Penises, though—well, that was a new one.
July 28, 2015 3:32 PM   Subscribe

The Rocket Cat Café in Philadelphia has recently had to apologize for letting a naked guy walk around for an hour with the owner's permission. A misguided promotion for the Philly Naked Bike Ride, the naked man drew attention thanks to Sarah Grey (previously), who has written her side of the story. And if you're interested, there's also a (surprisingly not naughty) limerick.
posted by graymouser (165 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
You have got to be fucking kidding me.
posted by sciatrix at 3:36 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


He snarled at me and yelled that I was a “Spockist” (a reference, I gather, to Benjamin Spock’s theories on children and adult nudity).
posted by Nevin at 3:36 PM on July 28, 2015


snarled?
posted by sparklemotion at 3:38 PM on July 28, 2015


The Naked Bike Ride is one thing, but Jesus Murphy, having a naked guy hanging around all day in a bloody cafe. It's the classic scenario of a geeky culture never being able to say no to the assholes that hang around the group.
posted by Nevin at 3:41 PM on July 28, 2015 [60 favorites]


Is that one of the guys from KISS?
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:42 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


World Naked Bike Ride is pretty cool. I spontaneously joined in the Toronto ride a few years ago (fully dressed, including gloves and helmet) when they rode past me and looked like they were having a blast. No one chided me for staying covered up, and I got to enjoy watching the spectators react mostly pretty damn positively. Even people with kids seemed OK with it.

BUT having J. Random Naked Dude walk around an enclosed space while trying to engage you in conversation is not the same experience at all. What the FUCK was the cafe owner thinking?
posted by maudlin at 3:42 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, and let's not forget the part where she says he has talked about flashing people on elevators. I'm all for being sex-positive, but that shouldn't include bringing other people into your sex life without their consent. Jesus.

Also, from The Onion: Naked Man Only One Comfortable With His Body (NSFW)
posted by teponaztli at 3:44 PM on July 28, 2015 [20 favorites]


How has this dick (joke intended) NOT been charged with aggravated indecent exposure yet?
posted by yhbc at 3:49 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


There once was a man from Philly
Who liked to show off his willy
Though his lava balls boiled
His member recoiled
The coffee shop must have been chilly
posted by Kabanos at 3:49 PM on July 28, 2015 [63 favorites]


I think that if you're a global naked bike-riding event and you want people to believe that you're really about promoting environmentalism and positive body image, rather than providing social-justice-y window-dressing for creeps, then you'd better police this kind of thing pretty intensely. Because honestly, if this dude really is the Philly co-organizer, that's not doing much for the event's credibility.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:52 PM on July 28, 2015 [39 favorites]


I've heard that if you go to a naturist group event, it's great and super comfortable. But every evangelical nudist I have ever encountered was creepy, even the ones I never saw naked. They keep the rest of us clinging to our clothes.
posted by elizilla at 3:53 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


J. Random Naked Dude

How is this not a sockpuppet account name yet?
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:53 PM on July 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


Dimitriou, though, was less apologetic. He downplayed critiques from customers who said that they were forced to see him nude without giving their permission. "I had permission from the owner. I figured that's good enough. This thing about consent is an affront to our civil liberties. If someone gives you permission to be naked at their venue, and you don't like it, then leave."
No Shirt No Shoes No Peace
posted by griphus at 3:55 PM on July 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


Why not call the health inspector?
posted by thecjm at 3:58 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


OK fair enough there should have been a warning, but after complaining to the staff why not just pack up and leave the joint?

Because that leaves an admitted pervert naked in a public coffee shop? Her staying eventually convinced this guy to leave, so it seemed to be at least somewhat effective.
posted by muddgirl at 4:02 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeahhhh, summer in Philly, wear some clothes.
posted by theora55 at 4:07 PM on July 28, 2015


Ok, new rule everyone, so pay attention!

If you own a business, it's not a good idea to have someone walking around who's naked, unless you're in the porn business. Even then, it's a bit odd. So just don't don't, no matter if you're owner, employee, customer or just a rando.

Seriously, whatever the cause is, this is just a dumb ass idea. Don't do it.

I shouldn't have to write these sort of things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:09 PM on July 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


Also, the first person that tries the "But what if it was woman argument" gets smacked and not in a good way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:10 PM on July 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


It already happened, natch.
posted by gilrain at 4:12 PM on July 28, 2015


Is there an actual disorder or something that prevents people from understanding how meter works? Because a lot of people who write awful poems seem to not even recognize its existence.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:13 PM on July 28, 2015 [40 favorites]


"This thing about consent is an affront to our civil liberties... That business about nudity hurting children is a bunch of baloney."

Oh, this guy. This guy. This old-fashioned hippie-ass crap from the men of the '60s who didn't give a good goddamn about women so long as they were there to provide Free Love. To see this man's face and haircut is to know him. The genitals are unnecessary.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:15 PM on July 28, 2015 [81 favorites]


I was considering doing the Philly Naked Bike Ride this year. It would've been my first Naked Ride ever. Now? Nope. Definitely nope nope nope if this is the type of person who represents it.
posted by schroedinger at 4:22 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't know if it matters, but the naked bike ride has cut ties with him.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:24 PM on July 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


I am more offended that the limerick doesn't scan than pretty much anything.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:26 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Just kidding. I don't want random hippie balls near my coffee.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:28 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wow, that really is an egregious mis-limericking. It's not a difficult form, either.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 4:30 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


"I had permission from the owner. I figured that's good enough. This thing about consent is an affront to our civil liberties. If someone gives you permission to be naked at their venue, and you don't like it, then leave."

No. No, it's not good enough. It's nowhere near good enough. There should have been signs, warnings, notice ahead of time that this dingbat was going to be slinging his jingles all over a business frequented by persons of all ages. Public nudity consumption should the fuck be an opt-IN thing, not opt-OUT, damn it.
posted by angeline at 4:30 PM on July 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


Would you accept well ordered, low-entropy hippie balls?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:30 PM on July 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, the first person that tries the "But what if it was woman argument" gets smacked and not in a good way.

BUT BUT BUT what if it were a classical statue magically brought to life? Through wizardry? Would it be okay then, or do you hate all civilization? CATCHMATE, FEMMISTS.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:33 PM on July 28, 2015 [56 favorites]


If I had been sitting there and this happened to me I would have attacked the guy. Not because I am a violent person, but I've been with my girlfriends and seen enough guys wagging their dicks not 5 feet away and it's fucking terrifying. The Naked Bike Ride is one thing because you're typically with friends and everyone is jolly (although my girlfriend at the time and I didn't go to the last few because we felt like too many drunk fratty bros were ruining it) but c'mon.
posted by gucci mane at 4:35 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ok so he's naked BFD. I don't understand the outrage. Of the obnoxious strangers if a coffee shop this one seems about middling. What if he'd been fully dressed but vocal in promoting the naked ride? Wouldn't that be just as obnoxious?
Obnoxious people in coffee shops come in many kinds of attire (or lack).

Also the negative comments about his physical form are not cool. Are we supposed to hate him more because his dick isn't very large and had hairy balls. Would it have been ok if he'd had an fully shorn scrotum and an erect 9" cock with a tattoo that advertised naked bike ride?

This whole article makes me more uncomfortable than naked guy does.
posted by humanfont at 4:38 PM on July 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


Also, the owner of Rocket Cat may be a woman so everyone can skip the "what if it was a woman" and go straight to "the owner is a woman and gave him permission!"
posted by gucci mane at 4:39 PM on July 28, 2015



Would you accept well ordered, low-entropy hippie balls?


