Are straight people co-opting public sex now?

A few weeks ago, I had to explain what cottaging was to my father. Was this a normal father-son conversation? No. But when I made a reference to it and he asked me to clarify, I figured, who am I to gatekeep? I gave him a brief sketch of the history of cottaging, a practice whereby queer men (usually in the UK, historically in certain parts of Hampstead Heath but also the Ramble in New York’s Central Park) cruise for action in public restrooms on a midsummer’s eve—or any time, really.

It’s historically a gay practice—so much so that the act has been historically criminalized both in the UK and the US. In Victorian England, you could famously be booked for a term of hard labour under such a vague term as “gross indecency”, and if you picked the wrong person to cruise, you could find yourself the victim of an undercover sting.

Things might have changed in this century, but the act of public sex is still frowned upon—for some people. Which brings me to today’s subject, concerning this week’s main characters of TikTok, the blanket couple.

A few days ago, posts started circulating about this infamous couple—who appeared to be openly having sex in New York’s Battery Park, under a blanket, surrounded by crowds—and people were not having it. Folks trying to enjoy a nice day in the park were shocked to hear grunting and moaning sounds issuing from the blanket, and they came to TikTok to voice their disapproval.

As many noted, this couple didn’t pick a secluded area for their afternoon delight—the park was crowded at this time of day with tourists, children, and friends simply trying to enjoy the nice weather. All of which would amount to being kind of weird and gross but not huge deal…were it not for the fact that queer people are currently under attack for simply existing.

Because let me get this straight: we’re called groomers and pedophiles simply for living our lives, and meanwhile straight people can straight up f*ck in a public park and it’s fine? Okay!

Again, under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be anyone’s business. But as they say, the personal is political: and it doesn’t get much more personal than forcing everyone to bear witness to your magic moments in the park. It’s bad enough we have to attend you peoples’ weddings! Everywhere we go, it feels like straight people are flaunting their sexuality in our faces! For shame.


#stitch with @✨️ Myriam ✨️what are they doing??? allday??? #blanket couple #couple #blanketcouple #nyc #blanket gate

♬ original sound – tdliche0 – tdliche0

Basically, this is a PSA for straight people everywhere: public sex is a gay pastime, and you will be called out for this blatant appropriation! Thank you and good night!

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