This page last updated April 26, 2008 by Lloyd JohnsonSend Lloyd email.
If I ever finish this page, it will likely draw some fire. I hope it will be informative enough that anyone consulting this page will be able to use it to make their day at Black's better, even though the atmosphere is less than perfect. Some people feel uncomfortable when others sit and stare, sometimes too close. Sometimes the gawker puts on a sexual display that you probably don't want to see.
Chances for a bad day with gawkers go up if you sit far from everybody else. Isolation makes you an easy target for an all male audience. If you display too much of your affections, it will be difficult to chase them away. It could happen that couples and women will need this advice. Men are rarely confronted with this kind of unwanted attention, but rather suffer the consequences of being stereotyped.
Black's has lots of loose associations. Call them tribes. I have seen couples keep their distance from a tribe of men that are always there. This is a mistake. The regulars are your friends. These polite people will respect your space. All these I have seen are havens for a damsel in distress.
To avoid unwanted attention, sit near one of these tribes, or form one of your own. You can sit among them and join all their conversation, or you can keep a little distance and stay out of it all. You will get their protection whether you join them or not.
Just north of the trail head is a volleyball court. They are a good tribe to join. Near the north trail, at Indian Canyon, are a few more volleyball courts. They are also a good tribe to hang out with.
On opposite sides of the Valentine Slide are protective tribes. The tribe on the south side can be recognized by their game of horseshoes and they paint some of their umbrellas with horseshoes. They even rake a large area to soften and clean the sand.
The tribe on the north side is Black's Beach Bares, recognized by the yellow flag we often fly. We sometimes rake an area clean too. Some of us are pictured on the Black's Beach page. We often build sandcastles in the summer. If you sit in either of these groomed areas, don't think you're trespassing. If you sit near us, we will consider you our charge. I'm sure the other tribes feel the same.
It seems there are always a few men hanging out at the trailhead. We call them the greeters. It appears they want to be the first nude person you see, in order to shock you. I have found people doing lewd things at the trailhead, but they stop when I approach. Please don't think we're all like them.
Most of the established groups stake claims north of the trail, leaving the trailhead vicinity unguarded. If you've spent a day in that area, please consider searching north for a group that suits you. Please don't give up on the whole beach.
No doubt the lawsuit potential of "bad guys" is very high in California, but somebody should tell you anyway. Let's just say the "bad" guys might sit uncomfortably close, sneak pictures of you, repeatedly walk uncomfortably close or do something lewd.
These men don't have a favorite spot. They are mobile, stopping only where they find an unprotected subject. They know we are on guard when they approach, so they develop ways to put you off-guard. First-time visitors rarely notice their MO, and they sometimes claim to be first-time visitors themselves.
They have plenty of questions to ask the ladies, as soon as her male friend is gone. What time is it? Where's the trail? What are the boundaries?
They sometimes carry more than one towel so they can leave each one near a promising target. They put you off-guard by taking a walk, and return later when you are less alert. When they return, they shake out the towel, but move it closer. They pretend to read a book with yellowed pages, but never turn a page.
They might also follow you to see where you sit. They may move on while you get comfortable, then return later. They will choose a spot that lines them up with your legs, but face the ocean. They might go to the water for a dip and return, but turn to face your crotch. When confronted, they all claim innocence. To those of us that see it often, it's transparent and predictable.
They don't go away when you ignore them. They move closer. Sometimes they pick up their towel and shake it out, but when they set it down, they set it down closer. When others see that they can sit that close, they sit down too.
Another common practice of rude men is to notice a couple entering the water for a swim. They find the clothes and sit nearby, waiting for the couple to return. This enables them to claim innocence, since there was nobody there at the time.
One man in particular is a Robert Goulet look-alike. He has some sort of penile implant that he pumps up. Every time women approach, he walks to the water and washes his hands. Then he looks to see if the women do a double take at his artificial boner.
If you're not sure who's who, sit down far from anybody. The bad guys will surround you. The good guys will leave you alone, or offer you some sort of help. I'm sure the bad guys offer help too, but are there strings attached? Will they take no for an answer?Send Lloyd email.