Saturday, June 11, 2016

Showering with Two Boys at a Church Conference


Zermatt, Switzerland, June 1977

When I was sixteen years old, I was selected to join 500 Nazarene teenagers from around the world in Fiesch, Switzerland for our International Institute.

It was like summer camp, with daily sermons, Bible studies, jump quizzes, and seminars on soul-winning, except we had afternoons and one full day off for field trips and sightseeing  We could go out on our own, as long as we:
1. Didn't try to make friends with the locals.
2. Didn't set foot in any Catholic church.
3. Were back by 7:00 pm.

But every good Nazarene knows how to bend the rules.

"I'm sure the rules don't apply if we're going to save souls," my friend Annette, a delegate from Idaho, exclaimed.  "We're in a country full of Catholic and Reformed Church sinners.  Wouldn't it be great if we could plant the seeds of a mighty revival and win Switzerland for the Lord?"

Overbrimming with "Faith in God can move a mighty mountain" and "If you ask anything in My Name, that will I do," we decided to go soulwinning in the Belly of the Beast, the most evil, depraved site imaginable, a Catholic church!

But not in Fiesch -- we figured that would be well-traveled territory.  On our free day, we packed several copies of the Gute Nachricht Bibel, a English-German phrase book, some snacks, and a change of clothes, and took the train 2 hours south to Zermatt, in Valais Canton, a famous tourist town at the base of the Matterhorn. We immediately found the St. Mauritius Church and marched inside to bring the Gospel to the idolators.

It was a Thursday morning at 10:00 am.  It was empty.

Disappointed, we stood around outside, waiting for a Catholic to come by so we could start a soul-winning conversation.

Soon two cute black-haired teenagers came by, wearing backpacks.  One was tall and slim, the other more compact and muscular, but they looked so alike that they must have been brothers.

Well, cute boys are as good as Catholics.  Annette, who had taken first year German, started the ball rolling: "Entschuldigen, aber sie zu hören,die gute Nachricht oder Jesus Christus?"  (Have you heard the Good News of Jesus Christ?).

They stopped, grinning, and consulted in a language I didn't understand.  "Keine Deutsch," the taller one said.

"English?" I asked.  "Francais?"

"Oh, Americanos!" the short, compact one exclaimed.  "Saturday Night Fever.  Uh--uh--uh--uh--staying alive, staying alive."  He gyrated his hips to the Bee Gees.


They were 17-year old Joao (the tall one) and 15-year old Lucio (the compact, muscular one).  But we didn't get much more from their effusive conversation in their unknown language.  I assumed it was Romansch, a Romance language spoken in eastern Switzerland.  Later I discovered that it was Portuguese.

Somehow we ended up strolling down Schluhmattstrasse with them, Annette and Joao in the front, me and a grinning Lucio  in the rear.

Lucio kept grinning at me and talking nonstop in incomprehensible Portuguese, interspliced with fragmentary English: ("You Chicago?  Al Capone big gun, yes?").

It was great fun getting so much attention from a cute guy with a compact, muscular frame.  I wouldn't figure "it" out for another year, but still, I kept wondering what he looked like naked.  Was he cut or uncut?  Was he hung?

Somehow we ended up on a gondola weaving its way up the mountainside.

A gondola is a small car suspended by a cable as it sways 1000 feet above the ground.

I was terrified!  I clung to Lucio, who wrapped a muscular arm around me and grinned.  I felt his hard chest beneath my hand, smelled his cologne, and couldn't help fondling a bit.  He hugged me tighter.  "No afraid, yes?  I here...I...uh...save."


Once we got to the top, we stopped at a restaurant for fried eggs, sausage, a kind of hard cheese, and hot chocolate, and conversation about "Star Wars!  Han Solo, nice, yes?  You like?"

Annette tried to explain that as Christians, we didn't go to movies, but they didn't understand.

Then there was nothing to do but ski down, walk down, or take the gondola.  In the flat Midwest, we don't learn to ski, and there was no way I was getting on that gondola again!

So we walked down the mountain on a steep, scary trail, again in pairs, with Joao and Annette taking the front, intermittently holding hands.

"We take hand too, yes?" Lucio asked.  "Walk better."
I couldn't see how holding hands helped you walk better, but ok, I was fine with holding hands with a hot, muscular guy who kept grinning at me.

Even in the cold mountain air, it was hot, sweaty work.  By the time we got down to Zermatt again, we were soaked.

"Come to hotel, wash," Joao suggested.

It was actually a youth hostel with communal showers. Annette went off by herself to the girls' shower room, and Joao, Lucio, and I stripped and went to the boys'.

I saw them both naked!  Both uncut, Joao rather big, perhaps a Bratwurst, Lucio averaged sized.

Lucio noticed me looking.  "You like?" he asked.  "In my country we big!"

Joao slapped him on the butt and said something in their language.  I felt myself beginning to get aroused.  "Yes, very nice," I said, quickly finishing up and going for a towel.

We dressed, exchanged addresses -- they were from Portugal after all -- and tried to say goodbye with handshakes.

"No way Jose," Lucio exclaimed.  "In my country we...um...kiss."  He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me on both cheeks. Annette got a full-on-mouth kiss from Joao.

On the way back to Fiesch on the train, Annette said "Well, we didn't save their souls, but we planted the seeds.  We witnessed by example."

"And you got a date," I pointed out.

"Yeah, that was definitely a plus.  Sorry you were stuck with Joao's kid brother instead of a nice girl."

"Oh well, that's the breaks," I said with a grin

I'm still not sure whether the hugging, hand-holding, and kiss on the cheeks signified mere Portuguese friendliness, or whether I actually did have a date with a boy named Lucio on that long-ago afternoon on the Matterhorn.

See also: Dancing with a Swedish Leatherboy

Thursday, June 9, 2016

An Unsolved Murder and Two Super-Hung Redheads

When I was growing up in Rock Island, I often heard about the biggest unsolved murder in Chicago history.  It appeared in "Spooky Chicago" television pieces every Halloween, and in newspaper articles on the anniversary.  We discussed it in the schoolyard, even in class.

When I moved to West Hollywood, I often told the story, along with the story of my meeting with Mark Percy in 1977.  But then something weird happened.













