Thursday, March 10, 2016

Zack Hooks Up with the Prince of Sweden

Providence, Rhode Island, April 2000

In West Hollywood when we swapped stories about hookups and dates with celebrities, I usually didn't talk about actors.  My friends had much better actor stories: how could hugging Michael J. Fox, coffee with Richard Dreyfuss, or dating a minor teen idol compare with motorcycling through Wales with David Cassidy, hooking up with Alan Alda on the set of M*A*S*H, or topping Cary Grant while he went down on Groucho Marx?

Instead, I usually told about Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden.

In 1976, during my sophomore year in high school. the young, athletic king visited Rock Island, and dropped in to Rocky High to have lunch with some student leaders.  I sat next to him at a big round table, answered a few polite questions, and "accidentally" brushed my leg against his.

I just had to add some colorful exaggeration -- a tour of the high school, an empty chemistry lab, an arm around my shoulders that strayed down to my butt -- and voila!  A story that trumped running into Peter Fonda at a bathhouse in Tijuana.

But I don't tell my Carl Gustaf story anymore.  Here's why:

April 2000: I''m in graduate school in New York.  Zack the Photographer, who I met four years ago when he was dating Drake the teddy bear artist, is now enrolled in the MFA Program at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.  Yuri and I take the train up to for a weekend visit.

Zack is 23, a twink with smooth, pale skin, a thick chest, prominent nipples, xylophone abs, and an uncut Mortadella.

He lives in an apartment in an old Victorian about half a mile from the RISD, with Seth:  in his 30s, with short brown hair, a rugged face, and a hairy barrel chest; and Mikey, a shaggy-haired twink with blue eyes and a smooth lean physique.  

On Friday night we have dinner in an Indian place near campus, go cruising at a gay bar called the Stable, and then return to the apartment, where Yuri and I "share" Zack.

I go down on Zack while he goes down on Yuri, and then we get into Zack's favorite position, 69, while Yuri watches.

I've been with Zack several times; not terribly impressive.  He's too thin for me, and that Mortadella is too big to go down on comfortably, especially when you're on your back with him on top.

I'm more interested in Seth and Mikey.

On Saturday we have breakfast and go to the gym, and then Zack takes us on a driving tour of Providence: Brown University, the Marble House, the Touro Synagogue, the RISD Museum of Art and Design.  We go back to the apartment for dinner: Yankee pot roast, soda bread, a green salad, and a fruit compote.

We start telling stories of long-ago tricks, gigantic penises, and dates from hell.  Yuri tells about how we went to Basque Country last summer in search of the world's biggest penis.

Then Seth asks: "You lived in West Hollywood for so many years, you must know a lot of famous people.  Who's the most famous guy you've every been intimate with?"

"Depends on what you consider intimate?  Kissing, oral, a walk hand in hand through Beverly Hills?"

Mikey sets the ground rules:  "Intimacy will here mean any deliberate contact with his penis or butt."

I think carefully. Which story will impress them enough to get an invitation to share tonight?

No doubt about it: Carl Gustaf.  

I just add some details about the King bringing me into the empty chem lab and hugging and fondling me, pressing my hand against his aroused Bratwurst.  Voila!

Zack is silent during my story. Then he says: "Isn't that a coincidence?  I spent the night with his son, Prince Carl Philip."

Everyone turns and stares.

Kent, Connecticut, Fall 1994

Zack grew up in Westchester County, New York, where his father was a dermatologist to the stars.  He went to the exclusive Kent School in Connecticut, with famous alumni including Ted Danson, Treat Williams, James Cozzens, and  Cyrus Vance.  So he was no stranger to fame, and having the son of the King of Sweden in his class was no big deal.

During his sixth form at Kent (twelfth grade), he met the 15 year old Lippi -- Prince Carl Philip.  Tall, broad-shouldered, handsome, with a broad friendly face, dark eyes, curly brown hair.

They didn't hang out much -- Zack was quiet, intellectual, artistic, and Lippi was more interested in big, bright, explosive things: sports, especially swimming and skiing, NASCAR racing, and the tv show Married...with Children. 

They bonded at the campus gym, where Zack taught Lippi how to use the free weights.  And once they went on a walk together in search of interesting buildings to photograph.

"Were you out at the time?" Mikey asks.

"Sort of.  I was looking at gay porn online, but I wasn't quite ready to identify as gay, and I hadn't done anything yet, with anybody."

Killington, Vermont, February 1995

Then, in February 1995, the ski club took a weekend trip to the Killington Resort in Vermont, and Lippi and Zack shared a bed in the hotel.

