From time to time, gay men, congressional pages, activist bloggers, and undercover police officers will accuse Idaho Senator Larry Craig of getting uncomfortably close.

Last February, my friend Erik sat next to Craig on a flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport—the scene of the senator’s latest run-in with gay-sex solicitation. Now, Erik’s as boyishly handsome as any undercover gay-sex-room cop on the beat.

But, according to Erik, though he and Craig chatted for the entire flight, the senator didn’t so much as tap his right foot suggestively in his direction. “We had a seat between us, and he never moved over, nor did he ask me to,” Erik says.

In fact, he says, Craig stayed uncomfortably far away. “My neck,” Erik says, “was sore from looking so far to the side the whole time.”