Police Crackdown Takes Fun out of Sexy Parks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCPhiladelphia.com
    A woman told police she was sexually assaulted inside this porta potty at Riverview Beach Park on Saturday, November 13, 2010.

    Amorous couples may want to take it inside after word leaked that police are cracking down on hookups in a Petaluma park.

    Police were quoted by Petaluma 360 as saying that they were only targeting gay men with the sting.

    Law enforcement officials are monitoring Craigslist's M4M section to try to catch hookups, and have stepped up patrols recently. In addition, park workers are trimming hedges to improve visibility.

    The action is nothing new: police have been chasing hookups around Petaluma for years. Once focused on Shollenberger Park, they later moved to Prince Park. Now their attention has shifted to Lucchesi.

    A Parks and Rec supervisor said that she wasn't aware of any cruising in the parks, despite having staff out in full force.

    Public anonymous sex used to be a somewhat more common occurrence in parks, decades ago when LGBTs were afraid to have their identities known. By cruising dark, anonymous locations, they were able to protect their identity from people who would try to ruin them if the truth was known.

    But now that that gay men and women face far fewer risks for being open and honest, the need for such encounters -- which were never really as prevalent as gossip would suggest -- has dwindled.