Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Big, Flashy, Screaming-Queen Cousin and the Gay High School Boy

Indianapolis, September 2006

When I was a kid, we visited my Mom's dad and brothers and sisters in Garrett twice a year.  We also visited her brother in Kentucky, and we drove all the way down to Florida to visit her high school friend.

Why did we never visit her cousins in North Manchester?

It was only about an hour's drive from Grandpa's farmhouse, and about half an hour out of the way on our usual route home.

And -- Mom grew up with them.

 In 1942, when she was five years old, she moved to northern Indiana with her family, so her dad could take advantage of factory jobs during World War II.   Cousin Crit and his family moved into the Old House on the hill, about a quarter mile away.

Mom must have seen Cousin Crit's kids every day.  They must have gone to school together, played together, visited each other constantly, year after year, from 1942 to 1959, when she married my father.  Why did she never see them as an adult?

There was something fishy here, some scandal.  And there was probably a gay connection.

In the fall of 2006, I made a few phone calls.

1. Mom

"There's no mystery.  We only had a week to spend in Indiana, and just count up all the people we had to visit: my Dad, two brothers, three sisters, their families, your Grandma Davis, your Aunt Nora, your Aunt Edna, their kids.  There was no time for any side-trips."

That answer didn't hold up.  Most of Mom's family came by Grandpa Prater's house to visit us.  There was plenty of time for a side trip.

"Besides, most of Cousin Crit's kids weren't living in North Manchester.  Only Wilkie and Alice."

I checked the list I copied from the family Bible.  Wilkie, born in 1939, probably named after the presidential candidate.

"Wilkie was only two years younger than you.  Were you close growing up?"

There was a long pause.  "Not really.  He had his own friends and his own activities.  All that long-hair stuff, theater and music.  Nothing to do with me."

My gaydar went off.  "I see that he never married.  Was he gay?"

"Of course not," Mom said definitively. "There were lots of reasons not to get married in those days."

2. Aunt Mary, Mom's older sister.

"There's no big mystery.  None of Cousin Crit's kids were your mother's age.  They were separated by something like five years, which doesn't seem like a lot when you're a grownup, but it's a big deal when you're young.  Who wants to hang out with a baby?"

"Wilkie was only two years younger than Mom, though."

There was a long pause.  "Oh, right, I forgot about Wilkie.  He and your Mom used to be friends when they were little -- they played dolls together, that sort of thing.  But around high school, they drifted apart.  Your Mom was all about dating and boys, and Wilkie didn't want anything to do with that.  He never had any girlfriends."

My gaydar went off.

3. Uncle Edd, Mom's older brother.

"Your mother didn't like Cousin Crit's kids.  None of us did.  They got television almost as soon as it came out.  They had cars to drive and money to spend on movies and the Blue Moon [Drive In].  They always acted like they were too good for us."

"What about Wilkie?  Was he stuck-up, too?"

Uncle Edd laughed.  "Oh, he was the snobbiest of the lot, always sashaying around like he was the Lord of the Manor.  He wore an ascot -- do you know what that is?"


"He called us hillbillies -- but he was born in Kentucky, too!  He was always talking about how he would leave this 'hick town' behind and move to California and become a movie star."

"Did he ever move to California?"

"I didn't really see him much after he grew up.  But as far as I know, he lived in North Manchester his whole life."

"What did he do for a living?"

"I think he was a schoolteacher.  English, maybe.  Or drama."

My gaydar went off again.

4. Cousin Carl, Mom's second cousin.

Cousin Crit's youngest son, Carl, had lived all over the world, but was now retired, back in North Manchester to take care of his invalid sister.  He sent me some photos of Wilkie as a kid -- rather cute, a little chunky -- but none as an adult.

"I didn't see Wilkie much after we grew up.  Just at Christmas dinner, mostly."

"Well, you lived far away...."

"Even Alice, who lived right in town, didn't see him much.  He kept to himself.  Spent a lot of time in Indianapolis."

"Was he gay?"

Cousin Carl laughed.  "Well, aren't you young kids today forward!   I never thought about it before, but...well, now that you mention it, he was a bit girly.   And he never mentioned any lady friends.  You know, that would make a lot of sense...but when he died, there weren't any gay fellas came to his funeral, so I'd have to say no."