Kenilworth, Illinois, September 17th, 1966

Charles H. Percy, wealthy industrialist, president of Bell and Howell Electronics, was running for the U.S. Senate.  On the night of September 17th, he and his wife and three of his six children went to a campaign fundraiser.  His daughter Valerie, age 21, a recent graduate of Cornell University, refused dates with two boys and stayed home.  Everyone was in bed by midnight.

Winward, their sprawling mansion in the Chicago suburb of Kenilworth, was silent and peaceful for the next five hours.  But about 5:00 am, the family, including ten-year old Mark, awakened to the sound of muffled screams.  They ran into Valerie's bedroom to see a stranger bent over her.  He fled, leaving nothing behind but a bloody palm print and a glove.

Valerie had been stabbed 14 times.

Was it a burglary attempt?  A mob intimidation that went wrong?  A jilted lover seeking revenge?


The killer used a glass cutter to get in through a downstairs window and went directly to Valerie's room.  He was targeting Valerie, not Charles.  AND he knew his way around the house.

He walked past a room where two dogs were sleeping.  They didn't bark.  It was someone they knew.

The FBI interviewed 10,000 people, including 1,226 suspects, but the killer was never apprehended, and no motive was ever discovered.

Charles Percy won the election and served as senator from Illinois from 1967 to 1985.  He was named a presidential possibility in 1968 and 1972.







Chicago, May 1977

During my junior year in high school, I was applying to West Point, and needed recommendations from a U.S. Senator or Representative.  I had already contacted Representative Tom Railsback, but just to be on the safe side, I called Charles Percy's office in Chicago.

He wasn't there, but his son Mark offered to meet with Dad and me.  He even took us out to lunch at an Italian restaurant.

22 years old, a tall redhead with a broad, open face, Mark had just graduated from Stanford, and was on his way to Yale for a M.B.A.

I was very nervous, both because I was trying not to think about the murder, and because Mark was incredibly cute.  I couldn't take my eyes off him.

We chatted about Star Wars and my interest in Arabic, and, I think, shared a cruising moment.  He promised that he would ask his dad for the recommendation.

When I told the story in West Hollywood later, I turned it into a full hookup at Winward, with a tour of the murder room, and gave Mark an enormous Mortadella+.

After getting his MBA, Mark became president of his father's compay, Charles Percy and Associates.  He now lives in Newport Beach, California.

Here's where it gets weird.

San Francisco, July 2013

I'm visiting my friend David in San Francisco.  He brings in one of his friends to share: James, mid-twenties, slim, black haired, a short beard, who graduated from Stanford with degrees in Computer Science and Arabic, with the idea of working for the Department of Homeland Security, but then came out and is working in a library.

"That sounds like my life!" I exclaim.  I tell him about applying to West Point, and my interviews with Tom Railsback and Mark Percy, son of the U.S. Senator, who had an enormous Mortadella+ and now lived in California.

"Percy?" he repeats. "I dated a guy with the last name Percy when I was at Stanford. A cute redhead with an enormous Mortadella+, just like Mark."

"Weird coincidence.  I wonder if it's his son?"

We do a quick google.  James' Percy turns out to be Mark's nephew, a 2007 Stanford graduate now working for Microsoft.

So a guy I hooked up with in San Francisco in 2013 dated the nephew of a guy I cruised in Chicago in 1977, who was a witness to an unsolved murder that I heard about all the time in the 1960s.

Sooner or later, everyone you know will hook up with everyone else you know.

See also: Arabic and Class Rings; Zack Hooks Up with the King of Sweden

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Matt's First Night with Fred and His Brother

West Hollywood, March 1993

Whenever a new boyfriend is admitted to a social group, he always has to tell his coming out story.  It's a rite of passage.

But in the five years we've known Matt, Fred's boyfriend, he hasn't told his.  "I'm like Topsy," he claims.  "I didn't have no birthin'.  I just growed."

One night in spring of 1993, at a party at Will the Bondage Boy's apartment, he finally gives in:  "Oh, all right!  But you have to tell it, Fred, mon étalon.  Tell about the chevalier blanc, the white knight who rescued me from the two dragons of Kansas City."

Kansas City, May 1987

Matt graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in French Literature and a thesis on Raymond Radiguet, the beautiful and fabulously well-hung novelist who amassed an incredible list of lovers -- Picasso, Hemingway, Jean Cocteau, Coco Chanel -- before he died of typhus at age of 20.

"Forget your coming out story!" Will the Bondage Boy exclaims.  "I want to hear about this Raymond Radiguet.  How hung was he?"

Matt smiles. "That would be telling. But back to the horrors of May 1987: Great Caesar's Bust is on the shelf, and I don't feel so well myself."

After eight years of bliss, first at the Phillips Academy and then at Harvard, Matt had to go back home, to that awful castle that his parents stole from his grandmother, to the most jejune, ennuyeux, bourgeois neighborhood in the most stuffy, obnoxious, hébété, redneck city in Kansas.  That's right, Kansas.

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas, anymore."

"But ya are, Blanche!  Ya are!"


Back to his big brute Dad, who spent half his time in India, selling widgets and wocks to Brahmins and the other half hurlant, saississant, pressant: "Play football!  Change carburetors!  Don't be a fairy!"

Back to his big brute Mom, who dressed like Donna Reed -- hello!  It's the 1980s! -- and kept picking away at him like Woody Woodpecker: "Do you have a girl yet? Do you have a girl yet?  Do you have a girl yet?  Ha-ha-ha-HA-ha!"

The only member of his family he could stomach was his older brother Buzz, a shaggy blond haired hipster who used to give him wedgies and nipple-twists when they were kids.  Then one summer he and an Italian buddy drove their Fiat off an embankment on the SP325 outside of Bologna and sped off to the afterlife together.

"Was he gay?" Lane asks.

"I don't know.  Mom and Dad won't tell me, and he won't tell me.  He says it's irrelevant in the afterlife."

Buzz followed Matt to Harvard, where he hovered over his bed in the dead of night, scaring his tricks to death and offering unwanted advice:  "You're doing it wrong!  Use your tongue more!"