*calculator noises*



Nope.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:40 PM on July 28, 2015 [29 favorites]


What if he'd been fully dressed but vocal in promoting the naked ride? Wouldn't that be just as obnoxious?
No?
This whole article makes me more uncomfortable than naked guy does.
Well, then, that's clearly settled then.

I don't want to deal with the kind of guy who thinks that he can stick his balls in my face and it doesn't matter if I'm uncomfortable because reasons. That guy is an asshole. There are many other kinds of asshole, but that's sort of irrelevant.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:41 PM on July 28, 2015 [37 favorites]


Ok so he's naked BFD. I don't understand the outrage. Of the obnoxious strangers if a coffee shop this one seems about middling. What if he'd been fully dressed but vocal in promoting the naked ride? Wouldn't that be just as obnoxious?
Obnoxious people in coffee shops come in many kinds of attire (or lack).


mmmmperhaps the weight of history of men using their genitals to intimidate or assault women and children informs the reaction of people who are uncomfortable with a nude male intruding in their personal space with his genitals very close to their faces and/or food

i think a clothed person would be more commonplace and therefore less unsettling and/or intimidating
posted by Existential Dread at 4:42 PM on July 28, 2015 [72 favorites]


Rocket Cat seems, uh, like a pretty good nickname for your genitals, regardless of gender. Well, maybe “Rocket Cat” and “Cat Rocket”
posted by Going To Maine at 4:42 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also the negative comments about his physical form are not cool. Are we supposed to hate him more because his dick isn't very large and had hairy balls. Would it have been ok if he'd had an fully shorn scrotum and an erect 9" cock with a tattoo that advertised naked bike ride?

Yes, yes he was being oppressed by our normative ideas of what a conventional bodytype might be blah blah blah.

You did read the article did you not? Especially the part where the guy is apparently a flasher.

I don't know what it's like south of the 49th Parallel, but up here people get arrested for exposing themselves to other people. It's nonconsensual.
posted by Nevin at 4:42 PM on July 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


> Public nudity consumption should the fuck be an opt-IN thing, not opt-OUT, damn it.

Okay, I'm game. I'm not, repeat, not going to make the case that this sitch would be better if the bozo in the coffee shop was a nude woman.

But there are certainly times and places where public nudity gets a pass over others, even unexpected, Opt-Out public nudity, and yeah, quite a lot of these that come to mind are feminist demonstrations. I respectfully question whether you stand by the "opt-out of public nudity line" in that case when free speech and assembly are at stake.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:43 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ok so he's naked BFD. I don't understand the outrage.

He's naked in public and people do not appear to have been warned ahead of time about it? And not everyone in the free world is as calm and relaxed about surprise hairy ballsacks as you? In fact some people might find having a stranger's genitals basically shoved in their face to be traumatic?
posted by angeline at 4:43 PM on July 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Ok so he's naked BFD. I don't understand the outrage. Of the obnoxious strangers if a coffee shop this one seems about middling. What if he'd been fully dressed but vocal in promoting the naked ride? Wouldn't that be just as obnoxious. Obnoxious people in coffee shops come in many kinds of attire (or lack).

Where do you get coffee so I can not?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:43 PM on July 28, 2015 [28 favorites]


The patrons were free to leave. It seems a bit silly to get upset about it, rather than just laugh it off as another example of the human comedy, a funny thing that happened to you today.
posted by jayder at 4:46 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Was he sitting on couches and stuff too. Better do a thorough disinfecting of the entire cafe just to be safe. Hire professionals and stick him with the bill.
posted by naju at 4:46 PM on July 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I respectfully question whether you stand by the "opt-out of public nudity line" in that case when free speech and assembly are at stake.

If the event is publicized as one where nudity is a virtual certainty then I have no problem with it at all, no. That's my problem with this. Not the nudity, but that it was apparently sprung on people. I don't think it's unreasonable to have a certain expectation of not having anyone's genitals in my face, regardless of configuration, when I'm just going for a latte and a chocolate croissant.
posted by angeline at 4:47 PM on July 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't even understand why this guy felt the need to "advertise" a naked bike ride. What could be more enticing than sunburned genitals and saddle sores?
posted by indubitable at 4:48 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's BUCK naked, isn't it? Isn't it?
posted by humboldt32 at 4:50 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wait, what? So I'm supposed to just walk out on the coffee, and possibly food, I've paid for, because I am uncharmed and unamused by the creeper who non-consensually got all up in my face with his junk?
posted by skybluepink at 4:52 PM on July 28, 2015 [25 favorites]


I admit, something like this kind of suggests to me that the level of trust people are asked to have that fellow participants are not actually there because they're sexual exhibitionists is kind of misplaced, for these naked bike rides. It's possible that a picture of body-positive nudity on Tumblr could be of someone who really just wanted to get off on it and we could be misled, but generally they only get shared if they seem non-creepy. There's some filtering going on, there, by the community of people who want to see that sort of thing. And I have huge body image issues--I really do want to see enough stretch marks on a regular basis that mine don't give me nightmares, you know?

Something like this... I don't mind seeing male nudity, but just hearing about this story was rough enough for me that the thought occurred that maybe tonight is a bad night to do the grocery store, because I'm not going to be able to avoid thinking that I'm going to accidentally run into someone who is going to do something like this, aggressively involving me in their kink without my okay. The problem isn't, strictly speaking, the lack of clothes. The problem is attitude, but the attitude is more likely to go with lack of clothes than just standing around in a coffee shop in normal street clothes, and nobody made any attempt to discern whether this guy was going to be creepy ahead of time and act as that filter. I'm 100% behind movements to promote all kinds of body positivity, but if you aren't making a really serious commitment to making sure people there for sexual fetish purposes aren't welcome, I don't know how you're possibly going to make those of us with severe body image issues comfortable in that space.

At which point, I wonder, even if not everybody's there for sexual purposes, is the event about promoting better body image, or is it about some people's sexual fetishes, and other people getting to feel socially transgressive, and maybe not as much about body image at all? I dunno. I cannot picture that the organizers of this let this guy get seriously involved and didn't know he was about something other than body positivity.
posted by Sequence at 4:53 PM on July 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


> I don't think it's unreasonable to have a certain expectation of not having anyone's genitals in my face, regardless of configuration, when I'm just going for a latte and a chocolate croissant.

I agree in that case, and I think this was a capital fuckup by the owner.

But how about a nude flash mob in a public square? Secretly-orchestrated topless demo at the convention center when some politician comes 'round? Are these offensive acts?

adding: I'm not trying to pick on you, but I'd rather not see such a firm line drawn over all public displays. We should definitely have (already!) an understanding with your coffee shop or any other business over what's acceptable to display to unaware patrons vs. what is, and this owner really screwed up.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:54 PM on July 28, 2015


The stuff about kids is so fucked up too. If there's a naked stranger approaching my (hypothetical) kids when I'm not around, I would teach them to leave the area and seek help from an adult they can trust as soon as possible. That's because naked strangers should be setting your parent alarm bells and your kids' alarm bells too! What is wrong with this guy seriously
posted by naju at 4:55 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


That really is a painful limerick. Let's all rewrite it!

One time to my local cafe
A nudist did gleefully stray;
Though his pretext was pride
In a bicycle ride,
To thy balls, my good sir, we say "nay."
posted by ostro at 4:58 PM on July 28, 2015 [58 favorites]


But how about a nude flash mob in a public square? Secretly-orchestrated topless demo at the convention center when some politician comes 'round? Are these offensive acts?

