I tuned into RuPaul’s Drag Race, Monday night, with great anticipation. It’s simultaneously one of the sharpest and silliest programs on television, and I’ve loved it since the first season. My favorite of all the seasons was its third, though, and that’s because it’s the season I watched with Spencer.
When I was on my own for all those months and Spencer had basically taken up residence in my bed, refrigerator, and house, Drag Race night was the evening we most looked forward to. We’d make dinner, make love, and then cuddle up on the sofa to watch our favorite show. During the commercial breaks we’d argue about our favorites (we both loved Raja), and hiss at the villains (Mimi Imfurst!), and pick out our drag names (his would change every week, but mine has always been and will always be Pansy Potts, because I saw them advertised at a garden store once and said, "That would be my perfect drag name.").
Last night I turned on the show, was excited for about the first three minutes, and then I was so overcome with longing for Spencer and those long winter nights that I developed an enormous lump in my throat and had to excuse myself from the room for a few minutes in order to compose myself.
But Drag Race reminds me not only of Spencer, but of another lost boy, Allan, whom I knew many years ago, and with whom by chance I reconnected again years later. It’s Allan that I’d like to talk about in the next couple of entries.
In the Detroit area there were two bathhouses I’d visit. One was newer, but because it had been put into an old auto body shop, it was grungier and grittier. The steam room was large and capacious, but the private rooms seemed like an afterthought, the carpets were always frayed and dirty, and in a good rain, the entire place became wet and marshy underfoot. There was a hot tub, but it always gave the impression of being a bacterial stew . . . when it was working. The staff cleaned the place in a perfunctory manner if at all. On the other hand, it was close to the freeway, it attracted an infinitely more sizable crowd, and the guys generally tended to skew younger.
The other bathhouse was in a much older building. It had taken over a Jewish health club and had a really solid, good facility—an Olympic-sized pool, a tiled in-ground hot tub, a screened outdoor nude tanning deck, massage rooms, a dry sauna in addition to the steam room, and two comfortable-ish movie rooms. Despite its age, and despite the fact that it attracted an older and sparser crowd, I actually liked this facility better for many years. The men were friendlier, the sex was wilder, and the place was infinitely cleaner than its rival. I sponsored many a member there.
In the mid-2000s, though, the club’s owner got into the habit of commandeering the public address system for fifteen minutes to a half-hour at a time so that he could go on what sounded like meth-fueled rants about the local gay and lesbian organizations and how they were full of Nazis and assholes. And the last thing one really needs when one’s trying to sink one’s dick into a hot young buck is some addled, slurring idiot shouting obscenities into a microphone at the top of his voice. You know?
The final straw for me with the older bathhouse was one afternoon when I’d spent several hours there. I’d turned in my bedclothes, checked out my key, and gotten back my lifetime membership card. The clerk had buzzed me out the door, and I’d exited into the foyer. I was heading to the door out and, because my breath needed a minty boost, I’d withdrawn from the back pocket of my jeans a stick of Orbit gum.
Well. I hadn't unwrapped it. I wasn't going to put it into my mouth until I'd reached my car. But you’d have thought that instead of an inch-long sugar-free mojito-flavored chewing gum, I’d pulled out a loaded gun. The clerk and owner started screaming at me at the top of their lungs, through the bullet-proof plexiglass through which one had to check in. Gum was forbidden on the premises! What did I think they were, made out of money? What was my name again? They were going to take my membership and put a black mark on it! No! I was going to come right back in and they were going to give me a scraper and I was going to have to scrape every seat in the movie theater, bed in the rooms, and gum mark off the floor, right then and there!
They were serious. I stared at them in amazement, said, “Fuck you,” and walked out. I never ever went back. I told everyone I knew who was thinking of joining to keep away. (And I recommend you do the same.)
When I first joined that particular bathhouse, it was a few years after it had been more or less gutted in a fire. A cigarette left burning in one of the rooms had cleared out three-quarters of the bathhouse, so that it had no private changing rooms (they’re euphemistically called)—only a vast, dark, warehouse-like area hung with drapes. During the years before the rooms were rebuilt, the big empty space was called ‘tent city’ because the owner had put down a couple of dozen pup tents on the floor for men to fuck in.
I loved the arrangement better than the private rooms that later supplanted them, to be honest. No one could really vanish into a room with a locked door, in that arrangement. All the sex was public, or at least semi-; you could hear everything through the thin material of the pup tents, listen to entire conversations, hear every grunt and thrust and slickness. There was always a chance that you’d be leading a man into a pup tent and get down on your knees and crawl in, only to find some fucker already waiting inside with his legs up, or another couple screwing. Sometimes they’d invite you to stay, anyway.
I met Allan in one of the tents. He was one of those sluts who would spend an entire afternoon on his back on those cement floors, legs in the air, taking dick after dick. We fucked once and enjoyed each other. I recognized him another day by the taste of his kisses—he was addicted to a certain strong mint, between fucks—and the glowing red tip of his cigarette in the dark. I always sought him out after that.
When I first met him right around the century mark, Allan was no more than twenty-five. He was tall, and lean, blue-eyed, and had the blondest natural shock of hair. He was so fair-skinned that as he got fucked, a flush would form first over his face and then would spread down his neck and chest, until all those areas were a bright red. And he had a much-used ass with a natural rosebud from so much fucking.
One of the reasons I liked Allan so much was that he was up for anything. I could take him to one of the public areas and fuck him while men watched, and he’d put on as much of a show as I. He’d arch his back, and groan, and make it look as if I was giving him the fuck of his life. When I was in him, his eyes would be half-closed, but they’d be fully-focused on my own. He’d kiss me passionately, and ride my dick for as long as I cared to give it to him. He’d never get enough.
After a few encounters, he made it clear that I was his special territory. He’d fight off other, lesser bottoms to get to my cock, then work hard to keep my attention focused on him. I’d shoot a load in him, then he’d squat over one of the floor mats, squirt it out of his ass, and lick it up—all for my voyeuristic pleasure. Then, while I’d lean back against the wall and relax, he’d pick another man out of the crowd, put his ass into the air, and take the anonymous fuck while I watched. The minute the guy had dumped a load inside him, Allan would scramble off him, crawl to me, and then slide his cum-filled chute down and over my dick, so I could fuck him in the stranger’s load.
He worked as a waiter nights, I knew, so the only time I saw Allan at the baths was during the day. Every time I saw him, he’d collect loads for me to fuck in. Then when I told him I’d have to be going soon, he’d give me the most determined, aggressive sex I’d had to that point. His hole was on my dick, but from the way he went at it—straddling me, grinding at me and snatching my dick with his cunt, his jaw jutted out and a snarl on his face until he got the load he needed from me—it was more as if he was fucking me than the reverse.
I loved sex with Allan. So when he suggested we save our money and just start fucking at his place, I didn’t hesitate. Hell yes, I wanted to see him. And for a good year, I did.
(To be continued.)