Friday, April 10, 2020

Open Forum Friday: How Y'all Coping?

So. How are you guys doing? Anything going on? Anything new to report?

Yeah, me neither, I guess. Same old, same old, right?

In all seriousness: it’s been a rough year so far for just about everyone. Many of you have been reaching out to make sure I’m okay, what with being close to the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in this country. And I am okay. I haven’t been sick. I’d stocked up on toilet paper a month before things got serious; I’d purchased an armful of hand sanitizer when it was on sale at Target, right before I flew to Las Vegas in early February. I’d even grabbed a 5-pack of jumbo-sized disinfectant wipes at CostCo on a whim, two weeks before all hell broke loose.

When things started getting bad in late February, I started staying at home even though no one was demanding I should. I’d creep out to my class at night armed with a giant bottle of Purell and one of those monster tubs of disinfectant wipes I’d just bought, and before starting my instruction I’d demand my students basically run through a G-rated and less invasive version of the scene in Silkwood where the heroine is blasted down with a hose.

Then abruptly the schools shuttered. The parks were made off limits. City services closed. The world shut down. It’s been a month today that I’ve been in isolation.

I’m doing all right. I wake up and eat breakfast. I play video games. (Mostly Animal Crossing. Thanks to the couple of readers who keep letting me come to your towns and buy stuff from your shops!) I take a shower. I straighten my beard, because even in isolation, dad’s gotta look foxy. I eat lunch. I play more video games. I’ve been working on a project to get more people recording their experiences during this trying period of history—so that takes a chunk of my afternoon. I make dinner. Then I watch TV, because I need to find out what happens to this Joe Exotic dude.

Then I get up the next day and do the same thing all over again. All the while, I try with all my might not to think about the fact that I haven’t fucked in over a month and by this point I am going bat-shit crazy to the point that I would sink my dick into anything that looked even vaguely receptive. A photo of a Krispy Kreme donut makes me hard.

But no, I’m trying to do my part and stay socially-distanced.

So that brings me to my questions for you guys, on this Open Forum Friday. How’re you doing? Are you keep yourselves isolated? If so, are you breaking the recommendations and sneaking out to get some, or are you taking one for team and keeping it in your pants? If you’re staying home, how’re you coping with the horniness? Keeping busy? Sex with the person you’re isolated with? Masturbation? Copious amounts of porn? What good porn are you viewing? Nude pics from readers? (That’s more of a hint than a question. I’m always happy to get nude pics from readers.)

I’m seriously interested in your coping strategies during this rough time. It doesn’t look like things will be changing in the near future, and it seems most men I talk to are getting their pipes as thoroughly backed up as mine feel.

So for real now: what are you doing to get by, when it comes to sex? Let us know in the comments below.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Tenth Anniversary: Readers' Top Twelve Posts

As part of my tenth-anniversary commemoration I answered a number of questions readers asked about some of the more memorable personalities that have appeared on these pages in the last decade—Runt, Scruffy, Spencer, Earl, and the like—and in return I received a number of emails and messages saying how grateful they were to hear about my former lovers, and to know (mostly) that they were well. I was glad to make my readers happy.

But you know what messages have made me happiest? Hearing congratulations and thank-yous from readers who had disappeared off my own radar. I’ve made a lot of friendships through my blog. Some have lasted for many years; a few were temporary, but none the less enjoyable. Some were barely momentary, a quick exchange of emails with no follow-through whatsoever.

Over the last couple of weeks, though, I’ve received several emails from men who’ve checked in to let me know what they’ve been up to since the last time we talked, which sometimes has been as many as five or six years. Like Runt and Scruffy, most of these men are in much better places than they were when originally they reached out to me. That’s always heartening to hear.

This week I’ve compiled a list of my dozen most popular blog entries. I’ve had millions of visitors in the last decade; these entries have had the most unique view totals. Perhaps with the world shutting down around us, you might have some spare time to enjoy some erotic writing. Revisit a few of these essays from the past, won’t you?

12. July 26, 2016—Dick Dock 2016: Cocksucker

My Dick Dock entries have always been popular. Two of them made this list, in fact. I think this one, in which I’m made to inhale poppers as I slobber all over dick is my favorite of the two. Re-reading it makes me rock hard, in fact—I think it’s one of the two times in my life I’ve done poppers. I know, I’m such a puritan!

11. April 12, 2010—Incriminating Evidence

It’s interesting that this particular entry popped up; it’s about the records I used to meticulously keep when I was a kid, of all the men I had sex with. I’ve been trying to revisit the memory of this sexual accounting in order to write about it again, for a different sort of project I’ve been toying with.

10. April 15, 2011—Field Trip Friday: Jayson Park

Porn actor Jayson Park has been one of the best friends I’ve made through my blog. This entry asking readers to make a visit to his website (which doesn’t seem to be working these days) must get a lot of hits from guys trying to find him through search engines. He’s a stud. Always has been, always will be.

9. February 11, 2013—Open Forum Monday: The Big One

I’m amused that so many men have looked at, and read, my entry about a milestone birthday. I understand why I wrote it; I remember during much of my forties I always wondered why the clock seemed to stop for men once they hit the age of 49. I still know men who are in their sixties at this point but whose app profiles all say 49. But sexy, this entry isn’t.

I’ve had several of the Open Forum entries, which ask for and respond to reader feedback, not only make this list, but come very close to it. I suspect people liked reading what other commenters had to say.

8. July 11, 2013—The Rest Stop at Dusk

I really like this essay. It’s one of my favorites from my first few years. There was one point at which, for some milestone or another (my first million views, I think?) I was planning to attempt a podcast-style reading from my blog, and this essay about rest stop cruising along I-275 in Michigan was going to be the entry I read.

In the end, I was too lazy to figure out the recording process.

7. February 7, 2012—A Long, Sloppy Blowjob

Usually when I look at the titles of my more popular entries, I immediately can tell you what they’re about. Not this one, boy. I had to read it from start to finish, and only when I was approaching the end did I have a recollection of it. You kind of tend to remember when some crackhead bangs on the front door of the public library down the street, thinking it’s your house.

These department of bad encounters stories never end well.

6. August 19, 2013—Home Gloryhole

Oh man, I loved this guy. I used to visit his gloryhole every couple of months when I’d be on my way back to Grand Central. Amazing mouth, hot gloryhole set-up. I wonder if he’s still in business?

5. July 18, 2013—Dick Dock

I tend to get cocky when I’m cruising publicly. I know it. I admit it. My philosophy in a bathhouse, or backroom, or bookstore, is that I’ll wait for what I want, rather than settle for what other dudes won’t touch. And I tend to get what I want, as I did on this night in P-town.

I’m actually kind of fond of my Dick Dock entries. The place is legend, but I understand it’s touch for guys who’ve never been there before to know exactly what the protocol might be for cruising there. I’ve received a lot of feedback from new visitors to Provincetown who’ve told me that more than any other source, these essays gave them a taste of the atmosphere there, and the ways men connect in that dark space beneath the Boatslip.

4. April 29, 2011—Open Forum Friday: Cocksuckers

I admit: I’m puzzled how this one rose so high over many more thoughtful entries. Essentially I wrote an essay here about bad blow jobs, and how much I dislike it when a cocksucker decides to stop using his mouth and instead seize onto my cock with a vise grip and beat it so hard that I lose any will to have sex for a good long time. (Or I simply can’t, because of the chafing sores.)

The real gold here—as in any of my Open Forum entries—lies buried in the reader responses, which are plentiful and thoughtful, and sympathetic.

3. October 4, 2013—Nasty Little Faggot

I’m happy this particular memoir occupies this spot, because it’s as nasty as the title boasts. Reading it from a distance of seven years, I find I’ve forgotten exactly which cocksucker I’m describing in this essay…but in a certain sense, it doesn’t really matter, does it? He did his job well.

2. January 21, 2013—Stupid Faggot

I’m intrigued, but not surprised, that entries with the word faggot in the title have made two of the three most popular spots on this list. I’ve noticed for years that variations of faggot and cocksucker are in the top search terms that lead random viewers to my blog, month after month. Sometimes it’s just faggot cocksucker stories, sometimes it’s faggots who suck cock, sometimes it’s cocksucker faggots, but those search terms are always up there.

I was going to illustrate with a list of search phrases from this month, but when I went to look, the top search terms were free jockstrap giveaway (no, I’m not having one), hornyfather (just like that), bareback blog, and sissies in snap-on plastic panties, which seems oddly specific to me.

This particular entries is one of my all-time favorites. It’s more than a scene in which a Puerto Rican boy debases himself in front of me—though I was very fond of this particular kid for a couple of years until ultimately he overstepped his boundaries. It’s a meditation on the ways in which words that sound vile in one man’s mouth can be a balm from another’s; it’s a thoughtful defense of men who find joy and pleasure from epithets that have hurt them in the past.

But mostly I suspect the number of readers who’ve flocked to this particular entry do so to see a hungry boy doing what he does best.

1. May 24, 2011—Cruising 101: The Bathhouse

Here we are—the most popular post in the history of my blog. And by a long shot, too. ‘Cruising 101’ has had ten times more viewers than #12 on this list, and twice as many as #4. I remember writing it because in the first couple of years of writing about my sexual encounters, I’d encounter a lot of prejudice and ignorance whenever I’d write about visiting one of Detroit’s multiple (at the time—I think they only have one now) bathhouses.

“They’re a breeding ground for disease,” I heard. Well, sure, but not any more than your own bedroom. “Only desperate guys go to bathhouses…eeeewww,” they’d say. Um, okay. Sure. Enjoy sitting at home looking at blank profiles on Grindr and wondering why you’re not getting any.

Simultaneously, I’d get a lot of questions from men curious about the experience. What were bathhouses like? How did they work? What did they need to know if they decided to give one a try? This entry arose out of that.

Like the Dick Dock entries, I’ve had a lot of thanks and feedback over the years for this quick introduction to the tubs; I would like to point out, though, that there was a follow up entry, Cruising 101: Mr. Manners Visits the Bathhouse, that goes beyond the mechanics of how to get into and navigate around a bathhouse, and into how to treat the men one encounters there. Worth a read, I think.


And that’s the list! Taking a deep dive into the statistics of my blog for the last ten years has been interesting. I’d been vaguely aware that although I was writing blog posts more frequently during the first three years, save for the entries that made this list, on average the number of views those pages got were really quite low compared to those I’ve made in the last five years—I can look at the number of unique readers for any post in the last year and it’ll usually have ten times the number of views my much older posts ever had.

Yet the direct engagement I have these days is much less; I might get emails and comments from followers on Twitter about the posts, but I get many fewer comments in the blog itself. My own attitude about the blog has been more more casual, however. Hard to blame anyone else from feeling the same.

What have been your favorite entries from the past ten years? Share with everyone in the comments below!


Are you looking to help me celebrate the tenth anniversary of my blog? Send me a message or email and tell me about your favorite blog post or memory! Share your photos with me! If you're feeling especially generous, check out my Amazon wish list. Mostly, though, I'd just like to hear from you!

Monday, March 9, 2020

The Tenth Anniversary: Last of Reader Questions

I’ve been super-grateful for the many kind notes you guys have sent me since I started this trio of anniversary questions and answers. I have to admit that writing this blog over the last decade has often left me feeling like a crazy Lear howling his madness into an uncaring gale. Knowing that there are people out there who care, and who have even benefitted in the slightest by anything I might’ve said, really gives me solace.

While this might be the end of my anniversary-edition questions, I’ll still be making more entries in the future—and next week I’m hoping to prepare a retrospective of my most popular posts, with perhaps a little commentary as appropriate. So be sure to tune in.

(I wouldn’t mind more of those congratulatory notes, too. And ass pics. Those are always welcome.)

