Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Morning Questions: Great Leaps in Technology Edition

Sometimes it strikes me that in the last thirty-five years I've gone from this:

To this:

The former photo, for those of you who were not born during the years of the Black Plague, is not some old phone handset. It's a Parker Brothers Merlin, an electronic toy that was popular during my early teen years. The Merlin played a whopping six games—trust me, that was a lot in those days. I remember there was a weird version of blackjack that went to thirteen instead of twenty-one, a tone and musical matching game like Merlin's archrival, Simon, a crude version of tic-tac-toe, and a magic square game that kept me occupied for long periods of time.

I used Merlin in at least one similar way I use my iPhone at home; I carried it around with me and at night would crawl into bed and play its games until I fell asleep. Or at least until I was ready to masturbate and fall asleep. Times haven't changed.

The one advantage of today's modern gadgetry, of course, is that it plays more than six games—and can run apps like Grindr. Not that I've installed Grindr yet, mind you. I've had a distinct aversion to it since its release—not because I'm morally opposed to it, or any such high-minded reason. Mostly I never installed it because in my old home, it was considered sport in most of the bars I'd visit to whip out one's smartphone, fire up Grindr, and laugh at the pictures and profiles of the poor sods who happened to be nearby.

I always thought the sport was mean, and refused to join in. After all, these guys were putting their photos out there in good faith, not because they wanted to be roundly mocked (by guys afraid to do the same, no less!) for their sartorial choices or their facial expressions.

Grindr is something of a necessary tool in the good gay man's arsenal up here in the northeast, though, so I'm working my way around to not flinching at the mention of it. And as a step in its direction, I've installed the app Scruff instead. Scruff works similarly—it tracks the GPS locations of its users when they log in, and then presents each with a list of the geographically-closest. I think the original intent of Scruff was to be an alternative Grindr for bears and other gay guys who aren't close to some smooth, cologne-model ideal . . . and there are a lot of fun and funky furry fellows on its rolls.

I've had some nice conversations with guys on Scruff—and hello to you guys out there who've seen me (all over the country, no less) and recognized me and given me a shout-out—and may, emphasis on may, have even found someone there with whom I might be breaking my dry spell. We'll see on that one. If you see me Scruffin' around, though, sure sure to say hi.

Let's get to some Formspring questions—and if you have any to ask me yourself, please do at their website.

How old were you when you started barebacking? Also, how does it feel to be double penetrated, can you describe the experience?

I started having sex in in the mid-nineteen-seventies, almost a decade before condoms started to become widely recommended for gay anal sex. So basically when I began having sex, it was all unprotected.

I've never been on the bottom of a double penetration. I can say that I don't find it all that enjoyable as a top. I don't get much of a range of motion out of it, and since I'm almost always on the bottom of the pile, the only sensation I really get is of three hundred or more pounds of flesh on top of me.

I will say that the guys who like being double-penetrated, really like it.

Which do you prefer, public or private hookups?

They both enjoyable. I'm apt to be more relaxed in private, however.

What do you do when you're sad or angry?

In a word, mope.

Then I get a night's sleep and am usually back on my feet, after that.

Are you fashion conscious? If you are, what labels or designers do you own the most of and what would you LIKE to own more of?

I'm very fashion conscious in the sense that I tend to be very careful and knowledgable about the types of garments that flatter me best. I'm anti-advertising, however, and refuse to be a walking billboard for the brands that insist on affixing logos or their brand name on the exterior of every piece of clothing I own.

When it comes to designers, most of my dress shirts tend to be Calvin Klein; most of my other clothing tends to be Banana Republic. They suit me. My shoes tend to be Converse Chucks, or Kenneth Coles.

Do you believe in THE ONE?

I believe that every person has multiple opportunities within his or her lifetime to find a great deal of happiness with another person. I believe it's possible to choose one of them and attempt to make a lifetime of it. I also believe it's possible to establish many strong relationships over the course of the years.

So no, I don't believe in the one, singular. I believe in the abundance of life's opportunities.

What are some good things that come with your move?

It's easy, once you're in an established routine, to wish from time to time for a blank slate. Some new beginnings. Not everyone gets that opportunity, but I will. I'm especially happy about the thought of making new friends.

I'll also have more access to New York City in my new home, which is also exciting.

When hooking up, how old is too old?

I've encountered men over sixty-five who are very hot, virile, and highly attractive. And I've encountered men of the same age who are run-down and not that attractive to me. It's not simply the number of days one's lived that make a good sexual partner. There are other factors as well.

Sexiest part of the body to be kissed?

For me, it's the back of my neck and my shoulders, or anywhere on my upper back. It's a sensitive zone for me, and the sensation of being touched, licked, or kissed there makes me melt.

What underwear turn you on the the most?

The underwear that some guy has shucked off onto my bedroom floor.

Do you like eating another guy's cum?

Absolutely I do—unless he has foul-tasting semen. Then I'm not so wild about it. There are certain things that make cum taste really foul, like smoking, or excessive coffee drinking, or not enough hydration in the system.

Are you the beneficiary of a trust fund?

God, no. I make less money than a McDonald's clerk, doing what I do.

Are you cut or uncut and are you happy about that? Do you feel parents should wait so the boy can decide for himself whether he wants to be cut?

I'm cut, and don't mind it--but I don't really know what it's like from the other side.

I don't necessarily understand the justifications for circumcision in general, however, and would never subject any of my male children to it. It's genital mutilation, plain and simple. The objections of cleanliness strike me as overrated; there are all kinds of places on the body that can filled with gunk. If a kid can be trained to keep his belly button clean, he can clean out his foreskin.


  1. I had Merlin, I bought it for myself as an adult and put in under the christmas tree from Santa to

    I can still here the sounds it made playing that simon type game.

    I don't think I would care for these Grindr type things. Since I don't have a smart phone I don't have to deal with it. Can't think why I would need to be at the mall and check to see if someone in the crowd was looking for sex. But a bored husband waiting for his wife to shop may have some time to

  2. Dude, talk about advances in technology: Last night I played chess online with someone (and we both sucked so we had to draw). The last time I played chess was before I had the internet and I had to stalk around until I could find someone willing to sit long enough to play. Same with Monopoly or Clue. The funny part is, I still love those board games as board game. The DVD versions just aren't as fun.

    And I used to fall asleep with my Game Boy at night. And now, with my Android, I have an emulator that lets me play the old GB games and I can once again play as I fall asleep. It is so much fun.

    I've thought about trying Grindr, but my problem is that I don't have time to just sit around on my phone. And I'd rather just call people or email them. I tried Scruff out in Ohio, but it was just full of twinks looking for "Genorou$ Top$" and that kind of thing.


  3. I too had a Merlin.

    I don't 'get' Grindr. I have it on my phone but no profile. I doesn't seem to have a hook up category. Seems that most posters have and want a face pic in the ad. And I hate IMing. I haven't noticed that it's for pretty boys tho. At least not here via Scruf really more fog bears?

    I get not wanting to be a walking ad. But also I like some brands more than others too. I'll validate Calivin and Converse...their shirts too. I'll add Van Heusen, Perry Ellis, BDG and others. Whatever it is l like fitted pants and shirts whether casual or dress.