"Just what you need!" I exclaim. "A big brother ghost butting in."

Mom and Dad didn't know that Matt was gay, but he was going to change all that now, and end all interrogations altogether.

"Coming out to parents is always a nightmare," Lane says sympathetically.

The morning after he returned to the Provinces, he caught them in the breakfast nook.

"There are scrambled eggs and L'Eggos in the kitchen," Mom said.

L'Eggos?  Good Lord!  "Mom and Dad, you're probably wondering why I haven't been on a date with a girl since fifth grade, why I sent away for an autographed picture of Gregory Harrison, and why I wander through the house singing 'I'm Coming Out.'  C'est incroyable, I know, but I'm gay."

They stared for a long moment.  Then Mama Pajama began the pick-pick-picking. "Are you sure?  Are they sure?  Who's your doctor?  Did you get a second opinion?"

Big Daddy stood, brusque, all business.  "You're too old for that sissy stuff.  You're a grownup now."

"Well, not quite a grownup yet," Matt said. "I've never driven a car.  I've never gotten a paycheck.  I've never had a boyfriend.  Oh, I've had sex -- I know my way around a penis, let me tell you that -- but no boyfriend."

"Not the best strategy!" I say.  "Parents really don't want to know what you do in bed, any more than you want to know what they do."

"Bien sur.  But, as you may have noticed, I tend to speak first, contemplate my errors later."

For the next hour, Mom and Dad yelled, argued, recriminated, and spat like wet cats, mostly at each other, blaming Matt's "problem" on toilet training and male babysitters and that unfortunate trip to Spain, and finally on Buzz's death,  until Matt couldn't take it anymore and ran up to his room.  Buzz was hovering over the bed.


"That went well," he said sarcastically.  "You know what's going to happen next?  They're going to send you someplace.  The same place you went after my accident."

"Prairie Ridge Children's Hospital," Matt clarifies.  "For teenage Looney Toons, mixed nuts, and assorted cinglés."  

"What's wrong with that?"  Matt asked Buzz in consternation. "The walls were orange.  Very cheerful."

When he went back downstairs, Mom was still pick-pick-picking.  "Won't you see a psychiatrist?  They're doing marvelous things now with psychiatric drugs.  If you can't be cured, at least you can keep your impulses in check."

And Dad was cogitating.  "He just needs a stable job to keep his mind occupied.  I'm bringing him back to India. He can manage the branch office in Hyderabad.  Better drop the Francais and brush up on your Telugu, boy!"

"The boy don't need a shrink, he needs a useful career!" Will says, quoting from West Side Story.

More yelling, more plans, more co-option, until Matt ran out of the house and kept running through the nameless suburbs, hoping to be grabbed by flying monkeys and taken to the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West.  Oh, right, he just came from there.  Running, running, running.

Where could he go?  He knew absolutely no one in Kansas City, he had no old hangouts.  He had $38 in his pocket, enough for a night in a cheap hotel.

Finally he slowed to a walk.  He recognized this neighborhood, in the rocky hills northwest of town.  Sortor Drive...he was on the way to Prairie Ridge!

Well, any port in a storm.

He didn't know exactly what he was going to do.  Ask to be admitted?    But he burst into the bright orange reception room, and saw the Knight.

Tall, well-muscled, hard pecs visible beneath a white shirt, a brightly-smiling farmboy with a bulge that wouldn't quit.

"Are you ok?" he asked.  "You look out of breath."

His name was Fred, he was from a small town in Illinois, he was a mental health counselor with a degree in theology -- but who cared about the details?  He was Matt's chevalier blanc.

They went out to dinner, and Matt spent the night in Fred's apartment.  Buzz hovered over the bed, saying "Man, what a whopper!  This guy is amazing!  How can you take all that?"

"Buzz most certainly did not comment on your size!" Matt exclaims. "He merely said that you were attractive.  For those of you who have not had the pleasure, mon étalon and I are comparable in circumference, if not in length."

In the morning they paid Mom and Dad a visit.  Fred explained about the psychological, sociological, legal, and religious aspects of gayness.

The next day they returned with a U-Haul to collect Matt's things.

Not to worry, Mom and Dad eventually came around.  When it' a choice between a gay son and no son, most parents come around.

"Let's hear more about Buzz," Will says.  "Was he cute?  Was he hung?  Did you ever see him naked?"

Matt smiles.  "That would be telling."

See also: Fred and the Cute Young Thing.; The White Knight and the Jester; Matt's Black and White Ball

The Florida Cowboy with the Footlong

Sebring, Florida, February, 2004

A Saturday morning.  Yuri bursts into my room at 6:00 am.

"Time to get up!" he exclaims.  "We must go soon.  Jake has many plans for us today."

"Jake...what?  Who?"  I murmur.

"You made me go with the sleazoid Jauvier last week, so now it is my turn.  I told you before, remember?  Jake, I met him on the internet?  We will visit today, and stay the night, and share."

"The whole day and night?" I complain.  "I just inflicted Jauvier and Victor on you for a couple of hours."

"Sure, but it takes three days to get the smell of his odekolon out of my room."

"Well -- can I at least see a picture of this guy in advance?"

"No.  It will be a surprise."

Gulp.  Yuri knows all of my turn-ons...and turn-offs.  Is he going to fix us up with the date from hell?

Worse...a cracker.  A Florida cowboy

After breakfast and the gym, we drive two hours north from Wilton Manors, to the redneck center of the state, to Sebring, a small town of 10,000 known primarily for its racetrack -- it hosts a 12-hour long Grand Prix every year.

"Maybe Jake will take us to a race tonight." Yuri says with an evil grin.  "But he will probably want to go to a basketball game.  You like basketball, yes?"

Turn-off #1: Sports nut 

When we arrive at Jake's house, he's in the front yard, doing some sort of yard work with his shirt off.  He's in his 40s, with a long, angular face, deep-set haunted eyes, and a goatee.

Turn-offs #2 and #3: Long faces and goatees.

He has a respectable physique: tall, muscular, a little pudgy around the belly, hairy pecs.  But nipple rings and several tattoos spoil the effect.

Turn-off #4: Tattoos.

We go in the house, say hello to Jake's teenage daughter Charity and drink lemonade.

