And if this old world starts a getting you down, there's room enough for two - up on the roof
April 3, 2011 11:32 AM   Subscribe

At the University of Southern California, in the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love…making atop the roof of the campus' Waite Phillips Hall. Photos of the tryst went *cough* "viral" this week, and in the aftermath of the incident, the male Kappa Sigma member has gone into hiding. Web forum Hipinion checks in with some Photoshop re-interpretations of the couple's romp.
posted by porn in the woods (129 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh yeah, most links are NSFW.
posted by porn in the woods at 11:35 AM on April 3, 2011


So someone got a blowjob. So what?
posted by hal_c_on at 11:35 AM on April 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


This whole incident is overblown.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:37 AM on April 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wait, what did this chap do wrong? Seriously, reading all those squirmily puritanical worthies denouncing a perfectly sound bit of early spring recreation makes me want to mount a jihad of public fucking.
posted by atrazine at 11:38 AM on April 3, 2011 [21 favorites]


Americans make such a big deal of little blow jobs. We are even willing to impeach over them.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:39 AM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, the only thing to object to about this is the fact that they were premature.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:40 AM on April 3, 2011


How gauche, it's not yet The First of May! (youtube, NSFW language)
posted by vespabelle at 11:40 AM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Jinx, you owe me a ... um, nevermind.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:42 AM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I used to eat Fritos in the time I had between classes. This seems better.
posted by black rainbows at 11:44 AM on April 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Most suggestive black bar evar. (NSFW!)
*teenage giggle*
posted by fraula at 11:44 AM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The LA Weekly article is pretty great.
posted by kenko at 11:46 AM on April 3, 2011


this is awesome.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:46 AM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Look, if I was naked at the edge of a rooftop 10 stories up, my member would go into hiding too.
posted by GuyZero at 11:47 AM on April 3, 2011


In hiding??

A college dude embarrased by proof that he got laid? That's a first.
posted by jonmc at 11:48 AM on April 3, 2011


posted by porn in the woods

Semiponysterical.
posted by kmz at 11:49 AM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, what did this chap do wrong?

Nothing horrible, really, but you're familiar with the "what has been seen cannot be unseen" meme, right? Perhaps there are people you don't want to even imagine naked, let alone having sex, let alone even further get an eyeful of? Or perhaps there are things that some people find to be total turn-ons that squick you right out.

The nice thing about the convention that people do these things behind closed doors is that you can avoid this. Moreover, you don't have to spend a lot of effort avoiding this (or, you know, you can arrange to be behind the doors or use the appropriate search engines and websites if that's your thing).

Yeah, "Yay, spring sex!" and "Whoo! Erotic adventure!" and hell, I might even in my bolder moments do it if too I had the chance, but would the world really be a better place if this were not rare?
posted by namespan at 11:59 AM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


If this sort of thing had been done in the '50-70's almost none of us would be here to tell jokes about it.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 12:02 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


So what?
posted by HostBryan at 12:03 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if charges will be filed and these two people will become a registered sex offenders and have their lives ruined because of it.

Now that is justice.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:03 PM on April 3, 2011


Kappa Sigma campus president Zach Timm told the USC Daily Trojan: While the actions that were taken did involve a member of our chapter we, in no way, support this kind of behavior, nor do we promote any other such actions. The member in question has been suspended from Kappa Sigma for conduct unbecoming of a Kappa Sigma and a gentleman until a more detailed investigation can be conducted.

Best laugh I've had in months. Was anybody involved with this statement...the speaker, the reporter, the mites in their eyelashes...anyone..able to keep a straight face through it?
posted by PlusDistance at 12:08 PM on April 3, 2011 [13 favorites]


Trespassing? Is that the thing that's wrong here? Do the un-censored pictures show that he's not wearing a condom, so it's unsafe sex? Help me here people.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:12 PM on April 3, 2011


He got more than a blow job.

That girl was really smart to keep her shirt on.

That guy has a terrific body. Way to keep in shape, brah. (Brah, right? That's what the kids say?)
posted by anniecat at 12:12 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


The guy is in trouble, from his fraternity? For getting laid, multiple times, along with blow job?

You win this round feminism!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:16 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Jesus, leave them alone. Sometimes I hate the internet.

And I'm very glad that it hasn't been invented on the night I went wandering with my boyfriend in Venice very late at night under a full moon, through courtyards and past fountains and down alleys until we ended up having sex on a bridge. It's one of my best memories, and I keep it in the "Yes, I have lived!" file.
posted by jokeefe at 12:17 PM on April 3, 2011 [36 favorites]


I wonder if charges will be filed and these two people will become a registered sex offenders and have their lives ruined because of it.

