Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sausage Sighting #6: My Boss Lets Out His Trouser Snake

Moline, September 1978

During my senior year in high school, my parents said "It's time you started earning your own money."  So I got a part-time job at the Carousel Snack Bar in Southpark Mall, about a ten-minute drive from home.

The Carousel Snack Bar had the curious idea that going to a mall was a rare, exciting event, not part of everyday life, so they sold the kind of snacks you would expect at a carnival: hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, and soft-serve ice cream.

There were benefits to the job: all the junk food I wanted, a bookstore down the hall, and a never-ending parade of high school and college jocks.

But I hated my boss, Mark Morris (not his real name).  He was about thirty, a little on the chunky side, with black hair, a square face with a little beard, and nerd glasses.  But what he lacked in physical presence, he made up for in raw machismo.

1. He swaggered.  He swore.  He barked out orders while swearing:  "Clean out the butter dispenser, damn it!"; "Restock the f*** ketchup!"; "Didn't I tell you to change the god** bun warmers!"

2. He kept us late every night, mopping, polishing, shining until an hour after the Mall closed.  I'm still fuming over being forced to stay late and mop out the store room, thereby missing the district jump quiz tournament and killing my chances of going to the regionals!

3. Every other sentence was a clever reference to penises or sex, or both:

"How's it hangin', Sarge?" (he called all the boys "Sarge").
"You guys better take your hands outta your pants and start pushing the the cotton candy!"
"It's cold enough out today to turn an Eskimo dick into a popsicle!"
"Hey, dickless wonder, I said go chop the onions!"

Considering that we were sixteen and seventeen-year olds, his comments seem dangerously close to sexual harassment.  But the term was not in common use yet.  I thought sexual references were standard in the work world.

4. Mark was only obnoxious to the boys.  The girls got away with murder:
"Of course you can take tomorrow off, Dear. Your studies come first."
"Of course you can skip the mopping, Sweetheart, if you're too tired."

The Carousel Snack Bar didn't have a restroom, so we went across the hall to use the one at Flowerama.

5. When we asked permission to leave our post, Mark always implied that we intended to have sex:

"Gonna go choke the chicken, huh?"
"Gonna go spank the ol' trouser snake, huh?"
"Don't have too much fun over there, Sarge!"
"Sure, Sarge. Wanna borrow my Playboy?"

I wanted to quit, but my parents said "You have to stick to your commitments.  You'll be working for bad bosses your whole life."

Which is true, but no other boss has ever asked if I was going to "spank the ol' trouser snake."

Mark actually did keep a stack of Playboy magazines in the store room, and sometimes on a slow day he disappeared into the Flowerama restroom with one for fifteen or twenty minutes. We speculated that he was maybe "spanking" his own "trouser snake."

I pretended disgust, but actually, I wanted to see it.

Maybe I could think of a plan to get a glimpse of Mark's penis, and minimize the obnoxious comments at the same time.

I toyed with ideas while working at the Carousel full-time during the summer after high school graduation, and part-time again in the fall of my freshman year at Augustana.  Finally, in March, shortly after I got naked with the male witch,  I decided on a plan.  Joel, a very cute Augustana music major who was working part-time at Flowerama, agreed to be an accomplice.  First he put a wad of putty on the latch in the back stall in the bathroom, so it wouldn't lock.  Then we waited.

Until a rainy Tuesday night, long past the Christmas rush, so customers were scarce.  Suddenly Mark barked, "Clean out the cotton candy machine!  I want it so shiny you can see your dick in it!"  Then he stuck a rolled-up Playboy under his arm and headed across the hall.

About five minutes later, Joel called the store.  "Nobody here. He's ready."

"I'm going on break," I announced.

Flowerama was deserted except for Joel, who was pretending to be  immersed in a florist's magazine.  He nodded as I passed, walked to the back of the store and through the door marked "Employees Only."  It led to a corridor, with the employee restrooms across the hall.

I carefully opened the door to the men's restroom.  Two stalls, a urinal, and a sink.  I saw Mark's feet in the far stall.  And his pants and underwear.

Not gathered around his ankles.  All the way off, carefully folded, at his feet.

The plan was to burst into the stall and yell "Caught you!", but this was much better!

I sneaked across the floor, noiselessly, and scooped up his pants and underwear.

"Hey!" Mark yelled from inside.  "What 're you...."

I ran, bursting through the restroom door and the "employees only door" while Mark was still fiddling with the latch on the stall.  I deposited his clothes on a tray of lilacs, then ducked behind the checkout counter next a giggling Joel.

Mark burst out a moment later, naked from the waist down.  Still fully aroused.

He saw his pants on the lilac tray, stomped over and picked them up, glared at us, and then stomped back to the store room to get dressed.

I worked at the Carousel Snack Bar for another few weeks, finally quitting when my modeling career started.

Mark never talked about what happened, but he made far fewer references to the penises and sexual appetites of his employees.

By the way, his trouser snake was a Kielbasa+.

