Saturday, September 10, 2016
My partner Lane turns 38 today and Randall, the Muscle Bear with the Pierced Penis, is throwing him a dinner party. We have the usual discussions of dates from hell, celebrity hookups, and enormous penises, and somehow get around to incest stories.
Will the Bondage Boy tells about hooking up with his cousin when they were kids.
I tell about the brothers who both flirted with me in Houston, but changed it into a three-way encounter.
Then Lane says "I'll bet none of you but Boomer knows this, but I have a brother."
I didn't know! Lane always said he was an only child. When Rosa died, he was the only beneficiary in her will, other than Temple Beth El and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
"Is he homophobic, and estranged?" Randall asked.
"Not at all. In fact, we made out. And not when we were kids. We were both full-grown adults."
West Hollywood, September 1984
Sometimes funerals are fun, and not in a Goth way. If the person was elderly, or died after a long illness, then the funeral is not sad, it's a celebration of their life. You get to meet their relatives and old friends, and learn things about them that you never knew.
Lane grew up with his parents' funny, sad, and romantic stories, so he thought he knew all there was to know about his father:
Aaron was born into a Lithuanian Jewish family in Boyle Heights, California on March 4th, 1923. After high school he joined the army, and fought in Italy during World War II. He was shot in the leg and sent home, where he went to work in his parents' hardware store. In 1953 he married Rosa, a Holocaust survivor from the Netherlands.
He owned a clothing store and two apartment buildings in West Hollywood, attended Temple Beth El, visited Israel twice, voted Democrat in every election, and put way too much salt on his food.
But there was one thing Lane didn't know.
Three days after Aaron died, Lane and his boyfriend were alone in the house -- Rosa was out with her cousin and niece -- when there was a knock on the door.
It was like looking in a mirror. The guy standing there with a suitcase in hand was the same height as Lane, with the same physique, same face, even the same haircut. Except he was a little older.
He opened the door slowly, in shock.
"You must be Lane!" his doppelganger said, holding out his hand. "I'm your half-brother Leo."
Lane was speechless.
"I take it Dad never told you about me?"
They sat on the couch, Lane so shaky that Morgan had to help him down. "You guys look so much alike, it's freaky!" he exclaimed.
Leo smiled and held out his hand. "Sorry, we were never introduced...."
You never came out to strangers in 1984, but Lane could hardly introduce Morgan as a cousin from Poland: he was black, buffed, with a smooth hard chest and an uncut Mortadella++.
"This is my boyfriend and roommate Morgan."
"Oh...um..." Leo stammered, heavily embarrassed, as heterosexuals in the Reagan Era usually were when forced to acknowledge the existence of gay people. - but at least he wasn't shouting. "I didn't expect you to be...of course, I'm perfectly fine with it. I have friends back in Chicago who are...do you...I mean, are you both...."
"We don't have AIDS," Lane said, annoyed. "Now let's hear about my Dad's double life."
When Aaron left the army in 1944, he moved to Long Island, lived with his uncle, and took a job in a men's clothing store. In 1945, he married Marie, a Catholic girl who worked at a nearby diner. They had a son named Leo. After a couple of years, they divorced, and Aaron returned to Los Angeles. .
"He wrote or telephoned me a lot," Leo continued, "And twice a year, on my birthday and in the spring, he flew out and spent a week with me. When I was a kid, I thought everybody had two fathers, one who lived with him, and one who visited."
"That would explain the business trips," Lane said. "But why didn't Dad tell me? He obviously told you."
Later Rosa said: "We wanted to tell you, but it was never the right time."
"Yes, we knew all about you. We even saw pictures. He didn't mention that you were...you know, but I imagine that he was tolerant and all."
"He was sort of homophobic, actually," Lane said. "He never wanted to meet Morgan, and wouldn't let us live in one of his buildings."
