Saturday, November 28, 2015

Julian: When a Bratwurst Isn't Big Enough

Rock Island, March 1982

When I was a senior at Augustana, a freshman named Julian joined the radio station crew.  Bruce, by then the general manager, planned to assign him a job as news stringer, someone who picked up and adapted news stories from the wire.  But Julian's father, a VIP in Chicago politics, called his old friend President Treadway, and guess who became music director?

Suddenly 50% of our programming was classical music.

Julian was brash, sarcastic, elitist, demanding, and entitled.  But he immediately piqued my interest:

1. He was into classical music.

2. He was black  There were very few black guys at Augustana.

3. He was chubby.  There were even fewer chubby black guys.  The 1980s fashion was svelte.

4. And he was flamboyantly feminine, what we called a flamer back then. Obviously gay, though of course none of the straight guys at Augustana noticed.

I hadn't met any gay students at Augustana, just some guys who would accept a same-sex hookup as a last resort, if there were no girls around.  So I was determined to get into Julian's life, as a boyfriend, a hookup, a friend, something.

Unfortunately Julian didn't like me.  Not at all.

No matter how nice I was, he remained condescending, rude, arrogant, and abrasive.  When I asked him to get a slice of pizza at the Student Union, he gave me cool attitude and said "No, thanks awfully."

Offering to work the dead time of Saturday morning didn't impress him.

Befriending his friends didn't work.  He hung out exclusively with giggling co-eds.

How about introducing him to my friends?  One weekend I brought Brian over for a tour of the campus.  We toured the radio station while Julian was in the office.

He barely grunted.

Brian was very hot. Could Julian be straight?

I decided to throw caution to the wind.

You never came out in 1982 without extensive tests to see if the guy would attack, or tell the dean and expelled for being gay.

It was March of my senior year. To be expelled now would be devastating. But maybe I could come out without actually coming out.

So I waited again until Julian was alone in the office, sitting at his desk.  I dropped in on some pretense and said,  "So a lot of people think Brian and I are lovers, but of course that's ridiculous."

"Oh?"  I could hear Julian cogitating. Ridiculous because we're friends, or because I'm straight?

"Yeah, he's not my type at all."

More cogitating.  By talking about it so nonchalantly, I had proven myself ok about gay people.  And a life of constant pretense gets lonely.  I could tell the exact moment when Julian decided to make the leap.

"I don't know," he said, staring down at his desk.  "I thought he was quite attractive."

And just like that, he was out.

My turn!

"Not very big beneath the belt, but not everybody can have a baseball bat down there."   I made a show of trying to look down at Julian's basket.

And just like that, I was out.

That Friday night we had dinner at O'Melia's (now it's Jake O's), a fancy eatery on Black Hawk Road,.

"I'm sort of nervous," Julian told me.  "I've never been on a date with a guy before.  I was asked out a few times in high school, but I said no.  I was worried about the erotic activity afterwards."

"Why?" I asked.  "Afraid you would feel guilty afterwards?"

"It's not that.  Well -- you've seen me.  Imagine me naked."

"I've been doing that all semester," I said with a grin.

He looked down at his menu.  "You're just being nice, but you know I'm gigantic where I should be small, and teen-tiny where I should be big.  I'm like one of those mythological beasts."

What did I ahve to do to boost this guy's confidence?  I tried a dirty joke: "Oh, you mean a unicorn?  Can I see your horn?"

After dinner we went back to the dorm, where Julian's roommate was gone for the weekend.  We turned on his stereo -- Beethoven's Symphony #7 -- sat down on the bed, and started kissing and groping.

Soon I had a chance to examine his beneath-the-belt gifts in detail.  Bigger than most, at least a Bratwurst, maybe even a Bratwurst+.

This was what he was concerned about?  So concerned that he turned down dates in high school, and came to college with a cynical, abrasive shell?

We only dated that one time, but we stayed friends until I graduated and he went back to Chicago for the summer.

See also: My Top Black Boyfriends and Hookups; 13 Gay College Boys.

The Beach Boy and the Giant, Part 1

Wilton Manors
Saturday, September 21st, 2002

A Saturday morning during my second year in Florida.  We're all sitting at breakfast, when my housemate Barney abruptly announces that he plans to go to a bathhouse.

