Sunday, April 8, 2018

How Matt Began Renting Himself Out

San Francisco, April 1997

One night around 11:00 pm, I got a phone call out of nowhere.

"It's Matt, mon ami -- I'm at the Castro Street Muni Station.  Come pick me up!"

Matt the Cute Young Thing?

Nine years before, my college boyfriend Fred moved to Pomona, California, about an hour's drive from West Hollywood, to study at the Claremont School of Theology.

He brought Matt, 23 years old -- a scandalous age difference!

Plus Matt was an ultra-elitist snob, a graduate of the Andover Academy and Harvard University, who adored the opera, peppered his conversation with phrases in French and German, and complained that everything about my world was bourgeois or jejune:  the Midwest, West Hollywood, USC, Raul, the Greenery, the Different Light, you name it.

Plus he gossiped about everybody and everything, providing the weird voices.

Then Beau told his "Uncle,"  wink wink, "Be sure that yo' get mah new underweah in extra-extra-extra lahge."

But when you got beneath the sarcastic cover, Matt had a good heart.  And he was extraordinarily cute.

In the bedroom, while you were going down on him, he kept up a nonstop monologue of his progress, in three languages:

I'm getting there...un peu plus, mon vais arriver...Mein Stollen, Mein Stollen...bien, I go...

We were never friends, exactly.  I only socialized with him -- and shared his bed -- because of Fred.  And that didn't happen often, maybe once every couple of months, and at Christmastime, when we all flew back to the Midwest.

Fred got his D. Min in 1993, and couldn't find a church, so he returned to his old job as a mental health counselor in San Bernardino, about 30 miles east of Pomona.

Ninety minutes from West Hollywood.

"I so envy you, mon ami!" Matt often said.  "So close to the action, the heart of the heart of the gay world, unsere Heimat!"

In 1995, shortly after we moved to San Francisco, Fred took a job at a congregational church in Fresno.

Three hours from West Hollywood

 "This town is even more dreary than San Bernardino!" Matt often said.  "And you're living in San Francisco, the heart of gay Heaven, Paradis."

In retrospect, I should have seen it coming.

I picked up Matt and his backpack at Castro Street Station and took him to Orphan Andy's for a hamburger.  He was 32 years old, no longer a Cute Young Thing, but quite buffed from hours at the gym.

"Fred and I are kaput! Over!  I caught him having sex with a kid in the youth group.  I'm all for sharing, but en cachette?  And I'm pretty sure the kid is underaged!"

"Well, you should at least hear his side of the story."

"No, I've had it.  J'ai trop mangé!  This isn't the first time, mind you, but I've put up with it because of my misguided sense of loyalty. But no more."

We returned to my cramped third-floor walk-up, over a hardware store, which he criticized as "impossibly bourgeois" and "a downscale dump," and spent the night.

It was my first time in bed with Matt without Fred being there.  He still kept up a nonstop monologue of his progress while I was going down on him: "Oui, mon ...étalon...comme ç won't be long now...a little more...bien, bien..."

In the morning, I called Fred and confirmed that this was no quarrel.  It was definitely over.  Matt's stuff was packed up and waiting for him in the guest room.

So we just had to get Matt the three essentials of life in Gay Heaven: an apartment, a gym membership, and a job.

The apartment came easy: a very nice second-floor in a Victorian on Dolores, near the Castro, for a frightfully high rent.

The next weekend, my friend David and I drove a U-Haul down to Fresno to pick up Matt's stuff: an antique grandfather's clock, a old secretary-style writing desk, ten boxes of books, and a lot of kitchen equipment, including a breadmaker and a pasta maker.  A second-hand store furnished the rest of the apartment.

The job was a problem. Matt stood to inherit several million dollars when his parents died, in fifty years, but for now his trust fund held only about $20,000.   And his resume was blank.

"I went straight from Harvard Yard to Fred's bed.  I've never actually had a job.  But I'm up for anything.  I'll sell my butt on Polk Street if I have to."  He turned around to display his butt.  It was indeed very nice.  His frontside, too.

"You're a little old for hustling," I said, hoping he wasn't serious.  "And not big enough for a career in porn.  But we'll find you something."

Ideas #1 and #2: Matt was fluent in French and German.  He could be a translator, or a guide for European tourists.

It turns out that everyone in the world was fluent in French and German -- I was fluent in French and German.  Aand European tourists usually came with guidebooks in hand.

Idea #3:  He was a Harvard alumnus, with lots of contacts in the City.  He called Santa Claus, aka Bearnard, the fantasy writer, and landed a job as his personal assistant.  But Matt's habit of criticizing everybody and everything did not sit well with Bearnard, and a few days later he was scanning the want ads again.

At least he got a hookup out of the deal: "Bien, bien...soon, soon...mon choux...comme ca...ich komme...."

Idea #4: I brought him over to "share" with Kevin the Vampire, my sort-of boyfriend, in the hope that he might have some supernatural suggestions.

"What have you being doing with yourself for all these years?" he asked.  "Sitting around watching soaps and waiting for Fred to come home, like June from Leave It to Beaver?"

"Basically," Matt admitted.  "I did all of the cooking and cleaning.  The marketing.  The laundry.  I was sein Hausmädchen, ja?"

"So you should get a job as a housemaid."

"Me as a housemaid?  That's hardly suitable for a graduate of the Andover Academy and Harvard University."

"And they only make about minimum wage," I added.

Kevin the Vampire smiled and touched his arm.  "But you could give it a Castro Street twist."

"What do you mean?"

"There are plenty of old queens in the City with more money than they know what to do with and absolutely no chance of bedding a Cute Young Thing.  They would pay premium rates for you to vacuum, dust, and prepare their afternoon aperitifs.  With your spectacular butt and sausage open for them to gawk at."

"A nude housekeeping service!" Matt exclaimed.  "Sounds like a way to syncretize my housekeeping skills, my entrepreneurial skills, and my physique.  And I could hire some twinks, in case clients like them younger.  A whole stable."

"Just be sure to specify that no sex is permitted, so San Francisco Vice stays off that spectacular butt of yours."

I moved to New York a few months later, but I understand that Matt soon had three assistants to handle about 20 clients per week.  His most popular service was "nude waiter" for dinner parties.

No sex during the housekeeping, of course, but nothing in the contract said that workers couldn't make a date for later.

"Mon etalon...a little more...ein bischen, ein bischen...almost there..."

See also: Fred and the Cute Young Thing; 8 Harvard Boys in My Bed; and Matt Gets on His Knees Behind the Bar


  1. I used to do odd jobs when I was in college. After I mowed one woman's lawn while her husband was in a business trip, she let me use her washer and dryer and take a shower, and swim in her pool afterward, reminding me that her privacy fence would keep away any prying eyes.

    Suddenly her friends started doing the same thing, and a few gay clients did. I actually got some huge tips that way. Like, I charged about $30 for the lawn (more of your yard was big or had a steep incline). If the husband was away or the client was gay and there was a privacy fence, my clothes would come off, and I sometimes took home a grand in tips. Usually not that much, but sometimes.

    No sex, of course. But it was the 00s, so we still had that 90s attitude that men should enjoy being objectified.

    1. I had a student offer to mow my lawn once. $5 if he kept his shirt on, $10 if he took it off.

    2. Inflation. Plus, I also did pools and cleaned gutters.

      And many of these women were third wives? They were just waiting for hubby to croak.



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