Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An open letter to local online cruisers

Dear gay and/or bisexual men of the tri-state area with online profiles,

I am a visually-oriented person.

Now, I know what you think that means. You’re assuming I’m telling you I need porn to get off. A hot movie playing on the TV, or a magazine with sticky pages sitting on the side of the bed. Maybe some good old-fashioned homemade nasty photos waiting to be flicked through on your iPhone. Yeah, that. Well, no. Not that at all.

What it really means is that my memory is shot. If you want me to keep track of who you are, I kind of need to know what you look like. That’s it.

I know you’ve got a really memorable profile name fashioned from letters and numbers that may seem random to me—like cbtg432—but make perfect sense to you. Or maybe you’ve chosen a name like nybottom123 to distinguish yourself from the hundred and twenty-two New York bottoms who boldly tread before. You’ve made a lot of effort to keep your profile cryptic, with all your Ask Mes and Not Answereds. I get it. You like that veil of mystery that lures the guys in. You really, really want them to ask you. It’s not just that you overlooked the questions. I understand.

But you know, there’s something about those profiles in which they all start really to run together, somehow. It’s not that after a while all the names start to look like a big ol’ steamin’ bowl of Campbell’s Pornographic Alphabet Soup. It’s not simply that all the Ask Mes begin to mesmerize me into a hypnotic trance. It’s the fact that you’ve left your photos blank—or that you have uploaded them, but locked them all and never offer to unlock them—that drives me around the bend.

I'm old. I'm really old. I'm practically senile. I need a little help here, and you're not giving it to me.

Case in point: the guy with the minimal profile who, by way of seductive technique, unlocks his photos for him in lieu of saying hello. It might be true that I viewed your photos and said, Hey, thanks for unlocking. You’re a handsome dude. And it might be true that I replied in the affirmative when you suggested we get together some time in the future. But when you immediately relock those photos and email me two weeks later to ask if we are ever going to get together, I’m sorry. I’m not going to remember you by your profile name of ctbottom001. I’m not going to clue in on what words we might’ve exchanged from your minimal profile. If you showed me your photos again—ah, yes. Then I would remember. If you left them displayed all the time, certainly I would. I am a visually-oriented person. I need that photo of your face to associate all your Ask Mes with a real person.

Hell, even that blurry photo of your hip that you flashed me might trigger some kind of recall. Because your sorry profile isn’t doing the trick.

Case number two: Mr. BBRT profile without an unlocked photo or description, thanks for informing me that you and I talked on Manhunt. Helpful! Except it’s not, because apparently your cryptic name on BBRT is different from whatever name you chose on Manhunt. If you’d told me the other site’s profile name, or unlocked your photo so I’d recognize it, or given me some kind of clue as to whom you might be, maybe I’d have more patience and actually reply to your emails after you didn’t seem to pick up on the hint I gave you when I responded, I have no idea what you look like. Why would I meet?


Of course, after I ignore you for a solid three weeks, when you finally unlock your photos and I discover you’re the asshole from Manhunt who stood me up not once, but twice, making me wait over an hour each time before I found out you were going to be a no-show, I can kind of understand why you were reluctant to identify yourself.

So gentlemen. Let’s recap. Want me to remember you? Have some kind of photo in your profile—something visible. Don’t make me ask you to unlock, every time. Even a picture of your fucking kneecap is going to be more memorable than a standard icon of a lock. I’m not going to meet you because of that kneecap alone, but at least instead of thinking Huh? Who dat? I’ll think, Well hey, it’s that weirdo who doesn’t show anything more than a kneecap. Howdy, stranger.


And also, if you stand me up twice, don’t be surprised I’m not all that anxious to give you a shot at doing it a third time.

But that’s ancillary to my point. Which is: I am a visually-oriented person.

Yours truly.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Earl's Discovery


(This entry is a continuation of the Earl series about my relationship with an older man in my teens, and of the complications caused by a peer named Topher. It's a direct sequel to The Last Time I Saw Topher, from a couple of weeks ago.)



No alarm rings, the morning of an especially bad day. No easy portents signal its coming. No cracked mirrors, or ravens on the lawn, no black clouds on the horizon. No spooky organ music plays in the background, or moody atmospheric synths create sounds of unease.

This particular bad day, which happened shortly before my senior year of high school, when I was sixteen, I remember as sunny and warm. Richmond had a sultry and humid haze draped over it, like mosquito netting on a still afternoon. My summer school classes were over, and I had a short period before my final two semesters commenced. What had I done that day? I don’t remember much. I’d laid around the house, and played with the cats. I’d helped my mom in the garden in the morning, because I recall smelling the indelible scent of crushed tomato leaves on my fingertips when bad things started happening, later in the day. I’d steered my bike along back streets and quiet, dozy neighborhoods to Willey Drugs, where I’d purchased a grape Nehi from the vending machine purring outside its door. And then I’d ridden down Bellevue and turned a corner and let my Raleigh touring bike clatter down onto the sidewalk in Earl’s back yard.

We’d fucked, up in his bedroom. I can remember that fuck, even—how wet my hair was from the heat, relieved only by a tiny box fan perched at an angle in his back window. Earl had taken me silently and roughly on his bed, thrusting into me with quiet, urgent grunts. It was so hot that he seemed loath to let our skin touch in any more places than necessary. His cock filled my ass, and occasionally the tops of his thighs would meet the back of mine; the flat of his hands rested on the soles of my feet. His fingers curled around my toes. Otherwise, it was too hot and we were both too clammy to touch. Even when he came, he seemed in a hurry to disengage and let our mutual temperatures mingle. His sperm spilled from my hole, onto the sheets. I lay there with my legs sprawled to either side, my hands above my head.

He tumbled beside me. On a clock, my feet would have pointed at four, and his at seven. Our heads met in the middle, intimate and familiar, next to each other in the mattress’ center. His hands stroked my hair lightly. Then we dozed a while.

I don’t remember any particular signs of doom in that afternoon, no auguries, no ill tidings. Merely a hot bath of an afternoon in which we both soaked, while we listened to Q-94 softly playing on the clock radio by Earl’s bed.

I must have fallen asleep at some point. I nap badly; I wake up confused and crabby and dazed. I always have, and on this stifling afternoon it was no different. Only this time I had been startled by Earl slamming something down on the dresser. “God damn it,” he muttered. I tried to blink the nap from my eyes and come to, but it was like surfacing from dozens of feet beneath the ocean’s surface. It takes time, no matter how urgently one has to breathe. “God damn it,” he said.

“What’s wrong?” I mumbled.

“Did you see a clip with some money under the mirror?” he asked. On his dresser, Earl kept one of his mother’s old mirrors. The frame was antique, and white, and quite ugly to my eyes. He used it as a kind of catch-all for the contents of his pockets at day’s end, for his combs and change and the horehound drops he occasionally carried. I told him I hadn’t. “God damn it,” he said a third time. “Jim!”

The sheets beneath me seemed drenched with sweat and cum, but I didn’t want to move, because the area around me might have been worse. I also dreaded that moment when the fan would inevitably blow on my moist flesh and cause me to shiver. I watched as Earl stomped out of the room and across the upstairs hallway, over to the little stair that led to the attic room that Jim claimed as his own. His voice was angry as he barked his boyfriend’s name up the stair. “Did you take my god-damned money out from under the mirror on my dresser?”

I couldn’t hear Jim’s reply, but I could tell they were starting to argue. I’d heard their arguments before—they were loud and impossible to miss, really. “No, I’m sure I didn’t lose it,” Earl was snapping. “I’m the one who actually keeps track of his money, remember?” A pause. “About two hundred dollars. I don’t know. Maybe more.” Another pause, while Jim said something. “Thanks for being so helpful. Asshole,” he muttered, as he stomped back into the room.

I didn’t say anything as Jim began rooting around his dresser like a madman. Pennies clattered to the ground as he lifted up the mirror, checked the underside, and then laid it on the bed. He lifted up the lids on the old tea set sitting to one side, and let his fingers dig through his mother’s old Wedgewood box. Through the drawers he rooted, letting stuff fly and hit the floor. Not a word did he say to me. I was so uncomfortable that I began to brave the fan and rise so I could find my clothes and sneak out before the fight got out of hand.

Then. “Shit.” He stood stock-still for a moment. “Shit.” He called Jim’s name at the top of his voice. I heard his boyfriend yell back. Then, after a moment, I heard the thud of his heels on the floor above us, and the insolent shuffle as finally he headed toward the stairs.

I had on my shorts and shirt by the time Jim appeared in the room, naked except for a leather cock ring and a subsiding hard-on from his masturbation. He had a cigarette in hand. He looked at the room’s disarray. “What the fuck did you lose now?”

“Where’s my watch?” Earl snapped. When Jim started to point to a wristwatch on the dresser, Earl almost shouted, “Where is my father’s god-damned pocket watch?” I looked over at the dress, now. Earl usually kept his favorite pocket watch on the mirror he used as a tray. It wasn’t anywhere to be seen. The two of them stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Then without warning, Earl broke free of the deadlock and bolted for the closet.

Jim started to say things. I don’t remember what they were. They were protestations of innocence, I’m certain, weak disclaimers of ignorance. All I remember is looking at him as his mouth moved and those little mewling noises came out and thinking to myself, This man is lying. I am watching a man lie to his lover.

