The band of birthday-suited dudes who enjoy strutting the plaza at 17th and Castro and taking pictures with tourists has come under some fire recently from what they're referring to as "cock ring patrol" from some SFPD officers. The officers argue that the cock rings overstep the bounds of the city's laws on nudity, crossing the line from legal nudity to lewdness, and could therefore subject the offender to an arrest.
The nudists, meanwhile, a band of (usually) about a half-dozen gay men of various ages and shapes, would likely claim that it's just a piece of jewelry and not being used as a sex toy. One highly visible nudist who appears to have nothing to do with his days besides sit and stand naked on city streets, Lloyd Fishback, said in an NSFW interview on public access a few years ago (which we highly recommend watching) that the cock ring thing was just a cosmetic enhancer of sorts. He says, "You shrivel up in the cold. It just helps you stand out a little more, make you look a little bigger." The other nudist in that conversation, Rusty Mills, said, "I feel naked without it."
For the uninitiated, cock rings can be worn by men, around the penis and scrotum, just to plump things up down there under their underwear, but they can also be used to help maintain an erection.
SFPD officer Carlos Manfredi tells the Weekly that they can cite a person who is being publicly aroused, though in general they won't cite anyone who isn't offending the public the SFPD's official policy states that officers can't decide what's offensive, but can respond to complaints by citizens who are offended.
As we're sure you know, in the last couple of years, on all warm (and sometimes even not that warm) afternoons, the plaza at 17th and Castro has become a chill-out spot for a gaggle of local nudists, all male. They've become a total tourist attraction and most of them seem to feed on the attention. There's one in particular a rather tan gentleman familiar to regulars at the Folsom Street Fair for usually standing in the same spot oiled up and masturbating all afternoon who wears a wig and fake beard while he stands in the Plaza, and he always seems to be the randiest of the bunch ... some might say lewdest. We'd argue that for him this experience is a definite turn-on, so maybe since he's been a relatively recent addition to the crew he might be the one garnering the negative attention?
Expect C.W. Nevius to weigh in in three, two, one...