San Francisco’s least modest male citizens recently staged a “naked guy nude in” to protest proposed laws restricting people’s rights to be totally naked in public in that fair city. Before I go any further, I should mention that I first came across this story by way of a link one of my San Franciscan friends tweeted alongside the comment “one of the reasons, among many, why SF is a dumb place to live.” That’s not very nice, I thought as I clicked.

Then I read the article, and found out what they were actually protesting. Was it a law that sought to force them to wear clothes in the park against their will? A crackdown on free-swinging breasts and balls? Why, no. All the proposed law would do is ban nudity from restaurants and “require unclad people to put a towel or other material down before sitting bare-bottomed on benches or other public seats.” Oh, the horror!

Some men in the protest argued that this law was totally unnecessary because most nudists already observe these basic courtesies (is “most” really enough?), but the protest might not have been totally about the proposed legislation, anyway.

Via The New York Times:

The event itself was originally organized not as a protest but as a curtain-raiser for the Folsom Street Fair, which spread over 13 city blocks on Sunday. “This is about body acceptance, not politics,” said the Nude-In’s organizer, Mitch Hightower, 50, who runs a pornographic Web site.

So basically, the proposed legislation reminded everyone that they’re allowed to be naked in public, so they decided to have some naked time and accept their bodies together before heading over to the Folsom Street Fair. Fair enough.

Perhaps the most amusing part of the article comes when the president of The Merchants Of Upper Market And Castro talks about how public nudity actually boosts the city’s economy:

“Nudity really doesn’t impact business,” said Mr. Adams, whose group represents about 300 businesses. “In fact, it is kind of a draw for tourists. As long as the people who come to look spend money in the neighborhood, that’s all I care about.”

He also says he often sees tourists posing for pictures with the nudists, which is cute. (Hey, I participated in that!) San Francisco: come for the public nudity, stay for the delicious burritos and hand-woven baskets.