Where are your sex positive blog peers? Why aren’t there many many more in this app/blog-rich age; is this country stalled out in terms of sexual liberation?

There are still thoughtful and sex-positive blogs out there—I try to keep the list of those I follow updated in my sidebar. (If you’re running one that I may have overlooked, send me a note and let me know.) I think these days many men are too impatient to write blogs; as I said in the last set of questions, it’s not fashionable any longer to share sexual experience in long-form writing.

The online world has shifted over the last decade. It’s infinitely less effort, and more gratifying, to post a shirtless selfie on Instagram and get a thousand likes than it is to sweat over a two-thousand word piece of memoir for three comments (three if I’m lucky). It’s hotter and sexier to throw a thirty-second clip of oneself stroking for the camera on Reddit or on Twitter for the upvotes and woofs than it is to attempt a creative essay. It’s easier to monetize one’s torso than it is serious writing.

All that is fantastic, of course. I don’t begrudge anyone their thumbs-up icons or heart emojis. But I do think that when gay male sexuality is reduced to posed photos and videos by fitness models, its audience tends to think that only hot muscle jocks and pretty Instagram boys are worthy enough to find bed partners, and to enjoy a life that’s fully sexual. And that’s bullshit. Regular dudes like me have an excellent time too, when we’re looking for it.


Any regrets or negative feedback from posting your interactions as a 14 year old with adults?

I do not have any regrets.

I grew up in an entirely different era. My mom and dad didn’t helicopter-parent me, or really supervise my free time at all. Unlike today, it wasn’t widely assumed that any kid who stepped outside the boundaries of his front yard would be immediately kidnapped and molested—so as a little kid and teen I had free reign to roam where I wanted. I lived in a time in which gay sex itself was illegal. However fucked-up a concept it might be to us nowadays, then the penalty for gay sex with a fourteen-year-old kid wasn’t really any different than it would’ve been for butt-fucking a guy in his mid-thirties.

We are so sensitive these days to any whiff of intergenerational impropriety that it’s difficult for a younger generation to conceive of a time in which gay life was already so marginalized, and its actors already such literal sexual outlaws, that not once was my age an issue for any of the men with whom I had sex. We were all criminals, and criminals together.

My intent in writing about that part of my life has never been to normalize that kind of interaction, nor certainly not to apologize for it. I’m merely giving testament to my own lived past.

What I’ve discovered, though, is that my experience isn’t unique. All the feedback I’ve ever received on my history-tagged posts has been one hundred percent positive; I regularly have men write me to say that they, too, were sexually adventurous with older men in their teens, and how affirming it is to have their own experiences validated.

As inappropriate as they might have been or as we might see them these days, my youthful sexual experiences were something I sought out. I relished every encounter with an older man. I never felt abused, or exploited—neither then nor to this day. I think my fondness for those memories shines through when I write about them, and readers have responded in kind.


Anyway your profile says you're married and a dad....so wondering if you'd ever disclose anything about that sphere?

Nah.

That was kind of a smart-ass response. I know. Honestly, though, if I haven’t discussed something in a decade, I’m hardly going to start now.

Keeping a blog in which I divulge and explore my own sexual experiences is fine and good. Exposing others who haven’t necessarily consented to appear in it, though, is something I’ve always avoided. When it comes to my sexual partners, I do my best to change enough details that they can’t easily be identified. When it comes to my nearest and dearest, I simply don’t expose them in an way whatsoever.


Do you prefer the pizza in New York or Chicago?

A question near and dear to my heart! I prefer Connecticut pizza.

Seriously, Connecticut pizza is amazing, and Connecticut regularly has its pizzerias clustered at the very top of the best-of lists. New Haven pizza makers like Frank Pepe, Modern, Sally’s? Yes please. The hot oil pizzas of Fairfield County? Yum. (One of my friends was working in Stamford last week and made fun of a sign on a local pizzeria advertising its hot oil pizza, but when I explained it was a thin-crust pizza on which has been spooned a ladleful of olive oil infused with hot peppers, he had to concede that it sounded pretty good.)

For my birthdays I always have a choice of where to go for dinner. I always choose the oversized, misshapen, charred pies at Frank Pepe’s. Seriously, it’s worth trying their white clam pizza once in your life.


I would love to know how you lost your cherries and how old you were. Getting fucked, fucking, getting sucked, sucking and swallowing. Asking for all of us here.

I was twelve. On the same day. For all of them except topping, which I didn't discover until much later.

I’d spent a long year attempting to seduce my sixth-grade homeroom teacher without any real success. Basically the week school let out and I realized that Mr. Goldberg was not going to be the fellow who would relieve me of my virginity, I set out to lose it to someone else as quickly as possible. Considering that I’d spent the previous year and a half in the cruisiest restrooms in the city, I knew exactly where to find someone to do the deed.


I have been a fan of your blog for years, one of my favorite part of your blog is the hotel hook ups. How many have you experienced and have you enjoyed a gentleman from the hotel groups on his own?

I’ve had a lot of hotel group sessions over the years—way too many to count, actually. Back in Michigan I used to attend blackout parties in which the host would rent a hotel suite and make sure that the inner room was so pitch-dark that rarely could you see whom you were fucking around with. (I really miss those.) Back there I’d also regularly attend a fist-fucking hotel group, as well as a pretty sleazy ongoing session with a group of guys from BBRT that met at different skanky hotels on the outskirts of the city twice a month. And FelchingPisser’s hotel gang bangs, sometimes.

Since my move, the ongoing hotel parties I’ve attended included the one exclusively held for married suburban men (the host’s reasoning is that ‘a group of married men fucking each other is ‘safer’ than anything else,’ which is utter bullshit, but the sex was good), the Manhattan married men’s group (same host, same philosophy, same bullshit, but the sex was even better), and a sleazy group of motley men out in New Haven on occasion. And yeah, I have often been notorious for getting the phone numbers of other attendees during the groups, and hooking up with them after.

I think of all the hotel groups I’ve been to, the one I enjoyed the most was the blackout group. The sex was hotter on average, and the anonymity of the dark room forced guys to make judgments not on looks or perceived age, but on dicks and holes and how well the guys attached to them were using them. One of the things I don’t like about larger sex parties in general is that there are usually wallflowers who lurk around the edges of the room, men who are too frightened to participate but like the idea of watching; I think the notion of a total blackout scared away the voyeurs and left only the guys who were there actually to fuck.


Which of your college experiences holds the fondest memories for you sexually? Was it a specific location? A bottom? A top?

Okay, I have to explain to my readers that the fellow who asked this particular question—a friend through the blog—attended the same college as I. We both had a lot of sex with the same French Professor. (Not at the same time, as my reader started at our alma mater the year after I left, I think.) So this query isn’t coming out of nowhere.

Despite the hours and hours I spent sucking on, and getting fucked by, the French Professor, and the fond memories I have of him, I think the single sexiest college encounter I had was with the president of Kappa Alpha—a notoriously redneck and homophobic fraternity whose leader that year was a steamin’ hot cup of good ol’ boy with a John Oates mustache. (Trust me. It was verrrrry hot in 1983.)

The frat boy picked me up in the cruisy restroom of the campus center and drove me in his truck (yes, there was a Confederate flag sticker in the rear window) to an amphitheater in the woods on Lake Matoaka, where he fucked me in a dressing room there. Primarily I recorded the experience because I’d had an opportunity twenty years later to thank the frat boy for giving me that afternoon of unbridled animal sex. It’s not all that often that we chances to thank people for good memories they gave us decades before, and at the time it was important for me to commemorate that.

Well. That was all good and high-minded of me, but there’s more to that particular story. Frat boys, it turns out, are all fine and dandy when they’re only personalities on Facebook, but they’re fucking annoying when they leech on to you and don’t let go. For about three years after that, the former frat boy turned to me whenever he wanted something—an article edited, a reference for a job, a cash advance. I realized I was being used, but I had such a soft spot for that fucking he'd given me at Lake Matoaka that I would help him out with just about anything when I could. Except the cash. I'm not that soft a touch.

The turning point came when the frat boy decided that that he needed to move to Manhattan. Did I know of anywhere with cheap rent? I thought I was doing him a solid when I hooked him up with a friend of mine who was seeking a roommate. The frat boy lived with my friend for four months. He never paid any rent. Eventually just moved out and left all his trash and crap in his room for my friend to clean up. Then to me he badmouthed my poor friend, who is a saint and really didn’t need, want, or shouldn't have had to clean up the aged frat boy’s discarded laundry and crusty cum rags.

I learned my lesson about being nostalgic about old tricks, after that, because some grown-up frat boys never leave the Kappa Alpha house, apparently.

The single most poignant experience I had in college was the night before graduation, when I hooked up with a shy boy named Jefferson for whom I’d longed since I first saw him my freshman year. He always stared at me with such hunger when we passed on campus, yet it wasn’t until right before we were about to depart the campus forever that he took a chance and decided to meet with me, only to announce, after I’d spent the night making him happy, ‘this isn’t who I am’—then fleeing.

I never have been able to find out what’s happened to Jefferson. There’s literally no trace of him to be found, either in the annals of the alumni records, or anywhere on the internet. I hope he finally figured out who he was, though.


Was wondering, have you ever found a trace of Earl?

No!

My mentor Earl was very much a center of my teen years; he taught me a lot about sexual responsibility as well as sexual abandon—and sexual depravity, to boot. When his partner’s jealousy of me came to a head, though, Earl made the decision for me that I shouldn’t see him any longer. I never did. I was heading to college soon thereafter anyway; although I considered attempting to contact Earl during my visits home or during the holidays, somehow I was unwilling to poke a potential hornet’s nest.

When I returned to my parents’ home after college to attend grad school for a couple of years, Earl was gone. Someone else was living in his house. I didn’t really know anyone at that point who could tell me where he might have moved—hookups in that time didn’t really keep each other in their contacts book, and we didn’t have an internet to search.

By my thirties, I'd forgotten Earl’s surname. It finally surfaced in my rusty brain when I started to write memoirs about him in my late forties. Even then, I couldn’t find a trace of him through Google, nor that partner of his, either.

I’ve always been baffled, I have to admit, by people who have zero presence on the internet whatsoever. I mean, even my elderly dad can be found on Google, despite the fact I’ve forbidden him to join any social media—and he's a man who thinks that when I talk about his information being stored in the cloud, that I actually mean there’s some cumulus formation somewhere packed full of binary numbers.

I’d love to know what happened to Earl, but I think at this point I’d have to hire a private detective.


What’s the most profound thing you’ve learned about human sexuality that you didn’t realize before you started writing the blog?

Oh good, a big-picture question I can end upon.

From the age of twelve, I started having a lot of sex. Sex in parks, sex in restrooms. Sex in houses, sex in hotels, sex in dorm rooms, sex in alleys, bars, bathhouses, bookstores, and bedrooms. I had sex whenever I wanted, and often. I had sex with a lot of partners.

So I think my biggest surprise, when I started to write about the sex I was having, was how much of an outlier I apparently am—because it seems as if a hell of a lot of my readers don’t have sex at all.
My eyes were opened wide when I began to realize that the majority of men, it seems, prefer dreaming about sex, or masturbating to images of sex, to actually engaging in it.

Their lack of sexual inertia has become even more apparent in the digital age; it appears that more and more men are creating profiles and taking photos not so they can connect up with someone, but in order to receive a little validation or praise when finally they are cajoled to unlock their nude album. These are the men who disappear when you attempt to set up a date with them, or who at long length keep prospective tricks on the hook while never committing to meeting.

I’ve also been saddened by the number of emails and messages I receive from men who have decided their looks work against them and that they’re unfuckable, or by the men who have painted themselves into a closet corner and have decided to live vicariously through me, while never attempting a little human contact with someone close at hand. As recently as a decade ago I always assumed most other men were having as much sex as I; the most profound thing I’ve discovered is what a distinct minority I seem to be in.

