Saturday, June 25, 2016

Dr. Kirtis Offers Me His Bratwurst

Bloomington, May 1983

At Indiana University,  I was technically studying for a M.A. in English, but the variety of courses available at a gigantic university was overwhelming.  What 22 year old from a small town in the Midwest could resist:
Tibetan Culture and Civilization
Mesoamerican Archaeology
First Year Arabic
Or Russian Folklore?

I was at a definite disadvantage in the Russian folklore class, since I didn't speak Russian or know anything about the scientific study of folklore.

All of the other students were Russian majors, researching the folklore motifs in Dostoevski or Gogol.  I was interested in...um...um..the mythology of the ancient Slavs?

Well, mythology is sort of like folklore, right?

The Professor, Dr. Kirtis, was a Hungarian bear, in his 50s, white haired, bearded, a little chubby, with thick arms and chest hair peeking up over the top of his shirt.  A little old for me, but it was hard not to be attracted to his ravenous energy as he paced the classroom, arms flailing, as he pontificated on the Firebird Suite or Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka or  Afanasyev's folktale collection.

Not to mention his obvious beneath-the-belt gifts, a gigantic Mortadella shifting around inside his black dress slacks.

Noticing that I was a bit out of my league amid the Russian majors, he made me his "project," bringing me articles and books and walking with me after class across the quad to his office.

I told him that I heavily disliked fairy tales as a kid.  "They're always about princes winning princesses, with marriage as the goal of the quest."  I paused, not wanting to accidentally out myself.  "But when you get married, the adventures end."

"But if the adventure continues, the story must go on," Dr. Kirtis said.  "And all stories must end."

All stories must end.  How profound, and rather depressing for someone just starting out in life.  But then I thought, Gay people can't get married.  Our adventures never end.

Like most married professors, Dr. Kirtis mentioned his wife every five minutes during his lectures .  She was in New York, doing some sort of work for the United Nations.  They saw each other once a month.

Separated?

He must have figured "it" out, overcome the brainwashing of our heterosexist society.   Obviously he was gay!



I brought up the subject, vaguely, to see how he would respond.  "Dead Souls, by Gogol, seems to have a homoerotic subtext."

"Homoerotic?"  he repeated, confused.

"Some hints that the characters are gay."

"Oh!"  He didn't display the usual disgusted frown that heterosexuals got when they were forced to think about gay people.  "Perhaps Gogol was writing with his subconscious, yes?  Such scandals he could never think of in his conscious mind, but who knows where the heart will take us?"

Close enough.

During finals week, Dr. Kirtis invited his advanced classes to his house for a pool party.

I expected a large crowd -- he taught Russian Folklore, Hungarian History, and Introduction to Hungarian.  But the classes were very small -- only three students on the campus of 40,00 were studying Hungarian -- so there were only about 10 of us, mostly boys, some very hot Russian and Central Asian Studies majors in swimsuits.




After greeting us, Dr. Kirtis went into the house for a few minutes, and returned in his own swimsuit.  A Speedo!

Gigantic bulge!  Definitely a Mortadella, very thick.

Ok, it doesn't count as a Sausage Sighting, but I swear, his Speedo was so tight that I could see the teeth marks!

There were lots of hot guys my age, but I kept close to Dr. Kirtis all night.

He served sausages and potato salad.  When they were ready, he asked "Boomer, can I serve you my Bratwurst?"

I looked at his crotch and said "Sure!"

He giggled.  He knew what I meant!

Nothing else happened.  After finals were over, Dr. Kirtis flew to New York to be with his wife.

Still -- he knew.

See also: Is Professor Singer Gay?; and Russia: Land of Bulges and Scimitars.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Date with the Somali Teenager

Moving to the Plains, I expected to meet a lot of Swedes and Norwegians who hung out at saunas and ate lukefisch, or Germans who did complicated gymnastic routines at Turnerverein.

And, in fact, 30% of the population of my adopted state is of German ancestry, 30% Scandinavian, and 10% Native American.

But I didn't expect to meet Somalis.

Before coming here, all I knew about Somalia was:
1. It's a country in East Africa, bordering Ethiopia and Kenya, 99% Sunni Muslim.
2. The government is in ruins after a revolution in the 1990s.
3. The Somali language is Afro-Asiatic, similar to Arabic and Hebrew.

Shortly after arriving, I learned a lot more:

With the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, thousands of Somalis fled the country and immigrated to Canada, Britain, South Africa, and the United States.

