Saturday, April 2, 2016

Lane and I Share Two Guys at Once in Silverlake

Silverlake, April 1994

On Saturday nights when we didn't have other plans, Lane and I often went cruising.  Around 9:30, I dropped him off at the Faultline, and then drove a mile farther east to Basgo's, the Hispanic bar in Silverlake.

At 11:00 or 11:30,  I picked him up again.

Usually one or both of us had met someone, and made a date for later in the week (we would share the bedroom activities at the end, of course).

Once in a while, we couldn't wait: the guy came along, for a late-night snack at the French Quarter (to make it technically a date rather than a hookup), and then home for the bedroom activities.

You're probably wondering what happened when Lane and I both wanted to bring a guy home that night.

In two years of cruising, that only happened once.

Basgo's was not for third and fourth-generation Hispanic guys.  It was for recent immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, or points south, who spoke little or no English and felt more comfortable in Latin American gay cultures than in the white middle class Anglo gay culture.

There were a lot of guys who looked like the top photo.

And a lot who looked like this (there are millions of people of British, German, French, and Scandinavian ancestry in Latin America).

But not a lot of black guys. African slavery was not common in Latin America, where Indians were available to do the same jobs.  And intermarriage was common.  So today people of exclusively African ancestry constitute:

10% of the population of Colombia
4% of the population of Venezuela
1% of the population of Mexico

And when they immigrate, they tend to prefer the African-American gay culture to the Hispanic gay culture of Silverlake.

So it was rather surprising to see a black guy at Basgo's.  

He would have stood out in the crowd anywhere: very tall, probably 6'5", with close-cropped black hair and a round, handsome face.  A red, yellow, and blue muscle shirt with the logo FVF revealed thick, hard shoulders and biceps.  Square hands.  A bar-bulge in his jeans.

I approached and said "Hola!  Me llame Boomer."

He glared at me.  "Practicing your Spanish?"

Embarrassed, I switched to English.  ", what does FVF mean?"

(It's actually the name of the Venezuelan National Football Team).

Another glare.  "What does NFL mean, chumo?  Are you from the moon?"

"No, the Midwest," I said before retreating to the other side of the bar.

A while later, the FVF guy appeared next to me, carrying two bottles of beer  "Hola!" he said.  "Me llame Pedro."

"Practicing your Spanish?"

He handed me one of the bottles.  "Come on, I was just having fun with you.  So you're from the Midwest, right?  Que barbaridad!  Like, you had barns, and fields, and you had to do the,,,ordeñando of the cows?"  He made cow-milking motions with his hands.

"Sure," I lied.  "I milked 30 cows before school every morning."

" are really good with your hands, right?" he said with a leer.

"And mouth."

Pedro was from Caracas, Venezuela, where his father taught economics at the Universidad Central.  He had come to the U.S. just after completing his degree in performing arts from the University of Zulia; now he was doing some modeling and commercials while trying to break into acting.

He was a bit too tall for me -- I like guys who are short, dark, and heavily muscled.  But I had never met a black Hispanic guy before, and he was so talkative and animated that I found myself explaining the "sharing," showing him a photo of Lane, and inviting him to get together later on in the week.

"Why not tonight?" Pedro asked, his hand wandering down to cup my bar-bulge.  "No tengo nada para hacer."

With someone's hand on your penis, it's hard to say no.

There were no cell phones in those days, so I couldn't call Lane and tell him.

Instead, Pedro followed me to the Faultline, where we found Lane with his tongue down the throat of a buffed Asian leatherman.

I was rather surprised -- Lane usually liked hairy chests and beards, attributes rare in Asian guys.

"Oh, hi, Boomer," he murmured, pulling away.  "This is Harry, from Veracruz, Mexico -- you didn't know they had Asian leathermen in Mexico, did you?  I invited him home tonight.  We're going to do a leather scene."

(Asians comprise less than 1% of the population of Mexico.)

This was awkward!

 " Pedro, from Caracas, Venezuela. him home, too.  Harry, could we reschedule the scene for another time?"

The leatherman frowned.  "Lo siento, I fly back to Veracruz tomorrow.  How about if you bring Pedro home another time?"