Zack hadn't expected anything to happen.  He was almost asleep when he felt Lippi's hand gingerly caressing his chest.  He lay perfectly still as it moved down his belly and grasped his aroused Mortadella.  Then he pulled Lippi close and kissed him, and pushed his head down into oral.

They fumbled around.  Neither of them knew what they were doing.  Somehow they discovered 69, with Lippi on top.  He was cut, average sized but thick.

Afterwards he moved to his own side of the bed to fall asleep.

In the morning they were polite to each other, but they didn't discuss what happened. They didn't become lovers, or even friends.

A few months later, Zack graduated and moved to Berkeley, where he came out.

"Ok, ok," Yuri says with a laugh. "So you have been with a King and a Prince.  Do you know that I was with the last of the Romanovs, the Tzars of Russia?"

"And I was with President Bush's sons, George W. and Jeb," Seth announces.  "We invited Colin Powell, but there wasn't enough room in the bed."

I didn't get to share Seth and Mikey's bed that night.

I don't tell my King of Sweden story anymore.

So, is Zack's story of a high-school hookup with the Prince of Sweden true, or a colorful exaggeration?

Prince Carl Philip was indeed attending the Kent School during the 1994-1995 year.

As an adult he has been linked to several women, including Madonna, Emma Pernald, and Sofia Hellqvist, who became Princess Sofia in 2015.

Still, the gay rumors have been flying since he was a teenager, and there's always room in the most heterosexual of lives for late nights and sharing beds with buddies.

See also: Sharing the Bear's Boyfriend; My Date with the King of Sweden

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I Share the South-of-Market Bear's Boyfriend

San Francisco, March 1996

Lane and I were living in San Francisco, gay heaven.  I was 35 years old, far beyond my twink years.  He was 40, graduated to Daddy.

We rarely saw anyone under 30.  San Francisco is hard; it takes time, money, and strategy.  Most twinks and Cute Young Things can't manage it.

Our circle of friends consisted entirely of guys in their 40s and 50s: chubby, bearded bears or smooth musclemen, with nipple rings and tattoos, black handkerchiefs in their pocket, handcuffs attached to their belt loops.

They worked entirely within the gay community: as a leather craftsman, the manager of a travel agency that catered mostly to gay men, an AIDS support specialist, a  lawyer whose clients were exclusively gay men, an artist who made leather bears to sell to gay tourists.

Our best friend was probably Drake, the leather bear artist (left) -- teddy bears in bulging chaps, in leather jackets, carrying whips and gay flags.  He was 53 years old, husky but muscular, with a hairy chest, prominent nipples, and nice biceps.  Kielbasa+ beneath the belt, uncut.  A bondage bottom.

His boyfriend, Darrell the Cartoonist, was younger, in his mid-40s (ten years, the limit to an acceptable match!), already mostly bald, with a salt and pepper beard.  Moderately hairy chest, cut Bratwurst.  A bondage top (below).

We didn't see Darrell much.  We went out to dinner once and "shared" after, but he didn't go out to the bars or the bear parties. In fact, some guys in our circle of friends wondered if Darrell existed at all, or if he was just an excuse to not "get out there and date."

One day just before Halloween, the start of the gay social season, Darrell was in Oklahoma visiting his parents, when his allergies started acting up.  He took an antihistamine, drank a glass of wine with it, and died.

The funeral was in Oklahoma.  We didn't go.

But this story is about Drake's new boyfriend.

A couple of weeks after Darrell's death, Drake returned to the gay social world.

Beer/soda bust at the Lone Eagle
Underwear contest at the Lone Star
An AIDS benefit at the Metropolitan Community Church
A book signing at Different Light
The bear parties every Wednesday and Friday night.

We saw Drake at every event, eating, drinking, socializing, cruising.  But he didn't hook up with anyone, not even at the bear parties, he didn't ask anyone for dates.  He always went home alone.

Why do you go to a bear party without even looking for someone to share your bed?

At Christmastime, Lane and I tried to fix him up with a guy we knew, but he refused: "Been there, done that.  The domestic thing isn't for me, anyway.  Too many rules."

So we let him alone.

Then one day in March 1996, Drake met us at brunch after church and announced: "I have a new boyfriend!  Last night was our third date!"

Lane and I glanced at each other in surprise.

"Your first date in months!" I exclaimed.  "Why didn't you tell us about it before?"

He stared down at his menu.  "Oh, I didn't want you guys making a big deal about it until I was sure."

"Well, we're making a big deal of it now," Lane said.  "Where did you meet him?  What is he like?  Details, details!"

"His name is Zack.  He saw some of my bears at All American Boy and asked about the artist. He's from across the Bay."

Very vague.  "So, are you bringing him to the beer bust at the Eagle?"

", he had to get home."

