Alex Blaze

Go cruising in Amsterdam

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 30, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Amsterdam, beaches, child care, cruising for sex, Netherlands, parks, public space, sign

Speaking nocruising.jpgof cruising....

A PARK near Amsterdam has unveiled information signs pointing out spots where officials say gay men are known to have sex - so no visitors are taken by surprise.

The signs "clearly indicate what is happening in each zone; also those where gay men are known to practice 'cruising'," municipal spokeswoman Manon Koffijberg said.[...]

"If you don't want to be confronted by a vision of that sort, the signs allow you to avoid specific areas," said Ms Koffijberg. [...]

Well, isn't that just special: recognizing the fact that it's a lot easier just to have a designated area for men who cruise than to have police stings and to ruin people's lives. That is, it's easier if the goal is to actually protect people who don't want to see sex instead of just to punish homosexuality and scandalous sex.

The people who run the parks realize that people who cruise have just as much a right to be there as anyone else:

"There are various groups of users of the park; people with small children who bathe on the beaches, those who walk their dogs, gays cruising and nature lovers," said Ms Koffijberg.

"Things are arranged so that each group can relax in their own area without intruding on each other."

The whole "think of the children" argument doesn't hold water when it's used to justify turning every aspect of our lives into an episode of The Andy Griffith Show. Children don't have to be everywhere, and just because some or even most people don't want to see something doesn't mean that others don't have a right to engage in it.

I suppose this idea might catch on in America one day as well. If McDonald's was allowed to set up shop in these parks and Budweiser could put up adds for the cruisers, that might ease the transition for Americans.

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Umm, yes. Just yes. To everything in this.

Except for that last bit about McDonald's, because that just made me depressed.

Oh, no - acknowledge that people have sex in public? The end is nigh!

Seriously, Fred Phelps's group actually began in response to cruising in parks. An interesting link between deeply conservative groups and the more liberal-minded folks who see themselves as simply fighting for their children.

As you point out, "children don't have to be everywhere." And, in my opinion, nor should they be. When asked about children who might wander off and suddenly come across people having sex, my response is:

a)Why are those children running around unsupervised in the first place? I mean, seriously, your kids might be intruding on my peaceful picnic/nap in the park/on the beach.

b)They are not going to be traumatised and scarred for life just because they see people having sex. It's your responsibility as a parent to help them process their experiences as need be.

c) Are you that paranoid about your kids stumbling upon you having sex? (If your answer is yes, your problems run deeper than the fear of public sex.)

You're right about the impulse to "turn our lives into an episode of The Andy Griffith Show."

The only question I have for the Amsterdam officials is: How come there's no mention of hetero couples having sex in the parks? I do. not. believe. that gay couples are the only ones frolicking in such parks.

Why are those children running around unsupervised in the first place? I mean, seriously, your kids might be intruding on my peaceful picnic/nap in the park/on the beach.

Haha! I love the dripping distain! I take it you will not be producing or procuring any little Yasmins to ruin my afternoon anytime soon? It's almost a shame...

But I have to say, I am hesitant about calls for more child supervision from possibly horrible, violent, queerphobic parents. Let them run free in the woods if they want! It may be a much needed escape...


True, very true - more calls for child supervision from already ghastly parents can be counterproductive, to say the least.

And, oh, yeah, my uterus is closed. For.Ev.Ah.

A. J. Lopp | April 30, 2009 5:00 PM
I suppose this idea might catch on in America one day as well.

Yeah, right!

I can hear the fundies complaining that their hard-earned tax dollars are being used to buy the land, mow the grass and trim the bushes at some secret government-sanctioned outdoor bathhouse! It's so much cheaper to pay vice cops to entrap the pederasts, then throw them in jail for decades, until they are too old to remember what sex was even about! (But in the meantime, while serving their sentence, said pederasts might get more sex than they could have imagined.) Yes, the American Way makes so much more sense!

oh my. such a simple solution. and cost effective too.