Look, we were just lucky that this guy was attractive. Next time, some unattractive folks will be going at it and I personally think I shouldn't have to worry about going to the park or someplace and seeing attractive or unattractive people going at it. In fact, unless I voluntarily choose to go to a nudist colony, I don't want to see anybody's genitals.
posted by anniecat at 12:17 PM on April 3, 2011


Sadly, this does not reflect my own experience at University. Maybe that's why I dropped out.
posted by maxwelton at 12:18 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brandon, this is nothing to do with feminism. It's all about America, though.
posted by jokeefe at 12:18 PM on April 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


And I'm very glad that it hasn't been invented on the night I went wandering with my boyfriend in Venice very late at night under a full moon, through courtyards and past fountains and down alleys until we ended up having sex on a bridge. It's one of my best memories, and I keep it in the "Yes, I have lived!" file.

I had a similar moment in a stairwell in Flushing.
posted by jonmc at 12:23 PM on April 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


That's what they want you to think jokeefe.

WAKE UP SHEEPLE AND PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:25 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jon, that sounds so romantic! <3

I'd also like to know why the guy involved is the one being held primarily responsible. For all we know, this is the girl's fantasy and he's helping her realize it. Bah.
posted by jokeefe at 12:25 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


That was really baaaaaaaaad, Brandon.
posted by jokeefe at 12:25 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maybe I'm old, but we should not be contributing to this pile-on. This is really distasteful.
posted by mhoye at 12:26 PM on April 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Shut up, ewe.
posted by jonmc at 12:26 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The inevitable (and awesome) Taiwanese News Animation interpretation of the story

And I believe the guy is taking th a brunt of this because he's a USC student and she was not.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:26 PM on April 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


What this really informs us however is, no matter where you are, we are watching you, Bro'
posted by infini at 12:27 PM on April 3, 2011


I count myself lucky to have gone to college just before the Internet could be used so easily for stuff like this. I had plenty of outdoor and rooftop sex, but mostly in the dark and as far as I know without being photographed.

And yeah, the idea of a frat guy getting in trouble for having sex is kind of funny.
posted by Forktine at 12:27 PM on April 3, 2011


Jon, that sounds so romantic!

Well, I could hear the crowds at Shea Stadium cheering, so I pretended it was for me...
posted by jonmc at 12:27 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


how uptight do you have to be to consider this post-worthy?
posted by krautland at 12:27 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


The guy is in trouble, from his fraternity? For getting laid, multiple times, along with blow job?

You win this round feminism!

I realize that is supposed to be a joke, but I want to warn you: this kind of stereotype actually informs a lot of women and a lot of women have to actively work past thinking all men are misogynistic douchebags that objectify women and treat feminism with disdain.

It makes men look bad when they say crap like that or say that a frat should be applauding "getting pussy" and blowjobs, like narcissistic animals unable to respect the women they have sex with respect, and unable to control themselves.

Don't say stuff like this and expect women to treat men like human beings with feelings instead of caricatures. You're perpetuating what is a really terrible stereotype of male sexual motivation that I think most of us hope is a just a stereotype, but I worry honestly might also be informing young men.
posted by anniecat at 12:29 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I assume they wanted to be seen, right? Tall building in the middle of campus? Broad daylight? At the edge of the roof, silhouetted against the sky? I'm just glad they weren't hooked up to loudspeakers.

Seriously, who cares? Let 'em have their fun. Life's too short.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 12:31 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think this is about America, it's about douchey individuals feeling they can humiliate people on the net with impunity. We all make dumb decisions; we shouldn't have to worry about jerks with camera phones commemorating those decisions for posterity.
posted by Partario at 12:35 PM on April 3, 2011


The inevitable (and awesome) Taiwanese News Animation interpretation of the story

Can these get any better?
posted by jeremias at 12:35 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This just in: Flabby, undersexed journalists write sour grapes stories about attractive young coeds having abundant sex with each other.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 12:38 PM on April 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh, but y'all buried the lede: this guy is in the frat that sent out that email stating that women "aren't actual people like us men," among other charming, true facts.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 12:42 PM on April 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


it's about douchey individuals feeling they can humiliate people on the net with impunity. We all make dumb decisions

Oh come on. The only reason they bothered having sex on the roof in a public place was because they wanted the excitement of knowing that they could get caught. The only problem is that they actually did get caught. Unless they did it because they wanted to have other people watch them, in which case, they got what they wanted and being embarrassed is just a front. Because I'm guessing if they wanted to have sex outdoors, they could have just gone camping.

If you have sex in public, then I'm free to photograph it. You can't just conveniently forget that cellphone camera exist and that the internet exists because you want to get away with something.
posted by anniecat at 12:44 PM on April 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Photographing people in a public place, where there's no expectation of privacy, isn't illegal. Posting the resulting photos online isn't illegal. But playing hide the sausage on the edge of a roof where people can see you is apparently illegal.

