Friday, July 31, 2015

Six Naked College Boys and One Date

Bloomington, Indiana, February 1983

On surveys, only about 2% of the U.S. male population admits to being gay, and another 1% bisexual. Of course, most are leery of coming out on a survey questionnaire, and dissimulate.  The actual population is probably much higher.

And I estimate that a huge proportion of the "straight" male population, about 80%, is open to sexual activity with men.  .

20% are on the downlow:  They are interested in relationships only with women, so they claim to be "straight," although they are attracted to both men and women.  They seek out male-male action while telling their wives and girlfriends that they're out getting a loaf of bread.  They're open for kissing, cuddling, reciprocation, whatever.

30% will settle.  They are attracted only to women, but who cares?  Sex is sex, and it's a lot easier to get a guy than a girl.  No kissing, no reciprocation, they just want to lie back and think about lady parts.

30% will let you watch.  They aren't attracted to guys, and they don't want you to touch them, but they are willing to engage in autoerotic activity with you present, as long as you don't let on that you are interested in watching.

In fact, a major form of "male bonding" for that 30% is to invite your buddies over, watch porn or just talk about girls, and engage in autoerotic activity without letting on that you are watching each other.

I first heard of this practice when I was in graduate school at Indiana University, when a hefty Dungeons-and-Dragons player named Duane criticized The Kinsey Report (some 30 years after it was published) because 37% of male respondents stated that they had engaged in a 'homosexual' act to orgasm at some time during adulthood.

"That Kinsey had a ridiculous definition of homosexual acts!" Duane exclaimed.  "It  includes everything you do with other guys around, even a circle jerk!"

I didn't know what a circle jerk was.

"Oh, it's like when you're reading porn magazines or talking about girls with your buddies, and you decide to get off.  You're not touching them -- you're not even thinking about them.  You're thinking about girls.  How is that homosexual?"

My interested piqued, I asked, "How many buddies are with you, generally?"

"Sometimes just one, but I've been in a group of six before."  He eyed me suspiciously.  "Why?"

"No reason."

 I had to find some way to get invited to one of these six-guy orgies!  But of course I couldn't come out -- this was the homophobic 1980s.  I figured that since Duane played Dungeons and Dragons most nights, that was where the "circle jerks" happened.

I waited a few days to alleviate suspicion, and then asked to join, offering to bring a pizza.

When I arrived, there were five college boys sitting in Duane's dorm room on the 5th floor of Eigenmann Hall.  I took my place among them and scoped out the territory:

Desk chairs: 
Duane: husky bear, graduate student in physics.  The Dungeon Master.
Ben: cute eyeglassed graduate student in economics, new to D&D.

Duane's bed:
Scott: long haired, bearded hipster, graduate student in sociology
Andrew: blond undergrad in physics, rather husky.

His Roommate's bed:
Asher, the roommate, a rather muscular but shy grad student in math.
Me.

We played Dungeons and Dragons for awhile without comment, but when straight men get together, women invariably enter the conversation: sizes, shapes, angles, the ones they've been with, the ones they would like to be with, ones on tv.  Soon the conversation became more graphic, as they tried to one-up each other with tales of the most spectacular feminine physiques they'd been with.

I said "My ex-girlfriend had breasts like Loni Anderson's."  (Jennifer, the savvy receptionist on WKRP in Cincinnati).

They were all impressed.  "Wow, that must have been great!" Ben exclaimed.  Apparently breast sizes to straight men are like cock sizes to the rest of us.

"Yes, they were quite...um...nice," I said.  What, exactly, did straight men do with women's breasts? "I...um...felt them many times."

"Yeah, right.  I bet you did more than feel them!"  Duane said, nudging Ben.

"Darn right!"  I wondered what they were talking about.

"We gonna talk about girls, or play Dungeons and Dragons?" Asher said, annoyed.

But once the talk of girls begins, it doesn't end.  Next I brought out my secret weapon: an issue of Playboy.  "I also dated a girl that looked just like her," I said, opening the centerfold. and placing it on the gaming table.  "Um...she was the head cheerleader and the Homecoming Queen.  I did lots of things with her breasts, too!"