Pedro laughed.  "Oye, I've been cruising Boomer for an hour.  Ya soy excitado.  Feel."  He grabbed Lane's hand and pushed it against his crotch.  "The offer expires at midnight."

This was quite a conundrum!

"Guys, this may be estupido," Harry said, "But why can't all of us go to your apartment?  Your bed is big enough, no?"

Lane and I exchanged glances.  We never thought of that before!

After a late dinner at the French Quarter, we all returned to our apartment.

In the guest bedroom, we tied Harry, spanked him, edged him, and "forced" him to do oral.

Then we left him tied to the bed and went to the master bedroom for more kissing, oral, and 69.  Lane and I took turns going down on Pedro.  Lane and I finished with 69. Finally, we went back to the guest room, where Pedro topped Harry while Lane went down on him.

It was an energetic evening, but difficult to ensure that no one was left out. We never invited two guys home at once again.

I was trying to figure out how many ethnic groups participated.  Lane and I were both European Americans.  Pedro and Harry were both Hispanic, but Pedro was Afro-Venezuelan, and Harry was Asian-Mexican.  So is that two or four?

See also: The Silverlake Stud; Victor and His Sleazoid Daddy

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Darkroom of the Gay Bar in St. Louis

St. Louis, November 2008

Most gay bars in Europe have darkrooms, cut off from the main bar by a black curtain.  It's completely dark inside, not even a safety light, although some guys walk around flashing the lights on their cell phones.  You feel around until you find something you like.

In the U.S., you might occasionally find a guy pulling it out in a dark corner, but there are no darkrooms.  State and local laws strictly forbid public sexual encounters.  Even in bathhouses, private clubs with membership fees, you're not allowed to do things in public areas.  

I've seen the equivalent of a darkroom only once in the U.S.

In the fall of 2008, in St. Louis for a conference, I went to the Spike (I don't remember its real name) on Manchester Street, in the gay neighborhood.

Bare brick walls, a small dance floor, a lot of guys in jeans hanging around staring into space, their beer bottles protruding like phalluses.

I noticed a lot of beer bottles by a door in the back, as if people were leaving them on the way to the bathroom, but it wasn't a bathroom.

They would set down their beer bottle, go through, and return a few minutes later.

After awhile, I investigated.

It was a narrow enclosed patio, partially open to the sky, lit only by the stars and a string of multicolored Christmas tree lights.

No heat except for a red-glowing space heater.

A bulletin board, some railings, no place to sit.

There was a row of men standing with their backs against the wall in single file, like prisoners waiting for a firing squad.

Except they had their pants down.  Their penises were hanging down.  One was standing straight out in anticipation..

There was a guy on his knees, going down on one.

The others were waiting.

A smorgasbord!

I picked an attractive subject, a slim twink with an uncut Mortadella, fell to my knees, and went to work.

He moaned but did not otherwise respond.  He didn't even look at me.

After a few minutes, I felt someone prod my shoulder.  The other guy working the line, wanting his turn.

I shrugged and crawled over to the next subject, in his 30s, tall, with a short beard and average beneath-the-belt gifts.   I reached under his shirt to feel his chest, but he pushed my hand away.

Penis only.

After a few minutes, another shoulder prod.

I moved down the line, to a slim, balding black guy with a huge Kovbasa+.

Too much for me.  I crawled on to the next.

Another twink, this one more muscular, a collegiate athlete type with dirty blond hair and a cut Bratwurst.

I knew nothing else about him.

In bars you got the guy's entire life story, and in bathhouses you at least exchanged names, but here there was nothing but the phallus.  Even the athlete's face was a cypher: motionless, expressionless, not even looking at you.

And you saw none of their body.  They were fully clothed except for the penis hanging out of their pants.  At least the athlete let me feel his chest and abs under his shirt, but I saw nothing else.

He finished very quickly, without making a sound.  I sputtered and swallowed, then rose to my feet and tried to kiss him.

He turned his face away, zipped up, and quickly left.

How rude!  I'm good enough to go down on you, but not to kiss you!

As I stood there, fuming, one of the guys on his knees grabbed at my crotch, no doubt thinking that I was planning to take the twink's place.  I shoved him away.  He shrugged and went on to the next.

