Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Great 2007 Hookup Contest, Midwest Muscle vs. West Hollywood Street Smarts

West Hollywood, February 2007

I fly from Dayton to LAX for a job interview at Los Angeles City College.  After an interview with the recruitment committee, my job talk, and dinner at a Mexican restaurant, I am dropped off at my hotel.

I change into my West Hollywood clothes, and my ex Lane picks me up.  We go to the French Quarter for dessert with my old friends Marshall and Will the Bondage Boy, plus Marshall's boyfriend Mark and a Cute Young Thing named Jake, who doesn't seem attached to anyone.

I have two nights in Los Angeles, and I want to go to all my old haunts.  The Different Light Bookstore!  The Bodhi Tree!  The gay synagogue!  The Faultline!  My old gym!

"I have an idea," Lane says.  "Remember the Great Redneck Roundup of 1995?  We can spend the night hooking up -- pick someone up, bring him home, do him, kick him out, back to the bar for the next guy."

"But we were Cute Young Things back then.  I'm 46!"

"So what?  I'm 51!"

"And I really wanted to go to my favorite places again..."

"Why not do both?"  Mark suggests.  "There are five of us.  Each will take you to one of your favorite spots for an hour, and whoever can pick up someone wins."

"Are you ready to pitch your Midwestern farmboy muscles against our West Hollywood street-smarts?" Lane asks.

During the next two nights, we held the Great 2007 Hookup Contest at my five favorite spots in West Hollywood.

1. The Different Light Bookstore, with Mark.

We arrive at 9:00 pm.  Gay literature and history, book signings, poetry readings.  I used to drop in almost every day.  I joked that I was moving their entire inventory to my apartment, book by book.  But in 10 years in West Hollywood, I only picked up one guy here.

Mark goes to the erotica section and starts chatting up a middle-aged bear.  I latch onto a shy-looking twink, maybe new to West Hollywood, browsing in the gay history section.

"I wrote one of those books," I tell him.

He turns to me and smiles.  "Oh, which one?"

Whoops -- I can't find it.  He moves on.  A moment later, Mark appears with the bear.  "And this is Boomer.  He'll be there too."

West Hollywood - 1, Midwest 0

We go back to Mark's apartment.  The bear is very muscular, with a hairy chest and a nice uncut Bratwurst, but I'm more interested in Mark: in his 30s, curly hair, smooth chest, average sized, cut, into kissing and oral.

At 10:30 his boyfriend Marshall arrives to take me to the gym.

2. L.A. Fitness, with Marshall.

It used to be the Holiday Spa. Marshall and I used to work out nearly every night here, amid the gay men, celebrities, and gay celebrities.  Now it is a beautiful facility, but nearly deserted at 11:00 pm.  No celebrities, just a few gym rats who looked heterosexual.

Marshall and I work out, then go to the steamroom. It is deserted except for a young Asian guy.  We open our towels.  He gives us a weird angry look and opens his towel, too.  Fully aroused.

Marshall goes over and offers a hand.  The Asian guy pushes him away.  Then, with a look of supreme resignation, he walks over to me, kneels on the wet stone floor, and goes down on me.  Only for a few minutes, but it counts.

West Hollywood - 1, Midwest -1.

Afterwards Marshall comes back to my hotel to spend the night.

The next day, I have breakfast with the committee, individual meetings with faculty and students, lunch, a teaching demo, a campus tour, more meetings, and dinner.  They drop me off at my hotel at 7:00, and Will the Bondage Boy picks me up.

"This is Valentine's Day," I point out.  "Couples everywhere.  How am I supposed to pick up anyone today?"

He shrugs.  "Lots of lonely single guys hope to show that they're really men by hooking up, right?"

3. The Bodhi Tree, with Jake.

Will picks up Jake, and drops us both off at the Bodhi Tree, a New Age Bookstore on Melrose, where I used to go every week to browse among the paranormal books.  I picked up Richard Dreyfuss there, but only after working on him for several weeks.  How could I just cruise someone?

Apparently Jake can.  After we browse for a bit and I select up a book on alien abductions, he draws me to the Buddhism section, where a thin, intellectual-looking guy with a scraggly beard was browsing.

"Hi, I've seen you here a few times," Jake says.  "This is my friend Boomer, from all the way out in Ohio.  A Midwestern farmboy.  I'm showing him the sights of California."

"Hi, I'm Ezra."  We shake hands.  "Are you interested in Buddhism?"

"I don't know much about it.  Is it pro gay?"

We end up at Jake's apartment, where I go down on his thick cut Bratwurst while Jake is kissing him. Soon I'm going down on Jake, too: Kielbasa, uncut.  They're still kissing at 9:00, when Lane arrives to take me to the synagogue.

Since Jake initiated the hookup, he gets the point: West Hollywood -2, Midwest -1.

4. Beth Chaim Chadashim, with Lane.

The gay synagogue holds Friday night Shabbat services, plus a full range of social events.  Tonight is a Valentine's Day dance.  Lane is not big on dancing -- during our all our years together, as partners and friends, I've only seen him dance once.  So he sits on the side with punch and cookies, while I chat up some cute Jewish guys.

I still haven't sealed a deal at 10:30, when it's time for Will the Bondage Boy to pick me up.  West Hollywood -2, Midwest -1.

5. The Faultline, with Will the Bondage Boy and Lane (who insists on coming with us).

Lane and I spent many Sunday afternoons at the beer-and-soda bust at the Faultline, a bear-leather bar near Santa Monica and Vermont, but we rarely picked anyone up.  It's for socializing, not cruising, and tonight is no exception. Guys flirt and grope, and I see a chubby bear aroused at the urinal in the bathroom, but nothing substantial happens.

At 1:00 am Will and Lane come back to my hotel to spend the night.

West Hollywood -2, Midwest -1. 

West Hollywood wins.

But remember -- during the two-day period, Mark, Jake, Lane, Will, and Marshall were with just two guys apiece.  I was with them plus the hookups, a total of 7 guys.   

Midwest farmboy outwits West Hollywood sophisticates.

By the way, I didn't get the job.

See also: The Great Redneck Roundup of 1995; and The Great Hookup Contest of Philadelphia.


  1. Ok, I got a couple of guys mixed up. It's fixed now.

  2. I think it's a matter of generations. Like, your generation, gay guys saw wholesomeness as a threat.



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