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I believe the trouble started when Wiener pioneered the sit-on-a-towel rule? Which brought a bunch of other nudists to the place? was installed in what still is the street, and opened right after the current manager was elected, (the plaza was in the works for years before he arrived nevertheless). Previously, nude people would walk the area and usually just congregate at a place called "Hibernia Beach". This really is a street corner where a big bank building is, (now called Bank of America), and among the few places in the neighborhood where the sun beams through the shadows brought on by the other buildings. "Hibernia beach" was thus named in the 1970's after the bank that occupied the building back then. It's been known as a spot to see scantily clad and unclothed people for decades.
I hadn't believed the towel rule was a bad thing for the naturists?
(who typically sit on a towel regardless, though I imagine I can't attest to the Castro naturists' towel etiquette), but what do you believe was the true motive behind it?
The towel laws was an effort by the manager to get media attention and it worked. Everyone I understand already sat on towels as common recognized nudist politeness. The outside furniture within SF is just not well preserved, often filthy and wouldn't be safe to set your bare behind on.
Were any of the exhibitionists ever arrested for lewd conduct? If not, would think they should've been? (I've come across very little as far as descriptions of the "bad conduct" in the Castro - whether it was regular, illegal, etc)
Would you believe the exhibitionists are the motive Wiener suggested the nudity ban? If so, how should he have managed it? Or is he simply anti-nudity?
Wiener introduced the prohibition to increase his media exposure and pump up his name recognition amounts. I met with him in his office at his invitation just before the introduction of the legislation, and he was not interested in any community based alternatives. The assembly was really a fishing expedition so he could discover how well organized the nudist activists are and what kind of opposition we would pose to the legislation. There were only ever two guys I saw in the plaza that I 'd have described as exhibitionists. discovered was not lewd to me, but didn't match up to my comprehension of suitable non-sexual urban nudist behaviour either. If you will excuse my candidness, standing nude on the corner and making your dick twirl like an airplane propeller is not good nudist conduct in my opinion, even though this actions didn't disturb me personally.

Do a lot of the Castro naturists wear cock rings? What is your opinion on wearing cock rings in public settings for decoration (not sexual) purposes?
Personally, I do not wear a cock ring. Just a small number of men do in my observation. I thought this was likely to be a difficulty and I was not in favor of it at first. Afterward I took an opinion poll in my own on-line Yahoo group and I saw that the great majority of respondents considered cock rings similar to bracelets and necklaces. After that, I was sufficiently convinced a cock ring could be no different than every other body jewelry and simply wearing one isn't lewd.
No and no.
If the suit does not succeed, how do you believe the ban will affect nudism / naturism?
Since much of the nation, and the world, look to San Francisco as a leader in social change, the prohibition, if passed and executed, may have a chilling effect on both tolerance and urban naturism well beyond the bounds of our city.
Do you think nudists should only go nude in clubs, beaches and other "designated places"? If not, why?
Sequestering folks away behind walls or other borders implies their actions is black or otherwise unacceptable. Body disgrace is a learned behaviour which is exacerbated when naturists conceal in resorts or other places.
My bottom line is that I believe the body is a beautiful thing in all its many forms. I don't consider we desire to conceal behind clothes in public or anywhere else. Body liberty and acceptance isn't about being bare only at resorts, beaches or clubs.
Just how can naturists prevent this from occurring?