Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Top Black Boyfriends and Hookups

I am particularly attracted to guys with darker skin, black, Asian, Hispanic, Mediterranean.

The myth of the extra-large beneath-the-belt gifts has nothing to do with it.

But I do seem to encounter extra large black guys rather often.

Here are my most memorable black boyfriends and hookups.  Let's check on their size.

1. Tyrone, my weight-training partner, who I may or may not have done something with in a car in the Rocky High parking lot. Bratwurst.

2. Julian, the radio station manager at Augustana who was self-conscious about his size.  Bratwurst.

3. Raymond, the Texas hookup who kept saying "if you relax, it won't hurt." Mortadella.

4. Sayid, his friend, who kept turning over on his stomach and saying "Take me! Take me!"  Bratwurst.

5. T, the Thug on my Sausage List, who Alan and I picked up at Jewel's Catch One.  Mortadella+

6. Mario, the feminine guy who changed his sheets every day.  Kielbasa.

7. The first guy that Yuri and I shared, in New York.  He just wanted to kiss.  Average.

8. Blake the Opera Buff , who I dated for a few months before switching to his roommate. Mortadella+

9. Jerry the !Kung, the Bushman I met in South Africa. Small.  But I don't know if Bushmen count as black or not.

10. Sibu, the Hottest Guy in the World, the seminary student I met in South Africa.  I saw him in the dark room of the bar, but he wouldn't invite me up to his place.  Bratwurst.

11. The custodian I hooked up with in France.  Kielbasa.

12. Jerome, the Biggest Guy on My Sausage List, who I met in Boston at a job interview.  Later we visited his uncle in Delaware.  Kovbasa+

13. Tye, the Florida guy I shared with Yuri. Average

14. Azi, the Dutch Afro-Caribbean guy at the Horseman's Club in Amsterdam.  Kovbasa.  But I only actually dated his brother Eli.  Bratwurst.

15. Keaton, the 18-year old friend of the High School Bodybuilder. Bratwurst+.

16. Leronne, the guy I shared with my boyfriend Charlie in Dayton, another guy who was self-conscious about his size.  Average.

17. Justin, who Yuri and his boyfriend hooked me up with in London. Bratwurst.

18, The Rapper in Upstate New York.  Bratwurst.

19. Malik, the small guy whose enormous dog broke the leash and bit me.   Bratwurst.

20. Deonte, the regular at our M4M Parties who insists on wearing a condom for oral.  Mortadella.

So, in my sample of 20 black guys from 3 continents, 25% are small or average, 40% big, and 35% enormous.

Of course, the sample might be skewed.  Maybe I don't remember the smaller guys, or my memory is making them bigger.

Or  it's mostly the bigger guys who are self-confident enough to approach me.

Or, when you date a black guy, you can expect beneath-the-belt gifts.  No problem, as long as that's not the only reason you're interested.

See also; My Sausage List.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Is Professor Singer Gay?

Bloomington, March 1984

In my second year at Indiana University (1983-84), I had to choose two historical eras for my Comprehensive Exams.  I decided on the Romantic Era (1770-1830), mostly because of the homoromantic exuberance of the Frankenstein monsters, vampires, and dying poets, and the Restoration-Augustan Era (1660-1770), mostly because of Dr. Singer (not his real name).

He was a new professor of Restoration Literature, a Wunderkind with a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins and a book coming out, though he was only 26 years old (I was 22).  Tall, thick hair, broad shoulders, nice biceps, a smooth muscular chest peeking up through the casually-unbuttoned top buttons of his shirt.  He used his hands a lot while lecturing, said "apposite" more in one class session than most people in a lifetime, and criticized; my; use; of; semicolons.

Both Viju and I got major gaydar from Dr. Singer; flamboyant, precise, and not averse to gay content, such as Lord Rochester's "Love a Woman? You're an Ass!", about how gay sex is better than hetero sex.  When we got to John Milton: he showed us an illustration from William Blake's allegorical biography, and quipped: "I'll bet you didn't know that Milton looked like that!"

We had two goals during the semester.  First, to determine if Dr. Singer was gay.

Viju's strategy: He got some confederates, male and female, to invite Dr. Singer out for "a beer" after our Tuesday-night seminar, and checked to see whether he spent more time gazing at men or women.  My boyfriend Jimmy, the Bodybuilder on Crutches, tagged along.

Dr. Singer deliberately made eye contact with each student in turn, and didn't gaze at anyone else.

My strategy: I wrote a paper on the gay subtexts in Paradise Lost: naked Satan, etc.  I got a B (a failing grade in grad school, where everyone gets an A on everything).

Ok, so the "gay" test was inconclusive.  Our next goal: to determine if Dr. Singer was available. We waited until the spring semester, when I was single again after dating Jimmy the bodybuilder on crutches.

Viju's strategy: He went to Dr. Singer's office in Ballantine Hall and said he was having a crisis.  He was attracted to guys!  Did that make him gay?  But his parents back in India would be scandalized -- they would cut off their support, and he would have to drop out of college!  His career plans would be ruined!  He began to cry.  Dr. Singer offered him hand-on-shoulder sympathy, but didn't reveal anything (a student used the same tactic on me in Texas a year later).

My strategy: I found out that Dr. Singer went to the campus gym to lift weights every morning at 7:00 am.  I went in and timed my workout so we would end up in the shower together.  I complemented him on his physique.

"You really know how to work on those abs," I said.  "Maybe we could work out together sometime?"

"'m sort of busy."

"Well, it doesn't have to be at the gym," I said, soaping myself suggestively.  "I've had some of my best workouts at home."

That did the trick.

Moral: When all else fails, try nudity.