And them Jim looked at me, and seemed to know what I was thinking. His expression relaxed as he realized I was staring at him with dislike, and contempt. For a microsecond, his shoulders sagged. If we’d been in a silent movie, there would’ve been a subtitle after his close-up: Aw, c’mon, kid. Give me a break. I never meant any of that crap I gave you. I was just kidding around.


Then another close-up on me, the self-righteous ice queen, frosty and unmoving: Fuck you.


Earl kept the rest of his precious pocket watch collection in another of his mother’s antiques, an old silverware case that he kept in the back of his closet. While Jim and I had been glaring at each other, he’d managed to pull it out from under the shoeboxes and detritus lying atop it. He opened the lid, then the drawers.

They were empty.

This is how bad things arrive—in a rush of words and fear, in a whirlwind of activity and with the prickle of adrenaline in every limb and up and down the spinal cord. My head started to pound in time with my speeding heart as Earl stood up, kicked the old wooden case so that it went spinning across the floor, and then grabbed one of his shoes. A shiny penny loafer, I remember. “What the fuck did you do?” he growled at Jim, as he brandished the shoe so that its wooden heel was a club.

“Nothing!” Jim squeaked. I could tell he was still lying. And if I could tell, Earl surely could.

“Get out. Go downstairs,” Earl barked at me.

I didn’t have to be told twice. I ran the hell out and down the stairs, and through the dining room and kitchen and out the back door, where I sat on their wooden porch and buried my face in my hands. That’s when I smelled that sharp, unmistakable scent of tomato on my fingers and remembered helping my mom in the garden that morning. I wished that I was still there, boring as the work was. Anywhere but here, listening to the raised voices inside, the sounds of books and valuables hitting the floor, of shouting and recriminations and the unending litany of ills, imagined and real both. The sounds of a bad thing arriving and parking itself squarely in my life, unannounced and unheralded, unwanted.

It seemed like forever before Earl came storming out of the back door. He had managed to put on a pair of shorts and wore a T-shirt with a UVA logo on it. “Well,” he said as he sat down beside me. “It seems like Jim’s little friend went through the house last night and took anything that’s portable and valuable. Topher,” he said, when he saw me opening my mouth to ask. “Funny how he knew exactly where everything of real value was.”

I think I apologized, and then caught myself halfway through. Earl disliked when I apologized for something that wasn’t my fault, and I was trying back then to correct myself of the bad habit. (I still do it.) “If you want to be helpful,” Earl said, “you could go over to Topher’s house and take him a message.”
I think Earl expected my immediate reply to be What? instead of what I said, which was, “Why me?”

He stared at me for a moment. He was still angry from the discovery of his missing stuff. His answer came out condescending and snide. “You don’t really think I could go over there, do you? Or god knows, Jim?”

I got it. I didn’t need more explanation. Not in that tone of voice. “You want me to go now?” I was supposed to be home for dinner soon.

He did. “You tell him. . . .” He paused while he thought about it. “You tell him that I’m not mad.” Which was plainly not true. “And tell him that if he brings back everything—everything—I’ll forget about it. Don’t tell him he won’t ever be bringing his sorry little ass back here after that, because he won’t. Just tell him to bring back my god-damned stuff.” Then he rose, and without a thank-you, stalked back into the house.

I had my orders. I collected my bike, and went to carry them out, like the dutiful soldier I was.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Caught

One of the questions I repeatedly get asked is if I’ve ever gotten caught. There must be some kind of ‘getting caught’ fetish out there that taps into a strain of humiliation I’ve never properly appreciated—because for a good portion of my life, getting caught is the last thing I’ve wanted.

I didn’t want it as a kid when I was cruising the restrooms and parks. The one time it happened, it definitely wasn’t a kinky thrill—if anything it made me swear off having sex forever. Or more precisely, for about three or four days, which is an eternity to a pair of teen nuts. I didn’t want it in college, when I was trying very hard to fit in and stay in the closet, so that my Young Republicans governing-board-prominent college boyfriend could protect his reputation. Getting caught doesn’t thrill me in general, I’m afraid, so when I’m in a situation when it might possibly occur, I take precautions. I don’t screw guys by the front door. I leave an escape route, or the door closed, or better yet, closed and locked.

There have been a couple of times when I found myself intruded upon without expectation, though. The worst was during my full-time years at the university.

I was teaching at the time, and had a committee appointment that I absolutely hated. At the time, the university was doing some kind of showy initiative that was designed to make it look like it was busy examining every aspect of its operation from top to bottom, in order to transform it into a more efficient operation. What it really turned out to be was the university throwing a bundle of cash at a corporation to purchase the efficiency package, dick around with it in committees for about six years, and then to abandon it without mention when the next university president stepped in. At that point, though, I was in a committee that was busy designing and collecting pointless surveys that we all knew were going to be ignored when they reached a level higher than ours.

It was pretty thankless. Making the decision to leave that place was a good thing, though it certainly took me long enough to do it.

Anyway. My office was on the top floor of a newer building, directly across from the receptionist for the graduate school. All day I’d have a good view of the grad students and the new prospects going in and out of that office, armed with their applications and their forms for graduation and their course catalogs. A lot of them were quite cute. But I never hit on any of them until I was nearing the second year in that office.

I was walking to the men’s room very late one afternoon, a little bit after five o’clock. All the staff in that place poured out in the direction of the parking decks at 4:59, so I wasn’t surprised that the grad school office door was closed when I stepped into the hallway. A young guy was there, looking up at the door as if staring at it might cause it to open. “They’re gone for the day,” I told him.

He stared at me. He had an application for the grad school in his hand. He couldn’t have been more than 20 or 21 at most. His hair was shaggy and dark, and his eyebrows were like hairbrushes. He had dark slits of eyes that turned down at the ends, giving him the look of a sleepy dreamer. He wasn’t big or thin. Merely a round-shouldered kid in oversized clothes who was cute enough to make me look him up and down a few times before I turned to go. “They won’t be back tonight?”

“Not after five,” I told him, and then nodded before I went on my way.

I was in the restroom, not very far from my office, peeing at the urinal when I heard the door open. Someone stepped up next to me. It was the kid. My dick instantly started to harden, because I could tell from they way he pulled out his mouth into a half-smile and looked at me through those dreamy, droopy eyes that he’d followed me there deliberately. I’d honestly needed to pee, just seconds before, but when he stood there next to me with his fly open, pretending to look down at his own dick but really allowing his eyes to flit over to mine, my sphincter slammed shut. My hand trembled. I moved back a little, and held my hard dick in my hand, so he could see it.

This wasn’t a cruisy restroom. It wasn’t the library on campus, which I hit religiously for undergraduate tail. It wasn’t the basement of the art building, where I used to fuck with students when I wanted to do more than under-the-stall action. This was the restroom that the university president himself used, when he was trying to appear democratic and a man of the people, or if his secretary was using his personal and private toilet. Stuff like this didn’t happen in this particular john. The kid showed off his own dick, which was a respectable pickle of about five inches, blunt and fat and curved. Then he reached out for me.

I heard voices in the hallway. “Not here,” I told the kid. “Back in my office.” I zipped up and thrust my hands into my pockets so that hopefully my erection wouldn’t be plainly seen by any colleagues we happened to pass. He followed at a respectful distance, his backpack slung in front of the bulging part of his body. The halls were dead, though. Everyone had gone home.

In my office, with the doors closed, we went at each other. My mouth was on his, my hands were on his back, his butt, his groin. He was submissive in his kisses, sighing softly and tilting his head back as I ground my mouth against his. His pants hit the floor, and he stepped out of them.. He unbuckled my zipper and let loose the beast from my underwear. His mouth on my dick felt amazing. The kid clearly knew what to do.

I pulled him back to my chair and sat down. He knelt on the carpet with his naked backside poked beneath my steel desk, eyes closed, nursing on my dick. I spread my knees wide apart and settle back for a long and sloppy blow job.

And then I heard the sound of a key in the door.

The next few seconds seemed to take a thousand years to pass. I couldn’t think who the fuck would possibly have a key, other than the custodians—and they came through in the early mornings. My mind began making up a thousand possible explanations as to why I had my pants down and a naked boy on my floor. Then I panicked because the kid’s pants were on the other side of the room, right at the door. Oh, it was terrible.

At the very last moment I yanked my desk chair forward so that my naked lower half rolled beneath the desk. The kid, who had frozen at the sound of the key, folded himself into a ball and shivered there, in the shadows. The door opened, sweeping the pants behind it. And in walked the Vice President of the division. “Oh, hello,” he said, as if he’d almost expected me there. “I thought I’d leave this last batch of surveys on your desk.”

Now, mind you, I had a mail box in the main office, ten steps from this guy’s own door. I had a drop box outside my own office. And yet this guy had to use his master key to barge on in to drop some useless forms onto my desk personally? I just stared at him, ready to drop some useless comment about how I’d, um, been changing into my jeans when he stopped in. Instead, I just said, “Okay, thanks.”

He started to leave. Then, at the door, he paused, and opened his mouth. Oh fuck, I thought to myself. He knows. He’s going to fire me. “Did you see that article in the Chronicle this week about. . . ?”

I didn’t hear much after that. I nodded and stammered and sat stock still and just waited for him to get the fuck out of my office. When he eventually did, he was none the wiser, I’m pretty sure.

I rolled my chair out. The kid was still sitting on the floor, wearing only his shirt, trembling like a leaf.

