Wherein Pete's logic goes down the toilet
In a new piece wherein he weighs in on the Jim Naugle situation and tries to present "cruising" for sex as if it is a gay-only issue, Peter LaBarbera has today presented an exhaustive piece detailing those who engage in such behavior. In it, he says of a website that lists places where people can meet for anonymous encounters:
This pornography-financed website and others like it (e.g., “Craig’s List”) illustrate the highly organized nature of male homosexual perversion. Certainly there are many homosexual men (and lesbians) who eschew this behavior, but there are also many who enjoy it, or at least participate in it. And there is no parallel, hugely organized phenomenon for people seeking anonymous heterosexual sex in bathrooms, etc., (which is not to suggest that there is a shortage of heterosexually-oriented perversions).
Okay, so we can't really believe we are even acknowledging Pete's claims on this. However, we do want to say:
Craigslist -- Philadelphia
Craigslist -- Minneapolis
Craigslist -- Raleigh
And so on and so on. If you go to Craigslist in any given city, you will find LOADS of heterosexual "casual encounter"-seekers. That's because the idea of "cruising for sex" is not associated with orientation. Given the opportunity, there are people of all orientations who will seek out such encounters!
Now, we're not going to deny that this concept has historically been more prevalent in the gay community. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why this was the case. Forced to hide, demonized by society, and marginalized by many, some gay folks did and in some cases still do seek out places where they can express their sexual identity. We are sexual beings by nature, and there is surely still a contingent of gay people who are unable to live their truths or to meet people openly. Plus, you have to throw in the idea that bathrooms, by and large, are confined to folks of the same gender, making same-sex sex really the only type of whoopee that's even possible to take place. So again, it's not hard to see why the numbers might be higher in a community that is so frequently shunned.
On the flip, heterosexual people have always been free to be open, making the concept of hidden, anonymous encounters less likely. And again, you have to consider the fact that bathrooms are not typically gender-neutral. If they were, there would undoubtedly be more straight hookups in the stalls! However, despite their lack of shared restrooms, the rise of the Internet has, as demonstrated above, led many of the m4w & w4m persuasion to use this newfound ease of access to solicit their own bits of nameless boinking. The fact that they have no true need to hide themselves makes this development quite interesting.
Also. in terms of the m4m seekers, you cannot discredit the myriad of straight-identified men who sneak around and use such routes to obtain their jollies. Pete does acknowledge this contingent, saying:
We have never been big on identity labels, so the liberal argument used against Mayor Naugle — that some of the men participating in public sex are (married) “heterosexuals” — is moot: if a man engages in public or anonymous perversions with other men, it’s just as wrong whether he calls himself “straight,” ”gay,” or “bisexual.” (Ditto for men who molest boys.)
But here's the thing: This point is FAR FROM MOOT for us! For you see, Pete is trying to paint public sex "cruising" as a gay-only, widespread phenomenon that "llustrate[s] the highly organized nature of male homosexual perversion." But heterosexual-identified men who engage in such behavior because they have created a public life that doesn't jibe with their private thoughts are NOT illustrating anything in terms of the homosexual mind! They are illustrating what happens when one perverts their reality in order to fit into a certain model. "Big on labels" or not, it is EXTREMELY unfair to gloss over this point. If you forced a truly heterosexual person to live as a gay man his whole life, you would surely see a HUGE contingent of these men seeking out secret straight sex in places where such might be available. It is the closeting and the pain that comes with such self-stifling that leads to this sort of "cruising," not any particular orientation!
Look, we're not going to sit here and justify, demean, or even give a personal opinion on "cruising" for casual encounters. Such is not the point of this entry. We only want people like Mr. LaBarbera to look at situations in a more logical light before rushing to condemn entire communities of people for ideas and behaviors confined to a limited few. If he really wants to stop anonymous encounters in the gay community, we'd be willing to bet serious cash that an agreement from his team that they'll stop treating gays like cow dung would drastically decrease future rates. Their persecutory role cannot and should not be downplayed. Our only question: What's contributing to all these straight people choosing to express their own "unisex heterosexual perversion"?!
Just to add to your point, Jeremy, here are the listings for Ft. Lauderdale itself:
Posted by: John | Jul 26, 2007 9:50:42 AM
Barbara is so retarded. Most of the gay hookup listings are from "straight" married men anyway!
Posted by: GayLeftBorg | Jul 26, 2007 5:29:11 PM
All this attention to us just takes time away from your family Pete. I wonder what your wife and kids have to say about your "fixation."
Posted by: Franc | Jul 26, 2007 9:15:41 PMcomments powered by Disqus