Yes. Indeed, I'd assume that the second one is being done explicitly to offend people. The first one might just be naïvete on the part of the organizers.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:58 PM on July 28, 2015


But there are certainly times and places where public nudity gets a pass over others, even unexpected, Opt-Out public nudity, and yeah, quite a lot of these that come to mind are feminist demonstrations.

I presume you're equating exposed boobs with full frontal nudity, then, which is not exactly fair. Unless you've seen a lot of swinging labia at your feminist demonstrations, in which case, fair enough.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:00 PM on July 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


But how about a nude flash mob in a public square? Secretly-orchestrated topless demo at the convention center when some politician comes 'round? Are these offensive acts?

I understand the sentiment, but yeah, still not particularly comfortable with either scenario. Still, I get what you're saying. I think the difference between your suggestions and what happened at that cafe is that the dude in the cafe was apparently rather aggressive about his nudity, and in your scenarios there would hopefully be a certain lack of that? They'd be nude, but not necessarily really getting in people's faces about it like this guy was, and I would also hope that anyone organizing events on a scale like that would have some sort of screening process that would do its best to keep admitted predators out of the mix.
posted by angeline at 5:01 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Was he sitting on couches and stuff too. Better do a thorough disinfecting of the entire cafe just to be safe. Hire professionals and stick him with the bill.

A nudist thing is to have your own towel to sit on... I remember this from when they once had a nudist on, I think Big Brother, or similar show. I've no idea why my brain remembers stuff like this.

Oh and I'm on the no side for nudists in the coffee shop
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:02 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


The hot new jazz sensations The Swingin’ Labia will be playing The Uptown tomorrow night! $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:03 PM on July 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


There's a difference between a public group of naked people (especially protestors) who aren't interacting one-on-one with individual passers-by and bystanders and this guy, who's approaching and talking to individuals. The concern level is compounded both by the presence of food and by the fact that the nudist is approaching seated people. The level of boundary-crossing involved in approaching seated people genitals-first would bother me personally without knowing anything else. YMMV.

The cafe owner made a bad judgment call here, but then again, she may have expected not just more body paint but better cluefulness about appropriate behavior from her nude bike proselytizer.
posted by immlass at 5:03 PM on July 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


This thing about consent is an affront to our civil liberties.

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

He's a creeper. How is that not explicitly "I am a creeper and an asshole"?

Like, he doesn't care if he makes the real people around him uncomfortable because he has ~permission~ from someone who isn't even there. You know what happens when you have permission to distribute anything and the person who gave permission who ought to be overseeing all that isn't there? You don't fucking distribute because you don't have the fucking supervisor there. That he went ahead with that anyway and got offended when people were offended says a hell of a lot about what his priorities were.
posted by E. Whitehall at 5:04 PM on July 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


This thread basically represents every Internet discussion ever.
posted by Nevin at 5:07 PM on July 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


In this context, the naked guy's approach would feel exactly like being flashed on the train or something. I would absolutely not read a nude flash mob or political protestors that way.
posted by skybluepink at 5:08 PM on July 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


I can't find much about nude flash mobs in public besides VH1 pulling off some stunt like that in LA.

The Naked Bike Ride, if it's anything like it is in Portland, is sanctioned by the city and there are police along the route to stop people from being harassed or to help with complaints. AFAIK it use to be unsanctioned but had thousands of people going to it so it was well-known.

This is a cafe that apparently did not advertise this beforehand and had a guy who had talked about flashing people in the past, and then when confronted with someone upset about this basically said consent is bullshit. That's literally some brogressive "don't body shame me because I put my dick in your face!" shit I'd expect to see from MRAs.
posted by gucci mane at 5:11 PM on July 28, 2015 [40 favorites]


The inability to grok why exposure to unplanned nudity in an enclosed space is different from other examples of public nudity is literally why we can't have nice things like public nudity.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:12 PM on July 28, 2015 [55 favorites]


Several witnesses were said to have had a stroke, but most wouldn't touch the damn thing.
posted by dr_dank at 5:13 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]



But there are certainly times and places where public nudity gets a pass over others

posted by Sunburnt


Eponysterical.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 5:13 PM on July 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


There's a difference between a public group of naked people (especially protestors) who aren't interacting one-on-one with individual passers-by and bystanders and this guy, who's approaching and talking to individuals.

Damn straight. World Naked Bike Ride, as designed, consists of a bunch of naked people riding by on their bikes, some of them waving and smiling at you. At least in Toronto, this seems to be something tolerated or enjoyed by surprised spectators. But if a few of these naked people got off their bikes and walked within touching distance of you on a public street to hand out flyers, more of those spectators would feel uncomfortable. And if these cyclists then walked into a local shop to hand out those flyers, the ratio of sanguine-to-shocked would shift even more.
posted by maudlin at 5:15 PM on July 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


Good for Sarah Grey for speaking up.

A year or so ago I encountered a guy with his pants down in the Dunkin Donuts across from my work. It's a few doors down from a homeless shelter so stuff like that happens sometimes. Everyone in the seating area was doing the "if I ignore him he'll go away" thing. It's usually just the tourists from the Travelodge across the street who aren't into adventurous food who sit and eat there (everyone else grabs their food to go)--they were all probably like "I told my mother not to worry about my trip and now this happens." Anyway, I got the manager's attention. He was on it like a flash and I felt like a hero for the rest of the day.
posted by hydrophonic at 5:15 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


> I'm not, repeat, not going to make the case that this sitch would be better if the bozo in the coffee shop was a nude woman.

Thank goodness!

> yeah, quite a lot of these that come to mind are feminist demonstrations.

Oh.

> But how about a nude flash mob in a public square? Secretly-orchestrated topless demo at the convention center when some politician comes 'round?

And your further examples (chest flashing, toplessness) are only "nudity" if you're a woman. You're doing a really bad job of not making a "but what if it was a woman" argument.
posted by gilrain at 5:17 PM on July 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, that's the other thing. Breasts aren't genitals. They're not sexual organs. They're secondary sex characteristics.
posted by angeline at 5:20 PM on July 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


> But how about a nude flash mob in a public square? Secretly-orchestrated topless demo at the convention center when some politician comes 'round?

How about this? Crazy fellow is shouting obscenities as he walks down the sidewalk. He doesn't look at you and walk right on by.

Versus...

Crazy fellow is shouting obscenities on the sidewalk. He walks up to you and shouts obscenities in your face.

What's the difference?
posted by Nevin at 5:20 PM on July 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


Oh hey that last one happened to me a few months ago! I mean, both ends of that last scenario.

I ignored the crazy fellow shouting obscenities into the crowd completely until he told me to remember I had ovaries, whereupon I collapsed giggling onto my partner. The crazy fellow who strode up to us and followed us as we walked, screaming obscenities directly into my face? Yeah, that dude got some snarled obscenities right back, and if I'd been on my own turf (instead of on a public street--and yes, my local coffee shop qualifies as "mine") I would absolutely have shouted at him repeatedly until he left or someone in actual authority took care of it. Assuming he was not about to physically assault me, anyway, which was an actual worry from the shouting drunk guy.

Do I win?

BTW, both of these dudes were way more offensive than someone standing around at our local nudist springs or taking part in an advertised and sanctioned nude bike race would be. Frankly they were also both more offensive than someone shouting homophobic shit at me from a car as they drove off would have been, too, since that case involves someone leaving before they can evaluate whether I'm uncomfortable or not.