Partario, unfortunately, the above being true, whoever it was who posted these photos on the net can humiliate these people with impunity. These kids were consenting, but very foolish, as we can all sometimes be. With any luck the resulting shitstorm won't ruin their lives or careers. Fingers crossed, anyway.

(Also, I can't quite see why this is on the blue. But that's probably just me.)
posted by paperpete at 12:49 PM on April 3, 2011


Isn't USC's football team called the Trojans? Shouldn't he have been wearing one?
posted by jonmc at 12:52 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You win this round feminism!

I realize that is supposed to be a joke, but I want to warn you: this kind of stereotype actually informs a lot of women men and a lot of women men have to actively work past thinking...

Not that I want to participate in a discussion of feminist stereotypes today (I came here to GAWK, dammit!) but doesn't the improved version make at least as much sense?
posted by sneebler at 12:59 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


unfortunately, the above being true, whoever it was who posted these photos on the net can humiliate these people with impunity

Nope, there's probably no legal sanction that can be brought against the people who humiliated those people with photos. But it's still wrong. Just because something isn't technically illegal, it doesn't make it right and (much as I hate to admit it) just because something is technically illegal doesn't make it wrong.

The only reason they bothered having sex on the roof in a public place was because they wanted the excitement of knowing that they could get caught.

I'm not so sure that's true. When you're far up on the air you feel kind of invisible. You certainly don't expect people to be snapping photos of you with a telephoto lens.

All of us to reckless but essentially harmless things from time to time. None of us deserve to be so broadly, publicly more or less permanently humiliated because of it.

What these young people appear to have done was foolish, exuberant, romantic and rather painfully naive. What has been done to them by these petty paparazzi peeping toms is inexcusable and a violation.
posted by Dreadnought at 1:04 PM on April 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


One can hardly be called a peeping tom for watching people fucking on the edge of an open rooftop.
posted by Sternmeyer at 1:06 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is much better than the time I nearly ran over a flabby man and flabby woman having sex in a greasy parking stall in the underground parking of a Vancouver Holiday Inn.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:09 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Flabby folk need fuckin' too, dude.
posted by jonmc at 1:12 PM on April 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's weird that some are calling these people humilated.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:20 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, I expected the younger generations to be a lot more willing to forgive all those things that the Internet will no longer allow them to forget. I'm very disappointed to be wrong about this. So a pair of young'uns got their freak on in a public place. Big fucking deal. Slap him with enough disciplinary slappage to dissuade the State of California from piling on, and let the two of them get on with their lives, for fuck's sake.

(Alum of a gay-positive frat speaking here.)
posted by ocschwar at 1:21 PM on April 3, 2011


They had sex on the edge of a roof, in the middle of the day, as a sorority fundraiser was taking place beneath them...and there are actually people who are worried about their privacy because their pictures are being posted on the internet? I think they gave up all rights to that kind of privacy when they made the decision to move to the edge of the roof...
posted by kro at 1:29 PM on April 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


According to the accounts I have read they meant to be seen.

Which makes me think they very well get labelled as sex offenders.

What incredibly, incredibly poor judgement.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:29 PM on April 3, 2011


Also, I thought everyone has a video camera these days.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:31 PM on April 3, 2011


WHOOOOOOOO
CARESSSSSSSSSS
posted by desjardins at 1:36 PM on April 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Isn't USC's football team called the Trojans? Shouldn't he have been wearing one?

Yes, they are, leading to the chant "Trojans burst under pressure!".
posted by benito.strauss at 1:41 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had a similar moment in a stairwell in Flushing.

1) Stairwell in Fondren Library at Rice University, Houston, TX, 1970
2) Ladies' lavatory in Luna Rossa, Stillwater, MN, 1991
3) Lake Maria State Park Trail, MN, 1997
4) Kalalau Valley Beach, Kawai, HI, 2002
5) Sykes Hot Springs, Big Sur, CA 2007

C'mon, people, where's your adventurous spirit?

I know, I'm kind of bragging, but I also know there are others who make me look like a piker.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:51 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]



Am I to infer, after reading all these comments, that being caught having sex in public will result in being labeled a sex offender?

The other half is going to panic if she reads this.
posted by notreally at 1:55 PM on April 3, 2011


Am I to infer, after reading all these comments, that being caught having sex in public will result in being labeled a sex offender?

Nowadays, yes. In that respect, I'm kinda glad my freaky-deaky days were before the current climate. (and I'm *not* going to make a list. I'd just be accused of bragging.)
posted by pjern at 1:58 PM on April 3, 2011


WHOOOOOOOO
CARESSSSSSSSSS


WEEE
DOOOOOO
APPARENTILYYYY
posted by Godwin Interjection at 2:02 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mental Wimp, are these the highlights or the only lights?

