Friday, October 28, 2016
I was fifteen years old, in the summer after my sophomore year in high school, at music camp in Decorah, Iowa. I shared a dorm room with Todd (not his real name).
My first big crush: soulful eyes, tight smooth chest, nice abs, square hands.
His mother was Lebanese. I've found Middle Easterners sexy ever since.
He was Catholic, not Muslim. I've found Catholics sexy ever since.
It wasn't much -- I went down on him, with no kissing, no cuddling, no reciprocation. But my first time! Afterwards I tried everything to make Todd my boyfriend, including dating his girlfriend, but nothing worked. He didn't want anything to do with me.
During my junior year, we barely spoke. I don't recall seeing him at all during my senior year.
The years passed. I went to college, then grad school, moved to West Hollywood, moved to New York, got my Ph.D., moved to Florida, taught in Ohio, Upstate, and the Plains, had friends and boyfriends and hookups.
In 2016, 40 years after that night in Decorah, Iowa, he enrolls in one of my classes!
Plains, September 2016
Ok, it's not him. This Todd doesn't even look like my Todd. Much paler, thin, with an oval head and short black hair. Nice hands. Cute, but far short of the angelic beauty of my Todd, at least in my memory.
But it's not a very common name, so there must be a relation. Could this guy be my Todd's son?
Not likely. Maybe nephew or...gulp...a grandson?
I stalk this Todd on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. He's 20 years old, from a small town in Minnesota. He played hockey in high school. He's a social work major who volunteers at the domestic abuse shelter, and he is a canvass leader for the Democratic Party.
There are pictures of him fishing, playing hockey, and with his arm around a girl.
And with a rainbow flag over his profile stating "We are Orlando."
Probably straight, but certainly a gay ally.
Maybe he was named after his Uncle Todd, who is living in the gay neighborhood of Minneapolis with his partner of 30 years, who flies a rainbow flag from his front porch and marches in every Gay Pride Parade.
Unfortunately, he drops my class after two weeks, before I have a chance to ask.
I'm not going to give up that easy! I get his class schedule from the registrar and "accidentally" run into him in the hallway just as one of his classes is letting out. He's walking by himself, texting furiously.
"Hey, Todd!" I exclaim. "You dropped my class!"
He looks up and smiles, flattered that I recognize him from a class of 150. "Yeah, sorry. It was interesting and everything, but I over-extended myself. I'm a canvass leader for the Democratic Party, and with the election coming up..."
"Oh sure, no problem." I begin to walk alongside him. "The reason I remembered you is, you have the same name as one of my good friends in high school, so I thought you might be related. It was in Rock Island, Illinois in the 1970s."
"I'm named after my uncle, but he's from Wisconsin. Cool coincidence, though. It's not a very common name."
Dead end! Oh, well, at least I got to talk to a cute guy.
Todd flashes that unmistakeable cruising glance -- face, crotch, face. "If you have some free time, we can always use guys to canvass for Hillary," he says, grinning, with a touch to my shoulder. "There's pizza afterwards."
Unfortunately, I'm really busy this semester, too busy to go canvassing for Hillary in the hope of hooking up with Todd.
I run into him again a week later in the Student Union.
"Hey, it's my best friend from high school!" I joke.
"I wish!" Todd says. "You must have been something else way back then!"
"Nothing wrong with me now. I can do 48 pushups in a minute."
"Oh, no, I didn't mean....you look great! Um..." Flustered, he says "I just meant you would have been fun to hang out with."
A couple of weeks later, Todd shows up during my office hours. "Guess what? I went home last weekend, and asked my Dad. Turns out they did live in Rock Island for about five years during the 1970s. Then they moved to Wisconsin."
"So your uncle is my old high school friend, aftr all!"
"Looks like it! I brought some pictures and Dad's old yearbook to show you."
He hands me a yearbook from Green Bay East High School, 1979. Todd's father stares at me from across the years.