I frowned.  You were expected to introduce new boyfriends to "the family" on the second or third date.  He had to be evaluated, to make sure he was good enough for you, that he would fit into our world.  And he had to be "shared."

Tuesday night underwear contest.  Drake, but no Zack.

"Oh, he would win so easily, I wanted to give you other guys a chance."

Wednesday night bear party. Drake, but no Zack.

"Oh, he's uncomfortable in big crowds like this."

Saturday night dance at the Metropolitan Community Church.  Drake, but no Zack.

"He's got a thing tonight."

The next week, more of the same.

We asked around.  No one had met Zack.

Was Drake just making him up?  Or was he so spectacularly attractive that he didn't want to risk getting him stolen away?

Or was he embarrassingly ugly?

Time to take the initiative.  We invited Drake and Zack to dinner -- not in our apartment, too small, but at the Ethiopian restaurant down the street.

Ethiopian food comes in dabs of colorful mashed vegetables and minced meats on a bed of spongy bread.  Everyone tears off some bread and uses it to spoon up the waadi, ayibe, and kocho.  Perfect for pre-"sharing" intimacy.

Drake and Zack arrived a few minutes late, Drake in a white t-shirt and a leather vest, and Zack in a yellow button-down shirt and a leather jacket.

He was a kid!  A Cute Young Thing!  A few years ago Fred scandalized West Hollywood by dating Matt, eight year younger.  This kid must be at least 20 years younger than Drake!

We tried not to stare as Zack shook our hands and sat down between us.

Soon we warmed up.  Zack was a freshman at Berkeley, only 19 years old.  But he was relaxed,  articulate, well versed in gay culture, and completely at ease with guys 20, and 30 years older.

Of course, we shared later.  No tattoos, no nipple rings, no piercing, a single earring.  Smooth, pale, flawless skin, a big chest, prominent nipples, xylophone abs, an uncut Mortadella.  I went down on him while Lane was going down on Drake, and then we kissed while Drake was going down on Zack.  We ended the evening by tying Drake and Lane together on the bed for a bondage scene.

Later I called Drake.  "That's why you didn't want us to meet him?  Because he was younger?"

"Well, you have to admit, he's not the usual type you see hanging around the Eagle."

"I didn't know you were into younger guys."

"It's the darndest thing," Drake said.  "I didn't used to be, but for the last few years, there are twinks everywhere I go. They're smiling at me, cruising me --  It's like I'm a twink magnet."

"Sounds annoying," I said.  "Who needs a lot of skinny, giggling schoolboys in your bed?"

"It has its benefits.  They're awfully enthusiastic, and their energy -- they just keep going and going!"

 "Still, I hope I never become a twink magnet."

See also: The Leatherman who never left South of Market.; Zack Hooks Up with the Prince of Sweden; Handsome or Hung?

The Slave Boy of Castro Street

San Francisco, October 1996

The Castro and South of Market may have been Gay Heaven, but the rest of San Francisco was not.

You might see an occasional hand-holding gay couple or rainbow flag, but mostly you were deluged by heterosexual power-couples and cooing Moms and Pops on holiday.

Some neighborhoods were quite homophobic  I have had slurs yelled out of passing cars at me only five times in my life: once in Maine, once in Texas, and three times in San Francisco.

So most gay people in San Francisco wanted to move to the Castro.

It was tough. There were no apartment buildings, just Victorian houses chopped up into apartments with rents averaging $4000 per month, that came available only when someone died.

And the competition was fierce.  Once I looked at a one-room basement apartment, with an impossibly low ceiling and glazed windows that wouldn't open.  Unliveable!  But not to the dozen people inside frantically filling out applications!

I was living in a cramped third-floor walk-up, over a hardware store, down the street from a liquor store, and within a few block's walk of seven Baptist churches, a Pentecostal church, and the United House of Prayer for All People.

It was nearly as homophobic as Hell-fer-Sartain, Texas.

But only a mile from the Castro!

Late in September 1996, I had the opportunity to move closer.

There were no bath houses or saunas in San Francisco; they had all been closed down by Public Health.  But there was a weekly Bear Party (for big, hairy, husky guys) held at a private house South of Market.  Upstairs there was socializing and snacks; downstairs, a maze, a dark room, a dungeon, and a room full of mattresses for erotic activity.

The highlight of the party was the Slave Boy, a different guy each week tied to a St. Andrew's cross, naked, his mouth held open by a metal stirrup.  He stayed there all evening, available to be used for erotic activity by anyone who passed by.

Beside him was a box of erotic toys: whips, paddles, clothespins, a violet wand, and so on.

Some party guests became quite busy trying out the various toys, but I was usually content to just watch.  Until one night when the Slave Boy was particularly attractive: short, dark-skinned, and muscular.  Near the end of the party, I approached, took off the stirrup, and kissed him.