A guy near the end of the line finished with a shout, zipped up, and left.  A solidly built Daddy in his 40s stepped up to take his place, unzipped, and pulled out an already-aroused uncut Bratwurst.

I stood directly in front of him  and said "Hi."  He stared straight into space -- giving Attitude, a sign that you're not interested.

But he held out his uncut Bratwurst.

Sighing, I dropped to my knees.

I was beginning to feel like a factory worker on an assembly line.

The next guy in line prodded me.

I stood and looked at the smorgasbord.  Since I began, three guys had finished or grown bored.  Others took their place.

I stood in an empty space and let someone go down on me.  I don't know who he was, what he looked like.

A factory worker on an assembly line.

Penises only, no body, no mind, no soul.

Suddenly I was very depressed.

I pushed him away, zipped up, and went back into the bar.  Retrieving my coke, I stood next to a guy in a black muscle shirt standing by himself by the pool tables.

A little shorter than me, pale, smooth, nicely muscled shoulders and biceps, square working-man's hands.

His name was Mark, an Americanized version of Mirsad.

He was 32 years old, a Bosnian Muslim who fled with his parents during the Bosnian War in 1992.  He had only lived in the U.S. for two years.  He worked for the cable company as an installer.  He liked the Star Wars movies and graphic novels.

I invited him back to my hotel room to spend the night.  He was intense and passionate, into oral, giving and receiving, and anal, which I refused.  In the morning we had breakfast in the hotel, and he gave me his phone number before we said goodbye.

Here's what he looked like naked.

A body, a mind, a soul.

See also: The Nigerian with the Pierced Penis; 36 Hours of Cruising at Lambert International Airport.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Uncle and His Boyfriend in the Kentucky Hills

Eastern Kentucky, Summer 1973

It's the summer after seventh grade.  We're visiting my Uncle El, the only one of Mom's family to stay behind when the rest of them moved to Indiana.  Dinner is over, and we're telling stories of long-ago times, before I was born, when Mom was a little girl.   Sometimes the adults laugh at jokes I don't understand.

Uncle El's wife tells about the time she rode her bicycle all the way into Salversville to see a boy, but when she got there he was spooning with someone else.  I have no idea what "spooning" means.

An elderly lady I don't know tells a story about witches.

Now it's Uncle El's turn.

"I'm going to tell about my brother, Manus, and his friend Graydon, two boys with the same soul."

I've been dozing off, but now I perk up -- sounds like this will be interesting!

Eastern Kentucky, Fall 1939

Manus and Graydon, the boy from down the holler, were born at the same moment, and some said they shared the same soul.

Oh, on the outside, they was as different as night and day:

Graydon was tall and dark, with thick arms and a tight chest, fond of wrasslin' and huntin' and fishin'.

Manus was short and slim and pale-skinned, a moody boy, always readin', but a good singer, with a clear tenor voice.

They was different down below, too.  You don't have much privacy in the hills, when you sleep three to a bed, and I saw them many times jumping nekkid into the creek, or lying on the soft grass.

Lordy, did that Graydon have a whopper!

"Eliot!  There are children present!"  the elderly lady snaps.

"Why, Marcy, surely they know that boys have something down there!"

Yet for all of their differences, Manus and Graydon were never separated, from sunup to sundown, when their parents forced them into different cabins for dinner.  Even then, they sometimes sneaked out to have secret adventures in the darkness.

Life was hard in the hills during the Depression.  Eight people in a four room cabin.

Kerosene lamps for light, a wood-burning stove for heat, and the woods outside for an outhouse.

They raised chickens and grew corn, beans, taters, and maters.  For everything else, they depended on Dad's job at a factory in Hueysville, eight miles away.

Still, they had fun. There were church socials and square dances.  In the evenings the neighbors came around to tell ghost stories and sing songs.  There'd be no dry eye in the house when Manus  sang "Barbara Allen."

Oh mother, mother, make my bed,
Make it long and make it narrow.
Sweet William died for me today,
I'll die for him tomorrow.

"I always hated that song," Mom says.  

In the summer of 1939, Graydon bought and fixed up an old clunker car.  Now they could drive all the way to Salyersville, 20 miles down the pike, to get malteds and go to the movies.

