LGBT

The Best Take So Far on the Larry Craig Affair

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whenmenmeet

Why would Larry Craig oppose gay marriage even as he cruises for quickies in public restrooms? Here's my favorite explanation so far, from an anonymous reader quoted by one of Andrew Sullivan's guestbloggers:

The current political wars are a re-alignment. It used to be gay vs straight. But now it's the old gay culture against the new gay culture. Larry Craig cruises for sex in bathrooms, he's part of the old gay culture. His lifestyle is threated by gay marriage: more guys sitting at the boarding gate with their husbands means fewer in the airport washroom. His lifestyle is threated by gays in the military: more sailors with boyfriends on shore means fewer available underneath the dock. Craig, West, and Haggard are the death throes of the old gay culture, desperately longing for the good old days.

I read this as a clever joke, but Sullivan's stand-in takes it seriously. I'm not sure which one of us is being tone-deaf here, but I'm going to chuckle appreciatively either way.

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  1. I think it’s not far off. My take, from elsewhere:

    “I am going to take a stab at defending Craig against the charge of hypocrisy: his voting actions and his bathroom actions are not at all inconsistent, not necessarily. He may believe that homosexuality is a sin and that it should not be condoned by law or by culture. He may also understand that the pull of homosexual urges is no less great than that of heterosexual urges. This understanding may have come about from the fact that he himself feels the pull of these urges. So he may understand why homosexuals do what they do, but also think that it is wrong, and that it should be relegated to the relative secrecy of highway rest areas, public bathrooms, and the visitor center at Mt. Rushmore. In other words, he has voted to keep gays as second-class citizens and has himself acted like a second-class citizen, begging for it in the can.

    No hypocrisy there.”

  2. There is some merit to the argument, but I think it’s more like my old buddy Mike K getting a quickie in the port-a-potty that hot August afternoon on the beach in San Diego at the Over-The-Line contest. Ghastly man, as was the falling-down-wasted chick that did him. He just grinned.

    Some people just get a thrill out of that kind of stuff.

  3. Uh, not a joke.

  4. So, when we have gay marriage and homosexuality carries no more stigma, men will become angels who no longer desire anonymous sex?

    Somehow, I don’t buy it.

  5. I think it’s pathetic that the media is focusing its attention on some perverted senator while completely ignoring the nomination of Walt Kurtz to the office of Attorney General. Tsk, tsk, America, tsk, tsk.

  6. I think the we are over simplify the whole gay thing. Instead of it being a clearcut, I’m gay you’re not situation, I believe it’s more of a spectrum. Think of it as degrees of bisexuality. On one end you have the mostly straight and on the other end the mostly gay. A lot of people fall in between. Think gayness as a bell curve. Perhaps Craig liked having sex with men, but was not romantically interested in men.

  7. Uh, not a joke.

    So you think the reader seriously believes that Craig opposes gay marriage because he has an interest in increasing the number of closeted but horny gay men?

  8. Abdul,
    “So, when we have gay marriage and homosexuality carries no more stigma, men will become angels who no longer desire anonymous sex?”

    No, they just won’t be getting as much.

  9. I think Craig is anti-homosexual. There’s nothing hypocritical about that as long as he’s full of self loathing.

  10. ” . . . more guys sitting at the boarding gate with their husbands means fewer in the airport washroom . . . more sailors with boyfriends on shore means fewer available underneath the dock.”

    Is this what you’d call a Zero-Sum Gay?

  11. I think two things are at work here.

    1. Craig is a political opportunist and came out against gay marriage because it got him votes.

    2. Craig is a degerate sex pervert who views sex and gay sex in particular as something done for pleasure and not for love and can’t see why anyone would want to be married to another man, especially considering the fact that you can apparently cruise the airports for blowjobs.

  12. Uh, not a joke.

    So you think the reader seriously believes that Craig opposes gay marriage because he has an interest in increasing the number of closeted but horny gay men?

    Personally I couldn’t take seriously the notion that Craig was consciously thinking that way per se, but I do wonder if at some level, an unconcious one if you will, the benefits that would accrue him by this position greased the wheels (again, if you will) of seeing the “old ways” as the way it oughtta be and oughtta stay.

    I do think such thinking processes are real and possibly common.

    That said, I think the more banal explanation of unbridled and unprincipled opportunism mixed with a dash of neurotic projection much better satisfies Occam’s Razor and is most likely sufficient.

  13. Forget Craig,

    From where, by the great balls of Korshchei, did you guys come up with that book cover image?

    Do you guys use some special database containing all the jetsam of popular culture, or are you guys dab hands with google?

  14. Jesse Walker: What Fyodor said above.

    There are additional dimensions of denial and self-loathing. And, I’ve often heard older-generation gays tell me how easy my life has been relative to theirs, which easily leads to resentment as described by Sullivan’s reader.

