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Security Breaks Up Sexual Encounter in Mall Bathroom

by ARLnow.com April 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm 31,215 106 Comments

Police responded to the Pentagon City mall on Thursday for a report of an “obscene sexual display” in a restroom.

The security manager of a department store called police around 11:30 a.m. after finding a man masturbating in the middle of the store’s third floor bathroom. The suspect, described as a 5’9″ black male in his late 20s, was peering at another man in a bathroom stall while masturbating, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. A third man was also present in the bathroom during the incident, watching the other two. The men had deliberately met up in the bathroom for sexual purposes, Sternbeck said.

The suspects all fled the scene before police arrived.

While Sternbeck was unable to confirm the identity of the store involved, a “cruising” website for men seeking sexual encounters contains a listing for the third floor bathroom of the Macy’s store in Pentagon City.

“There were guys interested… quite a few hot men, especially blacks and Latinos,” said a review of the bathroom posted to the website in December. The bathroom is the only cruising spot in Arlington with an overall “five star” review on the website.

Other Arlington-area cruising spots listed on various websites include:

  • Gold’s Gym in Rosslyn (“One of northern Virginia’s cruisiest gyms… there is always something going on in the sauna.”)
  • Sport & Health Club in Crystal City (“Might not always be the prettiest, but some days you get lucky.”)
  • National SeaBee Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery (“Heads up… there was an unmarked car parked on 110… with binoculars looking into the woods, trying to catch people.”)
  • Columbia Pike between Jefferson Street and Columbus Street (“Had a hot Latino drive slowly by, and when I caught his eye he turned around and came back into a side street.”)
  • Columbia Island marina parking lot (“The area is VERY cruisy, but a little discretion is advised. The safest area is the northern end of the parking lot.”)
  • Arlington Central Library (“Cruisy toilet in the outside rear of the library… Guys in suits and nearby office workers frequent this place during lunchtime.”)

File photo

  • Steamboat Willie

    More great press for the Ballston Mall. What a destination!

  • Steamboat Willie

    oops. Don’t know why I read Pentagon City as Ballston.

  • heyyy

    well, did he shoot?

    • ProX

      There are some things you just don’t about in Public, Gil!

  • speonjosh

    “various websites????”

    This is really a new low for ARLNow. Slandering local businesses and locations with internet hearsay? Unless the author has more personal knowledge of what he/she is writing about?

    • tad

      How is it slander?

      • Tabs

        Right. It really isn’t slander if it’s true…

        • outoftowner

          Even if it weren’t true, it would be libel, not slander.

    • CW

      Can you really not conjecture as to perhaps why the author may not wish to name or link to the specific websites?

    • j

      Methinks you doth protest too much.

      • Parkington

        I think he just wants to know the website.

    • Scott

      Agree w speonjosh

    • Derrick

      Weird bag here… the stuff at the bottom is hearsay and does delve into personal lives but this stuff really shouldn’t be taking place in public places. kinda good for the public to know though so as to avoid certain spots if that’s not your thing. For instance, as a kid i always thought the Turkey Run area off GW parkway was sketch and never could figure out why there were all these dudes hanging out there…thought it was some weird CIA thing until i grew up and realized it was a meetup spot. the TR island parking also has some of this going on, fyi.

      Could care less what people do in the privacy of their homes, public areas tho…

      • speonjosh

        Avoid certain spots? Am I now to assume that everytime I am on Columbia Pike between Jefferson and Columbus that every single man I see there is “cruising?” And everyone knows that no one but sexual predators uses the Rosslyn Golds……

        Somehow I thought I had left junior high behind many years ago….

        • Derrick

          wah wah… does someone have butt hurt?

          Yes, assume everyone on columbia pike is gay and interested in casual sex with you… that is exactly what i said.

          I really don’t care what people do, just kind of lame that the lie you live is causing you to hook up with random people in public areas and restrooms. gay or straight, it’s lame. Zip up your pants and go home to your wife or back the US Senate.

          • Max

            Or come out and live the life you’re supposed to have.

    • fact

      i heard about that rosslyn golds gym like 4+ years ago. I worked out there for a bit. After meeting some of the dudes..i’d say it’s true.

      • Hi Ho

        Say it isn’t so

        • fact

          yea dude

          • Brad

            Yes ! I am signing up today.. score!