"That's odd, L.A. is so liberal. Back in Chicago, you don't talk about that sort of thing openly." He paused. "Hey, do you think while I'm visiting, you and Morgan could show me...you know, the gay life of L.A.? I'd love to tell my friends back home about it."
"I'm sitting shiva -- it's seven days of mourning after a loved one died. But maybe Morgan would bring you."
Lane was awakened shortly after midnight by the sound of Morgan and another guy coming into the bedroom, taking off their clothes, and climbing into bed with him. Still half asleep, he forgot all about Leo and figured Morgan had brought home a trick to "share." He started kissing and fondling the guy while Morgan went down on him, feeling his chest, fondling his testicles.
Then the guy pulled his face away, and Lane got a good look. It was Leo!
"Hey, hey, wait..." Lane murmured. "We're brothers. And you have a wife and kids...."
"They're in Chicago, and I'm here," Leo said. "I can't be this free at home. Only when I'm traveling, and too drunk to care!"
"And I can't pass up the chance to be with two Lanes!" Morgan exclaimed. "A Lane sandwich! You're even the same size beneath the belt!"
"Well, count me out. I'm still sitting shiva, and besides -- we're brothers!"
Lane watched while Morgan went down on Leo, and then topped him. He allowed himself to be pulled into a three-way cuddle for sleeping.
Sometime during the night, Leo vanished, leaving a note that said "Thanks! Keep in touch!"
West Hollywood, September 1993
"But I never saw or heard from Leo again," Lane said. "And Morgan didn't last much longer, either. He was hot, but he would grab anything that moved, you know. Like my own brother."
"Half brother," Randall reminded him. "The fantasy of half the guys in West Hollywood."
"Not me," Lane says. "I guess I'm old fashioned. I like to sleep with guys who don't share all of my DNA."
See also: Alan Hooks Up with a Father and Son; 21 Surprising Facts about Lane.; and My Date with Two Brothers and their Dad
With all that going on, the testicles tend to get ignored, but they're even more important to the sexual act. They produce testosterone, a hormone essential to sexual functioning as well as many of our favorite masculine characteristics -- muscle tone, voice, chest and facial hair. And they produce the semen that signals his orgasm.
Like the penis, testicles come in various sizes and shapes. Sometimes the two balls are very clearly defined in the scrotum, sometimes not. Sometimes one is bigger than the other.
Like the penis, the scrotum hardens, contracts, and presses up against the body during the sexual act.
And the testicles are even more sensitive than the penis. You're not going to be able to do oral calisthenics on them, but they are responsive to a light stroking, licking, or pulling.
If you're having a three-way, try putting one guy to work on the penis and the other on the testicles.
If the penis is big enough, you can even have a four-way, with two guys working on it and one on the testicles.
Add a fifth to kiss the guy, and you have a party.
Or you can work on the penis and testicles by yourself. That's why you have both hands and a mouth.
See also: The Ins and Outs of Oral Sex
Friday, September 9, 2016
When Dad turned 62, he and Mom retired, sold their house in Rock Island, and moved back to their home state of Indiana. They told me that I had to come out by August to pick up any of my stuff that was still in the house, or it would go to Goodwill.
I wanted my desk, two chairs, a couple of books, two paintings, and some other mementos.
And Lane had never been out of California, except to visit me in the Midwest and some trips to Europe and Israel. Time for a road trip!
The only problem is, after a lifetime in Los Angeles and over 20 years in West Hollywood, even Ojai seemed intolerably homophobic to him. And we would be driving through some of the scariest, most conservative, most homophobic states in the country.
"Well...I do like cute redneck farmboys."
Lane agreed to the Great Redneck Roundup of 1995:
Day 1: Phoenix, Arizona
This one was easy. We stayed with a couple Lane knew, transplants from the gay Jewish community in Los Angeles, who took us on a tour of Phoenix's gay neighborhood and later invited us into their bed. Sausage Count: 2
Day 2: Flagstaff, Arizona
After seeing the Grand Canyon, we drove down to Flagstaff to spend the night. At a gay-friendly bar, we hooked up with a young Hispanic guy who worked as a waiter. Sausage Count: 3
The heart of the Mormon world. We were getting cocky, figuring that we could pick up a guy anywhere in Redneck Country, like on the campus of Brigham Young University. Bust.
