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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Airport Bathroom Sex 101

If it’s true that we learn something new every day, then many of us learned lots of new things during the recent kerfuffle over U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest in June at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. For instance:

* It’s not a crime to make a pass at someone in a public place, but it could be a crime to engage in conduct that elicits “alarm or resentment” in others. Asking for a phone number in a bar: OK. Implicitly offering sex in an airport bathroom: Not OK.

* There’s an intricate sequence to soliciting sex in a public restroom that involves tapping feet and placing objects in front of the bottom of the stall door. There are ancient Balinese mating rituals that are less elaborate. Wouldn’t an ad on Craigslist be a lot less trouble?

* Apparently, the MSP men’s room is a hotbed for the type of “cruising” of which Craig is accused. As a result, police have made numerous arrests in such cases in recent months. In the dozens of times I’ve used airport bathrooms, I’ve somehow managed to elude these menacing overtures.

* A guilty plea can be withdrawn, but only if the accused can prove his due process rights were violated or that he was coerced into the plea.

Maybe readers better versed in the law and/or anonymous sexual encounters knew these things already. But I didn’t, and I’m glad to look on the fix Craig has found himself in as a valuable learning experience.

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