There are about 150,000 in the U.S., mostly in the Midwest, especially the Plains. Since I live two blocks from the Islamic Center, my neighborhood has a lot.  I see women in hijabs and chadors about as often as I did in Turkey.  I hear conversations in Somali and Arabic.  Local grocery stores offer halal products.

 With 17 million speakers (as many as Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish put together), Somali is the largest of the languages in the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic Family.  Arabic and Hebrew are in the Semitic branch, so they are related, but as different as English and Hindi.  It takes an expert to see the connection.

English: I have a big sausage
Somali: Waxaan leeyahay bolse weyn
Arabic: Laday nawe min alkhubz alkabir


English: Come to my mouth
Somali: Kaalay afkayga
Arabic: Tueal 'iilaa fimy


Of course, I didn't plan on using any of those phrases.  Somalia, like several of the Muslim states on the Persian Gulf, has draconian laws against gay people.

I assumed that the Somalis in the U.S. are equally homophobic, and oblivious to the existence of gay people in their midst, even though there was a gay-friendly coffee house with a giant rainbow flag in the window right across the street from the halal market.

Most of the Somalis I saw every day rushed past me with angry glares or tried to avoid eye contact, but I assumed that they were apprehensive of morally-bankrupt Westerners, not specifically identifying me as an abomination.

There were several Somali families in my apartment building, including one at the end of the hall with a teenage son.  I saw him several times, leaving his apartment or checking the mail,  Once his car was smashed in a hit-and-run accident right outside my window.

He was tall and slim, very dark, with a long neck, frizzy hair, and thin features.  Very attractive.  But I was hesitant about cruising him.

Plains, June 2014

One morning in late June, shortly after my visit from Eli from Amsterdam, I am walking down the hall toward the exit on his side of the building, and the teenage son bursts out his door and glares suspiciously at me.


"Subax wanagsan (Good morning)" I say, the only Somali phrase I know.

"I speak English," he says harshly.  "Last year I was in AP English at East High.  I also speak Somali, Arabic, and French, in case you were wondering."

I start to burn with anger.  I was just trying to be friendly!  Besides, he can't beat me in the language department.  "Je vais courir," I say in French.  "Je cours 3 milles chaque matin."  I'm going jogging.  I jog 3 miles every morning.

"It's too hot out," he says, if he doesn't believe me.

"I don't mind the heat."

He continues to glare.  "I'll bet you collapse from heat exhaustion after one block, Awoowe."

I suspect that Awoowe is an insult (actually, it means "Grandpa").  I should just leave, but I'm so used to getting cruised by twinks that an invitation comes out automatically: "Want to tag along and call 911 when I collapse?  If I survive, I'll buy you a smoothie."

He breaks into a wide grin.  "Hang on, I'll get my running shoes."

We jog down the hill, to the University, and then back toward the Islamic Center, an easy three miles.  He tells me that his name is Key, short for Keynan.  He's been in the U.S. for twelve years.  He just graduated from East High, and he'll be enrolling at the University in the fall as a biochemistry major.


I'm not planning to come out to Key -- I don't want to get screamed at, or have word get around to the entire Somali community.  But he seems to get it:  "That black guy who was staying with you last week, was that your boyfriend?"

"Um...no, just a friend.  He's from Amsterdam."

"But you like guys?  Wiilasha, young kids like me?"

Ok, he knows I'm gay.  Is he cruising me, or screening me for pedophilia?  "Oh, no, no kids.  You have to be 18."

"I'm 18," he says with a grin.

Cruising me.

We stop at the gay-friendly coffee house with the giant rainbow flag in the window.  He looked around in surprise.

"This place is not what I expected," Key says. "It looks so...um, normal."

"What were you expecting?  Rehearsals for RuPaul's Drag Race?"

"Don't make fun, I love that show.  Will anybody think I'm gay because I'm in here?"

"Oh, no, they let straight guys in, as long as they don't talk about girls."

"Gotcha!"  He believes me!  We get our smoothies and sat at the little tables.

 "Hey, have you ever met a gay Somali?," Key asks.  "There must be some, I mean, logically, but I've never met one."

"You probably have, just that they're closeted.  They don't want their parents to freak out.  Or their imam."

Key leans in conspiratorily.  "Can I ask you something?  What's the attraction?  I mean, I think anybody should be able to do what they want, as long as they're not hurting anybody, but why do you want a penis, when you have a penis, too?"

Ok, straight, not cruising me.  "Um...It's not just a penis.  You want the whole person.  His face, his muscles, his masculinity.  Just like people who like women want more than her vagina."