"Hot!" I exclaim without thinking.
Todd grins. "Yeah, I never thought about it, but I guess he was kinda built. Do you recognize him?"
"No. To be honest, I didn't even know that my Todd had a brother. He just mentioned a sister."
More pictures. My Todd among his brothers and sisters. His college graduation. His wedding. Then only a few photos, taken at family functions. His kids as babies. Christmas. Thanksgiving. His kids as teenagers. Their high school graduations. Todd in middle age, very bald and very chubby.
"Thanks for bringing these," I say. "It's so weird to meet the nephew of my high school friend, after so many years. Funny, I thought he was gay. I wasn't out yet, at the time, but I definitely got a gay vibe from him."
Todd is completely unfazed by my subtle coming out. "Uncle Todd? He tells more homophobic jokes than Seth McFarlane [the producer of Family Guy]. He's a hardcore Republican, pro-life, against gay marriage, against Syrian refugees...you name it, he's against it. Mom and Dad are really progressive, so they don't get along very well. Um...sorry to burst your bubble."
How the mighty have fallen!
"That's ok," I say, though I am actually crestfallen. "A lot of guys I went to high school with turned out to be homophobic. It was a homophobic era."
Drive three hours across the Prairie to the birthday party of someone I don't know, to reunite with someone I had sex with 40 years ago, who is now an ultra-homophobic jerk?
Staunch Democrat Todd obviously just wants me there to scandalize his conservative Republican uncle with a gay "ghost from the past."
"Sounds like fun!"
"Great! I'll tell Dad you're coming. But just so you know -- there will be a lot of people in the house, so you'll probably have to spend the night in my bed. That won't be a problem, will it?"
I grin. "Not at all."
New Ulm, Minnesota, October 2016
It was fun, making the bald, chubby, ultra-conservative homophobe who I once had a crush on squirm in his seat as I described my life in West Hollywood, my ex-boyfriends, my research on gay communities. I didn't mention that night at music camp, of course, but you could tell he was worried that I would bring it up and "out" him to his family.
I could hear him thinking: "I had sex with a homo! If anyone finds out, I'll be ruined!"
But I couldn't help wondering if it was his first time, too.
And if he'll be telling this story in 40 years.
See also: My First Sexual Experience
Thursday, October 27, 2016
"I don't visit you in Manhattan next weekend," Yuri said. "I must go to Russian Orthodox seminary Upstate."
"A seminary? Whatever for?"
"There is a weekend for sveštenik kandidata, guys who want to be priests."
"What?" I repeated, shocked. "You want to be a priest?" He had been out for less than two years. Had he succumbed to religious fundamentalism? Was he trying to turn "ex-gay"?
"No, of course I don't really want to be a priest." Yuri said. "It is to keep...closet. So I don't tell them I am gay, and I can still go to services."
When I met Yuri, I never expected him to be religious. He grew up in the Soviet Union, where religious belief was discouraged. He grew up gay in the Russian Orthodox Church, one of the most brutally homophobic denominations in Christianity. Plus he was a logical, empirical scientist.
But when he was a kid in Volgograd, his grandparents took him to Mass nearly every week. He loved the candles, the incense, the droning liturgy in Old Slavonic, and especially the icons, visual images of the Saints, reaching out to him in friendship and love.
They were fully clothed, not as homoerotic as many artistic depictions of saints in Roman Catholicism, but still, they were an alternative to the "girls! girls! girls!" drone he heard everywhere else.
When he went to graduate school in America, all the way across the ocean, thousands of miles from what he knew, he looked back with nostalgia on those hours in church. Going to church was an anchor, a memory of home.
The only problem: you absolutely, positively had to be closeted in the Russian Orthodox Church. If anyone found out, you would be kicked out the door -- after the screaming.
In Manhattan it was easy. Whenever he visited me for the weekend, he took the subway to the St. Nicholas Cathedral on 97th Street, where he could be anonymous, lost amid the milling crowds.