Friday, November 13, 2015

My Celebrity Boyfriend

West Hollywood, January 1987

When I moved to West Hollywood in 1985, I found that half of the residents were aspiring actors, directors, writers, models, dancers, or singers.  Most of my friends and acquaintances had been in something, and some had been in several things.

I've had hookups and dates  with several celebrities, or at least people who are listed in the Internet Movie Database, but I've only been in a relationship with one.

No real names because he's still closeted, and  I don't want to get sued -- how crazy is it that in 2015, you can be sued for slander for "accusing" someone of being gay.

But I can tell you that he's a couple of years older than me, tall and slim, with dark hair and dark eyes.  He was most famous at the time for an adventure tv series which I watched at Indiana University in the early 1980s, but since then he's starred in a cop show and appeared in some soap operas. Shouldn't be hard to figure out.

The Meeting:

We met at the post office at Christmastime in 1986, a few days after my fight and sort-of-breakup with my boyfriend Raul.  He was standing in line in front of me, carrying a large package.  I said "that's one enormous package.  And the box you're mailing is pretty big, too."  He laughed. (In the 1980s, "package" was slang for the visible bulge that sex organs make in tight pants.)

I told him I worked for Joe Weider's Muscle and Fitness, and asked if he would be available for the June centerfold.  He laughed again.

I gave him my telephone number, and said I was getting ready to leave for two weeks in Rock Island, but maybe we could get together afterwards.

You know dating in West Hollywood -- if you're not available right that moment, forget it.  There are lots of other guys around.  So I figured I would never hear from him again.

But when I called my roommate Alan on Christmas Day, he told me that the Celebrity had left a message.

We talked later, and made a date for January 10th, 1987.

The First Date:
I wore a thin silk shirt to show off my pecs, which was a mistake -- the Celebrity planned an "impress your date" dinner at Geoffrey's, on the beach at Malibu.  The temperature was in the 50s, with a wind whipping through me, and we dined al fresco.  And the Celebrity insisted that I have the chilled peach soup.  I turned down the invitation to "see his place," went home, and crawled under an electric blanket.

Ok, the first date was a bust.  I figured I would never hear from him again.

But he called the next day, and invited me to play tennis.

The Second Date:

I have played tennis maybe six times in my life.  I am terrible at it!  But how could I make any worse of an impression?

We played on a public court in Beverly Hills, with half of the Hollywood glitterati watching me stumble and trip, and bat the ball into the stratosphere, and land hard on my knee, requiring a trip to the emergency room.

Ok, the second date was a bust.  This was it for my celebrity romance!

But he called later and invited me to dinner at his house.

The Third Date:

The Celebrity lived in a rather modest house in the Hollywood Hills: only two bedrooms, a small swimming pool that was really more of a hot tub, no tennis court (thank goodness!).  He had two dogs, a Scottish Terrier and a Swedish Valhund, who sometimes took him to dog shows.

In West Hollywood, the third date meant that you were together, a couple.  But we hadn't even gotten to the bedroom yet.  And what if celebrities had their own rules?  I didn't know what to expect.

Dinner was chicken piccata, a green salad, and white wine.  I hadn't told him that I didn't drink, and anxious not to make any more faux-pas, I drank it, and got a little buzzed.

Then we went into the living room, watched a movie on his new VHS player, and eventually made it to the bedroom.

This is Christopher Atkins, not my Celebrity Boyfriend, but it will give you an idea of his physique: lean, firm, not terribly muscular, average or perhaps a little small beneath-the-belt.

But very cute, and energetic, willing to keep going all night.

Neither of us said anything in the morning, but I assumed that we were now together.

The Relationship:

During the next two  months, the Celebrity and I went out only twice more, once to see the opera Porgy and Bess at the Wiltern, and once for brunch at one of those top-floor restaurants where the spectacular views give you vertigo and the entrees start at $100. Otherwise we played tennis (again!), hung out in his pool, walked his dogs, and had Chinese or Thai food delivered while we watched movies on his VCR.

And cuddled and kissed. The Celebrity could cuddle for hours. 

He came over for dinner with my roommate Alan and ex-boyfriend Raul once.  I never met any of his friends.

In March I asked him about it.  He said, "Tell you what.  We'll host a party.  15 of my friends, and 15 of your friends.  That way everybody will get to know each other all at once."

The Last Party

On March 30th, 1987, the Celebrity and I hosted a post-Oscar party.  I invited Alan, Tranh, Raul, and two celebrities, Michael J. Fox and Tom Villard, to prove that I had famous friends, too (they didn't come).  The Celebrity invited several actors and a director.  I figured they were all gay, but as the evening progressed, some of them turned out to be hetero.

I thought I was being an excellent host, refilling drinks, pointing out the direction of the bathroom, answering questions like "how long have you two been together?" and "what are you guys planning for the summer?"  As guests left, I told them "Thanks for coming!"

But maybe I was too cruisy. In West Hollywood, parties tend to be exclusively gay, so light-hearted cruising, pretending to be interested, is customary.  Maybe that embarrassed the Celebrity. Or maybe he was jealous.