/sorrysorrysorry...
posted by datawrangler at 2:08 PM on April 3, 2011


C'mon, people, where's your adventurous spirit?

Oh, rest assured, plenty of us have a similarly... ahem... adventurous spirit. We just don't post lists of acts on in the internet to prove it.

The better part of valor is discretion.
posted by pineapple at 2:14 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The better part of voyeur is location, evidently.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:30 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not that I want to participate in a discussion of feminist stereotypes today (I came here to GAWK, dammit!) but doesn't the improved version make at least as much sense?

If men aren't bothered by being stereotyped as less than human beings, I guess it's not my battle to fight. I'll let the men handle their own PR, but it makes me sad that a number of AskMe questions authored by young women afraid that all men "will lie to you and exploit you for sex and then break your heart" because their dads are telling them that is what all men are like. And then men are going out and confirming those biases by treating women disrespectfully.


that being caught having sex in public will result in being labeled a sex offender?

If you're not going to make sex in public an offense, then you probably can't call some guy sitting next to you who decides to whack off on your subway commute home a sex offender. You could say that that couple didn't want to get caught, but you don't know.
posted by anniecat at 2:35 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll let the men handle their own PR...

shit, we need to do an tv buy, stop doing so much radio.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:47 PM on April 3, 2011


Annenberg TV News (USC’s television news station) interviews [w/ audio] the student who took the pictures.
"ATVN spoke with the student who took the pictures of the USC student having sex on top off Waite Phillips Hall.

The male student who took the pictures from Birnkrant Residential Hall says that he never intended for the pictures to go viral. According to the student, the pictures were first posted on a private Photobucket account. Someone else copied and posted the pictures onto a popular college gossip website.

The student also said that if he could do it all again, he would probably take back his actions of taking these pictures."
posted by ericb at 2:49 PM on April 3, 2011


According to the accounts I have read they meant to be seen.

Cites, please.
posted by ericb at 2:54 PM on April 3, 2011


USC Rooftop Scandal Photos of Kappa Sigma Member – Photographer Speaks Out
The photographer behind the Kappa Sigma USC rooftop scandal photos is now speaking out. A USC Kappa Sigma member and female from another Los Angeles school were captured in pictures atop a USC building last week. But while the pictures have become the biggest news story to hit Los Angeles college campuses this week, the photographer says he never released the pictures to the public.

In fact, the photographer tells news that, if he had the opportunity again, he would not have taken the pictures in the first place.

“There was a girl on our floor that, um, apparently she had been on higher floors and her friends had told her about it” he explains to news this week. “So she came down [to our floor]. She knocked on our doors. We all ran across the hall.”

The photographer said that “there was 10-15 of us [watching it live] … a little of shocked …we thought it was funny …”; but he pulled out his DSLR camera to document the pictures for other people on the floor that missed the couple.

The photographer, who has refused to be identified, took the nearly dozen pictures and put them on a private, password protected account on Photobucket.com “I put them on Photobucket, it was meant for the people of our floor … I originally put them private.”

But by Saturday, the pictures were all over the internet, added to Twitter and Facebook accounts. “Somehow, someone from our floor shared the pictures with someone else. Those pictures got downloaded, put on a different website, and they were sent out to anyone without a password.”

Now the photographer feels guilt about taking the pictures. He tells ATVN that the couple “had [... some] right of privacy …they were in public .. but they still deserved some privacy. They were 18 … they were in public.”

The photographer says he didn’t share the pictures with anyone beyond his floor. “It was not my intention for the pictures to go viral…. I didn’t realize how someone that leaks to the internet it gets so explosive. I didn’t realized that at the time. I wouldn’t do it again. It was unbelievable. My roommates and I were shocked about it.”
posted by ericb at 3:03 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


The fraternity should've said that this was consensual sex between adults, and none of their business. Asking the fraternity for a statement/disciplinary action just reinforces the notion that the sex lives of fraternity brothers are part of the collective identity of the fraternity, rather than a matter of individual responsibility. This isn't really discouraging these men from crassly objectifying women as "targets."
posted by desuetude at 3:04 PM on April 3, 2011 [18 favorites]


The better part of valor is discretion.

I would have agreed, but it seems from the comments here that some feel it is unusual or shameful. I say, lighten up, peeps.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:31 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a fan of public nudity laws. Don't need to be exposed to other people's bodies. Dated a girl who was into this sort of thing, but I'm not at all.
This came out the day I started planning a rooftop party though. Might use that picture on the flyers, tho I was thinking more Beatles.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:43 PM on April 3, 2011


According to the accounts I have read they meant to be seen.

