3. Rikard says

    The idea that an group of people (us) can decide a public place is ok for sex is like Columbus declaring the new world property of the Queen of Spain. Just because you think it’s alright, or your “Daddy” did 50 years ago don’t make it so. It’s not legal and if they are just getting around to enforcing it recognize the grace period is over and adjust. If the thrill is the possibility of getting caught then recognize the possibility is real, not just your fantasy. Gay men want to be recognized and treated with equality, but continually act like perennial children, and not in a good way. Stupid fu(

  4. says

    We should not bitch about having to comply with the law.

    Bear in mind that the landmark case that struck down sodomy laws did so based on the right to PRIVACY. These things should take place in private.

    It is very hypocritical of us to fight for inclusion in laws and at the same time think that we should not have to comply with other ones.

    KevinVT, I could not agree with you less.

  5. peterparker says

    I deplore the puritanical attitudes Americans hold regarding sex. And for all of you posting things like ‘Oh get a room!’, did you ever stop to think that heterosexuals have sex outdoors in public areas too? But you don’t see them in handcuffs getting arrested, now, do you?

    And for the record, alcohol is a drug which you can legally buy and consume on almost every street corner in this country, but you rarely see anyone getting arrested for it. Don’t get me wrong…I hate the crystal meth epidemic in the gay community and have lost three friends to that evil drug…but the drug war is a failed policy that helps no one…don’t arrest the users…arrest the suppliers…dumbasses!

  6. Sebastian says

    Good, arrest everyone of them. There is no need to have sex in public, I don’t want to see it or hear anyone getting it on.

    Its against the LAW and two horny guys, a man and a woman, or two women are not above the law, no matter what, even if you can’t control your primal urges.

  7. jason says

    Gay sex isn’t gross at all. But having it in public is inappropriate. I apply the same standards to heterosexuals.

    Overall, I wish some gay men would stop portraying this as a gay rights issue. It’s an issue of sleaziness, and not gay rights. Don’t confuse the two. This is no more a gay rights issue than is a man-woman combination a heterosexual rights issue.

    If you’re really desperate for sunshine on your fanny, do it in your backyard at home. At least then you’re on private property.

  8. ian says

    lol. i love people complaining about this. they’re breaking the law. it is different from hooking up online or at a party or when you meet someone at a bar because, legally (but not necessarily hopefully) i’d think people would have sex in private. just don’t fuck outside. it’s fun, but it ain’t some kind of crack down on gays. gays just seem to be the ones doing it. a lot. not that that’s bad. no, it is. it’s hot, but stop it. i guess.

  9. Lee Chesnut says

    “In the first event, an eyewitness said he saw five or six rangers with a gay man on his knees and in handcuffs.”

    Are we sure this was an arrest going on?

  10. says

    the moronic brat that wrote and posted the flyers “Let My People Cum”, “Fuck The Nazi’s”, and “Cocksucking Is A Right” has alienated the valuable level-headed public support required to curtail the outdoor-sex crackdown. To have sex in the bushes is one thing, to post dim-witted and indecent flyers in public about it is quite another… tantrums never yield results.

  11. wisebear says

    It is not just gay people doing it – more people are fucking in straight “lovers lanes” every night than in the few cruising grounds of major gay resorts, and they do not get arrested, handcuffed on their knees. This selective enforcement makes this an obvious civil rights issue. Hopefully by next summer the new Democratic administration will find better uses for Park Service police then crawling through bushes (thereby violating a realistic expectation of privacy) to bust people in gay lovers lanes.

  12. says

    I have to agree with what most people have posted here, it is illegal to have sex in public, whether it is straight or gay or any other kind. This area is obviously a public park. It’s one thing if they were entrapped, it’s completely different if one knowingly engages in an illegal act. I doubt there are many straight people having sex on Fire Island period.

  13. says

    Kevin and others your comments are silly and immature. Your argument follows in this manner: if you want to take care of your children great but if I want to be a deadbeat dad don’t rain on my parade. There are countless examples to go along with the one above, I am sure you are savvy enough to go along with it but in case you are lacking here is another one. If you want to have protected sex to ensure the other person’s health great but I want to have bareback sex even though I know my status as positive don’t rain on my parade. It is against the law end of story.

    It is GROSS that someone cannot see that they have a sexual addiction. If you cannot wait to have sex behind closed doors with someone you are gross. The way gay men are pressured to agree that this is an acceptable behavior is BULLSHIT complete and utterly. I find it amazing that we can champion an inner city youth for staying in school but if a gay man says NO to something as sordid as outdoor sex he is an elitist. Now would you make the same argument for that youth?

    There are far too many places indoors throughout America for gay men to have sex. I will concede that in rural America I would probably be more tolerant of this behavior due to the lack of “places” but on Fire Island and major cities, take it indoors (hotel, bathhouse, your home etc.).

    There should be more law enforcement arresting people for this, sure there are other things going on that are more important but you are breaking the law.

    This knee jerk reaction to exclaim that the police are “picking on us” is truly stupid.

  14. Curly says

    I’m not sure how many of the posters here have been to the Pines or Cherry Grove (or God forbid to the meat rack). The meat rack is not your typical gay cruising place. Nearly everyone who wanders through is gay, and the majority who do are not using it a thoroughfare, but are looking for sex. And those who do use it a thoroughfare can easily avoid those who are having sex. What public good is served by arresting people there?

  15. says

    Peter Parker and others:

    Straights are ROUTINUELY arrested for sex and have been paraded on shows like Cops (I love this show) and many others for over 20 years. These comments supporting that the police look the other way is so humorous.

    If the cops cannot get the suppliers because those arrested does not give them up then the user is going to have to suffice. If the police arrests the user the supplier is crippled, do you see how that works Peter.