(I would totally also have followed this asshat around shouting until someone went away/called the police/made a huge loud angry fuss, because what. the. fuck. And I would have insulted his hairy testicles while I'm at it, because holy shit when you tell me that this "consent" malarky needs to be done away with already and you wave your dick in my face, you give up your right to not have your fucking body mocked back!)
posted by sciatrix at 5:31 PM on July 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


I admit, something like this kind of suggests to me that the level of trust people are asked to have that fellow participants are not actually there because they're sexual exhibitionists is kind of misplaced, for these naked bike rides.

I haven't been to a naked bike ride (at least in their current form) but I have been to a lot of nude beaches and other clothing-optional situations. And yes, there often is a person (or several people) who look like they are probably getting off on being nude in public. It happens, and as long as it isn't intrusive or overt people seem to mostly gloss over it, just like the participants in the naked bike rides make their peace with the fact that a certain number of observers are watching the nakedness with sexual interest.

The situation described here is another level of grossness entirely, and I feel bad for everyone who had to deal with it. I had a similar situation once, and it left me feeling dirty (simply for being an observer) for a long time after.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:33 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some people have a not so pleasant history involving the genitals of another person. Many of these people are women, understandably(not all, of course). Some people enjoy the surprise of a naked person. Most people less so, especially when it is not someone they know (and does not lead to fun sexy times). YMMV, so being respectful of others in regards to your junk seems to be the tactful thing to do.
posted by triage_lazarus at 5:43 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's universally unacceptable to stick your dick in strangers' faces in all but a very, very few select contexts, and this was not one of them
posted by clockzero at 5:46 PM on July 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am just like remembering sitting around outside my local -- one of the tables off to the side of the building, where you get the beer dudes and the 'this is not vodka in my jacket, nope, nope' -- having a coffee and trying to think of the right fucking word in my fucking sentence, which is probably "a" OR "the" but what the FUCK are the Strunk&White rules about a or the, have you got a fucking answer for that, S&W??? and then ... dick in my face.

Like, when that happened to me (plus the S&W ranting, somehow I remember that particular detail super clearly, I was a bit frustrated with this particular sentence at the time and if I recall right I'd spent an entire coffee arguing with myself about it) the dick was summarily shoved into/against my mouth when I turned my head and went !?!?! so I am probably a bit snarly about this one, but: NO. NO NO NO. FUCK OFF, DUDE. NO.

Do not approach strangers crotch-first. NAKED crotch first.

I am so sorry for whoever has likely had this dude shove their balls into their face or rubbed up against them or been groped or flashed by this dude previously, because I am quite certain there has been a string of such people, stretching back years. I am so sorry. SO SORRY. I hope, whoever you are, this story brings you a frisson of ha! and not a frisson of aw god oh no if only I'd --, cut that out, please, it wasn't your fault, you're not alone, and this lady did as she did and you did as you did and both are totally okay, you're fine, it's the assholes who are not fucking FINE and should blame themselves for being ASSHOLES, and you are not one of those ASSHOLES, it is THIS DUDE.
posted by E. Whitehall at 6:05 PM on July 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


The Rocket Cat naked extremist
Who jiggled and dangled his penis
Was put on the defensive
When folks found it offensive
But the limerick - that's the obscenest.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:14 PM on July 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


I respectfully question whether you stand by the "opt-out of public nudity line" in that case when free speech and assembly are at stake.

Oh no, you got us all! Because if there is definitely one thing feminism's about, it's public nudity! Now we have to support some guy putting his uncovered asshole around our food because of our feminism! Good job, what an awesome gotcha you pulled there. Let's all go home, feminists, we've been defeated.

No, wait, I absolutely think that nudity is not a free speech. That's...not where words come from.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:17 PM on July 28, 2015 [33 favorites]


look at the man’s face—and recognized him instantly. I’d encountered him a few months before, at a “sex-positive” event, where I heard him describe his favorite ways to flash people in elevators.
posted by bq at 6:22 PM on July 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


How many ways are there to flash people in an elevator anyway

I bet they give them names

"The Thirteenth Floor"
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 6:24 PM on July 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I feel like if I was in a nice trendy cafe enjoying a delicious flat white coffee - the only possible coffee, I'm sorry to say - and some Gene Simmons-looking motherfucker was jiggling his sack in my ear (gross) and talking about bike rides (vomit) I would shove my complimentary biscotti down his dickhole. This would probably take a while, but I am a remarkably patient man when it comes to projects I am invested in.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:05 PM on July 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


See, it's all fun and games until someone sticks their dick in the frappacinos.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:08 PM on July 28, 2015


Mod note: several comments removed. Flag and move on, thanks.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:11 PM on July 28, 2015


complimentary biscotti

WHERE ARE YOU?
posted by Going To Maine at 7:12 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Australia, my friend. Specifically, Melbourne. The complimentary snacks in Brisbane tend to be of the butter or spiced or vanilla biscuit variety.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:15 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
-- Mark Twain
posted by bryon at 7:49 PM on July 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


I am pretty cool with nudity. I also don't think all nudity is sexual. I am totally cool and comfortable with my body and cool and comfortable with the bodies of people I'm close to (given the circumstances -- and even sometimes, people I'm not close to). If you want to be naked and I know you're going to be naked, hey, whatever! We're all humans! We all have the same parts (well, you know what I mean).

I also had an older man expose himself to me when I was 11 in a library (and possibly worse would've happened if I hadn't run away immediately) and then, as a 17-year-old retail employee, a man started masturbating in front of me while I was working.

I mean, I'm sure those dudes were just expressing their right to free speech and not trying to take advantage of a young girl or anything. Totally not sexual predators.

I completely understand that all people who like to be naked aren't sexual predators (although, this guy ... uh). But, well, for me, "consensual" (or "expected") nudity is completely different than "hey I'm just getting coffee and OH THERE IS A NAKED GUY RIGHT THERE."

So yes: Nude bike ride as advertised: Hey, cool. Naked dude in a coffee shop -- eh, probably not so much.
posted by darksong at 7:56 PM on July 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Why is it that this kind of discussion makes people pretend like there's absolutely no way that two cases that have one thing in common can be different in other ways? People make distinctions between situations with similar elements ALL THE TIME.

Look, it's not a difficult concept:

This is a guy being naked at people a situation where they can reasonably expect no naked guy. Furthermore, this is a guy who admits to getting off on it. He's involving other people in his sex acts without their consent. That's horrible.

Furthermore, this is a guy being naked around other people's food and drink. That's icky.

But, even if it wasn't possible to make decisions about the appropriateness of public nudity considering other factors, if the trade off we have to make so that women don't get harassed by a naked guy while they're just trying to drink a cup of coffee is that a flashmob where people strip is also doesn't happen, that's a pretty small loss for a REALLY large gain.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:57 PM on July 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


EEK! Said the woman unexpectedly seeing his genitals.
OUCH! He said as she accidentally spilled hot coffee on them.
HEE-HEE! Said everyone in the coffee shop who wished they were that clumsy--or quick-thinking.
posted by librosegretti at 8:10 PM on July 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


As a stripper who spends a lot of time naked at work, can I please say on behalf of all sane sex-positive and body-positive people, WTF.

Consent is crucial for nudity, and it goes both ways. I have to consent to be nude for you, and you have to consent to see me nude.

I've spent enough time naked that I sometimes find nudity to be an odd social construct. (It's just skin. I have it, you have it, we all have it. Why is the act of me showing you my skin a big enough deal that you want to pay me for it?) I definitely don't believe that all nudity is inherently sexual.

But regardless, nudity and two-way consent is a permeating aspect of our society, and I don't get to decide whether someone else should or should not feel violated by seeing my ladyparts. A strip club is one thing. An advertised nude bike ride is another. But a coffee shop in the morning is not in the same universe.

