By Erin Sherbert
By Howard Cole
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
By Leif Haven
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Kate Conger
George Davis says cops had citizen's arrest cards only about 50 percent of the time when they arrested him in the past. Since the chief's bulletin, he says the police have left him alone. As Fitzinger knows, in the Castro, many call in to complain, but few want to go on the record as a prude. It's gotten to the point where Capt. Greg Corrales of Mission Station, which covers the Castro, advises dispatchers that a cop won't respond if the caller isn't willing to sign a card, because it makes the police look like fools. "People look at the cops expecting them to take some kind of action, and there's no action they can take," he says. "I got much more serious issues to deal with, and if the DA isn't going to prosecute and a citizen's not going to sign a citizen's arrest card, it's not my concern."
That doesn't stop the constant game of cat-and-mouse all over the Castro. Barry, who declines to give his last name to "remain incognito," is one of the straight men of the nude pack. On Halloween weekend, he was approached by some flirtatious women in front of Pottery Barn. "I got a little excited," he recalls — anatomically speaking. Just then, he spotted Sgt. Chuck Limbert, Mission Station's liaison to the gay community, so he squatted to hide the evidence. He says Limbert demanded he stand up. Barry wouldn't. "He said, 'Put something on! Cover it up!'" Barry recalls. "He gave me that dirty look he gives us."
Limbert says he was responding to a complaint. "That, to me, means lewd. If your cock is erect and engorged with blood, you got a problem. That's not a Halloween costume."
VIDEO: Watch an interview with nudists George Davis and Rusty Mills.
VIDEO: Go behind the scenes of this week's cover shoot.Watch the creative process and see the shots that didn't make it.
SLIDESHOW:The Castro nudists celebrate Halloween.
One time, Lloyd Fishback – a brooding, lanky building security man by day — refused an officer's order to put on the G-string he was holding, instead plunking it into his hat and plopping it on his head. He claims the officer then wrenched his forearm behind his back as if he were going to cuff him. Fishback lodged a complaint with the Office of Citizen's Complaints about the whole ordeal, but now offers less resistance, such as when Fitzinger demanded he get in his patrol car. "He pretended he was trying to arrest me, so I just played along," Fishback says. There were no charges to press, and he was soon on his way.
Eric was stopped by an officer on Castro Street who asked a passing straight couple: "Don't you think this is inappropriate?" When the couple vacillated, the cop pressed further. "But what if there were children around?" Still, no citizen's arrest there.
Despite facing some resistance, the nudists seem to have no plans to leave their Castro oasis. If anything, they're settling in. The nude guys have now renamed the plaza — after themselves.
The park was officially christened Jane Warner Plaza last month, after the late patrol special officer who covered the Castro beat. When Warner would pass Rusty Mills, the man who first started walking in the Castro nude in 2005, he says she'd say something to the effect of "I wish you'd keep more space between you and me." So the nudists decided to give the plaza a nickname, voting on names such as Bare Square, Nude Crossing, and Freedom Plaza. The Buff Stop won.
"Horrible! Next they'll want a statue of an erect penis there!" Limbert says. "Jane Warner is turning over in her grave."
She doesn't know the half of it. On a recent evening, Mills stood up against one of the planters in the plaza when a man half his age came up and started flirting. At 68, Mills is arguably the fittest of the nudists; he was the NCAA pommel horse champion from Yale in the '60s, and still works out six days a week at Gold's Gym to maintain an Olympian's figure.
"Is it okay if I touch it?" the man asked, referring to Mills' penis.
"Yeah, do; it's fine, as long as we're not under observation from the men in blue," Mills replied, giving a wary 360-degree scan of the plaza.
The younger man stroked Mills' six-pack, too. "Hard stomach," he said.
"I work at it," Mills replied. "They don't respond as nice as I wish they did. ... I have to work like hell to get anything. They used to call me Daddy Long Legs."
"More like Daddy Long Dick."
Barry walked up during this episode and said to a reporter rather apologetically: "This doesn't usually happen."
Mills is the first to admit that "there's an undercurrent of sexuality" when going nude in public. In the mid-'90s, he used to go out in the wee hours of the morning when no one was around, but then made his public debut at the cruising spot on Collingwood a few months later, not to get picked up but to let the cars shine their headlights on him. He started to walk nude through the Castro at night five years ago, with Fishback joining him as a regular companion in 2008. Fishback used to pop a Viagra to keep an erection while walking: "When you got a hard-on in public, it really draws a crowd — picture seekers, women are really digging it when you got a hard-on." But he said he stopped becuase it wasn't working anymore — "I'm not excited" — plus it draws unwanted attention from the cops.