Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hank Williams Nude

This is reputedly Hank Williams, the country-western star, who I covered in the post "Hank Williams: Dynasty of Homophobia," on Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.

The right time period, but I'm not sure I believe it.  Would the conservative Republican really allow himself to be photographed like that in the 1940s?

Besides, Hank Williams had a hairy chest, and died at the age of 29.  This guy is smooth, and looks way older than that.

Nice, though.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Naked Nordic God of the Icelandic Hot Springs

Iceland, March 1981

During my junior year at Augustana College, I declared a major in Modern Languages.  We had to become fluent in two languages and competent in a third, plus participate in one language club.

My languages were Spanish, French, and German, but their clubs were kind of boring, with bake sales, foreign-language films, and field trips to the Goethe Institut or the Alliance Française in Chicago.

Everybody joined the Scandinavian Club -- they had an endowment from a wealthy alumnus, and paid most of the way for members to go on annual field trips to Scandinavia!

A different country every year, alternating between Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.

In my junior year, it was Iceland.

I would have preferred Norway, but I wasn't about to turn down ten days in the land of the Old Norse sagas and Nordic hunks for $300  ($1000 today).

There were 22 of us, 10 boys and 12 girls, plus two chaperones.

We stayed in a youth hostel, six to a room, but everyone got a single bed, so there wasn't any late-night fondling, just a couple of less-than-spectacular sausage sightings.

No one came out willingly in the 1970s, so if any of the other guys were gay, they didn't let on.

Iceland was interesting, but not quite interesting enough for ten days.  After you see the National Museum and the  Árbæjarsafn, an open-air museum of Icelandic history, there's nothing but glaciers, geysers, rocks, and scraggly mountains.  I've never found natural wonders as interesting as museums.

For nightlife, we saw The Blue Lagoon with Icelandic subtitles and went on a pub crawl.

Oddly, wine and liquor were permitted in Iceland, but not beer (prohibitionists argued that because it was cheap, people would drink more of it, and become depraved alcoholics).  We drank Appelsin, an orange soda.

One day we took a bus to Hveragerði, about 45 minutes from Rejkjavik, to visit Reykjadalur, "Steam Valley,"  an unearthly-looking region of volcanic boulders, spurts of steam, rocks, waterfalls, pools of water, and hot springs with wooden footpaths around.

Our guide told us that some intrepid souls jumped into the hot springs, but you had to be careful -- in some of them, the temperature got up to 80 degrees (175 fahrenheit), and would scald you.

None of us was brave enough.  Besides, it was cloudy and damp, with a cold wind blowing -- who wanted to strip?

When it came time to get back on the bus, we discovered that Erik was missing!

He was a junior Scandinavian Studies major, short, slim, sandy-haired, blue-eyed, with a round handsome face.  We had known each other since high school, but we didn't interact much: he was a fratboy, several levels above me on the social scale.

We went up and down the paths, calling his name.  No answer.

He couldn't have fallen into a crevice.  It was all open -- we would see him.

Could he have wandered off the path, into the wilderness of volcanic rocks?

We searched for 45 minutes.  Then, just as our chaperone suggested we drive back to town and stop at the police station, Erik appeared -- on a path we had just searched!

Seeing our anxious and angry faces, he said "What?  Chill out -- I was just looking at something.  We're only in Iceland once, right?"

He didn't believe that he had been gone over 45 minutes: "I guess I lost track of time.  Sorry."

Rock Island, Summer 1998

I run into Erik at Rocky High's twentieth year reunion, and then again at JR's, Rock Island's gay bar!

He's still slim, sandy-haired, and strikingly handsome, now teaching Scandinavian Studies at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

After a few beers (Diet Cokes for me), we talk about that long-ago trip to Iceland:

"I didn't tell anyone what happened, because it was erotic.  I didn't want to out myself."

That afternoon Erik wandered off by himself on a wooden-plank pathway.  Suddenly it got very quiet.  He couldn't hear our voices anymore, or even his own footsteps.   Everything seemed distant, yet sharply focused, like in a dream.

He crossed a little pathway, and came to a pool.  There was a man standing waist deep in the water, naked, muscular.  Massive penis.

He stared at Erik in surprise, and then smiled.  His eyes were piercing, hypnotic.  He gestured for Erik to come into the water with him.

"I was terrified.  Why should I be so afraid of a hot guy asking me to skinny dip with him?  I became aroused.  My feet started to move.  I wanted more than anything to be in that water, to be kissing him, going down on him.  He was aroused, enormous."

"How big?"