  16. Dan says

    Uh, are some people suggesting straights have as much public sex as gays? Come on. Straights don’t even come close!

    Gay men are sex machines and I love them for it. I benefit from it, like the rest of us. But there is no comparison. There are straights who have public sex, but gay men do it far more. They can get their cocks out quickly and start sucking in seconds. And you can’t have this happening in a civilized society. When an area becomes a wholesale entrenched fuckapalooza, the police have every right to step in and restore public order.

    The people complaining are acting silly. Just go to a bathhouse or a private home and have an orgy. People shouldn’t have to see sex on a grandscale and get vilified for complaining.

  17. says

    Curly, the housing project where I live is plagued with drug deals and drug users but no one in my family does drugs so just ignore the law and let this continue.

    Your logic is flawed, actually there is no logic present in your thoughts. Please resumbit something of substance not a rant.

  18. Curly says

    Charles,

    I’m not sure that my post was a rant, but I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder.

    I’m not sure I follow your logic. Is having sex in the woods comparable to selling and using drugs? Again I ask, who is hurt by people having sex in the woods?

  19. Derrick from Philly says

    Ok, if you don’t want gays to go to places where they can meet “butch trade”, closeted homos & “down low” guys, well, could you please make sure that there are interesting & attractive men at gay bars, gay day-time events, and gay-friendly churches.

    I hate to deal with this issue after watching the PBS special (last night) about Emile Norman and his wonderful 30 year marriage with his husband, Brooks. I admire gay people who love somebody for so many years. BUT THAT AINT EVERYBODY! Dammit, I’m tired of the unreality of the arguments on this issue. Public meeting places have always been there–no one has come up with anything better. Computer hook-ups involve lying about how wonderful you are; I’m too shy and unassuming for that shit.

    Often, the cops are doing this because some religious vigilante has taken over the police department, or taken over the precinct area where the park is located, or the gentrification scalawags have taken over the neighborhood adjacent to the park (or beach).

    It’s the guys in the parks who are the ones in danger– from gay-bashers and anti-gay cops–not the frickin’ straight people.

    Those of you who want acceptance and respectability from straight people–go on and get it. Leave the rest of us the f—k alone.

    Are y’all going to ask the straight folks to stop f—king in the park? They don’t even find a bush to hide behind. I know this– I’ve seen so many straight coupl….never mind.

  20. John in Manhattan says

    Oy, such sex negativity on here. We’re talking about THE MEATRACK on FIRE ISLAND, not a children’s park.

    While The Meatrack may technically be public, what idiot walks through it expecting NOT to see public sex and lots of it? The place is legendary, notorious, and, on occasion, mucho fun! These arrests are absurd. My only question is “why now?” when The Meatrack has existed for more than five decades?

  21. says

    “Good, arrest every one of them. It’s against the LAW.”

    And before Lawrence only 5 years ago, gay sex was against the LAW in some 14 states.

    Arrest every one of them!

    Sheep.

    “The meat rack is not your typical gay cruising place. Nearly everyone who wanders through is gay, and the majority who do are not using it a thoroughfare, but are looking for sex.”

    That sounds exactly like a typical gay cruising place to me. They are hardly ever “public” in the sense of being mostly non-gay or mostly non-looking-for-sex.

  22. Jack Scribe says

    I second Sebastian’s comments. I could care less who is doing what to whom…just keep it in the privacy of your room (bedroom, kitchen, bath – whatever). There’s a bar in the Palm Springs/Cat City area whose owners are whining because the police cracked down on oral and anal ‘stuff’ going on in the bar. They claimed descrimination against gays…pu-leez.

  23. says

    Curly, again you miss the picture, it is against the law, does that have any merit in your head.

    Far too many gay men have accepted that this is CORRECT behavior and nothing could be further for the truth.

    If we were so proud of this behavior why aren’t we discussing it at the office party, with our friends, writing it on our blogs, come on share with us the last time you had sex in a public place. Share your stories!!

    It is our dirty little secret that so many gays endorse, support and make available this type of behavior; well it is against the law.

    If you (Curly and others) are so committed to that logic, go out, have sex outdoors or in a public place, get arrested and use that statement when you are fined or maybe in court. If you are so committed to that bit of logic test it out and see what happens, please report back here what you discover.

  24. Ben says

    Wow. People will twist all sorts of logic to excuse their lame behavior.

    Years ago, I used to hike at a city park that I did not know what a gay cruising spot. I found out the Saturday afternoon that this guy parked his van directly behind my car, preventing me from backing out, forcing me to leave my car and walk to his driver’s side window. Luckily for me, I packed a knife – worried more about being mugged than sexually accosted. I asked him to move his vehicle. He asked me what my hurry was and I was ‘awful cute.’ I showed him the knife and told him I’d slice his f’n face if he didn’t move his van.

    He moved his van. I never returned to that park. I dislike the fact that I can’t go to that park because of the rampant cruising. I don’t care if Paul Walker and Marcus Patrick came up to me in that park and begged me to double bang them in the bushes – I wouldn’t do it. Not because I think it’s gross or unsafe, but because it’s against the law. I don’t want to go to jail. I don’t want my name in the paper for public lewdness and sexual misconduct. Etc etc.

    So unless these folks are going to buy the land and make it a private gay-only sex park, they’ve no options other than to suffer the consequences if caught.

  25. Curly says

    Kevin in VT,

    Point taken–I was just trying to make clear that the meat rack is not like a rest stop or a public restroom or the Ramble in Central Park, gay cruising areas which are also frequented by straight people.

  26. gay as life says

    Clearly most of the posters here have never been to the Meatrack on Fire Island. This is not just a lovely little park that the general public happens to wander through. It is a heavily wooded bramble that is between two almost exclusively gay villages – The Pines and Cherry Grove. The few straight people who live in these areas know full well what the Meatrack is, and if they so desire, how to walk through it without encountering any sexual behavior. Heck – I went into it a few times last summer specifically to check out all the “lewd” behavior, like a tourist would check out any natural wonder. Alas, I didn’t see a darn thing.