And kept kissing him.

When I pulled away, he pulled me back in.

After about ten minutes, he whispered "Would Sir like to come home with me tonight?  My name is Oliver."

A hookup with a slave boy?  "Aren't you too tired by now?"

"Oh, no, Sir, I'm always ready."  We kissed for awhile longer.  "I'll ask my Sir, ok?"

So I hung around until a muscle bear named Rick and another guy in a slave collar arrived to untie Oliver.  They had a brief conversation, and Rick motioned me over.

"My Boy would like you to share his bed tonight.  Are you interested?"

"If it's ok with you, Sir."

"Fine, fine. Boy's been very good tonight, and he deserves a reward."  He pushed the still-naked Oliver toward me.  "But no pain, ok?"

We were so busy kissing in the backseat that I wasn't paying attention to where we were going until we arrived.

It was a narrow Victorian on Eureka at 19th, in the heart of the Castro!

Rick led us into a parlor with hardwood floors and parquet ceilings, furnished all in black leather and glass.  A naked guy who had been watching tv sprang up to take our coats.

"Gene, look at the present Sir got me for being good!" Oliver exclaimed.  "I can't wait to unwrap him."

"Would Sir like a beer or a soda?" Gene asked.  "Or me?" he added with a leer.

"No, thanks.  I think I'd just like to go to bed."

Oliver grinned, took my hand, and led me upstairs to a beautiful bedroom with a four-poster bed and an antique mahogany dresser.  There was a copy of The Short Stories of O. Henry on the nightstand.

"Nice room,"  I said.  "You slaves got it made."

"This is the guest room.  I sleep in the slave quarters with Gene and Mike, when I'm not in Sir's bed."  He put his arms around me.  "Would Sir like to undress while I take a shower?"

I had never met a 24/7 Slave before, and I was interested in how it worked.  Oliver told me that all of the slaves had jobs, but they signed their paychecks over to Sir, who gave them a weekly allowance and put some money into their savings accounts. They could have their own friends and outside activities, even hookups, with Sir's permission.  They were always on call -- even if they were performing an appendectomy, when Sir called, they dropped everything and rushed home.

"What if Sir is abusive?"  I asked "What if he orders you to do something dangerous?"

"Sir always respects my limits!" Oliver exclaimed, offended.  "But if he did something to hurt would be a tough decision, but the relationship might have to end."

I envied Oliver-- he could walk one block to the MCC.
Two blocks to Almost Home and the Oyster Bar.
Three blocks to the Midnight Sun, the gay Walgreens, and the Different Light.
Four blocks to Thai Thai, Marcello's Pizza, Twin Peaks, and Orphan Andy's.
Nothing but gay people for five blocks in any direction!

"It almost sounds worth it, just to live in the Castro!"

"You think so?"

In the morning, we went downstairs to a flurry of activity as Gene flipped pancakes (while nude), Mike made coffee (while nude), and Rick put on a business suit to go to work.

"Did you enjoy yourself last night?" he asked.

"Yes, Sir!  Boomer is very hot -- not nearly as hot as Sir, of course.  And...he told me he was interested in becoming your new boy!"

I blanched. "What?  No...I..."

Rick turned to me.  "Have you had any experience, Boy?"

"No..." I stammered.  "I just said..."

"It's not S&M, you know., although some slaves need that.  It's total domination -- I control everything about your life, even what you have for lunch.  That's a big commitment, for both of us.

"I know.  Oliver has been telling me about it."

"We'd have to try it out for a couple of weeks, before signing the contract."

A couple of a beautiful Victorian on Eureka, in the heart of the Castro?  In the center of the gay universe?  In gay heaven?

It wasn't worth it.

But I did get to spend the night with Oliver again, the next time he was the Bear Party's Slave Boy.

See also: My Date with Santa Claus.

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Adonis at the Gay-Friendly Coffee House

Plains, March 2016

Earlier today I was on my way to the gay-friendly coffee house down the hill from my apartment.  Just as I got to the side door, a red car pulled into an empty parking spot, and Adonis jumped out.

Adonis.  The most beautiful mortal on Earth.  Lover of Aphrodite in Greek mth.  The subject of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis.  The subject of Shelley's Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats.

Adonis.  Twenties, shorter than me, dirty blond hair, stunningly beautiful face,insouciant smile.  He was wearing a pink button-down shirt,  short sleeved, very thin for March, unbuttoned to reveal a smooth muscular chest and hard biceps.  Blue jeans bulging left. A gold chain around his neck. A gold class ring.

He went inside a moment before me, without waiting and holding the door open.