I think we gave it the old college try after that, but the noise of footsteps in the hall made us both jumpy and nervous, and eventually we gave it up. The chemicals our bodies had been producing during those tense moments didn’t make us want to lunge at each other with abandon. They made us stink like we’d been lifting old tires all afternoon. It was decidedly unsexy. I collected his pants from the flat pancake they’d formed from being shoved between the wall and the door, we both dressed, and we parted.

I never saw that kid again. I kind of imagine he might’ve looked for some other graduate school.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Fucking Rock Star

“It’s your fucking fault!” The man’s face was inches from mine. When he spoke, spittle would fly from his mouth. “You sit there, dressed up all fancy.” I was wearing a pair of dark jeans and a Perry Ellis shirt that I’d picked up for less than ten dollars on a much-pawed-over Macy’s rack, as well as a pair of boots from the deep discount rack of DSW that weighed more in pounds than they cost in dollars. “Smelling so sweet.” I had used soap in the shower, that morning. “And looking so fucking fine.”

Well, I couldn’t argue that one.

The man continued in so strident a voice that everyone in the bar was turning around to look at him. Considering that the little Westchester bar was fairly full, and loud karaoke was going on in the background, he was making a pretty considerable racket “You do all that and it’s no fucking wonder that men like me drink too much. We drink too much because it takes all our fucking nerve to talk to you!” I laughed, because it’s the only thing I could do. “You know what?” he said, leaning in closer. His eyes half-closed, and he stabbed a stubby finger in my face. “You’re smug. You’re real . . . smug.”

It was at that moment I realized I had a problem on my hands. Because when a drunk starts telling you that you’re smug, the next thing he wants to do, always, is to wipe that smug smile right off your mouth.

I’d been at the bar for about an hour by the time this guy had come in. He was tall and had the kind of looks that probably had turned heads for just about all five of his decades. Immediately upon his arrival, he’d gone up and down the bar and lifted guys out of their seats and up into the air in a show of strength and, I guess, a supreme indifference to personal space. I’d watched him out of the corner of my eye while pretending to listen to the karaoke singers, thinking to myself, Man, why couldn’t that guy be hitting on me?


And of course, it turned out to be one of those prime examples in which I should’ve been careful for what I wished for.

When the guy began giving me flirty little glances a few minutes after he walked in, I felt a little bit tingly and vindicated. When he started making his way over, eyes locked with mine, I felt my dick stirring in my jeans. When he leaned forward and rasped at me, “Are you Scandinavian?” and his breath was so flammable that I wanted to move the open tealight candle on my table, I felt pretty certain that he was rip-roaring, stone-cold drunk.

“Uh, my ancestors were mostly from Scotland,” I said to him. Immediately my mood changed from aroused to amused.

“Like Craig Ferguson.” He had one of those accents I recognized as utterly New York. It wasn’t exaggerated, like an old-fashioned wise-cracking cabbie from a movie. It was distinct, though.

“Yes, exactly like Craig Ferguson,” I agreed.

“I have a big dick,” he announced next.

I’d arrived at the bar that evening with a friend of mine who was sitting across the little table from me. I looked in his direction with an appeal for help. He, however, started snickering to himself, pretending he was with the guys at the bar behind him, and recording the conversation for posterity on his Facebook wall. “Wow,” I said, when I realized I wasn’t going to get any assistance from that quarter. “Okay!”

“It’s real big,” he repeated. “It’s really going to hurt when I fuck you.” I was on a high stool; the guy used the outside of his thigh to part my knees and stand between them. When he swooped in to—well, I thought he was going to take a chomp out of my neck, but apparently he only wanted to lick it—I ducked.

“Wow,” I said once more. “You know, I think you really need to work on that sales pitch there.”

He was staring at me as if he’d been hypnotized. “Are you Scandinavian?”

“Scottish.”

“Like Craig Ferguson?”

“Like Craig Ferguson,” I said, pretty openly laughing at his face again.

“I have a big. . . .”

“You kind of covered that.” I gently and discreetly eased him back to a length at which my aged eyes could actually focus on him.

“You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna take you over to the dam, right up to the top. Then I’m going to throw you down to the bottom and fuck you!”

The Kensico Dam is less than a mile from this particular bar. “I’m going to be at the bottom and you’ll fuck me from the very top? Your dick is three hundred feet long?” He blinked slowly at me, not comprehending. “Okay. How big is it?” I didn’t really need an answer to that question, given that I could feel it pressing against my right knee, but I held my flattened palms three inches apart and very slowly drew them apart. “Tell me when to stop.”

It was a very long time before I stopped. “That’s it,” he finally told me.

“Not bad,” I nodded, impressed. “About sixteen inches.”

“How old are you?” he asked.

“How old do I look?” I asked. I usually don’t play that game, but I wanted to know what his answer was going to be.

“Thirty-one?”

Across the table, my friend tittered. “YES,” I said with great affirmation. “You are COMPLETELY RIGHT. I am EXACTLY THIRTY-ONE YEARS OLD.”

“Are you Scandinavian?” he wanted to know again.

Across the table, my friend posted more status messages to Facebook. I silently damned him under my breath.

Over the next few minutes, when it became obvious that the guy was not going anywhere, I managed to find out that he drove a city bus up and down Fifth Avenue for a living, and that his soul was empty (his words) from the job. “You’ve never driven inna city before,” he said, sucking down another gin and tonic and somehow managing to unbutton the top three buttons on my shirt. “I can tell. You’re nice. Nice people don’t drive in the city.” Well, that one I could easily believe. “You’re hot. I want to fuck you. Are you gonna give me your number?”

“I will make sure you get my number before you go,” I assured him, knowing that if he couldn’t remember whether or not I was Scandinavian, I wasn’t likely to have to follow through. I buttoned myself back up and glared at my friend, who by this point was just sitting with his back reclined and his hands over his stomach as he enjoyed the show.

“There’s a place five minutes from here?” said the drunk. “It’s an underpass? And the high school kids hang out there during the day?”

“That’s nice,” I said, pulling his hands off my zipper.

“And someone’s painted something in spray paint there and it says, I’m a fucking rock star.” I nodded. “So what does it mean?”

“That someone’s a fucking rock star?”

“No!” He seemed firm on this point. “You say it.”

“I’m a fucking rock star.”

Mean it.”

“I’m a fucking rock star,” I said, still laughing. “So are you, mister.”

“Damn straight. Two fucking rock stars.” He took another drink. “I’ve got money. I’ve got a 1992 Benz. I’ve got a big dick. And you’re going to get in my car and we’re going to drive there and I’m gonna fuck you in the back seat. But I’m big. So it’s going to hurt.”

“It’s tempting,” I said tactfully, “but it’s really too late and cold to go to some overpass to fuck.” Not to mention he was too drunk and weird.

That’s when he announced, with increasing frustration and anger, “It’s your fucking fault! You sit there, dressed up all fancy. Smelling so sweet. And looking so fucking fine. You do all that and it’s no fucking wonder that men like me drink too much. We drink too much because it takes all our fucking nerve to talk to you!” I probably shouldn’t have chuckled at that moment, but it was my way of trying not to take him too seriously. “You know what? You’re smug. You’re real . . . smug.”

When I realized he was on the borderline between merely inebriated and potentially violent, I immediately did some backpedaling. “Hey,” I told him, holding open my arms. “Give me a hug.” He leaned forward and fell heavily against me. “You’re a good guy,” I told him. “Very handsome. I thought so when you walked into the bar. But I think you’ve had a little too much to drink. Okay?” I held him at arm’s length and looked him in the eyes. I raised my eyebrows and bobbled my head a little. I felt like I was talking to my son, not a fifty-year-old man. “Okay?” I repeated.

At last he nodded. “I do kinda feel like I’ve gotta vomit,” he admitted.

Because, you know, after I have a big dick and it’s really going to hurt you, those are the exact words that will charm my thirty-one-year-old self into the back seat of a guy's 1992 Benz.

Monday, November 21, 2011

An Anniversary

I wasn't necessarily planning to write about this particular topic, but it's been on my mind all weekend. Better to get it out.

Saturday was the anniversary of the night I met Spencer, last year, in my old home state. We'd spoken online a couple of times before that and I'd kind of written him off as a flaky whore. I didn't mind the whore part. Flaky, however, I only like in pie crusts. But I was horny, and he was available, so I issued the invitation.

I was charmed off my feet by him, that Friday. When he came back the next night, I knew I wanted him in my life. Night after night he came back until our emotions were as inextricably intertwined as the impossible sexual poses in which he'd grip me with his strong dancer's legs. I loved him, and told him so. He loved me, and would whisper the words as we'd drift off to sleep together, curled beneath layers of flannel sheets and blankets and his impossible fortresses of extra pillows, while snow fell to blanket the frozen ground outside.

For months we made love and spent all our free time together. I'd like to romanticize the relationship further and say that it was simple and uncomplicated, but it wasn't—we both knew the time was coming when my house would eventually sell and that we'd part ways. That knowledge is what made the relationship difficult for us both. It made him occasionally snippy and prone to verbal digs, as he tried to separate himself from me before we were too rooted together. It made me morose and prone to guilt and doubt. I worried too much that I was doing the wrong thing by allowing him to love me so deeply.