    In most parks I would agree – no one has the right to force their sexuality on unknowing passersby. But the FI Meatrack is a very different animal.

  27. John in Manhattan says

    CHARLES, if you ever venture out of your housing project and make it out to Fire Island, you’ll see how shitastically uninformed your comments are. Be sure to douche first as you sound impacted.

  28. Will says

    Reading the majority of these comments, I am disgusted. All you sex negative judgmental assholes make me sick. I’m happy to be against you jerks. I could just see you all in the 80s at an ACT UP meeting, NOT. “Oh no, we can’t do a sit in, that’s illegal. Oh no, we shouldn’t stop traffic, it will make us all look bad.”

    Have any of you sex-in-public-is-wrongsters ever been to Fire Island Pines or Cherry Grove??? Do you know the area at all?????
    Go read up on the meatrack somewhere, educate yourself. The meatrack has been going strong since the 30s, and in my last 25 years here in NY have never heard of anyone getting arrested there for public sex. There are no families and there are no children walking through, clueless about what they may see. This is a secluded park area located between 2 gay towns on an island with no cars, accessible only by boats. Nothing like P-Town.

    As for Charles, why don’t you come out and hang with me and my friends. We talk about our sexcapades at dinner parties all the time, even with our straight friends. We have nothing to be ashamed about. Further, I call you out on your challenge and straw man argument. No one is saying we should just have sex anywhere at anytime in front of CHILDREN. Gay men have sex is secluded areas where children are absent. Do it during the day, where you’ll be seen, fine, get arrested. But if you are deep in The Ramble at midnight, there should be no issue. Same in the Meatrack.

    God, I can’t wait to move back to Germany. You would be openly laughed at for your puritanical attitudes. Even by the clergy.

  29. Bob West says

    Although the meat rack is a somewhat secluded place and some guys get off on doing it in a dangerous area, it is against the law. The real irony here is they could easily just walk to their beach house and do it.
    Also I do think if straight men could do it as freely, it would be just as common. It’s a guy thing. We do think about sex a lot and would do it more if the opportunity was there.

  30. says

    I broke the law in at least Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma because I had sex there with my boyfriend before 2003. (there may have been more…)

    Some of you apparently think I should have been arrested because “it was against the law.”

    Charles: Not my most recent “public” sex adventure, but my favorite: after testifying at the VT marriage hearings in 2000 we stopped off at a rest area on the way home and played with a good handful of people, including the recent editor of the local gay paper (we think — it was dark).

    In Amsterdam in the 90s gay activists actually stopped the city from cutting down the bushes in a central park that was popular with cruisers.

  31. Derrick from Philly says

    “…CORRECT behavior” and “…proud of this behavior…”

    CHARLES,

    not all gay people share the same values, sense of morality, sexual/social preferences. It is not those of us who defend public meeting places for gays & homos(that also may involve sex) who are forcing our views/behavior on y’all. It’s the opposite. Y’all are telling us what to do–even though we are far away from public view.

    Also, these public parks are not just “sexual”, they are also “social”. During the day-time, many of these parks are places where gay people (and folks in the closet) go to sit around in the grass, or by the river and just talk, play music, dance, etc…without the bullshit and confinement of the bar scene. For some of us, other gay social venues just don’t work, or they don’t work all the time.

    If it weren’t for our “Gay Acres” area of Fairmount Park, I would have had no social life during the 1980s in Philadelphia–other gay social venues made me uncomfortable, and bored the hell outta’ me.

  32. the queen says

    oh you fags – you fags – obviously some of you have never spent a wild night of passion on a moonlit beach in the arms of a wild,hunky man (in my case a short but very well hung mexican who knew every g-spot on my voluptuous body) —

  33. says

    Your comment John was uninspiring with nothing was really said, is that your nature?

    Will, be sure to make your flight to Germany, but you are in America and laws apply until they are changed.

    Also send me an email with your friends attached I would love to have an exchange with your group of friends regarding your sexual adventures. I just want to test what you are saying is true because it is easy say but hard do of which I do not believe you.

    I highly doubt you are sharing your sexual activities with others. Maybe it would go something like this:

    Will: Sorry I am late

    Jack: where were you?

    Will: I was sucking some guy off in Central Park

    Jack: how hung was he, cut or uncut

    Will: about 8 but really thick and uncut

    Susan: were you talking about sucking someone off.

    Jack and Will: Yep

    Susan: Was he hot?

    Will: he was OK but his cock was thick about 8 inches, he took a while to cum

    Susan: my boyfriend cums so soon how can I get him to last

    Jack: hold his balls

    Will: yeah I worked on it for about 15 minutes before he blew his load

    Jack: that is awesome

    Susan: you gay guys are so cool

  34. says

    Derrick please try to understand that social and sexual are VERY different.

    I have been social with gay men in Central Park, Black’s Beach in San Diego, Wreck Beach in Vancouver, The Rocks of Chicago and countless other places (from Brazil to Istanbul) met some AWESOME guys and when I wanted to be sexual we went back to an indoor place for sex.

    Do you see the difference?

  35. says

    If straight men could get laid in the bushes as easily as gay men, I have a feeling a lot of these crackdowns wouldn’t be happening. Whatever your opinion of outdoor sex in public (but not really public) spaces–gross or glorious, or a little of both–to pretend that there is no anti-gay bias attached to these sudden clean-ups is very naive. They’re fueled by resentment. People can’t stand the idea of other people getting away with something they either can’t participate in or find icky.