"Nine inches, easily. He walked toward me, water dripping off his penis.  I got on my knees.  I felt him ramming into my throat.  I hadn't been with anyone before -- it choked me!  I pulled my head away to cough.  Then I heard a noise -- someone calling my name.  I turned away.  I saw you guys in the distance."

"But what you describe took only a few seconds," I point  out.  "You were gone for about an hour."

"That's one thing I don't understand," Erik says.  "And another -- when I looked back, he was gone,  He didn't have time to run away, and there was no place to go."

I'm living in Manhattan, the paranormal capital of the world, and I'm an expert on missing time and paranormal events.  "Maybe you had a close encounter with the Huldufólk, Hidden People, the  magical inhabitants of Iceland.  They're usually harmless, unless you disturb them.  But some of them like luring humans off the path and seducing them."

"Seducing them, yeah," Erik says.  "What do these Huldufolk look like?"

They are as big as humans, as beautiful as Tolkien's Elves, lithe and androgynous.  They appear as beautiful youth with long blond hair, usually naked.

."Well, there goes that theory," Erik says  "My guy was no androgynous prettyboy.  He was at least fifty, maybe sixty, balding, with a white bead and a hairy chest.  More my type anyway.  I was always into big, burly bears."

"Oh, ok," I say, disappointed. "He must have been just an aging hippie looking for some boy toy action."

"But then, why the missing time?  Maybe naked Nordic gods come in both twinks and bears.  Just like in West Hollywood."

See also: The Football Player Who Got Unstuck in Time.; and Fred and the Icelandic Photographer

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Do Seasons Affect Your Dating Success?

I'm depressed today because there are three weeks left in the semester, my favorite tv show just had its season finale, and the last play of the theatrical season is next week.  Soon everything will be over, and it will be time to endure three months of boredom and isolation: summer in the Straight World.

My favorite seasons are, in order: Fall, Winter, Spring, and...ugh...Summer.

Maybe I can snap out of my depression by calculating how many cute guys I've landed dates with in each season.  Is there a dearth of dating in Summer, and a plenitude in Fall?

During my 11 years in the Straight World, Ohio, Upstate, and Plains (so far), I've had first dates (not hookups) with 72 guys.

Fall (September, October, November) 

After the dead time of the summer, everything starts over again.  New classes, new books, new faces at the gym, new tv shows, new theater season, new museum exhibits.

There's a little nip in the air, so you can go outside without getting soaked in half a block, and wear a hot sweater inside.

My favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  And my birthday, of course.

Dates: 27 (42%), including boyfriends Charlie and Paul in Ohio and Chad in Upstate New York.

Winter (December, January, February).  It's cold, so you can stay in the house without people trying to guilt you into "enjoying the outdoors."  The cold air is invigorating.  The sun goes down at a normal hour, so it's dark in the evening.

The social world is in full swing, with parties, dinners, benefits, concerts, plays, art exhibits, film festivals, book signings.

Christmastime is a pain, but if you stay out of the Mall and don't watch network tv in December, you can avoid most of it.  Stick to New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day.

Dates: 24 (37%), including Pete (the water delivery guy) in Upstate New York and Dustin (the son of my host at the heterosexual party) in Plains, who I'm still dating, whenever he gets a school break.

Spring (March, April, May).  You can jog outside again, the flowers start to bloom, and there's a smorgasbord of holidays and events: Mardi Gras parties, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, film festivals, Oscar parties, and spring break.

In May the year runs down: the last day of class, the last episode of your favorite tv show, the last play of the season, saying goodbye to friends.  But before that, it's a fun ride.

Dates: 15 (23%).  I'm usually with someone, so dating is not a top priority.

Summer (June, July, August).  Dead time.  All of your friends are out of town, there's no classes, nothing to do, nowhere to go, and even if you did have somewhere to go, it's too hot.

Baseball games.  Camping.  Eating outside.  People forcing you to "enjoy the outdoors."

Long, boring car trips to the Midwest for uncomfortable visits with fundamentalist relatives.

Dates: 7 (11%), including Troy, my boyfriend in Upstate New York (but we met in the spring).

Some hookups while on vacation, but not a lot of dates.  Is it because there aren't many guys around to date, or because I'm too depressed to cruise properly?

See also: Best, Worst, and Most Erotic Christmases; 34 Reasons to Like Summer.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Joy of Saying "Cock"

Rock Island, Spring 1979

When I was a kid, the Nazarene Church prohibited us from using "the Lord's name in vain."

To the extreme.

No goddam, of course, or the word damn, except in the phrase God will damn you.  Even darn was too much.