They liked Little Tough Guy, with the Dead End Kids, and Out West with the Hardys, with Mickey Rooney.

In late October of 1939, Graydon and Manus took ill, maybe from going swimming nekkid in the cold Brushy Fork Creek.  

They gave them herb medicine and mustard plasters and poltices, and Manus got better, but Graydon got sicker and sicker, and he died on November 5th, the day of the first snowfall.

His dad and older brother built a pine box to put him in, and they buried him in the graveyard up atop  the hill.

Well, needless to say, Manus was inconsolable.

He cried and cried, and after he stopped crying he wouldn't eat, he wouldn't sleep, he just sat on the bed in the room he shared with me and Edd, staring out the window, up at the hill where Graydon was buried.

Then one night he yelled to the family, "Hey, there's a light up on the hill!"

It was a swaying yellow light, like from a kerosene lamp.  But who would be up there in the middle of the night?  It was pitch dark, with just a narrow trail through the brush and trees.  

"I'm going up!"  Manus yelled, pulling on his coat.

But Mom and Dad forbade him.  It was too dangerous. He could wait until morning to investigate.

"No, I gotta go now!  I gotta!"  He tried to push past them out the door.  Dad grabbed him by the arms.  He fought.

There was no help for it: they had to lock Manus up in the room, where me and Edd could look over him.

Well, Manus paced and rumbled, and yelled, and cried, and finally sat down in a chair, still staring up at the light on the hill.  Finally Edd and me fell asleep.

The next morning, when we woke up, Manus was gone!

The door was still locked from the outside.  The window hadn't been touched.  There was no way Manus could have gotten out!

Some say one of his sisters let him out, and he went dashing up the hill and fell in a ditch, and got eaten by a bear.

El glances pointedly at my mother.  But she was only two years old at the time.

Some say a neighbor sneaked him out, and drove him to Salyersville, where he bought a bus ticket Out West, like the Hardys.

Some say Graydon came for him.

Whatever happened, no one ever saw Manus again.

But that night, up on the hill, we saw two glowing lights.

See also: My Kentucky Kinfolk; The Naked Man at the Crossroads; Erotic Story about Me and My Grandpa #1

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Wade the Beachboy Cruises for Hawaiian Men

Wilton Manors, Summer 2004

"I read an interesting article in the Gay News," Wade and Yuri's hookup says.  "It was about the gay traditions of kanaka maoli, traditional Hawaiian society. "

With three housemates dating and hooking up regularly, you never know who will be sitting at the breakfast table, especially on weekends.  This morning there's seven: me, Barney, our dates from last night, Yuri, my ex-boyfriend Wade, and Ricardo, the Cuban-American dance instructor they "shared."

"The aikane, or male bedmate, was a standard part of the culture," Ricardo continues.  "Every guy had a wife and an aikane." 

"I always thought of Hawaii as a 'good place,'" I say, "Where same-sex desire is open.

"Me, too!" Wade exclaims.  "I applied to the University of Hawaii for my undergrad degree, but my parents talked me into staying home in Canada.  I should have gone!  Hawaiian men are so hot!"

"And I'd love to hear the Hawaiian language spoken."

"You could get your chance," Ricardo says.  "According to the article, there are 400,000 native Hawaiians on the mainland, most of them right here in Florida."

"That's 200,000 men," Barney calculates, "100,000 adult men, 10,000 adult gay men.  Nice odds!  You could get an aikane easily, if you plan your strategy right."

"And when you do, bring him around," I add.  "I want to talk to him."

"Or use your mouth, anyway," Wade says.  Everyone laughs.

Where do you find gay native Hawaiians in Florida?

The Polynesian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, the Big Kahuna and the Mai-Kai, are tacky, touristy, and very heterosexual, with "shows" featuring gyrating women in grass skirts.

There is a Hawaiian Civic Association in Melbourne, but its brochure lists "family friendly," that is, heterosexual-only events.

But: Florida International University in Miami.  10% of the 50,000 students are Pacific Islanders, mostly native Hawaiians.

 5,000 of them, 2,500 male, 250 gay male.

