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Friday, August 14, 2009

Lone Rock Point isn't so lonely

I heard a pretty good story the other day about two of my friends renting kayaks and paddling out to Lone Rock Point on Lake Champlain. As they were paddling close to their destination, they spotted a man and woman having sex on the rocky shoreline. Apparently, the duo wasn't trying to shield their activities from passersby -- in fact, they were in full-on doggie-style position. From what my friends say, the couple caught site of the kayaks, but kept on going.

My research tells me that Lone Rock is a popular place to paddle and that boats pass by regularly -- check the photo. (My research also tells me that Lone Rock Point is not public -- it is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont. I wonder how they would feel about this couple's exploits?) My question is this: Is it cool for horny hikers to do it on the shoreline of Lake Champlain? I'm all for spicing up your sex life and keeping things interesting, but public sex where others are likely to see you is a little out of my comfort zone.

Greta Christina is a blogger over Blowfish, and she recently posted about her internal debate over public sex. She says the problem with public sex is consent, and I agree with her. If you're forcing an unknowing party to bear witness to your sex life, that's a violation. Of course, moral violations are tough to quantify. Greta Christina theorizes that it has to do with context. She says, "You might reasonably get squicked seeing a couple necking at, say, a law school graduation or an honorary dinner for the retiring president of the company. But at the Folsom Street Fair, if you see someone giving a spanking or a blowjob in broad daylight? In my opinion, you have no right to be upset. If you didn’t want to see that, then what were you doing at the Folsom Street Fair?" True enough.

So where do we draw the line? For Greta Christina, she argues for motivation: "I’m tempted to say that the difference is motivation. Are you being publicly sexual to make a political or artistic point, to point out society’s hypocrisies and inconsistencies about sex and to try to shift sexual mores? Or are you just doing it for a forbidden erotic thrill, or because you don’t have the patience to get a room? I’m tempted to say that if it’s the former, then mazeltov; if it’s the latter, then get a room already."

For me, it's less about the motivation to make a political statement and more about common sense. How likely are you to be seen by unwilling parties? In broad daylight at Lone Rock on a gorgeous Vermont summer day? It's pretty likely someone might paddle by -- so it's a no-go in my book. Further, to not stop once someone has spotted you? Brazen! Although, I suppose the paddlers could have looked away...

What about you? What do you make of public sex, and where do you draw the line?

By the way, did you know that Lone Rock Point has a "thrust fault?" Perhaps the couple was just taking the Lake Champlain guidebook a little too literally.

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