We're a group of dudes from an area college, and we have a question for you: Is streaking considered indecent exposure? We'd like to bring the practice back, but two of us are graduating this semester and they don't want to be denied their degrees because they ran afoul of the law. Can you be arrested for something so harmless?
Please hurry. It's warming up outside.
Bare Necessities: Hey, keep your pants on, I got here as soon as I could. But first I had to dig out my old photos of yours truly streaking. That's me with the pair of underwear on my head. I guess I thought it would disguise my identity. I also thought that, should a cop nab me, I would have something to put on to cover my nibbly bits, which were nibblier than usual, given that the temperature was in the 40s. As you can see, I was a little wary about my walk - okay, 100-yard dash - on the wild side. But I will say this: It was one of the most thrilling moments of my life. In fact, I got so giggly I almost had to sit down to collect myself.
Was I guilty of indecent exposure? I'd say it was pretty decent exposure. The nibbly bits weren't exactly saluting the flag, if you know what I mean. And I made sure not to touch them, lest they did start to get a little patriotic. My friends and I - there were eight of us altogether - simply wanted to experience the liberating effect of racing through campus without the benefit of clothes. No, that's not quite it. We also wanted to be seen, which is why we planned our route so that it passed by our sister dorm. We even tipped off some of our sister-dorm friends so we'd be guaranteed some exposure. It was one of them who took the photographs.
Think of it as a panty raid, only the panties were mine and they were on my head. Now compare that to your average incidence of indecent exposure. You have a guy - it's almost always a guy - who's sitting on a park bench. He appears to be reading a newspaper. But when a woman walks by, he suddenly removes the paper to reveal an erect penis that he happens to be stroking. He looks at the woman. He may even say something to her. He probably doesn't try to grab her, though. He's...preoccupied. What he wants instead is a reaction - a shudder, a gasp, a scream, even feigned indifference, because he knows she can't possibly be indifferent.
Most acts of what I'd call indecent exposure are variations on that. He may be in his car. He may be standing in his living-room window. He may be standing in your living-room window. He may even be sitting on the bench at a court trial, as was the Oklahoma judge convicted of 1) urinating in a trash can, 2) using a penis pump and 3) shaving his scrotum while ostensibly balancing the scales of justice. Exhibitionists come from all walks of life - teachers, preachers, advice columnists. (Hey, don't look at me! Okay, go ahead and look.) What they have in common is a desire for sexual gratification through the exposure of their nibbly (and not-so-nibbly) bits. Therefore, streaking does not, in my humble opinion, constitute indecent exposure.
I know what you're thinking: Tell it to the judge. (No, not the Oklahoma judge.) Because it's difficult to distinguish between exposure for the sake of sexual gratification and exposure for the hell of it, all kinds of things get labeled indecent exposure - low-slung pants, for example. One person's wardrobe malfunction is another person's Class A misdemeanor. So if you think getting caught would impede your path to graduation, I'd suggest you not drop trou. Or, if you feel you must, wear your underwear on your head so they think it's me instead.
For how to commit indecent exposure at a nude beach, write to: MR. RIGHT, ISTHMUS, 101 KING ST., MADISON, WI 53703. OR CALL 251-1206, EXT. 152. OR EMAIL MRRIGHT@ISTHMUS.COM.