I used to go to Europe at least once a year, sometimes twice. But the vagaries of teaching, conferences, and job interviews, plus the extreme annoyance of flying today, have dampened my ardor a bit, and I don't go across the ocean much.
But not to worry, Europe comes to me. Jaan from Estonia. Eli from Amsterdam Doc from Vienna, And Yuri several times.
I was anxious to see Yuri again, but also a little self-conscious.
He lived in London, one of the biggest, most exciting cities in the world. I lived in a small town in the Midwest.
He lived in the heart of Soho, London's gay neighborhood, with a hundred gay bars, restaurants, gyms, bath houses, bookstores, and retail outlets a stone's throw away. I lived a hundred miles from the nearest gay bar.
What could I possibly do to entertain him?
I tentatively made a list of local sights. We had a a scenic waterfall, a running path that led through the countryside, a downtown sculpture walk, and a historic mansion.
"What would you like to do while you're here?" I asked in a hesitant email.
" I want to go to the Severe Weather Research Center in Boulder. That is not far, is it?"
I looked it up. "Ok, a nine hour drive. Anything local that you'd like to see?"
"Maybe the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. And the Little House on the Prairie -- I watched it when I was a kid. And hot Prairie farmboys, for sure."
Gulp. He wanted a hookup!
When I visited Yuri in London, he and Michael, his partner at the time, fixed me up with a guy who was exactly my type.
Yuri's type was at least 10 years older than him, muscular, preferably a bodybuilder, with a Mortadella+++ beneath the belt.
He was now 40 years old. Where was I going to find a 50+ year old with those qualities?
Or any 50 year old? They were vanishingly rare on Prairie. Most middle-aged guys had long since packed up and moved to the big city, leaving only a few who were in monogamous relationships, a few straight guys on the down-low, and twinks.
Yuri arrived at 9:30 pm. I picked him up at the airport and took him out to dinner at Minerva's, the best restaurant in town, and then home to share my bed overnight.
Yuri was in his first months of shifting from Regular Guy to Daddy. He was bearded, a little craggy, a little gray, but still gym-toned, and still effervescent with good humor,
"It's a nice town," he said diplomatically. "Quiet. Not busy with cars like London."
The 10:30 service at the Unitarian Church, followed by lunch with an older gay couple, Harold (Hank) in his 50s and Wayne in his 70s. Both reasonably muscular and very big beneath the belt.
After lunch we went back to their house to sit naked in the hot tub. I hoped the afternoon would lead to sharing, but instead they told Yuri their coming out stories: they were both married with children when they met 10 years ago at an outdoor cruising site.
Afterwards we drove around the city and looked at some of the old houses and mansions.
"Your friends are very nice," Yuri said diplomatically. "Could we go to a gay bar tonight?"
"There aren't any exclusively gay bars in town. There's a gay-friendly coffee house run by lesbians."
"Ok, we go there."
We listened to some karoake and then went home to bed.
I took off work to show Yuri some more sights. We went to the gym, then to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, then to lunch and to see the waterfalls and the sculpture walk.
In the evening we went to the theater with a guy from campus I had hooked up with once or twice: Mike, a professor of education, black-haired, handsome, hairy chest, not particularly muscular but gifted beneath the belt, with at least a Kielbasa.
"Oh -- well, I am your guest. If you want to, we can share."
Not quite the enthusiasm I had hoped for, but ok.
During the sharing, Yuri mostly lay there, looking bored.
What was I doing wrong?
I had to go to my class, so I gave Yuri the car and let him drive himself around. Later he told me that he went to Walnut Grove and the Western Heritage Museum.
After dinner, I had a surprise for Yuri: a M4M Party.
When the party began and everyone got naked, Yuri ignored the older guys and zeroed in on 20-year old Sandy, an undergrad at the University, a slim redhead with average beneath-the-belt gifts. They spent most of the party kissing, and then Yuri invited him to stay after the other guests and spend the night.
Wait -- young, thin, no Mortadella. What was going on?
In the morning, we had another session -- or, rather Yuri and Sandy did, while I got up, showered, and played around on my laptop in the living room. Eventually they got up and we all went out to breakfast. Then Sandy had to go to class, and Yuri and I went to the gym.
"You certainly hit it off with Sandy!" I exclaimed.
"Yes, he will come to London to visit me soon. Maybe at winter break."
"But don't you usually like older guys?"
He paused. "I did, for a long time. But when I turned into a Daddy, I thought, I am older, I will try younger. And I like them. They're not...full of weird problems, like older guys."
"So this whole week I've been trying to fix you up with older guys, and you like younger?"
"Wait -- they were for me? I thought you liked older. I was sharing to be nice." He grinned. "Tonight Sandy will bring his roommate over, ok?"
See also: My Night With Yuri, His Boyfriend, and the Emo Boy; My Platonic Friends and Their Boy Toy