          • mac

            meet you in the sauna?

    • cruiser

      yeah, I thought it was interesting how informed the author of the post was, too . . . see ya at the Mall, ArlNow . . .


    speonjosh is correct. This blog entry is not up to Arlnow’s quality blogging standards? FREDTERP

    • YTK

      Quality blogging standards? Well, a cursory read-through tells me that it appears that the spelling and grammar were correct for once.

    • speonjosh

      I’m on Cloud Nine. A shout out by FREDTERP!!

    • nom de guerre

      This comment seems suspicious to me-I didn’t think FREDTERP utilized puntuation marks.

      • nom de guerre



          Well, some of them weren’t utilized correctly.

          Also, internet announcement by popular request: we are open from tonight at midnight until Fridednesday at b o’clock? SAMSCORNERTERP

      • speonjosh

        Sometimes they are just used inappropriately….

  • Richard Cranium

    I guess all the spots in front of 7-11s were taken?

  • Tabs

    PSA to those on the DL: you’re not fooling anyone.

    • nom de guerre

      Was he cut or hooded?

      • nunya

        kosher, please. it’s passover.

        • mac


        • mohel

          you rang?

          • miss briss


  • Montgomery Biscuits

    Upon reading this post, I am thoroughly appalled. How dare Arlnow.com take the liberty of exposing one of Arlington’s best kept secrets. If a place isn’t “cruisy” i don’t want to be there in the first place, so why would Arlnow.com make this information so publicly available to your unbelievable lame arlingtonians. you all probably live in South Arlington anyway. Who knows what goes on there. I guess we’re going to have to find a new domain for these encounters, and a new blog for our arlington related news.

    • nunya

      if im not mistaken, the city paper once ran an article on all the spots in the area. year agos.. pre internet. but im sure some spots are still in business. clearly.

      so now, go scurry off to the cp and check their archives.

      • Montgomery Biscuits

        listen, if i wanted a nun to tell me how to find sexual encounters, i’d be looking on craigslist. For those cruisers that really want to get down, we have our own ways of taking down our prey. I’m married, to a beautiful woman. i have three beautiful kids. I can’t be seen snooping sites like craigslist. It would destroy my family. And the city papers? let’s not get careless.

        • nunya

          i think we’ve met. come back for seconds.

          • cruiser

            hands off him, dude, he’s mine! (unless you wanna hook up, ArlNow blogger . . . )

          • nunya


  • Arlbro69

    If you’re in your late 20’s, and black…you should be cleaning up in arlington….I call bs on the eyewitness.

  • Zoning Victim

    Larry Craig in probably doing 100 mph toward Pentagon City Mall, right now.

  • Rebecca

    This is how people get AIDS. Get off the downlow, people.


      This is how people get AIDS. Get off the downlow, people.

      Rebecca the Normal Heart will be playing at Arena Stage this summer? FREDTERPt

    • AllenB

      Rebecca – unprotected anal/vaginal sex is how people get HIV/AIDS, whether it is in a public bathroom, a car, your kitchen, a bedroom etc.

      Jerking off in a public bathroom, albeit illegal, is not transmitting HIV/AIDS to anyone.

    • ArlResident

      Awesome post Rebecca — the 99% are with you!


    Rebecca is right. this is how it happens. Gay guy washes his hands in the bathroom, straight guy washes his hands afterward.


    • frank

      Boom, Full blown AIDS


    Gay guy works register at Caribou Coffee. Straight guy orders latte.


    • novasteve

      This is making me want to sing that Everybody’s got AIDS song from Team America.

  • Mary-Austin


  • Appalled

    Well now I know why my sauna at Planet Fitness had its doors screwed shut. And now I know why the manager wasn’t joking when it said it was closed for “funny business”. I’ve studied the medical benefits of saunas, and I’d like to thank the few bad apples that have deprived me of its medical benefits because they couldn’t get a room like everyone else. This is sheer vandalism and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

  • MLFN

    Why publish these? What a stigmatizing attitude and waste of time.

    • novasteve

      ? Stigmatizing? Whose fault is that?

  • D

    Ugh. I guess I’ll just have to revert to taking my 12 year old son into the women’s restroom to avoid him meeting up with jerks jerking in the bathroom. I mean come on. The Central library men’s room????