Ok, where to find them?

Wade checks the schedule of classes for something on Pacific Island anthropology, languages, cultures...and finds Hawaiian Language 101, offered through the Asian Studies Department!

Surely lots of native Hawaiians would enroll in such a class!

It's a long drive on terrible Florida highways, but at least his job at the hotel will pay the tuition, assuming that language study will come in handy in speaking to tourists.

Week 1

Hawaiian 101 was held on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Deuxieme Maison,  "The Second House," actually a long, low concrete building.

Wade loved the language.  Only 8 consonants, including a glottal stop: H, K, L, M, N, P, W. And no dipthongs.  So Merry Christmas becomes Mele Kalikimaka.

The professor was a woman of Irish, Japanese, and Hawaiian ancestry, not a native speaker; she said that there were only about 2,000 native speakers left, but 200,000 people have learned some Hawaiian to get in touch with their roots.

What about your classmates?

11 women, 8 other men.  Of the men, one was haole, one black, the rest native Hawaiians trying to fill the "foreign language" requirement and get in touch with their roots at the same time.

Are any of the six native Hawaiian men gay?

It was hard to tell.  They all came and left in a group, and didn't interact much with the haole boys.

Week 2

Class is cancelled due to the hurricane.

Week 3

The Hawaiian for "I have a big stick" is i loaa he nui lāʻau

Week 4

"I finally managed to get a cruisy conversation with one of my classmates," Wade tells us.  "David.  He's majoring in Mass Communications.  He was excited to find out that I'm from Canada."

Week 5

"Made it!" Wade exclaims.  "David is gay, but closeted.  We went out for coffee, and then back to his dorm room."

"How big is he?" Yuri asks.

"You know I'm usually into older guys, but David is super-hot.  Very handsome face, smooth chest, xylophone abs, thick Smooth chest, tight pec muscles, very affectionate. We kissed, cuddled, he went down on me, I went down on him."

"How big?"

Wade smiles.  "I kept choking."

Week 6

"Ok, you've been out with David three times," I say.  "Time to introduce him."

"And share him," Yuri adds.

"He hasn't been out very long," Wade says, "And he's a little on the shy side.  I'm not sure he'd be up for sharing with both of you.  But he might be open to letting you watch."

"Ok, bring him on Thursday night," Yuri says.  "For dinner."

Week 7

Yuri is not really interested in sharing Wade's boyfriend -- he's into older, bodybuilder types, not twinks.  But he's willing, just to be polite.

But I'm thrilled.  I spend the week remembering the Pacific hunks of my childhood: Call It Courage, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, the tales of Robert Louis Stevenson.  Dusky, muscular Hawaiian guys fill my fantasies.

Finally Thursday night comes.  Barney is out, so it will be just the four of us.  Yuri makes moussaka, with a green salad and dolmas, stuffed grape leaves.  I rent a new porn movie to set the mood for later.

The doorbell rings promptly at 6:00.  I open it to Wade, carrying a fruit compote for dessert, and his new boyfriend David, from Hawaiian class.

A curly-haired haole.

Actually of English, Portuguese, and Japanese ancestry.

Well, Wade never actually said the guy was native Hawaiian.

At least he was not as shy as Wade thought, open to "sharing," and very well hung.

See also: 10 Ethnic Groups on my Bucket List; and A Clue in Hawaiian Pidgin

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2007 at the Bathhouse

When I was growing up in Rock Island, Easter was a big deal, second only to Christmas.  We decorated eggs, went on Eastern egg hunts, and awaited our baskets of chocolate rabbits and marshmallow chicks with the eagerness of Christmas morning.  There were lots of Swedes in town, so houses were decorated with feathered tree branches, and kids in witch costume knocked on the door, begging for candy.

In West Hollywood, New York, and Florida, Easter got lost in the flurry of Passover, the Oscars, the Film Festivals, and Spring Break.

There weren't a lot of naked guys wearing bunny ears, or double-entendres about "Easter baskets."

There was an Easter Parade downtown, where one displayed one's best bonnets, but drag queens did not usually participate..

 Maybe it was the religious significance of the holiday: many gay people don't want to be reminded of the childhood religion that rejected them.

