Rock Island, May 1981
Everybody at Augustana College knew about geology professor Dr. Burton and his Handcuff Parties
Every quarter during finals week, he invited the students from his advanced classes to his house. They had Happy Joe's pizza and soda, and the boys got to select pairs of handcuffs from Dr. Burton's collection to play with.
There were also blindfolds, gags, ropes, and rolls of duct tape, if you wanted to get creative.
I never heard of anyone complaining that the Handcuff Parties were inappropriate. We were so naive that no one recognized the homoerotic potential of roomfuls of college boys being handcuffed and groped by their friends. Or thought for a moment that Dr. Burton might be gay.
So when he cruised me, I was shocked.
He was a big, husky bear in his mid-40s, with a brown beard and a furry chest, and heavy muscles that might soon go to fat. Thick Bratwurst, uncut, mostly into oral.
I spent the night at his house, and the next morning he cooked a very nice breakfast: a sort of egg and bacon casserole, potatoes Lyonnaise, and croissants with orange marmalade.
After that, Dr. Burton called every two or three weeks and invited me over, sometimes for dinner, sometimes afterwards. I always got a very nice breakfast. But he never brought out the handcuffs!
He explained that they were only for group play.
Well, then, invite me to the December Handcuff Party.
"But you're not in any of my advanced geology classes. How would I explain you being there?"
So in the spring quarter, I registered for Paleontology, which turned out to be one of the most fun classes I ever had, especially in a dreary semester of heterosexist world literature. And, during finals week in May 1981, he invited the whole class to his Handcuff Party.
There were about twenty boys and two or three girls, mostly geology majors who had been to these parties before. After our pizza, Dr. Burton brought out three boxes of handcuffs, showed us how to put them on and take them off without a key, and explained his ground rules:
2. Don't handcuff anyone who doesn't want to be.
3. Let them loose the moment they ask.
4. No hitting, punching, or slapping.
5. Nothing below the belt
6. Keep your clothes on.
It was enormous fun handcuffing, manhandling, and pretending to interrogate cute guys, and even more fun being handcuffed and having cute guys "frisk" me like a police suspect.
But Dr. Burton wasn't participating.
"He never plays," a senior geology major explained. "He's busy making sure that everyone follows the ground rules."
"Well, there's a first time for everything." I grabbed a pair of handcuffs, ran up behind Dr. Burton, and quickly pulled his hands behind him and handcuffed him.
The room got very quiet. Everyone stopped what they were doing to watch.
I expected Dr. Burton to get angry, or ask to be released immediately, but instead he said, "Ok, you got me fair and square. Now, what are you going to do with me?"
Instantly he was swarmed by guys, pushed down into a chair, and gleefully manhandled, while he laughed and struggled and protested. Someone even broke the rules and unbuttoned his shirt to caress his furry bear chest. Maybe it was me.
He continued to invite me to his house every two or three weeks, but I didn't take any more geology courses, so I wasn't invited to any more Handcuff Parties.
I almost changed my major, just so I could go.
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