Jake came out about eight years ago.  He and his wife are divorced, but they're still on good terms.  They have joint custody of Charity, who stays with him every weekend.

Turn-off #5: Men who were married before coming out.

I catch Yuri's eye and glare.  He smiles.

"Will she be here tonight?" I ask, scandalized.  You can't have a date overnight with a teenager in the house!

"Oh, no, she's got a sleepover at her friend's house.  Tonight it will be just us men."



After our lemonade, we walk out to Jake's alpaca ranch.

Jake and his co-owners raise alpacas mostly for their wool, but tourists like to drop by and pet and feed them.

Alpacas are cute, like small, cuddly llamas, but they smell bad and make a weird screaming noise.  And they're so starved for affection that the moment we enter their pasture, we are mobbed and almost nudged to death.  "Pet me!  Pet me!" they scream.

"Don't scare them," Jake warns.  "They spit."

There's a souvenir shop, a petting zoo for the kids,  and a little museum of alpaca history, beginning with when they were first domesticated by Peruvian Indians about 6,000 years ago.

"Have you been to Peru?" Jake asks.

"Um...no.  I've been to Colombia."

"Manchu Piccu is the trip of a lifetime.  Very spiritual."

Yuri nudges me.  "Spiritual!" he whispers.  "You like guys who are religious, right?"

Next Jake suggests horseback riding, but I have been on horses only twice in my life, so I opt for a nice, safe hike instead.

Of course, hikes take twice as long.  And with the blazing Florida sun and sauna humidity, I'm soon soaked, sunburned, bug-eaten, and exhausted.  I just want to go home -- my own home -- and go to bed.

Turn-off #6: Outdoor nut.

We go back to Jake's house to shower, apply itch cream, and change clothes.  Charity says goodbye as she rushes off with her friend, and Jake takes us to dinner at a place called the Cowpoke's Watering Hole.

It looks like a tiki bar, but serves cajun grub, like crawfish and alligator tail, plus steaks and seafood.  And there is live music playing.

Turn-off #7: Country-Western Music

"This place is really hopping on Tuesday nights," Jake says.  "That's when ladies get their drinks half off.  A lot of romance in the air, let me tell you."

Turn-off #8: Discussions of Feminine Beauty

"Let's make this a male-only zone," I suggest.  "No discussions of ladies or feminine charms, just a night of raw masculinity."

Jake nods.  "I get you.  Shall I ask the band to play 'It's Raining Men'?"

When Jake leaves to "hit the head," I tell Yuri, "Ok, you've got your revenge for Jauvier.  Can we just go home?"

He frowns.  "Why?  Jake is nice, right?"

"No, he's been a perfect gentleman. But he's got 8 of my top 10 turn-offs.  Besides, I'm tired, I'm sunburned, I'm freaked out by the rednecks.  I just want to go home."

"But Jake spends the whole day with us.  It is rude to go away now.  And it's a long drive, and I'm tired, too."

I sigh.  "Ok, we can spend the night.  But do we have to share?  No way Jake is my type."

"No, it's ok.  Jake and I will go to the bedroom, and you will sleep on the couch."

We go back to the house for a "nightcap" -- whiskey for Jake, beer for Yuri, soda for me.

Then Jake says "Well, we don't need these clothes anymore, do we, boys?"  He rips off his shirt, right there in the living room, kicks off his boots, and fumbles with his belt.

"Boomer is too tired," Yuri begins. "He is not..."

Jake's pants come down.  He unwraps an enormous, super-thick Kovbasa+, one of the biggest I've ever seen!

Yuri and I both stare for a moment.  Then he continues.  "Um...Boomer is too tired.  He is not into..."

"Not into what?" I exclaim, cutting him off.  "I'm into anything you can throw at me!  Jake, put on some more Waylon Jennings, and let's get this party started!"

Turn-on #1: Super-sized beneath the belt.

See also: Yuri and I Share the Boy Toy and His Daddy; My Top 10 Turn-Offs; and The Worst Date in Florida History


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Great Hookup Contest of Philadelphia: 15 Guys in 24 Hours

Philadelphia, March 2013

David from San Francisco has just arrived for a week-long visit.  I pick him up at the airport, drop his stuff off at my apartment, and take him to dinner at a tapas place nearby.  I'm complaining about how much I hate it here: my tiny apartment, the long commute to my terrible job, the lack of gay organizations...

And especially the endless parade of twinks desperate to come to my room for NSA sex before they go on to their real lives with their real friends.

"Nonsense!" David exclaims.  "This is a bona fide gay neighborhood, lots of guys to date.  You're just going about it wrong.  Let an old pro demonstrate."

"I've been out longer than you have."

"True, but I've had more experience.  Watch me do my magic in the City of Brotherly Love -- I'll bet you I can get dates with 10 -- no, 15 guys in one day."

"15 guys in one day!" I exclaim.  "No way!"

"If I get all 15," David says, "You have to pay for my trip out here.  If I don't, I'll pay for a flight out to San Francisco to visit me next summer."

I accept the bet, with these rules:
1. "Getting a date" will be defined as: convincing a guy to give you his telephone number.
2. The phone number must be real and working.  On a follow-up call, the guy must answer.
3. You don't have to actually go through with the date or hookup.
4. You must acquire all phone numbers during the next 24 hours, between 8:00 pm Wednesday and 8:00 pm Thursday.

David puts a 24-hour timer on his cell phone.  "Well, we better get started."


Wednesday 8:00 pm.  The Bike Stop.

A leather bar in Washington Square West with four levels, two discos, a leather shop, and an unofficial dark room.  Unfortunately, it's way early, and many people are still hungover from St. Patrick's Day on Monday.

Still, David manages to meet an older leatherman and an otter (a tall, thin hairy guy, as opposed to the usual husky bear).

Next I suggest Club Philly, a bath house, but David is too tired.  We go home to bed.

Dates: 2

Thursday 7:00 am.  The Morning Glory Diner

A mostly-gay breakfast place on 10th.  Female server, but two guys at the next table are visiting from Texas, and invite us to get together later.  David gets the phone numbers of both.

Dates: 4.

8:00 am.  The Twelfth Street Gym.

