You probably know my top 10 turn-offs: tall, thin, long faced, wearing jewelry, alcoholic, sports nut, and so on, until we reach #10: feminine traits.
Politically, I'm a strong supporter of your right to be as butch, femme, or androgynous as you want to be. I won't blink an eye if you sashay across the room in bedazzled couture, stanking up the place with your Chanel #5, and call me "girlfriend." But it's not likely to get you the key to my bedroom.
So how did I end up going home with Miss Chita Taboo?
Well, I didn't know about Miss Chita Taboo.
One night in the spring of 2002, Yuri dragged me to the Manor, the twink bar in Wilton Manors, and I was cruised by Victor, a slim, smiling twink from Brazil (this isn't him).
He had three of the five traits I find attractive -- shorter than me, dark-skinned, and religious (devout Catholic). And he had only a few feminine mannerisms, the sort that twinks get when they grow up in a super-macho environment where every hint of androgyny is punished -- they tend to go overboard, and sashay a bit. Not a big turn off.
Besides, he was very persistent. He taught me how to say "I want to kiss you." in Portuguese.
Eu quero te beijar
So I accepted the date.
I thought something might be up when I got to Victor's apartment, which was large, elegantly-furnished, and so close to the beach that you could hear the waves.
In his living room, instead of a couch, there was an enormous pink daybed with a zebra canopy and a photo of Madonna behind it.
"Who's the hunk?" I asked, pointing to a framed portrait of a very attractive older man, shirtless, with a hairy chest, gigantic pecs and delts.
"Oh, that's my Michael, my ex-husband," Victor said. "Bodybuilder -- he went to Barney's Gym, where you go. We broke up a long time ago. We're still friends -- we can share sometime -- but don't worry, you have no competition!"
Gay men did not call their partners husbands in 2002, unless they were modeling their relationships on heterosexual boy-girl models.
Ok, Victor was way too feminine for my comfort zone.
But I already agreed to the date -- I couldn't back out now.
We had dinner at a Brazilian restaurant, and then walked hand in hand along the gay beach.
"How can you afford that swanky apartment?" I asked.
"Oh, Daddy is the mayor of Belo Horizonte, He sends me money every month so I stay away from Brazil. I embarrass him. And I make money from my entertaining, too."
I didn't ask what his entertaining entailed, but I got an idea from the rest of our conversation, mostly about pop music. Victor was a big fan of Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Carlton, Lane Ann Rimes, Brandy, Pink, and Aaliyeh, but he also liked the classics. He had just been to a Cher concert, and he had a copy of Madonna's first album (1983), which had her all-time best number, "Lucky Star." He began singing it for me, right on the beach, complete with hand gestures.
You may be my lucky star, but I'm the luckiest by far....
Getting serenaded by Madonna songs by moonlight is quite an experience.
Still, this guy was way too feminine. I decided to excuse myself and go home without the obligatory kiss. Then Victor cozied up to me and said, "I have a surprise for you. Bolo de rolo, guava cake. A special Brazilian dessert. I made it myself."
He already made the cake. It would be impolite to refuse.
We sat in Victor's elegantly furnished kitchen, eating small slices of the very rich, spicy cake and drinking coffee. I tried to steer the conversation away from popular music.
How about the gym?
"Oh, I do jazzercise every morning. I keep my girlish figure."
"Oh, I want to see the Powerpuff Girls movie so bad! I love them so much -- Girl Power! Which one is your favorite, Blossom, Bubbles, or Buttercup?"
"Um...do you have any interests that involve men?" I asked.
"Horny already, you naughty boy? Wait a minute...I'll be back...." Before I could say anything, he vanished through the bedroom into the bathroom and shut the door.
Oh, no -- he thought I was interested in bedroom activities. I had to turn him down fast! I followed to tell him I was going home.
The bedroom contained:
A chair shaped like a high-heel shoe.
A vanity desk cluttered with jars, vials, chalices, styluses, Eau de Parfum, nail polish, polish remover, lipstick, sponge applicators, brow gel, eyeliner, toner, moisturizer, bronzer, mascara, hair gel, moisturizer, pink razors, tweezers, powder.
And a framed photo of an elegant drag queen.
"Who's the drag queen?" I asked through the door.
"That's me -- Miss Chita Taboo. I've won Miss Gay Fort Lauderdale twice! I could go on to Miss Gay Florida last year, but that Yvette DeLong beat me out!"
"Oh,.,that's very interesting," I said. "I'm not..I mean, I support your right to do drag 100%. I just like men who are a little more...you know...masculine."
"I think I'm going to be going. But thanks for the rolo de bolo. It was very tasty."
Had he collapsed?
"Victor? Are you ok?"
Was he sobbing over the rejection?
The door breezed open. "Sorry, I didn't hear you with the toilet running."
Victor stood in front of me, naked, smiling. Hung.
Bratwurst+. Maybe bigger.
"What did you say, babe?"
"Um...um..I said I'd love to see your act sometime."
"How sweet! But why are your clothes on still!"
Well, I never turn down a Bratwurst+.
See also: The Pitcher with the Secret Move; and My Sausage List.