Despite the complications, we ended the relationship on a loving high note. When my house sold after a year and I finally made plans to reunite with my family, already living on the East coast, I worried that he'd pick some kind of fight on the pretext of it being easier to part from me angry than sad. But no, he was sweet and loving and supportive until the very night before I threw my overnight bags and the cats in the car and left Michigan for good. At a going-away party given me by friends that night, he was there, sitting next to me the entire time. He'd been everything to me, that last year. I had the spouse on my right side and Spencer on the left, and it seemed right.

Sad, but right.

I'd thought this month about the anniversary a couple of times in an idle fashion—it occurred to me that it had been in November of 2010 that we'd met, and that I should check on the date at some point. I didn't do anything about it, though, until last week when Spencer messaged me. We met this month a year ago!he said.

I checked my journal on my computer. November 19th. The best day of 2010 I had, I wrote back.
Saturday he messaged me again. You're one of my favorite people. I still treasure the time we had together . . . especially those long snowed-in days. Then he closed with his love.

Well. I couldn't have asked for anything nicer.

I read it and burst into tears that I had to hide and muffle in the bathroom.

And now that I had to look at the message again to copy it, I'm crying again, though I'm having to pretend I'm not, even as fat tears scald my cheeks.

But you know what? That's okay. I said above that the relationship Spencer and I had wasn't pure and uncomplicated, but I was a damned liar. It really was. No matter what the gap in our ages, no matter that we separated, never mind the stupid arguments we sometimes had or the words we both feared to say out of fear of hurting the other—none of that mattered in the end. For a time, a blissful and wine-sweet time, we were two boys in love. We took delight in each other's bodies, in each other's whims and palates. We saw parting on the horizon from the moment we met, and yet we both threw ourselves into the deep with abandon.

There's not much purer or more uncomplicated than that.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Morning Questions: Little Island Big City Edition

New York City is a small town.

I know you think I'm crazy for saying so, but it seems as if every time I head into the city, I run into someone unexpectedly. I head to a bar for the evening where no one should know me, and a reader will recognize me. I'll spend an afternoon at a museum, and then find later that someone's hit me up on Manhunt with, Think you're hot, were you looking at Venetian paintings earlier this afternoon?

Or, as happened Friday, I ran into a reader without knowing it. I went into the city for a show and went into Uniqlo, a clothing store, before dinner. I was there for about an hour, maybe, and then went on my merry way. Saturday, one of my most long-term readers sent me a message saying he'd seen me at Uniqlo and didn't want to startle me by saying hello. All I could really do was respond in the most predictable manner possible for me: I asked how my hair had been looking.

When the answer came that it had been looking pretty sensational, I was free to chew out the guy for not saying hello.

Because really—if you recognize me out there in the big wide world, the time to say hi is not after I've been away from the Venetian paintings for a few hours. It's not the day after I've been trying on jackets. It's when you see me at the museum or while we're both at Uniqlo.

There's ways to say hello and ways to say hello, of course. I'm not going to appreciate it if a reader yells across the cashmere sweaters, HEY AREN'T YOU THAT SEX BLOGGER?! Walking up to me, shaking my hand, putting a palm on my shoulder and telling me quietly that you're a reader, though? That works.

As a general warning, I'll probably be taking off the latter half of the upcoming week, what with the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. Feel free to send me nude photos of you and your turkeys, if you dare.

(I'm kind of hoping that someone out there does dare.)

Let's get to some more questions from formspring.me, shall we? And please, feel free to ask your questions of me there—I've opened up the anonymous posting option once more.


Last time you bottomed for a man? How old was he?

The last time I bottomed to completion for a man was about 9 years ago. He was in his fifties.


Is there anything you find your partners are generally inhibited doing, that you wish they did more spontaneously / proactively?

All the damned time.

Oh, you wanted specifics? I think what irritates me most is when men are too inhibited to give me any kind of feedback during the act, whether verbal, physical, or even just a grunt here or there. If a guy's just going to lie there, I might as well bang a corpse or a sack of potatoes. And I'd prefer neither, thank you.

I also wish men were less inhibited about getting out from behind their computer screens and meeting in the flesh. The Internet might be great for porn, but it has created countless homebound prisoners, none of whom have been forced into electronic ankle bracelets.


A serious question from a Kinsey 6: Does the vagina really smell like fish?

No.

A vagina will acquire an odor when it's not washed. But you know, the ol' bait and tackle don't smell that great when not exposed to a shower, either.

My answer to this question will not stop me from yelling, when I feed my fat cat dried mackerel flakes, "It smells like a Korean brothel in here!"


what advice would you give to someone about to try bottoming for the first time?

I'd suggest playing with your hole--at first in a clean environment like the shower, and when you're accustomed to the feelings, perhaps with small toys and multiple fingers. Get used to the sensations, and be aware that a dick is going to stretch you even wider.

I'd suggest cleaning out beforehand, for your peace of mind, and for your partner's hygiene.

Above all, I'd suggest remembering that sex is supposed to be fun. You might not enjoy bottoming the first time--but it will rapidly grow more enjoyable. If it's embarrassing or painful, don't beat yourself up. Move on to another activity, and come back to anal another time.


Hypothetical situation: I have come to visit you and I offer to perform any one act you desire, what can I do for you?

Touch me and rub me all over with your hands, from head to foot, for as long as you can stand it.

It's probably the one thing I crave that I rarely get, and you'd be doing me a big favor.


This may be from an era gone by, but.... Have you ever been to a drive in movie? And if you have, what was the last movie you saw at a drive in? Is there one left in your area?

I distinctly remember seeing my one drive-in movie when I was four or five years old. It had Phyllis Diller in it, and she scared me silly.

There was a large drive-in in Dearborn, when I used to live in Michigan, but I never had the urge or opportunity to go.


What is your favorite flavor of Ice Cream?

I'm really fond of a red velvet cake-flavored frozen yogurt from a dairy store near me, but I found a recent contender for new favorite when I visited Pinkberry and discovered their peanut butter-flavored yogurt. It's nutty and, best of all, salty.

Generally I'm fond of coffee-flavored frozen desserts, too.


Reading your post about the guy whose mind had been overtaken by porn dialog, has porn and the proliferation of its availability been a net plus or minus for guys?

It's a mixed bag with a lot of plusses and minuses.

One plus would be that there's porn out there for everyone—every fetish, every kink, every body type, every combination of age and race and gender. It's also sanitary and means the only thing you have to clean up after is the messy discharge. You won't catch a disease from porn. And perhaps most importantly, it might expose a person to acts they've contemplated and not known how to go about, and it can act as an instruction manual of sorts, and even an encouragement to take action.

The minuses are just as plentiful. Porn often gives people unreasonable expectations not only about what their own bodies should look like, but what they 'deserve' in a partner—the number of men I've met in my lifetime who feel genuinely entitled to 'porn star quality' sex partners is astounding, particularly when they're not exactly porn star material themselves. Porn glosses over the messy and difficult parts of sex, so that when they happen naturally, the people participating can feel like failures unless they're fairly experienced. And the abundance of porn also has created a whole mass of people who stay at home and masturbate for hours on end, instead of meeting people and actually having sex.

As an enhancement to a sex life, I think porn is great. As a replacement for it, not so much.


What is your favourite accent? and why?

My favorite accent is the one I hear when my partner speaks with a pillow in his mouth.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Open Forum Friday: Cleaning Out

I'm going to name-drop, here. Bear with me. It'll pass quickly, and then we'll get to the topic for our open forum.

Yesterday I was on the phone with my friend, porn actor Jayson Park. I've plugged his thoughtful and well-written blog before, and I'll encourage you all to go and vote for him as Best Porn Star in the Cybersocket Surfer's Choice Awards. (If I'm not getting nominated for Best Sex Blog, it'd be nice to have one of Breeder's Readers win something, right?) Anyway. He and I were chatting about various things, and we happened on the subject of cleanliness and anal sex.

"I don't like making big sweeping generalizations about groups of people," he said to me. "Especially tops. But it always seems to me like tops don't have to do as much to prepare for a fuck. Not compared to us bottoms."

"No," I assured him. "You're totally right. I figure if my teeth are brushed and my breath smells nice, the rest of me doesn't stink, all I need to do is rinse off my dick and I'm good to go."

Which is not to say, by the way, that tops aren't without responsibilities and pressures of our own. We have to keep our dicks rigid for the duration, for example—something a bottom doesn't have to worry about. We're expected to know how to handle a bottom guy, which can be off-putting for guys wanting to top but don't have much experience. From some bottoms, we're under pressure to say the right things, hit the right buttons, follow every cue. But cleanliness isn't generally near the top of anyone's list of the tough things about topping.

I expressed to Jayson something that really doesn't get said enough, not by me, not by many tops in general. I truly do recognize and appreciate all the extra effort a bottom goes through in order to prepare for a fuck. The effort the good and thoughtful ones take, anyway.

We've discussed in this blog and in my comments before how the spread of easily-available pornography may have prompted the current taste for squeaky-clean assholes during fucking. Enemas and comprehensive douching certainly weren't the norm when I started having sex in the nineteen-seventies, at least not in the backwater town where I was growing up. I was lucky to have one of those holes that wasn't particularly dirty under most circumstances; the most I had to do in order to prepare for marathon fucks was hop in the shower, soap up the outside of the hole, and maybe insert a wet finger a couple of inches in and wiggle it around a bit. Maybe.

