Sex in Maspalomas, an environmental nightmare: how cruising alters local fauna and flora

Sex in Maspalomas, an environmental nightmare: how cruising alters the local fauna and flora, Sun, surf, sand, sea and sex. It is probably what resonates in the heads of tourists when they visit some beaches in our country. In fact, also these five S’s (if we translate the words into English) start the title of a study published a few days ago in the Journal of Environmental Management , where they basically refer to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as the world corner of cruising and sex in public.

Canarias, el Sodoma y Gomorra espaƱol. But whyeee? They say that such depravity and debauchery on the Canarian coast, between the sand dunes, is damaging the flora and fauna.

We all (or almost all) know what the cruising . For those who don’t: a practice of social interaction that consists of anonymous sexual encounters , mostly between homosexuals, in open and / or closed public spaces. Come on, what has been a here I catch you, here I kill you spontaneously without a house in between. And of course, the beaches are perfect spaces where to carry it out, that is why the famous five S’s are still present in the literature (scientific or not).

We have several keys that are true. Beach. Canary Islands. Cruising . Tourists. We are going to put everything in common. Few studies have analyzed the consequences of combining these ingredients, especially in the natural environment, and especially when the spaces where these activities take place are protected areas. But now yes, there is someone who has dared to do it. A researcher from Flinders University in South Australia has had the decency to explore for us, the Spanish, the impact of sex in the sand dunes of this island of Gran Canaria . And he has explained to us (more or less) what happens on our beaches while we stay at home watching Netflix.

First, they identified 298 “sexual corners” in 5. 763 square meters of the Maspalomas dune field, located in the south of the island. Almost 300 spaces to have sex and not be seen by passersby. The surrounding area is popular for tourism, with resorts and golf courses around the dunes, so the location is perfect.

And later in the area, identified 11 plant species, including three endemic to es The dunes that were being “damaged” by such human nonsense. These dunes make up a rare ecosystem . In fact, “shifting” dune fields like these are found nowhere else in the world, and the regional government has been working to rehabilitate them after decades of degradation by human footprints.

The study continues: ” The giant lizards of Gran Canaria ( Gallotia stehlin i) who eat jellyfish have died after eating the condoms left by those who pursue pleasure. ” Cigarette butts and thrown condoms have become a major problem, as has the destruction of vegetation to make “nests” or more comfortable areas for intimacy. Mainly the trampling, combined with the people leaving trash, has a considerable effect on the landscape, of that there is no doubt.

In addition to the in-depth analysis of the qualities and content Of the many bony areas of the dune, they also explored how the Maspalomas dune field, primarily, earned its reputation in the first place. Its position in the warm and sunny archipelago of the Canaries, combined with the tourist complexes that have appeared around it, have made it a fashionable place for cruisers , they point out. the authors. Canary Islands receives 14 million tourists every year . And the study indicates that the 15 % of them arrive only with the intention of enjoying a sexual experience.

The practitioners of cruising (and especially men homosexuals), have been vilified in the past for having sex in public. But the researchers point out several times throughout the document that this is not an attempt to criticize communities that have sex in the dunes, but rather to better understand how this cultural practice impacts nature. “We are not asking for an end to sex in public, but we want people to be aware of the damage it can cause”, wrote the author in this article of The Conversation .

During the last two years, the government has carried out important clean-up operations through its MASDUNAS project, eliminating a lots of debris and dead vegetation. Some resort owners are discussing the impact of cruising trips on their beaches. And meanwhile, the rest of the Spaniards are left speechless because it seems that Australians know more than we do about almost everything that happens in these parts.

Image: Flickr

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