I’m a 47-year-old straight man born and raised in West Hollywood. I own a home in WeHo, have a wife and a 9-year-old daughter. Back in August, my wife and I were driving with our daughter on Santa Monica Boulevard during the middle of the day when traffic forced our vehicle to stop in front of the Pleasure Chest, the local sex shop on the east side.
As we casually glanced over at the store front window facing the street, we noticed an advertisement that filled the giant 8-foot-high by 8-foot-wide window with NINE GIGANTIC photos of FULLY NAKED ASSES! Some were male, some were female, some were bent over, others had Lollypops next to them, some had whipped cream on them and some had colored sprinkles that one would normally garnish on a scoop of ice cream.
Written in the center of the banner In GIANT letters was the announcement “ANAL AUGUST!” Our daughter proceeded to point at the sign and asked us “what does THAT mean”? After ten awkward seconds, my wife and I looked at each other mortified, and I replied “nothing” as we drove off.
I took this issue up with the city’s code enforcement as well as with some members of the City Council. Although they agreed with my concerns, the issue was referred to the City Attorney for review. His response after seeing a photo of the sign was as follows:
“Nudity alone is not obscene, nor is bad taste. Contemporary community standards differ from community to community; in WEHO, those standards are different than in Topeka. Bottom line: Unless the content is obscene, we cannot regulate it.”
My response was: “I respectfully disagree that this sign is’”nudity alone.’ If it were nudity alone, there would be no issue. If it were simply nudity, my daughter would have just pointed and said ‘hey, look at those butts.’
“The fact that she can read the words ‘Anal August’ made her ask ‘Daddy, what does that mean?’ Obviously, a sign that strictly says ‘Anal August’ with NO nudity is not an issue since that could be an advertisement for a special on colonoscopies. But when coupled with naked butts with whipped cream and sprinkles, it takes on a whole different meaning. By the way, what a shame that you feel children in WeHo don’t deserve the same amount of respect as children in Topeka!”
Is West Hollywood incapable of being a city that has tolerance for all, or does it want to be known as a city that simply lacks a sense of decency and decorum? Has Progressivism become synonymous with salacious, lewd, tasteless and indecent? West Hollywood supposedly prides itself on being a city that welcomes any and all people, so how can that possibly be true when families raising children are alienated?