Whore Next Door: Save Sex!

Sup. Scott Wiener may have pushed for the nudity ban, but he's strongly pro-sex worker.

(Photograph by Isabel Dresler/Isabeldresler.com)

In past years at the Folsom Street Fair, the world’s largest gathering of perverts and kinksters, Kink.com’s stage has hosted live-suspension bondage, single tail whippings, and grown men getting cattle-prodded in the genitals. It routinely draws an enormous crowd and serves as part freak show and part pep rally for longtime players, as well as for newbies to the world of kink and BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism.)

But this year, there was a noticeable absence of the loud, proud, salacious spectacle. Kink.com took a different approach, focusing on promoting its product line, tours, and politics.

Porn stars in bikinis educated voters non-stop for more than six hours, passing out brochures, pins, and silicone bracelets — which doubled as cock rings, depending on the voter’s anatomy — with the No on Proposition 60 message, “Save Sex. Vote No.”

When fair-goers asked about the missing stage show, I heard staff answer simply, “Because defeating Prop. 60 is more important.” The statewide proposition, if passed, would enable any resident of California to sue adult workers when condoms are not visible in their films.

Amid the cast of porn star volunteers, San Francisco supervisor and state Senate candidate Scott Wiener appeared just after midday, changed into his volunteer tank top inside the booth, and asked me to help him apply copious amounts of sunscreen to combat the sadistic afternoon sun.

Soon, he was passing out materials and high-fiving leather daddies while we talked about the coming election.

“We have to beat Prop. 60,” he said. “It’s dangerous. The entire HIV community, with one exception that happens to have a lot of money, is opposed to it.”

“It enshrines in the law that HIV prevention is about condoms and condoms only,” he added. “Condoms aren’t 100 percent, and they’re not the only HIV preventative.”

Wiener was one of the first politicians to disclose his use of a pill called Truvada, a brand of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) that, when taken every day, can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by more than 90 percent.

The proponent of Prop. 60, Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, has consistently blocked legislation that would increase access to such prevention options, and has gone on record saying that Truvada is a “party drug.”

“We’re going to beat HIV through science and public health not through this fear mongering,” Wiener said. “It’s a multi-factor approach: condoms, PrEP, regular testing, and suppressing people’s viral loads.”

Wiener has been an LGBT and HIV/AIDS advocate, as well as a Castro resident, for more than 20 years. Unfortunately, his legacy will likely be tied to the 2013 ban on public nudity that he sponsored in order to prevent a small group of older nudists who, he says, were “basically acting like assholes.”

When longtime gay residents of the neighborhood began criticizing Wiener for not acting, he called the nudists into his office to try and forge a compromise (perhaps forgoing the cock rings on days when the Girl Scouts are selling cookies?).

But they wouldn’t budge, so Wiener felt he had no choice but to take action. He decided to move forward with a narrow nudity ban, rather than something more broad.

“If a man goes shirtless, then a woman should be able to do the same. You can wear your assless chaps anywhere you want, and you can show it all in any parade or street festival anywhere in San Francisco,” he explained. “What you can’t do is swing your dick around walking down the sidewalk.”

“I wish this group of guys hadn’t ruined what was a longstanding tradition of random and occasional public nudity in San Francisco,” he said. “And I wish that this issue weren’t the one to be carved on my tombstone, as opposed to the issues I’ve championed, like housing, transit, health care, mental health, the environment, public education, and LGBT equality and acceptance. But that’s life in the big city, and that’s politics.”

Perhaps not every candidate is vying for the sex-worker vote, but Wiener has no qualms about going on the record about his support of the adult industry and its workers.

“We want sex workers to be empowered, safe, and healthy,” he said. “We will accomplish that goal by treating the workers fairly and not criminalizing them.”

In an election full of racism and vaccine truthers, there is at least one person on the San Francisco ballot this November who has made sex-worker rights part of their platform.

And it’s worth noting that the Castro nudists who prompted the ban have not gone away. They simply wear colorful socks over their genitals now — and complaints have dwindled significantly.

“Not the worst result in the world,” the state Senate candidate concluded.

View Comments