Yuri and I hide behind cereal boxes to hide our shock. Barney is a former bodybuilder who runs a mostly-gay gym.  He lives a scrupulously healthy lifestyle: low-fat diet, daily exercise, meditation, herbal supplements.  And, after he lost his partner to AIDS three years ago, no hookups.

He dates, of course, and occasionally he invites us into his bed to "share," but he would never dream of casual sex.

"Are you ok?" Yuri asks.  "I don't think you liked bathhouses."

"Well, I haven't been to one for ages.  But think about it -- I'm 61 years old, I have Cute Young Things clamoring to get into my bed all the time, but all the guys my age are taken or not interested.  I figure the bathhouse is my best place to find someone my age.

"You know it's mostly for anonymous sex, right?" I say, dubious.

"But you often make a date with the guy afterwards.  At least, you did in my day."

" you want us to go with you, show you the ropes?"

He chuckles and turns back to his egg white omelet.  "I was going to bathhouses while you were still in diapers.  I think I can handle myself."

We advise him that the bathhouse would have a lot of older guys in the mid-afternoon or early evening, so he goes about 5:00 pm, after pumping up at the gym.  I can't wait around to hear the details -- I have a date with a guy in Boca Raton.

Saturday evening

When I return from my date, Barney is already in bed.  I peer through the open bedroom door, curious.  Nope -- he's alone.

Sunday morning

"So, how did it go?" I ask over breakfast.

"Some sex, some prospects," he says with a sly grin.  "Nobody spectacular.  I'm going to try again this afternoon."

On Sunday afternoon, I have to work at the gym, and Yuri goes swimming with Wade the Beach Boy, my ex-boyfriend.

After we broke up, Wade and Yuri stayed friends, so he hangs around the house a lot, and sometimes spends the the night in Yuri's bed.

They never do anything together except for some incidental groping.  They simply aren't attracted to each other. They are both twinks -- 24 and 28 years old, respectively, smooth, pleasantly muscular but not bodybuilders and they both like 40+, super-muscular, with Mortadella+ beneath the belt.

Sunday evening

My shift ends, and I go home to find Yuri and Wade in the living room, watching Futurama and eating Chinese food.  I help myself to some kung pao chicken and join them to watch King of the Hill and The Simpsons.

Then Barney returns with the Jolly Green Giant: about 60, huge, at least 6'8" tall, with gigantic shoulders, a massive chest.

"This is Brent," Barney announces.  "He works at the Publix [supermarket] on Sunrise.  This is Yuri, Wade, and Boomer."

He shakes each of our hands.  His hands are huge, as big as typewriters.

"Where do you train?" Yuri asks politely.  Wade just stares as if he has never seen anyone so beautiful before.

"I don't train," the Giant says, his voice a deep basso profundo.  "I do some sit-ups and push-ups, but that's about it."

"It's all from moving boxes all day!" Barney exclaims.  "Can you believe it?  Brent is a natural!"

"Did you meet at the bathhouse?" I ask.

Barney grins.  "That would be telling."

They decide to watch Malcolm in the Middle with us.  Barney takes his favorite chair, and the Giant sits on the floor in front of the couch, leaning his arms against my lap and Wade's leg.

Wade starts to blush and grabs a pillow to cover his arousal.

Yuri notices, too.  "Will you spend the night?" he asks Wade with a grin.

Barney goes to the kitchen to get some of his famous low-fat rhubarb crisp for dessert.

Sunday night

Picture it: Barney and the Giant in their bedroom, with the door a crack open (Barney is a fresh air freak). The sounds of erotic activity drift across the hall to Yuri's bedroom, the door also a crack open.  Yuri is reading a book and Wade is lying in his underwear, thinking.

"I could just..."

Yuri cuts him off.  "You don't share on the first date. And they don't even ask you."

"But dude, he's so hot!  So tall -- I'll bet he's got a big one!"

"He is Barney's date.  You must keep your hands off."

Soon Yuri turns off the light and goes to sleep.  But Wade doesn't.  He lies awake, thinking.

After awhile he hears the door of Barney's room creak open, footsteps down the hall, and someone urinating.  He jumps out of bed, rushes to the bathroom, and flings open the door, planning to say "Oh, sorry, I didn't know...." and at least get a glimpse of the Giant's Mortadella+.