Or maybe he had been thinking of us as a "down-low" fling, not as a couple.

He was fine in bed that night, sharing the Director and then Alan, but the next day he didn't call, and when I called him, I got his answering machine.  During the next week, three messages and a drop-in went unanswered, and when I finally got through to him, he was "really busy."  Finally  I moved on.

Alan dated him soon after..

I just heard from him recently.  He said "thanks for not outing me," told me that he remembered the breakup being mutual, and complained that he wasn't on my Sausage List.

See also: My Celebrity Boyfriend and I Share; Guess Which Celebrities I've Dated; and Alan's Top 20 Scenes

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Date with Two Brothers...and their Dad

Hell-fer-Sartain, Texas, November 1984

During my horrible year in Hell-fer-Sartain, the worst place in the world, I tried to find a boyfriend by placing a personal ad in The Montrose Voice:

But most respondents lived in the Montrose, an hour away in Houston.  Others lived even farther away, in far-flung southern suburbs, even in Galveston. So I was overjoyed to hear from someone who lived only about 10 miles away (a half-hour drive in Houston traffic).

Jack said he was 24 years old, a little older than me, an English major at the University of Houston, with exactly my interests: literature, science fiction, classical music, languages, and foreign travel.  Plus, he said, he had a bodybuilder's physique and a Mortadella+ beneath the belt.

That was probably just "personal ad" bragging. But I didn't care. I would have accepted a date with a garden troll that was male, breathing, and less than an hour away.

He said he was laid up with a broken leg, and couldn't go out.  So I drove out to the house, a weird gray Tudor surrounded by crazy thin acacia trees and a bare mud lawn.

The door opened before I got to the front porch.  A shirtless guy stood in the doorway: short, compact, dark-skinned, just my type.  But definitely not 24.  Probably a teenager.

"I'm Eric, Jack's brother," he whispered.  "Keep your voice down -- my stepfather is asleep.  This way."

Brother!  Stepfather!  I thought we'd be alone!

He led me to the kitchen, and up a staircase to the attic.  It was now a messy bedroom: twin beds, both unmade; clothes scattered all over the floor; posters of Duran Duran, George Michael, and Rob Lowe.

One of the beds was occupied by another teenager, wearing only a bathrobe.  His leg was in a cast.  He was short and compact, but thin, no bodybuilder.

"I'm Jackie," he said.  "Sorry I can't really go anywhere.  But we can talk here...and stuff," he added with a leer.

I couldn't help asking, "Are you really 24?"

"Well, 20.  That's close.  And Eric is 18.  He's a senior."

Five years younger than me --  not a big deal. Maybe I could date Eric instead?

 "But I like girls," Eric added. "Jack and me never fool around together."

Jackie smiled evilly and reached out to stroke his basket.

"Ok, we fool around sometimes," he admitted, somewhat flustered.  "But I still like girls better.  Can I get you a soda?"

"Sure, Coke would be great."

He left.  There were no chairs, so I had no choice but to sit on the bed next to Jackie.  He quickly put his hand on my upper thigh.  I saw that he had "accidentally" left his bathrobe open.

"I'm not...really into tricking," I said (the old word for "hooking up").  "My ad was more for relationships. That's why I mentioned my interests in literature and music and...."

"I'm into music, too.  Who do you like the most?  I like Wham."

After more dismal conversation with a thin, naked kid with no interest in literature or classical music, Eric re-appeared with two cans of Coke and set them on the nightstand.  "Boomer, you want to see something cool?  Follow me."

He led me down the stairs and into the master bedroom, where Stepdad was asleep: Hispanic, in his 30s, very muscular.  He had kicked the covers off.  He was obviously having an erotic dream.

"Watch this!" Eric whispered.  He went to the bed and fondled Stepdad for a few moments. Then he pushed me down.  Stepdad drew me into an embrace.  Without waking up.

Which was admittedly erotic.  But:  Help! This is too weird!

I tore myself away and rushed out the door.  Eric followed.  "Don't freak -- I do it all the time," he whispered.  "He never wakes up.  Except sometimes I think he's just pretending to be asleep. You know..."

He put his arms around me. Soon we were kissing and doing other things in the hallway outside Stepdad's bedroom.

Which was admittedly erotic.  But: Help!  This is too weird!

I disentangled myself.  "Shouldn't I be upstairs," I stammered.

"Sure.  Jack must be getting lonely by now."

He followed me back up the stairs to the attic room, where Jackie had gotten completely naked.  I sat down on the bed, thinking that Eric would leave.  No -- he pushed me into a kiss with his brother.  Then he started undressing me.

Which was admittedly erotic.  But: What am I doing?  Two brothers, one straight, one into tricking, with Stepdad asleep but grabby downstairs?  

I made an excuse and went home.

I have often wondered what would have happened if I had stayed.  Would I be in a relationship with all three?

