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Exhibitionist A: Meet Rusty Mills, Legal Cock-Ring Expert 

Wednesday, Feb 20 2013
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Amazing scenes were witnessed in a San Francisco courtroom last week, when failed nudist Richard Sierra wept in joy after being exonerated of charges that would have rendered him a sex offender. Sierra's botched attempt at exhibitionism was highlighted by shocked bystanders mistaking the 48-year-old's use of prescription eczema cream for personal lubricant and Sierra's fateful decision to disassemble a three-ring binder and use one of those rings on his penis.

It was the latter move that led to the Public Defender's office calling Rusty Mills to the stand as a court-recognized expert on cock rings. "That was very strange," says Mills, one of the most prominent of the Castro nudists and a co-plaintiff in the suit against the city's anti-nudity ordinance. "Life gets weirder as time goes on."

Weirder still: the Public Defender's brief laying out why "THE COURT SHOULD ALLOW THE DEFENSE TO CALL RUSTY MILLS AS AN EXPERT WITNESS IN THIS CASE BECAUSE HE WOULD ASSIST THE TRIER OF FACT ON COCK-RINGS, THEIR VARIOUS USES, AND THEIR APPLICATION." The brief notes that "most people are not familiar with cock-rings, how to put one on or their various uses. These devices are not found at common grocery stores." The document notes Mills has been "a part of the nudist movement" in the Castro since 2005, and has "been cited and quoted in more than 50 articles ... including use of cock-rings amongst nudists." For good measure, it notes that he has a B.A. from Yale and Ph.D. in biophysics from Stanford. "The defense therefore requests the court allow Mr. Mills to testify in this matter as it is essential to our defense."

First, however, Mills sat through a half-hour Q&A session with Judge Gerardo Sandoval. "He asked for a private meeting in which I was asked questions about the subject, which was cock rings," says Mills, who, incidentally, wore a turtleneck and corduroys to court. "I was accepted as a result of that meeting."

Mills told the jury of eight reasons he has researched why men wear cock rings — other than the sexual scenario pushed by the prosecution. Among them: It's a status symbol; it can feature political symbols; or it can "stabilize the testicles. ... Most of the urban nudists use them because they don't want their balls swinging around."

This, evidently, swung the jury. Sierra was found not guilty of indecent exposure charges that could have landed him in jail and on the sex offender registry. "He seemed like a fairly ordinary guy to me," says Mills of Sierra. "I didn't see anything unusual about him."

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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