By now everyone was sitting in full view of each others' crotch. Soon there was a little squirming and hiding going on.  At this point the instinct was to grab Asher or Ben, sitting on either side of me, but instead I grabbed myself.

Still no sausages!  Time to get the ball rolling.  I unzipped.  "She always told me how much she liked this," I said.

Then Scott the Hipster unzipped.  "That's nothing.  I bet your prom queen girlfriend would dump you in a minute if she saw this!"

It was rather unimpressive.

Soon the other guys unzipped: Duane (thick), then Ben (nice mushroom head), then Andrew (impressive Bratwurst), leaving only Asher sitting shyly, fully clothed.  The conversation dimmed as each guy was immersed in his private fantasy, staring into space or at the centerfold.

I tried to stare into space, avoid the disgusting centerfold, and look at Scott and Andrew, on the opposite bed, plus cast occasional sidelong glances at Duane and Ben.  And Asher, looking more and more uncomfortable.

I reached over and touched his shoulder.  "You ok?"

He stared at my crotch for a moment, wide-eyed, then said "I gotta go, sorry."  He brushed past me and rushed through the door.

At the end of the event, kleenixes were passed around, and the guys returned to their game without comment.

Altogether, rather unsatisfying.

The next day I ran into Asher in the Eigenmann Hall Gym, working out furiously.

"What happened last night?  You didn't seem like you were having fun.".

He reddened -- apparently what happens in the circle jerk stays in the circle jerk -- but said "It was just too weird.  I know you're not supposed to...you know, look, but how can you not?"

Asher was gay!

I didn't go to any more Dungeon-and-Dragons Circle Jerks, but I did get a date.

See also: 15 Simple Rules for Cruising Straight Guys; and Dungeons and Dragons

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hit on by a High School Boy

Fairborn, Ohio, April 2008

A warm afternoon in April.  I am jogging in Fairborn Community Park in Fairborn, Ohio.  The jogging path is about mile long, through woods, over Beaver Creek, and then past the high school. 

I occasionally see high school and college boys passing me, going the other direction.  Sometimes they sprint past me.

Suddenly there is a boy jogging beside me beside me.  He doesn't pass -- he keeps pace.  Shorter than me, slim with brown hair and dark eyes.  He's wearing a green-and-yellow University of Dayton t-shirt and yellow jogging shorts.

"Hey, U. of D.!" I exclaim.  "I'm a professor there."

He looks over and smiles.  "Cool."

"What year are you in?"

"Sophomore."

"I never saw you here before.  A long way from campus, isn't it?"

"I like the woods."

We chat as we jog, the boy giving short, cryptic answers. I learn that he lives with his parents, and he wants to be a writer.

When a group of college-aged joggers approach, he looks alarmed, says "See ya!" and rushes off.

He appears again the next day.  This time no group of college-aged joggers interrupts us.  I learn that his name is Austin, he plays on the junior varsity football team, he has an older brother in the air force, and he hates zucchini.

At the end of the jog, Austin asks "Where are you going now?"

"Home to take a shower, I guess."

"Cool.  I could use a shower, too.  Can I come? You can drop me off here later."

I stare in surprise.  I get hit on by younger guys all the time.  It wasn't hard to recognize the shy, reticent way they express interest.  But they don't usually make such blatant propositions!

"Um...well, you know, my apartment's a mess."

"I don't care.  You should see my room!"

"Maybe another time, ok?"  I reach out my hand.  He squeezes it hard.  

On the third day, Austin ups the ante: he has his shirt off, displaying a slim, smooth chest, solid but not muscular, with nice abs. And I'm can't be sure, but it looks like he stuffed a sock into his pants.

"How did you know I was gay?"  I ask.

"I just figured.  You jog here every day, and there's never a girl with you."

"There's never a girl with you, either.  Or a guy."


"Oh, the guys at school are jerks.  I like older men."

"How many older men have you been with?"