See also: Three Guys in My Bed in Baltimore.; Lane has a three-way with his boyfriend and his brother; Sausage Sighting of a Father, Son, and Grandson

Yuri and I Meet the Emo Boy of London

London, June 1, 2007

I arrive at Heathrow Airport at 5:00 am. Yuri picks me up and takes me to his tiny, incredibly expensive apartment near Soho Square, in the heart of London's gay neighborhood.

His boyfriend Michael is just getting back from the gym: a bodybuilder, naturally, in his 40s, ripped but going a little to fat in the belly, with an oval face, a severe haircut, and several tattoos.

He grunts and squeezes my hand too hard.

Over breakfast, I  evidence no knowledge of British football, and make the newbie mistake of complaining that the people in London are rude.  You never criticize the country you're visiting!

Michael glares at me.  "Gotta go to work, but we'll meet for dinner tonight, yeah?  Burger King?  Or do you prefer McDonald's?  Some other kind of burger?"

"Boomer likes Thai food!" Yuri exclaims, to defuse the situation.  "Patara on Greek Street, 6:00, ok?"

They kiss, and Michael leaves.

Yuri has taken the day off, so we go sightseeing: the British Museum, St. Paul's Cathedral, a walk along the Thames, shopping in Soho.

"Michael is a nice guy -- trust me," Yuri says.  "He just needs time to know you."

"I was hoping that we could get together in bed again.  Are you monogamous?"

"No, we share. But I didn't tell Michael about sharing with you.  He's jealous, I think, because we lived together for a long time.  You can ask tonight, maybe."

At dinner, Michael is still surly.  When we go back to the apartment and sit on the couch to watch tv, Michael sits between me and Yuri.  I grab his knee, but he pushes my hand away.  Then, overcome by jet lag, I doze off.  I vaguely remember someone stretching me out on the couch and putting a blanket over me.

June 2 (Saturday)
I get up at dawn and go into the bedroom to awaken Yuri and Michael with hugs, and hopefully get an invitation into their bed.

"Sorry we overslept, mate," Michael says, pushing me away.  "We'll be up soon -- just give us a minute for private time, right?"

I don't mind not "sharing" Michael -- I've been with lots of bodybuilders.  But I want to hold Yuri in my arms again.

We have breakfast and go to the gym together, where Michael and I can compete over who can bench-press the most.

Afterwards I try to score some points by suggesting that we go on a tour of Wembly Stadium, where Londoners gather to watch football, but Michael says "Sorry, I'm very busy today.  But you and Yuri go on.  Get your sunglasses and cameras, and take a tour of Buckingham Palace.  Maybe Prince William is taking a shower, yeah?"

He is joking, but since Prince William is 25 years old, it's obvious that he's into young guys.  Yuri is 31, but could pass for a teenager.

Yuri and two of his friends drive me out to Stonehenge, and later we rendez-vous with Michael at the Gay Hussar, near their apartment.  It isn't actually gay-specific; it serves Hungarian food.

"What do you want to do tonight?" Yuri asks.  "We can go cruising.  There are lots of nice gay bars in Soho."

"Sure, that would be great. Would you guys mind if I brought someone home?"

"Not at all," Michael says, "If you don't mind blankets on the floor."

I'll bet if I bring a twink home, Michael will suggest more than that.  

Yuri hands me a guide book.  All types of gay bars, just like in West Hollywood.  Leather -- drag -- older guys -- twinks -- and Indie!  Obviously British slang for Indian.  This must be a bar for South Asians and their admirers, like the bars for black and Asian men in West Hollywood.

"How about this Indie bar just off the Strand.  I love South Asian guys!"

"It doesn't..." Yuri begins.

"Now, Yuri, don't be rude, like Londoners.  If our guest wants to go to an Indie bar, he can go to an Indie bar."

So we go to the Retro Bar.

You guessed it -- Indie doesn't mean Indian.  It's a type of music: Independent, not signed on to a mainstream record label.  Often local groups with an eccentric sound.

How was I to know?  I haven't listened to popular music regularly since around 1985. I think Avril Lavigne is a French children's author, and Fergie is Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

Indie music is horrible, all screeching and incomprehensible lyrics.

And the patrons are very young, barely out of their teens.  Some are probably in their teens.  We are the only guys over 25 in sight.

I like twinks as much as the next guy, but I feel very out of place in their hangout.

Besides, they aren't clean-cut, muscular college jocks.  They are emo, Goth, and scene kids: thin, pale androgynous, with straight black hair, hoodies, shirts emblazoned with cartoon characters, mascara-ed eyes, multiple tattoes, and pierced everything.  Not my type at all! Certainly not worth bringing home in the hope of fondling Yuri.

We commandeer a pedestal-table and order expensive juice drinks.

"The guys here are cute, yeah?" Michael says with an evil grin.  "So many Desis (South Asians)!  But the music is horrible, all screeching and shaking.  Not a lot of David Cassidy!"

I'm not going to let him know how uncomfortable I am!  "No, Indie music is great.   I had no idea.  I really love - the Futureheads."

"A Daddy who likes the Futureheads?"  someone says.  "And an American!  That's random, isn't it?"