"Um...yes, I guess that makes sense.  So, how old were you when you first knew you liked guys?"

You're probably expecting a hookup.  Nope, didn't happen.  But hooking up with twinks is easy: just go on Grindr and wait five minutes.  I got something better: a gay ally among the "homophobic" Somalis of the Plains.

But here's a naked picture anyway.


See also: The Birthday Present at the Horseman's Club






Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gay Identical Twins

Lots of people tell me that they have fantasies involving identical (or monozygotic) twins, men who developed from the same zygote (egg) and therefore look the same.  I guess the fantasy is to have the "same guy" working on both ends?

Easier said than done.  Monozygotic twins appear in only about 3 of every 1,000 births.   Women are more likely to have twins if they're of West African ancestry, of greater than average height and weight, and already mothers.

But  identical twins are not really identical.







Genetic changes occur during early fetal development.  That's why some identical twins have a gay and a straight brother.

Life experiences -- differences in activity, nutrition, exposure to contaminants -- result in more changes, even at the genetic level.

Unless they work at it, identical twins stop looking identical by adulthood.

I've never met a pair of gay identical twins, but here's some pictures.  Notice the differences in face and physique.

At least the beneath-the-belt gifts look the same.









Wednesday, June 22, 2016

West Hollywood Stories of Gay Celebrity Dates and Hookups

In the gay neighborhoods of West Hollywood and San Francisco, not so much in New York or Florida, everyone had a celebrity dating or hookup story.  Here are the most famous or most believable I've heard.

I'm making no claims about the sexual orientation of any of these celebrities except #1 and #10. Some of the stories are probably exaggerations, a non-romantic lunch becoming a romantic date, a casual meeting becoming a vigorous all-night orgy.  Some are probably pure inventions.

Cesar Romero (1907-1994) 1940s heartthrob and the Joker on the old Batman tv series.  My boyfriend Lane hooked up with him in the early 1990s.  When he told the story, Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin) were in the mix.

President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) He was just a local radio announcer when Oscar, the retired set designer from Des Moines, claims that they dated. The biographical details check out.

Desi Arnaz (1917-1986).  Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy.  Cesar Romero claimed that they had a long-term "friend with benefits relationship.





Tony Randall (1920-2004) star of the Odd Couple (1968-1975).  Marcus, the first person I met in West Hollywood, said that they met through a mutual friend, and hooked up in a hotel in Westwood.  Marcus was in the industry, and introduced me to several celebrities, including Michael J. Fox and Robin Williams, but there's no evidence that Tony Randall was gay.

Tony Curtis (1925-2010), the movie star who went in drag for Some Like It Hot (1959).   Drake, the leather teddy bear artist of South of Market, claimed to have tricked with him when he was starring in Trapeze (1956), about a circus love triangle.  Tony Curtis was married to women five times, but his androgynous prettyboy looks made him the subject of many gay rumors in the 1950s.

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), the gay Beat poet.  Fangorn, aka Dennis, said that his first gay experience was a three way with Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky.

Dick Sargeant (1930-1994), Cary Grant (1904-1986), and Groucho Marx (1890-1988), all on the same night, in the same bed!  In 1958, when he was a teenage navy recruit, Randall (the bear with the pierced penis) told us that he hooked up with Dick Sargent (future star of Bewitched), who took him to a gay party.  There Groucho and Cary both invited him home.  They compromised.

Pat Boone (1934-).    This doesn't really count as a friend's hookup story, but Randall, the Muscle Bear with the Pierced Penis, told us that he heard about a three way that Pat Boone had with Dick Sargent and a teenage fan.




Richard Chamberlain (1934-)  The now-out star of Shogun (1980) and I competed over Thanh, the Vietnamese grad student, one night at Mugi. Thanh and I dated once, and then became friends.  He immediately sought out Chamberlain for a dinner-and-bedroom date.

Peter Fonda (1940-), actor and political activist.  This is actually a buffed model representing his iconic role in Easy Rider (1969).  Will, the Bondage Boy with the Sweeney Todd fetish, told us that they hooked up at a bath house in Mexico in 1978.  Fonda, who has been married three times, has been the subject of gay rumors.












David Cassidy (1950-) teen idol and star of The Partridge Family (1970-1974).  My housemate Derek, a former fitness model, told us about a romantic weekend of motorcycling through Wales with him in 1974.  At that time David Cassidy was the most famous pop star in the world.  If it really happened, why is there no news coverage?