It's Barney.

The rest of the story is here.

See also: Wade the Beach Boy; Jack the Vacuum Cleaner.

Friday, November 27, 2015

My Romance with Wade the Beach Boy

Wilton Manors, June 2002

You're probably thinking that life in Florida was like Seinfeld, where Jerry, George, and Elaine have a constant parade of boyfriends and girlfriends with annoying quirks that prompt a quick breakup: talks too low; laughs too loud; won't taste your dessert; wears the same outfit every day.

Late in the series, they didn't even bother with introductions, knowing that there would be a new one next week.

In Florida, we typically dated guys for a month or less, too, but the relationships rarely ended due to annoying quirks.  Nor were there many heart-to-heart discussions of "are we right for each other?" or "where is this relationship going?"

It was just that, after three dates, or five, or ten, things just kind of fizzled out.

1. You were putting more into the relationship than you were getting.

2. The logistics of time and travel were impossible to maintain.

3. You didn't fit in with each other's friends.

4. He didn't share enough of your interests, and you didn't want to pursue his.

Like the beach.

Granted, I went to the beach more in Florida than I had in West Hollywood.  We lived only about 10 blocks away.

Dates often ended with a walk on the beach.

We held picnics and parties there.

But I have very fair skin, so I rarely took my shirt off, and even more rarely went into the water.

When I did, it was just to splash around.

Then Wade appeared at the Filling Station: tall, curly haired, solid physique, smooth chest, very pale skin, a recent graduate of McGill University in Montreal, who was now working the front desk at a resort.

Our first date was the standard dinner-and-a-movie, with conversation involving our coming out stories, fundamentalist Christians, bodybuilding, my date with Richard Dreyfuss, and the gay-subtext romance between Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.  We spent the night at my house, where he proved to be a little small beneath the belt, but very energetic.

I was swooning with infatuation.

Until I discovered why a business major from Montreal would take a job as a front desk clerk at a resort in Florida.

The beach. Every day before and after work.

On our second date, Wade talked me into going swimming -- not just splashing around, but actual breast strokes, out into the deep water of the Atlantic Ocean, halfway to the Bahamas.

On our third date, I talked him into an afternoon at the museum, followed by a walk on the beach and dinner at the house.

It went on like that.

Scuba diving.
Stay in and watch a DVD?
Midnight swim.

Wade started browning, with definite tan lines.

I started burning.

Ok, Wade was attractive, intelligent, interesting to talk to, and memorable in the bedroom, but the sun and sand routine was a bit much.

But by this point, he and Yuri had bonded, and were hanging out nearly every day, making a breakup awkward.

Cruising at the bars?
A movie?

How about a reverse roommate switch, pawning Wade off onto Yuri?

Nope, they weren't attracted to each other.  Yuri liked guys who were more muscular, and bigger beneath the belt, and Wade was into older guys.


Nope, nothing in common.  Barney never dipped a toe in the water, and Wade wasn't much of a gym rat.

Bear party?
Cruising at the bars?

Finally I tried the only thing I could think of: just say no.  

"Sorry, I'm a little tired, not up for the beach today.  But we can go out to dinner."

"I have a little headache, I shouldn't go into the water.  But how about a movie?"

"It's too cold outside today.  But we can go to a nice heated shopping mall."

Until eventually Wade faded away.  Neither of us had done anything wrong, really.  We just came from different sides of the beach.

See also: The Shy Boy in the Third Row; Wade and the Giant.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Arjun and the World's Strangest Pickup Line

Boca Raton, Florida, May 2003

Arjun was a student in my Sociology of Religion class in the spring of 2003, the semester after Tom the Young Republican: college age, South Asian, short, dark skinned, handsome, with a tight, solid physique.

He didn't talk very much in class, gave short, halting answers when called on, and turned in a series of nondescript, C-level essays.

Until we got to the lecture on New Age Religions.

Seems that he was devotee of the Urantia Book, written between 1925 and 1934 by seven spiritual beings, who  delivered it, page by page, over 2000 in all to Chicago physician William S. Sadler and his disciples. At first they wanted to keep the amazing revelations to themselves, but finally in 1955 they consented to publish it.

