I do record the transmissions, but only for my own personal use. I don't share them on the Internet. No cameras are involved -- I record audio only -- and I'm not interested in seeing the men I hear. Since these are public washrooms with multiple stalls and since the sounds that any person makes there can be heard by any number of strangers, I do not feel I'm invading anyone's privacy. Lastly, the whole situation is anonymous (I have no way of identifying anyone by his noise).
My husband believes that recording anyone without his permission is invasive, but my audio recordings are much less invasive than the recordings made by the restaurant's security cameras. However, I have agreed that I will turn all my recording equipment over to my husband if you think what I do is wrong.
-- Pitching Headsets and Retiring Telephones?
Your question could stump a modern Solomon, PHART. No man using a public, multi-stalled restroom expects that his farts go unheard. Still, in many places it's illegal to make an audio recording of someone without his knowledge -- but those laws are usually about recording conversations, not flatulence or splatulence. And while no one would like to think that his farts are being taped and, er, enjoyed by a perverted stranger, the men are unaware that they're being taped. And even if the tapes were to fall into the wrong hands -- a local TV news team, Howard Stern, the terrorists -- no one would be able to identify an individual based on his farts alone.
So I'm tempted to say no harm, no foul -- until I contemplate walking into one of your wired restrooms myself. Since I wouldn't want to be taped under those circumstances, I can't with a clear conscience encourage you to tape other men. Just because someone doesn't know that he's been violated doesn't mean you haven't violated him. A man in a public restroom can't reasonably expect total privacy, but he can expect a certain degree of privacy.
My wife and I have a great sex life, and I knew that she had a kinky side when we tied the knot. However, I was not prepared for piss. I have tried my best to put out a hot stream for her, but as a child I was always the smallest and my dick was "proportionate." I was teased at school, and since that time I've been unable to urinate if someone else is present.
To satisfy my wife, I have loaded up on water, beer and cranberry juice and given it the ol' college try -- but barely a trickle. I posted a request for advice on an Internet site for piss lovers, but they only wanted me to send my wife over. Any advice on overcoming my pee shyness?
-- Peeing in Private
My first impulse was to advise you to leave the room, piss in a bottle and then return and pour it over your wife. But when I ran that idea past a piss freak -- straight and married, just like you -- he objected. "Part of the thrill of being peed on is the connection you feel to the other person's body," he said. "The stream connects you. It's humiliating, and that's part of the turn-on, but it's also really intimate."
So my bottle idea is out. Did my piss-freak friend have any other suggestions?
"Some pee-shy types have gotten over it by investing in some rubber tubing and a funnel," the piss freak said. "You stand on a chair in another room and piss into the funnel, which is attached to the tube. Your wife, on the floor in the tub in another room (she needs to be lower than the funnel and the tube for obvious reasons) holds her end of the tube over whatever part of her body she wants him to piss on. Once you get comfortable pissing on her like this, make the tubing shorter and shorter until you're in the room and then get rid of the tube altogether."
I can't believe that you've had nothing to say about Brokeback Mountain. Every other writer in America -- gay and straight! -- has an opinion, but not you? What's the deal?
-- That Movie Is So Gay
The deal, TMISG, is that I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain yet. (But I have played the video game -- and, wow, it's so lifelike you can almost taste Heath Ledger's spit!) Ang Lee's film is a Cinematic Holy Day of Obligation for homos everywhere, but I got a special dispensation from a gay priest. I said a couple of "Oh, Marys" and now I have until March to see it.
In the meantime, is it permissible for fags to have opinions about other movies currently playing? Like, say, Grandma's Boy? According to an Associated Press story headlined "Mrs. Partridge in Sex Romp in New Movie," Shirley Jones and some other old broads "find a jar left in the kitchen by a previous tenant. The contents look like tea, so they heat up a brew. What they're actually sipping is hashish. That's when things get wild with a group of fun-loving young men."
Sounds like fun -- I'm pro hash and young men. Yet I can't help but wonder if a certain TV mom who appeared in a series of newspaper ads decrying Hollywood's love affair with sex and drugs would approve of Shirley Jones appearing in a film that glamorizes drug use and intergenerational sex. The Parents Television Council (PTC) bought the ads in 1998 to protest the "filth, vulgarity, sex and violence" promoted by Hollywood. (The PTC still exists and has lately pitched fits about Desperate Housewives, Janet Jackson's tit and Paris Hilton's open-wide approach to burgers.) And who was the TV mom in the PTC's ads? Why, it was Shirley Jones.
You could argue that there's nothing hypocritical about Jones portraying a character who uses drugs and bangs 24-year-olds -- it's a movie, not a television program. (And, praise the Lord, not a documentary.) It's also rated R -- "for drug use and language throughout; strong, crude and sexual humor; and nudity" -- so kids under 17 can't get in to see it. But like all R-rated movies, Grandma's Boy is going to wind up on cable where it will, without a doubt, be seen by children who will, without a doubt, insist on having intergenerational sex with their stoned grandparents immediately after the credits roll.
Which is why the PTC is calling on the feds to regulate cable -- to protect impressionable children from the kind of smut that Jones, its former co-chair, is currently promoting. Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against Jones appearing in Grandma's Boy. The woman has a right to make a living. But it seems to me that someone -- like, say, the AP reporter who interviewed Jones in her home -- should ask about the contradiction between her past work with the PTC and her current work in Grandma's Boy.