    Derrick (you rock) put it all so finely, I hardly need to say more, but in a world where people do harmful things to one another every day, it seems law enforcement would have better things to do than chase after guys harmlessly getting it on in some patch of nature where anyone not interested in sex is unlikely to travel. I just wish they’d outlaw things I find personally offensive, like public cell phone conversations, unsupervised bratty children, and sidewalk spitting.

  36. Will says

    Don’t worry Charles, I won’t miss my flight when my stint back here in NYC is over. Best thing, people like you will be here and I won’t. I’ve been back for 6 months and already I’ve had my fill of moralists like you. I always say, you can always tell a moralist, you just can’t tell him much.

    Nice imagination by the way. Will & Grace, how original. How juvenile to go into such graphic detail. All we would talk about is when, where and usually how big. If you have never has such a conversation, you are the first gay I’ve ever “met” that didn’t.

  37. dc8stretch says

    Wow- if this is what Gay Marriage has wrought, uptight little househusbands scolding the neighbors for having sex in the bushes- I guess we’ve achieved the equality we’ve been demanding.

  38. qjersey says

    I’d freely admit to having had some fun in the Meat Rack during the few times I’ve been to Fire Island. But I also noticed that practically NO ONE “cruised” during the day at the bars and the same guys who won’t give you the time of day …during the day…are the same ones prowling the Meat Rack late at night or partied off their ass at the Pavilion and on the hunt.

    Why can’t gay men just be “comfortable” with the sexuality and actually talk to each other in bars?

  39. says

    To compare the right to marry with the “right” to have sex in public is immature thinking. Because gays want the “right” to marry does not make us conservative. Was this true for Blacks during the 60s with Civil Rights or Women in the early 1900s? Did these rights make these groups conservative, narrow minded as some of these posters here want us to believe? Again these are the harsh words that gays will use to “keep it real”, “you don’t want to be like the straights”, “stay edgy” that is the way you will be identified as authentically gay. Your attempts for rights will only make you look less gay.

    The only thing behavior I need to make me gay is that I am attracted (physically and sexually) to men, all the rest need not apply for admittance to gayness.

    Such banal thinking it is truly pathetic.

    These words (Will, DC8, Ernie) are used to stall a conversation; these little quips are not asking or posing any thought provoking responses or sharing.

    Also Will to compare ACT UP and what it was doing to achieve awareness, understand, monies etc during the AIDS epidemic to the right to have public sex is absolutely STUPID and RUDE; you should be ashamed of yourself for that.

    If you guys are so PASSIONATE about gay sex and TRULY WANT the law repealed, start the process. That is right attend your local chapter meetings, bring it up, start petitions, get signatures, oh I am sure you will not do that. You will complain but you are not TRULY passionate about it make a STRONG attempt to change it; I am sure you have all sorts of excuses for that.

    As it stands it is against the law.

  40. JJ says

    Will, Don’t get me wrong, I complain all the time about what a puritanical society we live in, but, am I supposed to believe that there are NO moralists or puritanical people in Germany? Sounds nice but I somehow doubt it. In fact, isn’t our current Pope from Germany?

  41. Will says

    No Charles, what is stupid is your simplistic argument that you keep coming back to, it is illegal and therefor cannot be done. Re my comments, same argument, difference in degree only. Illegal is illegal.

    Be ashamed?? No thanks, not when there are people like you ready to be ashamed for all of us.

    I don’t have a problem with people who don’t want sex in public (at night in secluded areas not visible to anyone walking by), I have a problem with moralists who tell us what we can and cannot do in our own space. That includes the meatrack, and gay bars, and bathhouses, etc. And the fact that moralizing gay men are among the pearl clutchers just pisses me off.

  42. Will says

    JJ, they are everywhere, but their voice is but a whisper in Germany compared to the full-throated howl heard here in the US. Also, they have no support in the popular culture or in the mass media and where opponents of gay relationships and marriage are only right wing loonies, which includes the church. BTW, the Pope is from a rural, conservative part of Bavaria, not quite the mainstream.

    Further, there are no police raids in cruising areas, unless it is notorious during the day. There, like here, people are discreet and it harms no one. As a whole, western Europe has a much healthier attitude about sex than Americans.

  43. AndyZ says

    It’s not a public place like Times Square where gaggles of tourists are. It is a nature area between two predominantly gay retreats which for ages has been a rendez-vous locale away from all the hustle and bustle and bullshit of life.

    So quit being so sanctimonious and uptight. Everything has become so measured and restricted and dictated and PC and this dry, corporate-minded sterile mentality. Blech.

    No more fun or spontaneous thrills. How boring.

    Self-righteous high-minded jerks.

  44. says

    Charles:

    One more time. If gay sex was illegal AS IT WAS JUST FIVE YEARS AGO IN SEVERAL STATES, would you abstain until it was legalized?

    The point about gay marriage was not that they are the same (though the rights are intertwined, as Lawrence has helped contribute to the marriage arguments), but that many of the folks who want marriage (and picket fences and kids, etc) are ready to throw sex-positive gays to the police to achieve their own acceptance.

    (And not all, of course — I write this as a potentially married gay man coupled for 17+ years who also enjoys, sometimes with the boyfriend, the occasional frolic in the bushes.)

  45. says

    OK, Will stop with the psychoanalysis about me. It is trite and does not lend anything here.

    Why do so many gay men think they know another person so well? Just because some of us spent years in the closet does not mean an advanced degree was worked on while in there.

    Your own space: gay bars have to abide my certain codes as it is a building with a city, bathhouses fall under the same category. The outdoors is not “your” space (no matter how many guys you suck off there, if that were true I know some guys who own half the world) unless you have bought the property for example: your home.

    Again I state: start changing the laws Will because bitching at me (and others) is not going to get you or anyone else any closer to sucking, fucking or rimming a guy in a public place that is illegal.