Gosh, gee, and golly, all shortened forms of "God" and "Jesus," were forbidden.

The British term Lord was shockingly blasphemous.  I got in big trouble with my counselor at Nazarene camp for carrying around a copy of Tarzan, the Lord of the Apes:

"You're practicing idolatry!  You're worshipping a false god!  There's only one Lord!

I never tried zounds, which means "God's wounds."

God also hated words that were obscene or even risque.

The word sex could be used only as a noun: Adam was of the male sex.  Never to refer to coitus.  Instead, the preachers and Sunday school teachers always used the phrase: going to bed: "God will send you to hell for going to bed before you're married."

I can only imagine the younger kids in the congregation misinterpreting that statement and being terrified of bedtime.

You must go to the bathroom, never pee or piss.  So you might say, "I was in the bathroom, going to the bathroom."

We had a lot of fun with the King James Bible's prohibition against coveting "thy neighbor's ass," but referencing the animal was ok.  To reference a section of the anatomy, you had to say backside.  Never butt or ass.

You insulted someone by calling them sinner, heathen, or Catholic, never asshole.

You could imply that someone's parents were unmarried, but you had to use the term illegitimate, not bastard.  Although we sort of cheated with dastard.

For the frontside, you had to use the word shame, or if absolutely necessary, the technical term penis.  Never, ever cock, not even in reference to the rooster.

Once in high school Verne and I tried to joke about the rooster.
Verne:  "I have a cock at home."
Boomer: "Can I see your cock?"
Verne:  "Sure.  You can even play with my cock."

Claiming that we meant "rooster" didn't help.  We were both grounded for a week.

During my senior year in high school, tired of the restrictions and bigotry, I  started breaking away from the Church.

The guilt was heavily internalized, so it had to be gradual, skipping the Wednesday evening service and a Sunday evening service here and there, reducing the amount of money I gave during the four weekly collections, and systematically breaking the rules.  From the least to most horrifying:

1. Reading the Sunday newspaper.
2. Buying on Sunday.
3. Listening to rock music.
4. Wearing short pants in public.
5. Going bowling in an alley that served alcohol.
6. Dancing
7. Setting foot in a Catholic church
8. Going to a movie

By the time I got to my freshman year in college, there were only a few rules left to break:

Drinking alcohol.  Too advanced for me.

Going to bed with a girl before marriage.  No way!

Using the Lord's name in vain.

If I said bad words, I could finally be free of the Nazarene guilt!  So I started throwing them into casual conversations with my friends, Mary and Bruce.

Gee, it's hot today.  
Golly, I don't think I can finish this pizza all by myself.

Not even an eyebrow raise.

Our goddam paper is due tomorrow!

 Only a few eyebrow raises.

Excuse me -- I have to pee.


This class is a real pain in the ass.

 That got an eyebrow raise.

That asshole cut in front of me!

A brief stare, but no comment.

Ok, time for the ultimate of bad words, the word that horrified men and God alike.

I walked up to Bruce, and tried to say Men have c...

Nothing came out.

Again.  I looked at Bruce, he looked at me.  I said I have a big c....


God was looking down at me.  All of the Nazarenes were watching.  It was time to take a stand.

Bruce was staring at me as if I was crazy.

In a loud, clear voice, almost a yell, I said I like to look at cocks!

He laughed.  "Me, too.  And ducks and geese and cows and horses, down on the farm.  Ok, now I have one: want to hear a dirty joke?  The boy fell in the mud!"  

Bruce didn't get it, but by saying cock in public, I was free of Nazarene guilt.  I could go through life without expecting God to strike me dead every moment.

And I had come out.

See also: Who Killed Cock Robin: The Only Gay Nursery Rhyme.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Bed-Switching Freshman at the Chocolate Moose

I was saddened to learn that the Chocolate Moose, a landmark ice cream place on Walnut Street in downtown Bloomington, is going to be demolished to make way for a generic office building.  The distinctiveness of local culture vanishes for faceless uniformity, yet again.

The Chocolate Moose was a quirky little building shaped like a chocolate chalet.  You went to the  window to order soft-serve ice cream, floats, shakes, hot dogs, sloppy joes, that sort of thing.  No indoor dining, but there were a couple of picnic tables.

It was only a block from the apartment Viju and I shared during my second year in graduate school at Indiana University.

It was open until 2:00 am, so we often dropped by after cruising at Bullwinkle's, especially if we struck out (if we were successful, we took our hookups to Bob's Burgers instead).