For fuck's sake, I've felt violated when customers exposed themselves in my presence, and that's within a strip club, in a small dark room after the guys have shelled out hundreds for a VIP session. (As one guy slowly and reluctantly pulled his pants back up, he said, "You can't blame me for trying." "Watch me.")

I honestly don't know how I would have handled this coffee shop situation. A variation of my fantasy script in my comment on the emotional labor thread, perhaps. "You are not paying me nearly enough to be putting this much of a damper on my morning coffee." Maybe followed by "WHERE IS THE BOUNCER ALREADY?"

WTF WTF WTF. Talk about giving body-positivity a bad name.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 8:18 PM on July 28, 2015 [52 favorites]


Mod note: Folks, the delete button is hot and the ban hammer is poised. Flag inane sexist catchphrases and *do not respond* so this thread can maybe not totally suck. Thanks.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:23 PM on July 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


As support for the idea that context matters, imagine if he decided the important part was to ride his bike around in the coffee shop. If a patron complained about that, it doesn't mean they also object to people riding bicycles on the street.
posted by RobotHero at 8:27 PM on July 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


humanfont: "Ok so he's naked BFD. I don't understand the outrage. Of the obnoxious strangers if a coffee shop this one seems about middling. What if he'd been fully dressed but vocal in promoting the naked ride? Wouldn't that be just as obnoxious?
Obnoxious people in coffee shops come in many kinds of attire (or lack).

Also the negative comments about his physical form are not cool. Are we supposed to hate him more because his dick isn't very large and had hairy balls. Would it have been ok if he'd had an fully shorn scrotum and an erect 9" cock with a tattoo that advertised naked bike ride?

This whole article makes me more uncomfortable than naked guy does.
"

Hygiene. It's all about the hygiene. I don't want man ass on my pastry. Man junk only goes in my face after at least dinner.
posted by Samizdata at 8:36 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


jayder: "The patrons were free to leave. It seems a bit silly to get upset about it, rather than just laugh it off as another example of the human comedy, a funny thing that happened to you today."

Why should they leave? There's more of... Nope, not going to go there...
posted by Samizdata at 8:38 PM on July 28, 2015


I honestly don't know how I would have handled this coffee shop situation.

I don't recommend the way I handled mine. I was so startled I auto-swatted, like, "EUGH *swat*", but my fingernails at the time were the sort that could cut packing tape. At the risk of making every ball-holder reading this thread cross their legs and go OH GAWD -- it turns out that scrotums are a bit more fragile than packing tape. It was not a fun afternoon for anybody.

The dude and the shop owner in this story here had several choices. He could have waited for the person who actually gave permission to be there while he did this thing, so there was a point of authority/contact for the private business he was naked in; presumably if she wasn't going to be in, she could have contacted him to arrange a specific time/date. He doesn't seem to have bothered to contact her or her to bother to contact him. He could have handed out flyers with his clothes on. He didn't. He could have announced himself, explained what he was doing, given fair warning that he was going to take off his clothes as an ad for so-and-so event. He didn't. The shop owner also could have given notice, either on a board or a chalkboard or some sort of posted notice, that this was a thing that was happening there from a particular time or between a particular timeframe. That didn't seem to happen either.

There were a lot of ways to handle this that would have mitigated a little bit of the disastrous context. But as it is, this dude was using those flyers as an excuse to expose himself without consent, and if I were the organisers of that event I would be incensed that my organisation was being used as a figleaf for some creepy asshole to expose himself like they were the get-out-of-consent card a responsible organisation of that sort would do their best not to be precisely because of situations like this occurring.
posted by E. Whitehall at 8:38 PM on July 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


I was out and about during the Portland World Naked Bike Ride this year and we saw parts of the "parade" of cyclists at various points and then we saw participants away from the group in various downtown locales -- gathering up with friends, whatever. People's reaction to the nakedness away from the group was... not great. Lascivious. Leering. Shocked. Whereas people seeing the group in mass seemed much more congenial and amused. I don't know, that was just my impression. Context matters. Perception of safety matters. Keep your dick away from my coffee probably doesn't need to be embroidered on a pillow but it's a good rule.
posted by amanda at 8:39 PM on July 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


My local cafe also offers the Delights of a Naked Stranger, but they do it right.
posted by Westringia F. at 8:50 PM on July 28, 2015


Fur flew as the patrons computered
The Rocket Cat Cafe was tutored
PR in the nude
Doesn't work well with food-
At most cat cafes, he'd be neutered
posted by ilana at 9:03 PM on July 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


Serious question: people pass gas. Some people pass gas a lot. The gas passed by clothèd people is filtered through one or more layers of clothing, which presumably helps trap any fecal particles expelled with the gas. But when nudists pass, the gas travels directly to the atmosphere. Am I right in supposing that nudists blast a cloud of feces every time they fart? Is this yet another reason to not have weird naked guys in coffee shops?
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:07 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think that's what butt hair is for. All is good. Carry on.
posted by Nevin at 9:24 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


"No, wait, I absolutely think that nudity is not a free speech. That's...not where words come from."

Clothing is expression, and a lack of clothing can certainly be expression.

The last time I got sucked into this debate was in the context of San Francisco cockrings and Scott Weiner (who was anti-). My mother is friends with, and has photographed, a group of disability rights activists (some of whom live in SF) for whom public, generally unpublicized, nudity is specifically contextualized as part of a political message about acceptable bodies and body shame, as well as specific assertions of their bodies as sexual. That their nudity is specifically assumed to be non-sexual and non-threatening is bound up in how people conceive of bodies and disability.

Many of my friends have seen me naked, or nearly naked, if only because I had a couple of months in the living room on a hospital bed in a gown. Notions of dignity were some of the first things I sacrificed. And the friends I grew up with, there are lakes and rivers and quarries and ponds everywhere. Pretty much everybody in Michigan has skinny-dipped at some point, to the extent that I was kinda surprised when I got talking to a coworker from rural Illinois who had never gone.

What matters for me is power. I was certainly at my most impotent when laid up; the conflation of sexual power and the physical ability to fulfill desires is part of the disability rights nudist performances. The nudist wasn't just going about his business — I have a lot less sympathy for people who see nudity and feel aesthetically affronted by fleshsacks, even imagined ones — instead, he was going out of his way to draw attention to his nudity and, from what it sounds like, confront women with it, communicating his belief in a power difference.

That said, it sort of sounds like the system worked. He took advantage of an instance of social trust in order to transgress social and sexual boundaries in an aggressive, anti-social way and someone called him out for being an asshole. The cafe owner and nude bike ride clarify that hey, that guy's an asshole. Grey's welcome to not accept the apology and not go to the cafe any more; Cap'n Dick Out sounds like he's not going to be welcome back as a sans-culotte.
posted by klangklangston at 9:37 PM on July 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


This coffee shop should take the opportunity to sell Freeze Peach -- a smooth peach sorbet with a hint of mint, served in two ball scoops.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:40 PM on July 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


which presumably helps trap any fecal particles expelled with the gas.

please go to the doctor if you are propelling out aerosolized shit when you fart like some kind of horrific shit atomizer
posted by kagredon at 9:43 PM on July 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


please go to the doctor if you are propelling out aerosolized shit when you fart like some kind of horrific shit nebulizer

Well, he could be a hippopotamus...
posted by Nevin at 9:48 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I watched a Vice documentary on poop last night, it was pretty interesting. There were these awesome poop storage tanks in Brooklyn (I think it was) that held like 3 million gallons of poop each. Some guy opened one of the release valves on one of the storage tanks and it made a big fart sound, which was of course funny. Then the poop gets pumped onto a ship and sent upriver to some island to be centrifuged to get the juice out, and then all the squeezed-out poop goes to this one nice little plant shop in New Jersey and you can pick strawberries grown from it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:51 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I guess the moral of the story is...be careful what you wish for.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:53 PM on July 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Why does nothing this entertaining happen when I'm at my local cafe? Two junkies had a punch on (no-one actually connected) out the front once but I live in Footscray so that's not an unusual sight.
posted by Wantok at 10:13 PM on July 28, 2015


To me it seems like this really wasn't even remotely about "advertising" the event, and is likely just another "of his favorite ways to flash people in" well in a cafe. He had clearly gotten a casual buy-in from the owner, who probably just didn't want to seem like a prude... and then proceeded to abuse the situation.