"Only one.  I was jogging, and he sat in his car in the parking lot watching me, and one day he offered me a ride home.  He was way old, though.  Maybe 40!"

"I'm 46."

"Yeah, but you work out!  And I bet you got a big one!"

At the end of the jog, Austin asks, "Can I come over for that shower now?"

"Tell you what -- tomorrow's Friday.  How about a real date?  Dinner at Thai Nine, out to the bars, then we'll see what happens."

"Cool.  Meet me here at 5:00.  I have a 10:00 curfew, just so you know."

"No problem, I'll get you home before that."  We clasp hands again, and I drive home, wondering "What college student has a 10:00 curfew?"

Every since my "date" with another 15 year old in West Hollywood in 1992, I have learned to check the guy out if there's any doubt.  I go onto the University website.  There's no Austin listed on the Junior Varsity Football team.  So I google "Austin," "Fairborn, Ohio," and "football."  

Austin Alvarez.  There's a photo of him in the newspaper, sitting on Santa's lap. A little kid.  Five years ago.

He went to a junior high tennis camp. Two years ago.

This year, he was on the junior varsity football team -- at Fairborn High School.

Austin is fifteen years old! Sixteen, tops!

No way is this date happening, for obvious reasons: 
1. The age of consent in Ohio is sixteen.
2. I don't want to key into the myth that gay men are folk devils, out to seduce children.
3. He's a kid!

Back in Florida, I dated an eighteen-year old, and it was dreary.  We had nothing in common.  This would be much, much worse!

But I don't want to abandon Austin altogether.  Gay kids grow up in a world of silence and fear.  They don't know any gay people.  They have no way to learn about gay history or culture.  They have no idea that "it gets better."

Friday I don't go jogging.  I meet Austin in the park at 5:00 as scheduled.  He's wearing a nice button-down shirt and pants.  He looks like one of those kids you see on tv who are all nervous at the beginning of a heterosexual date, while their parents take pictures and coo "My son is growing up!"  I'll bet no one took pictures tonight!

"I don't know how this works," Austin says as he climbs into the car.  "Should we, like, make out?"

"Traditionally you start with dinner."

We have dinner at Thai Nine, as promised, and I tell Austin about the gay neighborhoods of West Hollywood and Wilton Manors.  He didn't know that such things existed. 

He doesn't say much.  He's busy trying to hide the fact that he's a sophomore in high school, but a few tell-tale signs give him away.  Like he hates his algebra teacher.  College students have professors, and typically take calculus, not algebra.

After dinner, we get back into the car and drive into the warm Ohio night.  Austin gets very quiet.

But I don't take him home.  We drive to a small, non-descript building in downtown Dayton.  The LGBT Community Center.

"What the..." Austin begins.  "Is this one of those sex clubs?"

"It's the Zone, a safe space for LGBT youth, aged 14 to 21.  They have games, videos, discussions, dances.  A great place to meet gay guys your age.  I think tonight is game night."

"You knew?  Well...don't you want to go home anyway?"

"Give it a try.  I'll pick you up in two hours.  If you still want to, we'll talk."

When I pick Austin up at 9:00, he is bubbling with excitement over the guys he met.  He even knew one from Fairborn High!"

"Total nerd.  Into The Big Bang Theory! Always got a portable chess set with him, if you can believe that.  Wants to be a chemist."  He pauses.  "Cute, though.  I invited him to see a movie tomorrow night."

"Your first date.  You must be excited!"

"Second date.  This one counts, even though you were sneaky about it."  He leans over and kisses me on the cheek.  "I'm ready to go back to my house now, if that's ok."  

We continued to jog together occasionally during the spring and summer, until I left for Upstate New York.

See also: My Date with the Teenage Lawnboy;  The High School Bodybuilder; David is Cruised by a Kid

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The House Full of Men


One Saturday in the fall of eighth grade, my friend Craig and I rode our bikes through Lincoln Park in Rock Island, and then past Alleman, the Catholic High School.

Nazarenes said that Catholics were dangerous, demon-possessed, anxious to brainwash you with their weird Latin chants.  I didn't really believe it -- but still, the sense of danger was exciting, like approaching a cage of roaring tigers.