"How did he die?"

"It was a robbery, we think.  They found him on the street in Indianapolis.  On the South Side [the 'bad' part of town].  He was shot.  The thing is, no one knows what he was doing in that neighborhood. He didn't have any friends nearby.  There weren't any good stores or restaurants.  It's a mystery."

A hookup that went wrong?  A homophobic hate crime?  Either way, a tragic ending to a sad life in the closet.

5. Jack

Wilkie taught at Tippecanoe Valley High School, near North Manchester, from 1978 until his death in 2003.  I looked up Jack, who starred in the senior play in 2003, presuming that he would have been one of Wilkie's students.

Now he was a junior at IUPUI in Indianapolis, still acting although his major was Museum Studies.

 We met at an Au Bon Pain near the campus: tall and slim, with brown hair and striking blue eyes.  It only took me a moment to find out that he was gay.

"Mr. Prater was the best teacher I ever had.   He loved books, the way they looked, the way they felt.  I think that put me on the road to museum studies.  But not just texts --- he really knew how to make literature come to life -- Shakespeare, Dickens, Tony Kushner."

"He assigned you Angels in America, the gay Mormon drama?"

Jack nodded.  "He got into a little trouble with the school board, but he didn't care.  He always said that the purpose of art and being gay is to wake you up, get you out of your 'boring little life.'  I never would have come out if it wasn't for Mr. Prater."

Finally, someone who could tell me for sure!  "Was he gay?"

"No, he definitely liked the ladies. He was a big, flashy, flamboyant, screaming-queen heterosexual who wasn't afraid of anybody or anything."

This is Tales of West Hollywood, so of course Jack and I hooked up.  He had a smooth, slim body and an uncut Bratwurst.  Into kissing.  He mostly wanted to go down on me, but I convinced him to try interfemoral.  We stayed in contact, and got together whenever I visited Indianapolis, for a few years (the museum guard I met in 2015 didn't know him).

But that's less memorable than learning about my Cousin Wilkie, a big, flashy, flamboyant screaming-queen heterosexual who never got to Hollywood.

See also: A Sausage Sighting of the Mysterious Boy at the Old House; Picked Up by a Museum Guard.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My Textbook Representative is a Gay Porn Star

Philadelphia, March 2013

Every academic is pestered by textbook company representatives pushing for you to assign your students their latest frightfully over-priced, generally gay-free textbook instead of some of the thousands of articles and e-books available for free at the campus library.

I'm usually immune to their pleas, but the rep that knocked on my office door last month, Mark from ___ Company, was jaw-droppingly handsome, and knew it: wavy brown hair, square jaw, piercing green eyes, huge hands, and a bodybuilder's physque crammed into his too-tight white shirt and grey slacks.

He flashed the smile that had been getting him special privileges his whole life and began pushing the new textbook with interactive e-book that meshed directly onto our online learning management system and...

"Um...sure, sure," I said, grinning like an idiot.  "But how is it with gay content?  I never order a textbook unless it covers the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that started the Gay Rights Movement."

He didn't flinch at the "controversial" topic.  "Well, let's take a look."  He came over to my side of the desk so I could see his laptop and leaned over me, so close that I could feel his body heat and, if I looked down, check for a basket.

There were several references to gay people: Stonewall, Anita Bryant, Matthew Shepard, the AIDS Quilt, gay marriage -- a lot more than the none in most intro texts.

"Ok, let me send you a link to the supplemental materials, and give you my card."  His huge bear-paw hand enveloped mine.  He flashed that smile again.

The moment Mark left, I dropped everything to look him up on the internet: Linkedin, twitter, instagram, and Facebook.

Mark was 26 years old, grew up in Pittsburgh, spent his junior year in high school in Japan, graduated from Duquesne University, had been to Europe and Canada, had a DUI arrest, had a brother named Clay.

He wrote a google review of a restaurant in Philadelphia.

He wrote an Amazon review of the tv series Sherlock.

There were a lot of newspaper articles about tennis -- his various matches and awards in high school and college.  He was signed on to a professional tennis recruitment website.