Day 4: Laramie, Wyoming
In a few years, the murder of Matthew Shepherd would make Laramie famous as haven of homophobia, but in 1995, we were just thinking cowboys. We went to the campus of the University of Wyoming, visited the Art Museum, and the Museum of the Plains.
Nobody in Laramie, but on the road: when you go to a rest stop at dawn, there are always a lot of trucks parked, where the drivers spent the night. Curious, I walked among them. One of the doors was open, and the driver was sitting inside, legs spread, waiting for a passerby to strike up a conversation -- and be invited into the cab. He turned out to be from Chicago, into kissing and oral. Sausage Count: Boomer 4, Lane 3
After four days in the Straight World, it was a relief to get to Denver, with its strong, well-organized gay neighborhood. And meeting guys was easy. A South Asian guy named Ravi took us back to his apartment.
On Day 6, we toured the Museum of Decorative Arts and then met Ravi and his friend Jason for dinner. We all went to a ballet at the Opera House, and then back to Ravi's apartment again. Sausage Count: Boomer 6, Lane 5
Day 7: Omaha, Nebraska.
I wanted to see the old places I knew from my month in Omaha with Fred. And found that saying "I'm from West Hollywood" attracts guys as readily as saying "I have a gigantic penis." We hooked up with a Cornhuster, an extremely buffed former University of Nebraska football player who now worked as a college recruiter. He was an anal bottom. Sausage Count: Boomer 7, Lane 6
Day 8: Des Moines, Iowa.
Thomas, the gay Episcopalian priest who took me to my first Gay Rights Rally in 1981, was still living in Des Moines, a Silver Daddy who still managed to attract Cute Young Things. We "shared" his latest boyfriend. Sausage Count: Boomer 9, Lane 8.
Along with visiting my parents and brother, packing up and shipping my stuff, and going to my old haunts, we had time to hang out with my old friend Dick and his partner. I also sent Lane out to JRs by himself, so we would be even. Sausage Count: 11
Day 12: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
We saw the famous Stave Church and went to a gay bar downtown, hoping to hook up with a Viking. Instead we hooked up with a black guy on the downlow, whose wife was an English professor at the University. Sausage Count: 12
Day 13: Rapid City, South Dakota
We were so tired from driving and seeing Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument that we forgot to cruise. Bust.
Day 14: Billings, Montana
We ended up in Sturgis, South Dakota, during the famous Sturgis Bike Rally. Hundreds of hot motorcycle guys riding around shirtless, beer in hand. But there was no place to stay in town, so we had to drive on to Billings, Montana. Again, too tired to cruise. Bust.
Day 15: Missoula, Montana
We loved Missoula. A very nice art museum, historic churches, antique shops, bookstores. I saw one of the most beautiful men on Earth fishing off a bridge, a cut-off t-shirt revealing enormous biceps. Lane stayed at the hotel, saying I could hook up by myself, so I went to a country-Western bar and met Jared, a real, actual cowboy (or so he said). Sausage Count: Boomer 13, Lane 12
Day 17: Spokane, Washington
It was scary driving through Idaho, where the anti-sodomy law brought a maximum penalty of life in prison. But then we arrived in Spokane, Washington, a little gay mecca, drawing gay guys from all over the redneck states. They were low-key, closeted; no "real" gay bars, but lots of gay-friendly bars and restaurants, and a lot of "street cruising." But we didn't pick up anyone. Bust.
