Monday, September 10, 2007

Sex: Public or Private?

In the last few weeks, as I've read the extensive coverage about the Larry Craig brouhaha, I've noticed a few recurring themes in the articles and reulting comments. The first is, of course, is the pointing out of the incongruence (hypocrisy!) of doing one thing and saying another; that is, soliciting for a homosexual encounter, while at the same time voting for anti-gay measures in the Senate.

A second theme, which will be the focus of this post, is people expressing disgust at the idea of seeking sex in a public restroom. Some have said that they're not judging him for being gay or bisexual, but wonder why he can't go to a gay bar or something to find a partner. Some elaborate by noting the public nature of the bathroom setting, along with a presumed lack of hygiene.

While I agree that it was poor judgement for someone as prominent as Craig to seek a partner in such a setting, I have to admit that I understand his predilection for public restroom pickups. Though I've never picked a woman up in a bathroom, for obvious reasons, I have found partners and had sex in a wide variety of settings, both public and private. I've written about a couple of the public encounters on my Adventures blog.

The lure of public sex is in its clandestine nature, the danger of discovery, the anonymity, and even the potential seedy grittiness of an encounter, of all of which can be highly arousing and which fuels the passion. At the core, it's a stripping away of the veneer of civilization and surrendering to one's basic animal nature, which can and usually does, add to the intensity of the encounter.

The rush one gets from a public sexual encounter is not dissimilar to other types of thrill-seeking behavior such as auto racing, extreme sports, and the like. It's got everything to do with carnal gratification and nothing whatsoever to do with "making love".

Obviously, I don't have a problem with engaging in public or semi-public sex with a willing adult partner, as I believe that there are all sorts of reasons and places to have sex. Indeed, if not for his hypocrisy, I would have quite a bit of sympathy for Craig's predicament.



LMC said...

I have been in a few bars (college hang outs) where there are girls making out in the bathrooms. I've seen them take it farther too. If it is illegal for a gay man to solicit sex by tapping his toes and waving his hand under the stall. Would the same law be equal for women? Would there be a cop around that would enforce it?

If the senator was looking for willing partners I don't understand why it was illegal. Not my first choice where I would want to have public sex, but you are right, there is a certain allure about it and some times when the time is right it's the only place available.

Phil said...

You know what my issue with it is? Not that he wanted to have sex with a man. Not that he's a complete hypocrite. It's the fact he wanted to commit a sex act in an extremely public place.

Having been in a restroom at the airport in Minneapolis, I would have been really pissed if I walked in an some guy was taking it in the seat.

That doesn't even address the fact that public sex, while exhilarating because of the risk factor, isn't any fun for someone like me with small children if say my 9 year old stumbled upon two men having oral sex in public.

reader Wil said...

I agree with Phil: I think it's offending to have to be confronted with people having sex in public, there are private places enough to have all kinds of sex,

LMC said...

I've never been in the bathroom at the airport but I would hope they at least went into a stall. The handicap ones are big enough for two people. What ever they do behind that closed door is their business.

grimfairy said...

I must heartily agree. Sex in public areas boosts the level of adrenaline. There's a risk factor that increases the desire. It's refreshing to break from conformity every now and then!

Chica said...

I dont care what he did, I just wish right now he would tell the truth and make up his damn mind about staying on or resigning from office. Last I heard he hadn't made up his mind.