Facebook and Instagram had some pics of Mark with his arm around an older man and a guy he tagged as Mohammed, wearing a graduation gown, holding a fish [the models in the illustrations are not really him].


I saved the shirtless pic to look at his thick, smooth chest, his shoulders and biceps, and his sixpack abs later.

He had a profile on a professional modeling site: interested in print and tv assignments, photos in a suit, in a sweater, in a swimsuit.  His resume listed some catalog work and local commercials.

How did this guy have time to work as a textbook rep?

Mark was back in my office the next week to see if I had gone over the supplementary material.

I was a little embarrassed that I had done so much internet stalking, so I decided to come clean.

"I looked you up online.  Quite an impressive list of accomplishments: decathlons, tennis, modeling."

He grinned.  "Oh, you saw my portfolio?"

"I lived in California for eleven years, so I've been around models' portfolios a lot.  Have you done any tv or movie work?"

"I have some youtube videos, if you'd like to see them.  Look under Markster348."

He moved on to discuss another textbook that my students might like.

As soon as I got home that night, I checked youtube for Markster348, and found a lot of streaming videos of Mark singing and flexing.

Then on a hunch I looked for Markster348 on some gay dating sites.

Jackpot!  Single, bisexual, into anal, oral, frottage, rimming, into jocks and preppy types.  A nice nude photo, semi-aroused cut Kielbasa.  But he hadn't accessed his account in "over two months."

No way I was going to date him -- he lived in Harrisburg, a two hour drive away (textbook reps have a wide territory).  And a hookup seemed inappropriate, given our professional relationship.

But I saved the nude pic to look at later.

The next week, Mark was in my office again.

"Have you made any decision about the textbook?"

"I'm about 75% in favor of ordering it."

He grinned, "What can I do to get you to 100%?"

Let me see you naked!  "Let me look over some of the supplemental materials, the pre-tests, the videos. and so on.  Speaking of videos, I saw yours online.  Very impressive.  And not just on youtube.  Some of the dating sites."

He glanced around nervously, probably afraid that I was going to out him.  There were five other offices right next to mine, and you could hear conversations in any of them.

  "  How did you find them?  I didn't think I had my screen name published anywhere."

"You told me -- Markster354, on youtube."

"Oh -- those videos.  I thought you meant my..."

"Your..."  I continued.

"Some stuff I did in college.  No big deal, but I'd rather not have my girlfriend find out about it.  Or my boss."

"Of course."

He took out a piece a paper, scribbled a few words, and pressed it into my hand.  "To look at later."

I obligingly put it in my pocket, and looked at it after he left: "Frat Boy Rim Job."

Boystube had a clip: five "fratboys" have a sex party, with oral, anal, rimming, and barebacking.

My friend Alan in West Hollywood starred in some porn movies in the 1980s, so I know a little about the industry.  This was strictly amateur, and rimming -- gross!

If you don't know what it is, look it up.  I'm not going to explain.

Still, it was interesting to watch Mark in action.  How often do you see someone that have a professional relationship rimming a guy while being topped?

He was in my office the next week.  "Ok, I've decided on your textbook," I announced, to spare him endless drives out from Harrisburg.

"Great.  And if there's anything else I can do..."

"I'll send you an email.  And, by the way, I saw that movie you recommended."

He flashed a broad smile.  "What did you think?"

"Very talented performer.  Very versatile."

He glanced around and leaned in close.  "If you'd like -- you know, a private showing -- I'm staying at the Days Inn."  He passed me a card with his phone number.

In case you were wondering: oral only, no rimming.

See also: Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star; the Great Hookup Contest of Philadelphia.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Hookup with the Surly, Crazy-Eyed Guy with the Mortadella+

Philadelphia, March 2013

I'm at the gym at my job in a small private college near Philadelphia, having a bad day  (actually, most days in Philadelphia are bad).  And now the guy on the butterfly press is just sitting there, playing with his cell phone.

You're supposed to rest about a minute between sets, but not on the machine.  Get up and walk around, or better yet, go do a set for another muscle group.

But the undergrads at the campus gym often just sit there for 5 minutes, rendering their weight training useless and jamming up everybody else's work out.