There are no churches, ministers, rituals, or dogmas of any kind.  People meet in small study groups.

In my brief research for my Sociology of Religion lecture, I didn't, see a lot of moral instruction or discussions of our ultimate purpose n the universe.  It's mostly a compendium, an Encyclopedia Galactica.

The government, politics, demographics, and economics of the hundreds of planets in our universe (and other universes), with the jobs and duties spelled out as precisely as any human resources handbook.

Gabriel is the Chief Executive of our universe, Nebadon.  Beneath him are the Supreme Council, the Council of Supreme Santion, and a number of High Commissioners, Celestial Commisioners, Most High Assistants, and so on.


Well, it goes on like that.  For volume after volume:

"Spiritual status is the measure of Deity attainment, Adjuster attunement. The achievement of finality of spirituality is equivalent to the attainment of the maximum of reality, the maximum of Godlikeness. Eternal life is the endless quest for infinite values."

Yeah, I don't get it either.

Of course, our job in Sociology of Religion is not to evaluate the worth or validity of a religion, but to look for the sociological factors in its membership.  Why do people follow it?  How do they practice it?  How does it fit into the rest of their lives?

Arjun knew: "I grew up Hindu," he told us.  "There's no evidence that the gods exist.  But the Urantia Book is scientific.  It's concrete.  It's about real life, not myths.  If you read it, you'll know."

You can't argue with someone about their beliefs in the classroom, so I let it slide and moved on to another New Age religion.

But after class Arjun approached me.  "Have you read it?"

"The whole thing?  Well, I do have to research more than 30 religions in this class..."

"I can show you the most important parts, that deal with the life of Jesus Christ."  He hesitated, and looked down at the floor.  "Are you free later?  We can get a cup of coffee, and talk about it...."

Every student who belongs to a proselytizing religion tries to convert me, and besides, I have a rule against socializing with my current students, so I politely refused.

A couple of weeks later, Arjun appeared at my desk after class again.  "Ron Tramontino, the head of our Urantia Study Group, is giving a talk on Saturday.  He's a great guy.  He runs a karate studio and writes books.  Maybe you would...."  he trailed off.

Was he still trying to convert me?  Regardless, I don't socialize with current students, so I said, "I'm busy Saturday, sorry.  Another time."

At another time, he brightened.  "When?"

"Um..well, after classes are over.  Next summer I'm free."


He finished the class, got a C, and vanished.  I didn't think anything more about it until a couple of weeks after finals, when I was busy prepping for my summer school class.  Arjun knocked on my office door.

I thought he wanted to petition for a higher grade, but instead he said, ", now that classes are over, may I call you Boomer?"

"Sure, I guess."

"I know you like karate, so I got tickets to the AAU National Championships, at the Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale."  He paused.  "And afterwards I know a place that has Nepali food."

Finally it dawned on me -- Arjun was asking me for a date!

Well, he wasn't my student anymore, and he was cute, so why not?

I braced myself for more discussion of the Urantia Book, but instead Arjun talked about sports -- he was a devotee of judo, karate, and mallauddha, or Indian wrestling.  A little boring.  I actually tried to push the conversation back to the Urantia Book, or at least a New Age topic, but he didn't seem interested.

He was living with his conservative Hindu parents, who knew that he was gay but didn't approve, so we had to go back to my house to spend the night.

Nice physique, nicely shaped Bratwurst, a little reserved in bed.  He just lay there.  I had to do all the work.

We dated for a few weeks, mostly going to boring martial arts tournaments.  Arjun never wanted to talk about the Urantia Book again, no matter how often I brought it up.

Had he just been using it as a very weird cruising line?

See also: Cruised by a Young Republican.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

16 Florida Beach Boys in My Bed

Wilton Manors, Florida was a lot like West Hollywood.
1. A small, constrained, concentrated gay neighborhood where you could walk anywhere.
2. Surrounded by homophobia
3. Ungodly hot.
4. Full of tourists.
5. And jobs that went nowhere.

But there was a big difference: 

West Hollywood in 1985 was all about finding Mr. Right.   No hookups.  After two dates, you were a couple; after four, you were renting a U-Haul.

Wilton Manors in 2001 was all about finding Mr. Right Now.  Hookups, sharing, a never-ending supply of new guys, new experiences..

