The media coverage of the whole Senator Larry Craig situation is becoming an instructional guide in the art of misdirection. Why on earth is the focus on bathroom sex? I mean, other than the fact that it's sensational and sells papers, and because it's way easier to prey on the fears that the uneducated already have about gay men and what they do to one another than discuss the real issues at hand.
We've got reporters left and right bringing up pedophilia, as though that had anything to do with anything (sorry, but was the officer that Craig allegedly advanced on an eight-year-old?), and Tucker Carlson even took the opportunity to tell a charming anecdote about how he was propositioned in a bathroom and subsequently beat up the guy who came on to him (because apparently violence is the usual response to a come-on in Tucker's world).
We've made clear how disgusting we find all this. And now we'd like to take a different approach to the media's fascination with public gay sex by looking at its anthropological significance.
For your lack of enjoyment, here's a sampling of some of the more exploitative gay public sex scenes in movie history. If you have others to add, please do so in the comments!
The Sweetest Thing
In this light comedy (very light on the comedy, IMHO), galpals Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate go on a roadtrip to crash a wedding and find a hot guy (Thomas Jane). On the way they take a break at a rest stop, and find that there's a hole in the stall of the men's room at the end of a Yellow Brick Road drawn on the wall. Cameron peeks inside and gets poked in the eye with a penis, demonstrating that even straight women are in harm's way when it comes to gay bathroom sex. Don't believe me? Watch for yourself.
There's Something About Mary
What is it with Cameron Diaz and rest stop sex?! In this presumably wacky comedy, Ben Stiller finds himself being mistakenly arrested with a bunch of truckstop bathroom cruisers. The fellas even perform in the final music montage! Maybe all that toe-tapping paid off.
The girl-girl-guy scene between Sharon Stone and another lady in a club bathroom is pretty hard to forget, and was likely on everyone's mind when the film was protested back upon its release. Lest we think that it's only gay men who hook up with random people in toilet stalls, rest assured that bisexual women do the same when their characters are written and directed by straight men.
Interestingly, no bathroom sex to be had in this legendary Al Pacino gaysploitationfest, although there is peepshow sex (and murder), Central Park sex (and murder) and lots of flat-out in-the-open bar sex. The lesson here: any time two gay men are allowed within 20 feet of one another, they will have sex, regardless of where or who they are.
Another Gay Movie
This stereotype was lampooned somewhat when the lead of this crass comedy runs into his own father while cruising a park bathroom for sex. As if this topic weren't creepy enough already.
In this film, the series' closeted gay character, Ray (Shawn Wayans), goes to the bathroom at the movie theatre and is tickled in the ear by a penis coming through a hole in the stall that then impales his head. (This is a parody of the head-stabbing scene in Scream 2.) Ray somehow survives the in-one-ear-out-the-other encounter to advance on to the sequel, where he in turn rapes a male monster clown doll.
Taxi Zum Klo
Kind of the Citizen Kane of gay bathroom sex movies (even the title translates to "Taxi to the Bathroom", if I'm not mistaken), this German film takes an unflinching and explicit look at one man's sexual compulsions, some of them bathroom-related. Interestingly, the bathroom-related compulsions of most gay men I know involve Restoration Hardware and overpriced fixtures, not anonymous sex.