Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Catholic Priest in My Bed


Akron, Ohio, April 2007

In the spring of 2007, I was teaching at the University of Dayton, and dating Paul, an aspiring writer who had just graduated from Ohio Dominican University. He had four of the characteristics I find attractive: short, husky, gifted beneath the belt (Bratwurst+), and religious (devout Catholic).

Devout Catholic.

1. He got his name by being born on June 29th, the Feast Day of Saint Paul.  Lucky he wasn't born on June 30th, the Feast Day of Saints Clotsindus and Ostianus.

2. He went to Catholic schools and a Catholic college.

3. His older brother was a priest.

4. He wore a scapular around his neck, except at the gym.

5. He had a little basin of holy water in his apartment, which he used to cross himself.

6. When he spent Saturday night with me, he insisted on going to Mass the next day.

7. And fasting before, so no Sunday brunch.

Being closeted, Paul didn't want anyone to know that we were gay.  He wouldn't take me to his regular church in Huber Heights, or go to a church near me in Fairborn, where someone might recognize.

We often drove all the way into Columbus to find a relatively gay-friendly Catholic church.  If not, we went to Holy Family, the most conservative church in town, where statues outnumbered people, and elderly nuns sat in the front row with rosary beads, and priests still heard confessions.

The nice thing about conservative churches is that it's easy to be closeted.  It never occurs to anyone, ever, that a member of the congregation -- or a visitor -- might be gay.  Paul and I could sit together, hug, answer questions as a couple, and everyone just assumed that we were heterosexual friends, or father and son (I was 45, and he was 25).

Besides, one of the priests was very cute.  Father Christopher, 26 years old, a new graduate of the Pontifical College Josephinum.  Tall, dark-haired, with glasses and a hint of a respectable physique, who threw references to Harry Potter and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy into his homilies.


I have a thing for clergy: Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim.  There's something about the juxtaposition of the physical and the spiritual, the erotic thoughts that leak into sacred spaces, the penis hidden beneath those gaudy robes and black cassocks.

No chance that we would ever hook up!  He was a graduate of the most conservative seminary in the U.S., and a priest at the most conservative church in Ohio!

Just looking was enough.

One Sunday Father Christopher announced an upcoming spiritual retreat, centered on the contemplative works of Thomas Merton.  Participants would car-pool to the Loyola Retreat House, near Akron, Ohio, about three hours away.

I liked Thomas Merton, and I really liked Father Christopher, so I signed up.  Paul couldn't make it.

A group of 10 of us drove up in three cars, leaving at dawn and arriving just in time for lunch.  Then an afternoon of meditation workshops, book discussions, lectures, free time for contemplation, dinner, and Mass.  It was like a Nazarene camp meeting.

The next morning, we had another Mass, followed by breakfast, more workshops, discussions, and lectures, lunch, and more free time for contemplation.  Then we headed home.

I got to spend a lot of time with Father Christopher.  My life story had to be strictly closeted, of course, but I still managed to complain about the Nazarene church of my childhood, and share lots of stories about how much they hated Catholics.

 He was shocked -- he had believed that everyone loved and respected the Catholic Church, even Protestants.

But the best part was bedtime.  Since Father Christopher and I were the only non-couples at the retreat, we were assigned to share a room.

I didn't intend to try anything, of course -- the last thing I needed was to be ejected from a retreat center a three hour drive from home.  But I was hoping for a Sausage Sighting.

Father Christopher changed into his pajamas in the bathroom, then climbed into bed with rosary beads.  "Hail Mary, full of grace," he began.  "Oh -- Boomer, I hope this won't disturb you?"

"Not at all."  I waited..

No chance of seeing any autoerotic activity later.  I looked it up: Catholics consider masturbation "intrinsically evil," like being gay.

But sometimes the penis has a mind of its own.  Especially when you lack a regular sexual outlet.

I watched.

Father Christopher finished his rosary, kissed it, put it aside, and crossed his arms over his chest like a vampire.  Soon he began to snore. 

I watched.

After about half an hour, it began to rise.


It stood at full attention.

I didn't dare touch it, but...could I move off the covers, and get a peek?

I reached over and carefully tugged at the covers.

Father Christopher murmured something, and I retreated.

It was still standing at full attention.

I tried again.

It stood, peeking out of his underwear, ready for action, a Bratwurst with a mushroom head.

Eventually he turned over.  He hadn't awakened, or even touched anything.

Later I discovered that the average person has about 5 dreams per night.  10% of those dreams have sexual content, and 5% of the sex dreams result in a spontaneous orgasm.

So if you watch most men all night, you have a 1 in 40 chance of seeing a spontaenous orgasm.  But since Father Paul didn't have an access to an ordinary sexual outlet, my chances were probably like 1 in 10.

Still, my luck was amazing.

In the morning Father Paul showered and changed, and we continued the retreat.

I don't think he even knew that his erotic life came alive every night in dreams.

See also: Barry and the Creepy Old Guy; and Paul Gives Up Men for Lent

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