The later it got, the better the sightseeing -- half-drunk fratboys pushing soft-serve cones into each other's faces, shirtless jocks licking on snow cones until their tongues turned blue.

In spite of the beefcake, there  wasn't a lot of cruising going on.
1.Most of the customers were straight.
2. There weren't a lot of places to hold private conversations.
3. Once you're ready for ice cream, you're probably too emotionally raw to handle a hookup.

But I have a good hookup story involving the Chocolate Moose.

Bloomington, May 1984.

Viju and I head out to Bullwinkle's, about five blocks from our apartment.

There's a boy pacing around the entrance, with that deliberate-but-nonchalant look of someone trying to get the nerve to go in.

He's very young, probably just 18 (which would make him five years younger than me), short, slim, pale, not my usual type, but very cute, with black hair, an oval face, very red lips, and a little blush in his cheeks.

We make eye contact.  I start to say something like "It's not so bad inside," but Viju pushes me through the door.

"What's the matter?  Didn't you think he was cute?"

"Oh, yes, definitely worth it!  But I was worried -- he might be an undercover cop.  The minute you say something sexy, bang!  You're finished!"

I wait awhile, but the Freshman never comes in.  Viju and I set out to cruise, but we really don't have our minds on it -- after seeing the super-cute guy at the entrance, everyone seems second-rate.

We cruise for an hour or so, but no one comes to mind.  Finally we leave.

On the way home, we pass the Chocolate Moose.  The line is half a block long.

"Want ice cream?" Viju asks.

"No, I'm not waiting in a line that size!  You go on.  I'll see you at the house."

I leave Viju waiting in line, return to the apartment, and sit down to watch tv and read a book.

A half hour passes.  Then 45 minutes.  How long was that line, anyway?

Did Viju decide to go back to the bar?  Did he get kidnapped?  Should I go out looking?

Then I hear footsteps on the stairs.  Viju comes in -- with the Freshman, still carrying his malt!

"This is Jerry," he says, his arm around the boy.  "He's a freshman, planning to major in economics."

"I saw you at Bullwinkle's," I say, trying to be nonchalant.  "So you finally went in?"

", we met at the Moose," Viju says.  "We started talking in line, and...well, you know."  He turns to the Freshman.  "Meet my roommate, Boomer."

The Freshman looks at me.  "Hi," he says softly.

"Do you need to go to the bathroom?"

He shakes his head.

"Then we'll just be going to bed.  Goodnight."

Viju draws him into a kiss right in front of me, almost as if he is trying to make me jealous.

Arm in arm, they vanish (there was no sharing in those days).  Soon I go to bed.

Our bedrooms are right next to each other, down a little hallway from the living room, and we always leave our doors open a crack for ventilation, so I hear everything that happens in Viju's room.

Usually it's fun, a lot of moaning and thumping and "Yeah, like that!" and "I'm getting close!", plus a glimpse of semi-tumescent penises as the hookups walk past my door to the bathroom to wash up afterwards.  But tonight I feel left out and jealous.  If only I had stopped for ice cream, the Freshman would be in my bed right now!

I wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of someone climbing into bed next to me.  The Freshman!

Naked, his tight smooth chest and skinny belly glowing in the pale light from the window, his penis average sized but beautifully shaped.  I can't see his eyes.  He must have gotten up to go to the bathroom, and accidentally picked the wrong door.

"Um...Viju's next door," I murmur.

"Shh," he whispers.  "I'll take care of everything.  Just leave everything to me."

He climbs atop me.  He kisses my chest, my abs.  His hand finds my penis.  I stand, aroused.  I feel his mouth and tongue.  

Bed-switching would be quite common in West Hollywood, but I've never experienced it before.

Will Viju be outraged tomorrow morning?  Will he accuse me of betraying him?  Am I betraying him?

Tomorrow can take care of itself.  I turn the Freshman over onto his back and finish by kissing him and thrusting between his legs.

See also: Bed-Hopping in Japan; The Ex-Con at the Ice Cream Stand

The Justin Bieber Penis

It's hard to believe that Justin Bieber just turned 22.  He's already moved far beyond his teen idol roots to mature pop singer.

His androgynous teen idol looks are long gone, too.  I find tattoos a major turnoff, and he's sporting some major ink.

Fans have been speculating for years about the Bieber penis, visible in many on- and off-stage bulges and apparent arousals.

So the internet broke when a papparazo snapped the Bieber naked on holiday in Bora Bora.

Here's a shot of the Bieber penis.

Not bad.  I'd say a Kielbasa+.

 But I still don't like the ink.

See also: Justin Bieber: Definitely Gay


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