And of course these days, men go to much greater lengths to clean out before a fuck. They buy enema bulbs and install nozzles onto their showers. They go through cleansing rituals that can last for an hour or more. I've been through them myself, from time to time. Oddly, though I never seem to mind the noises and the smells when they're coming from someone else, when I've had to do it, I've found it embarrassing. It's a mortification of the flesh, essentially, and while it's happening I'm usually shuddering and pulling faces and wishing that I was anywhere but in that shower, or on that john, or bent over with my belly full and aching and with water shooting out of my backside.

No, there aren't any pics. Pervs.

So bottoms of the world, trust me. When I say I appreciate what you go through to clean up for me, I mean it. It's the reason I show up when we've made a date in advance, because I know you've built the time to clean out into that day's schedule. It's why I understand and accommodate when you need me to come over in ninety minutes, rather than the fifteen it would actually take me to get there. It's why I understand your massive frustration when you've made a date with another top and he's stood you up—it's not just because you need the dick in your hole, but also because you've made a pretty significant investment of time, effort, and a measure of personal humiliation, even before you found out he wouldn't be coming.

It's why, when I'm presented with a fresh-smelling and soapy ass, I really like to show my appreciation. It's why I love to rim and bite and get in there and make the hole sing before I lube up and thrust my meat deep inside you. You guys flatter me when you take the time and effort to clean up for me like that. I don't take it for granted. I want you to realize that, every time we meet.

I'm curious about the attitudes of others, though. Bottom men—is cleaning embarrassing and unpleasant for you, or is it a no-big-deal kind of thing? Do you find that most tops take your efforts for granted, and if so, how do you feel about it? Or don't you clean out at all?

And tops, how about you guys? Do you think about how clean the bottoms are when you're in them, and the steps they've taken to get that way? Or is cleanliness not quite the issue for you as it is for them?

I'm willing to bet there's a lot about the other side that both perspectives take for granted. It never hurts to open our eyes and think about things, right?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bound

We've been going at each other for long minutes. Passionate minutes, in which nothing seems as necessary as being next to each other. Not breathing, not the constant pulses of our own hearts. None of it is as important as my lips on his, my hands on his nipples, my cock thrust against the fur of his stomach.

There's a mirror standing in the corner of his bedroom, one that stands as tall as I when I'm on my feet. It's angled in a way that I can't see myself, though. I can't look to see if my lips are as red and swollen as they feel, like cherries ripe to bursting. I can't tell if my face is flushed, if my chest is prickled with the red heat he arouses in me. My dick feels not only engorged, but enlarged, an enormous monster on the loose, needing to devour and be devoured in turn. This is the way it's been for nearly an hour by this point, and we're just coming down the gentle slope of need and urgency into a softer and more restful place. "Will you do something for me?" I feel emboldened to say.

"What do you want?" He's anxious to please. "Anything."

Franco's collection of leather goods is laid out on one side of his large bed. They're for my convenience, my whim. I feel the cold ring of his harness digging into my back, where I lay on my side. His dick is in my hand. "Would you. . . ." I take a deep breath, and will myself to say the words. They don't come. ". . . dress up in a French maid's uniform for me?"

His dick doubles in size in my hand. Then, confused, he asks, "What?"

"Wait a minute," I tell him, stopping the proceedings. "Why's your dick getting so much harder when I ask you to dress up in a French maid's uniform?"

He's a little mortified, and laughs. "I thought you were going to ask me to dress up in my leather. Why are you asking me to wear a French maid's uniform."

"Because I'm using cheap humor to deflect what I really want to ask," I explain. This time it's the truth. He waits patiently for me to continue. He's got beautiful eyes. I don't think he knows how attractive a feature they are. They study me in a way that I find a little embarrassing. I want to remain highly regarded, in that gaze. I take a deep breath and try again. "Would you. . . ?"

It's tough to make this request. He and I have talked about this fantasy before, when we've chatted back and forth online. He knows it's something I crave. He knows the issues I have with asking for it.

It's unfair to make him guess, though. I screw up my courage—and it takes a considerable amount—and say the words aloud. "Would you put your blindfold on me?" I ask. My words sound humbled and quiet, to my own ears. "And would you cuff me?" There's a slight smile playing around the corners of his mouth. Deep inside, those slightest of movements reignite the flames. "And then what?" he wants to know.

"And then make me feel good," I said, in a very small voice.

He fastens the hood around my face. The smell of leather fills my nostrils, sharp and familiar. When he fastens the velcro around the back of my head, it cuts out a portion of the sound I can hear. I feel him, though. The rub of his furry chest against my shoulder as he takes my hand, the reassuring pressure of his arm against mine as he raises my left wrist and wraps a cuff around it. I can't see when he lets it go; it drops like a stone as he reaches for the other hand. Once they're both wrapped, he lays me down gently against the pillows, and pushes up my arms so that they insert themselves through the slats of his head board. I feel a slight pressure, and the sound of a click.

I pull slightly at my restraints. I'm fixed there. I concentrate on breathing, on keeping my lungs inflating and deflating at a slow and regular rate. I'm trying quite hard not to think about the incident that's robbed me of this particular pleasure for the last twenty-five years. After my sexual assault, it's tough enough to admit that I crave this particular form of release. Tougher still to ask for it. Toughest of all to relax enough to enjoy it.

I trust Franco, though. I know he won't betray this exchange of trust. I know he'll use it, and use me.

I feel his hands traveling down the length of my legs. The hair on them riffles out from under his palms. There's warmth around my left ankle, then the scratchy enclosure of another cuff. My right foot trembles as he raises then caresses it, only to wrap it and set it down again. A cold chain traces a path across my thigh. When he tugs at it, it draws my ankles together.

He places the weight of a foot or a knee or some part of his leg on that chain, drawing my legs in as his mouth connects with my skin. He knows my knees are going to attempt to draw apart only to stop short, thanks to the cuffs, that I'm going to gasp with the surprise of it. His hands are on me, but his foot pushes at the chain connecting my ankles again. He's dragging it down toward the bottom of the bed, off the end, forcing my legs to be as close together and immobile as my arms.

I'm a long exclamation point of pleasure, quivering and trembling beneath his touch. I can't tell where his mouth will land next—my nipple, the underside of my rib cage, the softest part of my belly. His fingers rake against my skin. He pinches my nipple, hard, remorseless. He kisses me, making my back arch, my breath rasp.

My eyes are closed beneath the blindfold. I don't even try to cheat, to see beneath where the mask doesn't quite mold to my cheeks. My world is the darkness, the sensations, the touch of his hands, the bite of his teeth, the warmth of his breath and his tongue against my skin. His mouth engulfs my dick. I gasp, loudly and with abandon. I feel this hands on my balls, the nudge of his knuckles against my ass. My body wants to respond—to twist, to turn, to seize his head and point it in the directions I want it to go. When my hands instinctively move to do so, the short bond between them tugs against the headboard. I can't even bring my elbows below my ears.

He keeps his foot on the chain, too, restraining my legs from moving much. He feels me struggling against him, and increases the pressure. He lets me know he's in charge in a hundred ways. The pulls, the tugs, the little laughs to himself as he enjoys me wrestling futilely against him. I can't do anything more than remain hard and hope that he'll keep up that sloppy wet attention on my shaft, that he'll give me what I need.

I wanted this. He's giving it to me.

I can't control my breathing any longer. I'm gasping for air. My legs are shaking uncontrollably. There's a near-pain in my chest from the sharp intakes of air I'm having to take. And still I can't stop the burning where the corners of his pretty mouth meet the root of my cock. I can't control the wrack of the pleasure—almost too much of it—as it overtakes my body. I wanted this, but I didn't take into account how torturous it could be. How painful the pleasure could feel. It's the sweetest pain in the world, though. I want that kind of hurt.

But I realize I'm in trouble. I can't breathe any longer. The mask has slipped to an odd position beneath my nose. I'm recirculating too much air. It's making me dizzy, almost to the point of passing out. "I can't," I manage to wheeze out. "Do you need me to stop?" he asks, all concern. I feel his face near mine.

I need him to stop, yes. I don't want him to.

Still. I let him undo the mask. My face is wet as a newborn chick's, freed from the leather mask. I blink at the shock of the light and the rush of air over my face. My lungs expand and breathe in the fresh, cool oxygen. The dizzy sensation passes in a moment.

"Okay?" he asks, to check.

I look at him, at that handsome face, fuzzy and sweet and concerned. I stretch, my arms still over my head, and look at him lazily from the pillows where he's laid me.

"I'm okay," I tell him.

I am. I really am.

Then he smiles, and continues his attentions.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reader Assets: #22

Oh, my trusty readers. How I love you guys. I put out a call for more dirty photos for the Reader Assets feature and what do I get? A whole bunch more photos for the Reader Assets feature.

It's like Christmas in my email box, every day. So long as we all realize that the only the wrapped and under the tree is . . . well, it's all pretty much unwrapped in these photos.

I know you guys like this feature a lot and I'd love to keep it going. If you're interested in participating, all you need to do is send an email to the address in the blog sidebar with a subject of 'MY ASSETS.' All I ask is that your photos are of you, and not some random porn actor—unless you're a random porn actor, of course. I ask that you be of an age to release such photos, and that you realize that by letting me publish your photos here, there's the vaguest chance that they might be seen by your pastor, your significant other, your boss, and that cute barista you've been flirting with every Tuesday and Friday.