On Long Island, it was harder. In a tiny congregation Yuri couldn't be anonymous. Teenage girls flirted with him. Middle-aged ladies tried to fix him up with their daughters. Every guy he tried to cruise asked him to evaluate girls. There were constant questions: "Are you married?" "Are you seeing anyone?" "Why not?"
How else could he signal that he was not interested?
Then the idea came: he could say that he wanted to become a priest!
"Sorry, I am considering a priestly vocation. I can't date."
That stopped the fix-ups altogether, and the other guys stopped asking him to rate girls.
Unfortunately, word got around to the parish priest, who started giving him smiles and gifts and hand-on-shoulder talks. and told him about a weekend for postulants (men thinking of the priesthood) at a seminary nearby. And even offered him a ride up with two of the other pre-seminary boys.
There was no getting out of it -- Yuri was going to go on a postulant weekend.
"It might be fun," I said. "I remember back when I was a Nazarene, they dragged us to pre-college weekends at Olivet. Since everyone assumed that no Christian could be gay, I could cruise openly. And I got some nice bulge sightings."
It was a four-hour drive to the seminary. They arrived in time for a communal dinner, students and monks together, in the Refectory. Then a service called the Compline, and into their dormitory for "study and contemplation."
The dormitory rooms were huge, twelve seminarians on narrow beds with desks between them, with a little tv lounge and a bathroom and shower room off to the side.
They walked naked to the shower. There was a lot of towel-snapping, butt grabbing, and leering, but no fondling.
Lights out at 10:00 pm, and the dorm room got quiet.
Then the stirring began. After awhile, a guy stood and walked across the cold stone floor, presumably to the bathroom.
But he hadn't turned the light on, and there was no water was running.
Yuri got up and followed. The seminarian was in one of the toilet stalls, with the door open.
His Bratwurst+ fully aroused, waiting.
Yuri followed him in, closed the door, knelt, and went down on him.
He finished quickly without a word or even a moan. Then they both stood and returned to their beds.
He estimated that seven of the twelve guys went "to the bathroom that night" for oral sex, some more than once, while he and two other guys volunteered to be the bottoms.
They got up at 5 am and dressed. Of course, no one acknowledge what had happened last night.
The Divine Liturgy was at 6:00 am, followed by breakfast and chores. There was a candle factory, a printshop, a museum, and a bookstore.
Saturday afternoon they had off. Some of the seminarians took Yuri down to Cooperstown, about 20 miles away, to see the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He carefully introduced gay topics.
Saying "Look -- that guy is hot, isn't he?" got only cold stares.
Asking "What do you do when one of your friends tells you that he is gay?" got a savage response: "Don't talk to him! Don't associate with him! He is possessed by a demon!"
They were back by dinner at 7:00, Compline at 8:00, and more study and contemplation.
Again, no one acknowledged what happened last night. They had breakfast and studied until the Divine Liturgy began at 9:00 am. Then, after lunch, they drove back to Long Island.
"Sounds like a fun weekend," I said. "More action than you'd get in the Village."
"Yes, sure," Yuri said. "But it made me sad. Everything was closed, closet. The guys pretend it doesn't happen the next day, and they say homophobic things. Not open. And...the worst of everything... it was sex only. Nothing warm, nothing happy, just trying to get it over."
He moved across the couch and knelt over me. "We will kiss now."
See also: Sausage Sighting of a Baptist Boy
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
A few weeks after I moved to the East Village in 1998, I started dating Blake, who lived in my building. Seemingly an ideal boyfriend: in his 30s, black, muscular, religious (devout Episcopalian), with a Mortadella beneath the belt. BUT he was pretentious, elitist, an opera buff, and always had a glass of wine in his hand. Eventually I pawned him off onto Yuri, and they dated for about three months.
He and Yuri stayed friends. Sometimes when Yuri came to Manhattan for the weekend, he got all of us tickets to Broadway shows and operas. I generally dislike operas, but the performers often wore bulgeworthy tights, and afterwards we often went to parties with big name celebrities in attendance, like Andrew Lloyd Weber.