So I have a lot of good stories that take place around Easter, in March or April, but none that actually have to do with Easter.

Except this one:

Columbus, Ohio, April, 2007

My boyfriend Paul was devout Catholic, so he did the works: Ash Wednesday, then Lent, for which he gave up soda.  Then Palm Sunday and Holy Week: services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

Fasting on Friday, which meant only one meal, in the evening, after church.

Having had nothing to eat all day, we drove to Columbus, to the Holy Cross Catholic Church on Fifth Street, in the gay neighborhood of Germantown.  It wasn't exactly gay-friendly, but there were lots of almost-open gay people in the pews.

The Good Friday Service is almost as painful as the Jewish Rosh Ha-Shanah, two hours of brow-beating, followed by the Veneration of the Cross in a darkened sanctuary and a silent communion.

Very dark and depressing.  I think I would prefer the live-action crucifixions they hold to celebrate Easter in the Philippines.

When the service ended at 9:00, we rushed about a block west to the El Camino Inn for cheese burritos and avocado salad, and then drove up to Club Columbus, a bathhouse near the Ohio State University campus.

It had a gym, a video room, and a very large steamroom-maze where guys often met.

I rented a small "cabana room," and Paul got a locker.

We hung around the video room until a tanned gym rat in his 20s removed his towel and displayed a huge aroused Mortadella.  I went down on him for awhile, then tried to push Paul's head down.  He refused.

Hmm, must not be Paul's type, I thought. He likes older guys.

Then, while I was still going down on the gym rat, a chubby bear in his 60s approached and started fondling Paul beneath his towel.  Paul pushed his hand away.

The gym rat finished and walked off.  I opened my towel and let the bear go down on me.  Paul watched.  I tried to draw him into a kiss, but he refused.

Too old?  Too fat?  I wondered.  Paul usually isn't this picky.

The bear tried to push his hand under Paul's towel, and was rebuffed again.  Offended, he moved on.

Just what I need -- a stick in the mud who won't do anything, following me around and offending all of my hookups.

In the steam room, I kissed and groped a smooth, toned black guy in his 30s, but only for a few minutes.  He saw Paul watching us from a little way away, got "freaked out," and moved on.

"I'm going to wander around by myself," I told Paul, pointedly.  "If I find anyone to share, I'll come and find you."

"Sure, that would be great," Paul said absently, looking at the clock.

Going past the rooms with open doors, I stumbled across Gerry: very muscular with a little belly, a thick mat of chest hair, and a thick Bratwurst+ already aroused and waiting.

I went down on him for awhile, then lay on top of him for kissing and full body contact.

 "Do you mind if my boyfriend joins us?" I asked.  "I'll just go find him."

Paul in the video room by himself.  ""Ok, I found a guy who is absolutely your type, probably the man of your dreams.  This might be the beginning of a three-way romance."

Sighing, he allowed himself to be led to the room, where he sat on the foot of the bed, watching while Gerry and I kissed.  He didn't touch either of us, so we got into the 69 position.

After awhile, I raised my head.  "Ok, enough is enough, I don't care what's bothering you -- are you tired, or depressed, or suffering from Catholic guilt.  The cure is the same.  You're young, you're hot, you're surrounded by naked guys.  Get busy!"

"Sure, sure," Paul said.  "Just a minute."  He ducked out into the hallway, and returned a moment later, grinning.  "Ok, which of you studs wants to be first."  He literally pounced on Gerry, and they became a blur of mouth and hands and baseball bats.  Soon I was drawn in, too.

When we were both drained, Paul said "See ya" and rushed like a hurricane through the bath house, flirting, fondling, groping, kissing, leaving a dozen orgasms in his wake.

We finally left the bath house at 2:00 am and stopped at Denny's to get a bite before the long drive home.

"What was that all about?" I asked.  "Nothing but Attitude for an hour, and then suddenly you became the life of the party."

"It was Good Friday," Paul said with a shrug.  "That means fasting -- no food, no sex.  I had to wait until midnight.  Why do you think I kept looking at the clock?"

See also: Hooking Up on a Job Interview;  Liam Gives Me an 18th Birthday Present; and The Catholic Priest in My Bed.