Across the street from the Catholic school was a big white house with a fence of spiked logs, like they used in the Old West.

"See that house?" Craig asked. "Do you know why it has such a big, spiked fence?"


"Because it's full of Catholics?"

"No, because it's full of men with guns.  If you go in there, they'll shoot you."

Men with guns?

I wasn't afraid of guns.  My Dad and uncles had been taking me hunting ever since I learned to walk.  I liked the all-masculine preserve, and the phallic symbolism of a gigantic gun pushing up from a guy's crotch.

 "So...what do the Men with Guns look like?"

"Oh, they're big.  With big muscles.  They can tear a steel girder in half with their bare hands."

Being a naive twelve-year old, I didn't realize that Craig was putting me on.

"Let's take a look!" I exclaimed.  I was anxious to see these muscular men polishing their guns and tearing steel girders in half.

"Um...er...we can't do that.  We'll get shot."

Ignoring him, I parked my bike, walked around to the back, and peered through the gaps in the wooden spikes.  I could vaguely see a grassy yard, two trees, and some lawn chairs -- wait -- was that a guy in a swimsuit?


I needed a better look.

No way was I going to try to climb that fence!  In fifth grade, I nearly killed myself falling into an outhouse while looking for Uncle Edd's gun,  and last summer, I banged my head into the side of the pool trying to see if my boyfriend Dan was kissing another guy.

How about just going to the door and knocking?

I had an excuse: the preacher was always talking about the importance of soul-winning, going door to door to win strangers for Christ, or at least inviting them to church.  Two or three times a year, the high school kids divided into groups of three and went soul winning in different neighborhoods in Rock Island and Moline.

I was too young to go with them, but maybe I could convince my Sunday school teacher, Brother Dino, to bring me.

The next day in church I told him, "There's a house by the Catholic school, and it's full of Catholic sinners.  I rode past on my bike yesterday, and God laid a burden on my heart to win the souls inside."

"Are you sure?"  Brother Dino asked.  "You're a little young for soul-winning."

"I'm mature for my age,"

"But...Catholics are advanced.  Satan has a strong grip on them.  They'll try to brainwash you."

"You're big and strong," I said, taking his arm.  "You can protect me from anything, I bet."


So the next Saturday, I went soul-winning with Brother Dino and a high school girl named Cecilia (two women weren't safe going out together, and two men were intimidating, so you always went soul-winning in a mixed-sex group of three)

We walked up to the door, and Brother Dino knocked.  I felt my heart racing.  Any moment now, I would see the inside of the house, with muscular men cleaning their guns.

A cute guy in a black shirt with no buttons answered the door. He eyed our Bibles suspiciously.  "May I help you?"

"I'm Brother Dino, and this is Boomer and Cecilia.  We're here to share some Good News with you."

"Good news?  What...."

"The Good News that God has a place in heaven waiting for you.  All you have to do is accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior."

"Um...ok, won't you come in?"

He ushered us into the most Catholic room I had ever seen.  A framed portrait of the Pope! Statues of saints and the Virgin Mary! Crucifixes, rosaries, candles!  A scary, evil Catholic Bible on the coffee table! Catholic magazines!

"This is the rectory of Saint Mary's Church," he said.  "I'm Father Benedict.  Father Andrew is puttering around in the garden somewhere."

Seeing our faces drained of blood, he grinned.  "Maybe you'd like some tea before you tell me about Our Lord?"

Brother Dino turned and ran from the house as if he was being chased by monsters.  Cecilia and I followed.  We jumped into the car and zoomed away, and didn't stop until we got back to the Nazarene church.

Then he started yelling.  "Catholic priests!  You brought me to a houseful of Catholic priests!  Do you have any idea how dangerous they are?  We were lucky to get out of there alive!"

But I couldn't help thinking: There were two men living in the house without wives.  They had found a way to escape the "what girl do you like?" brainwashing, not with guns, but with Catholic cassocks.  .

See also: The Boy on the Prospect List

L

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