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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Think of the Children

posted by on October 9 at 13:51 PM

It seems that there are men are messing around with other men in a public toilet in Georgetown.

Andy Bookwalter complained for years about people having sex in the restrooms at the Georgetown Playfield near his house. But the situation peaked in September, when somebody actually started advertising on Craigslist.

“Looking for fun in Georgetown,” the post was titled. “Looking for someplace fun to get off with other men? Georgetown park bathroom between 11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. is a great place. Hit me up if you would like to pick a time.”

Andy Bookwalter, who lives near the Georgetown Playfield and restrooms, which are at Padilla Place South and South Homer Street, has complained to Seattle Parks and Recreation and to the police about sexual activity in the park.

Another personal ad on a gay cruising Web site recommends the brick men’s room at the playfield, which is at the end of Bookwalter’s tree-lined street.

It’s not the kind of thing he wants his two young sons—3 and 1—to walk in on someday.

Hm. When my son was three years old I didn’t let him wander into public restrooms unaccompanied.* Still, I’d be annoyed too if this were happening on my block.

So, like, all you “gay” cruisers**? You can use Craigslist and CruisingForSex.com to turn your own bathrooms into cruisy public toilets. No need to alarm the good people of Georgetown.

* Commenters have pointed out that Bookwalter doesn’t let his son wander into toilets today, at three years of age, but “someday,” when he’s old enough, presumably, to wander into toilets. So that crack is withdrawn. And, again, I’d be annoyed if this was happening on my block.

** Lots of the “gay cruisers” in Georgetown—and Minneapolis, Florida, and elsewhere—are straight-identified married men. Just wanted to get that on the record again.

RSS icon Comments

1

Touch'em all!

Posted by monkey | October 9, 2007 2:04 PM
2

Wait, are we still talking about Alyssa Milano?

Posted by monkey | October 9, 2007 2:04 PM
3

I'd suspect this comes to be about the fetishizing of the public bathroom itself for some of these guys. Hooking up in private might not have the same appeal to them.

Posted by tsm | October 9, 2007 2:14 PM
4

When my son was three years old I didnít let him wander into public restrooms unaccompanied.

I have no idea how you get from that article that he lets his sons wander into public restrooms unaccompanied.

Posted by candid | October 9, 2007 2:19 PM
5

The article says "someday" not now - I don't think the guy would be stupid enough to let his 1- and 3-year-old kids go to a public restroom by himself. So get off your high horse, Dan. However, no matter how old someone is, you don't want to walk in on people having sex, straight or gay, in a public place. Take that shit on home.

Posted by Sonny Drysdale | October 9, 2007 2:21 PM
6

Hey, I read it quickly and tossed it up. Sorry. Withdrawn.

Posted by Dan Savage | October 9, 2007 2:22 PM
7

Maybe I'm just a woman, but inviting strange men into your home sounds like a bad idea. Isn't there any public place where these poor souls can have furtive, ugly sex in peace?

Posted by Kiru Banzai | October 9, 2007 2:29 PM
8

So the respectable and FATHER Mr. Bookwalter has complained for years about this issue....Doesn't he have anything else to do? What about all the homeless people and drug addicts in that park? How come he hasn't taken proactive steps himself (put up a fake video camera, put up a sign). Sounds like someone is a little OBSESSED!
I'm not saying that men having sex in a public bathroom is ok, but honestly I have never EVER seen two men having sex in a bathroom anywhere (Volunteer Park, etc). I see lots of men standing around, probably looking for sex, but active sex? Never.
And since when (as Dan said) have parents been sending their small kids to public bathrooms in downtown parks known to be frequented by drug users and - gasp - homosxuals!
And has everyone noticed, it's always about the kids. "I don't want my kids to see that!" Well, it's ok if your kids see people being blown to bits, but not if they accidently glimpse some sex? What kind of message does that send? Sex - bad. Killing - good.
And another thing: it's almost never out gay men that go to public bathrooms. It's "straight" social conservative, upstanding members of society who would be the first to condemn the act.
One more thing....ah I forgot the rest of my rant...

Posted by Get a Friggin life!!! | October 9, 2007 2:32 PM
9

There is no age at which I would feel comfortable stumbling upon two men fucking in a public bathroom. Are there no sex clubs in Georgetown? I'd check Yelp, but I'm at work.