A mostly-gay gym near my horrible apartment.  We work out, and David cruises.  He gets the phone number of a cute Asian guy who always spends his time on the treadmill.

Dates: 5.

Eleven hours left.  David really might do this.  What non-gay venue should I take him to?

10:00 am.  Independence Hall

The most touristy site in Philadelphia, where thousands of camera-toting nuclear families from Kansas gawk at the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Bell.  One can imagine few more heteronormative places, yet David managed to get cruised by one of the gift shop guys, a 21-year old Temple University undergrad.

Dates: 6.

12:00 pm. El Azteca

Lunch at a Mexican restaurant on Chestnut Street.  David doesn't pick up anyone.

These non-gay venues did the trick!  David will never get an additional 9 guys!  But to seal the deal, let's try somewhere even more heteronormative:

1:00 pm Museum of American Jewish History

Near Independence Hall.  Exhibits on Jewish immigration and culture, and the Jewish contribution to the arts, science, entertainment, and sports.

No way will David pick up anyone here!

But he does. a cute Jewish twink from Toledo, in town on business.

Dates: 7.

"Next, let's go to a bathhouse," David suggests.

"Oh, it will be dead on Thursday afternoon," I protest.  "Let's go tonight."

"After my 8:00 pm deadline?"  He smiles.  "You wouldn't be trying to sabotage me, would you?"

3:00 pm.  Club Philly

A bathhouse with a full gym, saunas, steam rooms, a deck, a video room, and some glory holes.  It's relatively crowded with businessmen looking for a quick hookup, retirees who spend hours in the saunas, and working-class downlow guys.

David gets four phone numbers.

I shouldn't kick.  I got to go down on three guys, including a buffed, smooth-chested French Canadian.

Dates: 11.

"As a former Baptist minister, you'll certainly be interested in the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia," I tell David.  "It was founded in 1698, it's racially integrated and gay-friendly."

"Sure.  We can go to a service there on Sunday.  But for now, let's just walk around the gay neighborhood, maybe stop in at Giovanni's Room."

5:00 [m. Giovanni's Room

One of the oldest gay bookstores in the world, with a full range of books, plus poetry readings and community events.  David chats up the co-owner and gets his phone number.

Dates: 12.

Two hours and three numbers to go!  

"So, want to try out one of those numbers, invite the guy out to dinner?" I ask.

David grins.  "Not just yet.  Is there a bar around here with a happy hour?"

"Um...no.  No place comes to mind."

6:00 pm. Woody's

A popular gay bar on 13th, with a happy hour from 4 pm to 6 pm.  We get there just after it ends, but order appetizers anyway, and get cruised by a young bearded guy named Jack.

He and David spend a long time kissing and fondling.  It's nearly 7:00 pm by the time they get around to exchanging phone numbers.

Great, an hour left, and two numbers to go!  He'll never make it! 

"Could I get your work number, too?" David asks.  "In case Boomer and I want to take you to lunch."

 Dates: 14

Grr!

7:00 pm: Dragon Palace

David wants to go to another gay bar, but I claim to be famished and drag him to the Dragon Palace, a Chinatown restaurant that specializes in Cantonese dishes.  It's packed with families with screaming kids and heterosexual couples on dates, mostly Asian, hardly any place to move, let alone cruise.

Besides, I didn't see any obviously gay people around to cruise.

Our order takes forever to arrive.  Before we know it, it's 7:50 pm.

"Victory!" I exclaim. "No way you're going to set up a date in 10 minutes.  I don't even think there are any gay people here!"

David grins at me.  "Oh, ye of little faith."

At that moment, the waiter appears with the bill.

David says "I'll take care of it," reaches over, and knocks his water glass all over the waiter's belly and crotch.

He apologizes profusely, tries to sop up the water, and insists on paying to dry clean the waiter's pants.

We leave the restaurant with his phone number in David's front pocket.

Dates: 15.

"You never said that the guy has to expect a date," he says with a grin.

His cell phone alarm goes off.  8:00 pm.

Results:

We hooked up with the otter from the Bike Stop and the Asian guy from the gym, had lunch with the co-owner of Giovanni's Room, and went sightseeing with the two guys from the Morning Glory Cafe.

David met with Jack from Woody's by himself.

I went out with the Temple University undergrad after he went home.

One of the phone numbers David got at Club Philly turned out to be wrong, so it didn't count, and he had to pay for me to fly out to San Francisco for a visit.

But 14 guys in 24 hours still has to be a record.

See also: The Great Hookup Contest of 2007

"I'm a Try Something, A'ight?": Picked Up by the Boy and His Dog

Upstate, June 2009

In Upstate New York, I used to run 4 miles from home to Wilbur Park, then down East Street to Maple, and home again.

One afternoon I was about halfway through the run, when I saw a young kid, a teenager at most, walking a pit bull nearly as big as he was.

I don't like running past dogs -- they sometimes get spooked and start barking.  But the kid was black, and I was afraid to cross the street for fear of being tagged racist.  So I persevered.

I heard growling, then "Janell, heel!  Stop that!"  Then the dog lunged forward and bit me on the butt.

"Janell, Janell, stop that!" the boy yelled, jerking the leash.

Grudgingly, growling, Janell the Pit Bull sat.

"Your monster dog just bit me!" I exclaimed.

"I'm sorry, Mister. Janell's really a sweetheart. She just thought your behind was candy, and she want a taste."  He grinned at me with that unmistakable appreciation that sets off your gaydar.  I was in no mood for cruising, but I did notice that he was a twink, not a kid -- short, light skinned, solidly built, with dark brown eyes, a broad nose, and sensual lips.

  "You can pet her if you want.  My name's Malik."

I leaned down to pet Janell.  She growled softly.  "I'm Boomer.  And sweetheart or not, my butt hurts."

"Let me take a look, Boomer."  I pulled my pants down a little.  I felt his hand on me, probing.  "Ok, I see the bite marks, and a little tiny bit of blood.  Don't look like a big deal."

"Does Janell have her shots?'

"Oh, sure, she's all set."

My butt was throbbing.  "Well, I'm going to Urgent Care anyway. "

"Ok.  I'll drive you, a'ight?  I just gotta drop Janell off at the house."

