Last September as I was driving through small-town Illinois on the way back from Indianapolis, I met Ryan H., a University of Illinois freshman, previously a high school track star from a small town.
For the next three months we chatted on Facebook and Snapchat. He invited me to visit him at Christmastime, and every now and then sent me a selfie to pique my interest.
And another, and another. Butts at first, but when I told him I was only into the front side, lots of shirtless shots. And cock-and-balls shots. Nude, aroused, fapping. [To protect his privacy, I changed his name and location, and none of these photos are actually of him.]
I was torn. 600 miles is a long way.
But he lives right on the way to my parents' house.
Besides, you never meet a perfect combination of face, physique, and Kovbasa++.
There was never really any doubt about what would happen. Wednesday, December 21st
I drive to Rock Island, work out in the spectacular gym next to the Holiday Inn, and get a Harris Pizza before going on Grindr and inviting a twink named Park over. He's not very cute, but he has a nice sized Mortadella+ for me to practice my oral skills on.
I'm going to need all the practice I can get before trying out Ryan's Kovbasa++ tomorrow night!
And I need a refresher on contemporary pop culture and slang. What does "stay woke" mean, for instance, and who the heck are the Chainsmokers?
Thursday, December 22nd
Breakfast at my favorite place in Rock Island, then a three-hour drive to Urbana. I get a room at the Holiday Inn and go to the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois, where there's an exhibit on "Making and Breaking Medieval Manuscripts."
At 3:00 pm, I lift weights -- chest and biceps only. I want to be good and pumped when I see Ryan.
Then it's time to for a protein snack and a shower. I put on my new underwear, jeans, t-shirt, and leather jacket, leaving nothing to chance, and drive to small-town Illinois.
5:00 pm: I expect to meet Ryan at a friend's house, or in a public place, but the directions he gives me are to a house in a flat suburb surrounded by cornfields.
A balding, paunchy middle-aged man answers the door, and offers me a handshake. "You must be Boomer. I'm Ryan's father, Marshall."
He told his father about me?
Not only his father -- Marshall leads me into a living room festooned with Christmas cards and holly, where I meet Ryan's mother and younger brother. They offer me eggnog (which I accept) and cheese-and-crackers (which I refuse) and ask the sorts of questions parents ask: "How did you and Ryan meet? What do you do?"
After about ten minutes, Ryan come down the stairs. As cute as I remember! White cargo shirt open two buttons, blue jacket, tight jeans with an obvious bulge. He wraps his arms around me and kisses me on the cheek.
"Don't keep my boy out too late, now," Dad says as we walk toward the door.
"Dad, I'm 19!" Ryan exclaims.
"And I'm 46. We both need our beauty sleep."
We climb into my car. "Your parents don't mind that you're dating someone my age?" I ask.
"No. They think older guys are more mature, so I'm less likely to get in trouble. My first boyfriend was way old -- 53."
I don't mention that I'm 56.
6:00 pm: I expected to go into Urbana to the gay bars, but instead we go to a varsity wrestling match at the high school. We sit in the bleachers with Ryan's bff Sam and two other guys!
Not my idea of a first date. Especially since I'm the only person over 40 in the stadium who isn't a parent.
But I make the best of it, looking for wrestling singlet bulges. And finding them.
8:00 pm: Dinner with Ryan, the bff, and the two other guys at a "family restaurant." I have the fried chicken.
It's sort of nice to be squeezed into a booth next to Ryan, our legs pressed together.
But so small-town...wholesome...tame.
This is the adventurous guy who snuck into a gay bar in Indianapolis with a fake id and had a three way with Harry Styles of One Direction?
Maybe Ryan is planning a group thing later.
Nope -- after dessert (apple pie), two of the three friends scatter., leaving Sam.
"So, back to my hotel in Champaign?" I suggest.
Ryan looks doubtful. "I promised Mom and Dad that I'd be home early."
"It's only fifteen minutes away."
"You guys can come hang out at my house," Sam offers.
Sharing, on a first date? I think. What will kids today think of next!
10:00 pm: Ryan and I sit on the bed in Sam's bedroom, watching Yoga Hosers on Netflix. Sam has a chair.
It's rather nice to cuddle with Ryan, feeling his body against my chest, holding his hand. Like being a teenager again.
But when are we going to get to the sexual activity? Is Sam going to join us, or leave so we can get some privacy?
When Sam goes to the bathroom, we kiss and grope. I feel Ryan's Kovbasa growing under my hand, and start to unzip him.
"Wait." He pushes me away. "Sam will be back any minute."
This is the guy who's been sending me nude selfies for three months? Who had a three way with a pop star? Come on!
12:00 am, sharp. I drive Ryan back to his house and walk him to his front door, hoping to be sneaked into the house and into his bed. Instead, I get a kiss.
"What are you doing New Year's Eve?" he asks.
"I guess I'll still be in Indianapolis."
"Perfect. The family's spending New Year's Eve in Indianapolis, too. I'll take you to a pizza party at a 21-and-under club. Text me."
He kisses me again and vanishes into the house.
There's no rule that you must have bedroom activity on a first date. I guess.
I drive back to my hotel, feeling something like this.