Posted by mattymatt | October 9, 2007 2:36 PM
10

Oh, the other thing - on one public cruising website it actually says "HEAD UP - police have been arresting people at this park etc etc" so it's not like the police haven't been doing anything.

And I always hate how this is made to be a gay issue! The only reason you don't hear more about straight people having sex in parks (which they do - maybe not in the bathrooms, but bushes, cars etc) is because they almost NEVER GET ARRESTED! The police usually look the other way. But gay people - well that's just indecent, unnatural, perverted, so of course they get arrested.

Posted by remembered the rest of my rant | October 9, 2007 2:39 PM
11

aren't there places like club z that are specifically for cruisy sex with no 1- or 3-year olds around? maybe these guys too cheap to pay for a membership or are bath houses closed from 11am - 1pm?

Posted by members only | October 9, 2007 2:43 PM
12

Do you actually think those guys knowingly do it in this bathroom thinking that there will be 1-3 year olds around? Have you ever been in this park? Not exactly a kiddie playground wonderland.

And by the way Dan, this does happen in your neighboorhood (or close by), you just don't know about it.

Posted by ridiculous | October 9, 2007 2:48 PM
13

Unfortunately for people who are into this kind of thing, public pressure is only going to get stronger after Craig, and not just from homophobes. Gays who are not into cruising public bathrooms have everything to gain by distancing themselves from those who do, and it's about time the wider public understood that all queer people are not the same.

What turns my stomach is the kind of boundary-policing displayed by John Aravosis' over at Salon, questioning who allowed the T to be stuck on GLBT. Sad to see that, for some people, solidarity is a completely meaningless term.

Posted by Irena | October 9, 2007 3:07 PM
14

um why would you use a public restroom near your house, and not the bathroom in your house? it seems like that would be the best place to have it, since your chances of encountering it are slim to none.

Posted by and | October 9, 2007 3:15 PM
15

Lots of parked cars with single dudes just sitting there on the lower road of Volunteer Park, and in the Arboretum just about every time I jog through. I've never seen anything explicit though; so for all I know they're just enjoying the tranquility of our fine urban parks during their lunch hour.

Posted by Charlie | October 9, 2007 3:17 PM
16

@15 - it's possible. I used to go and have lunch at the park near Issaquah when I worked there. Never occurred to me people might be using it for other purposes.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 9, 2007 3:19 PM
17

Is this why I keep seeing urinals in people's master bathrooms? I know it's supposed to be fashionable and stylish, but they always make me shudder.

And if you're going to have a urinal in your master bathroom, shouldn't you really install two or three of them?

Posted by Boomer in NYC | October 9, 2007 3:34 PM
18

I stumbled across this and thought this was about GEORGETOWN. You know, the location that was once a city in Maryland, home to America's first Jesuit university, and has since been encompassed into WASHINGTON as a neighborhood.

I can accept Washington in the Northwest. But Georgetown in Seattle? Capital Hill in Seattle? Capital of what? Salmon-mocha smoothies?

I guess this is pretty unlikely to happen, but you guys need to get some new names so as to avoid confusing the rest of the country.

Posted by Washington DC | October 9, 2007 3:56 PM
19

@18

Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, and Washington STATE 7th graders were required to take a course in Washington STATE History, I seem to recall Mr. Frick (really) telling us all that this State was going to go by the moniker "Columbia" but the Feds wanted a State to honor the Father of the Country, so we went with George and Martha's surname - [i]with the proviso that Washington D.C. would always be referred to as THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.[/i]

Take that, Mr. D.C. smarty-pants communist.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | October 9, 2007 4:17 PM
20

If this were straight people fucking bathrooms, it wouldn't even be an issue.

Posted by WTF? | October 9, 2007 4:41 PM
21

A Republican politician from my old district in Louisiana has dropped out of the State Senate race because of soliciting sex in the mall bathroom. The 'investigation' was apparently interrupted by kids' arrival.

Posted by katherine | October 9, 2007 4:43 PM
22

In the past week the deaths of Spc. Vincent G. Kamka, 23, and Lance Cpl. Jeremy Burris, 22, marked the 100th and 101rst Washington state related deaths in the Bush/Savage war on Iraq.

Excerpt from "Say Yes To War" by Dan Savage October 2002:

In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we're going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves.

Posted by terry | October 9, 2007 5:39 PM
23

Birds do it, Bees do it, even men in bathrooms do it, lets do it, lets fall in love...
I'm going to be singing this all night!