We stood at the counter together, waiting for the guy in front of us to finish ordering.  There were two baristas: a lesbian teenager named Jane was taking the orders, and a middle-aged woman I'd never seen before was staffing the cash register.

I smiled.  Adonis ignored me.

Yes, you read that right.

A twink ignored me.

I am never ignored by any guy under age 30.  Ever.  They approach constantly.

I can't go on Grindr without getting a chorus of "Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!"

 I can't get any work done at the gay-friendly coffee house.  The moment I sit down, someone asks to join me.

If they don't approach, they smile shyly.

My favorite ones just stare with a dopey smile and start to bulge.

What was wrong?  Did I have bad breath this afternoon?

He ordered a hazelnut latte with a splash of caramel.

I looked over.  He didn't look back.

Could he be straight?

Only about a third of the patrons of the gay-friendly coffee house are actually gay, so you cruise at your own risk.  Straight guys don't know how to give Attitude.  They don't realize that they are being cruised, so they might give you all the wrong signals, until it is too late, and you have asked them out on a date, or worse yet, tried to kiss them.

Guys who ignore you aren't straight.  They're gay, giving Attitude.

Could it be that Adonis wasn't interested?

I ordered a scone and an orange, to go.  I have a very deep, commanding voice.  Adonis didn't look over.

He went to the cashier, paid, and started chit-chatting with her.

I took off my jacket.  I was wearing a green sweater that gave me a nice v-shaped torso.  That always impresses them.

He laughed at something the middle-aged woman said.  Was he flirting with her?

What's he see an a lady that old? I thought jealously.  Then I realized: I'm that old, too.

Maybe he's not attracted to older guys.

Or maybe I just needed to pile on the wit and charm.

I stood next to him at the cash register and said "Hi."

Ok, lame line, but it usually works.

Adonis glanced at me.  "Oh, sorry."  He backed away and hovered by the creamers, waiting for his order to be done.

Great!  As soon as I paid, I would drop back, stand next to him, and start a conversation.

The cashier slowly and carefully looked for "oranges" on the register pad.

"That's ok.  If you can't find it, I can do without the orange."

"Oh, no problem.  I'm just new, so it's hard to find.  There it is -- 'fruit.'  Do you have a rewards card?"

Sighing, I gave her the number -- my phone number.

"What area code is that?"

"New York.  I lived in Manhattan before I moved out to the Plains," I said, loud enough for Adonis to hear me.  I glanced over -- he was staring into space.

"Oh, were you in the theater?" the cashier asks. "My daughter is a theater major at the University.  Last summer we went out to Cooperstown for the Glimmerglass Opera Festival.  She loved it!"

"Yeah, it's um....great."

His order was up.  He took it and went back to the creamers and fumbled about.

Maybe he would sit down, and then I could join him.

"My son did, too.  Well, not the theater so much.  He was more interested in the Baseball Hall of Fame."

Was she flirting with me?

There were several cute guys in the coffee house, mostly college students working on papers.  One of them, a very muscular guy in a white muscle shirt, grinned at me.  Has he been watching the debacle?

"I'm a professor at the University," I said, a last ditch effort to impress Adonis.  It didn't.  He loped through the door.

"Oh, how exciting.  My son..."

Enough about your son!  I thought as I watched Adonis vanish forever.

My order was up a moment later.  I grabbed the scone, put the orange in my pocket, and left through the side door.

Adonis was sitting at one of the outdoor tables.  He must be freezing, I thought.

"Hi!" he said brightly.

"Um...hi."  I walked over.

He moved over and motioned to a place beside him, not across from him.  "I'm Jason."


"Nice nickname.  You do have a booming voice."

"Thanks."  Bewildered, I sat down.  He brushed my knee under the table.

"Um...I was trying to get your attention inside, but you looked like you were ignoring me."

He laughed.  "Well, what did you expect?  I couldn't really try to pick you up in front of my mother, could I?"

His mother was the cashier?  

That's a new one.

We haven't gotten together yet, but here's a picture to tide you over.

See also: Yuri and the Coffee Drinker; My Date with a Teenage Boy and His Mom

Sunday, March 6, 2016

20 Blond Beach Boys, Boy Toys, Hookups, and Dates

I'm attracted to darker guys, dark skin, dark hair.  Black, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian.  Blonds and redheads, not so much.

Maybe because Rock Island had a huge Swedish population.  My classmates were all Jensons, Johnsons, Svensons, and Piersons.

But outside of Rock Island, blonds are relatively uncommon.  Only 63% of the U.S. population is of European ancestry, and of those, 16% are blond.  That's about 10%.

Given the odds, and my initial preference for darker hair colors, how many blonds have I dated or "shared" during the last 30 years?