    I am OK with the law as it stands again I say if you are not, what are you doing and/or going to do about it.

  46. Will says

    I’m bitching at you Charles because you are the problem. You, another gay man, is ready to condemn other gay men just because you don’t care about a certain harmless activity. Instead of saying how horrible, why aren’t you simply saying “what’s the big deal, no one harmed, no issue.”? We are not talking about blocking traffic in front of the White House to do it doggy-style.

    Why don’t you answer the question posed above, did you have gay sex when the anti-sodomy laws were still in effect?? If you did, what makes you think that you alone can decide which laws are worthy to be followed and which are not? Are you a hypocrite, ready to do what you accept but happy to deny to others what you don’t like???

    Your last comment really makes me wonder, what does a building code have to do with sex??? By all means, let’s keep the building from collapsing, but having sex isn’t going to make it collapse. What is your objection to a bathhouse or a sex club? Do you think it right that they should be closed down? No fear of anyone seeing something they don’t want to see there. If so, then we are done. Like I said, you can’t tell a moralist much.

  47. Derrick from Philly says

    “…is public sex the issue that will finally divide the gays?”

    Don’t laugh, CRISPY. One of the last major LARGE gay protest we had here in Philly was concerning police raids on “Judy Garland Park” (the white gays’ area) and “Gay Acres” (the black gays’ area). Both are located along the railroad tracks beside the Schuykill River. Well, anyway there was a massive raid one summer night (about 1998, I guess). Cops were arresting “children” up and down the railroad tracks–and with no racial bias: they were hittin’ both black and white gay asses, honey. For the next two days, gays held protest marches from the Gayborhood to the Schulkyll River. There was a short documentary made by oru local PBS station.

    Ofcourse, Philly’s Gay community was split. Some moral gays(like Charles) complained, “out of all the issues plaguing the gay community–what do y’all choose to fight over? Having sex in the park.”

    Well, we immoral homos countered that it wasn’t so much the right to have sex in the park as it was a protest against police abuse (selective abuse) of power.

    And the actual name of “Judy Garland Park” was “Schuykill River Park.” I’m not sure the Great Garland would be too proud of that unusual honor…but then again, Judy had a great sense of humor.

  48. Will says

    Derrick, I resent you calling Chalres a moral gay in that context. He is no more moral than you or me. I would hope Charles and I can at least agree on that.

  49. jmg says

    While I understand the public access issue in this instance, let’s perhaps think about just what would happen to an individual who witnessed two (or three, or more) people having sex in a park. Would you really be that traumatized? The people who think the answer is yes to my mind have a very specific view of the sexual act and what sex means, one with which I happen to disagree strongly. I love all the gays invoking the “But it’s the law!” argument, as if the law is always correct and has never been abused in American or any other society. Let’s broaden our horizons a little, please.

    I could argue that my walking upon a bible discussion group in a public park is obscene, but it wouldn’t get me very far.

  50. says

    Hey Will, I just got back from an extensive urban hike if you have not done it trust me it is a worthwhile excursion here in Seattle it is made more strenuous due to the hills

    To answer your questions Will, I live in Seattle and before that Chicago, I have reviewed the map at the link below and I can say that I did not break the law in any state that I may have even visited during this time frame.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodomy_law#United_States

    Am I more moral than someone else that is not likely? I strongly feel that the vast majority of us balance out on the scale of life with the exception of someone who has taken a life or done another heinous crime.

    I do not think it becomes an issue of morality; I am all for public sex if it is the law. Now if I felt really strongly about and started some actions to get the laws changed that would be another matter all together. If a group of people get it repealed then GO FOR IT; until then it is the law. Now I am sure someone might say have I ever driven without my seatbelt sure but not often and if I get pulled over and fined well that is the law. Yeah it sucks but it is the law.

    These statements about it being a conservative gay against those “sex positive” gay individuals is stupid and divides the issue that it is a law. Also it does not allow for any TRUE conversations, you can talk about what you want but if you are NOT going to get out there and change it you are just talking. There is this notion that there is a right to SEX as a gay man under any conditions well that is not true. If you ask me should public dollars be spent somewhere else other than picking up gay men who are having sex in the state of New York, “FUCK YEAH”.

    Here are some issues that I am or have worked at changing:
    Working Mothers Having Adequate Medical Care in Illinois and Washington
    Teacher’s Union Issues regarding salary and medical compensation
    AIDS widows receiving Social Security benefits
    Minorities having more of a selection to enter college than the ACT or SAT
    Building schools in 3rd World Nations with Room to Read, changing and/or starting policies in a foreign country to ensure 20% or more of the students are females.

    Just this weekend I was on the Aurora Bridge here in Seattle and I encountered no less than 4 motorcycle cops trying to snare people who were speeding. My only thought (as I drove with no wallet or license because I changed my jacket and forget to get it) was this is a waste of funds when at least 3 of them could be patrolling some neighborhoods. What did I do? I called my local precinct and I emailed them as well. Did anything change? I do not know.

    My point is the speeding, seat belts, J-walking, public sex, is all a matter of law. As with sodomy laws from state to state if you CARE about this start making waves for a change. Do not waste your time trying to decide who is moral or immoral, that is a non issue for me.

    For example when the AIDS epidemic started to emerge it seemed responsible to close city bathhouses, laws or citations were put into place. Many people in subsequent years protested and things changed. I can live with that, as I am not going to picket a business that has a legal right to exist.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_bathhouse

  51. Will says

    Sex positive vs. sex negative is not a stupid divide and is the reason such laws are on the books. I have never advocated sex anywhere anytime, but there have been spaces, especially fire island that was our own space and we were left alone and in peace. Now this is changing.