As far as I know, no interviews have been conducted with either party involved in the sexual encounter witnessed by those in the dorm across the way. Anyone who claims to know what the motivation for their having "sex on the roof" was, by all means provide evidence. Protip: No one can. Two young , healthy and horny people were 'gettin' their groove on.' Simple as that.
posted by ericb at 3:58 PM on April 3, 2011


And -- the fact that he belonged to a fraternity is irrelevant. Last I heard, even those who attend 'Band Camp' have sex!
posted by ericb at 3:59 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if they had meant to be seen, they would have been wearing Mexican wrestling masks at the time.


What?
posted by logicpunk at 4:04 PM on April 3, 2011


Metafilter: Students had sex.
posted by Twang at 4:29 PM on April 3, 2011


dixiecupdrinking : Oh, but y'all buried the lede: this guy is in the frat that sent out that email stating that women "aren't actual people like us men,"

I gleaned information about a novel treatment for the dreaded Falafel Cock.
posted by dr_dank at 4:36 PM on April 3, 2011


This other USC couple didn't fare nearly as well.
posted by TedW at 4:37 PM on April 3, 2011


If you're not going to make sex in public an offense, then you probably can't call some guy sitting next to you who decides to whack off on your subway commute home a sex offender. You could say that that couple didn't want to get caught, but you don't know.
posted by anniecat at 5:35 PM on April 3 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


Exactly. Perhaps someone can explain the difference between these two on the roof at USC and this guy?
posted by deadmessenger at 4:40 PM on April 3, 2011


Exactly. Perhaps someone can explain the difference between these two on the roof at USC and this guy?

Proximity, and confined shared space. I'd feel very different about seeing the torsos of people who are screwing atop a twelve-story building versus being in a subway car with a guy jerking off.
posted by desuetude at 5:03 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


You mean, you can't?!?

Here's a start: distance is one difference. Two people fucking on a distant rooftop is titillating, remote, and voyeuristic. A guy jacking off ten feet away in a closed, fast-moving vehicle is invasive.
posted by hincandenza at 5:05 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Proximity, and confined shared space. I'd feel very different about seeing the torsos of people who are screwing atop a twelve-story building versus being in a subway car with a guy jerking off.

What if you lived in a highrise and someone comes out onto their balcony, and you're on your own balcony, and they turn, look at you, and start jerking off? You're possibly fifty feet away, but they're still being lewd and it's directed at you even if they aren't within x feet of you.
posted by anniecat at 5:09 PM on April 3, 2011


What if you lived in a highrise and someone comes out onto their balcony, and you're on your own balcony, and they turn, look at you, and start jerking off? You're possibly fifty feet away, but they're still being lewd and it's directed at you even if they aren't within x feet of you.
posted by anniecat at 8:09 PM on April 3 [+] [!]


This seems like a question of intent. The young couple screwing but otherwise more or less keeping to themselves are pretty different from the young couple screwing directly in front of your person, or gesturing to you with glee while they writhe. There is also something more disturbing, for whatever reason, about a man jerking off towards or at someone as opposed to a couple fucking in the view of others.
posted by nonmerci at 5:17 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


There is also something more disturbing, for whatever reason, about a man jerking off towards or at someone as opposed to a couple fucking in the view of others.

Then why not just publish pornography without any censorship or parents of children getting bent out of shape about it? If having sex in public is fine and no one should get punished for it. I'm assuming if they want to have sex in the middle of the afternoon at a playground, then that's fine, people should just stay away?
posted by anniecat at 5:27 PM on April 3, 2011


That isn't what you said, though. You said they should be listed as sex offenders (since they are 'no different' than the guy on the subway jerking off, as you put it), without any specification as to what might constitute a sex offense except 'having sex in public.' Furthermore, what are you talking about? No one said anything about a playground. It's a particular example--no one that I've seen is advocating for the total legality of public sexual acts nor is anyone saying that people having sex in a playground in front of children should be cool. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make but you might want to tone down the rhetoric.
posted by nonmerci at 5:40 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


...What I'm most surprised about is that a meFi post containing a link to DailyMail is still left undeleted after 6 hours!
posted by jnnla at 5:49 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm honestly surprised that having sex in public is legal. Isn't part of the point of the Internet that we can get our jollies in private?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:56 PM on April 3, 2011


As long as nothing got squirted over the edge and onto any unsuspecting passers-by I think this is a fine way to kill a half hour or so. It's not like you get in more trouble for murdering somebody in public rather than behind closed doors.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:19 PM on April 3, 2011


Oh college days, and the peccadilloes of youth. I'll never forget mine. Eight o'clock monday morning classes. Last minute term papers. Sneaking bourbon into the stadium. Late night krystal burger runs. Not having sex on the roof.
posted by gordie at 6:47 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Jesus. I used to go up to the roof of that building late at night and sit on the edge and stare out at the infinite dirty grid of lights that was Los Angeles around me fade into the smog.

