Today we pour one out for yet another beloved New York City tradition that is dying a slow, unfortunate death: banging someone up against an American elm in public.
Per an illuminating new report in the New York Times, over the past ten years, fewer and fewer New Yorkers have been getting it on in public parks. According to New York Police Department data, in 2007, officers wrote up an impressive 438 tickets for “sex in park” — a crime that comes with a $100 fine if an officer catches you mid-coitus. In 2018, the same year The Atlantic declared we were in the midst of a “sex recession,” police issued a mere six tickets.
Predictably, there’s more than one factor causing this downward trend. Phil Walzak, an NYPD spokesman, offered up myriad reasons to the Times: a decrease in community complaints, better coordination between law enforcement and the Parks Department, and a higher density of park visitors (and maybe … capitalism?).
But perhaps this is all for the best — in the heyday of NYC Park Sex, everyone’s libidos seemed to be through the freaking roof. In Fort Tryon Park, a location that saw 81 sex tickets in 2007, city officials had to install a chain-link fence around a particular hot-spot in 2015; and at the Ramble, a Central Park spot beloved by both birders and sex-doers, there were apparently a number of awkward run-ins over the decades.
I guess … congratulations to the birders.