There were a few long-term couples around, but it was much more common to date for a few weeks, and then move on.

Here are my longest Wilton Manors romances.

Just One Date:

1. The Brazilian Twink who turned out to be the drag queen Miss Chita Taboo.

2. Jack, the Grocery Store Clerk who thought he was a vacuum cleaner.

3, Andre, the Worst Date in Florida History (left), involving an alligator, an unfinished house, hustlers, druggies, and a lost wallet.

4. The Former Child Star who invited me back to his apartment to listen to his demo tape.

5.  Jean the Violinist in Paris, who wouldn't let me touch his instrument.

6. The Jolly Green Giant (left), 6'10", bodybuilder physique, hands the size of typewriters, average beneath the belt gifts.  It was more sharing than a date.

1-2 Weeks:

7. Janik the Frisian Bodybuilder  from the Horseman's Club in Amsterdam, who invited me to stay in Friesland with him.

8. Sammy Blowfish, the son of my high school speech teacher, who invited me back to small-town Iowa. I only got rid of him by pawning him off on my friend Dick.

9. Comic Book Guy, who was attractive, passionate, and affectionate, but had bedroom practices that were a complete turn-off, plus a surprise beneath the belt.

10. Randy the Pharmacist (left). I made the mistake of inviting him to a Hurricane Party for our second date, where he ran afoul of the rules of sharing.

11. Florian, the boy who cried Fabulous, so aggressively upbeat that I couldn't stand him.

3-4 Weeks:

12. Wade, the Real Beach Boy.  How much time can someone with a fair complexion really spend at the beach?

13. Tom, the Log Cabin Republican (left). Yeah, very conservative, not up for a long term relationship.  But did you see what he looked like?

14. Arjun, the Urantia Book Devotee who took me to karate tournaments.

1-3 Months

15. Stanton, the high school bodybuilder.  We didn't have a lot in common, but my friends kept pushing us together.  "You'd be crazy to break up with him!  He's so cute!"

Over 3 Months: 

16. Matt the Security Guard, a wannabe novelist with amazing beneath the belt gifts. Four months.  Then I went home for Christmas and returned to be dumped for the 60-something Troy.

Not a lot of nesting going on.

Well, at least I had Yuri and Barney.

A Hookup with the Nigerian with the Tattooed Penis

Bloomington, May 1983

When Viju started taking me to the bars, when we were in grad school in Bloomington in 1983, AIDS was practically unknown, there was little fear of being robbed or murdered, and the West Hollywood rule against casual sexual encounters did not exist.

We had casual sex.  Quick, practically anonymous.  We called it tricking.

I think it's because we were living in a world inundated by images of men and women together, being told a hundred times a day that gay people did not exist, or if they did, they were monsters, and this was our way of rebelling, of relishing the look, smell, and feel of the masculine.

The adults are lying -- only real is real.

We made the trick arrangements with little or no prior conversation, no screening, no introduction to friends (unless we happened to be at the bar together).  Sometimes only a first name, sometimes only a nod.

We followed him home without telling anyone where we were going.

We started the sexual encounter the moment we got in the door, with no coffee, no conversation, no making out on the couch.

When we finished, we threw on our clothes, scribbled down a phone number that might or might not be the right one, and left.  No cuddling, no spending the night.

We might return to the bar that same night to search for a new trick, and see him there, in search of a new trick. "Next!"

And we never tricked with the same guy twice.  "Been there, done that."

In retrospect, it was extremely dangerous, although nothing bad happened except a case of crabs.

And a feeling of emptiness afterwards, as if we had just eaten a big meal but were still hungry.

Whatever our desire for the masculine meant, it wasn't satisfied by tricking.

One night we saw an older black guy standing by the pool table, drinking a soda: in his 40s, taller than me, very muscular and very dark.  Since I was particularly interested in black guys, Viju said that I could "have him."

He introduced himself as Ollie with a slightly lilting accent.

"That's a very Swedish," I commented.

"Short for Olawale.  I'm from Nigeria."

We drank our sodas and talked.  Ollie was from the Yoruba people -- there are about 30 million in western Nigeria,  Many African-Americans are descended from them.

