Public Park Sex Plummeting in NYC?

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday August 6, 2022
Originally published on July 22, 2022

Public Park Sex Plummeting in NYC?
  (Source:Getty Images)

The thrilling hookup that doesn't involve small talk, exchanging numbers, or the expense of a karaoke room may be fading into history as New York's randy denizens find alternatives to the parks and similarly public places outdoors, the according to the New York Post.

The paper's coverage seemed to focus on heterosexuals, but the stats the Post cited covers all sexualities, and the story they tell is one of amor retreating from the city's street life.

The police "issued just two public lewdness summonses to people knocking boots in public parks in 2020," which, the newspaper noted, "is a far cry from the shocking 432 tickets police wrote for the bawdy offense in 2007, and even seven years later, when 115 people were caught canoodling al fresco," the article said, citing the NYPD.

The report went on to say that, "By 2018, the number of folks cited for hooking up in a park — a summons that carries a $150 fine and only issued if a cop witnesses the act — tumbled to eight."

"None were issued in 2019."

No information on the topic is available for years after 2020, but the Post quoted former vice officer and current John Jay College of Criminal Justice adjunct professor Michael Alcazar, who pointed "the rising tide of street crimes" in New York as one major dampener on public frolicking.

"There's just a climate of unsafety throughout the five boroughs," Alcazar said. "Even for the most sexually daring!"

Instead, people are coupling up in restrooms, with the really adventuresome trying on other enclosed, if still public, spaces for size.

The Post quoted 30-year-old Victoria Sloane, who told the publication, "My then-boyfriend and I had sex in an art museum exhibit because it was really dark and quiet and we thought it would be funny." The downside? "It wasn't good sex because it was rushed," she said, though she added, "But I'm glad I did it!"

Another young woman who resides in Manhattan, but whose name was not revealed, recounted, "I hooked up [with] a spontaneous random person," and explained that the encounter "was appealing because I ran away afterwards and didn't have to pay for the karaoke room or see that person again."

A denizen of the city's West Side confessed that she and another woman found the ideal space for a quickie in "a beautiful single occupancy bathroom" in the Museum of Natural history, the article relayed.

"Also we were both girls so it probably didn't look suspicious that we entered and exited at the same time," the woman added.

Younger people used to be more apt to get up to such hijinks, but that may no longer be the case — which brings up another reason for the decline of the city's park life: Millennials and Gen Z are too busy with their devices to interact as much in person, whatever the setting, according to "a study by Rutgers University in 2021," the Post said.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.