How long did I put off writing about Cory? Years. He blasted into my life like a natural disaster, swept me off my feet, and tossed me around. And like an act of God, he vanished and left me for dead, trailing a lengthy wake of destruction behind him.
I wrote several entries about Cory, long ago. They’re still there. I can’t re-read them, though. The memories are still too. . . .
I’m not surely how neatly to end that sentence. Too raw? Too confusing? Too embarrassing?
Perhaps all those completions apply.
Some context. I wrote earlier in this series about Cheater, the man several years back I fucked savagely and repeatedly, only to discover, after he’d exhibited a number of stalker-like behaviors, that all along he read my blog and used what he’d learned to ingratiate himself with me.
Cory followed Cheater by a mere couple of months; he was my attempt at a rebound into a more sane sexual relationship.
You know what they say. Out of the frying pan. Into the white-hot core of the sun.
Cory and I were lovers. For the better part of an entire year, I saw Cory more or less exclusively. I invested more emotion in him. . . .
And here’s another sentence I don’t know how to finish. Saying more or less implies an equation that needs balancing—an algebra of exchange requiring justification on both sides. However, there was no equity between Cory and I, in the end.
Let me fire off a few test rounds:
I invested more emotion in him than I ever intended.
I invested more emotion in him than he ever did in me.
I almost want to say I invested more emotion in him than I should have, but even at the remove of a few years, I don’t yet have the perspective necessary to determine that one.
I wish he were that easy to write off.
For six weeks after Cheater’s stalking, I shut myself off from the world. I was afraid to open the door and find another bag of dog turds, frightened even of going to the supermarket and running into him there. Scared of my own shadow, I was for a little while. I felt betrayed, and silly, and old.
I met Cory online in that winter of my solitude, one lonely and frigid Tuesday morning. When he opened his private profile photos for me to view, I found myself both intimidated and taken aback by his beauty. His photos were grainy selfies taken with an older model of smartphone, but despite their potato quality, they still stunned me at first glance.
I was startled by Cory’s mane of impossibly sleek long hair that hung in a raven curtain to his waist, his haunted anime-size eyes, the cheekbones that could slice cheese, the strong, almost comic-book-hero chin. I gazed at the shots of his long, lean, naked, twenty-seven-year-old torso, and felt an old, familiar stirring. Not merely in my pants. Although I’d cut the wires to my sex drive a month and a half before, after Cheater, Cory’s photos got the mental engine revving again.
Eventually I summoned up the courage to ask Cory what he did for a living. He told me he was a runway and fit model for a major fashion house in the city. Previously he’d starred in multiple print campaigns for other major designers. He offered to text me some photos of his print work. The engine thrummed into a higher gear at the sight of him objectified in international jeans and men’s fashion ads for big, big names.
What decided me, though, were the selfies he took and texted as he urged me to come to his place. He was naked once more in those candid shots, his lean body stretched out on his mattress, his dark eyes drilling into the camera lens with the intensity of laser fire. He’d taken those shots for me. He wanted me. And he wanted me right now and then. On a cold Tuesday morning, his need for me warmed me more than a summer sunbath. I hesitated only a moment more before swigging some mouthwash and hopping in my car.
Another reason I agreed to visit that first morning was because Cory lived so close. The address he sent was less than a mile away, up the street I was living on at the time and around a few corners. To be honest, I had to challenge myself to go through with the meeting, rather than let myself be daunted by his youth and extreme good looks.
I’m easily cowed by beautiful men.
What terrifies me even more, though, is wealth. The address I thought was close by turned out to be in what we call the ‘back country,’ that fabled green section of this already-wealthy town where the estate lots are measured by dozens of acres instead of hundreds of square feet. The few corners were so alien, and I became helplessly lost among the unmarked roads and thick greenery. When a broad boulevard appeared before me that wasn’t on my GPS’s maps, I gave in and phoned Cory for directions. It turned out that the boulevard was really his driveway.
This endless, long thoroughfare was his fucking driveway, I thought to myself as I drove my jalopy up to the estate at the top of the hill. The notion that I would be stripping naked with someone who actually owned this sprawl made me tense and sweaty. The house, once it loomed from behind the primeval forest, was one of those nineteenth-century Gothic revival homes straight out of a Shirley Jackson novel. Expansive front porch. Widow’s walk high above the house’s center. Stone porch. Room tacked onto room tacked randomly onto room like the Winchester House.
And there, sprawled on the wide stone railing of the porch, sat Cory, seemingly unaware of my approach. He pecked away on his iPhone, barefoot on that cold winter’s day, wearing nothing more than a white tee, blue jeans, and a pair of oversized brown sunglasses. A waterfall of dark hair cascaded over his right shoulder and down his chest. There were no photographers, but he looked all the world as if he were shooting a denim company ad on a spring day.
Then, as I pulled my car to a stop, he looked up from his phone and lifted his glasses. With his eyes he smiled at me; his lips followed suit shortly thereafter. He reached out an enormous hand as I stepped out onto the drive. My hands are large. Cory’s paws made mine seem like a doll’s. I extended my own to shake. But he took it in a clasp, held it there, and didn’t let go.
Of course I assumed he owned the place. He’d told me he was a successful model. And Cory certainly acted like lord of the manor. With my hand feeling tiny in his, he led me through the front door and into a main hall stuffed with country antiques. Through another door he escorted me into a gourmet’s kitchen, then up what used to be a servant’s stair to the house’s east wing. His house had wings.
Cory had a suite at the top of the narrow little staircase, private and quiet, bathed in sunlight from the skylights set in the twenty-foot ceiling. Still holding my hand, he guided me to his bed. I don’t know whether he sensed my nervousness. Perhaps. But he lay me back, and settled the pillows behind my shoulders, and urged me to relax. Then, with one hand stroking my hair and the other tugging impatiently at my zipper, he whispered to me how beautiful he found me. How much he had always desired me.