    • Tabs

      I thought the Central Library was just full of homeless people.

    • SomeGuy

      Right. Take him into the women’s room as he continues to find his identity and work his way through puberty. That’ll ensure he grows up without any issues.

      • DL

        Just like you SomeGuy?

        • SomeGuy

          DL, consider looking up the Latin phrase “non sequitur,” and then try to avoid using such constructs in your writing.

          • DL

            back at ya!

          • SomeGuy

            Please clarify.

  • novasteve

    This is nothing, the Michigan Daily used to do exposes on some apparently notorious bathroom in Mason Hall, or Angell Hall, I forget which one, it’s been so long. That big old building at the University of Michigan, ah screw it, this one.


    And it came complete with pictures. Disgusting..

  • Swag

    Sheesh, the author sure does know a lot about “cruising”…

    • SomeGuy

      If I were the author, I’d have attributed this article to Katie Pyzyk just to avoid the comment you made.

      • Derrick


    • drax

      So does novasteve. Hmmm.

  • Always Right

    Wonder if these boys were some of our lovely metro riders?

  • SomeGuy

    “The men had deliberately met up in the bathroom for sexual purposes, Sternbeck said.”

    How would Sternbeck know this if police didn’t find and interview the suspect(s)?

    • Jimmy

      Security footage?

      • We asked about that. There was no report of any security footage being provided to ACPD.

        • Interested party

          yah i bet they kept it 4 there own use at ACPD . ..

          u no wut i mean

      • nunya

        footage *in* the bathroom? would that be legal?

        • Jimmy

          I am sure the store and mall have cameras in public areas. If you could observe the men together walking into the store and into the bathroom, you could assume there was some forethought involved.

          • .T.G.E.O.A

            Or they lost their man cards.

          • Not your bro

            Really? Two dudes can’t happen to have to piss at the same time??

          • SomeGuy

            Or maybe it was just a “flash mob” taken a bit too literally?

          • Not your bro

            I never get invited to that kind of flash mob . . .

          • Jimmy

            Who said anything about taking a wizz? I did not say that any group of guys going into the bathroom are doing this, but that if the guys who did this were seen hanging together before they went in, then the statement by the police makes some sense.

            Try. To. Follow. Along.

        • John Holmes

          Depends on what type of “footage” you are referring to.

  • Jason S.

    Sounds wonderfully diverse.

  • T.G.E.0.a

    Two junkies are sitting in a ditch and one of them finds a needle full of heroin so he shoots up. The other says, “Arent you worried about AIDS?”. And his friend replies, “No, I’m wearing a condom.”

    • Josh S

      *chirp* *chirp*

  • Roquer

    The Government has made it legal for consenting same sex to commit sodomy on each other.Do they have to do it in the public eye? Are the rest of us supposed to just sit back and say it’s ok to this? Do we take our children in the bathrooms and tell them, ‘oh look, there are 2-3 guys in here exercising their Rights and having sex with each other, in public’?
    Is it ok to dislike this type of action, and not be called a homophobe?
    Can folks like this simply meet at home, not in public and do their thing, NOT IN THE PUBLIC eye? So my children don’t have to see?

    • SomeGuy

      First of all, Roquer, you’re really overplaying your “what about the children card.”

      Second, is there anyone here who’s condoning public sex acts? Which part of involving the cops to break up this incident suggests that the world is telling your precious children, “there are 2-3 guys in here exercising their Rights and having sex with each other?” I didn’t see that implied by the article nor suggested in the comments.

    • Tabs

      If homophobia didn’t exist, these encounters wouldn’t occur in store bathrooms. 200 to 1 most of the men involved are not ‘out’ and are in fact heterosexual as far as most people know.

      • SomeGuy

        Tabs, was anyone suggesting that homophobia doesn’t exist?

        And this “200 to 1” theory of yours doesn’t jibe with your 2:45 PM “PSA” that guys on the DL aren’t fooling anyone.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Or, some people get off by having sex in public.

        • Jimmy

          For real. Homophobia or not, if you can find random people over the internet to meet you in a mall bathroom and jack it, then you can arrange to meet them for dinner and drinks and head back to their place.

      • drax

        Where do you get that, Tabs?