At the same time, though, the best missives I’ve received have been those from men who’ve decided to take chances and start to explore their sexuality, or the men who’ve resolved to rearrange their relationships, or start new ones, to accommodate their sexual needs as an integrated part of their lives.

Sexual pleasure is a gift with which we’ve all been blessed. Honor that gift, before it’s taken away forever.

Monday, March 2, 2020

The Tenth Anniversary: More Questions from Readers

As I continue to celebrate my ten years in the blogging business, I'd once more like to thank everyone who has taken the time to ask questions, or reach out and send me notes of congratulation and esteem. Don't stop with the latter! I love hearing from everyone!

If you missed the first round, check it out here.

But let's get down to more questions.

You fool around a lot, like I mean, a lot. How haven’t you gotten any diseases?

I do fool around a lot. Like, I mean, a lot. As an adult, I absolutely have gotten sexually-transmitted infections. What I do, though, is test regularly and when I catch the very occasional something, I man up and go to a clinic and get a shot for it, or take a pill.

One of the trials I’ve had with this blog over the last decade has to do with my readers’ horror of disease. It used to be that whenever I posted, the first comment I’d receive would be, Aren’t you afraid of catching something? Whenever I put out a call for questions, people would overwhelm me with, How do you protect your family from the diseases you must be catching? I’m always baffled by the insistency and frequency of these questions because to me, dreading STIs is such a minor part of my sexual life.

Honestly, when you’re an adult and you have an active sex life, part of it is assuming the responsibility of monitoring your sexual health. If you catch an STI, it’s not a divine judgment from God Above warning you to Sin No More. It’s not a black stain on your spotless moral permanent record. A bout of the clap does not void your Get Into Heaven punch card.

A sexually-transmitted disease is merely a virus or a bacteria, just like all the viruses and bacteria you can get by not washing your hands, or letting someone cough on you, or even by taking care of your sick kids. Diseases are not more dire and punishing merely because you got them by enjoying another man’s body.

Spare me your existential horror over superbacteria—when you catch something, you make an appointment for testing, wait for the results, notify your partners like a responsible human being, and then adhere to the course of treatment. It’s not difficult, and it’s not the apocalyptic end of the world.

I made the decision early on in my blog to ignore the constant chorus that bewails the specter of plague. I don’t focus on malady. I shouldn’t have to be my readers’ only source of education in how to recognize the symptoms of, and take care of, sexually-transmitted infections. This aspect of being an adult is honestly not that complicated.

My blog is a celebration of sexuality, not a chronicle of disease.


Has your blog given you any opportunities (other than sex) during the last ten years?

When I started it a decade ago, blogging was much more fashionable than now. In the first three or four years, my site got a lot of mainstream attention and exposure from gay journalism web outlets, as well as a lot of publicity from Treasure Island and a few other sex sites. I was asked to contribute to several erotic literary print journals, where I got to see a few of my lurid essays in print.

The blog has afforded me unusual experiences I might not have otherwise had. I’ve been wined and dined by readers passing through the area, I enjoyed a locker room visit after a major league sports game (didn’t see any naked parts, no), and I received a couple of gratis haircuts from upscale Manhattan salons. One of the best things that happened to me was when I got invited to an museum exhibition opening night party by the curator, a fan of mine.

I participated in one interesting project that resulted in a hardback book about people who keep sex diaries, in which I had most of a chapter to myself. That particular adventure led to being asked to be one of the stars in a reality television series about people who keep sex diaries—but the conception seemed so weird (I was supposed to appear as myself and pretend I was writing in my diary while I did a voiceover of what I writing, and then the voiceover was supposed to fade to a re-enactment of whatever sexy encounter was going down) that I passed. Honestly, I’d rather be enjoying my sex life than worrying about bringing it to reality TV, and I didn’t need to inflict notoriety on my family. It sounded like a lousy project, and I never did see it actually make it to air.

Mostly my blog has afforded me an opportunity to meet people and make friends I might not otherwise have. Which leads me to….


Have you met any celebrities through your blog?

Yes. One of the first men I met when I moved to metro NYC was a well-known Tony award nominee and Pulitzer nominee whose name would cause any Broadway fan to nod his head wisely…and then have to look it up on Wikipedia to recall the details. He had been a fan of the blog for a couple of years and when he saw I was moving into the area, asked if I’d like to meet. We had several sessions in which I would dress up in the leather he provided (you know Pulitzer nominees—they always have spare leather) and flog him, piss on him, and flog him again. I enjoyed the sessions, but I have to admit I felt little bit of disconnect at times in which I’d see myself in the mirror flogging a Tony nominee and wondering, How exactly did I get here, again?

I know of two actors on primetime television who have reached out to tell me they’re readers, but I’m afraid their publicists might kill me if I make a blind item out of them.

My blog has introduced me to several porn actors with whom I’ve made friends in and out of the bedroom. And since we’re talking about reality TV, I can’t guarantee I met all the following through the pages of my website, but since the blog began I have slept with: one contestant from Drag Race, two contestants (one a finalist) from So You Think You Can Dance, someone from American Idol…I think that might be it.

If someone would send me some of the boys from The Challenge, I’ll thank you handsomely.


Is there anything you wish you’d written about in your blog that you didn’t?

It hasn’t been as much of an issue since my big move, but in the early years of my blog I deliberately had to censor, and then eventually not write at all about, any mentions of bisexual sex. I found with a couple of very early entries that if I wrote about being the third with a male/female couple, I got a lot of very, very ugly comments from readers. They were so vitriolic, in fact, that I removed the entries entirely, because I hated waking up months later to find hate mail still arriving in my email box asking how dare I stick my dick in anything inglorious as a vagina.

Except, of course, their language was a lot more juvenile. I’m actually surprised how fast it takes for some gay men to lather at the mouth with anger and disgust because an icky-poo pussy makes an appearance. There was even one entry (the sole remaining entry under the ‘bi’ label) in which I detailed fucking a married dude in a hotel room while his wife watched me bang away over Skype, which although it featured absolutely zero female participation or genitalia, had some of dudes outraged because there was a mere hint of female presence. A lot of guys really enjoyed the entry; I had fun writing it. Those who hated it, though, let me know. Loudly. Obscenely. With a lot of shaming. Many, many times. For months.

It’s a shame, because when I lived in Detroit I was very active in the cuckolding community. I was often requested or hired as a bull—someone who would be called in by a (usually married) male/female couple, to shame the male half either by fucking his wife the way a real man fucks, with a real man’s big dick, or often by feminizing the husband and fucking him while his wife laughs and humiliates him. I had a lot of hot scenes with couples that I tried to write about, but had to give up, because of the guys who thought I should only be having the sex they wanted me to have, instead of the sex I was enjoying.

My belief is that if you don’t like a particular entry of mine, you don’t have to read it. Move on. Enjoy your time elsewhere for a spell. It’s not necessary to let everyone know how disgusted you are by a penis going into, or being anywhere in the vicinity of, or possibly even being seen by the owner of, a vagina. Jesus.


How come you don't put pictures in your blog anymore?

Three reasons.

The first had to do with a decision Google made several years ago when in 2015 they announced, without any warning, that their Blogger platform would no longer allow X-rated images, even on blogs clearly labeled as intended for adults. Any blogs that contained X-rated images would be pulled down, they decreed.

Well, even though I was annoyed as hell, I dutifully set to and began removing all the images I’d posted, starting from the beginning. It was a pretty tedious process, but I got through several years’ worth over the subsequent 48 hours—at which point Google decided to reverse the decision. I was relieved I didn’t have to censor the rest of my entries, but annoyed enough that I never restored the photos I’d posted.

The second reason had to do with some readers in the first couple of years of my blog who attempted to…I’m not sure exactly what. Dox me? Intimidate me? Blackmail me? Show they had something over me? Whatever their intentions, I had three or four readers who downloaded photos from my blog, used the EXIF geolocation data to discover where the photos had been taken, and then would send me images of that location on Google maps in order to inform me they knew where I lived (or thought I lived, as many of the shots they’d used weren’t taken at my home). Again, the readers doing so were a distinct minority, but they were little shits anyway for attempting to intimidate me.

The third incident happened on a particular blog post called ‘3 Loads, 35 Minutes’ in which I chronicled hooking up with a pair of young bottom boys who greeted me at their place with butts up on all fours for some quick and dirty fucking. I took photos of the whole thing—them on the bed with their holes pointing at me, both of them sucking my cock, me invading and breeding their little holes. I illustrated the subsequent entry with nearly a dozen hot photos at the appropriate junctures. I was sure it was one of my best efforts to date.

Then, of course, some asshole reader decided to comment with something along the lines of I smell BULLSHIT. This couldn’t have happened! My response was bafflement at why anyone would accuse me of fraud, when I’d thoroughly documented the encounter with seedy photographs. Furthermore, what was even the point of going to the effort of taking photos at all, if assholes were going to say it was all bullshit anyway?

After all those things, whenever I’d consider putting more of my own photos in the blog, I’d shrug and think, “What’s the use?”


Can you tell us more about that trip to Mexico?

You’re talking about my high school trip to Mexico City (part one is here, and part two is here), in which my sophomore Spanish class was expecting a cultural experience and instead found ourselves ripped off by an indifferent tour organizer and booked into a red-light district fleabag hotel. Well, you know me, always making lemonade out of lemons. I hooked up with a stallion named Toro, who not only would fuck the living shit out of me all that week, but who went out of his way to make arrangements to act as the class’ tour guide, getting us into places and giving us experiences that we would never have seen on any old ordinary charter tour.

Honestly, there’s not a lot more to add to the two entries I wrote about the experience. I had a very good week being the boy to a handsome Mexican stud, and my Spanish class trip was more or less saved by my whoring—though no one ever truly knew the circumstances of why a charismatic local decided to take a bunch of pimply adolescents under his wing. I got an A for my final grade that year, too (of course…I wasn’t permitted to get anything less than As), and a comment on my report card that I had shown great initiative during the class trip. If initiative is a synonym for sluttiness, I guess it’s pretty apt.

What particular event after that day in the florist shop cemented you in as a power top instead of a slut bottom?

I wrote in an entry called The Fulcrum about an incident as a very young man with a florist in in which he persuaded me, for one of the first times in my life, to slide my dick into his hole instead of bottoming for him. I enjoyed the experience so much that it swung the pendulum for me; though I’d been a dedicated bottom up until that point, after that, I started to desire, and think about, topping.

I remember quite vividly, the day after that encounter, I went hunting for sex in the university restrooms and the thought uppermost on my mind was, You know, topping sure felt good. I need to find more ass to fuck. An hour later, after I’d planted some seed in an undergraduate bent over a toilet, I was ready for more.

Looking back, I’m kind of astonished how I’d managed to dodge topping during the decade between 12 and 22. Once I discovered how good it felt to shove my cock into a hole, I wanted to do it more and more, until it was all I really wanted to do.


Have you ever been catfished?

All the time. All. The. Time. Right from the beginning of my blog, when readers used to reach out and get in touch with me and share a little something of their lives, I’ve had to cope with the reality that not all of them are whom they claim to be.

When I’m contacted by a Montana nudist farm owner, in the back of mind I’m thinking he’s probably a subterranean chronic masturbator who probably lives in a basement apartment in some dire rust belt city and who’s only nude when he showers. When I get emails from a ‘wealthy bussinessman' who doesn’t know how to spell ‘business’ and certainly doesn’t sound professional, I reply with the restraint I’d ordinarily give someone who’s trying to scam me.

I’ve had guys message me with Yo. Sup. Love the blog, and then attach professionally-lit and photographed shots that are recognizably scavenged from some porn site. I am convinced that a large percentage of my favorite people on Twitter are catfishes, even though I don’t necessarily enjoy them any the less for it. (I might enjoy them more for their commitment to the fantasy, in fact.)