Apparently Yuri stayed in contact. When we came back to New York for a visit in June 2009, he suggested that we spend a day with Blake.
"And the night. He's the ex-boyfriend for both of us, so it's polite to ask him to share."
"But he'll invite us to the opera!" I protested.
Yuri shrugged. "You can live through an opera, if you look at the bulges."
Fact: all opera singers are huge beneath the belt.
"Ok, I'll call him."
After living in the straight world for four years, I was anxious to immerse myself in the gay world of the Village, pay my respects to Christopher Street and the Oscar Wilde Bookstore, go cruising at Boxers, with its outdoor patio, and so on.
Instead, after dropping our stuff off at Blake's apartment, we went to the Guggenheim and the Frick Museum.
Yuri and I had already been there!
Instead of dinner at a gay restaurant in the East Village, they took us to a place on 45th Street, near the New York Public Library.
Godawful, pretentious, all light and glass, with tiny $35 "plates" of broche cavatappia roule. Lots of cocktails on the menu. $5 for a Diet Coke.
And all female servers. Half the fun of going out to eat is gawking at the hot waiters!
I wasn't in a good mood.
I nudged Yuri. "Hot dogs later. And cruising."
In the 8 years since I'd seen him last, Blake had gotten a little gray around the temples and chunky around the belly, but he was still quite attractive.
His boyfriend Kris wasn't bad, either. A chubby twink, late 20s, with deep-set blue eyes, a short beard, and a hairy chest. Except he outdid Blake in pretentious snark.
"Upstate New York? All cow tipping and tractor pulls!"
"No, I don't work out. Who wants to spend an hour sweating to narcissistic gym bunnies? You know they're all swishy queens anyway!"
His only good quality: he was an opera singer.
Fact: all opera singers are huge beneath the belt.
Please, not the opera! I thought.
Fortunately, the New York opera season was over. Instead, Blake took us to Blithe Spirit, a Noel Coward comedy, starring gay actor Rupert Everett, Angela Lansbury, and Christine Ebersole.
A gay playwright, a gay star -- you can't go wrong with that!
Except the play was entirely heterosexist. It's about a man being haunted by the ghost of his ex-wife, which causes problems with his current wife. Not a hint of beefcake or buddy bonding.
Afterwards, "drinks" -- another $5 Diet Coke -- at a straight bar. With Rupert Everett, who proved even more pretentious than Kris, and borderline homophobic, bashing:
Gay subtexts: "Don't you hate dreary queens who think everything should be about them?"
Gay marriage: "A dreadful idea!"
Gay sex: "Be honest, doesn't it seem just a little silly to put your penis down a man's throat?"
I hoped Rupert wasn't planning to spend the night with us -- I was tired, hungry, upset, and not at all in the mood to put anyone's penis down my throat.
Thankfully, the evening soon came to an "early" end, around 1:00 am, and we stumbled back to Blake's apartment for a "nightcap."
My fifth Diet Coke of the day. I anticipated getting up every hour all night.
"Now, about the bedroom arrangements," Blake said. "There certainly isn't room for four of us in our bed, but I'm anxious to see -- and feel -- my ex-boyfriend again. So, if you're amenable to it, I'll take Yuri into the master bedroom, and Boomer, you and Kris can have the guest room."
"Is it ok?" Yuri asked.
Kris leered at me.
Well, maybe I was up for having a man's penis down my throat after all.
"Sounds great," I said. We gathered for a group hug and fondle, and then Kris took my hand and led me to the guest room.
1. Not all opera singers are huge beneath the belt. Kris logged out at 5".
2. Plus he was an anal bottom.
3. Who didn't like cuddling.
See also: The Opera Buff and The Roommate Switch; Yuri and the Sausage Size Contest
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Sharing and sex parties were unknown; I tried to introduce them, with little success. There was a bath house about 2 hours away, but small and not very busy.