Posted by mj | October 9, 2007 5:43 PM
24

Sleazy business going on in Georgetown? Who'da thunk that a sleazy neighborhood would have sleazy stuff going on?

Posted by brappy | October 9, 2007 5:44 PM
25

I don't think the point is "hating on the gay." Most people do not want to walk in on other people having sex, I don't care who they are, how good looking they are, gay, straight, whatever. It's not like popping on a porno DVD and going, "all right, gonna watch me some porn." That's a choice (a fine one, too). But think about it: you gotta pee something fierce, you buck up and use a skank public restroom out of desperation and walk in to see someone smoking the pole. Basta! I don't want to have that foisted on me, all caught off guard with a bursting bladder. Ain't right.

Posted by Georgetown neighbor | October 9, 2007 5:52 PM
26

Above - I wanted to cry for you, full bladder can be a bitch

How about this - you yell - I need to pee, step to the can or urinal or sink, and then, PEE.

Next, zip up and leave and go on with your day. Like a real man in the woods or after a night of drinking when you always piss on a Porsche.

There must be hundreds of thousand of men's rooms world wide, I have never been in any public men's room where there is not sign of sex.

Even at Microsoft or the open pissoirs of Paris.

Big fucking deal.

But I hope next time you do not injure yourself from a lack of determination and self assertion.

And, admit it or not, peeing is really totally universal. Oh, hmmmmm, so is sex.

Posted by Peeteer | October 9, 2007 6:24 PM
27

Good for you Dan, I LOVE the coining of "STRAIGHT IDENTIFIED"--on the nose. Perfect. These guys are who they need to be "afraid of" not the gay guy who lives down the street. Well done. You were excellent on Colbert Report, too.

Posted by PickleDeeDee | October 9, 2007 6:27 PM
28

@26 - it is not OK for anyone to have sex in public even if sex is universal. Whacking off is universal too, but I don't want someone to sit next to me on the bus and start pulling the pud or tickling the taco right then and there.

Posted by Georgetown neighbor | October 9, 2007 6:38 PM
29

No comment.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 9, 2007 6:45 PM
30

I've never heard of much straight sex in bathrooms, but the gang at the Slog says it's just as prevalent as gay sex in bathrooms, so it must be true. Great news! I've had no luck talking women into it, let me tell you.

I'm going to head out to the nearest mens room and hang out waiting for a woman to wander in and tap her foot in the stall next to me. That's probably not the best strategy but my searches for lists of cruisy straight bathrooms haven't turned up much. Links please, if you have them! Thx.

Should I be waiting in a ladies room instead? If so, which one?

PS: I'm sorry that only gays get arrested for it. Unfair!

Posted by elenchos | October 9, 2007 7:29 PM
31

"straight-identified married men" is a really long way to say "chicken-shit closet case"

Posted by Y.F. | October 9, 2007 8:26 PM
32

Only two syllables more (one in plural), making it two (or three) shorter than "chicken-shit *adulterous* closet cases"

Posted by katherine | October 9, 2007 8:30 PM
33

I've no problem with DISCREET public sex, but some guy are Just so tacky about it.

For instance, I wandered into a park bathroom the other day (I was there legitimately. Really. I had been sent there to make sure it was OK for my neighbor's kid, because the park is quite cruisy) and some dumbshit had written on the wall above the urinal, in thick black magic marker, "DADDY/SON PNP PARTY!" along with the details, and - Just in case you didn't understand what they were getting at - a picture of a hard cock.

It almost makes you nostalgic for the days when you had to remember which side the earring was supposed to be on, and what the color of the hanky meant.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | October 9, 2007 9:28 PM
34

@18 I can 100%, absolutely, positively, for sure guarantee that there are people cruising for sex in your Georgetown too, particularly on the campus of America's first Jesuit university.

Posted by Gitai | October 9, 2007 9:50 PM
35

"straight-identified married men" sorry but theyre GAYS no matter how they try to hide it and it would be nice to be able to go to the bathroom without some fucking faggot peeking over the top of the stall. I got nothing against gays, but I do have something against ppl peeking over the top of a stall to perv me out. Perhaps a good solid shit kicking would help correct their attitudes. That isnt gay bashing thats sorting out someone who refuses to behave in an acceptable way.

Posted by its me | October 10, 2007 4:23 AM
36

@35

Sir, your care, nuance, and sophistication are a credit to your upbringing.

Posted by Greg | October 10, 2007 8:35 AM

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