No, the dangerous catfishes in my life are men who present themselves as more sexually-experienced and sexually-driven than they really are. I’m unlikely to meet the nudist Montana farm families and kinky cops and sexy twin brothers who both need a dad like me to teach them how men fuck. But when I meet the regular guys who present themselves online as wild and uninhibited, only to find out that they are easily freaked out and think I’m moving too fast when we hook up—that’s when shit gets unpleasant.

I put a lot of myself out there on the blog. I draw distinct personal lines I won’t cross, but a lot of my life is an open book. Most of my readers, I’m happy to say, recognize my openness and honesty and respond in kind. I’m glad for that.


I’d say as part of your 10 year anniversary your followers should donate so you can kidnap and use a lad of your choice and then write about it.

I say you should organize a Kickstarter to make this happen!


Are you looking to help me celebrate the tenth anniversary of my blog? Send me a message or email and tell me about your favorite blog post or memory! Share your photos with me! If you're feeling especially generous, check out my Amazon wish list. Mostly, though, I'd just like to hear from you!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Tenth Anniversary: Questions from Readers, Part 1

Guess what, gents? Today is the ten-year anniversary of my blog!

I’ve told the story before of why I started to accumulate my sexual experiences in blog form, but it bears repeating. Back in the early 2000s I began transferring new entries I’d write for my personal journals online; pretty soon I had a LiveJournal with a large following, in which I’d share my travel experiences, my home life, my career struggles, and also a few tales of my sexual encounters.

The spicer stuff eventually became a problem for me; it wasn’t a good look for my professional life to have a bunch of slutty tales in the public domain, so I locked down the X-rated essays with a filter. That decision became a problem in its own way, because I had to sift through a large followers list and decide who could see the sexy stuff, on a person-by-person basis for a lot of people I didn’t know well. Loath as I was to segregate my erotic writings into their own blog—I really liked the idea of sex as something integrated into a larger life, rather than as something that needed to be isolated into a ghetto—I realized that starting a blog for the erotica was probably my best option. At least people could choose whether or not they wanted to follow such a beast.

Around the same time as I was grappling with the conundrum of what to do with my sexually-charged writing, I started reading a sex blog that has loooooong since disappeared. I don’t remember the name of it, but in my mind it was something very close to That Bareback Blog. And friends, it was deliciously ridiculous.

That Bareback Blog was almost one hundred percent one of those old-school French period farces in which pre-guillotine aristocrats in powdered wigs and bejeweled costumes gossip in stage whispers behind their fluttering fans, while baroque harpsichord music plays in the background. Basically every entry went like: I was coming back from a hot fuck today and I got into an elevator with two gay guys. I heard one of them whisper to the other, ‘Did you read That Bareback Blog?’ ‘Oh yes!’ said the other. ‘Everyone is talking about That Bareback Blog.’ ‘I can’t believe That Bareback Blog is allowed to be on the internet! It’s outrageous!’ ‘Everyone is reading That Bareback Blog!’

That Bareback Blogger didn’t seem to do any actual fucking, mind you. He just went around the city (I seem to think it was Chicago) stumbling into people who were murmuring about how absolutely scandalized they were about That Bareback Blog. I loved That Bareback Blog. It wasn’t in the remotest sense sexy, but the sheer implausibility of the entire population of Chicago gossiping about it made me howl.

About the same time, there was another sex blog I read by a blogger who actually did chronicle his exploits, but who did it in a comically inept way. He’d show up to top a hot jock, but he wouldn’t be able to get his dick up, so he’d have to apologize and leave; he’d participate in a small group, but find himself sidelined in the bathroom because he’d discovered an ingrown nail and by the time he’d taken care of it, everyone else had finished and left; he would commit to a gloryhole encounter, and then instead of sticking his dick through the gloryhole, he’d write about how instead he’d spent all his quarters trying to figure out what the weird spot was on the head of his dick.

And this is what’s passing for real-life gay erotica, I thought to myself? My competitive sexual spirit kicked in. I can do better than this.

That was ten years ago. The frequency of my entries has diminished over the decade, absolutely—and I spent much of 2017 explaining the reasons why. I’ve been perfectly happy adding to my blog when the spirit moves me, however; even though at one point I would have been happy to jettison the entire enterprise, right now I’m weirdly proud of what I’ve done.

There really aren’t many expressions of honest sexuality out there. So many men feel they have to put up a porn star front on Twitter, or live some fantasy world of muscle daddies on OnlyFans, or contort their torsos into the best possible Grindr mirror selfie, all in an attempt to make the world think they have the best sex life out there. I try to write about all aspects of sex, warts and stinks included. Sometimes my sex is pornographic—sometimes it’s a bloodbath. I like having the freedom of exploring my experiences, as I please, as I want. And I very much proving that a man can have a robust, interesting, and sometimes envy-worthy sex life, without especially good looks or a perfect body, by having an adventurous spirit and a willingness to take chances. (Though hey, if you’re fortunate to boast either the good looks or the perfect body, you should be enjoying yourself, too!)

I’m proud of having been that example for the last decade. I’m glad of the people I encountered along the way. (Some of the people. Most of the people.) I’m happy for the men I’ve touched, figuratively and literally, and for the readers who’ve reached out and touched me. Ten years is quite an accomplishment, and it should be celebrated.

So that’s exactly what I’ll be doing for the next few entries. I invited questions from readers on my Twitter account (and if you’re not following me on Twitter, why not?) and got quite a few. Today I’ll be answering questions about specific personalities who’ve appeared in entries over the last ten years.

I remember finding your blog back when Blogger was still the main thing online and I've been a fan since. I came for the spank bank material but stayed for the thoughtful, nostalgic, and sometimes even romantic storytelling. I love how your writing is always so well-observed. There are details– the furniture in the room, a certain smell, a look in their eyes– that makes it come alive and lingers in your mind after reading. This is turning out to be more of a piece of fan mail than a question, but here it goes: I have a soft spot for the Runt. Have you kept in touch with him? How is he doing? If not, what is your favorite memory of him?

Of the many men who’ve tramped their way (pun intended) through the pages of my blog, there are a handful that seem to have touched the hearts and dicks of my readers more than others. I’m not at all surprised that the majority of the questions I received immediately singled out the usual suspects.
Runt resonates with my readers even more deeply than the others, though. I receive more questions about him than anyone else. I asked the reader who wrote the super-generous paragraph above (I could’ve edited out the fulsome praise and kept just the question, but what would be the fun of that?) why he thought Runt was so significant to so many men who read my blog.

I don’t mean to be patronizing, he messaged back, but he’s like a lost puppy you just want to pick up and cuddle and protect.

I agree with him. I think Runt’s vulnerability is so palpable in his appearances that it made my readers—as well as myself—want to protect him. That quality became even more abundantly clear in a later encounter when he revealed to me that his father routinely called him a worthless faggot at home.

And as my reader put it, There's probably a lot of us out there who relate so much to him because we have similar backgrounds of abuse and his stories are such a healthy way to process that trauma. It's cathartic.

There’s a difference between being helpless, and giving up control. The first is a miserable state of existence, while the second is a conscious choice. I think Runt appeals to a generous portion of my readers because although he was helpless at home with a piece of shit of a father, he found such ecstasy in ceding control of his body to me. He was the boy who would shoot ropes of semen without touching himself whenever I’d pry open his hole for the first time, whenever we’d meet. All of feel helpless, some or even much of the time—but very few of us find someone to trust, and with whom we can willingly yield choice, yet who gives us sheer joy in return for the gift.
I could use a little of that, myself.

But to get to the question: He was the last fuck of my forties, and the first of my fifties, as I wrote in my final entry about him. I stopped seeing Runt a few months after that, when he left for school. I was one of several people, I think, who convinced him that getting out of his house and finally off to college would be the escape he needed to make; his father had somehow convinced him that he wasn’t good enough for higher education. I wrote him a recommendation for the schools to which he applied. He was accepted at one far away, and he got the hell out of his house. He graduated. He didn’t come back.

I haven’t corresponded with Runt in a couple of years, but the last time we texted I learned that he was dating an older man with a beard who in his photo looked, if I might say so, a lot like me. I don’t know if he still worries if he’s a worthless faggot—but I know that anyone who takes the initiative to step away from a bad situation and seek a better life is someone to be admired.


I used to love your stories about Scruffy and wished you’d fuck me like you fucked him. Do you keep in touch?

I do! I exchange messages with Scruffy every two or three weeks. Considering what an insatiable hole he was whenever we’d meet, I find it amusing that these days Scruffy advertises himself on his sex profiles as a top. Not just a top, but a big ol’ alpha bull. Granted, he’s got the cock for it, but I never saw anyone surrender himself the way he would.

I’m proud of Scruffy and how he’s decided to reshape his sexual identity. To me, though, he’ll always be my boy—and he agrees with me on that point.


Do you still meet up with the sexy Russian?

The Russian is a man with whom several years ago I had a handful of very sexy flip-fucking sessions. He is a magnificent love-maker. He kisses me in a way that sends shivers rippling over every inch of my skin. When we’ve met, our clothes have flown off as we race to his bed to see who gets to fuck whom first—and neither of us has finished the evening with anything less than a couple of loads in both our holes. If I wanted to meet up with the Russian tonight, I could text him and he’d gladly agree to have me over.

However—and it’s a big however. I haven’t met with the Russian in years, because—oh god. I know exactly how bad this is going to sound, and how my readers are going to roll their eyes at this admission and mumble harsh words about first world top problems, but the fact is that the Russian’s dick is just too fucking big.

The dude is over nine fat inches; on his small frame it looks monstrous. Whenever he’s done with my hole, I’ve limped out his apartment feeling as if my prolapsed anus is dragging behind me down the sidewalks of Eighth Avenue. I’m in pain for days after.

I have very occasional days in which I really want to take a raw dick in my hole, and although I could simply message the Russian for stud service (he’s told me, multiple times, that I should take him up on the offer), I just think about that anaconda and the way it wrecks me, and the memory makes me clench so tight that…well, I should really consider popping some charcoal briquettes up there so I can squeeze out a few diamonds.

Why is it that I, a guy who bottoms with the frequency of Haley’s Comet, only attracts men with monster dicks to my hole? It’s a mystery for the ages.

(And sorry, bottom dudes. I know you’re cursing both me and my luck right now.)


Why did you stop telling stories about The Gardener?

Unless I had sex with a lawn boy that I don’t remember (as I type that, I suddenly remember sex with several lawn boys), I think you mean, why did I stop telling stories about The Landscaper?

The Landscaper was a ’straight,’ married dude with a wife and very young kids who lived in my general neighborhood. I put ironic quotes around ‘straight’ because honestly, how straight, really, is a guy who pays me cash to climb into his work van in a parking lot in order to masturbate lasciviously for him while I playact he’s not there?

I met The Landscaper multiple times over the course of several years. He thought (or at least pretended) I was another straight dude, a married dad like himself, who was so hard up for money that I’d lower myself to beat off my big ol’ straight dad cock in front of another straight bro for three Benjamins…so long as there was none of that funny homo stuff goin’ on. The chemistry between us—and it was considerable, admittedly—was that he played the part of the tempter while I played the reluctant piece of trade only doing fag stuff for the cash.

What I really relished in the encounters, however, was the sadistic pleasure I got out of denying The Landscaper what he really wanted, which obviously was a full-on man-on-man experience. If I’d wanted to fuck the dude, I probably could’ve done it a couple of months after we met. With him, though, I relished saying no. I thrilled every time he’d try to convince me to push my limits and let him do something obscene and unthinkable like let him wrap his hand around my straight ol’ man meat that only pussy had ever touched, and then I’d say something like, C’mon, no homo, dude. It took him three years before I let him ‘convince’ me to let him wrap his lips around the head of my dick.