We hobbled down the street.  Janell was still growling softly.

"I'm a try something, a'ight?  If I put my arm around you, maybe she'll think we friends."

"Ok...but what will the neighbors think?"

"Ain't none of their business, is it?" he said with a grin.  He wrapped a hard, muscular arm around my waist, and the growling stopped.

Ok, so Malik was gay.  And cruising me.

He lived about a block away, in an older house, painted light blue, encircled by a chain link fence, naturally.  He opened the front door and let Janell bounce inside.  An older woman in a pink nightgown was sitting on the couch, reading a book.

"Hey, Mama, look what Janell caught!" Malik joked. "Can we keep him?"  He seemed in very good spirits, for someone whose dog had just been involved in an attack.

"Your son's dog got a little rambunctious," I said.  His good humor was infectious. "No big deal, but I'm going to Urgent Care, just in case."

"I'm a borrow your car to drive him.  Don't worry, I'll be back before you gotta work."

While we waited, Malik told me that he had a job as an orderly at the hospital, and he was studying nursing at SUNY Cooperstown.  "I'm like the only guy in some of my classes, and some of those nursing girls are fine, know what I mean?"

Ok, so Malik was straight.

The doctor cleaned the wound, put on a bandage -- it didn't need stitches -- prescribed Advil for the pain, and told me to lay off the running for a few days.  Then Malik drove me home and helped me inside, although I didn't really need the help.

I figured he was just being nice so I wouldn't sue him.  "Don't worry, it doesn't hurt anymore," I said.  "And my insurance will cover the Urgent Care.  You and Janell are fine."

Malik shrugged.  "You got anybody coming by later to take care of you?  Girlfriend or boyfriend?"

I stared.  Straight people never said "girlfriend or boyfriend."  They always assumed that gay people did not exist.  "No, I'm...single at the moment."

"Who gonna cook you dinner later?"

"Oh, I'll just order a pizza."

"Nuh-huh, you ain't ordering no pizza on my watch.  Tell you what -- I'm a pick you up later, a'ight, and you coming to the house, and I'm gonna cook.  Mama's working, so we have the house to ourselves."

"That's not really necessary," I said reluctantly.

"Hey, man, Janell got a bite of you, so it's only fair that you get a bite of me.  Or something with your mouth, anyway."  He stood facing me, and put his hand on my waist.  "I'm a try something, a'ight?  You just be cool."

Suddenly we were kissing.

Then he broke away.  "K, you rest now.   I'll drop Mama off at work and pick you up at 6:00"

That night Malik served pork chops, scalloped potatoes, and green beans, with apple pie for dessert.  Then I sat on a pillow on the couch, with Malik's arm around me and Janell's head on my lap.  I told him about the Gang of Twelve, that I was dating, one at a time.

"See, I never could get guys who was just into guys," he said, "Or just into girls, either.  There's so many fine studs and foxes out there, how can you limit yourself?"

Ok, so Malik was bisexual.

"I find men more than enough."

"Well, I've gone down on men and women both, so maybe I know a few tricks that gay dudes don't."  He grinned.  "I'm a try something, a'ight?"

He moved the dog's head away and started unzipping me.

In case you were wondering: ripped body, Bratwurst.

See also: The Truth about the Black Penis; The Rich Kid and the Crying Truck Driver.

A Week of Dates with Daddies and Bears

Plains, June 2016

It's fun being a twink magnet, but sometimes I long for the company of men my own age, men who remember dial phones and David Cassidy, who don't spend the entire evening texting and talking about Lego Star Wars, who don't initiate the bedroom activity by saying "Do me, Daddy!"

The problem is, here on the Plains, most of the out, open gay men over 40 have long since moved to the nearest gay neighborhood, leaving the closeted, skittish, newly out, and downlow.  And they usually say "No one over 30" in their profiles!

"You're just not looking in the right places," Gabe, my vegan friend with the enormous penis, tells me.

"I get perved by older guys every five seconds," my sort-of boyfriend Dustin adds.  "Want us to set you up with some?"

"Hookups or dates?"

He laughs.  "Whatever you want.  We can even share a malted down at the sock hop, if that's your bag, Daddy-O."

So Gabe and Dustin text a few old boyfriends and get on a few hookup apps, and before I know it, they've set up a week's worth of dates and hookups with bears, daddies, and silver foxes.



Tuesday: The Wine Connoisseur

Dustin and I meet Brad at the Wine Bar near my apartment, where I gamely sip on a soda while he prats on about beaujolais. He's a husky bear in his 60s, balding, white beard, hairy chest, never had a boyfriend -- "I'm too independent for that."

 He's retired, wintering in Florida, and spending the summers immersed in wine, gardening, and...well, not much else.

After a long, boring conversation, we go back to Brad's house, about 20 miles away, for more wine and soda and boring conversation.  I go down on him right there in the living room, more out of boredom than desire -- averaged sized, thick -- and when he is finished, Dustin and I drive home, yawning.



Wednesday: The Foot Fetishist.

Gabe comes along on my hookup with Footman, who wants two foot masters, whatever that is.

We drive far out to his house by a lake in the middle of the night.  Footman specifies that we should not shower after working out, so we smell nice and ripe.

He's in his 40s, rather buffed, with a hairy chest, prominent nipples, and a small penis with a Prince Albert.

He sniffs our socks, takes them off, massages and kisses our feet, and then brings us into the bedroom, where he continues to massage and kiss our feet.  I don't want to kiss this guy after he's been playing around with my feet.  He won't do oral.  He lets me go down on him, but does not become aroused.  "Play with it with your feet!" he suggests.

Ok, I'm outta here.




Thursday: The Bisexual

Dustin and I hookup with Adam, from a small town about 50 miles away: he's only 42, tall, black-haired, black beard, a little chunky, with thick biceps and a thick cut Kielbasa.  My only turnoff is the innumerable tattoos.

He's a computer technician and avid online game player, born and raised in the Plains.  He lives in a house that belongs to his parents, sharing with a heterosexual couple and his girlfriend.

Um...girlfriend?

"Oh, sure, I love women.  I like playing with guys on the side, of course, but nothing can compare to the soft, smooth, feminine curves -- man, they even smell good, you hear me?"