I turn.  It's an emo kid, short, slim but with some muscle, dark skin, and a fringe of beard on his mascara-ed face.

"I'm Nehal.  Care to dance?"

Apparently my superheroic attractiveness to twinks works in England as well as America.  And, as it turns out, Nehal is a South Asian emo kid.

We dance, flirt, kiss.

"I'd invite you home," Nehal says, "But I stay with my parents, and they're old school conservative and that."

 "I'm staying with my friends.  They said I could bring someone over, as long as you don't mind blankets on the floor."

He glances at the pedestal table, where Michael is watching Nehal hungrily, and Yuri is looking bored and gesturing at his watch.

"Three Daddies!  Hot!"

First time I ever heard the youthful-looking Yuri described as a "Daddy."

"Maybe I could convince them to move us into the bedroom tonight, yeah?  If you don't mind sharing the wealth."

Before the night is over, I see both Michael and Nehal naked.  But more importantly, I hold Yuri in my arms again.  It feels like going home.

The R-rated sequel is here.

See also: Shawn's Three Way with His Best Friend and His Uncle

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

13 Gay College Boys

I spent my undergraduate years at Augustana College, never hearing about gay people in class or from friends or on the street,  There were no gay clubs, organizations, newspapers, or books, as far as I knew.  The only way to meet gay people was by sheer accident.

In that world of total darkness, it's nothing short of miraculous that I managed to meet 13 gay guys in Rock Island or nearby during my four years at Augustana.

I'll classify them by:

Friend only
Hookup: intimacy but no friendship afterwards
Date: social event followed by intimacy
Boyfriend: romantic relationship

Freshman Year

1. The Dwarf at the Post Office.  He made eye contact a little "too long," and "accidentally" touched my hand as I passed him the package to be mailed.  I found an excuse to go to the post office every day for nearly a week before I got the nerve to ask him out. Hookup

2. Peter the Male Witch.  First I tried asking around, but the only gay guy anyone at Augustana knew of was Peter the male witch, who was expelled for being gay a few years ago. Friend

3. Mary's Brother.  My friend Mary was worried that her kid brother Jake might be gay.  She asked me to visit her during spring break and find out. Hookup

4. Cute Nerd or Creepy Old Guy.  He was way older than me, in his 30s, a regular at the library book sales.  I invited myself back to his creepy old house to help him carry the load of books he had bought, but was he a lonely gay guy or a serial killer? Friend

Sophomore Year

5. Fred the Ministerial Student.  When the ministerial student at the United Church of Christ asked me out to dinner, I wasn't sure if he meant a date or not.  I wasn't even sure that he was gay. Boyfriend

6. The Priest with Three Boyfriends.  Fred introduced me to his friend Thomas, an Episcopal priest who had three boyfriends and introduced me to the concept of "sharing." Friend

Junior Year

7. I Win a Dating Contest.  Haldor was a member of the Bookstore Gang who never dated girls.  But was he gay?  So I suggested a dating contest: we would systematically ask out all of the eligible girls at Augustana, and the one who got the most dates won.  Of course, we would both go along on each of the dates, and invite one of the boys back to my room. Date.

8. Adam at the Bell Tower.  Adam was the bookstore manager, a few years older than me, who wanted to "big brother" me.  I wanted a kiss. Hookup

9. My Professor's Handcuff Party.  Every year Dr. Burton, the geology professor, held a handcuff party for his advanced students. Hookup

10. What the Graffiti Meant. In junior high Brian wrote a mysterious message, "Brian gives free LBJs," on the school wall.  The summer after my junior year Brian, now in college, told me what the graffiti meant. Hookup

11. My First Gay Rights March.  That same summer, I marched in my first gay pride parade -- except they were Gay Rights Marches then, with placards demanding an end to sodomy laws and police harassment.  I met a University of Iowa Russian major named Mickey. Date

Senior Year

12. The Priest with the Pushy Mom.  My second real boyfriend, an ex-Greek Orthodox priest with a Mortadella+ and a pushy Mom.  I held on for two months to get access to the Mortadella+, but finally Mom was too much for me, and I bolted. Boyfriend.

13. Julian, Whose Bratwurst Wasn't Big Enough.  During my senior year, a freshman started working at the radio station, and immediately took over: a music major, black, chubby, annoyingly elitist, extraordinarily feminine.  But was he gay? Friend.

Sharing a Bed with Mary's Brother

Chicago, March 1979

Shortly after my 18th birthday in 1978, my friend Mary, a member of the bookstore gang and big Andre Norton fan, told me that she suspected her kid brother of being gay.  She invited me to visit her home  for spring break in March 1979, shortly after I revealed my boss's "trouser snake,"  to "check." I had not yet met any gay people, so I eagerly agreed.

Mary's family -- blustering Archie Bunker father, mousy devout-Catholic mother, hippie older brother (away visiting his girlfriend), and possibly-gay kid brother Jake, lived in one of the dull, faceless suburbs of Chicago, in a small two-story house surrounded by thousands of other small two-story houses.