I'm not sure how a positive event for a naked bike ride would look like. But it definitely wouldn't involve one naked guy handing things out while people try to eat. Or even one topless guy, or to be honest, don't try to hand me flyers while I'm eating breakfast. Period.

There is no similarity between one surprise naked guy in a food establishment and a pile of naked people on bikes in a planned event.

Maybe Sarah Grey was overreacting, but clearly she has past super negative experiences with Dimitriou so she has some pretty good reasons. Maybe the kid thing was also overreactive and reaching. Maybe to didn't help her point to comment on his penis size.

But that is all well beside the point. She was totally right that he had no valid reason to be there. I really don't get trying to defend his position based on other hypothetically similar situations. This guy is in all probability a creep and at the very least needs to have what is wrong with his behaviour explained to him in detail (likely he knows), not defended.
posted by cirhosis at 10:49 PM on July 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I once played a gig at the Red & Black Cafe in Portland with Terri Sue Webb...
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:52 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


In this cafe there is some confusion
Re: my wish to see naked protrusions
This may sound a touch snotty
But only the biscotti
Are desirable near-face extrusions.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:55 PM on July 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


> So I'm supposed to just walk out on the coffee, and possibly food, I've paid for,

No, demand your money back.

> You're doing a really bad job of not making a "but what if it was a woman" argument.

In all honesty, I just can't think of any examples of male nudity-as-demonstration. Examples... er, make that descriptions of examples are welcome.

> There's a difference between a public group of naked people (especially protestors) who aren't interacting one-on-one with individual passers-by and bystanders and this guy, who's approaching and talking to individuals.

Yeah, much better point than mine.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:10 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


amanda: I was out and about during the Portland World Naked Bike Ride this year and we saw parts of the "parade" of cyclists at various points and then we saw participants away from the group in various downtown locales -- gathering up with friends, whatever. People's reaction to the nakedness away from the group was... not great. Lascivious. Leering. Shocked. Whereas people seeing the group in mass seemed much more congenial and amused. I don't know, that was just my impression. Context matters. Perception of safety matters. Keep your dick away from my coffee probably doesn't need to be embroidered on a pillow but it's a good rule.

I went to the Portland one in 2011 and 2012 and by 2013 it was like I said upthread: my girlfriend at the time and I were a little uncomfortable about the whole thing because it literally turned into a huge naked hang out bro party rather than this awesome thing to do with a whole point behind it. I ended up keeping my clothes on and going to the museum to look at bike exhibit instead and then went home. However, I will say a lot of those people are stopped because their friends called over to them and they wanted to talk about plans afterward or they all wanted to ride together. I basically just rode my naked ass off both years and said I'd find my friends later.

And Joseph Gurl, what happened to Terri Sue Webb? The wiki page you linked ominously says no one knows where she is. Did she just go missing?
posted by gucci mane at 11:43 PM on July 28, 2015


I once interviewed a potential client who definitely had Issues. I looked up, and he had his legs spread, and his pants were split along the seam of his crotch, but just enough so that his junk wasn't falling out, but I had a perfect view of his junk, held in place by a few straining threads.

It was in a small office and he was between me and the door. I didn't take this guy's case, so I don't remember anything else about him, but I definitely remember his junk shining pinkly and so upsettingly at me
posted by angrycat at 12:33 AM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's well known that the prohibition on nakedness is subject to context. The mistake here seems to have been supposing that the context of the bike ride could be extended to promotional activity related to the ride, whereas in fact it should have been obvious that the 'cafe' context would remain predominant. You can't get your tits out in church just because you want to talk about a trip to St Tropez.
posted by Segundus at 1:05 AM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


yelled that I was a “Spockist”

I imagine people who assume their dick is welcome everywhere are "Kirkists".
posted by Segundus at 1:07 AM on July 29, 2015 [27 favorites]


>And Joseph Gurl, what happened to Terri Sue Webb? The wiki page you linked ominously says no one knows where she is. Did she just go missing?

gucci mane - Last I heard was a decade ago. When I knew her, she was on the lam, literally hiding in basements and avoiding the law. She'd been in serious trouble, contempt of court, etc., then had a run-in with a family that was housing her in I believe Eugene or Salem. I think she was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility at one point due to that conflict, but I'm not sure if she ever went. Been pretty far out of that loop since I moved to Seoul in '02.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:50 AM on July 29, 2015


This is terrible. I visit skinny dipping beaches, visit the saunas naked and regularly hang out naked infront of my kids. It's a local culture thing. I am a big fan of FKK (Freie Körper Kultur).
But I've also been regularly molested as a young woman. I know the difference.

This is not free body culture. This is non-consensual, creepy and scary.
posted by Omnomnom at 2:40 AM on July 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


The level of boundary-crossing involved in approaching seated people genitals-first would bother me personally without knowing anything else. YMMV.

Yea.

Like, TW disturbing shit and i don't have a super long form way of stating this i can conjure up, but a lot of the "this isn't that bad" arguments i've seen here are extremely similar to stupid shit people told me(or said about me, or said to my parents) when i was a lot younger and a creepy dude pulled his dick out in my face in a laundromat and just... stood there, then tried to have a normal conversation about it and followed me to a store across the street.

This reminded me a HELL of a lot more of that than anything else. It also doesn't surprise me that this guy was a flasher, and it wouldn't surprise me if he was a creeper/predator in general. Turns out the guy who did it to me was.

I'll also note that i've participated in multiple naked bike rides, and grew up belonging to an arts council that hosted a parade which might have one of the very oldest naked rides. I've also seen plenty of naked people at the burn and paint parties and bla bla bla. This sets of my creep-dar and crosses some boundaries, and just because i'm not good at explaining how it's different doesn't mean checkmate so it isn't. No one wins when people(or a person) are creeped out by something and turn out to be right, as they were here when it comes to this guy being a flasher.
posted by emptythought at 4:23 AM on July 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


I love how the owner gave her employees no notice and then was apparently unreachable while this donnybrook was going on. --mumble mumble something happened to the email mumble mumble --

I know, I know, blame the woman... BUT. The guy's a nutter. A business owner has a responsibility to keep an eye on their establishment. To me she's the one responsible here, not the clearly unstable dude. Had any of the baristas tried to manage that situation they would have risked being fired.

I go to Philly a few times a year. Will avoid this joint. Otherwise, from the name, I might have mistaken this place for a REAL cat cafe -- where the only entity that might sport a naked ballsack would be a cute feline.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 4:27 AM on July 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yea, that bit SUPER reminded me of shitty bosses, often shop owners that i've had to deal with who were conveniently and mysteriously unreachable after they set up some situation that would be a disaster for the employees to deal with.

