Sex Scandal Details

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Larry Craig’s ‘Wide Stance’

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Craig’s mug shot

Craig’s mug shot

Larry Craig wasn't the only man arrested cruising for sex in a public toilet at the Minneapolis airport. He wasn't even the first man arrested in that particular restroom on that particular day. Forty other men were arrested as part of the same sting operation. We heard about Craig's arrest to the exclusion of all the others because Craig had the misfortune of being the only sitting U.S. senator arrested in that particular bathroom. Craig claimed his innocent actions that day were misconstrued. The toe tapping? A nervous leg. His foot sliding under the divider and nudging the foot of an undercover officer? That was Craig's "wide stance," the senator insisted, an excuse that didn't pass the, er, smell test. Very few people are aware the "wide stance" is something of an epidemic in Minneapolis. Most of the other men who were busted, like Craig, slid their feet under the stalls, wide-stance style, and nudged the undercover officer's foot. It's just one of the subtle signals that men seeking anonymous public sex in toilets send each other. It annoys people like me--openly gay men--when the Craig incident is described as a "gay sex scandal," as if his actions in the toilet that day tell you something about gay men. Openly gay people--gay men with integrity--have boyfriends and husbands. When I want a blow job, I don't have to fly to Minnesota and lurk in a toilet. I just have to go home.

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Savage is editor of The Stranger, a Seattle alt-weekly.

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