Saturday, July 23, 2016

The One Thing Kerry Wants in a Guy

West Hollywood, December 29th, 1998

I'm back in West Hollywood for New Year's Eve.  Lane and I are having breakfast at the French Quarter, catching up on the gossip of who dated who, who moved in, who broke up, during the 3 1/2 years I've been away.

"And guess what?" Lane says in a confidential hush.  "Kerry finally found a boyfriend! He moved into his apartment about two months ago!"

We met Kerry at the gay synagogue in West Hollywood several years ago.  He was 21 years old, a theater arts major at UCLA, sharing an apartment off Melrose with two roommates and working in a video store, where he always found a gay-themed movie to promote as his "Pick of the Week."

He stood out in the crowd: tall, a boyish all-American face, smooth sculpted physique, and a shock of red hair beneath a yarmulke decorated with little shamrocks.  One doesn't meet many redheaded Irish Jews.

Turns out that Kerry grew up in an Irish Catholic household in the Boston suburb of Braintree.  On his 16th birthday he shocked his family by going downstairs for breakfast in a yarmulke and announcing that he was converting to Judaism.


AND that he was gay.  In the same conversation.

That's chutzpah!

No wonder he moved 3,000 miles away to go to college.















We bonded over our outsider status, surrounded by guys who grew up kosher.  Lane and I had him over a few times for dinner and sharing: an oral bottom, average sized, surprising for a redhead, but with that face and physique, who cared?

He was very popular at the synagogue, at the gym, and at the twink bars. Some of the most desirable guys  in West Hollywood were asking him out.

There are six traits that make a guy stand out as boyfriend material in West Hollywood: movie industry connections, an extraordinary knowledge of the arts, a handsome face, a bodybuilder's physique, a gigantic penis, or money.   Kerry was being asked out by Cecil B. DeMille, Leonardo Da Vinci, Leonardo DiCaprio, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jeff Stryker, and Richie Rich, or the West Hollywood equivalents.

BUT: lots of first dates, rarely a second, but by the third, he was shouting "Next!"

No matter how hot the guy was, Kerry always found something wrong with him: bad breath, weird tattoo, unmade bed, a yapping dog, ordered the most expensive item on the menu, said something bad about Boston, lived outside the gay neighborhood.

Maybe he didn't really want a boyfriend?  Maybe he just liked meeting new guys, going out, and the bedroom activity after?

But he kept complaining: "I want to find my soul mate, the one I was destined to be with.  I want there to be fireworks the first time we kiss!"

We lost contact after I moved to San Francisco, and then New York.  Finding out that he has a boyfriend -- and they're living together --  is huge!

Who is this Adonis who has risen above all other mortals, with their snoring and farting and eating peanut butter right from the jar, to become "the one" for the extraordinarily picky Kerry?

"I don't know.  Kerry doesn't bring him to synagogue, and he won't tell us anything about him, except his name is Mat with one 't'."

"Well, I've got to meet this Mat with one 't'!  Do you have their phone number?"

He doesn't, but he has a friend from synagogue who does.  I call, and get us an invitation to visit after dinner tomorrow night.

I wonder which of the six traits Mat will have?  Maybe all six!


December 30th

We drive to a rundown apartment building, brown adobe with bars on the window, on Willoughby, where West Hollywood meets the Straight World.

Kerry is a few years older, of course, but still has a boyish all-American face and a pale, tight physique.  Mat is about 30, thin, rather scruffy looking, with unkept black hair and a three-day growth of beard.

I check the six traits, one by one:

1. Wealth.  No -- the apartment is small and cluttered, with no dining room and just one bedroom.  They serve us cake on mismatched plates.

2. Movie Industry Connections.  No -- Mat has a clerical job in an office on Wilshire.  Kerry has given up on his acting ambitions, and is taking classes in human resources management.

3. Knowledge of the Arts.  No.  We discuss Ricky Martin.  the Matrix, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

4. Handsome Face.   No.  His face is long and narrow, his eyes too small.

5. Bodybuilder's Physique.  No.  Mat is rather thin.

Then he must have #6, a Gigantic Penis!

Sharing with two guys is rare, and neither of us find Mat particularly attractive, but we start cruising him anyway, just to see what his beneath the belt gifts are like.

We go into the bedroom.  I kiss and fondle Kerry, and he kneels and goes down on me while Mat goes down on Lane  -- without taking his pants off.

Mat doesn't stand up until Lane finishes.  Seeing my opportunity, I kneel in front of him, unzip him, and find -- average, maybe a little small.

But...Kerry is an oral bottom!  He likes them big!

Kerry kneels beside me.  "Can I help you with that?" he asks.

Ok, I can't figure it out,  So I invite Kerry to lunch a couple of days after New Year's and ask.

January 3rd.  

"What sets Mat apart from the other guys?  What was the initial attraction?"

"Oh, his face, his personality, his wit," Kerry answers.  "And his penis, obviously."

"It seems a bit on the small side to me."

"Who cares about size?  It's uncut!  Didn't you notice when we 'shared' that  was all over you and barely touched Lane?  I love uncircumcized men!"

For Kerry, it all boiled down to a foreskin.

See also Gershom's Date with the Gentile.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Erotic Story about Grandpa Prater #1: Wrestling Moves


My Grandpa Prater, my mother's father, was a big man, towering over my father and uncles, and rugged even in his mid-60s, with thick arms and shoulders and huge hands.  He wore overalls, sometimes with a white t-shirt underneath, sometimes without, so you could see his hard round pecs dusted with white hair.

He was a man's man, always doing something with his sons and sons-in law and various friends: hunting, fishing, playing horseshoes, working on cars.

He had a thick Kentucky accent that was virtually incomprehensible, but he didn't say much anyway.  When the family gathered in the living room to play cards and exchange gossip, he kept silent unless someone asked him a question.  The indoors was uncomfortably stuffy; he'd rather be out with his friends and some dogs on a midnight hunt.

The only time he perked up was when someone asked him to play his banjo.  Then he'd play "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" or "Cotton Eyed Joe," as good, and as fast, as the Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs at the Grand Ole Opry.

There was a sadness about him that I didn't pick up on when I was a kid.  Something deep and dark, that the little joys of everyday life couldn't penetrate.  It wasn't just that he had lost his wife, three older brothers, and four of his eleven children.  It was a dream deferred, a hope from his childhood that he abandoned.

More about that later.

I have two good stories with Grandpa Prater.  The first is about judo.

Garrett, June 1971

The summer after fifth grade.  We're all at the farmhouse, but my brother and Cousin Buster are off somewhere, so I'm the only kid.  Dad and my uncles are up by the Old House, playing horseshoes.  I'm not allowed because I'm too little.  I don't necessarily like horseshoes, but I like hanging out with the men, especially when my only other option is sitting in the farmhouse with my Mom and aunts, gossipping about who did what with whom thirty years ago.

I'm wandering aimlessly through the side yard and the rhubarb patch when Grandpa Prater appears, wraps his huge paw around my shoulder, and says "I hear you're taking wrestling."

(I'm not going to try to transliterate his incomprehensible Kentucky accent.  Use your imagination.)

"Wrestling?  No, I'm studying judo.  It's a Japanese sport.  We wear white robes and throw each other."

"Judo?"  He repeats the unfamiliar word.  "Did you know I was a wrestler in high school?"

He takes my hand and leads me up the hill toward the Old House.  It's difficult to understand him, but by interrupting with many questions, I get the gist of his story:

In the Kentucky hills in the 1920s, it was unusual to go past the eighth grade, but the adolescent Tony (who I assume looked like this) was smart as a whip, so his parents allowed him to go on through twelfth grade at Salyersville High School. His best subject was music -- he sang and played the banjo, like on the Grand Ole Opry. That got the bullies riled, so to prove that he was a he-man, he went out for wrestling and boxing, too.

I have that problem!  At Denkmann, raising your hand too often or getting high grades on too many tests drew the ire of Mean Boys.

By now we are on top of the hill, in the men-only zone behind the Old House.  Dad asks, "Wanna join us, Tony?"

He doesn't ask me.

"Well, sure, but right now Boomer's going to show you all his judo moves."

I'm what?   Try to throw someone who is twice as tall as me, and a solid mass of muscle?  And my grandpa?  I don't think so!

But Dad and my uncles are gathered around to watch the show.

"C'mon, you can't hurt me.  I'm strong as an ox.  I was wrestling guys before your Daddy was born."

Sighing, I grab Grandpa by the shoulder and hip and try the easiest throw, basically tripping your opponent.  To my surprise, he goes down easily and pulls me on top of him.

"Dagnabit, you did it!" he exclaims.  "That there judo is powerful stuff.  Now pin me.  Come on, pin me to the ground!"

I scamper on top of him, feeling his hard firm chest, smelling his Aqua Velva cologne and hint of whiskey, and press his arms over his head.

He pushes his arms down and slides me down his trunk, as easily as one might push off a pair of pants.  I feel his hard belly and the mass of his crotch.

"Well, your pinning needs some work, but other than that, you're a natural.  Hear that, Frank?  You sign this boy up for wrestling!"

Dad grins at me as if I've achieved a major goal.  And maybe I have.  "C'mon, Boomer," he says, "Play horseshoes with us.  You're old enough now."

I did go out for wrestling a year later, when I started junior high.

The next story about my grandpa involves sneaking into his bedroom to "borrow" his banjo.

See also: Erotic Story of My Grandpa #2; My Grandpa Prater's Gay Connection; My Uncle and His Boyfriend







Arabic and Class Rings: Cruising at West Point

Rock Island, September 1976

It's the beginning of my junior year in high school, time to register for the SATs, the college entrance exams.  But my parents are vehemently opposed to the idea of college.

They can't afford to send me.

It's unnecessary -- I'm already smart enough to go to work in the factory.

It's un-Christian, full of Catholics and atheists.

But I've been insistent, littering the house with catalogs and brochures, and finally Dad gives in:  "Ok, you can go to college, as long as it's West Point."

"The Military Academy!" I exclaim, shocked.  "What for?"

"I'll tell you what for: full tuition, room and board, plus a stipend.  All you have to do is sign up for five years of active duty afterwards."

"Five years in the Army!  That sounds awful!"

Dad's eyes narrow.  "I was in the Navy for four years.  It was the best time of my life.  A real man's world.  You don't know what real friends are until you've fought side by side."

"Um...a man's world?  Real friends?"  I imagine sitting in class surrounded by hunky collegiate athletes, the cream of the crop, the most muscular in America, stripping down next to them in the locker room, sleeping beside them in the dorms...  "But...um..Vietnam?  500,000 Americans sent overseas?  50,000 casualties?  Khi Sanh?  My Lai?"

"Oh, Vietnam is over with," Dad says dismissively.  "We stabilized the region."

"There will be another war.  And another.  And another. Anyway, I'm not big on military science.  I want to major in Arabic."

"They have Arabic," Dad says, leafing through the catalog.  "And Chinese.  You can major in both, if you're that into languages.  Plus, it's only an hour from Manhattan.  You like all that Broadway musical stuff, right?"

Arabic, Broadway musicals, and army hunks?  It wouldn't hurt to apply....

The application process begins during your junior year, with the SAT, a medical exam, and a physical fitness test: push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, a 400-yard dash, a mile run, and a basketball throw (you don't actually have to make a basket).

April 1977

I receive a letter stating that I've passed the first set of requirements.  Now I have to get a nomination from my Senator, Representative, or the President of the United States.

No problem: I already know Tom Railsback,  the representative from the 19th district for as long as I can remember.  He is 45 years old, a local boy, and a counterculture hero, having drafted the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon.

He says that there are four guys in the 19th district asking to be nominated, the most in a decade.

Just to be on the safe side, I approach our senator, Charles H. Percy, too, even though he's a Republican and I'm a staunch Democrat.

June 1977

While I am away in Switzerland at the International Institute, my acceptance into the official applicant pool arrives.  Now I have to fill out some more forms, submit some letters attesting to my moral character, get a psychological evaluation, and come in for an interview.

 "More hoops to jump through, just to join the army!" I complain.  "You know, Olivet offered me a scholarship, and I'll bet I could get one at Augustana, too."

"Do they offer Arabic?" Dad asks.  "Are they an hour from Broadway?"

I keep silent and continue the application process.

The psychological evaluation is  administered by the school counselor: MMPI, with several questions designed to weed out the gay prospects, some blatant ("I am attracted to members of my own sex") and some keying into gay stereotypes ("I am closer to my mother than to my father.").

What a relief !  I have not yet figured "it" out, and I am extremely homophobic.  I think that swishes are disgusting!  No way could I go to any college that allows them in!

West Point, New York, July 1977

Admissions interviews are being held in Chicago and Des Moines. but Dad insists that we go to West Point itself, so I can see how great it is.

We leave Mom and my brother and sister visiting our family in Indiana, and drive out with my Uncle Paul: twelve hours on the highway, a very long trip even with the three of us sharing the driving.  Then a day at West Point, and another very long day driving back.

The campus is very beautiful, stately Gothic architecture on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River.  Some of the buildings date from the Revolutionary Era.

 But soon I notice some problems:

Arabic is no longer offered as a major.  You can take two years of classes while you major in something else.

There are lots of hot guys around, but it isn't a male-only atmosphere.  West Point began admitting women just this year.

And many of the men are wearing big, bulky gold rings!  Rings are disgusting, effeminate, sure signs that you are a swish!

I thought they weeded out all of the swishes?

At my interview, I decide to bring up the issue.

The recruiter, Major Baskerville, is middle-aged, balding, with a barrel chest and a prominent bulge.  I imagine what he must look like naked before asking:

"On my psychological evaluation, there were a lot of questions that looked like they were trying to screen out the fairies.  How effective are they?"

He stares at me in surprise -- evidently most prospective cadets aren't so concerned about maintaining the purity of West Point.  I congratulate myself.  This interview is going great!

"Well, it's mostly effective, but it's inevitable that some cadets with..um...homosexual tendencies will slip through the cracks.  If we learn about any homosexual conduct, the cadet involved will be instantly expelled, of course."

"Great. I sure don't want to be bunking down with any fairies!  I was worried with so many of the guys wearing sissy rings."


"Hmm."  Major Baskerville returns to my file.  "I see you don't have any sports involvement.  Any reason for that?"

Gulp.  I can't tell him that I hate sports.  "Um...just no time.  I was on the wrestling team in junior high, but I dropped out."

"Why was that?"

Oh, no, I can't tell him about my opponent getting aroused during a match!  "Um...just no time."

"Sports are very important.  They build team spirit and reduce inappropriate..."  he trails off, looking at my file again.  "So you play in the orchestra.  Violin and viola?"

"Right.  I'm in the orchestra pit for every spring musical.  This year we're doing Kiss Me, Kate, by Cole Porter."

"Um...well, we have an orchestra here at West Point, but we don't really have a drama program.  Most cadets aren't interested in...um...musical theater.  Maybe now that we have female cadets, that will change."

He asks a few more questions, about my interest in Arabic, how close I am to my mother and father, and for some reason my friendship with Verne, the Preacher's Son, and then concludes the interview with a salute instead of a handshake.

Rock Island, December 1977

I receive a form rejection letter.

"Don't let it bother you," Dad says.  "Only about 10% of the candidates are admitted.  You probably got some points off in the sports department."

"Oh, it doesn't bother me," I tell him. "There are lots of other colleges."

Actually, I'm a little relieved.  West Point seemed a little too...swishy.

Four months later, I finally came out:

We stop the fight right now, we got to be who we are.

And I thought back on that interview.  The questions about sports, musical theater, my parents, and Verne -- was Major Baskerville screening me for "homosexual tendencies"?

See also: My Last Wrestling Match; The Preacher Pops a Boner; and An Unsolved Murder and Two Redheads with Mortadellas