I actually continued hooking up with The Landscaper for a couple of years after I stopped writing about him. No, we never fucked. By the end, though, I was letting him suck me off to completion with only a pretense of grumbling reticence on my part.

I get why the stories about The Landscaper appealed in such a primal way to many of my readers when I was reporting our encounters. A lot of gay men harbor the fantasy of seducing a straight guy. To some, straight men—especially married breeders—can seem so cocky and archetypically masculine that getting them to the point that they’re begging to suck cock makes the gay guy brandishing the dick look like the ultimate alpha, the leader of the pack. I totally get it. Sexual corruption is fun. The great American pastime.

But some of my readers were so fucking rude about wanting more entries about The Landscaper that it drove me round the bend. I’d write a sensitive and poetic blog essay about a tender encounter with another lover of exquisite skills, a reverie evoking all the senses and worth of any number of literary awards, and some peasant would write a comment after that read, Why do you write this shit? I want to hear more about the Landscaper!! I’d pen an evocative memoir about my misspent youth that summoned a vision of a vanished America in the shadow of this technological age, and some yutz would comment, YAWN. BORING. MORE LANDSCAPER.

Even when, after those increasingly tone-deaf demands, I would post a Landscaper entry, the comments on it would get bossy. Bang him already! guys would demand. How long are you gonna string this out? I don’t understand why you don’t give him what he wants. Why is this taking so long?

I enjoy having sex, and then sharing my experiences. I don’t, however, have sex on demand for readers, nor do I appreciate when especially pushy readers attempt to direct with whom I have sex, what acts I perform, and how much I write about it. Admittedly, these readers were a minority—but damn, were they ever vocal. Want to know how to ruin a good thing, when you’re commenting on a sex blog? Be fucking obnoxious about it, that’s how.

So my attitude toward those readers who whined about The Landscaper entries became, Fuck you assholes. I’m not a vending machine for your porn. Vending machines at least get some damn quarters. Out of stubbornness, I refused to write about him any more. Don’t regret the decision, either.


Whatever happened to Spencer? You two really seemed like you belonged together.

The timing of this question is ironic; the night that I’m writing out my answers is the evening of Spencer’s birthday.

In another life, Spencer and I would have belonged together. Although he wouldn’t allow me to say the words, I loved him. If he’d overcome his fears of abandonment, I think he would have loved me in return. We shared a special year together—an often tumultuous year—knowing that our time was finite, as I would be moving to another part of the country when my Detroit home finally sold during a sluggish real-estate market.

Spencer and I parted on good terms. We shared a reunion in New York City shortly before he left the country for Europe, to pursue graduate studies in dance, on a scholarship. Not only did he excel in school there, but he established for himself an alternative performing career as well, and I had the pleasure of following his alter ego on YouTube for quite some time.

After graduation, he decided to stay abroad because he’d met and moved in with a boy. They married. On Facebook I would follow the photos of the two of them drinking cups of tea in front of their fireplace with their dogs. It wasn’t a happy ending with me—I didn’t have any right to be wishing for a happy ending with me—but it seemed like a happy ending for Spencer, and I was glad for him.

One day a couple of years ago, Spencer started vaguebooking about some issues in his life. His Facebook status changed from married to single; his social media said he’d moved back from Europe to Michigan. I waited for a month before I reached out, at which point I told him that if he ever needed to talk I’d be there for him. I offered him a place to stay if ever he came for ballet lessons in New York City. He thanked me for it, and I settled back into the habit of getting peeks into his new life of instructing dance back in his home town.

Sometime in the last two years, though, he simply disappeared. His social media evaporated without notice. He hasn’t left a presence at all on any of the search engines. I’ve been concerned about the vanishing act, but I don’t know of anyone who might know the reasons behind it.

Thinking too much about the possibilities makes me anxious. So I simply have to believe that some day Spencer will surface in my life again.



I've got another batch of blog-related questions coming up in a few days—if you want to add to the list, send me a message either via email or on my Twitter account.

Are you looking to help me celebrate the tenth anniversary of my blog? Send me a message or email and tell me about your favorite blog post or memory! Share your photos with me! If you're feeling especially generous, check out my Amazon wish list. Mostly, though, I'd just like to hear from you!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Fraternity of Liars

1.

There are two places I manage to avoid, the entire time I’m in high school. One is the boy’s restroom. I’ve successfully sidestepped the boy’s room since the first day of first grade, when during a pre-lunch class potty break I blithely made the mistake of sitting on a toilet to pee, like a girl, instead of using the urinal, as every real red-blooded American boy apparently knew how to do. The shaming I endured for weeks after that little mistake made my six-year-old self stubbornly determine that if the level of gender policing in the school restrooms was going to be so damned high, I’d opt out of using them altogether. Ironically, I’m spending a substantial chunk of my teen years cruising adult toilets. Not once during my grade school career, though, do I ever step into the boy’s room again.

The other spot I sidestep is the school cafeteria. I know where it is, certainly. It’s the craziest room in the school. Fights break out there daily; from the orchestra room next door during my fourth period, we can hear the senior classes scrambling and whooping over the scraping and overturning of furniture whenever two or more kids decide to throw down. Even when there’s no violence, noise avalanches from the cafeteria into the back halls of the building. Battling transistor radios blare above raucous chatter; bored kids beat rhythms on the tables in unison using their fingers and the heels of their hands. Kids with college-aged brothers in black fraternities teach each other loudly how to step; arguments break out at the least provocation.

I avoid the cafeteria throughout high school because it’s scary. I’m not the only one who feels that way; it’s the unspoken sentiment of all of the kids with whom I circulate. There’s twenty or so of us that move together as a troop from class to class during our entire high school tenure. We’re the gifted freshman kids, the advanced students, the nerds who’ll get inducted into the honor society together, the overachievers who end up in all the same advanced placement courses at the same time. Every time the bell rings, like each other or not, we rise and walk as one to the next classroom. We tend to sit in the same arrangements. When fourth period arrives, some of us split into band and the rest into orchestra, but we’re all back together for lunch when our music folders hit the shelves—and we eat spread out across the chemistry lab, because we think that if we were to step foot into the cafeteria, we’d be the first to be roughed up.

Would we, though? I honestly don’t know. Even in the lunchroom I suspect we’d all sit together. We don’t get picked on in other parts of the school. None of us want to find out what would happen, though. So we bring our sack lunches, and eat quietly on the soapstone tables, where the chemistry teacher tolerates our presence as long as we don’t mess with his fifth-period set-up.

It’s 1978. I’m in the autumn of ninth grade. I’m contemplating the lunch my dad has made me: two identical circles of processed ham from a package on Home Pride wheat bread, a bag of Cheetos, and two Nabisco Pinwheel cookies. I hear an oily voice behind me. “Did your mommy make your lunch today?”

It’s James Marshall. Even if I didn’t already dislike James Marshall, that one sentence would have put me off of him. No matter how friendly he managed to feign his tone, the infantile word mommy was a dead giveaway that he was trying to entrap me somehow. “Nope,” I tell him, truthfully. I leave it at that.

Despite the fact I’ve not invited him, James sits adjacent to me anyway. My lunch and books are spread out on the soapstone. I don’t make a move to shift anything to accommodate him. James Marshall has the distinction of being the only other white kid at Marshall-Walker that year. He and I are not friends. We weren’t friends in middle school, or in elementary school before that. The shared color of our skin isn’t going to make us buddies at this late stage of the game. James’ parents will transfer him out of Marshall-Walker and into a much whiter high school before the end of the year—but I don’t know that now. All I can do is wonder what James wants this time.

James is best friends with Shirley Riley, probably the meanest snake I know. Shirley’s a rotund African-American girl whose mother puts her in tight little-kid pigtails and home-sewn Butterick dresses; Shirley compensates for an enforced lack of style by remaining on the offensive all day, every day. She doesn’t launch her deadly sallies my way often, because I’ve already learned the best way to avoid verbal bullies is simply not to engage with them—to ignore, or to pretend not to understand at what they’re driving. Still, I’ll sting for a long time at her first-week declaration that I have ‘piggy eyes…little bitty tiny piggy-wiggy eyes.’ For decades I’ll hear Shirley’s echoing singsong every time I look in the mirror, and wonder if my baby blues are abnormally small.

“Do you want your cookies?” James asks, as he sits on the stool next to mine. I haven’t moved my books, but before I take the first bite from my sandwich, I slide out my Pinwheels of his reach. “Why are you so unfriendly?”

I don’t answer the question. Two months into high school, and I’m already a master in every subtlety of adolescent rhetoric. To answer his question, even with a shrug, would be to admit that yes, I did not consider him worth hanging around; to deny would force me, against my will, to accede a degree of chumminess I didn’t feel. It’s best to keep silent.

“You know, I think we could be friends. Should be friends,” he tells me. It’s true. We have a lot in common, James and I. We live in the same general neighborhood; our parents are acquainted. We’ve been thrown together since third grade. We dress in the same white-boy uniform of our white-boy peers: t-shirts and Levis corduroys, Converse sneakers, jeans jackets in cooler weather. We take all the same classes and know all the same people. We conform to a grungy seventies-white-kid template, yet I’m lanky and approaching six feet tall, while he’s not yet hit a growth spurt. Both of our mothers cut our hair, though my shag is somewhat more successful than James’ square-topped mop. He looks as if his mom was aiming for Peter Frampton cool, but somehow ended up giving James a Frankenstein fright mullet, cubed at the top of his head and long and wispy on the sides and back.

Maybe we should be friends. But I’m not planning to bite at this offer. I don’t like James. He’s never been sincere. Even now, I can see he’s peeping sideways toward the front of the chemistry lab, where Shirley Riley eats alone. Shirley Riley never eats alone; James is always fawning in attendance. It’s obvious she’s attempting to engineer a scheme, using James as her pawn.

“If we were friends,” James is saying casually, “you’d have someone to, you know, talk about your troubles with.” Sure, I’ve got troubles. Every adolescent does. I’m repulsed by his insinuation, though, that mine are so much more overwhelming than anyone else’s that I’d bring them to him. “I mean, everybody knows you’re…different.”

Ah. Everything comes into focus. By different he meant gay. James wants me to admit that I was gay.

I understand my sexuality at fourteen. I’ve been sexually active for two years, at that point. I know every sexual act in which a gay man could engage (or at least I think I do), and assume I’ve done them all. Nobody talks about being homosexual in 1978, though. Nobody. Not a single one of the adults I’ve knelt before, or bent in front of, would ever admit to being anything than a red-blooded heterosexual male. I don’t intend to come out to anyone—ever—at that point in my life. I have melodramatic fantasies about keeping my deep, mortifying secret unto death so that my awkward perversion won’t burden anyone. (While maintaining a double life of fucking liberally in restrooms and parks and under the cover of dark, of course.)

I certainly have no intention of admitting any difference to James fucking Marshall.

I understand if I do, he’ll scamper back to Shirley and entrust her with every confidence I make, so that they can giggle and delight in my unfortunate condition. They’ll spread it throughout our class. They’ll let it be known to everyone in school. Their plan is utterly transparent.

The thing is, even my undeveloped gaydar has picked up that James Marshall is probably a nascent gay. A twee little thing whose best friend was a mouthy, brusque black girl? James, a kid even more effete than I ever was? Come on, he even plays the flute in band. In his false overtures there’s a stink of desperate hope: if somehow he can help expose me, all suspicion and focus will forever be taken off him. He’s a quisling, desperate to betray one of his kind in order to save his own lavender hide. I know it then and there: James Marshall and Shirley Riley might be playing checkers to win. But I’m playing chess, and I’m already multiple moves ahead.