Her father needed the car to drive to work, and there were no buses in the suburbs. Mary’s friend drove us to the Mall and for pizza, and one day we all drove to Axehead Lake.  Otherwise we were stuck in the house  for five days and six nights.

Mary’s "kid brother" Jake was sixteen (all models are over 18), slim, lightly tanned, with short blond hair.  He had a naturally tight, hard physique that would, with a little weight training, develop into something spectacular.

Don't worry about his age: a 16 and an 18 together were legal in Illinois in 1979.  At the  the time, I thought that all same-sex activity was illegal everywhere.

When I asked in private,  Jake told me that he had a girlfriend, a cheerleader with very large breasts. Her name was Tessa, or maybe Tina, and she lived in Aurora, or maybe Naperville (the details changed from day to day). Of course they  had sex, frequently and enthusiastically, whenever she came to town to cheer for her team.

Today I would find this story suspect, but in 1979 I took it as proof positive of heterosexual identity.

At night, we shared a room. We stripped down to our briefs and lay atop mussed sheets on single beds, separated only by a nightstand.

Just after midnight on Saturday, my last night in Chicago, I awoke to a door slamming, footsteps, and a furious discussion between two voices, then three, then four. I surmised that Mary’s older brother (I don't remember his name) had come home unexpectedly after a fight with my girlfriend. Not willing to be kicked out of my bed,

I kept my eyes tightly shut and pretended to be asleep. After awhile I heard footsteps, a whispered conversation with Jake, and then scuffling and bed-creaking. When I dared open my eyes, a big, thickly-muscled jock in white underwear lay in the opposite bed, cradling Jake in his arms. Both were facing me, asleep or pretending to be. Their legs were intertwined.

“Jake,” I murmured. “Move over here.  More room."

A moment later Jake was under the covers, his head against my chest.  Then our legs intertwined. After awhile there were mouths and hands, and a murmured “Don’t wake up my brother."

At some point during the night, Jake returned to his brother's arms.

After an egg-and-bacon casserole, roasted potatoes, and rolls with orange marmalade, our friend Rich and his girlfriend picked us up for the three-hour trip back to Rock Island.

In the car, I announced that Jake was definitely straight.  He even had a girlfriend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Boyfriend Bill Grows Up

Remember my first boyfriend, Bill, from Denkmann Elementary School?  We were inseparable for three years, walking to and from school, watching Captain Ernie's Cartoon Showboat, reading comic books, inviting cute boys over for sleepovers.

We had our own gang -- me, Bill, Joel, and Greg -- who liked looking at men with muscles.

I have lots of good stories about Bill:

The naked Indian god at the pow wow.

The time we went to A Little Bit O'Heaven for my birthday trip, expecting statues of naked Greek gods?

The time we got Dad upset by claiming to be a Mama and a Papa.

The time we turned music class gay by making all the songs about kissing boys.

We stayed friends in junior high, but we drifted apart into other interests and social circles.

The last time I was at his house was for a Halloween party in tenth grade, probably October 31st, 1975.  I spent most of the evening talking to his big brother Mike, who used to call me "Bud" and drive us places.

The last time I saw Bill was during 12th grade, probably March or April 1978, when we visited David Angel in the mental hospital.  He thought we were a couple.  We laughed it off as ridiculous.

The years passed: Augustana College, Indiana University,  Texas, West Hollywood, San Francisco.
I didn't hear anything from or about Bill, though I often spoke of him as my first boyfriend.

The years passed: New York, Florida, Ohio, Upstate New York.  I started a blog about my childhood memories, and recorded all of my Bill stories.

I tried to look him up, but none of the high school or college friends that I was still in contact with remembered him, and he had a common name, impossible to google.

Before I knew it, I was 54 years old.  Nearly 40 years had passed since the day Bill and I visited David Angel.

Then out of nowhere I got a friend request from him on Facebook.

Eagerly I scoped out his Facebook profile.

Where was he living?  Reno, Nevada
What was his job?  Restaurant manager.

Most importantly, was he gay?  Were my memories real, or a misinterpretation of a straight boy's friendship?

Status: single.
Favorite TV shows: Breaking Bad, Lost, CSI.  
Favorite movies: Back to the Future, Men in Black, Star Wars
Favorite music: R.E.M., The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jefferson Airplane

Didn't tell me anything.  But then, my facebook profile is also vague.

Time for our first chat in 40 years.

We exchanged life histories in that stilted, obituary style that you use when reconnecting with someone after many years.  He studied culinary arts at Black Hawk College, then worked as a chef at Jumer's Castle Lodge, across the river in Bettendorf.  During the 1990s, he opened a restaurant near the resort of Wisconsin Dells.  It went bankrupt after the stock market downturn of 2004, and he moved to Reno, Nevada, where he now manages all of the restaurants in one of the casinos.

"But I've dabbled in other businesses, too," he continued.  "In 1999 I became co-owner of a strip club in Moline, out by the airport."

