Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dating the High School Bodybuilder

Wilton Manors, January 2005

I was always mature for my age, so I attracted guys a few years older than me.  So it came as quite a shock when I hit 40, and things were reversed. The guys staring at me, approaching me at parties, and asking me out were younger.  10, 15, 20, even 25 years younger!

(All models are over 18.)

In 2005, when I was going to Barney's Gym in Florida, three boys from Cardinal Gibbons High School came in almost every afternoon to work out.  Two were just fooling around, but the third, Stanton, short and sandy-haired, was serious about weight training and nutrition.  He was developing quite a muscular physique, nearly ready for amateur competitions.

And he was obviously gay, staring at biceps and baskets.

And apparently into me, following me around, asking questions, trying to maneuver to see me naked in the shower.

I did the same things in high school!

I decided that I was going to mentor this kid, make sure he didn't have the same trouble I had:  assumed heterosexual, not aware that gay people exist.

But this was 2005, in a gay neighborhood.  Things had changed!

One day in late January, he approached me when I was alone in the locker room. "That guy you always work out with -- is he your boyfriend?"

WTF?  " mean Yuri?  We're just friends.  I don't have a boyfriend.'

"Me, neither."  He grinned.  "You into younger guys?"

"Are you kidding? I've been out since before you were born.  What are you, about sixteen?"

"Hey, I'm eighteen!" Stanton exclaimed, offended.  "And I can prove it.  Wanna see my id?"

I checked.  Eighteen years and two months.  "But...shouldn't you be cruising guys your own age?"

"What's cruising mean?"

At that moment, someone else came into the locker room, and Stanton quickly moved away.

The next day Stanton approached me again.  "My basketball team is playing against Dillard on Saturday.  It's the semi-quarterfinal.  Do you want to come?  And we could go for pizza afterwards."

"Will you be bringing a girl?" I asked.

"What?  No!  Why would I bring a girl?"

"Just joking," I said, smiling as I recalled how Verne and I went on basketball-and-pizza dates in high school, only we had to bring girls along as a screen.  "Anyway, I can't go -- previous engagement.  But thanks for the offer."

Next he invited me to see Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, the movie based on the series of children's books.

I declined, mostly because I was worried that everyone in the theater would think we were father and son.

Later I told Barney and Yuri about my teen admirer.  "Why don't you just date him?" Barney asked. "He's of legal age, and he's cute, so what's the problem?"

"The problem is, he was born 2 years after I moved to West Hollywood! His first childhood crush was Richard Lane Jackson on Saved by the Bell: The New Class!"

"So what?  When Christopher Isherwood met Don Bachardy, he was 48, and Bachardy was 18.  It was a match made in heaven!"

A few days later, Stanton invited me to Sebastian Street, the gay beach in Fort Lauderdale, where we could swim, sunbathe, and ogle cute guys all afternoon.  I agreed, but insisted on bringing Barney and Yuri along. Stanton countered by bringing his two high school buddies, Ronnie and Keaton.

In addition to discussions of the measurements of passersby and the actors they would like to "get with," they talked incessantly of Green Day.  When I put on a tape of Olivia Newton-John singing "Let's Get Physical," they cupped their ears and pretended to gag.

Afterwards, Stanton suggested that the three of them come back to our house to "party," but I refused.  I permitted a good-night kiss in the car, though.

Next Stanton invited me to a bodybuilding competition at Florida International University in Miami.  I said ok, but insisted on double-dating with Barney and his boyfriend.

And another good-night kiss in the car.

"Don't go bragging to all your friends about how you scored," I joked.


He didn't get the term score, or the reference to second season of The Simpsons.

We dated a few more times -- yes, he eventually made it into my bedroom -- but it was obvious that the relationship wasn't going anywhere.  For one thing, Stanton was entering his prime partying years, and I was perfectly happy staying home on Saturday night.

For another, he would be going off to college soon, and I was sending out applications in the hope of getting a job in Europe.

For another, Green Day.

So I called it quits.

When I told Barney, he immediately asked if it was ok for him to ask Stanton out.  The age difference didn't bother him a bit.

See also: Liam's 18th Birthday Present and Hooking up with the Hitchhiker.


  1. I always liked how self-aware the "Physical" video is. It says "Yeah, no one's turned on by Miss Sandra Dee singing this allegedly sexy song."

    I have no snark for Green Day, other than that they were singing when I was younger than their current target demo, 12-year-old girls. And how "I hate the most unpopular president since Nixon" (at least until next year) somehow makes them rebellious.

    When I was in college, a few bodybuilders were among my regular jerkoff buddies. Great times.

  2. Youth might not know everything about cruising. They might hook up with friends (but it's just playing, not actually anything more, this is useful for guys between 1 and 5 on the Kinsey scale to rationalize why they aren't REALLY cheating, which people born after 1970 tend to hold in contempt more than people born before 1970) or turn to an app.

    Cruising was in a lot of ways a consequence of the time. Technology hasn't advanced far enough, and gay acceptance wasn't to the point that straight guys would admit some curiosity, or even to the point of, well, anything.

    1. In 2005 we had online chatrooms, which mostly didn't show photos, just names and descriptions. As I recall, there wasn't much chatting going on, and not much hooking up. You still tended to meet guys in bars and gay organizations.

  3. Ha! I went to Gibbons too! Somehow that was a surprise to read. I had a very strange experience at Gibbons... No one was out at the time I went there, though I came out the day we graduated. Many years later, one after one (excepting for one), all the guys in my "clique" came out. NO other guys in my class ever came out, only the guys in my friend group. None of us had any idea the others were gay in high school, and none of us was ever interested in the other (at least no one ever admitted to it). Were we all that repressed, yet all came together as friends? We were also the nerds of the class which was really what brought us together. If only we had a little more insight we might have been able to support each other in this too.

    1. When did you graduate? This was in 2005. It would be a cool coincidence if you knew Stanton, but unfortunately that's a pseudonym. I don't remember his actual name.



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