A roundup of questions about U.S. senators and sex in public bathrooms.

Answers to your questions about the news.
Aug. 29 2007 6:22 PM

Bathroom Sex FAQ

Cruising signals, legal issues, and Larry Craig's "wide stance."

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Can Craig still maintain his innocence after pleading guilty?

Sure, but that doesn't change his legal status. Whether or not he committed a crime, Craig may have hoped that pleading guilty would be the best way to avoid scandal. Either way, the plea counts. As Dahlia Lithwick wrote  in a 2001 Explainer, "Since up to 90 percent of criminal convictions result from plea bargaining, and at least 90 percent of the people in prison seem to insist that they are innocent, it stands to reason that the criminal justice system will not necessarily invalidate a guilty plea simply because the defendant makes out-of-court statements about his innocence."


Is it wise to use a "wide stance" when you go to the bathroom?

No. When you're sitting on the toilet, spreading your feet and leaning forward tightens the levator ani muscles that control defecation. If you're having trouble passing stools, you should take the opposite of a wide stance, and lean back. Doctors recommend this technique to relax the bowel muscles.

Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.

Explainer thanks William Leap of American University, Don Ritchie of the Senate Historical Office, and Robert Theobald of Comprehensive Colorectal Care.

Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.