James sits next to me, brows raised, eyes occasionally darting across the room to Shirley to make sure she’s observing his masterful manipulation. He seems to be expecting a response.

“Whuh?” I finally answer through a mouthful of dry sandwich.

“Don’t you want to talk about…being different? You can tell me.”

I can sense the minefield in which I tiptoed with this loaded question. I recognize a logical fallacy when I hear one. Yes or no: have you stopped abusing your wife? I screw up my face in confusion. “Whaaaat?”

“You know. Being…?” He doesn’t want to say the word, so he scoops his neck forward and invites me to fill in the blank.

Still stuffing my face, I supply the word he’s already given me. “…Different?”

He sighs. “Yes, different. Like, you know….” I squint and shake my head, to indicate I don’t. ”Yes. You know!”

“Whaaaat?” I say again.

My feigned ignorance frustrates him, and deep down I’m savagely glad. He will never say gay. No one does, in this day and age. The word is taboo. I’m not even sure I’ve ever heard it uttered aloud, outside of a couple of Yuletide carols. “You know what I’m talking about! God! I’m trying to be your friend here!”

He’s trying to be anything but. His stridency convinces of that. I think a minute, then ask, “You mean, different because we’re white?”

The answer is so obtuse that he can’t stand my company any longer. James slides off the stool and stomps back to his usual place by the foot of Nancy’s throne, going so far as to turn his back to me completely as he reports in to his sovereign. I finish my lunch in smug, content silence as Nancy stares at me through her glasses, knowing I’ve won the first round.


2.

I’m seeing an older guy regularly these days. No surprise. I’m always seeing older men during corners of unsupervised time. I’ve got piano lessons at my parents’ university on Saturdays, choir on Sundays, horn lessons on Monday afternoons. City-wide orchestra, Tuesday nights. Swimming at the Y on Wednesday afternoons—a writing workshop downtown later that night. My clog-dancing troupe meets Thursday evenings. My extra-curriculars might be heavily programmed, but when I really want something, I carve out the time for it…and what my pubescent hole really wants is dick.

On Fridays this semester I’ve been seeing Sam. He waits for me after school in his Mustang MPG, which he parks across the street from Marshall-Walker, on the opposite side from the busses. This is before the days of guardian-approved sign-outs, or any kind of student security at all. A dude wearing a clown mask and proffering candy, with naked hairy legs sticking out from under his grimy trench coat, could herd children straight into his windowless white van right in the school driveway, for all anyone in the main office cares. I doubt any of the kids on my regular bus even notice I’m not riding with them. I tell friends I’m ‘walking home’ often enough when I’m heading to the park after school for sex.

Compared to most of the guys who use me, Sam’s young—in his early thirties. He’s got a tennis ball of a noggin and a head of greasy long hair parted severely at one side. Worse, he has a tendency to wear tiny little John Lennon sunglasses and shiny polyester shirts unbuttoned to his sternum. But he’s got a thick mustache that feels good on my hole and an even thicker dick that’s always rock hard. I first met him in the park, of course, haunting the shadows between trees in the forested cruising area near the lake restrooms.

We’ve had a standing date for several weeks now, Sam and I. He’s one of the few men I know, in a way, from outside the park’s perimeter. A few years ago he used to work at the Colonial Market as a bag boy, in the days when bag boys would wheel a customer’s purchases to her car and load them into her trunk; he might not remember me from my visits to the market with my father, but I remembered his hairy chest, and that mustache. He lives with his parents still, so his vehicle is our bedroom.

Typically I hop into Sam’s car and he’ll slap my leg with one of his meaty hands, and maybe even probe my groin before shifting the Mustang into gear. We’ll drive the mile and a half to the park, and find some unoccupied and unpoliced nook before coupling with athletic fervor in the back seat. Today, though, he waits until I’ve pulled shut the passenger-side door. He’s peering through the windshield with those little round lenses. “Who’s that?” he asks.

“Who’s what where?” I say, automatically.

I follow the direction he points. There’s a wall of yellow school busses between us and the front lawn of the school; I’d dashed between two of them toward the front of the line in order to cross the street and find Sam’s Mustang parked among the lineup of waiting parents. At the exact point between the two busses I’d cut through, I see a square-topped mulleted head poking through: James Marshall.

So used am I not to betraying any emotion among these little savages that my face doesn’t even register the anger and alarm roiling in my stomach. I slide down in my seat, though, so my face isn’t immediately visible. “You know him?” Sam asks. I nod. “Friend of yours?”

James is trying to spy me among the parked cars, but I’m a good twenty or thirty feet away, and there are enough kids milling around to make things confusing. “Well,” I say, “not really.”

“I noticed him last week doing the same thing,” Sam tells me. “Like he’s looking for you or something.”

It’s been a good couple of weeks since the encounter in the chemistry lab. Even though we move from class to class together for most of the day, we don’t sit near each other, not ever; since our conversation, the only time James has spoken has been when I’ve made the mistake of allowing myself to come in range of him and Shirley Riley. I’ll see her elbow fly into his ribs, and he’ll clear his throat and duly prompted, say hello or ask how I’m doing. Every time, I pretend I haven’t heard. I’m not a scared kid retreating into a shell—I think of myself as a wary combatant who won’t permit any enemy salvos to penetrate my hardened armor.

I shrug. “Must be looking for somebody else,” I tell Sam. He doesn’t care. He takes my word, starts the Mustang, and pulls out into the street. His hand begins creeping up my thigh mere seconds after he’s left James growing smaller in the rear-view mirror.


3.

“Are my eyes too small?” I wonder aloud.

We’re deep in the park, the Mustang hidden behind a bank of leafy azaleas off one of the park’s lots, which is deserted at that time of day. Sam has rolled down the front windows by a couple of inches so that we can hear the crackle of approaching tires on gravel, but we’ve been undisturbed for the better part of an hour.

My feet are pressing up against the Mustang’s roof; the back of my skull presses painfully against one of the metal seatbelts. Except for my socks, I’m naked. Sam has pulled down his 501s and opened his shirt to reveal the coils of hair covering his chest. He’s balls-deep in my hole when I ask my question. He doesn’t miss a stroke when he replies, though. “Too small for what?”

His dick feels good. My hole is stinging and prickling from the way he stretches me. I don’t even know why I’m obsessed with the image of James poking his head out between those busses in search of me, but the notion he’s been spying on me picks at my brain, even through the insistent pounding of Sam’s thick meat. I must sound stupid, interrupting a fuck for what I recognize is petty bullshit, though. “Too small for my face?” I shake my head and arch my back to accommodate him. “Never mind.”

“Too small for your face?” Sam sounds like he’s never heard of such a thing. “What kind of crazy dumb-ass told you that?”

“Kids at school.”

“Not that kid I asked about, is it?” I have to give Sam credit. The entire time we’re having this conversation, he’s plugging away at my hole. “That scrawny little asswipe?”

Pleasurable as it is to hear James Marshall described thusly, I sigh. “I think he’s trying to catch me.”

“Catch you? Catch you doing what?”

I gesture to Sam and myself, to what we’re doing. “This,” I tell him. When Sam doesn’t comprehend, I explain, “I think he’s trying to catch me doing this, so he can tell everyone I’m, you know.”

“Queer?” The word isn’t empowered, reclaimed language in 1978. It’s one hundred percent vile epithet. I flinch upon hearing Sam spew it so casually. “He thinks you’re some kind of faggot or something? You ain’t queer. I don’t fuck queers.”

I’m shocked into silence by his vehemence. Here I am, confronting for the first time the absurd and comic premise forming the basis of my teenaged existence.

It’s nine years after Stonewall—though I haven’t yet heard of the riots, deep in the South. I’m a naked fourteen-year-old boy in the back of a sports car, where a blue-collar thirty-four-year old is balls-deep in my hole, listening to him proclaim that neither one of us is a queer. He wholeheartedly believes his lie, too. What we’re doing with our private parts—what we’ve done every Friday for weeks—doesn’t count. My holes, his dick, the cum we shoot, none of it signifies. To Sam, sex is just a leisure hobby he shares with me, as interchangeable and uncorrupt as crossword puzzles, or whittling. Sex with another male, sex with a boy—neither makes him queer. I heard contempt in his voice when he spat the word: queers are dirty. Dangerous. Despicable. The two of us are just normal guys, you know, taking care of business in the back of a Mustang MPG.

This is the fallacy behind every sexual encounter I’ve had in the last two years. None of us, we convince ourselves, are homosexual. Where we put our dicks doesn’t make us what we are, these men tell me with every silent encounter, with every hand pressing on my skull, with every nudge against the small of my back. What happens in the bushes, under the toilet stall, on the picnic tables in the dark of night…in the minds of the men unzipping for me, none of it defines who they are.

“I can’t believe anyone would think you’re a queer,” he’s muttering to himself, seizing my legs to hoist me higher in the air so he can keep plowing away. “You ain’t, and that’s that.”

I nod. I recognize how preposterous we’re being. Not just Sam and I, but everyone. All of us night shadows, all my fellow tearoom apparitions, the phantoms who silently slip in and out of cars parked at the river’s bend. Every falsehood we tell ourselves, every act we deny, forms another part of my initiation into a great fraternity of liars.

Sometimes I feel I’m the only person who recognizes truth for what it is. I know I’m a queer. At fourteen I know I’ll be performing these acts for the rest of my life. Enjoying them, even. I may have to deny what I am with every fiber of my being in public, but in private, I’ll relish it all—every man’s mouth against mine, every stiff prick protruding from an unzipped pant, every time a man will turn me around and bend me over. Sex with men is the most blissful part of my fourteen-year-old life. How am I supposed to contemplate decades of renouncing what makes me happiest?

And yet, some juvenile philosopher in me realizes that if sex with men brings me joy, perhaps little lies aren’t such a bad compromise. By and large, most of my tricks are exceedingly kind. Kinder by far than my schoolmates. Sam address me like I’m a friend—even a comrade of sorts, when we both talk about getting out of our parents’ basements. Most of my partners, in fact, treat me as a peer. They’ll ask about my interests. Share their own. One opens his library to me when he discovers I love reading, and encourages me to try Dickens and his other favorites.

I think of the one man who rogered me diligently in the woods, then took his time ferrying me to a service station to patiently help repair a bicycle tire when I’d discovered it flat. The former math professor who had spent multiple afternoons showing me how to balance equations, when I needed help. The physician who gave me a card and offered his assistance, discreet and gratis, if ever I were to catch anything. The multiple gentlemen who didn’t want to see me pedal home from the park late at night, who would kindly drive me and my bike close to home and drop me off at the end of my block.

Kind strangers who would whisper advice in my ear on parting—what cruising spots to avoid, which restrooms were being watched. Partners who, on those very rare occasions we’d see the black-and-white of a police car in the distance, or the red flash of rotating lights, would first make sure my pants were pulled up and my clothes arranged, before even thinking of attending to their own.

The men of this fraternity laugh—not at me, but with me, at shared jokes of our own creation. We hold each other in contented silences after coupling, glued together by sweat, semen, and simple affection. They tell me I’m desirable—that I’m beautiful. More than anyone at home, or at school, they’re in a position to assure my developing self I’ll grow up okay. That despite my queerness, I’ll be something close to whole. The men of this fraternity look out for me. They keep me safe.

In years to come, if someone suggests that the behavior of my brothers was cruel, that what they did to me amounts to molestation, I will shake my head. This was a family that raised me, I’ll explain. They provided education and protection, and brought me happiness when I couldn’t find it at home or school. Harm was furthest from their minds.

If belonging to this brotherhood means playing along with the daffy illusion that none of us are queers…it’s a small price to pay. For now.


4.

Another lunch in the chemistry lab, powering through homework so I can have time after school for the park. “I saw Bobby sitting next to you on the bus last week.” It’s James again. He’s talking about a upperclassman, a basketball player with whom I’ll have a moment, next year. But not yet. “You like him, huh?”