See also: Dr. Kirtis Serves Me His Bratwurst.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My First Visit to an Adult Bookstore

Bloomington, September 25th, 1982

I "figured it out" during the summer of 1978, but my real "coming out" was on September 25th, 1982,  a Saturday night during my first year in grad school at Indiana University.

As an undergraduate at Augustana College, I had worked hard, very hard, to find gay people, and I found a few -- my ex boyfriend Fred; the priest in Des Moines with three boyfriends; Professor Burton, who held handcuff parties for campus hunks.  You had to go through word of mouth, through a friend of a friend of a friend.

Now I was at a vast university with 40,000 students, and as far as I could tell from conversations and signals and interests, every single one of them was heterosexual (I had not yet met the 5 Gay Men of Eigenmann Hall).

My friends, classmates, and coworkers all, without exception, maintained the "what girl do you like?" whine of my childhood.  I had to leave Playboy magazines on my desk and think of logical reasons why I didn't have a girl on my arm every second.

My classes were as empty of gay references as they had been at Augustana.  Every writer who had ever lived was heterosexual.  Every poem ever written was written from man to women.  The Eternal Feminine infused all our lives.

And, as far as I knew, this was the way life was everywhere and for everyone.  A vast emptiness, hiding, pretending, unyielding silence.

That Saturday night I had been watching Silver Spoons and Mama's Family in the 13th floor tv lounge of Eigenmann Hall.  At 9:00, my roommate Jon said "Let's go to the grad student mixer.  I'm hot to get laid tonight."

I had no interest in getting laid.  At least, not as Jon understood it.  But I walked with him across the vast, silent campus, past empty buildings, past towers of Indiana limestone erected by heterosexuals long ago, to the Memorial Union, where a party for heterosexual grad students was in session.

Then I said goodbye and went to the campus library.  There were uncountable millions of books in the vast stacks, rooms as long as a football field, but only two listed under "homosexuality" in the card catalog: the memoirs of Tennessee Williams, and Nothing Like the Sun, by Anthony Burgess, about Shakespeare's romance with the Dark Lady of the sonnets.

I walked alone down Kirkwood Avenue, past student bars and little Asian restaurants and hamburger stands.  Just before the Baskin Robbins closed at 10:00, I stopped in and bought an ice cream cone.  Two scoops, strawberry on the bottom and Rocky Road on the top.  30 years later, I still remember that ice cream cone.

There were gay bars in Omaha, and even in Rock Island, dark closet bars with nondescript names and no windows, where you entered through the back so no one could see you.  But surely Bloomington was too small for such a place.

 I stopped into a weird eclectic bookstore called the White Rabbit. No gay books -- it was illegal to display them openly, as Fred told me when I found his secret bookshelf two years ago.  So I bought a novelization of the 1980 Popeye musical starring Robin Williams, set in the port town of Sweethaven:

Sweet Sweethaven!  God must love us.
Why else would He have stranded us here?

A church tower had a cross that lit up white at night, and I looked up it and prayed "Why did you strand me here?"

I wandered for a long time through quiet residential streets, houses where heterosexual husbands and wives were asleep, their children in the next room surrounded by "what girl do you like?" brainwashing toys and games.  I walked past a public park, but was afraid to go in.  After dark, monsters roamed through the dark swaying trees.

It occurred to me that I was one of the monsters.  After all, being gay was illegal in the United States.  I was a criminal.  (Actually, Indiana's sodomy law was repealed in 1976.)

Somehow I found myself at a small, nondescript building on College Avenue.  The sign on the marquee advertised "Adult Books."

I knew about gay pornography, magazines featuring naked men - Lars told me about it during my brief modeling career, and I saw some in Omaha.  But surely regular adult bookstores wouldn't stock any. wouldn't hurt to check.  The most they could do is call me a "fag."

Screwing up my courage, I walked through the glass door, past a sign advising me that the materials could be sold only to police officers, physicians, lawyers, and scholars with a legitimate professional interest.  Ok, so I was a grad student working on a research project.

The room was brightly-lit, glaring with hundreds of images of naked women, their private parts on full display.  There was a blow-up sex doll hanging from the ceiling.  There was an aisle of lubricants, shelves of erotic candies, sex games, bondage costumes...and an obese man in a t-shirt behind a little counter, eating french fries and drinking a fast food soda.

 I found it incongruous, almost bizarre, that he was watching Love Boat on a small portable tv set.

He didn't look up as I approached.  I cleared my throat and asked in a stilted, halting voice, "Do, you have, gay?"

That was the first time I ever said the word "gay" to a stranger.

Without looking up, he jerked his thumb toward a rack in the back, by the bathroom, near the sign for "movie booths."

I expected some clandestine porn or, at best, some mimeographed newsletters.  But I found big, bold, glossy magazines: In Touch, The Advocate, and Christopher Street.

News articles!  Movie reviews!  Advice columns!  Cartoons!  Celebrity interviews!  Travel guides!

Donelan, Tom of Finland, Ethan Mordden, Quentin Crisp, Querelle, Making Love, the Stonewall Riots, Noel Coward, pink triangles, Howard Cruise, Felice Picano, Gay American History, Harvey Milk, Castro clones, Allen Ginsberg, homophobia in the military, Harry Chess, Jerry Mills, gay pride marches, pro-gay Senators, Christopher Street, Peter Berlin, bar etiquette...

Gay havens like West Hollywood, the East Village, the Castro, Dupont Circle, and Fire Island.

Maybe Bloomington was dark and closeted.  Maybe Rock Island.  Maybe even Omaha.  But somewhere, over the rainbow, gay life was bigger, louder, and more open than anything I had ever imagined.

See also: Prince Charles is Gay


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