A) I was doing college wrong, clearly.

B) Is that fucking door still fucking unlocked? It's been hanging half open with an "Alarm Will Sound" sign on it since at least 1992.
posted by ook at 7:27 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Then why not just publish pornography without any censorship or parents of children getting bent out of shape about it? If having sex in public is fine and no one should get punished for it. I'm assuming if they want to have sex in the middle of the afternoon at a playground, then that's fine, people should just stay away?

Clearly they should be punished. The only question is how much, and whether the photos on the Internet constitute punishment enough (I lean towards the affirmative there.)
posted by ocschwar at 7:45 PM on April 3, 2011


Then why not just publish pornography without any censorship or parents of children getting bent out of shape about it? If having sex in public is fine and no one should get punished for it. I'm assuming if they want to have sex in the middle of the afternoon at a playground, then that's fine, people should just stay away?
posted by anniecat at 8:27 PM on April 3

aaaaaah!

i dont know what bothers me most, the feminist that pulls the "but it's for the children" card on whatever they find sexually offensive or the christian fundamentalist that does exactly the same thing and for exactly the same reasons.

sexual exhibitionism makes me uncomfortable, but i wouldnt entrust my children's well-being, sexual or otherwise, to people who would use them as excuses for labeling every single sexual act they find offensive as a sexual offense and thus worthy of a criminal record.

these kids shouldnt have a criminal record just because their boinking on a rooftop makes you feel they're on the par of sexual harassers. suspended? sure, but a criminal record? that's puritanism at its worse.
posted by liza at 8:32 PM on April 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


desjardins: WHOOOOOOOO
CARESSSSSSSSSS
Godwin Interjection: WEEE
DOOOOOO
APPARENTILYYYY


Ohhhh. I was reading desjardins' comment in a totally different fashion. I guess Godwin Interjection's reading makes as much sense as anything.

I however, am cheering on the couple with "WOOHOO! CARESS EACH OTHER!" as desjardins no doubt intended
posted by barnacles at 8:57 PM on April 3, 2011


Oh college days, and the peccadilloes of youth...Not having sex on the roof.

Get off my roof.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:07 PM on April 3, 2011


Which makes me think they very well get labelled as sex offenders.

If that happens, then this country has well and truly been taken over by the prudish American Taliban, and we should enjoy our complementary jackboots.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:21 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


My girlfriend and I fucked in the campus main library broom closet once. The only reason we didn't do it on the roof is because we couldn't get to the roof.

And can we get some statues of these people in public places somewhere? Truly beautiful forms.
posted by telstar at 2:30 AM on April 4, 2011


And can we get some statues of these people in public places somewhere? Truly beautiful forms.

Seriously? Don't you think we should aim a little higher for our heroes?

At least 20th floor.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 AM on April 4, 2011


What if you lived in a highrise and someone comes out onto their balcony, and you're on your own balcony, and they turn, look at you, and start jerking off? You're possibly fifty feet away, but they're still being lewd and it's directed at you even if they aren't within x feet of you.

Well, I'd go inside. Or possibly yell derogatory things, depending on my mood. I could even pick up the phone and call the police if I were really upset about it or thought my kids were made uncomfortable because they had been exposed to someone who got off on their discomfort. And I might take a picture for evidence.

But two people enjoying consensual sex with each other are not using my own discomfort to get off. They're just enjoying the added excitement that comes with the possibility of being caught having sex in a semi-public place. And I say, "semi-public" because the roof is otherwise uninhabited and you had to be looking up at the roof to even see they were there. Which, sadly for them, some people did, and out of some voyeuristic tendencies of their own, decided to film the entire thing. I don't blame the photographer for putting those in a private photobucket album. Shame they went viral, though.

Then why not just publish pornography without any censorship or parents of children getting bent out of shape about it? If having sex in public is fine and no one should get punished for it. I'm assuming if they want to have sex in the middle of the afternoon at a playground, then that's fine, people should just stay away?

*Sigh*. There are specific laws that prohibit materials from being sold to minors, and specific penalties for sex acts or lewdness around schools or playgrounds that help to keep sex offenders away.

These aren't sex offenders to, I would say, the vast majority of us. Indecent exposure is the worst I think they should get charged with, but that also carries a stigma in the U.S., where I think it makes you a registered sex offender. I would hope the police would just go with something like "trespassing" and let that go. We have nudity laws for a reason, of course, but those laws can be abused, too. We want women to be able to nurse in public, right? Are we going to be offended if our kids see an exposed nipple?!

