the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Smokin’ In the Boy’s Room

A question for men  — Who would you rather be sitting next to in a public bathroom stall?

Daniel Craig

Craig Newmark, founder of Craig’s List

Idaho Senator Larry Craig

Have you been following this Senator Craig story?  Am I the only one who had no idea about all these foot-tapping codes for picking up other men?

I understand the whole political ramifications of the story, especially since Senator Craig is a conservative Republican.  He seems like an asshole.  A misstep in his secret life has caused his entire career to unravel.  OK, he’s a hypocrite, but is tapping your foot in code enough to be considered lewd conduct? 

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this scene in a cop movie:  an undercover cop wants to bust a drug ring.  He is posing as a buyer.  He is rigged with well-hidden microphones.  BUT… the sleazy drug dealer can’t be arrested until money changes hands.   Why isn’t it the same in a men’s room pick-up?  I don’t want gay or straight sex going on in my public bathroom, but doesn’t something have to happen before it becomes a charge of disorderly conduct? 

I have the same problem with considering solicitation for prostitution a crime.   If I drive up to a prostitute and ask her, “Hey sugar, how much is it to do the nasty in the back seat and then have some burgers at In-N-Out?,” is that enough to get me arrested, my mug plastered all over the internet, and my good name become the laughing stock of Twitter?   Don’t I actually have to give her money before I am considered to be doing something illegal? 

I’m for prostitution becoming legal.  It’s safer for everyone and our schools would get tax dollars.


  1. sassy

    I sense you’re feeling slightly ‘informational’ today, Neil… good job !

    As for me, well, I’m a woman, so OBVOIUSLY I’d rather be accosted by Daniel Craig.

  2. Neil

    Yes, Sassy! Tuesday is Informational Day! But notice I still threw in some “Silly” stuff as filler, because I actually know very little about the subject of bathroom sex or prostitution.

  3. butterfly

    Daniel Craig can tap foot-codes on me all day if he wants to…This is purely an “informational” comment. I’m just sayin’… 😉

    Where do people learn this foot-tapping-code? Do you have to go to special classes — like Sign Language School? ArchTouch-BigToeTap-HeelSlide means handjob?

  4. therapydoc

    Now if the bathrooms had been unisex bathrooms, and he had tapped his foot as a woman, nobody would have cared. This is really a feminist issue.

  5. kapgar

    Honestly, I want no one in the stall next to me. If there is, I can’t finish my business (not the kind of business Larry Craig would be interested in either).

  6. Elisabeth

    Kapgar, I am totally with you. I have some sort of a weird phobia of public bathrooms anyway.

  7. Not Fainthearted

    I’m with TherapyDoc….totally a feminist issue.

    As for the tax dollars….

  8. Bre

    It’s a gray, gray, gray area chock full of arguments about family values and intentions…

  9. Juliness

    Bathroom stuff in public restrooms? I’m a believer in the HTA* whenever possible.

    As for the senator – I cannot stand hypocrites, so he’s automatically tossed into the “ass” category. (Not to be confused with the first part of this comment.)

    Would a sliding scale be applied to the prostitution tax?

    *Home Toilet Advantage

  10. Otir

    P**ain! Ces Américains ! complètement obsédés par le Q !


    (My fee is $0.12, that’ll be cheap for the translation, Paypal accepted).

  11. tiff

    Some have said that the Distinguished Gentleman from whatever state he’s from was simply doing an “Astaire” to warn the dude in the next stall that he was working on a little project, and that the hand slide under the partition could have been a solicitation for nothing more than some TP.

    I don’t know anyone who knows “the code,” and I’ve asked. I can certainly see why a straight man would be confused by all the fuss.

    Also? Dan Craig. He’s the only one I could envision that would make pooping seem elegant.

  12. Dagny

    In your prostitution example, you would have been arrested for solicitation. The key is using the words “how much.” That implies that there will be indeed an exchange of money. Next time leave those words out.

  13. V-Grrrl

    If you want to get the skinny on legal prostitution and the joys of living on the path to the brothel, read my friend Peter’s blog, Antwerp Calling.

    One of my favorites.

  14. sizzle

    That’s the founder of Craig’s List? Who knew! Well, I guess HE did. . .

  15. not supergirl

    He’s already on my list of assholes because of the whole hypocrisy thing, but the fact is that, in his case, the question is moot since he confessed. Done deal, intentions no longer in doubt.

  16. wendy

    Did you have a bad experience over the week end???

    If prostitution is of one own free will..(and not a last resort…) I think it should be legal.

    I want no one…absolutely no any bathroom with me ever.

  17. 2littlefishes

    Ah, the dilemma. Was the good senator asking to spare a square or was he reacting to his I-pod playing the Santana tune “give him your card and make it real, or else forget about it”? Perhaps all his secrets will be revealed in his soon to be released memoirs “Tapping My Way Through Congressional Issues And Not Getting Caught”.

