You're probably wondering, when I had my first sexual experience with Todd at music camp, the summer after my sophomore year in high school, how did I know what to do? After all, this was an era of utter silence, when everyone was unaware, or pretended to be unaware, that gay people existed. Or same-sex practices.
Preachers, teachers, parents, and peers talked about sex a lot, without defining it, and when I pressed them, they described a penis and a vagina, nothing else. Where did I get the idea to go down on Todd?
I learned about oral sex from our Nazarene Youth Minister.
When I was a kid, our Nazarene church had just one preacher, whose main job was screaming and banging the pulpit for an hour three times a week (researching and writing sermons is more time-consuming than you may think). But when I was in ninth grade, we got a Youth Minister, in charge of kid and teen activities like Junior Joys, NYPS, the Afterglow. and Olivet weekends.
The Preacher might be elderly, but the Youth Minister had to be young, cool, and attractive enough to keep kids interested. Ours was Brother Bob, fresh out of Olivet, in his early 20s, tall, with enormously broad shoulders, a barrel chest, and gigantic hands.
Unfortunately, I never saw him shirtless -- he always wore a suit and tie, the Nazarene equivalent of a clerical collar. But when I went down to the altar to get saved or sanctified, he came down and wrapped his huge hard arm around me, and I could feel his hard barrel chest against my back.
I never got a Sausage Sighting either. But you could hardly miss the gigantic Mortadella+ swinging around in his pants every time he moved. Particularly in NYPS, when we were kneeling to pray, and he walked from person to person to see if we needed help: his crotch was exactly at eye level. And at least once, when he hugged me after altar call, I felt it press against me like a salami stuffed in his pants.
Dave was a member of church royalty, with perfectly cut black hair, perfect teeth, and an athletic physique. Last year I got a Sausage Sighting at summer camp: impressive, maybe a Bratwurst, cut.
Terry was slim, with dirty-blond hair almost too shaggy to meet Nazarene standards, an aspiring Gospel singer from an unsaved family who started coming to church last fall. He backslid every few weeks and had to go down to the altar again.
I didn't usually associate with twelfth graders -- the three year age gap seemed unbreachable. But I had to say "hello," or they might think I was spying on them.
"Twelve inches, easy!" Dave was saying. "Brother Bob's is bigger than Brother Dino's by a long shot. No way it's happening!"
"I'm telling you, she's got nothing to worry about," Terry countered.
They were discussing a Sausage Sighting! "Have you guys really seen Brother Bob down there?" I asked.
"I have!" Dave said. "Just before NYPS tonight -- he was at the urinal next to me in the bathroom. Man, that guy's a giant! Bigger than Brother Dino! Sister Cindy could never take all that -- it would break her in half."
Like all preachers, Brother Barr was married -- to Sister Cindy, very short, slim, petite. His hand could almost fit around her waist. They were like Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
"Oh, and you think going down on it will work better?" Terry asked. "The mouth is smaller than the [vagina], wise guy!"
Go down on it?
"I'm hung like a horse," Dave said. "The kid here can vouch for that. Girls are always saying 'oh, it's too big, it hurts'! But they go down on it with no problem at all."
"Let's let the kid decide." Terry turned to me and put his hand on my shoulder. "Ok, Boomer, say you were a lady, and your guy had extra-extra-extra large equipment."
I imagined Brother Bob, naked, his muscles damp with sweat, his enormous uncut Mortadella aroused and waiting.
"Now...would you want this extra-extra-extra large equipment all up in your vagina, where it would break you in half and come up out your esophagus, or would you want a nice, easy BJ?" He pronounced it "Bee Jay."
I had never heard the term before, except in the weird graffiti Brian gives free LBJS, on the wall of Washington Junior High. "Um...I don't know. What's a BJ like?"
Dave laughed. "Come on, kid! Do you mean to tell me that you've never gotten a BJ before?"
"Or given one?" Terry added.
"No. I thought it was vagina or nothing."
"Young Grasshopper, you have much to learn!" Dave said in a Kung Fu accent, wrapping his arm around my shoulders. "A BJ may not count as sex, precisely, but all aficionados agree that the mouth is a thousand times more pleasant than any vagina. The chick controls the action. She fondles it, kisses it, rolls her tongue around on the head, takes it down her throat. She swallows. Oh, man, to get a BJ..."
"Or give one, in Dave's case," Terry added with a laugh.
"Shut up! Young Grasshopper, to get or give a BJ the most sublime of the world's experiences." He reached down and groped me. "Ah, yes, you are fully developed. You must seek it out immediately."
"Oh, definitely!" I imagined fondling kissing, rolling my tongue around Brother Bob's Mortadella, taking it down my throat. And then Brother Bob on his knees, taking me....to get or give a BJ.
During the next days and weeks, I imagined it often. And not only Brother Bob. Brother Dino. Phil, the NYPS President. Dave and Terry. Craig and Warren from my high school. Robert Hegyes from Welcome Back, Kotter. Max Gail from Barney Miller.
I thought that the one using his mouth was "getting" the BJ, getting the gift of a penis, which caused a bit of a problem when I caught Cousin Joe in the Act.
There are several curious aspects to this story that I didn't get at the time. Why were Dave and Terry "accusing" each other of having sex with guys? Why were they so obsessed with a Sausage Sighting? Why did Dave grope me? And, for that matter, what were they doing out by the church bus?
Were they gay?
Dave is now the manager of a radio station in Dallas, Texas, married with grown children and grandchildren. I don't know what happened to Terry.
See also: The Demolish Boys Touch Each Other Down There; Oral Sex; and I Learn What Greek Active Means.