    Your comparison to speeding and seat belts, laws having to do with safety is not a smart comparison. Sure cops can be placed in areas with more crime, but speeding hurts others since you are more likely to have an accident. Not wearing a seat belt costs us all in terms of unneccesary medical costs. Gay sex hidden in the dunes hurts no one and the only reason the cops see it, is because they are out there looking for it knowing that they can arrest the participants and get them to pay a lovely fine. Such laws are being used to target gays and I hope you realize that.

  52. says

    “Do not waste your time trying to decide who is moral or immoral, that is a non issue for me.”

    Oh, please, Charles . . . if your comments weren’t so full of moral judgments it might be easier to swallow, no pun intended, your assertion that you only disapprove of public sex because it’s illegal: Outdoor sex is gross and sordid, anyone who engages in it is a sex addict, anyone who disagrees with you about it is silly and immature and trite and stalling the conversation, missing the picture, illogical, banal, truly pathetic, stupid, and probably a few more non-moralistic terms I’m missing.

    You disapprove of all public sex and defend laws that seek to prevent it. Good for you. Some of us disagree for all the reasons stated above. Spare us more self-righteous thunder.

  53. FunMe says

    I would condemn gays having sex there because it is “illegal) if the law was applied equally to straights. It isn’t it. So therefore, entrapment and discrimination must be used as a defense.

  54. megan says

    I was caught by the cops four times for having sex in public. They always let me and my boyfriends go. Once they even watched and cheered us on. All my girlfriends have done it before. The cops were always good to us. I don’t know what gays are doing wrong that they are getting arrested.

  55. says

    You can say what you want here on the internet; if you are having sex in the woods the police have every right to arrest you.

    What I think is not going to change the laws for anyone. No one here is going to change my mind. There are countless numbers of people who are for and against this. We do not all have the same views; that is what makes things interesting…am I going to care of this issue in the next 24 hours, the answer is NO. If you are a person who has public sex, this issue may stay with you longer so do something about it.

    Yes, it is unfair if straights are not being equally targeted: do something about it.

    If you get arrested in the woods are you going to just pay the fine; or are you PROUD of your behavior enough to stand up and make a VOICE be heard. Get all your friends together who like to public sex and get arrested in a massive group to bring attention to this issue.

    My entire point which I should have conveyed without my feelings is this: work damn hard to change the laws instead of bitching about it. The police departments see this as easy revenue as far too many gay men who are SO PROUD of their sexual behaviors here online would rather pay the fine than appear in court.

    I guess that is the hypocrisy of the sex positive people take a stand and here on Towleroad is NOT the place for it.

    Alright I am off to make a turkey burger, with avocado, tomatoes and spinach. While it is sort of warm here in Seattle, I am going to bake a few sweet potatoes fries (Alexia brand check them out http://alexiafoods.com/product_info.html?product_id=20#) to go with it.

  56. chrisnyc says

    i’m as liberal as they come, but come on. Public sex is illegal. Either convince people to change the law or deal with it. Isn’t part of what makes people enjoy it the risk?

    are there large public places where straights do this? it’s not unfair targeting if we’re the only ones doing it on a large scale.

    grow up guys. if having sex in public is the only way for you to get off, you might wanna talk to someone.

  57. chrisnyc says

    i’m as liberal as they come, but come on. Public sex is illegal. Either convince people to change the law or deal with it. Isn’t part of what makes people enjoy it the risk?

    are there large public places where straights do this? it’s not unfair targeting if we’re the only ones doing it on a large scale.

    grow up guys. if having sex in public is the only way for you to get off, you might wanna talk to someone.

  58. chrisnyc says

    i’m as liberal as they come, but come on. Public sex is illegal. Either convince people to change the law or deal with it. Isn’t part of what makes people enjoy it the risk?

    are there large public places where straights do this? it’s not unfair targeting if we’re the only ones doing it on a large scale.

    grow up guys. if having sex in public is the only way for you to get off, you might wanna talk to someone.

  59. peterparker says

    CHARLES…I’m curious…exactly how many cable knit cashmere sweaters do you own, in what colors and are they all monogrammed?

    WILL is right…Western Europe has a waaaaaaaaaaaay healthier attitude about sex than the majority of America. I wish I had the option to move to Germany.

  60. says

    Sex in the meatrack is a victimless crime. The rangers would do better to issue citations to people who walk on our dunes, which DOES damage the ecosystem on Fire Island. In any event, they will be very busy, particularly at night, should they choose to mount a campaign to end the decades long tradition of men having sex in the rack.

    Jim Kelly
    Cherry Gorve, NY

  61. Robert says

    It is a shame to see all of the attitudes of the 1950’s back again. It is bad enough that the “straights” are attacking us…things just never change. But to read some of the comments from ones own “gays” brothers is so disheartining. I guess I fall into the Daddy type, being 51 and remembering all to well the pre-AIDS era in not only Fire Island, but in P’Town it was a given that certain areas were for sex, The dunes in P’Town and the Meat Rack in Fire Island being some. Used to be able to get some awesome “quickie” sex in Rest Stops and Truck Stops as well but there were some that felt it was there right to advertise it to everyone. i.e. used condoms, lube, underwear, etc everywhere. AnNd in the Rest stops and truck stops the glory holes and grafetti everywhere, as if anyone needed to advertise to anyone what happend in these places. Sometimes we are are own worst enemies and forget the long struggle for equal rights we have fought for from Stonewall in New York to the present. It is sad to see a total turn around, and not for the better, that is taking place. The young guys feel that anyone older then 40 is a troll, what a joke. Would love to revisit them when they hit over 40 and realize most of us, that have survived the AIDS epidemic, are hotter and have more to offer then some 20 year old Twink does. I just wish our hard earned tax money was being used to arrest real criminals, like rapists and drug dealers instead of 2 consenting adults who chose to have sex in the woods and give into there animal side and have a quick matting and go back to there wives or partners and no one hurt. I speak as a man in a 30 year relationship with an older man that started the Stonewall Riots in New York and introduced me to the “gay scene” in the 70s and 80s when it was WILD! Anyone wishing to discuss anything else with me can contact me at my email address.