Gay men of an earlier generation fled from the oppressive homophobia of London, Paris, and New York for sex holidays in the Middle East, where same-sex desire was open and accepted, and nearly every man was available. I fled to the Gay World as often as I could.
Here are my top 10 Upstate vacation hookups:
1. Indianapolis. I visited once or twice a year to visit my parents and sister, who actually about a 45 minute drive away. A full gay neighborhood with bars, restaurants, organizations, and two bath houses, lots of guys, but the most memorable was my ex-boyfriend Fred's son.
2. Cleveland. A good stopping-off place between Upstate New York and Indianapolis, with the Flexx Club, one of the best sex clubs anywhere, a huge facility with two swimming pools, a disco, a restaurant, two saunas, several video rooms, and mazes of private rooms. An an outdoor patio with a nice view of downtown. In 2012, Troy and I hooked up with Lester the Shy Boy, whose friends told him that he couldn't leave until he had been with five guys, or one guy five times.
3. Dayton. If you spend the night in Cleveland, you're in Dayton about noon, perfect for having lunch with old friends and "sharing" with their boyfriends du jour before taking th next two hours to Indianapolis. And if I timed it right, I could go to Rode's M4M Party and hook up with Shawn, the winner of the Biggest Penis Contest.
4. New York. Upstate was only about four hours from New York City, but that meant two hours through narrow, winding country roads in the Catskills and two hours of wall-to-wall traffic, so I only visited a few times. My favorite visit was with Yuri; we reunited with Blake the Opera Buff, the ex-boyfriend of both of us, and I hooked up with his boyfriend, an opera singer.
6. Philadelphia. There for a conference in November 2009, I hated it. My hotel was shabby, the sightseeing was mediocre, and the hookup options were very limited. How did my friend David from San Francisco have so much success there? My only hookup was with a tourist from Omaha.
7. Washington, DC. I love DC, with its gutsy Dupont Circle a stone's throw from the White House, but when I went there for a conference in November 2011, I was concerned. My last visit was with my friend Alan, who died in 2005. Would I be seeing his ghost everywhere? Actually, I ended up channeling his enormous joie de vivre, and his uncanny ability to attract Asian guys.
8. Amsterdam, I used to go every year, timing my visit for the weekend, and the Sunday night meeting of the Horseman's Club, for guys with 8" or more (and, recently, their admirers). In June 2011 I took Yuri, and we hooked up with a guy who was actually rather small.
10. Montreal. My favorite city in North America, and only a six-hour drive from Upstate. Lots of good Montreal stories, but the best is in October 2009, I took Troy to his first video booth, and we hooked up with a buffed, hairy-chested French Canadian farmer.
One day in the summer of 2015, a few weeks after the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the U.S., I get a wedding invitation in the mail, and a request to be in the wedding party!
Heterosexuals complain that they're constantly going to weddings, as their friends one by one tie the knot. I've never had that problem. Until recently, gay people were not permitted formal, official ceremonies, and they rarely had informal ones. The boundary between boyfriend and partner was too fluid, and besides, your parents and the other heteros often didn't know that you were with someone, sometimes didn't even know that you were gay.
A gay wedding! I can't wait.
Besides, it's from Lane, my ex-partner, so all of my West Hollywood friends will be there.
I've only met his partner Ben once, when I flew back to West Hollywood for a week-long visit. A week was way too long!
He was in his early 60s, tall, rather buffed -- he spent every afternoon at the gym -- with greying salt-and-pepper hair and a moustache. Attractive, but elitist, conservative, and a bit crotchety.
No sharing, no parties, no going out to the bars to cruise. I couldn't even invite a guy over to spend the night with me.
I pointed out that Lane and I went to every bath house in Europe, plus bear parties and sex clubs, and nearly every Saturday night we were at the Faultline or Basgo's, looking for someone to "share."
