Making love in public view has traditionally been considered offensive, but as time goes by one long-established taboo is on the way out. At least in one Mexican city.
Sex in the street is no longer a daring fantasy in the Mexican city of Guadalajara because the local authorities have greenlighted a legal amendment that allows sexual relations in public as long as there is no complaint from a third party.
Guadalajara lawmakers hope change will allow police to focus on fighting serious crimes
“Holding sexual intercourse or acts of sexual exhibitionism on public roads or in public places, vacant lots, entertainment centers, vehicle interiors or in private places with a view to the public will be viewed as a violation only if complained about by citizens,” the local media cited an amendment to the police regulations of the city of Guadalajara.
The move is intended to prevent police in Guadalajara, a city of 1.5 million people, from extorting couples who “give their love” to each other in public, said a councilor who presented the initiative.
The city council last week pushed through the reform, which now states: “Having sexual relations or committing acts of exhibitionism of a sexual nature in public places, vacant lots, inside vehicles or in private locations in public view will be considered administrative offences, as long as a citizen requests police intervention.”
Guadalupe Morfin Otero, the politician who proposed the change, cited a survey among university students in which 90 per cent said they had experienced extortion by officers who accused them of immoral acts or exhibitionism.
“It’s not that the law allows sexual relations on the street, even though this is what may happen in practice. The law aims at eradicating extortion by the police because previously, when a police officer saw a couple in an intimate situation he could extort money from them,” Father Antonio Gutierrez Montano, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, said.
He added that for all its good intentions, the new law is fraught with many risks, as it could encourage prostitution and violence.
“Women could be raped and if nobody says anything, this will continue. Children are also at risk because they may be similarly abused,” the cleric noted.
Moreover, “children and adolescents can begin to see this as something normal,” he added.
The head of the Department of Applied Psychology at the University of Guadalajara, Dr. Baudelio Lara Garcia, disagrees.
Dr. Garcia said that “it is not an invitation to have sexual sex in public. You do not often meet people on the street engaged in sexual intercourse. What we are talking about are couples having a good time making out in parks”.
According to Dr. Garcia, the amendment is aimed at “the formation of a new type of relations between people, as issues of feminism, respect and justice permeate society, as well as a more civilized perception of a topic that historically was viewed as taboo and in many cases gave rise to abuse of power on the part of the authorities.”