No Dogs Allowed, but Sex Is Okay

What’s an externality? My friends tell me that in the Vondelpark, a delightful reserve in central Amsterdam, it is illegal to let your dog off a leash. But it’s perfectly legal to have sex in the park, so long as it is not in view of a children’s playground. The argument is that the dog may make a mess that imposes costs on the unwary walker, while the couple imposes no costs on other park users.

I wonder which of these two actions would be more likely to be outlawed in the U.S. Implicitly, how do attitudes toward negative externalities, as expressed in city ordinances, differ between the U.S. and the Netherlands-or among other Western countries?



at least that guy was found not guilty in court :)

Ted Nugent

someone already asked if it was OK for dogs to have sex there ... what about people having sex doggy style?


Holland is so progressive. I wish I could find a way to live there. A place that doesn't have all the moralistic American taboos. Don't get me wrong, I love America, but I think I have a much more European attitude toward things than most and would fare better there. But alas, I am stuck here unless I can find a way to get over my illness.


The real question is whether or not it is okay for dogs to have sex in the park? Besides, do the people who have sex in the park need to be on a leash? Let's be fair here!



when you step in dog poop, and you don't care for it, you can't unstep in it.

if you see a couple noodling, and you don't care for it, you don't HAVE to keep looking: I'm sure there is somewhere you can look where there is no noodling going on. Of course, there might be circumstances when continuing to look might just be unavoidable, like a 400 lb woman and a 100 lb man. or vice versa. or sex indeterminate, both senses of the word.

and if kids see it, will that really be such a blow to their psyches? I saw dogs noodling when I was a kid, and aside from the latex and S&M and watersports, I'm OK. Really.

Maybe if we have parent education classes on how to talk to kids about the birds and the bees and the humans before they are 18.

Yesterdays Wine

Roughly 15 years ago, at about 1:30 in the morning, my future wife and I were doing at it on a bench, reasonably discreetly, in Riverside Park. We were in our 30s at the time.

Une femme d'un certain age who was very well-dressed, as if coming home from a very fancy party, came walking down the promenade with a large, well-clipped French Poodle. She drew even with us, glanced, walked a ways on, turned and said, non-ironically, "Very nice. Please don't mind me. Thank you." Then she walked on into the night.

The experience has kept us entertained these many years.


I think that attractive people should be allowed or even encouraged to have sex anywhere. The otheres, not so much.

I think picking up dog poop should be part of dog ownership ... even for attractive dogs.


Two points worth considering:
1) In National Parks across America, it's illegal to let your dog off leash OR to have sex with our partner..however it's perfectly legal to carry a loaded gun. That pretty much sums up the American mindset, in my opinion.

B) Dogs can poop just as easily on a leash as off. A responsible dog owner will clean up after his dog, either way. An irresponsible dog owner won't. And if the irresponsible person's dog is on a leash, the poop is far more likely to be on a path or sidewalk where others will step in it (rather than in the shrubbery where only the people sneaking off to have illicit sex might encounter it). Therefore the "cost" is potentially higher with a leash law than without.


I think I'd like to take a walk at the park one afternoon with my wife and see how good my 16-year old girl is at having sex...That would really do it for me. No cost at all.


As mentioned above, it is important to note that this is a measure specific to allow the police to protect gay men from violence. The law states that it applies to evening and night-time only, when children will most likely not be there any way. You really don't have to worry about taking your kids for an afternoon walk. I used to hang around a lot in the Vondelpark and you never saw anything untoward, and it's great if people have to clear up after thier dogs.

Mud Flaps

I say let the dogs roam, and the people bone.


How do they feel about dogs having sex in the park? as long as there still on there leash of course. Freak on a leash.


what if the kind of sex being engaged in by people in the park involves poop? Whats the courtesy rule on human fecal matter?


yet another reason to visit Amsterdam

Sexy Crusader

I don't know what you're talking about Steve O, but I would much rather view someone making whoopy than step in some dog poop, whether they be ugly or not. This whole ordeal makes sense to me because no one wants to be rolling around making love in fields of poo. I'm sure all of you have viewed people having sex before, unless you do nothing but stay in your mom's house all day (50 year old virgin) Amsterdam can pretty much do whatever they want with legal marijuana and legal sex in parks.


Oh, it's Europe. There are people having sex in public all over the place. It's normal there.


So if one is going to publicly engage in intimate activity with a dog, in a park, if the dog is on a leash it in fact reduces the severity of the transgression.

Good, good. I guess that makes sense.


Nice, there's only one problem: It's not true. The Dutch wikipedia entry on Vondelpark doesn't even mention this law, and some googling shows that after a short flurry in the news around March 8, 2008 when the plan was first mentioned, nothing ever came of it.


Children are the people not caring if they see sex. Why the arbitrary religious laws.? Laws try to find fault in people like religious people did spying on Jesus when he did whatever. Responsible owners can puck up what a dog leavens behind. T hat is what a dog bag is used for.