Nearly a week after veteran gay activist Michael Petrelis reported on a meeting to discuss the future of the Dore Alley and Folsom Street Fairs, the Chronicle’s Matier and Ross regurgitated his report (sans credit, as they frequently do), highlighting Petrelis’ suggestion of “a tent where people could have sex – or just watch – but where the proceedings would not be visible from the outside.”

This recommendation, a gesture of compromise for those offended by the public sex acts that are known part of these celebrations (which does pose the question of what you are doing at Folsom of you’re freaked out by that stuff, but whatever), somehow wormed its way into the consciousness of the Chronicle’s editorial board. Behold the result: today’s outraged (and, of course, un-bylined as newspaper editorials frequently are — what’s that you say about how the anonymity of some online writers diminishes their credibility, mainstream media? Uh, yeah.) opinion piece on the Great Sex Tent MasterDebate.

Public sex tents? Now there’s an idea that should have been shot down the second it was announced from the mouth of a member of the “leather community” in response to complaints about public sex*

It goes on in this scolding tone for a couple more paragraphs. They seem very excited at the prospect of being mad at Supervisor Bevan “Typically Uncontroversial” Dufty! Their conclusion:

This is a quality-of-life issue that should have been tackled years ago. Local leaders need to stop clowning around and insist that everyone obey the law.

What do you think? Is the Grandma Chronicle right, or are you naming your new band Sex tents in honor of Petrelis’ suggestion? Rock the vote, below:

*My god, “Chronicle,” would it “kill you” to walk over to “the TV with the typewriter” and identify Michael Petrelis as the guy who made the suggestion?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Beej

    “Sex Tent” would be an awesome name for a rock band. Hell, any band, really.

  • Xenu

    I’ve got a sex tent… IN MY PANTS!

  • cedichou

    Reading this article? Perv.

  • salsaman

    Nice one! Er, comment, that is…

    Eve: minor typo edit needed here, where the second “of” should be “if”:
    “…the question of what you are doing at Folsom of you’re freaked out by that stuff,…”

  • Belgand

    I would say that they ought to just allow it publicly within the area of the street fair, but if a compromise is necessary this seems reasonable enough. I can sympathize with residents who have issues with the fair, but if you didn’t want to live on a street with a major leather fair taking place every year that was really your responsibility before moving in. They were there long before you were.

    Of course, I’ve also thought that some sort of cordoned off area for outdoor sex in GG Park (both with and without seclusion) would be a great idea.

    We really need to take this city back from prudes (who I can’t imagine being happy living here to begin with) and people who seem to be under the impression that the entire world is made for children, rather than the adults who make up the majority of the population.

  • Matt Baume

    Is the Chronicle aware that there are buildings all over the city where people are allowed to engage in sex whenever and with whomever they wish? We call them “houses.”

  • antfaber

    Hey Chron writer, if it’s in a tent, it’s not public sex.