San Francisco is a wonderful town. It's pretty, has great food and bars, fun people, and nice weather. Nice weather, mind you, not warm weather. That's just one of many elements that automatically curb the portion of the population that insists on walking around naked outside the house. But while that population may be small, it is hearty--enough so that one city supervisor feels moved to enter legislation that requires those who bare all to put a towel down before they sit on a public bench, sauna-style. But he really doesn't need to do that. The city itself provides enough rebuff for those in the buff.
The ordinance, introduced by Supervisor Scott Weiner, can be traced back to a group of guys who call themselves the Naked Guys, reports the Los Angeles Times: "The growing group of naturists is a regular part of the scenery in the Castro, among the best known gay enclaves in the country. They particularly enjoy Jane Warner Plaza, an often sunny spot in this foggy city, carved out of an intersection and dotted with tables and chairs." That last sentence is key. There aren't many spots in the city of intensely varying microclimates where you can get away with less than a hoodie and jeans. Most of the neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks sit under a thick blanket of fog for most of the day, and much of the coast (which is on three sides of the city) gets buffeted by constant wind. In the Castro and the Mission, where residents can frequently tell you from personal experience what the sun looks like, there's just not enough park land for large-scale nudity. (Dolores park may be an exception but it's out of commission right now.) That's a big part of why the Naked Guys find themselves hemmed into a tiny plaza between a streetcar turnaround and busy Market Street.