I just feel really shitty for the employees reading this. Everyone in the shop would pretty much be blaming them for letting this happen, and they couldn't really do shit. I think the i know i know blame the woman self-flagellation here is overdone because she's absolutely complicit in creating a shit situation and then hopping away until it's over.
posted by emptythought at 4:35 AM on July 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


Were it not for these limericking Spockists
I could wear only socks to the 'Rocket
But no clothing chafes worse
than satirical verse -
Derision cannot be defrocked.
posted by kid ichorous at 4:55 AM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would have more sympathy for the cafe owner if she hadn't been such a weasel - conveniently absenting herself and being unreachable on the Day of the Penis, and her "I tried to email the employees but it didn't go through, OOPSIE DAISEE!" is the most feeble excuse I've heard for a long time. I actually facepalmed when I read that.

Flasher dude deserves to be on house arrest for being a creeper and cafe owner deserves to lose her business for ineptly handling the whole incident. (I'd be on her side MUCH more if she hadn't run away and let her employees handle it, and if she hadn't given that stupid, LAME lost email excuse for not notifying her employees in advance.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:02 AM on July 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Furthermore, the crappy boss also subjected her employees to a creepy naked guy, effectively as a condition of their employment.
posted by skybluepink at 5:03 AM on July 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Joe in Australia: Am I right in supposing that nudists blast a cloud of feces every time they fart? Is this yet another reason to not have weird naked guys in coffee shops?

No, but in a way, possibly, yes. This is, apparently, rocket cat science.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:07 AM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Breese said Dimitriou told her that he would be covered in body paint, however, and she assumed that would mean his body would be quite obscured. In fact, he only had a few blobs of paint on him.

"You hear about women walking down the street with body-painted jeans on, and nobody can tell they have nothing on," said Breese. "My perception of what body paint means is not a couple of paint splashes on somebody's torso.e


Whut.

I mean, what. She expected this guy's balls to be acceptable and a practically invisible because of body paint?
posted by Omnomnom at 5:14 AM on July 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Nestle's recent "Natural Bliss Cafe" campaign seems much less creepy, but also involved unexpectedly naked people in a coffee-shop promoting something.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 5:17 AM on July 29, 2015


(It also involved much more body paint)
posted by James Scott-Brown at 5:18 AM on July 29, 2015


The actors also seem to be wearing strings. No free Willies there!
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:34 AM on July 29, 2015


While you can obviously still see penis, a naked man in full body paint looks a lot more "wacky promotion" and a lot less "creepy flasher" than what actually happened in this case.

(Link NSFW, if that wasn't clear).
posted by tinkletown at 5:35 AM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


comparing free the nipple type protests to a naked dude in a cafe who has admitted being a flasher and who doesn't believe in consent is a nasty bit of hand waving.
posted by nadawi at 6:52 AM on July 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


Had the guy been in full body paint and not just walking up to seated people with his penis at eye level, it probably would have been fine. Yes, there would have been some complaints, but I think they would have had less traction.

I think that the naked dude and the shop owner and the naked bike ride organizers all acted pretty terribly here. "I guess the email didn't send" is such an obvious lie. "Gosh, I told all my employees that there would be a naked dude wandering around one day and not one of them replied. How cool is everyone!"
posted by jeather at 7:01 AM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


i just hope this bit of publicity for him convinces previous victims to complain to the powers that be.
posted by nadawi at 7:04 AM on July 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that literally every woman I know has been flashed (&/or groped). I've had long conversations with my girlfriends about it. Everyone's got a story, some of us several. I've been flashed at a highway rest area. I've been flashed at the pool in my own apartment complex. I've been flashed on an El train. Each time it is a terrible, traumatizing, and scary thing, and not because it's "eww balls" necessarily. It's because I don't know what's next. The time I was flashed on the Red Line it was the middle of the day and just me and the offender in the car. I had no idea if he would follow me off the car and assault me, and it was that weird time of day when everyone's at work and it's almost more desolate than the middle of the night. The flasher in the pool could SEE WHERE I LIVE when I ran inside my pool-facing apartment. The time at the rest area I was on a solo road trip in the era before cell phones. I mean, ugh.

I absolutely would have reacted the same as Sarah Grey if this happened near me--especially now that I am older and more aggressively THIS IS NOT OKAY than I was as a younger woman.
posted by misskaz at 7:59 AM on July 29, 2015 [15 favorites]


In all honesty, I just can't think of any examples of male nudity-as-demonstration.

Pride would be the obvious example. And, echoing again: naked breasts are not the same thing as SURPRISE PENIS. I don't want SURPRISE PENIS while I'm having a cuppa in a cafe. And I am someone who likes penises.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:01 AM on July 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


and specifically a surprise penis attached to this man who is a sexual predator.
posted by nadawi at 8:04 AM on July 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah, that makes it worse, doesn't much change the unpleasantness of SURPRISE PENIS out of context.

I mean, I semi-regularly go to events where nudity is either the norm or relatively expected. Penis there is fine!

Anyone saying this is reasonable or okay is being deliberately obtuse about the importance of context.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:10 AM on July 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Anyone who thinks this is truly a legitimate issue of free speech should also be required to explain, using the same tortured logic, why dick pics are wrong.
posted by Nevin at 8:48 AM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, there's no way having a naked dude walking around a facility where food is served doesn't contradict health laws. Ugh.
posted by maryr at 9:02 AM on July 29, 2015


More by someone who's met Tommy D: Rocket Cat Cafe’s Nudity Nonchalance.
posted by graymouser at 10:31 AM on July 29, 2015


Oh no. He's phone stalking her now.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:41 AM on July 29, 2015


Ugh. Of course.

no, he's not a creep at all.
posted by gaspode at 10:57 AM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I always wanted to go on World Naked Bike Ride in Chicago - until someone who has gone said there are multiple men staring and jacking off openly there. Maybe that was a bad event that time, but no thanks. Stuff like this is such bad publicity.
posted by agregoli at 11:04 AM on July 29, 2015


Mod note: Couple comments removed. humanfont, you need to already be done with this thread at this point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:32 AM on July 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


There is a rather unfortunate precedent for public nudity as 1st amendement cause celebre, at least in Boston. A few years ago, a Boston-area "performance artist" stripped naked and began dancing in Harvard Square as part of an anti-Christmas celebration. When the Commonwealth took her to court, her attorney was able to get the charges dismissed on the grounds of the First Amendment. As with this dude, the woman who stripped naked was a missing stair in the Boston arts community, and was prone to bizarre behavior and liked to ignore personal boundaries.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:06 PM on July 29, 2015


Yeah, that makes it worse, doesn't much change the unpleasantness of SURPRISE PENIS out of context.

Surpenis?
posted by Going To Maine at 1:08 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Philly Naked Bike Ride and the Naked Bike Rides everywhere are events who's goal is to raise awareness for issues such as positive body image, fuel conscious consumption, and cycling advocacy. These are all issues that we support, along with equality and free speech. We do not, however, intend to promote any advocacy group at the expense of our customers comfort, and it will not happen that way again. In the future we will have a much more rigorous process in place to ensure that any group hoping to promote themselves within the Cafe is willing to abide by guidelines that will protect everyone's comfort and personal space within the cafe."
It's like an episode of Portlandia collided with an episode of L&O:SVU and suddenly there are dangly bits everywhere!