James is trying much too hard to be casual. I see through him like cellophane. “Who?”

My stubborn refusal to play along irks him, I can tell. “Bobby,” he explains. “On the basketball team. Tall. He was sitting right next to you on the bus.”

I shake my head. “I don’t remember.” Then, in a savage attempt at payback, I ask blandly, “Why, is he someone you like?”

I’ve cut too close to home. He doesn’t even attempt to veil his hostility, now. “Where’d you disappear to, Friday? Don’t tell me you were on the bus. I was on it and you weren’t.”

“My brother picked me up and gave me a ride home,” I reply.

Could be the truth. Could be a bald lie. Could be somewhere in between. He doesn’t know, either way.

There’s silence for a moment. Finally, wheedling, he says, “I’m just trying to be your friend. It’s got to be bothering you. You can talk to me.”

Maybe in a later decade—or in a happier year, in E. M. Forster's words—we could have been friends, James and I. Perhaps our similarities could have been the bond for a lifelong accord. Now, though, only nine years after an uprising that still hasn’t crept south of the Mason-Dixon line to this land that has no queers, I can’t afford the risk. I haven’t yet heard of the term zero-sum game, but instinctively I grasp the stakes here: he won’t win, nor will he feel safe from persecution, until he renders me the loser by exposing all I am.

Yet instead of feeling entrapped, I’m liberated. A new understanding clicks into place. In my life, I realize, I have the perfect freedom to associate with whom I choose. I’d never ally with anyone who’d minimize or persecute me. Why should I pretend otherwise?

“But James,” I say, emphasizing his name. “We really aren’t friends. Are we.” There’s gravity in my pronouncement; it swings heavily between us. We stare at each other for a moment. Then I lean over my homework and wait for him to depart.

I’ve declared my allegiance. I am in solidarity with my chosen tribe. From now on, I’ll wander with the nomads of the parks, with the invisible lovers of shadow. I belong to a new band of brothers: my fraternity of liars.

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Boyfriend Experience

I’m walking toward Broadway in the lower Seventies when I pass a storefront with a display of floral bouquets out front. Garish carnations dyed orange, bundles of freesia, drooping boughs of heather. On impulse, I stop to select a plastic-wrapped cone of roses. The bored young man inside smiles when I proffer them to be rung up. “For your girlfriend?” he asks.

“For my boyfriend,” I correct. He just raises his eyebrows, shares a knowing smile as if he’d already guessed that answer, and returns my change.

Almost at your place, I text, as I step out back out onto the sidewalk. It’s only a little before five, and already the sky is almost dark in New York. People are hustling homeward with swift steps; most of them seem to be in pairs. I’ve scarcely shoved my phone back into my pocket when it vibrates once more. I press myself against the shop front, pull it out, and see a notification from one of my cash apps. There are four digits before the decimal point.

So that part of the transaction is done.

Julio’s apartment is only a short walk from where I’ve selected my bouquet. In the vestibule I press a tiny button with my index finger, wait for the corresponding buzz of the door, and let myself in. I share my ride to the tenth floor with an older couple. They smile at the flowers, and then at me, conspirators in my wooing. I pull my mouth to the side, wryly bashful, and wish them a good evening when they exit on eight. At my floor, I step out, look both ways to find the direction I need to go. When I’m outside his door, I press the rectangular button beneath the peep hole. With one hand I hold the flowers behind my back, parallel to my spine.

I hear footsteps. The door opens. A man stands before me—shaved head, muscular, handsome, late thirties. I’ve seen photos, of course; they didn’t do him justice. Julio’s wearing nothing but a towel. His hairless pecs still glisten with droplets of water, as if he’s run to the door straight out of the shower. He’s considerably shorter than I expected, but it’s obvious he’s a powerful man. “Baby,” he says, looking at me with chocolate brown eyes. He speaks in velvet tones. “You got in early.”

“Hey, lover,” I murmur back. I lean forward from the waist over the threshold of his apartment until my lips meet his. His eyes close as he melts into the gentle kiss. One of his hands still holds his towel at the hip, but with the other, he cups the side of my furry face. “I’m home.”

The kiss ends. I straighten up. For a moment, his eyes remain closed, as if he’s still lost in the moment just passed. Finally, he smiles. “Yes, baby. You’re home. And I’m so glad.”

That’s when I present the flowers. He’s genuinely surprised; his eyes dart back and forth between the red roses and my face as if he can’t believe I’ve gone to the trouble. “What were you thinking?” he fusses, absurdly pleased, as he paces down the hallway into his little kitchen, roses in one hand, the ends of his towel in the other. The apartment smells of spices; there’s something cooking in the oven.

I follow him, and watch as he lays the flowers onto the counter and tucks the terrycloth to fasten it tight. “I was thinking that it has been a long time since I’ve been home, and that my boyfriend might like to know I’ve been thinking of him. Every day. Every minute. Every second.”

He’s flattered, I can tell. Both hands now free, he joins me at the kitchen door. “I missed you,” he tells me.

“I missed you too,” I say, softly. Our faces are mere inches apart. “My beautiful, beautiful boyfriend.”



That’s when he takes my face between his palms and draws me down for another kiss. This one is soft, deep, my tongue deep in his mouth, his hands holding me in place until he knows my taste. “You don’t have to say that.”

There’s a genuine bashfulness in the way he nay-says me. Is he fishing for compliments? He doesn’t seem the type. Maybe he’s unaware how striking are those rugged features—the crooked nose that looks like it might have been broken at some point, the sculpted brow, the point of his chin. I can picture him in his Wall Street pinstripe armor as a formidable foe, or as a beast lifting weights at the local Equinox. Here though, nearly naked, his damp flesh pressed against my fully-clothed body, he’s sincerely handsome. “I say it because it’s true,” I assure him.

Julio cracks a smile. He’s delighted, I can tell. And shy. Surprisingly shy. “God, I missed you,” he says, as he grabs my hand and leads me deeper into the apartment.

Julio’s home is no cramped walk-up; it’s a genuine luxury flat. I’d already noticed the gleaming stainless steel and marble of the kitchen. The combined living and dining areas seem professionally decorated, or at least the pieces have been chosen with someone with taste far better than mine, and with much deeper pockets. The oversized sofas are upholstered in rich, textured jewel-colored fabrics; the dining table is glass and steel. Plush rugs in earth tones delineate the different living spaces. It’s not a decorator’s showcase, though; the space looks lived-in. There’s a stack of mail on one of the occasional tables, and books that actually look like they’ve been read on the shelves; through the bedroom door I can see Julio’s work suit discarded on the mattress.

“Hey babe, I know I said we’d go out to dinner, but the show’s at seven and I thought I’d just cook at home so we wouldn’t be in such a rush.” He holds both my hands now as we sink onto a sofa together.

“That’s great,” I tell him. “It gives me more time to spend with you here, baby.”

Again, he seems pleased with my answer. “Are you tired?” he asks. “Let me rub my boyfriend’s shoulders.”

I laugh, and protest, but he’s already helping me out of my jacket. I admit to being a casual dresser at the best of times—a hoodie and jeans kind of guy. Tonight, though, I’ve made an effort to clean up. I’m wearing dark slacks and shiny black shoes, a dress shirt of deep purple with cuff links, and one of the few sports jackets I own. I’d had a haircut earlier in the week. I’ve been growing out my beard for the last two months, but earlier today I’d made an effort to trim the sides and groom back the startling chin so that it looks neat and respectable. Surrounded by all this finery, however, I feel a little like Cinderella, the kitchen drudge cleaned up for the ball.

Once Julio has positioned me so that I’m leaning over the sofa’s arm, I feel the warmth of his body across my back. His fingers begin kneading my muscles. It’s been so long since anyone has done this for me. I sigh, and allow him to continue. “You’re so tense,” he whispers in my ear. “Did you have a hard day at work?”

“No,” I murmur, my eyes closed. “I just missed you, baby.”

“Really?” he asks. “My god, you are so sweet. I couldn’t have asked for a better boyfriend.”

“Neither could I.” I groan slightly as he finds a knot and massages it into submission. “You are so good to me. So handsome.”

For reward, he plants a succession of tiny kisses upon the back of my neck. I gasp at the tickling sensation, then shiver as the fluttering pecks send a wave of tingles across my scalp and down my spine. “My sexy boyfriend.” His words, whispered directly into my ear, cause another tsunami of shivers across my skin.

Something is pressing into my lower back. Hard. Insistent. I’m pretty sure it’s his cock. I twist myself around, reach beneath his towel, and wrap my fingers around his dick. It burns like a branding iron in the palm of my right hand. I can feel wetness from its tip on the inside of my wrist. For a moment we stare at each other as I squeeze him tightly. “Oh god, I have missed you,” I tell him at last.

“Me too,” he says. Then he’s on top of me, his mouth on mine, his hands stroking my beard, my hair, the underside of my chin. Our kisses grow more and more desperate as I hold his rigid cock in my hand. It’s thick. Short—maybe five and a half inches. Uncut. I haven’t seen it yet, but can easily imagine the thick dark shaft, the fat and glistening head. “Baby, I don’t want you ever to go away again.”

“I won’t.” Tonight I’ll be saying all kinds of things I cannot really mean. We both know that. But in the moment? My promise is all sincerity. “I belong to you.”

“You’re my boyfriend,” he whispers, staring down from above.

“And you’re my boyfriend,” I reply. In that moment, I’m being honest.

We stare at each other in the moment. His flesh throbs in my hand. Then slowly, sweetly, he leans down to kiss my forehead. “Let me get you some dinner, baby,” he whispers.



There’s a breed of man who sometimes crave the close and established intimacy of a lover—a deeply-connected lover with whom they have a history—yet who have little time, or perhaps no serious inclination, to cultivate a long-term romance. In my experience, these men tend to have achieved success in their careers, perhaps at the cost of their own personal lives. These men sometimes reach out to me and inquire whether I’d be willing to fulfill, for a price, a specific fantasy.

The Boyfriend Experience. It has a name. The illusion, just for a few hours, or a day, or a weekend, of complete intimacy, of a familiarity that goes far beyond a hookup. It combines tenderness. Suavity. A gallant respect for the client and his emotional needs. The Boyfriend Experience is perhaps the deepest form of Method role-play I’ve ever encountered.

Take Julio. I’ve never met him before today. We’ve communicated only briefly, first through an app and then later a handful of text messages. There’s so much I don’t know about this man—what he does for work, what paths in life he’s walked to get to this point, his tastes in food, his family and friends, whether he’s one of those Taylor Swift gays. His surname, even.

And yet, how difficult is it, really, to be a good boyfriend to someone you’ve never met? I’m leaning against the kitchen lintel, glass of red wine in my hand, watching him putter around the stove and steaming some green beans. He’s talking about work. Someone named Gretchen has done something that I can’t in the least parse, but it sounds as if it could be grievous. Julio, now wearing a t-shirt and joggers beneath his apron, checks on whatever smells so good in the oven and chatters away about how he spent an hour consoling Gretchen and trying to educate her on how to avoid the problem in the future.

“You are such a good mentor, baby,” I tell him. I’m sincere. I’m not making a stab in the dark. It genuinely sounds as if he’s doing the right thing by this woman. “But that’s just the kind of man you are.”

He beams. Doesn’t the colleagues with whom he spends his days tell him such truths? I suspect not, after he replies with a shy, “Do you really think so?”

“Yes, I really think so.” For reward, he comes over, stands on tiptoe, and kisses traces of wine from my lips. “So tell me more. What happened?”

And then I listen, like a good boyfriend should.

