Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cruising in New Mexico: The Twink, The Redneck, or the Gordito?

New Mexico, Summer 2004

Remember my trip to visit Larry in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the summer of 2004? After four deplorable days, we had a gigantic argument, and I packed up my stuff and drove away, never to speak to or hear from Larry again.

During the next three days, I met three guys, and hooked up with one.  You have to guess which.

Hint: I hate losing friends, so I was quite upset, and not following my usual rules about public cruising or hooking up with complete strangers.

Day #1:  The Tucumcari Twink 

Tucumcari, an iconic town on Route 66!  The stuff of James Dean, Sal Paradise, Peter Fonda in search of America!

I arrived just before noon, had lunch  at the Pow Wow Restaurant, and explored.  Very run down, a lot of vacant lots and boarded-up buildings, old hotels with faded signs, a thrift store, a Chinese buffet, a boarded-up theater.  A community college, a single low adobe building.  I didn't see a downtown; there was no there there.

I stopped in Tee Pee Curios, a tee-pee shaped store that sold Route 66 merchandise: t-shirts, books, Stuckey's candy (whatever that was), license plates that read "Bad Girl" or "Billy the Kid," right-wing patriotic slogans, religious slogans.  Whatever.

But...the guy behind the counter was remarkable: in his 20s, thick brown hair, handsome face, tight muscular frame barely hidden beneath an orange t-shirt.  He was reading a Harry Potter book.  I approached.

"You must hear about Route 66 so much you get darn sick of it."

I'll bet he never heard that from a tourist before.  He looked up with a big smile.  "You have no idea, sir!  Route 66 this, Route 66 that.  We've had an interstate through here since the 1970s.  Get with the 21st century!"

"Like Harry Potter?"

Embarrassed at reading a "kid's book," he tried to hide it.

"Oh, I'm a big fan.  I especially like how Harry and Ron are so devoted to each other, like a romantic couple."

" know, I never really thought about it, but maybe you're right."

"Fan fiction is loaded with Harry-Ron shipping."

Day #2: The Roswell Redneck

The town made famous by the 1947 UFO crash was about three hours south of Tucumcari.  I was surprised by the contrast: a beautiful, vibrant downtown with trees and green spaces.  Restaurants, shops.  A used bookstore.  Mexican restaurant for lunch.

The Museum and Art Center, with an excellent selection of Southwestern Art.

Around 4:00 pm, I visited the International UFO Museum. As a long time devotee of the UFO phenomenon, I didn't see much that I hadn't seen a hundred times before.

There were only a few tourists.  Later I discovered that a big UFO festival had just ended, so all of the true believers were gone, leaving a nuclear family, a teenage boy and girl holding hands, and a guy by himself, looking at an exhibit with some very muscular classic grey aliens.

"Who knew that aliens worked so hard on their delts?" I asked.

He laughed.  "And their abs."  He was his 30s, shorter than me, round face, a little beard, solidly built with respectable biceps and a smooth chest visible beneath his half-unbuttoned short-sleeved shirt.

"Maybe there's a Gold's Gym in outer space."

"They've got to do something to pass the time., what with no willies and all."

"I'd think I'd rather have a willy.  Especially on Saturday night," I added suggestively.  This was definitely a cruising conversation!

"This is Sunday," he pointed out.

"Even worse.  Sunday night is the loneliest night of the week."  That came out a little more depressed than I intended.

"I hear you, buddy.  You traveling by yourself?"

"I was visiting my friend in Santa Fe, but we kind of had an argument."

"Well, maybe it's time for you to make some new friends."

Day #3: The Alamogordo Gordito

Around 11:00 am, I arrived at Alamogordo, a "big city" of 30,000, including the nearby air force base.  An old army town with broad streets and low mountains in the distance.

I went to the New Mexico Museum of Space History, stopped for lunch at the Country Kitchen, and then headed out to the White Sands National Monument, a vast sea of sand dunes with nature trails for hiking.

And, apparently, cruising.

I was staring at a multicolored snake, wishing I was back in nice, safe Wilton Manors, when a tall, husky older guy approached (top photo).

"He's harmless -- as long as you don't get too close."

"Don't worry, I have no intention of saying hello."  I turned -- he had a flat clean-shaven face, a little double chin, a barrel chest and thick biceps.  Hair was peeking up over his t-shirt.

"Pretty cool, huh?  I've been hiking all over the state, but this is my favorite trail.  Near dusk you can see bobcats and coyotes."

"I just hope they've had dinner before they see me."

"It's all about the adventure, isn't it?  I'm retired Air Force, enjoying life and trying out new things.  Meeting new people, too."  He held out his hand to be shaken.

Day #4

On to Albuquerque!  I was feeling better, having seen some interesting sites, met three guys, and spent the night with one.