    Abdul: I believe that the incidence of anonymous, (semi-)public sex will indeed decrease. The incidence of casual sex will probably remain about the same. Men are pigs, after all.

    Oink!

  15. From where, by the great balls of Korshchei, did you guys come up with that book cover image?

    Click the picture – I put in a hyperlink to the site where I found it.

    Do you guys use some special database containing all the jetsam of popular culture, or are you guys dab hands with google?

    Are you saying Google isn’t a special database containing all the jetsam of popular culture?

  16. I’ve often heard older-generation gays tell me how easy my life has been relative to theirs, which easily leads to resentment as described by Sullivan’s reader.

    That’s why it’s a clever joke. But I find it hard to believe that the reader’s theory was meant to be taken literally.

  17. tarran,

    I’ve wondered that myself. Especially that screamingly homoerotic ’50s Russian SF movie poster they had a few weeks back.

  18. It is married men, appearing outwardly heterosexual– not openly gay men– who do it in public bathrooms and parks. Studies have been done proving this.

    They have to, they don’t have the gay friends/community/gay bars to meet people at.

  19. “From where, by the great balls of Korshchei, did you guys come up with that book cover image?”

    “Click the picture – I put in a hyperlink to the site where I found it.”

    Can’t! Afraid!

    (Also: At work!)

    (PS: Lunch!)

  20. I think there is a vast dichotomy between certain “bearded” married older gays and younger gays. Is there some sort of exact calculus about diminishing “hookup” possibilities that fosters bitterness? Almost certainly not in most cases–but discounting that resentment generally is a big mistake.

    Take the comment in question as impressionistic as opposed to empirical and it works well enough.

  21. I kind of agree with Sully’s guest blogger not in the zero-sum gay argument (thanks Drew W!), but in the new gay / old gay argument.

    I went to college in the early / mid eighties and I had a roomate who came out about five years later than he should have. Coming out back then was still a pretty big deal even on a liberal arts college campus; afterwards he was a much nicer and calmer fellow and stopped getting annoyingly / assholishly drunk five times a week. He said that he knew he was different than other boys since he could remember and knew he was attracted to guys since before adolescence, but he desperately didn’t want to be – that he would do anything not to be.

    The cool thing was that I didn’t have to him being an obnoxious drunk all the time and I got over my squeemishness about teh ghay in a big hurry. The downside was that I had to sit him down one afternoon and explain that it’s not cool to leave your porn out in the common area – if I stash my Penthouses you have to stash your Blue Boys, dude. Also, for the first few months after coming out he was supergay, I guess to make up the all the years that he couldn’t in the past. He was supergay the way people right out of treatment are supersober; it’s all they can freaking talk about.

    Nowadays, it’s much less of a big deal to come out and all your friends basically say “whatevs” and you move on.

    People who are gay but don’t want to be are more likely to have anon sex in bathrooms; people who are cool with being gay are more likely to have a boyfriend.

  22. You know, I always thought that when people said “Republicans like Dick” they were talking about their admiration for the Vice President.

  23. So maybe he’s just a commitment-phobe! Menz!

  24. I think people on this thread may be confusing “anonymous” sex with “screwing in the toilet” sex.
    If gay guys want anonymous sex, they can go to a bathhouse or craigslist. It’s only the guys who want no trail whatsoever, fear exposure, have no local bathhouse to go to, etc: closet cases, often in repressive locales, who have to go *somewhere* to get laid and end up doing it in semi-private public places where they can linger and wait for an opportunity.

    As was said yesterday, yes some people like the thrill of doing it outside, and that applies to gay and straight alike.

    But this:
    “So, when we have gay marriage and homosexuality carries no more stigma, men will become angels who no longer desire anonymous sex?”
    misses the point: no one is claiming that acceptance of homosexuality will change male sexuality. It’s that the gay ones won’t feel the need to hide it so desperately (and differently than straight guys do).

  25. Craig is a low budget fag that likes it in the CAN.

    Shame on him to deny other fags the right to marry and not be discrimated against.

    That’s the problem with the conservative movement. It’s a closed minded and hypocritical movement.

    Look at the “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell ” policy. No different than voting anti-gay…and getting some ‘beef-jerkie’ in a public restroom. That’s why I hate the conservative movement.

    They (conservatives) push things that even they don’t believe in

  26. If u like it in the can…tell everyone.

    Don’t deny yourself a life of happiness getting it in the can.

    LARRY CRAIG closets are for clothes. Get out of there and enjoy ur public restrooms with impunity.

  27. “Why would Larry Craig oppose gay marriage even as he cruises for quickies in public restrooms? ”

    to state that this is not logical, puts it mildly.

    let’s say for the sake of argument that person X *is* a homosexual and cruises for quickies. does that mean that they must agree on the policy issue of gay marriage? of course not.

    plenty of gays oppose gay marriage, as a policy issue.

    obviously, MOST gays support it, but it is not some kind of logical inconsistency to be gay and against gay marriage.