Day 18: Portland, Oregon
A gigantic gay mecca, with a bathhouse that took up nearly a city block and a nice country-western bar. We did some cruising separately at the bathhouse (3 guys for me, 4 for Lane so we would be even). Sausage Count: 16
Day 19: Redding, California
Two days left, 4 guys to go. We pulled into Redding, a town of 90,000 near the Oregon border and Mount Shasta, where Bigfoot has been sighted. There was only one, small gay bar, and it wasn't very active.
"We can pick up the rest in San Francisco," Lane pointed out.
"Sure, but we're supposed to be getting guys in the Straight World, cowboys and truckers and rednecks."
I went up to the bartender and asked "Do you know of any clubs where you could meet several guys tonight?"
He told me about a bear party going on that night in a place called Happy Valley, where we got our remaining four! Sausage Count: 20.
Day 20: San Francisco, California
When you drive into town from the north, you go over the Golden Gate Bridge, an iconic San Francisco moment. We were too overwhelmed by being home, in the heart of the gay world, to bother with cruising. But we had already had 8 dates or "sharing" experiences, 4 bar hookups, 1 public encounter, and 7 guys from bear parties or bath houses, for a total of 20 sausages in 20 days.
Oh, and we saw the Grand Canyon, too.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
I didn’t go to movies much when I was a kid. Our church forbade them, and besides, I didn’t get an allowance until junior high. In 1968, I saw only 3 movies in a theater: Blackbeard’s Ghost, Yours, Mine, and Ours, and Oliver!
But during the summer of 1978, shortly after my senior prom, I was a high school graduate. I had a job at the Carousel Snack Bar and my own car: money and freedom. And I went to all the movies I could.
During the 10 weeks of summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day of 1978, I saw 21 movies, alone, with my brother, with Aaron and Darry and a boy I liked: Old Marx Brothers comedies at the Film Club, dollar movies at the Augustana Student Union, The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Nuart, and lots of blockbusters at the Showcase Cinemas (Animal House, The Cheap Detective, The End, The Eyes of Laura Mars, Grease, The Greek Tycoon, Seniors....).
One of them was my coming out movie. I never actually got to the end: I began to sob uncontrollably. I ran from the theater and ran to my car and sat in the front seat, sobbing. And when I stopped sobbing, I was able, finally, after 17 and a half years on the planet, to say the word.
You probably think that Rocky Horror did it. No, it was Grease.
It's a heterosexist boy-meets-girl fable, drawing on the 1950s craze, and therefore kin to Lords of Flatbush, Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley): during their senior year at Rydell High in the 1950s (actually 1962), "nice girl" Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) falls for greaser Danny (John Travolta), but he is only interested in girls who "put out." So her friends, the Pink Ladies, give her a tramp-makeover, and Danny is lured in.
But more: it's about masks, surface conformity hiding our true selves. Danny is sweet, sensitive, and caring, but his culture requires a pretense of machismo. When he falls for Sandy, he is forbidden from acknowledging that he is in love; it's supposed to be all about sex. Sandy, meanwhile, learns to hide her true self under a sleazy, leather-clad, cigarette-smoking facade.
At the time, both were heavily rumored to be gay. Conforming, wearing a mask.
But girls can only lure, hint at sexual availability. There are dire consequences for actually giving in, as Rizzo (Stockard Channing) learns.
What do the teenagers want, when they are their true selves? Not sex. Not romance. They want belonging, an emotional connection.
As the movie ends, the eight friends wonder what will become of them after graduation. Will they go their separate ways? "No," Danny exclaims. "That'll never happen. We'll always be together."
"Grease," performed by Frankie Valli, was constantly on the radio that summer.
This is a world of illusion, out of control, makes us confused: nothing is real, you have to wear the mask, say things you don't mean, pretend things you don't feel.
The adults are lying -- only real is real. It's all one big lie.
It's all one big lie. Only real is real.
We stop the fight right now, we got to be what we feel.
That did it.
I may be the only person in history to start sobbing uncontrollably during Grease.
See also: A Nude Party with the Golden Boy.; Grease Live.