Mark Hamill (1951-), the iconic Luke Skywalker of Star Wars (1977).  He's done a lot of theater, too.  He was starring in The Nerd on Broadway in 1987, when Blake the Opera Buff said that they met and went out on several dates.  Hamill is not out, but there has been a lot of speculation about his sexual identity.

Dean Paul Martin (1951-) and Desi Arnaz Jr. (1953-), the sons of Dean Martin and Desi Arnaz, respectively, and two thirds of the boy band Dino, Desi, and Billy.  Cesar Romero claimed that he had a three-way with them in 1971.




Dan Butler (1954-), who played the ultra-macho sports announcer Bulldog on Frazier (1993-2004). Marshall the Virgin dated him several times shortly after we took him to his first Bear Party in 1994.

Kip Noll (1958-2001) the porn star.  My friend Alan, the Pentecostal porn star, worked with him on a film in the early 1980s.  Does it count as a hookup if your sexual activity is part of your job?










Ronald Reagan, Jr. (1958-),  the President's son, estranged from his father, a ballet dancer, who got married very quickly and suspiciously when his father took office -- what were we to think? Half of West Hollywood claimed to have dated him.  My ex Fred claimed that they met at a bathhouse in Chicago during the summer of 1979.

Scott Baio (1960-). Nearly everybody in West Hollywood claimed to have dated "Charles in Charge."

Rob Lowe (1964-), teen idol and brat packer.  Mario, who picked me up at the Different Light Bookstore, worked with him on a tv pilot when they were both teenagers.  According to Mario, they had dinner, went up to Rob's room, and one thing led to another while they were watching Magnum, P.I.

Keanu Reeves (1964-).  The brooding star of the Matrix movies has played gay characters several times, but he had barely begun his career in 1988, when my friends Scott and Will ran into him at the Rage.  They described a wild night that included making out on the beach and skinny-dipping in a pool of a house in Beverly Hills that didn't belong to them.


Luke Perry (1966-), star of the teen drama Beverly Hills 90210 (1990-2000).  Remember the Family Guy episode, in which Meg accidentally "outs" him in the school newspaper, and he sues for slander?  My friend Barry, the Colonial Williamsburg boy of Long Island, claimed to have met him while cruising in West Hollywood one night in 1997.  Perry was married with a son at the time, but ok.

Leonardo DiCaprio (1974-), the indy movie star who has played gay characters several times, and receives nearly as many gay rumors as the big boys, Tom Cruise and John Travolta.  Lots of guys claimed to have dated or hooked up with him, but the most believable story came from Farshad, the French Moroccan on my sausage list, who said that they met in Paris in 1995.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar (1974-), star of Saved by the Bell.  He doesn't really count, since it wasn't actually a date: my friend Infinite Chazz claims a hookup that went wrong when MP dumped him for another guy.





Prince Carl Philip of Sweden (1979-).   Zack, the photography student at the Rhode Island School of Design, said that he spent the night with him when they were teenagers, both boarding school students in Connecticut.

Dylan O'Brien (1991-),  star of the Maze Runner movies and the tv series Teen Wolf (2011-).  Jimmy, the Boy Toy of my platonic friends,  told me that they went to high school in Hermosa Beach, California together.  They used to do it in his parents' garage.  This was before I had heard of Dylan O'Brien, so he's an odd person to try to impress me with, and there are some gay rumors.

By the way, the top photo is of model Craig Moody.  He's gay and from Florida, but none of my friends has claimed to have dated him.

Harry Styles (1994-).  Ryan H,, the college track star that I met while driving through small-town Illinois, said that he met Harry Styles of the boy band One Direction in the summer of 2015, and had a rather unsatisfactory three way with him and a silver fox.

See also: Celebrities I've Dated

The Shy Boy at the Bathhouse

January 7th, 2011.  Cleveland, Ohio.

My boyfriend Troy and I are traveling crosscountry from Upstate New York to Indianapolis to visit my relatives.  Cleveland is a convenient halfway point, so we get a room at the Flex Club, which offers a full gym, two swimming pools, a steamroom maze, and a bar downstairs, and bathhouse facilities and hotel rooms upstairs.

7:00 pm

After we check into our room, Troy hits the cruising area, and I go to the gym.  The only other guy there is not particularly muscular, obviously not a gym regular, gamely trying to figure out how to bench press.

I go over and offer to spot him.