It's annoying.  Besides, I like to do my sets in a specific order, alternating upper and lower body, and working down from the big to the small muscle groups, so I can't just walk away.  I always walk up, motion for them to unplug their earphones, and ask "Can I squeeze in between your sets?"

They always get up and let me "play through."

But today when I ask, the guy on the butterfly press glares at me, eyes wide, teeth set.  "I have two sets left," he growls, ready for a fight, daring me to make a move against him.

Nobody ever has had that reaction before!  This guy must be crazy!

I should probably retreat, but I'm annoyed by the territoriality.  "Well, how about if I squeeze between the sets, while you're resting?"

He grumbles...but says ok.  He jumps up and stands there glaring at me while I move the weight to double what he was doing.  And keeps glaring during my set.

You're supposed to walk around, or at least look away.

So after my set, instead of walking around, I stand there, getting in his face.

He's an older student, senior or grad: mid-20s, tall and thin, tattooed, shaggy black hair, short beard, deep-set eyes.  Crazy eyes.  Wearing a black t-shirt and silken gym shorts that show no basket.

Suddenly I find him very attractive.  

He's not at all my usual type.  Maybe it's his surliness  -- you're into guys who aren't into you.  Or maybe it's because I'm approached by twinks all the time.  Finding one who doesn't cruise me, who displays no interest, is refreshing.

Or maybe it's just the challenge.

He says "It's all yours," jumps up, and moves to the preacher press.  I finish my next set and move to the calf press next to him.  I put on four 50-pound weights.  He pretends not to see me.


He takes off his earphones and glares.

"If you want the full benefit, you should take it slower, and go down lower.  Let me show you."

He glares at me.  "Just my luck.  I finally get up the nerve to go to the gym, and some muscle-bound Bob Paris wannabe tells me I'm doing it wrong."

Hostility, and a veiled compliment? And he knows Bob Paris, the gay bodybuilder -- must be gay himself.

He doesn't object as I walk over, put my hands on the bar to show him, and "accidentally" touch his hands.

"I can see you have a lot of potential -- your biceps are already firm and tight, and you have a nice chst. You just need a little instruction to get things going."

He glares.  "I'm doing just fine, thanks.  I don't need any $100 dollar an hour personal trainer pestering me."

I touch his shoulder.  "I'll give you some tips for free.  A public service so you don't hurt yourself.  You can buy me a coke afterwards."

He flashes his crazy eyes but says "Ok."

I show him how to use some of the machines and free weights, touching him several times in the process.  He continues to glare with his crazy eyes.  This guy is crazy.

Then we shower -- he's on the other side of the locker room, so I don't see anything -- and walk down the street to a burger place.

"Ok, if you're serious about weight training, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle.  That means no drinking, no drugs, and a low-fat, low-sugar diet."

He smiles for the first time.  "I don't use drugs, and I was planning to order the turkey burger anyway."

His name is Aaron.  He graduated five years ago, but he can use the gym on his alumni card.  His degree was in music -- he wanted to become a singer, and still performs at open mike nights -- but his real jobs are in the campus cafeteria and a pizza place downtown.  His schedule doesn't leave a lot of time for socializing, so he doesn't meet many guys.

We go back to the tiny apartment he shares with two straight guys and a large dog.  He leads me immediately into the bedroom, and stands there, glaring with his crazy eyes, waiting for me to make the first move.

I run my hand over his smooth, tight chest and down to his crotch.  He's still glaring.

Well, he didn't say no...

I unzip him and go down on him.

Whoa, a gigantic Mortadella+!

 Soon we're on his single, unmade bed, naked, kissing.  He pushes into interfemoral position to finish, then goes down on me.

Afterwards he rushes into the bathroom to wash off, and then returns to me in bed.  We cuddle.  Suddenly he gets aroused again.  But he's still glaring.

I have to say something.  "You know, you're very hot, but there might be something about your demeanor that's off-putting to guys.  You should expect the best in people, not the worst -- you shouldn't go into an encounter looking all defensive, this glaring..."

He glares.  "What are you talking about?  This is the way I look when I'm attracted to a guy."

See also: Yuri and the Unhung Hippie; My Textbook Rep is a Porn Star.