My heart sank.  A strip club?  Straight!

"I insisted that we were equal opportunity," Bill said.  "We had male strippers on Tuesday nights."

"I've been there!" I exclaimed.  "Christmastime 1999 or 2000.  On male stripper night.  I saw my old Sunday school teacher's sons, Mickey and Dom!"

If Bill noticed that I had just outed myself, he didn't let on.  "Sure, I remember them.  College boy act.  Very good, very professional, and they had the goods.  I always auditioned the strippers personally, to make sure they were up to speed."

"Men and women both?"

"Of course!  I have a pretty good eye for beauty, as you saw with Mickey and Dom."

Bisexual?  Or straight and nonchalant about gay people?

"What about romances?" I asked.  "Any long-term relationships?"

"I was married for 15 years.  We had an open relationship, though. We both saw other people.  Since then I've been single."

Bisexual?  Or straight?

"But what about you?" Bill asked.  "Any boyfriends, lovers, husbands?  After Dan at Washington Junior High, I mean."

Boyfriends, lovers, husbands -- he knew about me!  And he interpreted my friendship with Dan as a romance.  

I told him about Fred the Ministerial Student in college, Raul and my celebrity boyfriend in West Hollywood, 10 years with Lane, 5 years with Troy. 7 years with Yuri (we were friends, but closer than many lovers).

"You've been busy!" Bill exclaimed.  "Me too.  I'm single but not lonely.  I can still attract the hotties -- look."

He sent me a nude photo.  

It was eerie looking at Bill's face again after 40 years.  He was a little chunky, with a muscular, slightly hairy chest and big biceps.  

In all of our sleepovers, I never saw Bill nude.  He was a little small beneath the belt, uncut.  

"Hot!" I told him.

"Thanks.  It gets me a lot of action."

Ok, still noncommittal.  Time to ask.

"Action with men or women?"

Bill didn't hesitate.  "Oh, men, of course.  Women are nice and all -- I wouldn't kick Scarlett Johansson out of bed -- but at the end of the day you really want two muscular arms around you and a baseball bat pressing against your leg.  We knew that back in third grade, didn't we?"

"All but the baseball bat part.  I didn't figure that out until after high school."

"Well, I was precocious.  I started getting busy in 10th grade.  Remember Aaron, the Rabbi's son?  And Tyrone, on the football team?  And what about that cutie who played the violin...what was his name?"

"Todd."  Had he gone to bed with everyone I had a crush on?

We should have stayed friends.  It would have made high school a lot more fun.

LGBTQQIAA and Everybody Else

When I was a kid, I read a book about a club formed for the oldest children in the family.

The organizers immediately ran into the problem of twins, who were only a few seconds apart in age.  Is the difference really meaningful?  Ok, the club can be for the oldest and youngest.

But now the middle children feel left out.  Ok, they're in, too.

The club is now for anyone.

In West Hollywood in the 1980s, you were gay/lesbian or straight, period.

I don't think we were deliberately being exclusionary.  We just grew up hearing that "all guys like girls," "same-sex desire does not exist."  So for a guy to admit that he did, in fact, like girls and boys sounded a lot like heterosexist brainwashing kicking in.

And we heard constantly that "gay men are really women."  So for a guy to admit that he was, in fact, a woman sounded like more heterosexist brainwashing.

By the 1990s, we were confident enough to admit that there were bisexuals and transpeople among us.

We became LGBT.

Queer came next, either as an all-purpose term for LGBT.

Or for people who didn't want to identify as gay, bi, or straight, who wanted to acknowledge the fluidity of desire.

So we became LGBTQ.

For many years, physicians have known about people whose chromosomes or sex organs don't fall into the male or female categories.  But they were always pushed into one or the other category, sometimes with surgery.

Then intersexed people began to assert that they are fine the way they are, that you don't need to look male or female.

So we became LGBTQI.

For many years, psychiatrists and physicians assumed that sexual desire was universal.  Everyone who ever lived desired men, women, or both.  If you didn't, you were prescribed medication or psychotherapy to get to the root of your "problem."

Then asexual people began to push for acknowledgement that they are fine the way they are, that warm, caring friendships are more than enough to fill a lifetime.  So we became LGBTQIA

We are still pushed incessantly into gender-polarized heterosexual desiring boxes.  So trying to define yourself can be tricky.  Some people, especially during adolescence, aren't sure where they belong.  But we want them to feel comfortable among us.  So we welcomed questioning people.

Now we were LGBTQQIA.

Wait -- what about cisgendered heterosexual people who aren't homophobic or transphobic, who want to support us?

They can come in, too.  We'll call them Allies.

So we have become LGBTQQIAA.

Oldest, youngest, and in-between.

Monday, November 9, 2015

My Sausage Sighting List

A Sausage Sighting is a glimpse of a guy's beneath-the-belt gifts that doesn't go anywhere else -- no dating, no romance, no hooking up, not even a few minutes in the dark room at the Duplex Bar in Paris.

