Thursday, September 19, 2013

Public Masturbation is Legal in Sweden

A judge in Sweden has declared a 65-year-old man who masturbated on a public beach not guilty of sexual assault. The prosecutor on the case commented that people could reasonably assume that it is now legal for people to masturbate on the beach but said that it could also be considered disorderly conduct. I agree with him being acquitted of sexual assault. He didn't do it directly in front of anyone. He did not actually force anyone to watch or to participate. I don't think that this constitutes sexual assault because there was no contact. I am also the first to advocate for sexual rights and freedom of expression. However, this goes just too damn far for me. I would hope that he would be charged and convicted of something other than sexual assault - such as lewd or disorderly conduct or public indecency. He didn't touch anyone or physically force anyone to watch, but he did it in a place in plain view of other people who, I'm sure, did not head to the beach to watch some guy masturbate. They were there to get some sun, have a swim, relax. They didn't sign on for a peep show.

There have been a few instances where I've been asked to have a display table for my company or to do a party or presentation in places that would normally be public places. I always refuse unless the place will be closed to the public or it will be very clearly marked that the event contains adult information and content or specifically that there will be toys there. I am not ashamed of what I do and I don't think there is anything wrong with sex or toys at all. But I know that is my view and not necessarily everyone else's. Some people just do not want to look at sex toys - or they don't want to do that in that place at that time. I don't think anyone should be forced to see sex toys and hear people talking about them unless they've consented by going into a place in which they know they will see those things.

For the same reason, I don't think it's cool to masturbate on the beach. You shouldn't have to watch someone masturbate unless you knew that could happen at a particular place and agreed you were cool with it by going in there. I know we all have needs and I'm okay with getting your groove on in public places but you've got to be respectful and discreet about it. Go out in the water and get a good distance from everyone or go to the bathroom and lock yourself in a cubicle. I don't really have a problem with that. You're being discreet - you're not actually doing it in front of anyone. But hanging it out right out there in front of everyone and going for it? Not cool.

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