Can you figure out which?

a. The Tucumcari Twink
b. The Roswell Redneck
c. The Alamogordo Gordito

Answer after the break.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

15 Rules for Hooking Up with Straight, Bisexual, and Downlow Guys

In West Hollywood many people believed that there was no such thing as a straight man.  Exclusive same-sex desire was a universal of human experience. Men who called themselves straight were just too weak or cowardly to resist the heterosexist chant of "what girl do you like?  what girl do you like? what girl do you like?"

Today we know that some men are, in fact, heterosexual, with no conscious same-sex attraction.

But others, a much larger proportion, are on the downlow, heterosexual as far as anyone knows, with wives and kids, acting on their same-sex desires only anonymously, in secret.

Others are bisexual, desiring both men and women, perhaps equally, perhaps men only occasionally, as a special "playtime."

  Still others are heterosexual, but willing to "settle" for a man if no woman is available.  What does it matter -- sex is sex..

The last three categories are open for cruising, and in small towns with a limited gay population, tremendously increase your chances of success.  But you have to be careful.  Cruising a straight or downlow man requires a whole new set of skills, and a whole new set of rules:

1. Cruise online. Straight men rarely go to gay venues, lest they be seen, and in public places they are always with women or with straight male friends who don't "know."

2. Find out how straight he is.  How occasional is his interest in men?  If he meets guys once a month or less, ok.  If he's always seeking out guys, then he's a traitor, enjoying all of the privileges that come with heterosexual identity, hoping to enjoy sexual freedom while letting "real" gay people do all the work of fighting homophobic injustice.  He's a pathetic loser.  Move on.

3. Find out how homophobic he is.  Many straight guys with occasional same-sex interests overcompensate by denigrating gay people, especially those who are open.  "I don't shout it from the housetops!" he yells.  "Marching in parades, broadcasting your sexual preferences!"  Move on.

4. Skip the first-timers.  "I've never done this before.  I've thought about it, but I've never had the nerve..."  Yeah, right.  He's been saying that for the last five years, enjoying the thought of a same-sex liaison, but always losing his nerve.  And if he does actually show up, there's no way the reality can live up to his fantasy.

5. Arrange for a daytime meeting, at your place.  Chances are these will be required anyway, since he's busy with women at night, and there are people at his place who "can't find out."

6. But not for "right now."  Anybody willing to come over "right now," without finding out a little bit about where he's going and who he's meeting, is bound to be a dud.

7. A face photo is a must.  Not necessarily to determine his degree of hotness -- it's probably 20 years old, and photoshopped.  To determine his degree of openness.  No face photo: very skittish, probably a no-show.

8 Get contact information.  A last name, a working cell phone number, an email address.  And use it to make sure it's not fake.  It might come in handy later.

9. Give him the geographic layout of your place.  He believes that passersby will see him and infer somehow that he is having a same-sex hookup.  That's ridiculous, of course, but a pedestrian on the street outside your house, or a neighbor in the hallway of your building, could make him bail.  So warn him in advance if it's apartment, if there are other houses close by, if its a well-traveled pedestrian area, and so on.

10. He gets only two chances to show up.  You wait half an hour for him to show up.  Later that day you get an email: "Sorry, the wife asked where I was going" or "Sorry, I saw somebody who looked like somebody I work with."  Set up another meeting -- we all have scheduling problems.  But if he doesn't show up the second time, move on.

11. Have a friend present.  Hopefully you've screened out the straight guys with malicious intent, and the ones who are so skittish that they might freak out over their "sordid act" and attack.  But just in case, have a friend present.

You can also protect yourself by telling your friend about the meeting, and sending him the straight guy's complete contact information.

12. ID all Cute Young Things.  14, 15, and 16 year olds lie about their age and background all the time, and saying "He told me he was 18!" is not an excuse.  If there's any doubt, ask for an ID.

13. Don't be afraid to tell him "stop talking about women."  Straight guys love to talk about women, especially during a same-sex hookup.  It reassures them that they're "really" straight.  They'll tell you all about their wives and girlfriends, discuss the attractiveness of various actresses, ask about your heterosexual dalliances, bemoan the refusal of most women to engage in their favorite sexual activities.

Don't say "Women!  Gross!"  Say something like "This is a men-only zone. For the next hour, we celebrate the masculine!"

14. Don't be afraid to give him a Gay 101 lecture.  A surprising number of straight guys have had no connection whatever to gay history and culture.  They don't know that there are gay organizations.  They don't know about Stonewall.  They are unaware of contemporary battles over workplace discrimination, religious harassment, and marriage equality.  Enlighten him, either during the online chat, or during the meeting.

15. If you see him in public afterwards, let him lead.  Straight guys are often worried that talking to a gay person in public, in any capacity, identifies them as gay.  Or they might not want their wives and straight male friends asking "So, where did you meet him?"  If he says hello first, stop to chat.  If he pretends not to know you, give him your best Attitude.

See also: 15 Rules of Gay Cruising;


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