I ask you to take a moment to think about the last point (the visibility issue . . . not the barista) because lately I've had a spate of guys sending me photographs and asking to be a part of the feature—then turning around a couple of days later and asking me not to include them, after all. A couple of times it's happened after I've already posted the photos, and that's a little bit annoying. Not just for me, but for the readers who notice they've been pulled.

I think it's highly, highly unlikely that your sister is going to notice your nude ass on my blog. I doubt your boss is going to associate the birthmark on the inside of your pelvis with your weekly progress report. Your wife is probably not cruising the gay sex blogs (though to my married female readers, and I know there's a significant population of you: hi!). So far I haven't broken up any relationships or gotten anyone fired. But if you could think about that little issue before you hit the send button, I'd appreciate it.

Let's go! I have some hot ones this week.

Nick







Nick is one of my oldest readers. We've corresponded pretty basically since I started the blog. And he's a fine, fine man too, isn't he?

His ass is one of those perfect specimens: round, muscular, and of a shape that fills out a pair of jeans really well. What's sweet about Nick is that I don't even think he realized how hot an ass he has; you might not be able to tell from these photos, but he's pretty shy about showing off his goods. Why he's shy, I don't know. That last photo alone is enough to make my laptop start smoking from overheating.

Nick sent me a buttload (excuse the expression) of photos. It was hard to whittle them down to my favorites. I'll have to include more of him in a future round of photos.

Darwin






Our friend Darwin is a top man—so no ass shots in this set. You guys are getting a good look at his fucktool, though.

Darwin wanted me to point out that his legs are one of his best assets. The man jogs 30 or more miles a week. So you know he's got stamina.

It's nice to see one of my hot top readers showing off. We need more of you guys!

Ed







This is Ed. Ed is from the U.K.

It's my opinion that Ed should be in porn. Dirty porn. Nasty porn. The most rough-and-tumble kind of porn there is. And I should be in it with him, as his top.

Ed makes me want to do depraved things to him. Things involving my hard dick, those boots, that jock, and that beefy, furry ass.

Ed is pretty much my wet dream come true.

Readers, thank Ed for the photos and ask him for more. Ask him to star in that porn flick, while you're at it.


That's it for this installment. Remember to thank the contributors and let them know they're appreciated and lusted after!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting It All Online

The following piece amuses me. I wrote it in my journal in 2003, about men4sexnow.com, a site I haven't used since about 2007. Here we are almost a decade later, and the emails still haven't stopped. (Knock wood.) What's interesting about this old essay is that although the popular sites have shifted, the same old patterns of behavior never change.

I’ve had profiles on chat sites before. I've hooked up with men I've met on bulletin boards and AOL (a decade ago); I've made friends from gay.com that I've fucked around with.
These new sites designed for hookups, though—those I haven’t taken too seriously. For a long time, however, my friend Chris has been trying to get me to join a particular online sex site he frequents. At his house one evening last year, I watched as he logged on and checked out who else was prowling the cyber-alleys. Within a few minutes of talking and looking at other people’s profiles, his email collection chime sounded. In his box were three messages from people who’d seen his profile, looked at his photos, and wanted hot monkey sex, right then and right there. They wanted it now, dammit!

That was fine for him, I thought at the time. But I had my sexual trickle-down list fairly clear:  
- Friends of mine with whom I enjoyed both physical and emotional intimacy. Which is a polite synonym for other lovers.
- Acquaintances of mine whom I occasionally see when both of us felt the urge. Which is a polite way of saying fuckbuddies.
- Last and least, perfect strangers.

It’s a system that’s worked fairly well for me—an inverted food pyramid, in which proportionately higher helpings of the first two, coupled with moderate intake of the last, would keep me happy and would burn off a little of what often seems like my sometimes unmanageable supply of sexual energy.

In the year that’s passed since that evening with Chris, I started having crank out finished product for my deadlines. For two or three months at a time I’d be more or less totally celibate (and whiny about it), then between works I’d hanker to embark on a course of slutterific carnage, leaving cum-soaked clothing and satisfied, broken men in my wake. Sometimes I’d find someone to help out. A lot of the time, though . . . not so much.

Another problem is that lately several of my regular friends have either taken boyfriends or moved out of town. My time in the evenings is pretty limited; I don’t intend to troll chat rooms or hang out in bars looking for casual sex partners. I was talking over the problem with another friend last month. It would make more sense, I said, for me to make time even during deadlines to burn off accumulated sexual energy. 
He agreed, since a laid Rob is an easier-to-get-along-with Rob. “You should register with this web site,” he said, tilting his laptop around. “I checked it out a few days ago and it’s really easy to use.”

Of course it was the exact same place Chris had showed me a year ago.

So three weeks ago I whipped up a profile and composed a little essay about how anyone with hang-ups about race or age or body types and size could just keep on looking, because I wasn’t going to be interesting to them. I tossed on a couple of x-rated photos of myself and threw in a g-rated photo as well, mostly in self-defense. Guys who are looking for a particular type of man, whether it be a jock or a bear or a muscle stud or a daddy or a twink, have a tendency to get excited when they see the cock shots of me and then to deflate at the latter when they see I’m not extraordinarily handsome and that I don't fall into any particular classification of gay subculture. 
I began to get responses within the hour. By the following day, they were pouring in, and although the initial flood has stemmed slightly, they really haven’t yet stopped.

In that time I haven’t really initiated any communications. I’ve been letting them come to me, and I've been responding to the ones I receive. And I’ve noticed a few things about guys who spend a lot of time looking for online hookups.

1) There are more guys brimming with reasons not to meet, than who actually want to get together and screw. For some the urge is there, but out of fear or intimidation or whatever reason, they lack the follow-through—they’re simply content looking at photos of other men, sending them emails, and then disappearing to whack off thinking of what might have been. Others have posted the equivalent of You must be this high to board this ride signs in their profiles, or whip them out when they begin corresponding. You have to pass the number of inches test, followed by the weight test, followed by the good-looking test, followed by the hairstyle test, followed by the musculature test. . . . But you know, I gave up tests when I quit grad school. When a guy emails me (and this is an actual solicitation I received), I like your profile a lot and you’re right, too many guys are hung up on superficial shit. btw what is your waist size?, I have absolutely no qualms about writing him back and telling him that no hard feelings, but I can already tell it’s not going to work.

2) Cock size trumps tact, judging by the sheer number of men who have written me message like the following: WOWOWOW! U r not my usual type but I’ll make an exception because you have an AWESOME cock one of the biggest I’ve seen on here! Looking for now? (The only real response to that, by the way, is, “Gee, but no thanks.”

3) When pretty boys who have spent more time acquiring tans than I have spent on groceries this month, or when pretty men my age who have invested a house down-payment’s worth of money into looking like the pretty tan boys twenty-five years younger than themselves, write in their profile “Above all, I am looking for someone with a great personality!”, it is ungracious to suspect them of fibbing. They absolutely are being truthful and sincere. That is, if you understand that by personality they mean pecs.

4) As in the bars, there’s a period on these things in which one is ‘new meat,’ and thus more desirable than the rancid old stuff everyone’s seen before.

I was talking about the last point with Chris this week, when I saw him on one of my instant messengers and told him that I’d finally given in to my sleazier impulses (big surprise) and joined his service. “Yeah,” he said. “I noticed. Hope you're having fun. When I joined up, I remember getting fifty responses in the first month. You’re probably getting a lot more in general because you’re listing yourself as a top, right?”

I thought for a minute. “How many did you say you got your first month? Fifty? The site was probably less popular then, right?”

“Yes, fifty,” he wrote back. Then he named a mutual friend of ours. “He joined two months ago and since then he’s gotten a hundred emails. Why, how many have you gotten?”

“Enough that I had to create a separate email box for them,” I said. “Hold on.”

I counted the number of letters in the box and blanched. Then I took a couple of minutes to compress the emails by header, so that only the individual senders appeared. “I’ve gotten 1,424 emails. . . .” I told him.

“Holy fuck!” he tapped back. “But that’s like, multiple emails from a lot of guys, right? And in how many weeks?”

“. . . . in two and a half weeks, from 653 different men,” I finished.

I could practically hear the thud of wood when he fainted to the floor. Which brings me to:

5) Apparently tops are in great demand.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Morning Questions: The Earl Thing Edition

One of my readers this week chastised me about the way I've been going about writing about the years I spent with Earl.

I have to make clear that I'm using the word 'chastise' in the mildest possible sense. He wasn't crabbing at me about it. In fact, he took exquisite pains to make clear that he loved the stories from my teen years, loved hearing about my relationship with Earl, and got excited every time a new installment came down the road. His main concern, however, was that as a long-time and regular reader, he finds that often so much time passes between one Earl entry and the next that sometimes he loses track of the story and its various characters. He finds it tough to have to dig back through my entries and figure out what's happened in the story thus far. Plus there's the fact that he just wants to find out what happens next, while he's still anxious and excited from a cliffhanger ending.

I get that. I totally do.

The Earl story is very personal so me. When I call it 'the Earl story,' I'm vaguely aware that I make it sound like some kind of fictionalized serial. So perhaps I should reiterate that like my other entries here, it's not a novelette populated with fictional characters, but a messy chapter from my life. Earl wasn't my first man by any means, but the relationship we had was intense and, despite the depravity it involved, pure in a way. That is, he knew exactly what he expected of me, and I provided it without question and mostly with the satisfaction of knowing I was filling a need.