Um..ok, I go down on him to shut him up.  He's not bad in the bedroom, passionate, into oral and kissing, but how can I concentrate with the mental picture of soft, smooth, feminine curves in my head?




Friday: Day Off!

Saturday Afternoon: The Smoker

Gabe and Dustin both tag along for this hookup. For some reason, they tell the Smoker that we're all anal tops.  We aren't.

The Smoker drove 80 miles to be here.  He's in his 40s, thin, wiry, heavily tanned, with a stupid moustache.  He stinks of smoke.  Kissing him is gross.  I go down on his long, pale white penis while he goes down on Gabe.  He doesn't get aroused. Then Dustin tries.  Nope.

 "Mostly I just beat off while getting screwed."

I turn him over on his back and try entering him, but he's not good at that, either.  He keeps sputtering and choking.  "Mostly I just get screwed," he says.





Saturday Night: The Nipple-Biter

I'm on my own for my date with Corbin.  He's exactly my age, but he looks much older, bald, craggy, sagging, somewhat feminine.  He lives in a small town about 30 miles away, where everyone knows but no one talks about it.  He's a high school music teacher, and plays the organ at the small fundamentalist church that he grew up in.

 After dinner, we go back to my apartment and into the bedroom.  Corbin is into kissing, but his cologne is a little much.  He has a thin, white-haired chest, a little belly, and a Bratwurst that doesn't get aroused, even though he augments it with a cock ring.

"Try this," he says, and bites my nipple -- hard.

I bite his nipples -- hard while he manipulates himself.  It takes forever.

How does someone my age get to be so old?





Sunday: 

"Tonight, we'll be hooking up with..." Gabe begins.

"Oh, no," I interrupt.  "I've had enough of the foot fetishists and nipple-biters.  Tonight it's my turn to pick someone."

I go on a dating app, and start a conversation with TJ, age 25, who works in a restaurant downtown but is planning to go back to school for a degree in psychology.  Tall, slim, nice pecs and washboard abs, average sized, uncut.

Gay, out, employed, two miles away, no fetishes, non smoker, able to get aroused, able to go down on me without choking!

Maybe I can put up with the texting, references to Lego Star Wars, and "Do me, Daddy!"  

See also: What Dustin Likes About Older Guys; No One Over 30.

Monday, June 6, 2016

No One Over 30









The guy on the left is 18.
The guy on the right is 38.

Which would you rather invite home for a hookup?  Or, assuming similar personalities, a date?




The answer is obvious, yet a surprising number of gay men would reject the 38 year old out of hand.

They specify on their dating app profiles:

No one over 30
Legal age to 30 only
Under 30 only

Ok, if you're 20 years old yourself, you might want to limit your dating to someone with shared cultural references  and life experiences -- it's hard to discuss the problems of your first job with someone nearing retirement!  But for hookups, what difference does it make?

Besides, the vast majority of 20 year olds are fine with older guys, or even prefer them.  The under 30 only provisos come almost entirely from men who haven't been inside a twink bar since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Why such a bizarre age restriction?






Sometimes I suspect that when they say under 30 only, what they mean is:


If they're not fishing for kids, why are they limiting themselves to the 24% of the adult population that is aged 18-29?

Do they think they will have better luck with someone young and inexperienced?

Do they think that everyone aged 18-29 is gorgeous, no exceptions, and everyone over 30 is hideous, no exceptions?

Do they break up with their boyfriends on their 30th birthday?

What if they meet someone in a bar?  Can they tell instinctively, or do they have to check id?

And why bother?  Most gay men over 40 get approached by twinks all the time anyway.  Why specify it in your profile.

I shouldn't care if you have a ludicrous, bizarre requirement that cuts you off from 75% of the adult male population.  There are plenty of twinks to go around.

But one of these days I would like to go out with a guy and NOT have everyone assume that we are father and son.

See also: How to Avoid Being a Creepy Old Guy; and A Week of Hookups and Dates with Older Guys

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Backsliders at the Ponderosa Steak House

Rock Island, May 1969

When I was growing up, my church had a huge number of prohibitions.  We discussed them and memorized them for prizes in Sunday school class, heard sermons about them on Sunday mornings, heard testimonies about them on Wednesday nights, and received our own black-bound copy of them when we became members of the church at age 12.

Some were harder to follow than others, and therefore caused more guilt when we backslid:

1. No restaurants or stores that sold alcohol.
2. No movies.
3. No work on Sunday, including homework.
4. No buying anything on Sunday, including eating out.

It seemed that my unsaved friends were constantly trying to get me to go to Dewey's Candy Store for ice cream or Schneider's Drug Store for comic books on Sunday afternoons!  Sometimes I gave in, only to feel a combination of intense guilt and fear, as if God was about to strike me dead and fry me in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.

My parents found the rule difficult, too.  On vacation, we usually rented a cabin or stayed with friends so we didn't have to drive far or cook on Sunday.

And at home, Mom usually put a roast beef in the oven to slow-cook while we were in church. If she didn't have time or was out of roast beef, we had to wait until around 2:00 pm for her to cook something else (cooking didn't count as #3).

One Sunday morning in the spring of 1969, when I was in third grade, Mom was out of roast beef, so she said she would make a tuna casserole when we got home.  My brother and I griped and complained, but what could we do about it?

She didn't realize that this Sunday was the start of the Spring Revival!  Instead of Brother Tyler, our usual preacher, who let us out at 11:45 sharp,  we got Brother Smith, an evangelist, who screeched and stomped about how we weren't meeting our Christian obligation to save souls until well after noon, and then led us in endless choruses of :

Faith in God can move a mighty mountain.
Faith can calm a troubled sea
Faith can make the desert like a fountain
Faith will bring the victory.

Repeat, then repeat again, 3,241 times, until you have thought of at least 12 ways to make fun of the lyrics.

THEN he had the audacity to hold an altar call!

By the time we got out of there, it was 12:45!  By the time we got home, it was 1:00.

We changed into our street clothes, and then Mom and Dad pushed us into the car again.

"Wait -- where's dinner?" I asked.

Mom turned around to the back seat.  "We're going to Ponderosa Steak House.

