While teenagers may use our cemeteries as trysting places because it’s the only way they can get privacy, adults do it for many other reasons. Its exciting, its forbidden (sort of, I guess, though I’ve never actually seen any signs posted …), and it is the closest many of us can get to experiencing human nature’s two basic instincts at the same time: Eros and Thanatos. Sure there’s autoerotic asphyxia (strangulation during sex), but that’s going off the deep end. Most people don’t need to go to such extremes to get off. Sigmund Freud theorized that Thanatos, the instinct of death, or aggression, drives us as strongly as Eros, our instinct for life. Eros drives us toward attraction and reproduction while Thanatos drives us to our destruction.
|Found in a cemetery|
Doing it in a cemetery must be titillating to a rather small portion of the population. I can’t imagine that hordes of people would WANT to do this, although sometimes, business demands it. Take for instance the prostitute who recently approached several cemetery grounds keepers (separately, but on the same day) while in the course of their duties. This was her line: “Are you single? Because I don’t want any wives involved in this. My apartment has ghosts. Can you come with me to check it out for me?” After her third attempt failed, she left. She was making house calls, so to speak.
|Old Camden Cemetery|
So, maybe cemeteries should have “No soliciting” signs on their gates? Or “No Engaging” signs …. I know of another cemetery where guys have driven onto the grounds with prostitutes in their cars, found a secluded spot and ….. you may think I’m going for the full Pinocchio on this topic but its true - I’ve seen this. I’ve unfortunately and accidentally, driven by this. Several times. A friend of mine who volunteers at a cemetery saw a taxi parked on the grounds recently, so she approached it, and then noticed that it was bouncing up and down! Two people were on the back seat while the DRIVER sat patiently behind the steering wheel! (No doubt the meter was ticking away.)
|The author, photographed by Frank Rausch|
If I was attending a burial ceremony or visiting the grave of a loved one I would not want a photo shoot of any kind happening nearby. Maybe those cemeteries who have signs saying “No Photography” are really trying to stop nude photography. I know of one cemetery in northern New Jersey that has a “No Photography” policy simply because the unauthorized rock band photo shoots and the motion picture crews do damage to the grounds and the monuments.
So obviously, nude cemetery photography is titillating to some, but then what do you do with the photos afterwards? Like I said, you very seldom see any in public. I’ve never done this myself, but then who would want to see photos of me naked in a cemetery?
|Psyche, wakened by Cupid, her lover's kiss|