The emotional components of our bond were simple. We both knew well what we needed from the other, and we gave it without hesitation. If he wanted me to travel to dark places for his sexual satisfaction, I did it, knowing on some fundamental level that he'd keep me safe no matter how low I went. I adored the guy. I would've done anything he asked, and did. I wasn't in love with him in a traditional sense, but he wasn't with me, either. And that was fine with us.

The near-purity of that relationship (and again, I know the ironies involved in using the word purity to describe it) is tangled up with Topher and Jim, though, and with missed opportunities and words not spoken, and with guilt and shame and fear and a whole mess of other things that to this day I'm still trying to sort through. I left a lot of this story unexamined for years and years, almost as if I hoped that it would simply vanish if I didn't revisit it.

Even when finally I convinced myself that it was a tale worth telling, it's been difficult to pick out the relevant threads that make a clear-cut story. There've been times the path seemed clear after I scythed my way through, only to find it more impenetrable than before.

Of course, the biggest obstacle is that the whole thing is a little bit to me like picking at a scab. You know you shouldn't. You want to. When you do, it doesn't feel good.

So those are my excuses, and here's my apology: I'm sorry if I've prolonged the telling. It's possible to revisit earlier chapters in the Earl story by clicking on his keyword phrase link in my sidebar—the same for the chapters of the story specifically involving Topher. And as I draw closer to the story's inexorable end, I'll try to speed it up a little. I appreciate your collective patience.

Let's get to some questions I've collected from formspring.me, shall we?



What brands of underwear do you have?

Gap, Banana Republic, and a boatload of Calvin Klein.


Is there anything you do solely because you think others expect it of you?

Twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a freakin' year. Of course things are expected of me. I'm over the age of ten.

If you mean sexually, the answers pretty much the same.


Pepsi or Coke?

I would like to pretend I'm all hoity-toity and sniff and say that I don't drink fizzy beverages, but in reality I love Diet Pepsi.


Ever worn high-heels before? What was it like? What was the occasion?

I have not. I don't believe I've ever worn a single garment of women's clothing in my life, though it's not out of any overreaction that to do so would affect my masculinity. I simply have never had the desire to in a recreational manner, nor have I done it for Halloween at any point.

I did, however, carry around one of my mother's old purses. When I was five. I used it to hold my toy soldiers, dinosaurs, and Matchbox cars.


What's your favourite sex position?

Inserted.


Do you use poppers when having sex?

I do not, and one of the great secret shames of my life is that never have I even attempted to try them.


Do you think overweight people have only themselves to blame?

I'm not really entirely comfortable with the way this question is asked—as if being overweight is automatically worthy of blame and criticism and disdain.

Some people are heavier than others. Some of them carry it well. Some of them don't. Some are perfectly healthy; others aren't. Lumping them together in a group and implying they're worthy of being blamed dehumanizes, to an extent, a varied group of individuals. And I get very uncomfortable when people do that, because it's so very easy for others to do it to me.

If an overweight individual wants to lose weight and does nothing about it, then sure. He has himself to blame. But I'd say the same thing for an unhappy skinny person who wants a better life but does nothing to achieve it, or the sexiest person around who wishes for love yet never gets out and meets anyone.

Ultimately not only do we all need to recognize what we're lacking in our own lives and what needs to change, but also we need to start taking the steps to make those changes. No one else is going to do them for us.


What's the most you've paid for a haircut?

Probably far less than my hair stylist friends charge. With my last stylist, whom I saw for a good ten years, I had a barter system in place. Sexual barter, to be frank.

How much do you charge for a haircut?


Have you published commercially (as memoirs & erotica) any of your nonfiction? I've Googled without success. 

I've never had nonfiction published, no.


I met a guy for sex, but we clicked and are spending more time together. When I thought it was just a hookup, I lied about my age (subtracted 3 yrs, & he's 10yrs younger than I am), but since it's become something more, I need to speak up. Any ideas how?

I think it's important to be honest about one's age in relationships. If it lasts, he's going to find out and feel anything from annoyed to betrayed that he was lied to. If it doesn't last . . . well, it's almost as if you were betting on that from the start, and that never bodes well for anything lasting.

I said 'in relationships' above, but hell. Why not always be open about your age? If a younger guy is going to get into a snit over three years, chances are that down the road he's going to be even more inflexible over something more important.


Could you survive a year cut off from all technology?

Survive? Yes. Would I enjoy it? Probably not.


Who was your first celebrity crush?

The Professor. Yes, the one from Gilligan's Island. I was seven. Shut up.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Open Forum Friday: That Face

I got a lecture not long ago from a guy on Manhunt. Yes, a freakin' lecture, like I was all of fourteen years old.

I'd logged into the site and promptly done what I ordinarily do when I cruise Manhunt—which is not to cruise it at all, but put it in a background tab and go about my business. Every half-hour or so I'll check back to see if anyone's tried to hit me up. If they have, as long as they haven't done anything egregious like asking Do you and your buddies want to fuck me?, or haven't flown off the handle because of some imagined slight, I'll respond politely. If something happens, fine. If it doesn't, I don't feel I've wasted a lot of time.

So I came back a few minutes later—I'd been in the kitchen, cleaning up from the day, actually—sat down, sorted through the email, and looked through what had accumulated. One of them was from a gentleman whose profile I examined before I read the letter. He was one of those slightly stocky but not unattractive guys in his fifties, a clean-cut type with a fringe of hair shaved short around his head. In his photos he wore striped button-down shirts and slacks. The shirts were of slightly different colors, and the pants of fewer shades still. Although the photos looked a little like action poses from the Sears & Roebuck Khaki Line for the Older But Still Active Young Granddad, the guy had a nice smile and a good face.

In a positive mood, I went back to his letter, which started, I'm sure you hear how nice your dick is all the time. Promising (and true) enough. You're not going to hear it from me, it continued. I frowned a little. In fact, you're not going to hear how nice your profile is from me because I think it's shameful you feel it necessary to have a photograph of your penis next to one of your face.

And I was like, what? My penis next to my face? Am I self-fellating in some shot and I didn't know? Then I realized what he meant.

There are two attitudes about posting photographs in profiles for sex sites. There's the one extreme in which the guy shows absolutely nothing. No photos whatsoever. Or else they'll all be locked, and when you ask the guy to unlock them for you, he'll reply, I'm very very discreet and refuse. And then there's the opposite extreme, which me. I post it all and unless the sex site has specific rules about what has to be locked (like penetration shots or photographs of cum), it stays unlocked.

Now, this older guy went on to chastise me for five very long paragraphs (on Manhunt!) about how terrible an example it was for someone of my advanced age to show both naked shots of my hard dick and smiling photographs of my ugly mug, out in the open, where anyone could see them. I was without class, he wanted to let me know. I was exposing myself to risk at my place of work, if my supervisor were to happen across them. And not just that, but I was giving the youth of America the mistaken impression that my genitals were nothing of which to be ashamed.

Think of the children!, the note could have ended and I wouldn't have been surprised.

I wrote back a chillingly polite letter in which I included my stock answer that I use whenever anyone attempts to tell me what I must and must not include in my profiles. I thanked him for his concern and told him when he started paying my Manhunt subscription fee—no when he started paying for my cable modem subscription and my computer both—I'd start listening to his damn advice. But probably not even then.

He wrote back something huffy like, I'm just trying to save you grief down the road! No skin off my back!

I don't lock my photographs on Manhunt for a couple of reasons. The lesser of the two is that I get annoyed by the one-word emails I used to get when I had some locked photos, which simply demanded, "UNLOCK." (Though I still get them from the idiots who don't seem to realize that they can see thumbnails of eight or nine photos without pictograms of locks on them.)

The bigger reason is that I just don't really give a damn. I'm not ashamed of my face; I'm not ashamed of what's between my legs. I'm not particularly offended at the notion that someone might think I'm a sexual being. I am. I don't have a supervisor who is going to "stumble across" my profile. I'm not running for public office, ever. And I'm not trying to pretend that Manhunt is a genteel dating site instead of a place where horny guys meet when they want to fuck.

I understand that not everyone is in my position, or feels the same way about their looks or body or sexuality. Some people do have sensitive careers they shouldn't jeopardize by flashing their dicks on Manhunt so that their elderly female audiences won't die of heart attacks, Clay Aiken. Want to lock up all your photos? It's your dime. Go right ahead. I don't really care. I'll never meet you if you don't unlock them at some point, but I won't be dictating what you can and can't do with your profile.

Which is why I was surprised, I guess, that this fellow was so vehement about ragging on mine. Did my free expression of sexuality truly offend him so deeply that he felt moved to write a five-paragraph essay about it? Was my dick so raunchy that he wanted to write a letter to the editor? Especially, if you think about it, that my dick shot was what got him to open up the profile in the first place?

For this week's open forum, I'm curious. What's your take on online sites and profile photos? Do you show all yours, or keep some concealed? If you're half-and-half on it—which seems to be the prevailing style in this part of the country at least—do you show your pearly whites and keep your bait and tackle under lock, or vice-versa? What's your reasoning for not showing everything? Or, if you're one of the types who'd never have a profile at all, or one with photos, what's your reason for not showing?