His name is Lester.  He's in his 20s, of medium height, unruly black hair, black eyebrows, and sharp features, not handsome but pleasant in a quirky bohemian way,  He has a thin chest, prominent nipples, and nicely rippled abs, plus a soft Southern accent that I find attractive.  He reminds me of my Kentucky Kinfolk.

 I steer him toward the Nautilus machines and demonstrate proper form.

"So, are you from Cleveland?" he asks.

"New York, actually.  I'm just here for the night.  My boyfriend and I have a hotel room upstairs."

"Wow, I just have a locker.  I heard the hotel rooms were nice -- I've never been in one."

"Well, come on up, and I'll give you a tour."


7:30 pm

Before we go upstairs, Lester wants to go to the indoor pool and introduce me to his friends Max and Jason-- rather an odd precaution in the bathhouse.  But ok.  They are college-aged, not particularly muscular but well hung. They grin broadly and hug Lester, as if he has accomplished something spectacular.

All he did was hook up at a bathhouse -- not particularly difficult!

It is a very strange feeling to walk down one of those red-painted, dimly lit bathhouse corridors, with disco music pounding away and guys walking around in towels, open a door, and bam!  You're in a 3-star hotel room with a queen-sized bed, a tv, an alarm clock, and a private bath.

"I like to take things slow," Lester says as I steer him toward the bed.

"Ok, I have plenty of time."  We kiss and fondle, go down on each other, kiss some more.  Eventually he puts his penis -- a very thick Bratwurst -- between my legs and finishes.  I don't finish, wanting to save myself for later in the evening.

Afterwards we cuddle and chat.  Lester grew up fundamentalist in rural Kentucky, attended the homophobic Cedarville University, and didn't come out he was 20.  He transferred to Ohio State, and now he is in law school at Case Western Reserve University.  He's been in one "real" relationship, with an older guy; it lasted for two years, and ended last November.

Ok, well...I was hoping to hook up with some other guys tonight...

He keeps on cuddling.  He's a big fan of Harry Potter, Glee, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I tell him some of my good stories, about my date with Michael J. Fox, the Amazing Invisible Boy, and Cousin George ("only fools wear pajamas").  Eventually I push him down onto me to finish.

He grabs me and holds on tight again.

8:30 pm.

I've been driving all day, and I want to hook up with some other guys tonight....how do I extricate myself from this guy?  I can't just kick him out!

The door opens, and Troy comes in.  After the introductions, he joins us, going down on Lester and me in turn.  Then I get up, leave the two of them cuddling on the bed, and go cruising.  Let Troy kick him out.

10:00 pm.

I return to the room.  Troy and Lester are still there. They must have hit it off!  I join them for another session of Lester's penis between my legs, and we all fall asleep together.







January 8th, 6:00 am.

I get up, eat a power bar and two bananas, run on the treadmill, and return to the room to dress.

7:00 am.

Troy goes off to exercise, leaving Lester and me alone in the room.

"I have to go -- my locker is expiring," he says.  "What are you guys going to do today?"

"Breakfast, then the museums.  Then we're leaving for Indianapolis.  It's about five hours away."

"Great, then you'll be in town for lunch.  Let me take you and Troy to my favorite place.  It's right near Carnegie Mellon.  I'll invite some of my friends."

He writes down the address, kisses me, and leaves.

1:00 pm.

Troy and I spend the morning at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, and the Botanical Garden.  Then we walk to a place called the Jolly Scholar, on the campus of Case Western Reserve.  It's empty on a Saturday morning before classes have started.

Lester arrives with three of his friends, Max and Jason from last night, plus a portly young lady named Michelle.

"So someone finally took pity on our little Lester!" Michelle says, hugging us both in turn.

"We thought he'd never meet anyone...." Jason adds, sliding into the booth next to me.

Lester blushes.  "Guys, knock it off!"

Meet anyone?  "Well, we're not actually dating.  Troy and I are off to Indianapolis after lunch."

"So you mean you just used Lester for his body, with no intention of following through with a relationship?"

"Um...well...."

"Just kidding!"  Jason grabs my knee under the booth.  "That was the whole idea.  Little Lester has only been with a few guys in his whole miserable life."

"...including two years of monotony with that jerk David," Max says.

"So last night we dragged him kicking and screaming to the Flex Club, and told him he couldn't leave until he went down on at least five guys..."

"Or one guy five times..."

"Did you keep a tally?" Michelle asks.

Lester puts his head into his hands.  "Boomer, you took judo.  Make them stop.  Throw them out the window!"

See also: My Kentucky Kinfolk; 10 Bathhouse Boys; and I Get With Every Guy in the Bath House