  28. obviously, MOST gays support it, but it is not some kind of logical inconsistency to be gay and against gay marriage.

    I must have missed the comment where someone said it was.

  29. Lily is right. I don’t think Craig was looking for sex, he wanted to suck the guy off. It’s called “being on the down low”. Married, apparently straight men, who like to suck dick every now and then.

  30. The anonymous sex point above is correct — gay guys can get fucked by using phone lines or Craig’s list. A friend of mine can get on the phone line and have some total stranger over at his place to fuck him within an hour, travel time depending. Guys like him use airports for flying and airport bathrooms for fucking, which they can do with stranger after stranger in the privacy and comfort of their homes.

    I do have to say, bathroom fucking isn’t a gay/straight thing. I had sex with a guy in the guys’ bathroom at NYU when I went to school there for a year. While a good time was had by all who were had, it’s more fun in concept (fucking in public) than in practice (fucking standing up in a small space with a toilet you don’t want to fall into).

  31. Oh, crap – I meant, “guys like him use airport bathrooms for PEEING” not for fucking.

  32. “””Married, apparently straight men, who like to suck dick every now and then.”””

    How much of that need you do to be considered gay?

  33. And Amy’s phone # is?

    😉

  34. Maybe Craig can go to the facility that preacher went to become straight again.

  35. Amy,

    Chances are pretty good that you didn’t meet him in the the bathroom, though.

    Re: down low – I heard some fella on the teevee explain that he wasn’t gay or bi because he was the pitcher and not the catcher. I think he may be confused about the meaning of some words. Also, now whenever I hear that some athlete isn’t playing because he is on the DL I laugh.

  36. Breaking News…Larry Craig is stepping down

  37. …from his committee assignments, not his Senate seat.

  38. How much of that need you do to be considered gay?

    It just needs to exceed the boy-girl sex one participates in by a simple majority.

  39. It’s a joke but there’s truth to it. Craig is in denial obviously and new gay culture is a threat to his moral code. He finds the honesty it entails objectionable. Also part of the sexual rush I’m sure he enjoys is the illict nature of his homosexual experiences.

  40. I see some top GOP Senators are calling for his resignation. Strange priorities, A lying AG, not a problem. Maybe they would have supported Craig if he lied about it.

  41. TrickyVic,

    Specter, for one, came as close to calling for Gonzo’s resignation as he could get away with.

  42. Rhywun | August 29, 2007, 4:44pm | #
    “”How much of that need you do to be considered gay?””

    It just needs to exceed the boy-girl sex one participates in by a simple majority.

    I dont get that. What if you are fucking equal amounts of both. Does that make you “A Nothing”?

    There’s the old Guido Theory of gay, which states “It’s not Gay if they suck YOUR dick, and if you give to THEM up the ass” Those guys are hilarious.

    I cant really even see why the endless Gay/Not Gay vs Gay Spectrum question matters at all. He’s a perv of one stripe or another. none of the gay guys I know suck cock in public toilets. Then again, I’ve never asked. Dude is just a creep.

  43. I agree with Warren:

    Warren | August 29, 2007, 12:29pm | #

    I think Craig is anti-homosexual. There’s nothing hypocritical about that as long as he’s full of self loathing.

    Like a drug warrior, Craig doesn’t realize that it’s the repression that’s the problem. His homosexuality has brought him nothing but shame, humiliation, guilt, fear, and misery. He probably thinks he’s saving poor innocents from the same fate, just like drug warriors think they’re saving inner city residents from gang violence.

  44. Craig, West, and Haggard are the death throes of the old gay culture, desperately longing for the good old days.

    “And therefor” the Democrat says “they need to be dragged, beaten and publicly humiliated”

    So goes the uncriticized irrational hatred the left has for closeted gays.

  45. Craig is a degerate sex pervert who views sex and gay sex in particular as something done for pleasure and not for love

    Huh?

    Viewing sex as something done for pleasure and not love is degenerate?

    Is it just me or did I just step into the Victorian age?

    But I think I am loving the anti-gay marriage equals anti-gay meme…Watching idiots fall over themselves is great sport.

  46. But I think I am loving the anti-gay marriage equals anti-gay meme…Watching idiots fall over themselves is great sport.

    Well, I’m no memeticist, but I don’t see why the “X opposes gay marriage, therefore X is probably an anti-gay bigot” inference would be any worse off than the highly reliable “X opposes interracial marriage, therefore X is probably a racist bigot” inference.

  47. That “Range” website is one of the most awesomely esoteric things I’ve ever seen. A whole genre of pulp I never knew existed.

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