Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No law against nudity or public sex (or why it’s so weird to live in the Netherlands)

Last week I read this news story that made me raise both my eyebrows. Apparently, Amsterdam officials are not allowed to ban nude sunbathing in the Vondelpark (the main park in Amsterdam).

A few weeks ago they put up signs indicating nudity was not allowed (I’m kind of curious what these signs looked like. Did they have pictures of naked men and women with a cross through it?), but they had to take them down again.

I did not know this, but in the Netherlands being nude in public hasn’t been against the law since 1985. Specific place can be made nudity zones, but no places can be made clothed zones. That is so ridiculous.

The local police seem to agree, because they responded by saying they would still give people a fine for walking around naked. There is a loophole here, because even though being nude isn’t a crime, making other people uncomfortable with your nudity is.
We have similar ridiculous rules about public sex. Last year they decided gay men were allowed to cruise the park and have sex there, as long as they did not bother anyone. Now how does one decide whether someone’s public gay sex is bothersome or not?

I have to say, I am all for liberal rules and I often frown when hearing about strict laws in other countries, but doesn’t this whole thing sound a little strange to you? I no longer live in Amsterdam, but when I did I used to love to go to the park for walks or to have pick nicks.

Obviously, I would not want to have a pick nick somewhere where people are lying around in the nude. Why the hell should one be allowed to sunbath naked in a public park anyway?? Don’t even get me started on having a pick nick while guys are getting it on.

Seriously Holland?

4 comments:

Spoil Myself said...

If you ever come across pictures of those signs, please post them.
I'm not sure how the laws are in Germany, but I often wonder where's the line between allowed and indecent exposure?
Oh, and did you know that public kissing was prohibited in France far into the eighties?

Natazzz said...

I'd personally prefer something was just prohibited instead of only if it causes offence. Some people take offence to anything.

Then again, when a couple is standing in front of me in line at the counter, I don't need to watch them make out. Unless they're hot *g

joan-psmith said...

That is strange.
I have to agree with you that I don't see why it should be allowed to be naked in a public park!

a b said...

Why should it be forbidden? Only because some people don't like nudity? Where is the difference between a suit and nudity? I think everyone should be allowed to wear what him makes feel comfortable. No clothes is only a kind of clothes which looks sometimes very ugly and sometimes beautiful. Personally, I would rather sit next to an old fat naked guy than next to someone wearing a yellow-brown suit!