Sunday, September 2, 2007

Bag-A-Fag: Bathroom Stings

In the Detroit, Michigan area, bathroom stings are quite common in certain rest areas and restrooms. I know this because I receive referrals from an organization here in Detroit called the Triangle Foundation. The Triangle Foundation ensures these men are treated fairly by the law and the police.

The referrals are usually deeply closeted homosexual men who do not self-identify as gay. They are in the early stages of coming out deeply repressed. They are usually married, with children and hold highly prestigious jobs. Others are not gay nor do they desire sex with men. The main reason is for sexual release and lack of judgment during the sexual act. They are not fantasizing or longing for a man the way they would women.

The main reasons are that they are re-enacting early childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse or are interested in certain sexual acts which they are afraid to tell anyone--especially their wives. Others are bisexual and closeted about their homosexual side. Other reasons exist as well which, again, have nothing to do with homosexual orientation.

I have heard repeatedly that the police informally call the operation Bag-a-Fag. This form of prejudice and hatred is repulsive of course. More ignorant to me is that the police force or anyone else believe that these are only gay men in the stalls of these bathrooms.

To the left is the police officer who arrested Sen. Larry Craig. From the tapes played on television he sounded professional and appropriate which is what I would hope would be the case. However my clients tell me over and over that the police officers who arrest them call them homophobic names and deal with them in contempt.

When my straight clients have been caught having public sex they either get a "tap on the car door" or a "flashlight on them on the beach" and told to go somewhere private with the police officer smiling affirmly.

Because these are men having sex with men the belief this is about gay men and it is not.

In the article, So Many Men's Rooms, So Little Time Why men like Larry Craig continue to to court danger in public places. By Christopher Hitchens on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007 Hitchens starts out well talking about a popular piece of research by Laud Humphrey;

In his study of men who frequent public restrooms in search of sex, Laud Humphreys discovered that 54 percent were married and living with their wives, 38 percent did not consider themselves homosexual or bisexual, and only 14 per cent identified themselves as openly gay. Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Personal Places, a doctoral thesis which was published in 1970, detailed exactly the pattern—of foot-tapping in code, hand-gestures and other tactics—which has lately been garishly publicized at the Minneapolis-St Paul airport men's room. The word "tearoom" seems to have become archaic, but in all other respects the fidelity to tradition is impressive.

The men interviewed by Humphreys wanted what many men want: a sexual encounter that was quick and easy and didn't involve any wining and dining. Some of the heterosexuals among them had also evolved a tactic for dealing with the cognitive dissonance that was involved. They compensated for their conduct by adopting extreme conservative postures in public. Humphreys, a former Episcopalian priest, came up with the phrase "breastplate of righteousness" to describe this mixture of repression and denial. So it is quite thinkable that when Sen. Craig claims not to be gay, he is telling what he honestly believes to be the truth.

But then he moves to this:

However, this still leaves a slight mystery. In the 1960s, homosexuality was illegal in general and gay men were forced to cruise in places where (if I can phrase it like this) every man and boy in the world has to come sometime. Today, anyone wanting a swift male caress can book it online or go to a discreet resort. Yet people still persist in haunting the tearoom, where they risk arrest not for their sexuality but for "disorderly conduct." Why should this be?

He is assuming that gay men are in these stalls after he just cited research that showed that most of the men are not self-identified as gay.

The truth is that these men have numerous reasons why they sexually act out with men.

So to Hitchens and others who have the same question as to why should this be, the reason is that any form of adult male to male affection and male contact other than sports is prohibited. This is not a gay thing, it is a guy thing!

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