  62. Zander says

    Those of you who are thankful for this or feel this is a good thing, need to take a personal inventory on your own needs, likes and wants. Somone else might not like what you do or where you do it. They will be knocking on your back door. Every one has always known about this on the gayest land in the free world. The danger is that someone decided that this was going to change. We are gay. We come with many different variations of our sexual side. If you want it there it is, if not get out. The gay ghettos are gone, the gay bars are almost all gone and with the fab Bush in office, fag bashings on a rise. Wether you like scat or hand holding we are becoming exstinct. Remember when all we had to worry about was AIDS. Now we have to change more. We have to be intigrated and we have to disappear. So sad.

  63. Julian says

    Once again, the people here who are referring to the Meat Rack as a public “park,” obviously do not know Fire Island. Sometimes known as The Bette Davis Memorial Forest, the rack is a half mile forest/swamp between two of the gayest communities in the world. It is just a lot of trees and uneven dirt paths and deer tracks and occasionaly sandy spots and swampy areas. Outside of sex, it’s just a quick route from one community to the other if you don’t mind mosquitos.

    It has absolutely zero attraction for anybody not interested in a bit of slap and tickle. I have never seen one straight person in the Meat Rack. It’s not exactly a garden spot.

    Get it?

    So why are park rangers or police or whoever is arresting people bothering to waste taxpayer money on supervising this area which is historically notorious. It’s not exactly as if anyone has been keeping it a secret since the 30’s.

    The gay towns of Cherry Grove and the Pines have been virtually crime free until the breeders started buying up property and moving in with their rugrats. Why, I ponder, do straight people want to live in a flagrantly gay community and expose their children to that lifestyle unless they are seriously twisted? There are 33 other communities on Fire Island that cater to straight people and range from puritanical to whoopie.

    What I find unconscionable is straight people taking advantage of the AIDS epidemic to snatch up houses of dead gay men and women and then attempt to “gentrify” the last bastion of gay seclusion. It’s not as if anyone can casually get to Fire Island. You have to drive all the way out to Long Island or take the railroad and then take a taxi to the ferry and then take a 20 minute ferry ride there. Nobody just wanders in; it’s definitely a destination. So if you brave all that travelling to get there, stop bitching about what happens in a remote wooded area that you wouldn’t visit on a bet.

    Personally, I found the sign amusing. If you don’t like drag queens and gay bars and booze and outrageous people doing outrageous things, just don’t go to Cherry Grove or the Pines. Go the Yellowstone National Park and maybe, if you’re lucky, you can see wild bears sucking each other off.

  64. Ty says

    I have to agree with Charles, the public sex thing is an excuse to stay in the closet and/or cheat on your spouse with a person who is probably cheating on their spouse. It creates a spiraling situation where all this is okay, and real comitted relationships are made a mockery of.
    Some people can’t even have love-sex and need every encounter to be annonomous. The lesbians don’t engage in this activity and are therefore accepted into society better than gay men.
    By engaging in public sex, the closet cases are able to get off and live their gay fantasies, only to go home to their wives and vote republican. We are enabling a group that is voting against our interests, all in the name of harmless fun.
    If the sex is between two single guys, fine, but it rarely is and that is a shame.
    For me, i can’t get an erection in those situations, and i don’t need queens gossiping about my low hanging balls at the club later that evening.

  65. Steven says

    I personally resent the gays who claim that illegal, anonymous outdoor (or even public bathroom) sex is a tradition or that everyone does it. Well I don’t, never have and never will. These guys are either closeted, tweaked out or unable to hook up in the normal fashion. Ever see the guy George Michael met in the woods? Exhibit A.

    In civilized society one does not exchange bodily fluids in public. Straight or gay. Have some class.

  66. CK says

    So many uptight people here… it seems that there is going to be an upswing in medical procedures here in the USA… all those broomsticks that need to be surgically removed from uptight asses!

  67. says

    You said it, CK. :-) I also love the ones who say they’ve NEVER had public sex of any kind (shall we give them good boy medals?) yet presume to know all about those who have. I suppose convincing yourself that all public sex aficionados are ugly old closeted trolls makes it easier to be a moralist, but they might be surprised to learn that some guys (even hot, openly gay ones!) like outdoor sex just cause it can be fun.

  68. Adrian says

    Some strong opinions, for people who have no idea what there talking about! Having lived on Fire Island for thirteen years. I am more than qualified to say, this is sad state of affairs. I am appalled at anyone who would agree with what happened.

    Since the beginning of time. The meat rack has been a place for gay men, who pay thousands of dollars to have a summer place away from the city! Two of the thirteen summer communities on Fire Island are and always have been since the 60’s predominately gay!
    To the moron who made the comment about “down right dangerous.”Jaywalking is down right dangerous.
    This is nothing but abuse of power and discrimination. Wake up people, look at the bigger picture! Forget about the sex.

    Its no secret, its been the subject of documentaries, TV shows, movies, books..etc.
    This has been going on since the 60’s. It’s what made Fire Island famous. So what 50 years later, they decided its a problem! Does that make any sense?

    The meat rack is not exactly “public.” Its a thicket of bush and trees, surrounding a swamp in the dunes. Bordered by The Pines and The Grove; both gay summer towns.

    Honestly, I consider the Pines more of a private community than a public one. It has never really catered to day trippers or drop ins. This is a destination, not a place you find yourself wandering threw! I guarantee you could make a thousand wrong turns. You will never end up in The Pines, or the Meat Rack! Believe me! Anyone who would agree with these arrest, clearly has no idea of the entirety of the situation.

