The Internet has made it easier for people to find sex partners. But for some men hoping to form an immediate and temporary coupling, public parks remain a go-to destination.
Kansas City police arrested 13 men on suspicion of indecent exposure and other sex-related misdemeanors in undercover stings at Minor Park and Blue River Park in south Kansas City, according to NBC Action News. The reporter, Christina Medina, spoke to members of a remote-control helicopter club who "share" the park with men who like to cruise. One member of the club says his 13-year-old son asked him why so many cars were driving in circles.
Cops who work in the city's vice unit emphasize that the stings are about public sex, not gay sex. Former Pitch staff writer Nadia Pflaum spent time with the vice unit in 2009. The police who work as decoys, she learned, try to look available -- but not too available. A "master of decoy duty" was described thusly:
The detective's advantage might come from what seems like a bottomless well of patience -- nothing says "cop" like overeagerness. It could also be his frame, which is a little on the doughy side, or his lack of a telltale buzz cut. Today, he's back in the woods, waiting for another mark.The story also noted that indecent exposure is not treated as harshly as prostitution-related offenses.
The rules are pretty simple: Decoys don't have to admit that they're cops if asked. In the woods, [the undercover officer] can do almost anything, short of engaging in illegal activities himself without straying into entrapment. (Unzipping his own pants, for instance, is off-limits. But he can ask to see another man's penis.)