When I moved to Upstate New York in the fall of 2008, my social calendar was soon crowded with invitations from members of the Gang of Twelve, guys who had known each other for years, and who shared everything, from gossip to boyfriends.
They had a hierarchy. The Upper Class got the first shot at the New Kid in Town: The Rich Kid, The Grabby Nurse, and The Satyr .
Next came the Middle Class: The Truck Driver, The Rapper (though they cut in line due to the special circumstances of their breakup), The Klingon, and The Sword Swallower.
By March 2009, I was getting calls from members who were not at all well off financially, but some of the more attractive of the Gang of Twelve. Like the Pitcher.
Date #8: The Pitcher with a Secret Move
He was, in fact, a former pitcher for the semi-pro Cooperstown Tigers. Now he worked as a desk clerk at a hotel in Oneota, and was a volunteer umpire every year at the Cooperstown Dream Park.
The selfie he sent showed a guy in his 40s, broad-shouldered, muscular, clean-shaven, with "matinee idol" good looks.
He had been friends with several members of the Gang of Twelve for years, and dated a couple of them, but the usually-gossipy bunch didn't say much about his past, and nothing about his bedroom activities.
I was intrigued. Maybe he was spectacular, and they didn't want to ruin the surprise. Or awful, and they didn't want to ruin the surprise.
Turns out he was great, except for that sports thing, and one other problem.
See if you can guess what it was:.
First clue: He arrived at my apartment for our date all hot and sweaty from the gym, and asked if he could take a shower first. Of course I wanted a glimpse of his physique, and "accidentally" walked in while he was putting on his underwear.
Very distinctive: white mesh, extending from his waist to just above his knee.
"Are you a Mormon?" I asked.
"Oh, no, this is French. Very comfortable. And it shows off my basket nicely, don't you think?"
I had to agree that it did.
"I always wear it to gym It gets me lots of attention."
The Pitcher didn't say a lot about his past, so I didn't bring up my usual stories of my date with Richard Dreyfuss, the bodybuilding contest in Turkey, or how I single-handedly bankrupted the porn industry. Instead, we talked about gay rights, tv -- he was a big fan of RuPaul's Drag Race -- and -- yawn -- sports.
"Which date with the Gang of Twelve have you liked best so far?" he asked. "Myself excluded, of course."
"I can tell you the one liked the least -- the Sword Swallower. He freaked me out!"
"I know!" the Pitcher said. "I've told him a dozen times to tell people what he's into, don't just spring it on them. For instance, I'm into a lot of things. But do I just jump into it? Of course not. I always talk to the guy first."
"What, exactly, are you into?" I asked.
"Oh, lots of things...bondage, spanking, water sports, master-slave scenes, talking dirty, underwear, leather, drag, porn, shoes, feet. Do you find any of that appealing?"
"Definitely the leather and the underwear," I said with a grin. "Of course, I like the guy best when he's out of his clothes."
Third clue: After dinner, I invited the Pitcher back to my apartment, but he refused. "I have to go to work at midnight. But how about next weekend? Come over Sunday night, and I'll fix you a nice big home-cooked dinner. Then afterwards we can see what happens."
So the next Sunday I went to the Pitcher's place -- a small house trailer in Milford -- for a dinner of brisket, matzah ball soup, mashed potatoes, beets, and hamentaschen (someone in the Gang of Twelve told him I was Jewish).
Then we sat on the couch, watching The Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives, and kissing and fondling.
He let me grope his fancy French underwear, but when I tried to reach under his shirt, he moved my hand away.
When Desperate Housewives was over, the Pitcher said: "Well, it looks like we've gotten to know each other. Why don't you slip out of those clothes? I'll be right back."
I assumed that he had to use the bathroom, but instead he disappeared into the bedroom. I heard the door lock -- no peeking this time!
He wanted to get undressed in private? Weird.
I took off my clothes and waited on the couch. And waited. And clicked through the channels. And waited. And wondered if it would be impolite to help myself to more hamentaschen.
Was he putting on some fancy fetish gear? Preparing for a bondage scene? I was about ready to knock on the door and see if he had fainted.
Finally the door clicked open, and the Pitcher appeared.
Have you figured it out yet?
More after the break:
A bra, panties (not fancy French underwear), red lace pantyhose, and high heeled shoes. .
WTF? "Um...um..." I was speechless. It was like The Crying Game in reverse.
The Pitcher looked confused. "What's wrong? I told you I was into drag."
"Yeah, but it was one thing in a list of 30! I thought we'd be doing a bondage scene."
He sat next to me on the couch. "You definitely said you were into underwear."
"No, no...manly underwear! Jock straps! Not lady's underwear!"
Ok, in Florida I hooked up with Victor, AKA Miss Chita Taboo, but he wasn't wearing women's clothing during the act!
"Well, we seem to have had a miscommunication," the Pitcher said.
"That's a bit of an understatement! Could you...you know, go back into the bedroom and take it off?"
" No -- no, I only like being with guys when I'm dressed up. It's the only way I can relax and let myself get into it." He put a red-nailed hand on my shoulder. "Have you ever tried it with a guy who's dressed up? You might like it."
"I'm pretty sure I wouldn't. Sorry."
I don't mean to imply that the Pitcher's problem was enjoying bedroom activities in drag -- there's nothing wrong with wearing lady's clothing, whenever and wherever you like. His problem was keeping it a secret, especially from the guys he planned to take into his bedroom. Or revealing it in impenetrable code, as if it were something shameful.
See also: The Drag Queen on my Sausage List.