  18. Finn

    I really could care less what the senator does with his penis. But I find it hysterical that all these conservative guys are really great big homos.

    What I don’t understand is why in God’s name you would want to have sex in a dirty, stinky public bathroom? Was there no Motel 6 nearby?

  19. mckay

    i better stop listening to my ipod in the public stalls. i do tend to tap to the music, and i’d hate for nickelback to be the cause of my ruin.

  20. churlita

    I find nothing sexy about a public bathroom – even if Daniel Craig were there. And maybe all these conservative guys who want anonymous homosexual encounters are against gay marriages for a reason…

  21. Danny

    It’s a good thing I’m not looking for any action in a public bathroom because the thought of running my hand under the stall makes me want to puke. I do think the furor over what the senator did is insane but then again, he’s such a slime that it’s hard to feel sorry for him. And his attempts to explain his actions were so embarrassing it was truly pathetic. Even if he had this secret gay life, couldn’t he think of a better outlet than an airport restroom, for God’s sake? Maybe he wanted to get caught?

  22. Neil

    I’m not sure if Salma Hayek showed up naked in my stall — in an airport bathroom — whether I would be able to go through with it. Yuch! I don’t even let my luggage touch the floor.

  23. MichelleVan

    After this fiasco took place I asked my hubby… do men really tap their feet in bathroom stalls as a, clue?
    He said he had no idea and wouldn’t be playing his iPod any longer while sitting …..

  24. NSC

    I say legalize it and tax it along with pot. Of course, how many wives are going to forgive the hubby spending time high in a brothel, legal or not?

  25. claire

    Maybe think of it like hiring a hitman. You might arrange to pay sometime after the initial deal was struck so you could hit the bank, but before money changed hands, you were conspiring to kill someone.

  26. patois

    What’s to say the illustrious former senior Senator from the great state of Idaho wasn’t just practicing his macarena moves? BTW, my Jump One, Jump Twosday pits Craig against another sex-driven Senator, Vitter. I like your choices better, of course, and would have to go with the Brit.

  27. maribeth

    That sounds like a real shit job, sitting in an airport bathroom stall for hours waiting for someone to tap his foot at you.

  28. Roadchick

    You take hookers out for hamburgers after doing the nasty?

    You truly are a gentleman.


  29. Pearl

    The first thought I had on the story was, like yours, seriously? foot taps? ppft, who knew.

    Second thought was, how can this be good use of policing dollars? Surely they aren’t staking out washrooms just in case 2 people would want to have consensual touch? Aren’t there cross walks that need cars to slow down around or pickpocketing hotspots or something?

  30. Alice

    the foot tapping code reminds me of the colored bracelet code that middle schoolers supposedly had to say how far they’d go with boys. like, i GUESS it’s real? somewhere? and someone knows the code? but i sure don’t know anyone who does.

  31. girlanddog

    Republicans remind me of Catholic school girls I grew up with. They went around with their prudish uniforms and crucifixes around their necks, but when we went on our Senior Trip, they had a line of guys out their hotel room…

  32. 180/360

    I clearly haven’t been paying enough attention to the news!

    PS. I’m honored to be your blog crush of the day! xxx

  33. Neil

    180/360 — consider it a virtual foot tap.

  34. AscenderRisesAbove

    foottapping… that was a new one on me too. chuckling at alice’s comment and thinking back in the day when boys would wear the shirts with the loops on the back pleat; that was supposed to be a sign as well; others would rip off the loop and tear the shirt. I can’t remember if the loop missing said you were or you weren’t.
    Does anyone really understand how a republican thinks though – honestly?

  35. Elizabeth

    I don’t know why I was so surprised when I first heard tapping your feet in a stall was an indication that you wanted sex. I’ve grown up in San Francisco where homosexuality is so commonplace that the fact that you can go to a rest stop or a secluded parking lot for sex with a stranger, or that there are glory holes in an adult club is not surprising. The lifestyle to me is sickening, yes, but their habits are not surprising.

    If you’re ever in San Francisco and you’d like to know the proper etiquette for a glory hole here’s Wikipedia’s definition.
    Due to the fear of arrest or assault, or etiquette, few males will insert their penis in a glory hole without invitation from the person on the other side of the partition. A common signal by a willing participant is to insert one or more fingers in the hole, often accompanied by a beckoning motion, and an audible invitation such as a purr or whistle.

  36. metalia

    See, I WANT to say Daniel Craig, but the shrewd businesswoman in my soul says Larry Craig. You know, for blackmail purposes. Mama needs some new lip gloss!

    (Also: Foot-tapping codes? WTF?)

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