1. Only 1 that I can remember: Carl the Cowboy Cop.  Tall and blond, two turn-offs, but one of the biggest Kovbasas on my Sausage List.

West Hollywood

2. So many Black, Hispanic, and Asian guys around that the blonds fell by the wayside.  But Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star, my best friend from 1985 to the mid-1990s, was blond, sometimes.

3. So was Zack, the kept boy we picked up at Mugi, who turned out to be a drunk.

4. Matt, Fred's Cute Young Thing boyfriend.

5. Redheads count, right?  At least in Spanish, blonds and redheads are both rubios.  So I'm counting  the Ginger Boy that Fred and I hooked up with one Christmas, and Dick and I several years later.

6. My friend Larry in Nashville, who learned that his fetish was being spanked, was blond.  But we never actually dated, and shared a bed only incidentally.

7. Artan the Beach Boy, who Lane and I dated twice before he left us for an older guy.

San Francisco

Not many: the Amazing Invisible Boy that I brought home doesn't count, as he vanished before the intimacy.

I'm going to guess Santa Claus, aka Bearnard, was once blond, but when I knew him, he had white hair.

New York

8. Yuri the Russian Weatherman, my best friend in New York and Florida.

9.  Barry the Colonial Williamsburg boy, who I met at a traditional Catholic exorcism.

10. Jaan, the Estonian mountain climber that Yuri and I fought over.

11. And Liam, who gave me a present on his 18th birthday.


12. Wade the Beach Boy, with whom I had a long-term relationship, by Florida standards.

13. The shy boy in the 3rd row at the West Hollywood MCC, who bulked up.

14. Usually redheads are super-sized beneath the belt, but Comic Book Guy was a little lacking in that department.


15. The Huber Heights Horror was...shudder...blond.

16. Sammy Blowfish was a rare Asian blond.  I think he dyed his hair, though.


I can't think of any, but....


I'm back in Scandinavian country again, so the blonds are rather plentiful.

17. Jimmy, the boy toy of my platonic friends.  I tried unsuccessfully to arrange to "share" them, but ended up with a date with Jimmy instead.

18. The boy with Daddy issues who wanted to tear my clothes off.  Easier said than done.

19. Bastian, the high schooler who Gabe and I shared.

20. And, finally, the blond Adonis I picked up at the gay-friendly coffee house earlier today.

Notre Dame, a Catholic Boy, and a Warm Summer Night

Notre Dame, Indiana, July 1987

26 years old, in grad school at the University of Southern California, I had a paper on "Boccacio and the Jews" accepted at a Medieval Studies Conference at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

I flew into Rock Island to visit my parents for a few days.  Then they dropped me off on the way to visit their relatives in Garrett, Indiana, about an hour's drive away.

I loved Notre Dame!  It was like a Medieval university, with archways, pillars, Gothic buildings, crucifixes, small side chapels, and statues of saints everywhere.

I expected Duns Scotus to walk by at any moment, discussing De consolatione philosophiae with Thomas Aquinas, while St. Hildegard of Bingen sang "O nobilissima viriditas!"

And did I mention the beefcake? Hot Catholic boys walking around, their scapulars gleaming against their hard brown chests, talking about the Bangles and Robocop and last night's baseball game like any students at any secular college.

There were no conference activities scheduled for Saturday night.  Most of the participants went out to dinner with their husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends.  My roommate went to the Linebacker Lounge, hoping for a heterosexual pickup.  My Gayellow Pages listed one gay bar in South Bend, but it was too far to walk.  I was stuck on campus.

Lonely, bored, I wandered into the library, like I used to at Augustana on Saturday nights, when I felt overwhelmed by my friends' chants of  "girls! girls! girls! let's get some girls!  let's look at some girls!" 

Nostalgic for Augustana, I walked into the stacks and browsed through the PD section (Scandinavian Literature).  Nathan was sitting at an isolated study carrell, surrounded by thick books.

No, he wasn't naked.  But he was cute -- 20 years old, short, slim, pale, with curly brown hair and a boyish face.

"Studying Norwegian?" I asked.

He looked up and smiled.  "Oh -- no, Spanish.  This was just a quiet place to study."

"Yo hablo Espanol tambien.  Podimos discutir cosas intimas, si?"

"Whoa, whoa, I'm just first year!"

"Sorry.  I'm in grad school in Spanish.  In Los Angeles."

"Wow, Los Angeles -- that must be great!  All the movie stars everywhere.  Who's the biggest star you've met?"

Every heterosexual guy who found out that I lived in Los Angeles inevitably asked me about "hot girls."  Nathan was gay!

"Met, or saw naked?" I asked with a leer. "I could tell you some things about Tom Cruise..."