We sit catercorner at one end of the glass-topped dining table over dinner, glasses of wine nudging together as closely as our knees. The roses I bought for him sit in a glass vase filled with water, at the table’s center. He’s pulled open the draperies, revealing a fantastic view of Broadway below, and of lights from the neighboring buildings. He’s still telling me work stories, dropping first names as if I’ve heard them all before, while I nod or shake my head at appropriate junctures, and ask questions when I feel the need for more clarification. I don’t find financial work all that fascinating, but I’m here to pay attention, so I do. Meanwhile, I eat the eggplant lasagna, laden with cream and cheese, that he’s sweated over, and compliment his cooking skills.

“I wanted to make sure you got a good meal before we go out,” he says.

“You are so fucking sweet,” I reply, meaning it. In my time I’ve cooked for plenty men I’ve loved. None of them have cooked for me. Impulsively, I place my hand over his.

“Anything for my boyfriend,” he tells me, as he leans in for another kiss.



The show is less than three blocks from his apartment, a way-off-Broadway comic revue of which I’ve seen other iterations. The theater itself sits on the second floor of the building, over a restaurant; once we’ve passed the ticket-taker, we slide across a vinyl bench to sit side-by-side at a cocktail table close to the tiny stage. The audience demographic seems to be mostly older than me, and definitely a lot older than my date, but there are young gay men in pairs sprinkled throughout the crowd. Once settled, I rest my left arm atop the padded bench’s back, around Julio’s shoulders.

“Cocktails?” asks a server.

Julio’s already studied the drinks menu. Without consulting me, he tells the young woman we’ll be having the theater’s fruity variation on a Moscow Mule. I’m taken aback at having someone choosing for me, yet slightly flattered, especially since of all the specialty cocktails on the list, he’d picked what I’d have chosen. “Everybody’s looking at us,” he murmurs in my ear.

“Are they?” I ask, scanning around. I don’t see any evidence of his claim, but I haven’t been paying attention to anyone else but him.

“They’re probably wondering how I landed such a handsome boyfriend.” I flush a little at the compliment. If anything, I suspect they’re speculating why such a good-looking Latin stud is saddled with such an old geezer—the prince burdened with Cinderella. He leans in a little closer, though, as if telling me a secret. “They’re probably wondering what a tall, handsome…big-dicked…stud sees in someone like me.”

Again, my scalp and spine tingle from the combination of flattery and close-talking. “I’m the lucky one,” I tell him. His hand rests on the table; with my left arm still around his shoulders, I cross my right arm to take his hand in mine. I look him in the eyes. “Because I’m out on the town with the most handsome boyfriend in the theater. If they’re looking—it’s because they’re jealous I have such a good-looking man to take care of.”

I sidle closer on the bench as I speak. It doesn’t take a psychic to know how pleased he is by those words. His eyes are liquid. His lips tremble with unspoken happiness.

“You are beautiful,” I tell him. I need no acting skills to mean what I say. The server arrives with our drinks, disappointingly served in bar glasses instead of copper mugs.

“You’re my gorgeous boyfriend,” he says, giving me a gentle kiss on the cheeks.

I raise my mule. He taps his glass against mine. “To us,” I suggest.

He agrees. “To us.”

Then the lights dim.



We hold hands on the walk back to his apartment, my larger paw completely encompassing his fingers. No one really turns a head to stare our way, but I sense that he wants to be seen like this. With someone. Together. Taken. The show had no intermission and hadn’t lasted more than an hour and a half, so it’s not even quite nine o’clock yet. “You want a hot dog, baby?” he asks, as we amble past the sidewalk brightly lit by Gray’s Papaya.

“No. Seriously, after your delicious dinner?” I ask. “You’re not hungry, are you? Do you want a hot dog?”

He squeezes my hand. “I’m hungry for something. Something I want only from my hunky boyfriend.”

My dick stirs at the insinuation. “I think I can accommodate you, in a bit.”

Up Broadway we stroll, seemingly in no particular hurry, though we’re both anxious to get back to his apartment. Along the way he tells me more about an upcoming work trip to Chicago, where’s he never visited before. I share a few of my hazy memories of previous visits to the city, but mostly he’s interested in telling me about the hotel where he’ll be staying, the deals he’s expected to accomplish. I know much more about Julio and his day-to-day workflow than he knows anything about me, at this point, but I don’t mind. A good boyfriend—in this situation—listens more than he speaks.

Once we reach his building, we fall silent. No conversation during our elevator ride up, though our fingers remain clasped. Neither of us utter a word as we walk down the hall to his apartment. I drop his hand when he fumbles with the door keys, and follow him inside.

“We’re home, baby,” he finally says, once we’ve crossed the threshold.

“We’re home,” I echo.

He turns to face me. All evening he’s been spoiling me with alcohol and food, with back rubs, with entertainment. Now, I sense, it’s my turn. I step forward until I’m able to hold him by the shoulders. My face looms over his. “You’re so good to me, sweetheart,” I whisper.

“I love being good to you,” he protests. His voice is soft. Breathy.

“Now let me be good to you.”

Slowly—slowly—I lean down. Our lips connect. I hesitate, pull back, and look into his eyes. “Do you love me, Julio?”

This powerful little man, this muscular athlete, seems unsteady on his feet at hearing the question. He breathes, “Yes. I love you so much.” My heart pounds more quickly when he says my name.

“I love you too,” I tell him. Again I give him the lightest kiss possible, our lips barely touching, our hastened breaths warming each others’ faces. “You know that, right?”

Slowly he nods. “I know.”

“And you’re going to show me how much you love me, right now,” I inform him.

“Yes.”

“Because you’re my boyfriend.”

“Because I’m your boyfriend. And because I love you.”

I look into those brown eyes and pause a moment before I say, emphasizing each word, “And I love you like no other.”

My erection rages as he leads me into the bedroom. Gently, carefully, he removes my jacket. Undoes my cuff links. Kneels to slip off my shoes. Lifts each foot to remove and fold the sock covering it. He stands, unbuttons my shirt, unclasps my belt. I finish the job of removing the rest of what I’m wearing, watching as he undresses.

He was solicitous with my clothing, but he shows no mercy to his own, in his haste to get naked. Shoes and socks fly. He yanks open his shirt front so quickly that I imagine buttons popping. His pants and shorts hit the floor with a thump. Then he’s on the king-sized bed, on his back, holding out his arms for me while I’m still shucking my trunks. “Come to me, baby.”

I straddle him on the mattress. Both our dicks are hard as cement; they strike against each other like fencing epees. When I lower my weight on his smaller frame, he wraps his knees and arms around my body and holds me tight. “I need you tonight,” I tell him. “I need to be deep inside you, sweetheart.”

“Use me,” he begs. I feel him reach for my dick, and then sense him squeezing it tightly for the first time. “I want that big dick making me pregnant.”

“Yeah?” I ask. “I’ve always wanted to have a baby with the man I love.”

“I need your babies.”

His moaning continues, though muffled, as I kiss him roughly. “I think about you all day at work,” I tell him when we come up for air. “People see me daydreaming and they tease that I must be thinking about my boyfriend again.”

“Oh fuck,” he pants. “That is so hot, baby.”

“They’ve all seen the photo of you I keep on my desk,” I tell him. “They all know that I’ve got the most handsome boyfriend out there.”

“You keep my photo on your desk?” he asks with wonder, as if this world for two we’re building is real. “Really?”

“Of course!” I exclaim, cradling him in my arms. “I’m proud of being your boyfriend.”

I retrieve my right hand, gently lift it to my lips, and deliver a payload of spittle to his rectum. “Oh fuck, baby,” he says again, as I slather the moisture there. “You don’t know how that makes me feel.”

I shake my head. “I know exactly how that makes you feel. Because I love you.”

“I love you,” he repeats, lost in sensation.

“Then show me,” I tell him.

It takes only the gentles of nudge to roll him onto his abdomen. I position a pillow beneath his hips, then spread his hairy little legs. He gasps when I taste him; my beard is covered with the scent of his shower soap, and of my own spit, as I lick my way into his pussy. Deeper and deeper I delve as he jerks, twitches, and groans. “Fuck me, baby,” he says, while I lap away at his most tender parts. Then, more sharply, “Fuck me!”

With that snappish tone, he sounds more like a client making demands. I’m not a dick for hire, though. I’m not his employee. No way. Not now. I’m this man’s boyfriend. I call the shots.

I love eating hole, and his is the perfect combination of fuzz and warmth. So for a while, I ignore him, and gnaw my way in. His tone is less aggressive next time he speaks. “Fuck me,” he begs as I pull apart his cheeks.

But no. I’m still rapt in my own passion for my boyfriend’s hole. It slides open when I insert two fingers, three. His back arches; his hips lift. I’m determined to pleasure him this way until he can’t stand it.

A few minutes later, he sobs. “Fuck me. Please fuck me. Please—just fuck me. Please.” I’ve tamed the boss. Reduced the beast to whimpers.

That’s when I pull myself to my knees and plant my hands on either side of his ribs. “Yeah?” I ask, sounding dubious. “Should I stick it in?”

“Yes.” He’s almost crying with frustration and pleasure.

“You want your boyfriend’s dick in that sweet ass?”

“Yes!”

“Why?”

“Why?” he repeats. And now he wrestles with the pillow and manages to turn himself on his side, so that he can look me in the eye in that dark bedroom, illuminated only by the city’s lights. “Because I want to show how much I love you.”

I allow the words to hang in the air for a moment. Finally, I nod. Help him turn onto his back. Adjust the pillow once more beneath his hips. Haul his legs into the air, and aim my pulsing cock at the hole. “I want you to look me in the eyes as I slide in,” I tell him. He nods, anxious to have me inside. “And I want you to tell me how much you love me when it’s time to breed you.”

“I’ll tell you how much I love you right now,” he promises. “I love you, baby.” My head presses against the point of entry. “I love you so much.” I feel his flesh part to admit me. I hit the first ring, and press harder. “I love you,” he says. “I love you. I love my boyfriend so…ahhhhh.”

And then I’m in. True to his promise, he keeps his eyes wide open, adoring me from below as I slide to the base.



It’s after midnight. Julio sleeps in a fetal position, his legs pulled up, his head crooked down. It rests on my half-numb arm. I’m big spoon to his little. My belly is glued to his back by the juices of four loads. A few minutes before, he had asked, in the softest and most boyish of voices, “Will you stay until I fall asleep, baby?”

I’d kissed the top of his smooth head, and rubbed my beard against his neck. “Of course.”

He had sighed, and cuddled against me. “I have the best boyfriend,” had been his last words before subsiding into a doze.

I’ve been lying with him, listening to him breathe, for the last half hour. Down on the streets below I can hear the occasional whine of traffic whenever the lights change. Distant sirens occasionally cut through the quiet. Julio slumbers solidly, now. I’m able to retrieve my prickling left arm from beneath him without disturbing his rest. After I creep to my feet, I pull up the sheets and blankets from the bed’s bottom, where we’d kicked them a couple of hours before. His deep respiration continues as I tuck them gently around his shoulders.

I don’t take a shower—I don’t want to wake him, and I’ve a commuter train back home to catch. In the bathroom I do quietly run a washcloth beneath the faucet and sponge myself off, however, then check my reflection in the gloom before returning to the bedroom. My clothes are mostly in one place; I dress, check my pockets, and determine I’m good to go.

I’m walking in the direction of the front door when I see the roses I’d bought Julio, resting in their vase on the dining table. I pause, then pluck one from the rest. I wipe the water from its stem onto my palm, and tiptoe back into the bedroom. Then, gently, softly, I lay it upon the pillow where my head had been resting a few minutes before.

It will be the first thing he sees when he wakes in the morning, my boyfriend. I love you so much, he’d told me, I think, as I let myself out.

In that moment, those were the words I’d needed to hear. Even if, like Cinderella’s gown and carriage, their spell had evaporated at midnight.