Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Bed-Hopping Boy in Japan

Osaka, Japan, July 1986

When I was living in West Hollywood, my ex-boyfriend Alan, the Pentecostal porn star, moved to Japan to start a gay Pentecostal church.

I know, odd idea for a country where less than 3% of the population is Christian.

I managed to get a scholarship to study Japanese that summer, and moved in to his tiny apartment on a noisy street in the Kita Ward of Osaka. There are beds, tables, and chairs available in Japan, but Alan insisted on traditional furnishings, sleeping on mats on the floor and eating off a coffee table.

Every day between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm, Alan met with his students -- 8 to 10 per hour, talking about current events and writing essays.  I went to Gold's Gym, then to my class in Japanese Literature or to the Joto Library to study Japanese.

At night we went cruising.  The West Hollywood condemnation of casual hookups didn't apply in Japan -- in fact, most gay men were closeted, with wives and girlfriends, and preferred hookups to dates.  Often they didn't even want to spend the night.

I concentrated on the gay bars -- Physique, Popeye, Kuro, Leibnitz -- clustered in the Doyama-Cho neighborhood.  Alan sometimes came to the bars, too, but mostly he hit the bath houses and sex clubs.

There wasn't actually much cruising in Japanese gay bars.  You didn't approach the guy you liked.  You asked the club owner or bartender to introduce you.  The few gaisen (Japanese guys who like foreigners) usually preferred older men, so I struck out a lot.

But Alan, who was infinitely attractive to all Asian guys, didn't.  He brought someone home almost every night.

In a tiny one-room apartment (216 square feet, about the size of a bedroom in the U.S.), the roommate gets to watch or join in by default.  Except for Minoru.

One night I was alone in the apartment, having struck out at the bars, when Alan came in with an Cute Young Thing -- in his 20s, short, slim, baby-faced.  Later I discovered that he was 19 years old, studying German at the University.

They were so busy kissing, groping, and ripping their clothes off that they didn't notice me until they were nearly naked.  Then Minoru froze.  Smiling with embarrassment, he whispered something in Alan's ear.

Alan turned to me.  "Boomer, this is Minoru.  He's very conservative, and he doesn't like to be watched.  Could you take a walk?"

"You're kidding!" I exclaimed. I had never been kicked of the apartment before.

"Just for an hour or so."

I roiled with anger, but, I wasn't actually paying rent, so what could I do?  I walked down to the street and mingled with the noisy partying salarymen for an hour.

When I returned, they were lying naked on Alan's mat.  Minoru quickly slid on his underwear.

"Is it ok to come in now?" I asked sarcastically.

"Sure.  We were just about to go to sleep."

I undressed, climbed onto my own mat, and switched off the light, but didn't doze off.

After a few minutes, Alan started to snore.  As if on cue, Minoru crawled over to my mat and started groping me.

"Hey, you're Alan's date!" I exclaimed, startled.

"Oh, he doesn't care."

"Wait..." I murmured.  "At least ask him."  I raised my voice a bit.  "Alan!  Do you mind if Minoru and I get together?"

"What?" He raised his head and glanced over sleepily at us.  "No, do what you want."

Minoru pulled my ear close and whispered "Tell him to go away.  I don't like it when someone watches."

See also: The Bed-Switching Freshman at the Chocolate Moose.

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