Soon we were eating hamburgers in the Student Center, while Nathan told me about growing up in an all-Catholic neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, not knowing anyone who was black, Protestant, or gay.  He came out during his freshman year, but he only knew three gay guys on campus, two students and a professor, and he had never had a boyfriend.

"There's lots of sex at Notre Dame," Nathan said.  "I could get a dozen guys a night, if I wanted.  But just once, I'd like one of them to say hello to me the next day."  He reached under the table and took my hand.  "Is that the way it is in Los Angeles, too?  Lots of secret stuff with straight guys who are thinking about girls the whole time?"

"Oh, no.  Everybody in West Hollywood is gay, so we don't need to trick with straight guys.  We date.  We fall in love. We have permanent partners."

He quickly moved his hand for a brief grope.  "So, wanna make out?"

"Make out?  Um...where?  I have a roommate."

"Me, too.  Let's take a walk."

He led me across the dark, quiet campus to a footpath that led around St. Joseph Lake.  It was heavily wooded, but I could still see the Basilica of the Sacred Heart across the lake; St. Mary, who topped the Golden Dome, had her back turned to us.

Nathan pointed out the Moreau Seminary, a priests' residence.
And the Sacred Heart Parish Center.
And the Our Lady of Fatima shrine.
And the Solitude of St. Joseph, a retreat house for monks.

"This must be the most Catholic place on Earth!" I exclaimed.  "Except maybe the Vatican."

"Yeah.  And the woods are busy all the time.  Not a lot of college kids, but priests, monks, professors.  I swear I had a Cardinal one night."  He grinned in the darkness.  "Creepy old guy, but Italian, you know.  Gigantic."

We started kissing and groping.  Once we had to move aside as a fratboy and his girlfriend passed, giggling with erotic anticipation, but otherwise we were alone.  Soon my pants were down, and he was on his knees.

It felt weird, being semi-naked in the summer night.  It reminded me of when I was a kid, and Uncle Paul showed us how to pee against the side of the barn.

Nathan and I stayed in contact.  The moment he graduated from Notre Dame in 1989, he fled to the gay haven of San Francisco, where he went to work in a store on Union Square.  It wasn't exactly the career his parents intended for him, but at least he was home.

See also: The House Full of Men

Topped by a Vietnamese Twink in St. Peter

March 2014, St. Peter, Minnesota

I'm at a conference at Gustavus Adolphus College, a small Swedish Lutheran college in a small town on the Minnesota River.

 It's fun being immersed in my Lutheran roots.  Old Main looks almost like the Old Main back at Augustana, my alma mater.  The chapel is a vast, airy expanse with impressionistic stained glass windows.  The campus bookstore stocks The Presocratic Philosophers and Bainton's life of Martin Luther, just as Augustana did.

 I didn't come here to seek out beefcake, but it keeps finding me.

Even though it's March and quite chilly, there are two shirtless college boys, hard-bodied, Scandinavian pale, walking across the quad (not naked).

And a tanned, very buffed jock in a muscle shirt lounging in the campus library.

The weight room in the campus gym have vast windows that look out onto a basketball court, where a shirts vs. skins game is in progress.

Plus beefcake sculptures everywhere on campus, like this naked man -- yes, that's his penis -- on the facade of the science building.  I guess he's inventing something.

Or several beefcake sculptures by alumnus Grant Granlud: Jacob wrestling an angel, a luna moth with a buffed masculine form inside, and the naked man and woman bouncing a baby in the air (below).

I heard that the Hillstrom Museum of Art has some Grant Woods in its permanent collection, so I drop in.  It's actually just one big room, empty except for the college boy volunteer sitting at a table reading a book on French impressionists: slim, thick dark hair, red t-shirt and short pants.

Asian, probably Vietnamese!   I am surprised to see him.  There aren't very many Asians on the Plains, and even fewer, I assume, who want to go to a Swedish Lutheran college in a small town in the middle of nowhere.

"Hi, I hear you have some Grant Woods."

He looks up and smiles.  "That exhibit was last year, sorry.  But maybe we have some old brochures you can see."  He jumps up, rushes to a cabinet, and starts sorting through the books and papers.

It takes a long time.  Now he's bending over, his butt in the air.  Very erotic.

"Hey, that's above and beyond the call of duty.  Who are you exhibiting today?"

He stands, faces me with that unmistakable eye-widening.  Flustered -- maybe I'm standing too close.  Or else he's suddenly "on," having to give a spiel on a minor artist.

"B. J. O. Norfeldt, a Swedish-American artist who painted landscapes, mostly watercolors.  Come on, I'll show you.  My name is Hue."  He touches my arm to turn me around.