    I am sure, if they hung out in the bushes in Ocean Beach, they could find a hetero or two engaging in lewd conduct. Five or six rangers. By Fire Island standards thats a small army! You may see two a summer when you live there!

    This borders on freedom been taken away. The sex just made it easier to do it. I am sorry, but I want and value my freedom.

    Every time, a adult book store or theater is closed. Every time a bar is shut down. Every time, a sting operation is made at a truck stop. Every time, a john picking up a prostitute is made public. Every time, a guy is arrested for lewd behavior, in a remote place. A place where a large percentage of the residents are gay, and business gay owned and operated! We all lose a little more of our freedom.

    Whether, you go to adult theaters, pick up a prostitute or have sex in a tree! You are still are being effected. Dictating morals, regulating or taking away rights. Does not stop with these things. If anything this is just launching pad for bigger things. Considering the direction. “Backwards” Where does it stop?

    So before you jump on the self righteous, controlling, dictating, fundamentalist, you have no rights, police state, big brother bandwagon. Think first, just because it does not directly effect you, does not mean it won’t!!

    What a wonderful world it would be if we all just worried about our selves!

  69. Adrian says

    Some strong opinions, for people who have no idea what there talking about! Having lived on Fire Island for thirteen years. I am more than qualified to say, this is sad state of affairs. I am appalled at anyone who would agree with what happened.

    Since the beginning of time. The meat rack has been a place for gay men, who pay thousands of dollars to have a summer place away from the city! Two of the thirteen summer communities on Fire Island are and always have been since the 60’s predominately gay!
    To the moron who made the comment about “down right dangerous.”Jaywalking is down right dangerous.
    This is nothing but abuse of power and discrimination. Wake up people, look at the bigger picture! Forget about the sex.

    Its no secret, its been the subject of documentaries, TV shows, movies, books..etc.
    This has been going on since the 60’s. It’s what made Fire Island famous. So what 50 years later, they decided its a problem! Does that make any sense?

    The meat rack is not exactly “public.” Its a thicket of bush and trees, surrounding a swamp in the dunes. Bordered by The Pines and The Grove; both gay summer towns.

    Honestly, I consider the Pines more of a private community than a public one. It has never really catered to day trippers or drop ins. This is a destination, not a place you find yourself wandering threw! I guarantee you could make a thousand wrong turns. You will never end up in The Pines, or the Meat Rack! Believe me! Anyone who would agree with these arrest, clearly has no idea of the entirety of the situation.

    I am sure, if they hung out in the bushes in Ocean Beach, they could find a hetero or two engaging in lewd conduct. Five or six rangers. By Fire Island standards thats a small army! You may see two a summer when you live there!

    This borders on freedom been taken away. The sex just made it easier to do it. I am sorry, but I want and value my freedom.

    Every time, a adult book store or theater is closed. Every time a bar is shut down. Every time, a sting operation is made at a truck stop. Every time, a john picking up a prostitute is made public. Every time, a guy is arrested for lewd behavior, in a remote place. A place where a large percentage of the residents are gay, and business gay owned and operated! We all lose a little more of our freedom.

    Whether, you go to adult theaters, pick up a prostitute or have sex in a tree! You are still are being effected. Dictating morals, regulating or taking away rights. Does not stop with these things. If anything this is just launching pad for bigger things. Considering the direction. “Backwards” Where does it stop?

    So before you jump on the self righteous, controlling, dictating, fundamentalist, you have no rights, police state, big brother bandwagon. Think first, just because it does not directly effect you, does not mean it won’t!!

    What a wonderful world it would be if we all just worried about our selves!

  70. Mike J says

    I was fascinated by this thread. Although these comments are at least about 3 years old, I just have to add my two cents. I had no idea that so many gay men feel so passionatley about public sex. I had more than my fair share of sex in public places (adult bookstores and the park) when I was in my 20s and learning to navigate gay life. The bars were boring and lonely, meeting someone to actually go out with seemed impossible. Sex was a lifeline. Yes, it was illegal and anonymous and potentially dangerous, but it was also liberating, life affirming, and confirmation that I was not some ugly, disgusting, geek that the gay world was rejecting (which is what I would think when frequenting gay bars and dance clubs). I was aware of the illegality, but in a sense it never seemed real to me. That so many men cruised made it seem OK. One day that changed when I had my wallet stolen by a trick. But I still didn’t learn my lesson. One night I was arrested. It was not only humiliating but downright frightening. The cop let me go, since it was my first arrest and I seemed harmless enough, but the other guy was arrested since it was his second offense. Eventually, to make a very long story short, the charges were dropped, but the steep court costs and the embarassment of having to appear before a judge on public indecency charges, changed my mind for good.

    The public sex issue is about much more than ‘puritanical moralizing’ or ‘sexual liberation.’ I’ve learned there are three types of men who regularly use crusing spots: the desparately lonely, those who could be labeled sex addicts, and those deeply in the closet and married. Public sex for many of these guys is a virtual necessity, not an indulgence. As a community, I would think gay activits and others would want to alleviate these problems instead of glorifying them as a sex romp. My experiences occurred in a Midwestern city with few opportunities for gay men outside rundown bars. I can’t believe that in a metropolis like New York men cruise so openly. This appears like the result of an attitude of entitlement, which is not a healthy attitude. I’m no prude or puritan, but grown men need to accept some level of personal responsibility, both for our reputation in the large society and for the younger generations coming up. A final thought: sucking cock or doing whatever at midnight in bramble bushes doesn’t seem hot to me. How could you tell if a guy has a disease or if has a weapon on him? Some of you are putting yourselves at great risk. It only takes one time to ruin your life forever. Enjoy sex and life, but be responsible. Sex is not a revolution and gays aren’t sexual revolutionaries (at least most of us aren’t).

Leave A Reply