Lane shrugged. "I grew up."
Grew up, or got stodgy under Ben's tutelage?
And when I was asked out by a 20-year old, all hell broke loose:
"What are you doing dating a guy young enough to be your son?" Ben exclaimed. "Stick to guys your own age!"
"Um...I'm a twink magnet. I can't help it."
"Nonsense. You just like twinks because you can't handle the responsibilities of a grown-up relationship."
I almost walked right out the door, but I thought, this is Lane. You've been friends for nearly twenty years, and Ben will probably be out of the picture in a few months.
Guess he's still in the picture.
I check the invitation again. It's not even in West Hollywood. It's at Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Salt Lake City, Utah
A gay wedding in Salt Lake City? Homophobic redneck country? Whatever for?
I arrive at Salt Lake City International Airport at 3:00 pm. Lane picks me up and drives me directly to the church for the rehearsal.
"So, why are we in Salt Lake, and not West Hollywood?" I ask.
It seems that Ben grew up Mormon in Bountiful, a suburb of Salt Lake. He married, had two sons, and remained faithful to the church until he started trying to deal with his gayness in the 1990s. Saint Mark's was where he first felt accepted as a gay person, so it's got a special significance. Besides, his ex-wife, one of his sons, and many other relatives are still in Salt Lake.
Heterosexuals are invited to a gay wedding? I figured they'd be picketing and thumping Bibles, or Books of Mormon.
The wedding party isn't divided into bridesmaids and groomsmen, like in a hetero wedding. There are six people: Ben's sons and grandson, a lesbian couple, and the ringbearer, his five-year old granddaughter. And me, feeling out of place.
After the rehearsal, the wedding party and their husbands, wives, and kids are all going out to dinner at an Italian restaurant. "You're riding with us and Jan and her wife," Lane says. "It will be a little cramped..."
"Hey, Grandpa Ben, I'll drive him over." It's Brandon, the grandson, tall and thin with thick brown hair and "wholesome" movie star looks: blue eyes, dimples, a cleft chin.
Ben glares at me, probably thinking that I'm going to try to seduce the boy, but consents.
"I heard you lived in New York," Brandon says when we get in the car. "That must have been great, Broadway shows every night."
"It wasn't really like that. You spend so much on rent and food that there's not much left over for shows."
"Still, you were in New York! I'm moving there soon. I graduated from U.U. in May, and right now I'm doing choreography for Fiddler on the Roof at the Pioneer Theater. I've been interrogating Lane about Jewish folk dances. He was really into it, back in the day."
"Please! I haven't set foot inside a church since I was ten! I'm just Mormon for the culture -- and to get a starring role in The Book of Mormon!" He reaches over and grabs my knee.
Is this boy cruising? I know I'm a twink magnet, but...a friend of his grandfather?
I imagine flirting with one of Grandpa Prater's hunting buddies...and burst out laughing.
Brandon quickly moves his hand away, frowning.
"Sorry, I wasn't laughing at you. I just thought of something funny."
At the restaurant, Brandon tries to sit next to me, but Ben says "You're up here," and places me between him and one of the lesbians.
During dessert, Brandon comes up again and presses against the back of my chair. "Have you ever seen Temple Square at night? It's really breathtaking..."
Ben presses my arm. "Sorry, we need Boomer to talk over some details of the ceremony."
We drive to the hotel. To my surprise, I don't get my own room -- I'm sharing with Ben and Lane.
"The wedding is tomorrow at noon, and then after the reception we're leaving for our honeymoon," Ben says, "So this room will be all yours tomorrow night, for cruising or having orgies or whatever."
"And this will be the last time we see you until you visit again," Lane added. "So I thought we should share?"
"It's a special occasion."
I rarely finish more than once in an evening, but tonight it's two, then three times, and Ben is still ready for more, his mouth and hands everywhere.
The night before his wedding, he is way over-exuberant with another guy? Something is off here. Is he trying to tire me out so I won't "seduce" Brandon?