As I recall, metafilter itself ... uh, faced this years ago and the shout went up at the time "I do not WANT to be exposed to anus."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:57 PM on July 29, 2015


Well, that's true enough, I really don't.
posted by angeline at 2:05 PM on July 29, 2015


From too-ticky's link about culturing bacteria from flatus:
the results of the experiment should not be considered alarming, because neither type of bacterium is harmful. In fact, they’re similar to the ‘friendly’ bacteria found in yoghurt.
To the over-friendly bacteria found in the Rocket Cat Cafe's yoghurt, I think they mean. So if you eat there, you know what to avoid.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:35 PM on July 29, 2015


More by someone who's met Tommy D: Rocket Cat Cafe’s Nudity Nonchalance.

Yeah, super disappointed by the Erotic Literary Salon organizer. It's infuriating to me that she takes the attitude of "if you don't like it, leave". But once a nude man comes into an establishment without my knowledge or consent, my reasonable boundaries have already been violated.

And this is clearly a man who gets off on being seen by people who aren't expecting to encounter a naked man. I don't want to participate in his one sided sex fantasy.

I'm a sex positive person, but stuff like this makes me despair for sex positivity if educated, supposedly sex positive people excuse this or minimize this with a shrug.
posted by inturnaround at 4:14 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


"You hear about women walking down the street with body-painted jeans on, and nobody can tell they have nothing on," said Breese. My perception of what body paint means is not a couple of paint splashes on somebody's torso

Do you? Or do you hear descriptions of women wearing clothing that is so tight it looks painted on? So she was expecting he'd be wearing a painted suit that would be as undetectable as ladies painted-on jeans? Wut?
posted by Room 641-A at 4:59 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


There was that famous Vanity Fair cover of Demi Moore wearing body paint that looked like a suit. I think that might be the kind of thing she was thinking of.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:11 PM on July 29, 2015


The owners' response make me wonder if she was in on it. It's a weird thing to agree to. Having agreed, one would expect her to have been there. Her failure to warn staff and customers is inexcusable. Her response to the complaints is ... oddly flat. When you put all of it together, it just doesn't sound like an accident.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:44 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


"In all honesty, I just can't think of any examples of male nudity-as-demonstration. Examples... er, make that descriptions of examples are welcome."

PETA has featured nude men; they tend not to be portrayed in a sexual manner. The aforementioned Pride, where they tend to be.

"comparing free the nipple type protests to a naked dude in a cafe who has admitted being a flasher and who doesn't believe in consent is a nasty bit of hand waving."

Maybe I just missed deleted comments, but it seems like everyone bringing things like this up has pointed out how they're different, not argued they're alike so this dude is NBD.
posted by klangklangston at 7:36 PM on July 29, 2015


In all honesty, I just can't think of any examples of male nudity-as-demonstration. Examples... er, make that descriptions of examples are welcome.

Really? I can think of one...
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:48 PM on July 29, 2015


There was that famous Vanity Fair cover of Demi Moore wearing body paint that looked like a suit. I think that might be the kind of thing she was thinking of.

Yes, and using that very, very specific reference would he's been a mitigating factor in my mind. Instead, she used this other very, very specific example of "women walking down the street with body-painted jeans on" which is a thing I don't believe exists.

I know I'm being nit-picky, but I'm not sure there's anything that hasn't been said about this clusterfuck. Oh, except that last night I was at a thing where Kristen Schall told Jimmy Pardo that the reason she ignored him backstage is because he approached her "balls presenting" and I thought that phrase belonged in this thread.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:53 AM on July 30, 2015


Room 641-A, that does absolutely exist and can be quite convincing when done well. I've mainly seen it in exhibitionism porn, however, so I'm not going to link examples.
posted by gilrain at 6:09 AM on July 30, 2015


I stand corrected. I'm not sure that saying she was actually thinking this was going to be something vaguely porn-y is better, but like I said, I know I'm being nit-picky. I'm more than happy to concede that I was wrong and that women walking down the street in painted jeans is a thing that actually exists.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:20 AM on July 30, 2015


Upon further SFW googling, it looks like there are multiple stories about one woman who did this as a stunt in New York so I'm going to amend my previous comment and say yes, this is a thing that exists, the same way pizza delivery boys having MILF sex is also a thing that exists, just usually not in real life.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:39 AM on July 30, 2015


Oh, yeah I don't think it helps make her nonpology any more convincing. I believe that she didn't think she was inviting in a straight-up naked man, but a well-bodypainted naked man wouldn't have been much better. You can't really disguise a penis like you can a vulva. And anyway, a bodypainted naked woman is also transgressive and objectionable in the wrong context. There's a reason it's usually considered porn when it's just on the street, rather than part of some festival or whatever.
posted by gilrain at 7:40 AM on July 30, 2015


Well, I guess you don't have to take my word for it. I'm not making it up, though.
posted by gilrain at 7:46 AM on July 30, 2015


I do believe your lived experience is true! Her excuse (and your alternative) do not ring true for me.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:51 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


That girl also has knickers on, so not actually naked. I'm sure if this guy had been wearing a jockstrap people would have cared significantly less.

I notice that he apparently turned up several hours earlier that the owner had arranged, and that was why she wasn't present. That seems like deliberate rule-bending and boundary-pushing on his part - presumably she'd have kicked him out if she'd been around to see how it was panning out.
posted by tinkletown at 3:05 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Apropos of this, Sarah Grey tweeted an Antifeminist Gaslighting Bingo card based on things she's been called.
posted by graymouser at 9:15 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mod note: Comment deleted. Please skip the counterfactuals here - they're not helpful and read as needlessly argumentative. Thanks.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:22 PM on August 2, 2015


Okay, that's fine, but there are a couple of different issues at stake, and it would be helpful to be able to separate them out a bit to see where we draw the line.

Some of the issues:

1. A man is naked in a space reasonably assumed to preclude nudity.

2. A woman in the cafe, surprised by his nakedness, had encountered him before and knew him to be creepy and quite possibly predatory.

3. The cafe owner had given the man permission to be naked but hadn't warned the customers or posted any notification of any kind.

4. The cafe owner was not present at the time of the naked man's appearance in the cafe.

For me, #2 is a really important part of the story. #3 is pretty shitty, too, but it's this particular naked man's previous sleazy, predatory behavior that takes it over the top, imo.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:30 PM on August 2, 2015


This was an out-of-context event. It's the surprise that made it a problem, long before the guy's identity was known. Even if the naked guy had been some sort of performance artist it would have been wrong: in our culture Surprise Penis is almost always associated with some sort of sexual assault.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:25 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I can see that. Still, the World Naked Bike Ride surprised the shit out of me once, and we mostly seem okay with that...
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:58 PM on August 2, 2015


It's all about context. Some things that are surprising or upsetting are fine, even if they particularly upset some people. A naked bike ride going past is a transient event. If you turn Way for a moment it'll be gone. It's not engaging with you, it's engaging with everyone as a group in a nonspecific way.

A naked, slow moving, singular stationary guy indoors Is different in so many ways that the comparison reaches not even wrong territory.

There's quite possibly one exit and a fire exit to this cafe. If the guy was standing in front of it you're basically trapped in penisland. Similarly, the dong in face thing.

You're 15+ feet away from a naked bike ride. You're outdoors. You could go in a direction that's away from it or indoors(especially since those only really seem to occur on busy, main streets).

I agree that this is an out of context event, but everyone I've talked to about and the more I've reflected on it... It really does only fit within the framework of sexual assault, and stuff that buts right up against that like grey areas of consent and creeperdom.

This is far from happy go lucky hippie behavior. It's in the territory of predators and exhibitionists. It's something I could only associate with a predator or someone who was SERIOUSLY socially impaired in a neurodiverse sort of way. But that's being really charitable, because yea, predator.
posted by emptythought at 10:11 PM on August 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


« Older D'ya get me, bruv?   |   "Well, here goes something into nothing." Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments