Friday, September 2, 2016

Body Shaming, Bullying, and Just Being Mean in Gay Communities

You grow up an outsider, constantly excluded, demeaned, and ridiculed for being gay.

You're called names, yelled at, told that you're a sinner, a pervert, a monster striving to destroy the society, as well as a frilly little lacy thing fit only for doing manicures and shopping for shoes.  You long for things to get better.  You long to find a place where you belong, a home.  And one day, you arrive.  You escape from the grim homophobia of the Straight World, find you way to West Hollywood or the East Village or another gay neighborhood.

Open up the closet door, watch out, here I come!

A new guy, nervous, scared, wounded from a lifetime of homophobia, but certain that here you will find friendship and love.

Instead, you are excluded, demeaned, and ridiculed.

Gay men -- your family, the place where you belong -- stare, snicker, and gossip about you.

Everyone travels in tightly-closed cliques, impossible break into unless you're dating one of them.

And dating is impossible.  The competition is rough, and you are constantly being rejected, for the most trivial of reasons,

You're too tall or too short, too fat or too thin,too old or too young.  Your chest is too hairy or too smooth.  Your penis is too small.  Your ears are too big.

I've never been shamed for my weight or size, but when I was a teen I got it for being too swishy, and in West Hollywood I got it for having a red birthmark on the back of my neck (of all the crazy things to notice!).  In the last few months my age has been starting to cause some "instant blocks" on dating apps.

I've never understood why many gay men are so quick to demean their brothers for a physical trait that they have no control over, as if it is a moral failure or evidence of weakness of character.

You don't get a small penis because you are a bad person or have an inadequate personality.  It's purely a matter of genetics.  And there's nothing whatever you can do about it.

You can't help getting older. It is a fact of life, not evidence of a moral shortcoming.

If you are fat or thin, you can theoretically go to the gym, but for many people weight management is very, very difficult, a life-long struggle with their metabolism.

Demeaning and rejecting someone on the basis of his physical appearance is known as body shaming today, but back in West Hollywood, we called it "being mean."

It's a form of violence.  It sends a clear message that the person being shamed does not deserve friendship or love, should not be seen in public, indeed does not deserve to exist at all.

That's a very strong message to be sending with a sneer.

In West Hollywood, my friends and I never refused to interact with people based on their physical traits.  If they said "hello," we said "hello."  And if asked to share a friend's boyfriend, we never refused, even if the sharing meant just fondling or going down on the guy for a few seconds.  It was basic courtesy.

This is a new world, but still, there are ways to be inclusive and welcoming without going home with guys you find unattractive.

1. Remove specific requirements from your online dating profile.  Reading "must be height-weight-proportionate, hung, under 30, masculine" over and over is like getting a dozen rejections without even talking to anyone.  Don't mention your tastes in men at all.  You won't be inundated by gorgons, believe me -- you're not all that. And it won't kill you to chat with someone skinny, swishy, small beneath the belt, or over 30.

2. Save Attitude for the rude guys.  In public cruising spots, people often give Attitude, pretend not to see, guys they are not attracted to.  Again, you can feel rejected a dozen times without ever interacting with anyone.  Save you Attitude for guys who make crass, boorish come-ons, and deserve to be ignored.

3. Talk to guys outside your comfort zone.  If you usually hang around with bodybuilders, talk to a fat guy.  If you like them under 30, talk to a 60 year old.  You'll find that they aren't much different from your usual contacts.  They have the same desires, dreams, hopes, and fears as everyone else.

4. Find something to like in everybody.  The most hideous guy on the planet has something attractive about him.  He tells bad jokes, has an interest in Star Wars memorabilia, or he spent a summer in Brazil.

If nothing else, he has survived a childhood of incessant attempts to force him to comform to the heterosexist mandate or kill himself.  He's still here.  That, in itself, is impressive.

5. Don't reject guys automatically.  Sure, you are especially attracted to guys who are muscular, hairy-chested, big beneath the belt, big-eared, between 40 and 50 years old, and have pierced nipples.  The gay world is small, and there aren't ,many guys who will fit your exact requirements, be into you and available, and have personalities that you can stand.  I would love to date some hairy bears in their 40s, but I'm surrounded by twinks, so I date twinks.

Try someone who does not fit your ideal of the perfect man. It won't kill you, and if after a date or hook-up you still don't like him, no harm done.

And maybe he'll cook breakfast in the morning.

6. Reject guys based on social criteria.  If you must reject someone, before or after a hookup, say "sorry, I don't think our personalities are compatible" or "sorry, I don't think we have enough in common," not "you're too fat" or "your penis is too small."  That is, something that is no one's fault, rather than a physical inadequacy.

See also: Is It Racist to Have a Type?

Nude Photos of O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson was a celebrity of the 1980s, a football player turned actor turned defendant in the trial of the century, for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.  Although he was acquitted, a civil court found him liable.  Twelve years later, he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in unrelated incidents.

After all that, do you still want to see him naked?

Ok, here he is, from his halcyon days as a football player.  Nice biceps, innie belly button, about 3" soft so probably a Kielbasa.  I would have dated him.

The full story of O.J. Simpson and his bromance with Kato Kaelin is on Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fred and the Icelandic Photographer

New York, August 2000

"Boomer, guess what!" Fred said breathlessly, in those days before texting overtook the telephone.  "I got a new job, in Bemidji, Minnesota!"

Last I heard, my ex-boyfriend Fred and his partner Jester -- a blind guy with an enormous penis who taught high school history -- were in Sandusky, Ohio, where Fred was working as an assistant pastor at a congregational church. Granted, a step down for someone with a doctorate in theology and ten years of pastoral experience, but Sandusky was a gay resort town.

What in the world were they doing in Bemidji, Minnesota?

Population 14,000.  Near nowhere at all (3 1/2 hours to Minneapolis, 4 1/2 hours to Winnipeg).

Famous for nothing in particular except a statue of Paul Bunyan, which isn't all that impressive.

One mixed bar, a campus gay organization, and that's it.

What else?  A job.

"I'm Protestant chaplain and director of Religious Life at Bemidji State University!"

Granted, a step up, but Bemidji, Minnesota?  Farther from the gay world than even Fresno.  What did Jester say?

"He's on board with it," Fred said curtly.   He never discussed his relationships unless forced, and then only briefly, the product of years of being closeted at work.

I was very busy during my last year in grad school, working two jobs, finishing my doctoral dissertation, and applying for every job in a gay neighborhood I could find, so I didn't contact Fred much.  Then in the spring I saw an ad for a job at Bemidji State University!

It might not be so bad.  Fred, Jester and I could start a gay political group, or maybe a weekly bear party like the one on Long Island.  And Minneapolis was close enough for weekend trips.

So in April I flew out for the interview.

Bemidji, Minnesota, April 2001

I soon discovered that the department were just inviting me so they could congratulate themselves on being so liberal.  They would never hire someone who researched gay topics, or as one interviewer called it, "sex education."

After dinner on Thursday night, they dropped me off at my hotel, and Fred picked me up for dessert at Rudy's, followed by cruising at the mixed bar.

Sitting beside him in his car was not Jester, but a Cute Young Thing I had never seen or heard of before.

He was  tall and skinny, with shoulder-length hair, a moustache, and a hard smooth chest.  There was a map of Iceland tattoo on his arm.

He introduced himself as Stefan, from Iceland, an art major at Bemidji State.

Where was Jester?  

"Oh, Jester is back in San Bernardino," Fred said dismissively.  "He came out for a couple of months, but then decided to go home."

"I can understand that.  It's hard for blind people to adapt to new environments, and I'll bet teaching credentials don't transfer from state to state.  He'd have to go back to school in order to teach here, right?"

"No, he just didn't like the cold weather," Fred said.

"And he missed the California beach boys," Stefan said in fluent English, with a little lilt in his voice.  "Never anything on his mind but sex, sex, sex, all day and all night!"

That didn't sound like Jester.  Time to change the subject.  "I love Iceland!  I visited when I was in college.  Reykjavik is beautiful."

"Reykjavik is too big and noisy.  Gritty.  Have you ever been to Akureyri?  It's still quiet, no tourists.  You can hear yourself think."

"  I've just been to Rekjavik, and to a hot springs about an hour away."

"If you have been to Iceland," Stefan continued, "You must learn the Icelandic language.  It is the most pure of languages, unchanged since the days of the sagas.  No modern influences.  Ég vil sjá hala þínum, I want to see your penis."

Ruby's was an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that served tin roofs, black cows, and phosphates.  Stefan talked about the Old Icelandic sagas and the travels of Norse kings.  He was actually sort of interesting.  But he wouldn't eat anything -- "I don't want to turn into a fattie, like the Americans."

"Where have you been in the U.S. besides Bemidji?" I asked.

"Minneapolis, and a few days in New York."

"I live in New York.  Great, isn't it?"

"What a dump!" Stefan spat.  "It smells like a garbage can, and the people do nothing all day but watch the television.  How can you live in such a place?"

Ugh.  Stefan was as elitist as Fred's ex-boyfriend Matt.  I hate elitists, but apparently Fred couldn't get enough of them!

The mixed gay-straight bar was dark and rather seedy, with scary-looking guys propping up beer bottles like phalluses.

"Trolls!"  Stefan exclaimed.  "In Iceland, trolls are big, clumsy fellows who eat people.  Here they are just ugly and smell of armpits.  But we will dance, Boomer, ok?  Fred won't dance with me."

There was no one dancing.  "No, thanks," I said.

"Americans are so in the closet!  No one will shoot us if we just dance together!"

But I continued to refuse, and Stefan sat pouting for awhile, silent as Fred and I caught up on old friends, except for an occasional rude interjection:

"Lane just lives on his mother's money?  Is he handicapped?  In Iceland everyone must work."  

I didn't really feel like sharing this elitist jerk, but it had been about two years since I was in Fred's bed, so I consented to go back to his apartment.  The moment we came through the door, Stefan ran to the bathroom -- "I can't use the sickening, dirty bathroom at the bar!"

Fred nudged me.  "Isn't he great?  So cosmopolitan!  We'll be together for the rest of our lives, I guarantee.  I've never met anyone like him before!"

"Really?"  He seemed exactly like Matt, in his Cute Young Thing days, before he turned down the sarcasm and started trying to be friendly.  "Stefan doesn't remind you of any of your old boyfriends?"

" one comes to mind.  Well, he does remind me of Jester in one way."

"His interest in history?"

"No."  He grinned.  "Something else."

"So, are we ready for the sharing?"  Stefan walked out of the bathroom, already naked, a Kovbasa++ just as big as Jester's swinging between his legs.

I stared.

"Don't just look.  Who wants to go down on me first?"

You're probably wondering about the mechanics of going down on a guy with 11".  It works best with two guys, one working on the head and the other working on the shaft.  Unfortunately, Fred was a top, and not really into giving oral, so I had to handle the entire job.  Not that I minded.

See also: The Naked Nordic God of the Icelandic Hotsprings; The Tacher with Sixteen Inches

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Boy Who Liked Grandpas

Plains, August 2016

I put "No Daddy fetishes" in my online hookup profile, because otherwise I would get pick-up lines like "Daddy, I've been bad! Punish me!"  every five seconds.

Daddy fetishists are everywhere.  Half the twinks I've met are interested in being dominated by an older guy with a deep voice and chest hair.

But last night was the first time I ever met a Grandpa fetishist.

"Hi, Grandpa!" a twink with the screen name Friends First said.

I assumed that he was just trying to be mean, so I didn't respond.

Then: "Do you have a present for me, Grandpa?"

"I'm not old enough to have a grandson of legal age, dagnabit," I answered.

But then I calculated.  I graduated from high school in May 1978.  If I...ugh...impregnated a woman on the night of my high school graduation, my son would be born in late January 1979.  He would graduate from high school in 1997.  If he...ugh..... impregnated a woman on the night of his high school graduation, my grandson would be born in January 1998,

And be 18 years old today.  Legal.

The 17 year old I dated last week was young enough to be my grandson.

I contacted Friends First again.  "Ok, I'm just barely old enough to be a grandfather, if both me and my son had kids as teenagers.  But I have a 48" chest and 16" biceps, and I can bench press 300.  Not many grandpas can do that."

"The hot grandpas can.  Will you let me sit on your lap, Grandpa?"

Getting into the spirit of the exchange, I channeled Grandpa Simpson: "Dagnabit, in my day, young whipper-snappers respected their elders, they didn't invite them to go spooning like some tarted-up Gibson Girl."

He responded with four nude selfies: slim, with thick black hair, a smooth chest, average penis.

"Are you sure you're 18, kiddo?"

"I get that all the time.  I'm 25.  How old are you?"

None of your business, Sonny!  "Old enough that even my fake age gets me senior citizen discounts."

He responded: "Hot!  Grandpa got moves!"

"Ok, you can come over, if you drop the Grandpa jazz."

"But that's what makes it fun...."

I tried to imagine what the attraction was in Grandpas.  Fathers were disciplinarians; they laid down the law.  You approached a Daddy to be dominated, even punished.

But grandfathers, relieved from the day-to-day tasks of childrearing, were all about fun.  They gave you presents, took you out for ice cream.

They were among the few adults allowed to hug you, hold you, put you in their laps.  But since they lived far away and didn't see you often, the touch didn't become familiar.  It had an erotic thrill.

So: grandfathers actually offered more erotic potential than fathers.

Friends First introduced himself as Sam.  He took his shirt off, but not his pants.  He wouldn't kiss.  He sat me down on the couch, fondled my chest and abs, and then unzipped and went down on me.  He was competent at oral, and very enthusiastic, so I finished quickly.  Afterwards I tried to go down on Sam, but he didn't become aroused.

"Sorry, Grandpa.  I only like giving, not getting.  You can f___ me if you want."

"Maybe in a few minutes. We oldsters take awhile, you know."  I zipped him back up.  He started fondling my chest again.  "So, what's the oldest guy you've ever been with?" I asked.

Suddenly Sam became serious.  "Well, you know, less than 1% of the adult male population is over 60, and most of them are not into young guys, or not into sex at all, so I don't meet a lot of Grandpas.  Some in their 60s, a few in their 70s.  I'm still hoping to cross the 80s barrier."

"Wow.  What's the youngest?"

"Other than fooling around with guys my age? 50, I guess."

"I'm beginning to feel too young for you."

"You are, a little.  But you'll grow into it.  That's the nice thing about liking old guys -- they just get better and better."  He knelt and began fondling and kissing my penis.  "About ready for another round?"

"In a little while.  You know, I run into a lot of Daddy fetishists, but you're the first guy I've met who is into the Grandpas."

"Go to Japan.  They have tons of elder porn. They call it Father Moon. Probably as many people are attracted to old guys as kids."

"You've really done your research."

"How can I not?  I mean -- look at this penis.  It was getting aroused, climaxing in guys' mouths and butts, back in the 1960s!"

"1970s.  Late 1970s."

"I mean, not only before I was born, before my Dad was born!  How can you not find that hot?"  He couldn't wait any longer and started going down on me again.

Well, you can't argue with his enthusiasm, but I think I'll stick to being a twink magnet.

And by the way, his Dad was born when I was five years old.

See also: Erotic Story about Me and My Grandpa #1: Wrestling Moves

Sunday, August 28, 2016

My Ex-Boyfriend Fred's Nine Lovers

We don't live just one life.  We may be "only dancing on this Earth for a short while," but during that short while, we are many different people.  We move to new cities, and take on new jobs. Friends and boyfriends come and go.

My first boyfriend Fred had many different jobs, cities, friends, and relationships.  In trying to make sense of his life, I decided to go with his lovers.

1. The Farmboy.  Fred was born on a farm in rural Western Illinois in November 1952.  Growing up, he milked cows and fed pigs, but he was not isolated from the social ferment of the 1960s. He watched The Smothers Brothers and listened to Jefferson Airplane.

In high school, Fred was a clean-cut all-American, lettering in football, taking girls to school dances, leading Sunday school classes at the United Methodist church, respected by his parents and the oldsters, who thought he was the exception to a generation full of "draft dodgers and hippies."

No one talked about gay people.  He was not aware that they existed, certainly not aware that he was himself gay.

He had no same-sex experiences except with the Farmboy, his girlfriend's brother, who lived about a mile down the road.  After his dates, he dropped off the girl with a chaste kiss on the cheek and then met the Farmboy behind the barn for moments of homoerotic joy.

2.  The Greek Professor.  After graduating from high school in 1971, Fred enrolled at Western Illinois University in Macomb, but transferred after a year to Knox College in Galesburg.

He majored in psychology, because he wanted to understand his desires better, and in Classics, because he was in love with his Greek professor: a Harvard Ph.D. in his fifties with a thick beard, a hairy chest, a little belly, and a Bratwurst beneath the belt.  The Greek Professor mentioned the gay loves of Zeus and Apollo -- the first time Fred ever heard gay people discussed in public.

Incidentally, he also initiated Fred into bottoming, which in those days was called "Greek passive."

3. The Episcopal Priest.  From 1976 to 1979, Fred was attending McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, studying for his Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in pastoral counseling.  None of his textbooks or classes mentioned gay people.   But somehow he found the gay neighborhood of Chicago, with its bars, bookstores, and bathhouses, and had several brief relationships and hookups.

Among his more memorable hookups was Ron Reagan, son of the future president, who he topped in his first Greek active experience.

His most memorable relationship was with Thomas, an Episcopal priest from Des Moines, who was certain that it was ok to be gay and Christian.  They remained friends for the rest of Fred's life.

See: The Priest with Three Boyfriends and Fred Hooks Up with the President's Son

4. Boomer.  In Rock Island for his internship year at the First United Methodist Church, Fred met Boomer, a 19-year old college student.  Fred fell hard and fast; within a week, he was thinking of Boomer as his soul mate, the one God or fate had predestined for him at the beginning of the time.

At the end of his internship, in the summer of 1980, Fred found a job as a youth minister at a United Methodist church in Gretna, Nebraska.  He convinced Boomer to drop out of college and follow him.

