Last week, news broke that a couple had been kicked out of a Staten Island mall due to the fact that the man was walking a woman on a leash. While many were confused about what was going on, some were upset that they’d have to explain the scene to their kids (it is called make-believe, did it for you) and some were very supportive. An eye witness emailed us her experience.

It may be because I’m from San Francisco (the sodomite capital of the west), where the Love parade brings hundreds of naked people onto public transit every year, but the pictures of this couple just enjoying a stroll seemed pretty tame in comparison to some of the other things I’ve seen (including a man taking a shit on my front stoop once and calling himself “a good boy”). And it seems like others felt the same way, including the employees at some of the mall’s stores who claimed that the couple didn’t bother anyone and have always been good customer.

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After the piece ran, the woman pictured in one of the photos with the couple emailed to tell her side of the story. Here’s her email:

One of the photos you have in your piece about the man & woman on the leash was actually stolen from my page. I’d like to provide you with the original photo & story. I’m not too sure how much you can actually believe from @victorkingnyc. He just seems to be viral hungry.

Here is the actual story. My best friend Ally and I were driving down Hylan Blvd on Staten Island when Ally spotted them coming out of a restaurant on Seaver Ave. We were obviously ecstatic, so we kinda of followed them. We pulled over on Stobe Ave and as they were crossing the street I summoned all my courage to ask them for a photo. I explained how I respected what they were doing. That they were doing what they felt was comfortable and what made them happy. That they weren’t letting society deter them. The couple agreed to the photo and gave many thanks. As we were getting ready to take the picture the female (whose name I learned was [redacted]) asked me what pose I wanted. I told her what ever best suited her. Ha. We exchanged a few more greetings and we all went on our ways for the evening.

so, several things:

1. At least some people were hella cool with this couple’s freedom of expression.

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2. While many were worried about the woman’s consent (which didn’t seem to be an issue from the photos, but they were stills) it appears she was very into it, at least on the surface.

3. As some commenters have pointed out, puppy play may not be inherently sexual so it literally may be a case of just “weird shit people don’t understand” as opposed to “this couple is forcing me into their sex play.” Other weird shit I have seen in public this week: Someone openly weeping, a person wandering around in latex, two people making out feverishly in front of a bus stop. (It seemed like they actually had a fever.)

4. In this clearer photo, these people look down as hell and are probably pretty cool to chill with. I am basing this on nothing more than the fact that they have nice smiles and the courage to shop at Hot Topic in person as opposed to only online.

Image via Ariel Chambers


Contact the author at mark.shrayber@jezebel.com.

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