He attended university in Lagos, a big, sprawling city of 5 million, and moved to London, which he hated, then to Austin, Texas; Buffalo, New York, and Little Rock, Arkansas.  He had been in Bloomington for ten years.  He worked in the library, where he was in charge of the African Studies collection, and occasionally taught courses in Yoruba.

In five minutes, I got more biography from Ollie than from a dozen other hookups put together.

I wanted to know about the Yoruba language, of course, so he gave me a brief primer:   it's a tonal language, like Chinese.

All words have combinations of high, middle, or low tones that change their meanings:

igba (middle-low): rope
igba (middle-middle): two hundred
igba (low-high): egg
igba (low-middle): nonsense

I almost forgot about the hookup.  But a grope and a kiss reminded me.

We said good night to Viju, and drove back to Ollie's house, in an older neighborhood a few blocks north of the campus.  The living room was painted red, with African tapestries and masks on the walls.

"Would you like to eat?" Ollie asked.  "In Nigeria it is very impolite to have a guest in your house without offering food.  I have some fried plantains -- they come from a special store in Indianapolis -- and vanilla ice cream."

We ate our plantains and ice cream while I leafed through his coffee table book on African art, and looked at the wide, thick, black bookcases filled to overflowing with books on ceremonial magic, paganism, the occult, ghosts, the paranormal, voodoo, werewolves -- it was like a precursor to the Bodhi Tree, the New Age bookstore I would visit later in West Hollywood.

"Are you a pagan?" I asked.  "I knew a male witch in Rock Island."

"I've studied every magical path, but my heritage is the Yoruba religion."

According to the Yoruba, the Creator God Olorun is unknowable, so we revere his emanations, the 400 or so orishas: Ogun, Shango, Eshu.  They are very beautiful, many appearing as muscular, nude men, each with his distinct personality.  Some are benevolent and eager to assist the humans who offer them the proper respect.

Others are -- well, not evil, exactly, but not terribly concerned with human affairs, and likely to get cranky if importuned.

"My Orisha is Erinle, the patron of gay people.  He breaks the boundaries of gender, and has relationships with men.  He walks hand in hand with his lover. Ochosi.  He's also the patron of physicians and fishermen.  Come, I'll summon him to bless our meeting."

He brought me into the bedroom, which had an enormous bed with a black conforter, a black-wood dresser, and a small table covered with African statues, silk cloths, beads, seashells, candles, a bottle of wine, and some incongruous items, like a can of sardines, a stethoscope, and a statue of Superman.

"Erinle likes fishing," Ollie explained.  "He blesses his disciples who eat fish.  And the stethoscope --he's the patron of physicians, right?"

"And the statue of Superman?"

"He's gay.  I thought he would find the muscles.appealing."

We took off our clothes and sat crosslegged before the altar.  Ollie lit one of the candles, bathing the room in eerie red light.  He poured a little of the wine into a cup, put it on the can of sardines, and began praying in Yoruba.

Later he told me that the words were "Fun mi agbara," give me power, a prayer for sexual potency.

He held out his penis for me to touch.  It was long and thick, with strange scarification: bumps all around the head.

"The penis is sacred to Erinle, too," Ollie said with a grin.

We moved to the bed.


Ollie lay atop me, clamped his mouth on mine, and inserted his penis between my legs.  Several other positions followed, but what I will remember forever is Ollie's face above mine as he thrusts.  A broad open-mouthed grin.  His forehead beaded with sweat.  His eyes white with passion.

Afterwards we showered, and I spent the night.

We saw each other in the bar occasionally after that, but we didn't meet again.

But I learned something important.

If we go out searching for the archetype of masculinity, pure physique and penis, we can never be satisfied.  That is unknown and unknowable.  We must look for orishas, individual emanations of the divine, each with his own unique history, beliefs, and personality.

In other words, talk to the guy first, no matter how big he is beneath the belt.

See also: The 20 Most Beautiful Men in the World; and Encounters in the Darkroom of an American Gay Bar

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hayward Nelson Naked

Here's the only nude picture I could find of Hayward Nelson of What's Happening, from the movie Evilspeak (1981), apparently before he bulked up.

I once saw another one, a frontside with him covered in bubbles, but I can't find it now.

Here are some extras from the same scene.

The original post is on Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.


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