I'm fascinated about your experiences and thoughts on the matter.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank-You Thursday

A couple of people have been really nice to me by purchasing gifts for me from my Amazon gift list, this last week, and I wanted to thank them.

First off is a gift from someone who very thoughtfully purchased a book by the comics artist Patrick McDonnell, whose Mutts daily strip is the only one I follow.


I love Mutts, and reading through the strips the week after I lost my oldest pet really resonated for me. So thank you, reader. You know who you are. I very much appreciate the kind thought after a big loss.

The second gift was more for my genitals.


Someone anonymous—I truly don't know who, because Amazon doesn't tell me and I didn't get a gift note—purchased for me a pair of Calvin Klein underwear. On their first outing, I met up with fuckboy Franco and stuffed them in his mouth after I'd been wearing them all day, in preparation for mounting him.


He models them well, no?

Thanks to both you guys. I'm a grateful man.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Last Time I Saw Topher

(This entry is a continuation of the Earl series about my relationship with an older man in my teens, and of the complications caused by a peer named Topher. It's a direct sequel to yesterday's Brass Watch. Despite references to orgies and despite some very adult situations, I'm afraid it lacks any explicit smut, again. Sorry.)

In the neighborhood where I grew up flourished two seminaries. From one, the more august of the two, the one that's still intact and and was known as the more academic, my childhood church (which was just a block away) drew slave labor for its programs in the form of seminarians anxious to teach Sunday school or draw up an extensive year-long Christian education curriculum for no more recompense than a smile and the experience.

The lesser institution dissolved some years ago and gave up its campus to the Southern Baptists. In its heyday in the nineteen-seventies, though, it was the more touchy-feely of the two campuses. More youth-oriented. The infamous clog dancing troupe to which I belonged in high school was an evening program there. The drama group in which I made my Richmond stage debut and had first met Topher was one of its programs. The school was responsible for dozens and dozens of graduates who marched out from its grassy campus into the world, armed with the ability to play all the hit songs from Godspell on the guitar using usually no more than three or four chords, a broad range of Sunday school crafts in their holster, and only the vaguest (but a truly well-meaning) grasp of what actually was in the Bible.

But they had a skating rink, and that more than made up for anything lacking in their academic system.

I'm vaguely aware that roller rinks still exist across this country, but they don't have nearly the glamor and cultural sway that they did in the seventies and early eighties. We're talking about the era that is responsible for Xanadu, after all. I started in fourth grade skating at the seminary rink, which occupied the basement of one of their larger buildings. I had my own pair of skates for a time, even, until my feet began shooting up through the adult sizes to an eventual size eleven and it wasn't worthwhile to try to keep up.

Everyone in the neighborhood of a certain age skated. Families came together on certain nights, bought pizza from the refreshment stand, and skated to disco music under the mirrorball. Every kid I knew was familiar with the names not only of the girls behind the skate rental counter, but the guy who ran the lights and music and even the fellow who sat in the back and cleaned and tuned the skates as they were turned in. We all knew not only how to skate in endless circles around the rink, but how to stop on a dime, skate backwards, turn a figure-eight, and dance along with Blondie and Donna Summer. I shudder to admit it, but once our clogging troupe even donned skates for one of our performances and boogied on stage to "Use It Up, Wear It Out."

Some memories one can never shake, no matter how hard one tries.

Anyway. The first place I ever saw Topher was on that seminary's campus, when we were alternating the lead in a musical there. And the last place I ever saw Topher was at the seminary's skating rink, one summer night.

For me it was the summer between the end of tenth grade and the start of my senior year. My parents had landed on the plan that had me skip eleventh grade, and I had to spend that summer taking an English credit to do it. The amount of travel and work I had to do over the course of a couple of months really cut into my usually leisurely summer schedule. Something had to give. I wasn't going to relinquish my nights of whoring at the park, or my weekends of fucking at Earl's place. My daytimes were usually spent shuffling between classes, dealing with my first stalker, and doing homework.

What I jettisoned turned out to be what little socialization I did with other kids. I didn't go to the pool much that summer. I didn't hang out with what few friends I had. And I rarely went skating.

But one night toward the end of summer I did. I have a vague memory of being guilted into it by my parents, who were convinced I was overworking because that's precisely what I wanted them to think. For whatever reasons, though, I went skating that night. I caught up with a few friends. I endured their snide remarks about skipping a grade and leaving them behind until I wasn't enjoying it any more, and then I figured I'd cut out a little early, stop by the park and whore until it closed, and then arrive home late at night and go straight to bed like any surly teenager with too much on his plate, thanks to his folks.

That was the plan, anyway. I slipped my skates back at the rental desk while my friends were out on the floor, and during one of the popular slow numbers in which all the popular guys would grab the popular girls for a mobile make-out session in the semi-darkness, slipped out the door and into the basement stairwell that led back up to the sidewalk.

And there was Topher, at the far end of the stairwell, smoking a cigarette. We didn't smoke in those days. Never mind that I'd seen him fucked by men more than twice his age for a couple of years by that point. I was absolutely shocked to the point of speechlessness at the sight of him guiltily stubbing out a butt on the concrete and pushing the ashes into a drain with his sneaker. "Hey," he said, when he saw who I was.

"Hey," I said back. I stopped. I wasn't exactly sure what social courtesies we owed the other. I was Earl's boy. Topher at that point was more Jim's, though Earl had found him and trained him in much the same way he'd trained me. Because he spent more time in Jim's room, the pair of them smoking weed and giggling at Looney Tunes reruns and broadcasts of The New Zoo Revue, I didn't really see him as a direct rival for Earl's attention. The two of them fucked, but not when I was around. How he viewed me, though, I knew might be a sticky point of contention.

He had ample reason to resent me. I was the favorite son, the priggish do-gooder when I wasn't on my back with my legs in the air. I didn't smoke, I didn't drink, I didn't do pot or hang out with a bad crowd. I was Abel to his Cain, and I was acutely fearful that when he looked at me, he saw a halo hanging over my head.

Then there was the fact that the two of us had never been alone together. There were dozens and dozens of kids and adults on the other side of the wall. We could both hear the thumping disco music through the shaded windows and the door. But that stairwell closed the two of us off from the rest of the world in a way neither of us had encountered before—not even when the two of us had been in our own awkward, private world when forced to fuck each other for the amusement of a crowd. I moved. I'd made the decision to leave.

"I bet you're looking forward to school," he said finally, shuffling his feet.

I stopped. It sounded like a dig to me, but I didn't acknowledge it for what it was. "Maybe," I shrugged. "Aren't you?"

I didn't know which high school Topher attended, though I knew it wasn't mine. "I don't know," he said. "Don't know if I'm going back."

If I'd been shocked by the cigarette, this admission really nailed my feet to the ground. I wasn't going anywhere. By and large, we were all good kids, in that community. Some had more of a reputation for making trouble than others. There were a few I avoided, because they were dicks to me. One of us had thrown a drunken party when his parents were away for the weekend. But even he turned out in later life to be a responsible lawyer. The point was that we just didn't have any high school dropouts. Not in that community. Not even in my high school. They were a mythical breed, exotic and much-rumored, but never witnessed. I said something like, "What?"

Now he shrugged. "I hate that shit." He peered at me through narrow and slitted eyes. Topher's teens had not been kind to him. He had acne on his face—big blotches, not the minor kind of scream-inducing pimples I occasionally got. His hair was stringy and unwashed. Whether it was the weed or the cigarette smoke or just the way he preferred to shut out everything around him, he perpetually looked at the world through heavy lids that were so shuttered they almost closed. "School. Everybody telling you what to do and when to do it. You like that?" He thrust his hands in his pockets. "You probably do."

Another jibe. I ignored it for the moment. "What're you going to do? Get a job?"

"Nah." He was attempting to be nonchalant, adult in a way that a school-loving kid like me obviously was not. "I'd blow this town. Go somewhere exciting. Maybe Baltimore." It's a measure of what a sleepy little city we lived in that Baltimore seemed like a wild epicenter of excitement.

"Oh," I said. I didn't really have anything else to add.

He was warming to the topic, though. He'd obviously thought it through. "Jim said he could help me get a little money. No one else gives a shit if I go." There wasn't any way I could really counter that. He wouldn't have believed me if I said that I didn't want him gone. I didn't—but we didn't have enough of a relationship for it to matter. "Earl. . . ."

He snorted. "Anyway. See ya, I guess."

It was a dismissal, and I didn't have anything more to say. Nor did I really want to stick around, any more. Topher made me uncomfortable. Being around him reminded me of a path my life could've taken. He was almost a nightmare version of myself—a dark half that hadn't taken good care, that had done all the wrong things, that had made all the wrong decisions. We'd started from the same point, playing the same role in a play, same bright future ahead of us. We'd both been Earl's boys. Despite all that, despite even our proximity in that stairwell, we seemed so far apart that no bridge could ever span the gap.

I turned, and put a foot on the first stair. "Hey," he said. I looked over my shoulder. "See you around. Or not. I'll figure it out." His voice wasn't cruel, or laden with blame or resentment. If anything, I remember it as a recognition of sorts. The recognition shared by equals, or at least by soldiers who'd witnessed the same atrocities, deep in the trenches.

My last view of Topher was from the top of the staircase, over the iron railing. He was nothing more than a freshly-lit cigarette's red tip, hiding in the shadows.