Neither was prepared for the daily routine of a live-in relationship.  Fred became controlling and argumentative, Boomer surly and jealous, certain that Fred was cheating with the teenager downstairs (and perhaps he was).   After five weeks, Boomer left, to return to college.

But, like the Episcopal priest, they remained friends.  Fred tried his best to keep his old loves in his life.

See: My First Date, with Fred the Ministerial Student and Fred and the Teenager Downstairs

5. The Nephew.  Fred rebounded, falling hard and fast into the arms of another 19-year old college student, a University of Nebraska sophomore who moved in with him after only two dates.  Closeted, Fred introduced him as his "nephew."  They stayed together for about two years.

I don't know why they broke up -- I suspect that the Nephew graduated and moved somewhere for a job.

In 1982, Fred left Gretna to become senior pastor of the United Methodist Church in Horrible Small-Town Kansas. He was pressured to date, and in fact had several lady friends, keeping his same-sex activity strictly on the downlow.

See: I spend the night with Fred and his boyfriend, in his parents' house.

6. Matt.  In 1985, Fred decided that he couldn't take the closeting anymore, so he left the ministry altogether for a job as a mental health counselor in Kansas City.  In May 1987 he met Matt, a recent Harvard graduate who was elitist, sarcastic, and all kinds of crazy, but had a good heart.  They were together for ten years.

In 1988 they moved to Claremont, California, where Fred studied for his D.Min degree.  Afterwards Fred got a job as a youth pastor in San Bernardino, then a family counselor in Fresno.  Matt, who had never had a job, stayed home to cook and clean, becoming a veritable "housewife."

Fred believed in monogamy, staying faithful to one guy forever.  He was never comfortable with the West Hollywood custom of sharing, or of going down on guys as entertainment at a party.   Yet there were so many Cute Young Things around, a kaleidoscope of biceps and bulges.  It was impossible to resist.  He began a pattern of hookups and even full-fledged affairs without telling Matt.

In 1996, Matt discovered that Fred had been cheating, and left him.  But they stayed friends, of course.

See: Matt's First Night with Fred and His Brother; and How Matt Began Renting Himself Out

7. Jester.  Fred did not handle breakups well.  He was so distraught when Matt left that he quit his job and returned to San Bernardino, where he went to work as a mental health counselor.

He immediately began dating Jester, a college student, later history teacher, blind, with an upbeat attitude and a footlong beneath the belt.

They were together for five years, finally breaking up in 2001.  The breakup was rough, with accusations and rage on both sides.  They didn't stay friends afterwards.

See: The Blind Boy with the 12" Penis and The Blind Boy Finds His Way into Fred's Bed.

8. The Icelandic Photographer.  The next decade is a blur of cities -- Sandusky, Ohio; Bemidji, Minnesota; Pocatello, Idaho; Mesa, Arizona.  A blur of jobs -- homeless advocate, assistant pastor, manager of psychiatric services.  And a blur of boyfriends, Cute Young Things by the dozens finding their way into Fred's apartment for a month, for a week, for a single day.

Why didn't he commit to anyone in particular?  Maybe he was afraid of losing his heart -- and soul -- yet again.

Maybe it was difficult for a guy in his 50s to form permanent relationships with 20-year olds he found most attractive.

Or maybe, after so many years of monogamy, Fred wanted to sit back and enjoy the ride, enjoy all the fun of a relationship with none of the responsibilities.

The only relationship that stands out in the blur is the Icelandic Photographer, who I met in 2001, when they had just begun dating. An art student at Bemidji State University, with long hair, a moustache, a hard smooth chest, and a Kovbasa beneath the belt.  He had an Icelandic flag tattooed on his hand.

"This is it!" Fred told me.  "I've never met anyone like him before!  We're going to be together for the rest of our lives!"

Fred never mentioned him again.

See: Fred and the Icelandic Photographer

9. Tyler. In 2011, Fred took a job as director of mental health services for the Disciples of Christ Church in Indianapolis.

After hooking up with a 26-year old chef named Tyler, Fred moved in with him, as a roommate.  He became close to Tyler's mother, Georgina, and a surrogate father to his brothers, Rusty and Max.  They even took family portraits together.

Fred and Tyler were Platonic friends, a stepfather and stepson.  After that first night, they never slept together, not even for "sharing," and each sought out other lovers. But it was Tyler who took care of him when he got sick in 2016, who helped him into and out of his wheelchair and drove him to his doctor appointments, and who was holding his hand that last day in the hospice.

Maybe, at the end of his life, Fred finally found his soulmate.

See: I Spend the Night with Fred's Son


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