Sometimes just looking is enough -- a good sausage sighting can be more memorable than a dozen nights of passion, especially when it's unexpected.

You can't count glimpses of strangers in the locker room or at the urinal, or actors getting excited during movie love scenes.  It's only a valid Sausage Sighting if you know the guy, if he's a relative, friend, co-worker, or acquaintance.  If you've at least had a conversation.

I'll use the same scale as in my Sausage List (the list of gigantic endowments belonging to guys I actually dated):

Bratwurst: memorable, 7-8 inches.
Kielbasa: super-sized, 8-9 inches.
Mortadella: the stuff of dreams, 9-10 inches.
Kovbasa: Are you kidding? 10+ inches.


Cousin Joe.  When I was 7 1/2 years old, we stayed with my Aunt Nora, and I caught a glimpse of Cousin Joe's Kielbasa+ in the bathroom.  It was the first I ever saw --many later ones were disappointingly small by comparison. I'll bet it wasn't even a Kielbasa.  Probably a Kovbasa.

Cousin Buster. I went into his bedroom late at night and caught him masturbating.  Probably a Kielbasa.

The Sanderson Brothers, a gospel group that worked as counselors at Nazarene summer camp.  I got to see one of them relieving himself. Kielbasa.

Brother Dinomy Sunday school teacher, and also a counselor at Nazarene summer camp when I was in junior high.  I saw him taking a shower.  Easily a Mortadella.

Verne, the preacher's son.  We  "dated" in eleventh grade. We didn't identify the relationship as romantic, and nothing physical happened, but I did see him nude. Bratwurst.


Jurgenthe hipster poet from Augustana College. who I thought was gay until I met his girlfriend. 

Markthe Boss from Hell during my senior year in high school and freshman year at Augustana.  We tricked him into running out of a urinal, where he had been reading Playboy know.  Kielbasa+.

Mr. Kim, a Korean immigrant, a surprisingly buffed muscle bear.  When I was in college, he rented the the house next door with his family.  He only stayed about six months before buying a house in Moline, but he gave me a memorable Sausage Sighting.  Bratwurst.

Jensa slim, blond chemistry major at Augustana.  During my senior year, I joined the Baptist student union, and went on tour with them to perform at various churches.  When we had to all bunk down for the night in the same room, I had the bed, and Jens had a sleeping bag right below me.  He waited until the rest of us were asleep -- he thought. Bratwurst.

Andrew,  the blond physics major from Indiana University who I saw during a heterosexual bonding activity known as a "circle jerk."


Chad, a soccer player from Australia who sat in my class in Hell-fer-Sartain, Texas.  One day he came in late and stripped down to change clothes in my class. Ok, this one was in a jock strap, but I still saw enough. Bratwurst+


Brother Mike, a Baptist preacher who sat on the plane next to me on the way to a job interview.  Brother Mike was hot!  When our plane landed, we both headed to the bathroom -- along with 20 other guys.  We ended up standing side by side at the urinal.  Bratwurst+

Tyler, a contractor.  My parents were having their kitchen remodeled one summer while I was visiting.  From my chair in the living room, I got an excellent view of his front side as he stood on his ladder, doing things with wiring.  My friends and I ended up getting a sausage sighting. Kielbasa

New York

Huang, a fellow sociology student from Taiwan, one of my roommates during my first year in New York.  In 1998, at a conference in Montreal, I caught him in the act, and learned the truth about the Formosan penis.  Kielbasa.

Jason, the most homophobic of the grad students in my class on Long Island. We tricked him into revealing his Kielbasa.


Narveen, a Sikh guy who joined Barney's gym in Florida.  I tried to get a glimpse on several occasions, and finally he just let me take a peek.  Amazing. Mortadella+.


More of a sausage "feeling."  Azi, the Dutch Caribbean at the Horseman's Club in Amsterdam.  I felt his gigantic kovbasa before going home with him and realizing that he was straight.  He wanted me for his younger brother, Eli.

Josh, an exceptionally buffed but straight waiter who often took my orders at the Lone Star Barbecue. I saw him all the time at the gym, too. In the sauna.  Kielbasa.


Dr. Chester, a former professional wrestler who taught Sociology of Sports Upstate.  There was a private bathroom for faculty and teaching assistants -- one stall and one urinal.  One day I went in, and there he was, preparing to urinate.  He must have wrapped his faculty member around his waist a few times, like a belt. Easily a Kovbasa. (See: 15 teachers I may or may not have hooked up with).

19. Richard, the crazy bodybuilder downstairs when I lived in Upstate New York.  My balcony consisted of rough boards with wide gaps; you could look through them directly onto the balcony of the apartment below.  And one night...  Kovbasa++++.

The Plains

20. The Projectionist at the Film Festival.  Bratwurst, but he was tenting right there in the projection booth!

21. The College Kid at the Gym who tried to hide by facing away from me, toward the mirror.  Kovbasa++

22. The Straight Elitist Philosophy Professor  who bulged during the entire writing seminar, before I stumbled on him in the bathroom. Kielbasa+


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