Now, I'm a parent. So, let's say when my kids were younger, they somehow looked up and saw these two people having sex on the roof. How would I handle it? Depends on their age, of course, because very young children don't know what sex is, older ones tend to equate sex with having babies, and older still know a lot more than you give them credit for usually (though sometimes they don't have their facts straight, which is why I think it is important to keep a dialog open). In general, I'd tell my kids that the two people are playing a private game that adults play and they were being a bit silly because they were doing it out in the open, and then I'd just change the subject.

It's crazy to me that the fraternity guy is going to be suspended, though. Why? I'd rather students be doing stuff like this than, say, drinking underage or getting into fights.
posted by misha at 6:25 AM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


They're just enjoying the added excitement that comes with the possibility of being caught having sex in a semi-public place.

It's pretty tough then for them to complain about being caught, isn't it?

But as to the other issue, it would be utterly absurd if they were placed on some sort of sex offender registry for this. But then the US criminal system seems raft with things that seem utterly absurd to me (jail for marijuana? really?), so who knows.
posted by modernnomad at 6:58 AM on April 4, 2011


Now, I'm a parent. So, let's say when my kids were younger, they somehow looked up and saw these two people having sex on the roof.

When I was around 9, me and my family stumbled upon two monkeys humping in a cage at the DC zoo. I figured out what was happened and my mom merely let out an "Oh, Gawd..."
FWIW.

I'd rather students be doing stuff like this than, say, drinking underage

I'd go dollars to doughnuts that drinking was involved with this stunt.
posted by jonmc at 7:34 AM on April 4, 2011


Just a weird, random thought - there are some people that have a fetish for high places. It's called acrophilia, and I knew someone who had it (though we never did anything about it). No idea if that's involved here, but I wouldn't rule it out.
posted by desjardins at 7:41 AM on April 4, 2011


When I was in college the roof was the best place to smoke because you could monitor the situation below for law enforcement, toss evidence into a tree if necessary, and get lost in the jungle of a building on the way down to run and hide somewhere.



I thought the song reference in the title was funny
posted by WeekendJen at 8:25 AM on April 4, 2011


These two were not getting off on harming children or intimidating passers-by, though I suppose you could accuse them of narcissistic thrill-seeking. But that's not really a crime. Slap them with a fine, let it be a misdemeanor from their college days, let it go. They didn't kill anyone, they didn't destroy property.

It was dumb of the photographer to think that "private" means a lot once you post a pic on the internet and people can ctrl-C that sucker wherever they please. It was dumb of the couple to do something on a rooftop in view of so many windows. Dumb /= vicious or dangerous.
posted by emjaybee at 8:31 AM on April 4, 2011


What's with the feminist snark here? I don't understand it.

On the one hand, I don't think our law and culture has caught up with the consequences of digital photography and the way it enables copying of photographs to a much greater extent than previously was possible. Kohei Yoshiyuki was working in Japan during the '70s where public trysts were a consequence of limited real estate and he had control of the print-making process. These days, everyone has a camera and a potential audience of thousands. So you get kids who screw up and get charged with anti-porn statutes designed to prosecute hardened pedophiles.

It seems to me that there should be a distinction between public indecency and harassment. The former gets a slap on the wrist and possible pre-trial diversion. The latter should be treated much more seriously.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:00 AM on April 4, 2011


For what it's worth on the whole "is this sexual harassment of passersby" question, that building is much taller than any nearby buildings; without a good telephoto lens those two would be basically invisible to anyone not actually on the roof with them. (Birnkrant, where the photographer was, is a full block away and maybe half the height.)

I kind of don't believe the photographer's story about how his neighbor just accidentally happened to spot this and he just happened to have a really good telephoto lens at the ready.
posted by ook at 9:21 AM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, I'll pose a naked-eye/ear standard as a way to define reasonable efforts to create privacy.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:37 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was in college the roof was the best place to smoke because you could [...] toss evidence into a tree if necessary

I can see a potential downside to that plan.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:08 AM on April 4, 2011


Trees can hide spiders, so they can burn in hell. Or a nice brick oven.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:15 AM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


It was never a problem.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:29 AM on April 4, 2011


Brando Blatcher, are you suggesting the couple should have climbed a tree, or had sex with spiders, or had sex with spiders in a tree, or had sex with spiders in a nice brick oven?

Clarification please.
posted by misha at 10:31 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, Brando! Yeah, that's you.
sorry I messed up your name. Please do not despouse me.
posted by misha at 10:32 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


misha, were you talking to this guy?
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:09 AM on April 4, 2011


The more I think about it, this whole scandal wouldn't be possible without technology. The original photos don't appear to have been well-framed with a telephoto lens, and don't strike me as overly suggestive without extensive post-processing worthy of a CSI episode.

