Larry Craig’s quickly becoming a queer culture mover and tapper. In addition to elevating the word “hypocrite” to new heights and exposing all of the GOP’s ugly angles, the toilet cruising Senator’s reviving old sociological studies:
[Craig] certainly deserves credit for renewing interest in Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places, by Laud Humphreys, first published in 1970.
Humphreys, who was for many years a professor of sociology at Pitzer College, in Claremont, California, died in 1988. But his analysis of the protocols of anonymous encounters in men’s rooms – “tearooms,” in gay slang – has been cited quite a bit in recent weeks. In particular, reporters have been interested in his findings about the demographics of the cruising scene at the public restrooms he studied. (This research took place at a public park in St. Louis, Missouri during the mid-1960s.) Most patrons visiting the facilities for sexual activity tended to be married, middle-class suburbanites; they often professed strongly conservative social and political views.
Craig could very well have been one of Humphreys’ subjects!