        Are these men unable to have sex anywhere else? They can’t go home, or get a hotel, or whatever, because of homophobia? They can’t go to a gay bar, or cruise for partners and then go somewhere else private with them, because of homophobia?

        • Frank Dent-Akko

          It’s called a tea room, honey. It’s been going on since the beginning of time. Why do you think the Greeks had open baths but separated toilet areas? It is important that anyone interested in the history of sex know that men meeting men for sex in public lavatories is part of our culture. In a park or public place it’s called “cruising” but in the men’s restroom of a department store, it is called a Tea Room. The kids today don’t have a use for the tea room, they have the internet to cruise and pick up numbers. “Numbers” by the way is the name given to anyone with whom one would have sex. They rarely exchanged names hence they were just a number. Today the daffy queens want to get married and adopt kids and buy a house in the suburbs. It’s madness.

          • drax

            Doesn’t answer my question, but thanks.

    • AllenB

      Yeah, someone’s being just a bit hysterical over this. It’s illegal to do that kinda stuff in public and they should be prosecuted. No one, gay or straight, condoned their behavior.

    • drax

      It’s been illegal to have sex in public, gay or straight, for a long time, Roquer.

  • Harry Rogers

    Most of the men I pick up at the mall are married. Just sayin

  • KalashniKEV

    Artisphere seems like it would be pretty cruisy… if anyone ever went there!


    • drax

      Isn’t a place nobody goes what you would want in a cruise location?

      • KalashniKEV

        Nooooo… because then you might as well just do it at home or in a hotel!

        (The parking lot for Theodore Roosevelt Island is pretty cruisy at night too)

  • ArlResident

    I hear prisons are “pretty cruisy” too!

  • SouthArlJD

    Hope the momentary sexual thrill these guys get is worth the extremely harsh legal consequences, including permanent identification as a sex offender. The local courts are merciless toward people caught in the act, and in the local federal courts a little stint in jail is a foregone conclusion of the case. The question is how much time.

    And really, there’s NO excuse for anyone to go around having anonymous sexual encounters in public places. I don’t want to walk in on someone having sex in the toilet stall I was hoping to use for its designated purpose. Nor is it acceptable for people who just want to go for a hike at Columbia Island to have to take into account the possibility they may encounter a stranger performing oral sex behind a bush on another stranger he just met. Anyone who thinks these guys are meeting in public places because they have nowhere else to go probably hasn’t noticed this is one of the most gay-friendly places in the United States. They do it there because a lot of them are on the down-low and cheating and because they find the possibility of public exposure exciting.

    As to the question of what is and isn’t legal, the case of Lawrence v. Texas upheld the right of consenting adults to engage in sexual activity as long as it’s not in public or with a minor. In other words, get a room.

  • arlingwoodGirl

    That’s good to know SouthArlJD. The next time I’m playing cards at a picnic table with my out-of-town guests on a beautiful summer afternoon at Columbia Island and begin to see a steady stream of shiny late-model cars with lone male drivers all going by in the same direction, a dozen maybe two, and exiting in reverse 20 minutes later I’ll call 911. Fortunately my parents’ backs were to the action. To this day I haven’t told them what I eventually figured out I was seeing. Bothers me to this day. Really?

  • Arnie Tanner

    Columbia Island Marina Bathoom and Bike Path is a spot where you can always get some action. Lots of married men and military guys. In fact this past week has been packed with new guys. YesterdayI counted no less than 6 guys in the bathroom. It is a safe place and often see cop cars in the area, but they never seem to do anything. As a married guy this is the best place to go

  • Frank Dent-Akko

    What a fabulous story about the going’s on in a tea room at a mall. While I must admit that it’s a fabulously scenario, it’s a far cry from tea rooms of old — back in the 1960s where the queens would congregate at times into the hundreds. Back then the tea rooms were wild. The second floor of Bamberger’s Department Store in Newark was the most famous tea room in the USA. It was so packed with numbers engaging in all kinds of sex that it was known internationally as “2 And Half” because it was actually between the 2nd and 3rd floors. Queens, hustlers, Johns, drags, leather daddies, butch bottoms, aunties and nellys of all shapes and sizes all converged on 2 And A Half and the store turned a blind eye to waht was sometimes a standing room only crowd. This place with the pissing threesome is small potatoes to the grand days of the gay tea rooms of the past — but it’s a start.


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