Hence the naked eye rule. If I'm doing it in plain view to your naked eye, that's my problem. If you're using a zoom and/or digital-processing tools to catch me doing it, that's your problem.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:42 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


And if I'm doing it in plain view explicitly without your permission and the intent on making people around me uncomfortable, that's harassment. The city-bus flasher doesn't need to be an indictment of every couple caught in a broom closet, seemingly private balcony, or with the window open. If we can make a distinction between the flasher on the street and a woman caught going commando by a flash camera, we can make this one.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:59 AM on April 4, 2011


When I was around 9, me and my family stumbled upon two monkeys humping in a cage at the DC zoo. I figured out what was happened and my mom merely let out an "Oh, Gawd..."

Obviously, just another sign of the puritanical Christian American culture. The correct response from a parent is "Fuck yeah, Darwin!" finchburger
posted by formless at 12:39 PM on April 4, 2011


A) I was doing college wrong, clearly.

You and me both. Thank god this technology wasn't around when I was at USC, or... there'd be pictures of me up late at night in the computer lab.
posted by Zed at 4:04 PM on April 4, 2011


But two people enjoying consensual sex with each other are not using my own discomfort to get off. They're just enjoying the added excitement that comes with the possibility of being caught having sex in a semi-public place.

That seems like a fairly narrow distinction.
posted by ryanrs at 4:19 PM on April 4, 2011


But two people enjoying consensual sex with each other are not using my own discomfort to get off. They're just enjoying the added excitement that comes with the possibility of being caught having sex in a semi-public place.

That seems like a fairly narrow distinction.


Here's a clearer one: the semi-public couple are getting off on each other and the threat of discovery, a threat which endangers them in terms of being shamed publicly or whatever. The offender is getting off specifically on the fact that you are being forced to watch him (or her, less commonly), and the threat is directed towards the viewer rather than the actor. The offender isn't afraid of getting caught, they're trying to get caught, getting caught is where it all starts for them as a compulsion.

So here's my bright line: would the actor or actors in question be having just as much fun if no one saw them? In the case of the kids on the roof, certainly. In the case of the subway flasher, not at all.
posted by Errant at 5:24 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


...are you suggesting the couple should have climbed a tree, or had sex with spiders, or had sex with spiders in a tree, or had sex with spiders in a nice brick oven?

They should have used a lighting kit and HD video.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:44 PM on April 4, 2011


Yeah, Errant's called it my opinion. To make the line brighter, the flasher is into humiliation and sexual harassment. The public-sex couple will make at least a token effort of not being seen (the naked-eye rule), and on top of a 150-foot structure with a three-foot brick wall around the edge strikes me as at least an effort. Sure, it's stupid and they got caught. But it's not harassment, which may not even be about sexual desire at all.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:11 PM on April 4, 2011


would the actor or actors in question be having just as much fun if no one saw them?

Errant, I think it's a mistake to define it in those terms. I think a better test would hinge on whether the act was knowingly directed at a particular person, be it a fellow subway passenger or a neighbor on a balcony.
posted by ryanrs at 6:30 PM on April 4, 2011


I guess I think of these situations in the same was I think of assault. Assault exists largely in the mind of the assaulted, in that the presence or absence of reasonable feelings of fear (for example) is key in determining if assault occurred. But at the same time, the assaulter must have some measure of specific intent towards the assaulted. For example, I do not feel you can assault someone you didn't know was there.

Note: this is my thinking regarding assault, and it is only vaguely informed by the actual laws on the matter.
posted by ryanrs at 6:41 PM on April 4, 2011


Sure, conscious or deliberate targeting is definitely a metric; that's the point I was trying to make in my first paragraph, and also why "not using my own discomfort to get off" works for me as a distinction. We can never discern intent with 100% accuracy, but it's not usually that hard to tell when someone is seeking you out to get at you versus you coming across someone doing something you don't like. My point in the second paragraph was, restated, that if the action would reasonably have occurred without the audience, intent to harass an audience doesn't seem to be present.
posted by Errant at 8:27 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or, I guess, it's the difference between them using their discomfort to get off and them using my discomfort to get off.
posted by Errant at 8:29 PM on April 4, 2011


would the actor or actors in question be having just as much fun if no one saw them?

Would all of us commenters be having as much if we didn't have them to stare and gawk at and talk about and make a buck off?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:32 PM on April 4, 2011


The joys of exhibitionism are not confined to the Californian soil. Last year a couple was photographed by amused spectators at a bus stop just outside a University in Sydney.
posted by skauskas at 6:28 AM on April 5, 2011


I'm sorry. These people didn't do anything wrong. People get caught on camera fucking all the time. In some cases they are in their own habitations. Sometimes they're ten feet away from their roommates. I don't want to sound like some trite "sex-positive" voyeurism fetishist, but the worst this could ever be called is annoying. Turning every other thing into a sex crime makes more sex crimes, but the number of victims remains the same.
posted by Arquimedez Pozo at 8:27 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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