In the morning I'm too exhausted to go to the hotel's exercise room. We meet the lesbian couple for breakfast, have a brief tour of the city, and then go to the church.
Brandon catches me in the foyer. "Did you have a good night?"
Yes, I went down on your Grandpa! "It was busy," I tell him. "You'd be surprised how many details have to be ironed out."
"Um...." he begins, then stops. "Um...I was thinking, if you don't have any plans for tonight, you should see Fiddler. It's a great show. I'll be backstage, but we can hook up afterwards and have dinner."
"Sure, that would be great."
"Ok! I'll reserve the ticket, and pick you up at the hotel at 6:30." He looks around to see if anyone is watching, then leans in for a brief kiss. "I can't wait!"
But, after all, Brandon is not my grandson.
See also: 21 Surprising Facts about Lane; Cruising My Cousin's Son at a Funeral; and Picking Up the Best Man at My Sister's Wedding.
Monday, October 24, 2016
When I was growing up in the Nazarene Church, we spent a lot of time at Olivet, our college on the prairie of eastern Illinois. The church wanted to make sure that we went there after high school instead of some secular university where we would be taught liberalism, atheism, and evil-lution.
So there were ball games and special concerts, and beginning in ninth grade, an annual Olivet Weekend every fall, with a party, a nature hike, a church service, classroom visits, and the opportunity to spend the night in a real college dormitory.
It was actually sleeping bags on the floor of the lounge in the freshman men's dorm, but still, it was fun to be surrounded by cute college men!
In ninth grade, our host was David, a senior religion major (and baseball player) who told us how he was hoping to get a church near his home town, and his girlfriend Ruth, who mostly bragged about how she had scored the "handsomest guy on campus."
Only about half of the boys on campus wanted to become preachers, but almost all of the girls wanted to become preacher's wives, leading to some hefty competition.
On the Saturday night of our visit, David took us to a basketball game, and then to the Student Union for hamburgers.
The Red Room, Olivet's student restaurant, was packed with other kids and their escorts, so he took us to a nearby lounge: six couches and about a dozen chairs, most full, but one empty right next to the monitor's desk. It looked into a little alcove with a yellow couch, where two college couples were kissing.
"Hey, what's that -- a kissing booth?" I asked.
"Kissing corner!" David said with a grin. "The only couch the monitor can't see. Boy, I've had some good times there!"
We sat down facing the kissing couples. Kissing girls -- gross! But I was interested in one of the guys -- cute, dark haired, broad shoulders, handsome preacher's face. He leaned toward his girlfriend, put his arm around her, and they started kissing.
He had a sizeable bulge in his pants.
And he began to rise.
I sat mesmerized. The other boys started to giggle and whisper.
"Look, he's popping a boner!" someone said.
I head that term before. It meant something embarrassing.
"You guys having fun?" David was back with a tray of hamburgers and cokes. He turned to see what we were looking at, and grimaced. "Hey, Rick!" he yelled. "Your barn door's open!"
The college guy broke the embrace and put his hand over the "boner," covering it. "Hi, David!" he called. "Are these the new recruits?"
"Guys, say hello to Rick Stanley from my homiletics class, and his girlfriend Sue."
I went over and shook Rick's thick, meaty hand, the same one that a moment ago had been covering his boner, then returned, grinning, to where David was passing out our hamburgers.
Rick started kissing his girlfriend again. I watched for the bulge to rise.
Preachers had penises -- it was bizarre and strangely excited to think about. I imagined him as Brother Rick, preaching a screaming, Bible-pounding sermon in a brown business suit, then returning to the parsonage, where Brother David was waiting. And the two of them kissing. And their bulges rising....
After that I paid careful attention in church. Maybe the preacher would pop a boner in the middle of his rant!
See also: Dad Explains the Facts of Life.; Arabic and Class Rings; and Boys with Baseball Bats in my Attic Sanctuary