I liked the Ponderosa Steak House.  We usually went on Tuesday nights for their special -- a ribeye steak, baked potato, dinner roll, and salad.  But...

"We can't eat out!  Today is Sunday!"

"There's not enough time to cook," Mom explained.  "Your little brother and sister need to eat."

"But it's a sin!  God will strike us dead!  We'll spend eternity in the Lake of Fire!"

"Just be quiet.  It's an emergency."

Seething in righteous indignation, I was silent all the way down 38th Street to 7th Avenue.  I was Daniel going into the Lion's Den.  They could bring me into that house of abomination, but they couldn't make me eat.  No drop of food, no sip of water, nothing.  I would starve before I disobeyed a law of God!

We parked.  I trudged across the parking lot, so slowly that they told me to hurry up.  Into the jaws of doom.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...

It was cafeteria style: you paid, got a tray, and grabbed what you wanted from steam tables.

And just ahead of us, waiting to buy on Sunday, was Brother Tyler and Brother Smith, and their wives.

It was like seeing your priest in a meth lab.  It was like Young Goodman Brown, who discovered that all of the good churchgoers in his village were really witches.

Brother Smith didn't recognize us, but Brother Tyler did.  He looked down at his feet, heavily embarrassed.

No specific gay content in this story, but it did allow me to see that sometimes people don't exactly practice what they preach, which made it easier to reject the Nazarene rules later on.

No nudity, either, but here's a naked man to tide you over.

See also: The Joy of Saying Cock; and Trying to Escape Church







Top 10 Weirdest Hookup Sites

It's easy to meet guys for hookups and dates in a gay neighborhood, where almost everyone around you is gay.  But in the straight world it's tricky.  Most of the guys around are not interested, no matter how friendly they act.  Some may cruise you without realizing it; they're not self-aware enough to know  that they're interested.  And if you are too open about your interest, you may get screamed at or even assaulted.

Still, I've done my share of public cruising, meeting guys in the Plains at a comic book store, a heterosexual party, a fundamentalist Christian pizza place, and the doctor's office.

I asked my Facebook friends, "What is the weirdest place in the straight world that you've met a guy for a hookup or a date?"  Here are the weirdest answers, from least to most.

1. Standing in the communion line at church. 

"I was home in Des Moines visiting my parents, and they dragged me to a service at  straight, homophobic Lutheran church.  As we were filing out of our pews for communion, I saw the world's cutest guy in the next aisle.  I motioned for him to get ahead of me, so I could get a good glimpse of his backside as we walked.  Afterwards I hunted him down in the foyer, and we spent the afternoon together."


2. In the lion habitat at the zoo.

"I was visiting an animal sanctuary near Orlando, Florida.  They feed the lions in a truck with a big cage bed, so visitors can ride along and watch.  The zookeeper was a very cute guy in his thirties, so as we rode, I was chatting him up.  When we got to the feeding site, I asked, 'Can I feed the lions?' He said no, that's against the rules.  Then I asked, 'Well then, can I feed you?'  Well, I bought him dinner...then I fed him."










3. At the airport, waiting for different flights.

"I was in a layover in Atlanta, and a hot bearded guy was sitting in my waiting area.  We started talking.  I was on my way to Fort Lauderdale, and he was on his way to Chicago, but he actually lived in Miami!  We exchanged phone numbers, and got together for a date when we both returned."

4. At my son's high school graduation.

"I was back in Arkansas for my son Ryan's high school graduation.  Suddenly I noticed one of the dads cruising me.  My ex-wife said he was the father of one of Ryan's friends.  We chatted later, and got together before I left town.  Wow, massive hairy chest and Kielbasa beneath the belt!"










5. After a traffic accident

"I was driving down a major street in Pittsburgh when the light turned yellow.  Instead of running it, I stopped, and got rear-ended by the car in back of me.  The guy was apologetic, and cute.  We exchanged phone numbers, and later that week he rear-ended me in the bedroom.  We dated for six months."









6. At my grandmother's funeral

"I flew back to Montana to go to my grandmother's funeral.  She was 93 years old, so it wasn't really a sad occasion, it was more a celebration of her life.  At the reception, a cute twink approached me.  He turned out to be the grandson of one of her friends.  I ended up inviting him to the reception afterwards, and then to my hotel room to spend the night."

7. At my brother's tennis game.

"I was still in high school in Upstate New York, not out yet.  My brother, a college sophomore, was on the tennis team.  I went to one of his matches, and a slim, curly-haired college jock cruised me.  Of course, I had no idea what was happening.  He asked me out, and at the end of the evening leaned in for a kiss.  I thought it was the greatest thing in the world!"



8. At a highway rest stop.

"On your blog you mentioned a glimpse of supreme beauty at a rest stop, where you didn't even get the guy's name.  Well, at a rest stop on I-70 just outside of Indianapolis, I was at the urinal at the same time as a muscular twink with an enormous Mortadella.  Turns out he was heading for Illinois State University at Normal, so I followed him, and we spent the night in his dorm room. One of the most memorable nights of my life!"

9. While being victimized by crime.

"I was just leaving the one gay bar in Sheboygan, Wisconsin -- a dark, closet bar that you go in through the back.  But a homophobe knew about it, and jumped up and started punching and kicking me and calling me a 'fag."  Another guy ran up and intervened, and the homophobe ran off.  He offered to take me to the police to file a report, but you know what the police would do!  So instead we went back to his apartment, where I spent the night.  We stayed friends, and often shared boyfriends until I moved out of town."





And the weirdest of all:

10. At a straight strip club.

"I wasn't out at work, and I had a super-hetero-horny boss, always making sex jokes and bringing dirty magazines around.  I played along, because I couldn't afford to lose my job.  One day he said 'You've been working hard, so I have a special treat for you," and took a few of us to a straight strip club!  A guy at the next table looked at me for a while and then called me over, and said 'You don't belong here, do you?  Why don't you just tell them?'  Turns out he worked as a stripper at a gay club in Columbus.  Next thing I knew, I was working there, too.  Oh, and we dated a few times."

See also: A Glimpse of Supreme Beauty at a Rest Stop in Iowa; The Boy with Daddy Issues