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Monday, November 30, 2009

The "No Sex" Sign Guy: What Happened to Subtlety?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Just feet from a gay pride flag flapping in the breeze, Owen Dias squats on the fire hydrant five days a week like Dorothy landed in Oz. In a city renowned for free love, the first topless club, and a mayor beloved despite his adulterous sex scandal, a man with a "No Unlawful Sex" sign is mostly dismissed as an oddity. But Dias has returned five days a week for 22 years, sitting in his natty suit and top hat through the taunts that he's a repressed gay, through the invitations to hook up, through the on-line claims they've got him into bed.

"No sex!" he calls to harried passerby. "No sloppy seconds!"

Owen and his sign define unlawful sex as anything other than a "virgin

man and a virgin women" in marriage (read: he or she who has

masturbated or looked upon another in lust is no longer a virgin). If

you've engaged in any other type of nooky, he says the only way you can

get right with the Lord is to stop having sex for the rest of your days.

 "I've never had sex in my whole life," boasts the

70-something-year-old in his round, rolling accent that sounds vaguely

like he's from the Louisiana bayou. "Never masturbated in my whole life

either. Since I came out of my mother's womb."


Growing up in Belize, Dias says the calling struck him while he was

working on a Buick Riviera in his auto body shop in Pasadena in 1974.

He stopped working on cars that very day to start spreading the word

before he made his way to the debaucherous city by the bay.

So, does he actually believe he's made a dent in the licentious desires

of San Franciscans? "My work is not to make 'em [do it], my work is

just to tell 'em. I'm a messenger." A chunky teenage kid with braces

snapped a photo. "It's hilarious," the kid said, "and true."

Dias was obviously pleased: "A young kid that thinks it's also true." Of course, the kid also announced he was from Maryland.

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Lauren Smiley


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