David, my friend in San Francisco, spent the first 43 years of his life in small-town Arkansas, a conservative Baptist minister who had barely heard that gay people existed, and certainly didn't know that he was himself gay. After all, he was married. He had two children. He lived in Arkansas.
On January 6th, 1996, his 43rd birthday, he realized that he was gay. Within a week, he had his first same-sex experience, resigned from his pastoral job, moved out of the parsonage, and asked his wife for a divorce.
By June he was living in San Francisco, He got an apartment and a job, joined a gym, bought a new wardrobe, and went cruising.
After 43 years in the wilderness of the Straight World, unwilling to touch, look at, or even fantasize about the masculine, he wanted to make up for lost time by experiencing masculine beauty five times a day.
Hooking up that often is a herculean task, even in Gay Heavn. You have to be always "on," looking constantly, at work, at the gym, on the Muni. You have to walk down different streets, go to different bars and restaurants, so you don't run into the same crowd all the time. And you can't be picky: you have to be available to every man of legal age, whether he's old, young, short, tall, thin, or fat.
The logistic problems made him revise his goal to one a day. Still during the last twenty years he's probably been with around 5,000 guys.
Here are his most memorable hookups, one-night stands, and public sexual encounters.
The Bible Boy of Castro Street. In June 1996, shortly after we met, David shocked me by picking up a street preacher.
Brad Pitt. In August 1996, David and I had a four-way with Corbin the Gym Rat and Brad Pitt.
The Homeless Kid. In September 1996, David shocked me again by actually talking to a panhandler. And inviting him over for dinner.
Santa Claus. David wasn't usually into the bear type, but he made an exception for Santa Claus, aka Bearnard, in December 1996.
The Straight Boy at the Garlic Festival. David even cruised in the Straight World. It paid off when we went to the Gilroy Garlic Festival in July 1997.
The Car Wash Boy. David was visiting a friend in Oakland, and they passed one of those buffed college guys who advertise car washes by taking their shirts of.
The Abductee. Alien abductions were all the rage in the 1990s, so what better place to cruise than at a support group for abductees? Of course, David had to have his own abduction story....
The Brothers. David was quite a twink magnet, but he didn't discriminate. One summer he hooked up with two tourist brothers from Slovakia, both in their 40s, while they were traveling with their wives.
Kevin's Old Apartment. In March 2003, I flew out to San Francisco for a visit, and David and I tried to track down my ex-boyfriend, Kevin the Vampire. We hooked up with the guy currently living in his apartment after a conversation of less than five minutes.
The Elevator. There's a lot of porn about getting someone to go down on you in an elevator, but have you ever tried it? David did.
The Hitchhiker. In August 2003, David came to visit me in Florida, and we drove down to Key West for the weekend. On the way we picked up a teenage hitchhiker, on the way to his freshman year at Florida International University.
The Unicyclist. For at least a decade, the Unicyclist was a fixture on Castro Street. He didn't speak; if he liked you, he would circle you and beep a little horn. For some reason he never approached David, so one day David approached him.
The Surfer. The water at Baker Beach in San Francisco is cold. Even in the summer, you're not going to swim or surf there without a wetsuit. But when David saw a naked man there in April 2005, he didn't ask questions. He just went down.
The Bodybuilders. Everybody in San Francisco went to the gym, so you had to be really spectacular to draw attention based on your physique. And the really spectacular guys tended to only date each other. One spring David managed to date Bodybuilder #1, and then, after they broke up, shared his new boyfriend, Bodybuilder #2.
The BART. The Bay Area Transit System has very small restrooms, and it's not very well heated, but that didn't stop David from having a twink go down on him in the middle of December..
Skyler Stone. A comedian who usually plays stoners. You may know him as Cousin Mike on Raising Hope, or from his prank make-out session with his buddy at the homophobic Chik-fil-A. By all accounts, he's straight, but David says that they hooked up in Los Angeles.
The Otter from the Bike Stop. In March 2013, David visited me in Philadelphia, and proved that he still had the stuff by getting the telephone numbers of 14 guys in a single 24-hour period. The only one he actually hooked up with was an otter met in the gay bar The Bike Stop.
The Stonewall Veteran. The Stonewall Riots, the start of the Gay Rights Movement, were in 1969, so there aren't a lot of people left who can say they were there. David met a guy who was active in gay rights even earlier, in the Mattachine Society of the 1950s.
Everybody Hooks up with Everybody. In July 2013, I flew out to San Francisco to visit David, and he provided a friend to share: James, a black-haired twink majoring in Arabic. It turns out that James dated the nephew of a guy I cruised back in Rock Island 30 years ago. Sooner or later, everybody hooks up with everybody else.