"Like the city in Vietnam."

"Oh, you've studied Vietnam?"

"Um..yes."  I didn't want to tell him that I grew up during the Vietnam War, and heard about cities there on a daily basis.

"My parents are from Da Nang.  They came over after the war.  I've never been there -- I'm a Minnesota boy, all 'you betcha' and 'hot dish.'  But I'd like to go someday."

Standing too close, touching, giving me his name, telling me his life story.  Is this guy interested, or am I misinterpreting signals?  Hopefully interested -- I haven't been with an Asian guy since I got to the Plains.

Norfeldt has several nude men, plus a watercolor of two women on the beach called "The Ladies of Provincetown."

"Provincetown was a gay capital," I tell Hue.  "I imagine the ladies were lesbians."

He grins.  "I don't know...I never heard that.  Shall I tell the next guest?'

"Depends.  How liberal are they at Gustavus?"

"Pretty liberal.  I've never heard anything homophobic."  Did he just come out to me?

"Are you an art major?"

"Yes, art history.  I want to be a museum curator."

"That explains it.  I'm in criminology.  Lots of homophobes."

"Yeah, but I bet the guys are hot.  I have a friend who wants to be a FBI profiler.  I bet he works out as much as you do..."

Ok, this guy is definitely cruising me.  I almost forget myself and grab and kiss him on the spot.

"Have you seen the Arts Center downtown?  I get off at 5:00.  I could give you a tour.  And afterwards, I know a nice Mexican place for dinner.  I could invite my friend, the one who wants to be a profiler.  You have a lot in common, I bet."

Picked up by an Asian guy in a Swedish Lutheran college in Minnesota!

I don't really want to hang out with Hue's friends -- when you go out with twinks, it's best to keep it one-on-one, to avoid being left out during discussions of Angry Birds and Adele's latest hit.  But if it will seal the deal, ok.

The Arts Center is a two-story space that displays local artists.  Today there are three cows eating red capsules, three naked children painted white, black, and gold, some photographs of the Minnesota River, and some bunnies with blue paws staring at butterflies.

Afterwards we walk two blocks down to a Mexican restaurant called El Agave.  I expect Hue's friends to be Swedish Lutheran twinks, but instead they are:

1. Nguyen, the one who wants to be a profiler.  Vietnames-Chinese, taller than me, and buffed.  He must have 16 inch biceps. Wild erotic energy. I'd actually rather be with him than the slim, soft Hue.  Maybe we'll be sharing.

2. Hue's cousin, a petite Vietnamese co-ed named Lila, who is majoring in psychology.

I'm confused.  Are Nguyen and Lila straight?  Is this a double date?  

I can't tell by the interactions.  Both Nguyen and Lila ask me a lot of questions about criminology, and don't seem particularly interested in art.  Or in each other.

 I play it cool in case Hue is closeted -- I don't mention my gay themed research and don't touch Hue, so there's no physical contact except a couple of times when Nguyen accidentally brushes his knee against mine under the table.

Maybe they're all straight, and I've misinterpreted everything.

When the server asks how many checks, Nguyen says he'll pay for everyone.

We all stand.  I look at Hue expectantly.

"I have an interesting book on Vietnamese martial arts," Nguyen says.  "Back at my apartment.  Maybe you would like to see it?"

"Um..sure. But I came with Hue, so..."

"Oh, that's ok," Hue says.  "You guys go on.  Boomer, can you call me, so I have your number?"

Confused, I say goodbye, watch Hue and Lila leave, and let Nguyen lead me down the dark, silent streets of Saint Peter, Minnesota.

"Hue..." I begin.

"Cute, huh?  I'd date him in a second, even with all that boring art talk.  Too bad he likes girls.  Well, his loss."

Ok, so Hue is straight, and set me up with Nguyen.  He asked for my phone number as a hookup precaution.

He wraps a hard arm around my waist. I shrug him off. "Can you do that in Saint Peter?"

"You think anybody's going to try anything with me? My hands are registered as deadly weapons with the FBI.  My penis, too."  He reaches out and fondles my butt.  "I like to be dominant, if that's ok with you."

The moment we get inside his apartment, Nguyen barks "On your knees, boy!"

It is odd, and strangely erotic, to be called "boy" by someone thirty years younger than me.  I obey, and go down on his thick uncut bratwurst.  We move into the bedroom for 69, and then he tops me in legs-in-the-air position (with a condom of course).

In the morning, we have breakfast, exchange phone numbers, and I drive back to the Plains.

Later that day I get a text: "Nice meeting you last night.  I'm coming to Plains soon.  We should get together."

It's from Hue.

I'm still confused.

See also: Picked up by the Museum Guard.


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