I melted. I was hooked.
Over time I’ve come to realize that Cory collected me. He’d made up his mind, added me to his online shopping cart, and clicked the button demanding express delivery. He seduced me with a directness that, in retrospect, turned out to be astonishingly confident. That confidence, though, was tempered with a tenderness I so badly needed, though, after my stalking experience with Cheater. I’d just gotten out of a bad run with a guy who’d studied my blog and used his knowledge of me to get what he wanted. With Cory it seemed—it seemed—that perhaps this time around I might get as good as I gave.
Cory knew he had me with the sex, though. Sex between us was always incendiary. He would beg for my dick inside him, three, four, five times a session. Thrust for thrust he’d meet me, crying out at the top of his lungs, telling me how mine was the only dick he wanted. Sometimes he would lay me back on the mattress and ride me, slowly, deliberately, milking me with his ass muscles, stealing the loads I might greedily try to keep from him. He could be romantic, then nasty, on the turn of a dime. The entire time I’d keep stealing glances at his handsome face—glances only, as staring at Cory for too long could be blinding, like staring into the sun—and wondering how I’d gotten so lucky.
Every visit he’d surprise me. One day he’d step out from behind a door to greet me with a romantic kiss, his body naked and still steaming from a hot shower. Another time I’d find him spread face-down on his mattress, legs apart, designer underwear torn slightly, the words OPEN HERE scrawled with permanent marker on the fabric, ready for me to rip open and ruin. One day he’d keep my underwear and make me wear his, and then return my own on my next visit, caked with his semen.
And then he would pin me to the bed and hold me down while once more he rode me, taking his pleasure deliberately, almost cruelly, until at last he would blast an enormous load on my chest and face. He was aggressive about his needs, and I’d strive to match Cory’s hunger, fuck for fuck.
As I said, there was enormous confidence in Cory’s assumptions. He assumed from the beginning, for example, that I’d be his confidante, as well as his lover. Immediately, willingly, I became his grateful, sex-addled sidekick. I tagged along behind him whoever he wanted to go, just like his dog, Poochy. He and Poochy and I would huddle beneath the sheets in that sometimes-glacial room while he’d tell me about his life. I learned that he was a twin, one of two brothers in an enormous Mennonite family from California. I learned that as a child he’d fallen down a well, and that the manhunt for him had lasted days. I learned that he’d been an enormous billboard idol in Japan of almost rock star proportions, during a campaign for a brand of footwear.
Soon, though, the image I carried of him as the wealthy and reclusive young owner of this fashionable old back country manor eroded, to be replaced by something much more banal. Through his stories, I found out the house and property actually belonged to a couple that he worked for; she was some kind of high-powered financier, he did something in politics. They were rarely home. I never saw them.
Cory had indeed been a model for many years, but was taking a so-called break from the business. In the meantime he was earning his living by acting as caretaker of the couple’s son—a paraplegic teen with severe mental disabilities. He was a nurse, essentially, though he didn’t have a nursing degree. The couple loved him, he said, because he gave them hope. They intended to will the house to him after their deaths. This was his home forever, he told me. I'd always be welcome.
I lapped it up, utterly undismayed by any of the revelations. I was addled, I know, by Cory’s good looks.
Spencer, my dancer, had been breathtaking in his beauty. He’d not been an actual male model, though. And I mean no disloyalty—none in the least—when I say that compared to Cory, Spencer’s looks were ordinary.
Every time I basked in Cory’s presence, I’d find myself astonished by his sheer star power. I’d arrive at the house in the spring and find Cory stretched out in the sunlight by the pool, naked and waiting for me . . . and every time, all over again, a wave of helplessness and admiration would wash over me, as strong as it had the first time we’d met. Cory and I would walk through Manhattan on hot summer weekends together, hand in hand, with Poochy on a leash, and I’d notice how everyone—men and women alike—would stare at him, and murmur quietly to each other, trying to figure out if he was a Someone.
Wherever we went together, people would assume we were a couple. The envy in their eyes made me viciously happy. The first time he’d reached for my hand in public, however, I’d balked. I didn’t grow up in a time of public displays of affection between homos.
“Don’t worry. I’ll always protect you,” he told me then, and grabbed my fingers in between his, just as he had that winter morning we’d met.
I believed him.
I believed it all.
I believed when he told me how beautiful I was. I believed when he told me he’d been exclusive with me during the winter and spring. I believed, and I’d saved all my sexual energies exclusively for him. Our Tuesday mornings turned into Tuesdays and Thursdays, with evenings sometimes thrown in. Sometimes we were sneaking time for each other on weekends. Anytime I had a couple of hours to myself and Cory wasn’t working, we’d meet, and strip, and fuck, and talk.
I allowed myself to be flattered by the attentions of a younger, more beautiful man. I basked in the warm glow of his shining glory. I was proud of how he turned heads, male and female alike, when we were out together. Shamefully, I confess I relished that glorious moment when they would realize Cory was mine.
Was I in love with him?
Our sex was so intense that somehow I never noticed how I’d sped past and over that first flush of love—I wasn’t allotted an in-love stage in which I pined for Cory, yearned to see him again. Without me realizing, Cory maneuvered a beauty-addled, silly old man into a more complex manifestation of almost paternal love in which I cared for him, in which I wanted to be supportive, in which I needed to help him solve his problems and get his life in order.
We fucked hard. Cory made me feel desired. He admitted me into his orbit, and as a consequence, I felt grateful to be a minor satellite to the blazing sun of his beauty. However, a satellite is never truly one with the object of its gravity. It revolves around the greater mass while all the time, it attempts to avoid the crush of its inexorable pull.
No. I wasn't in love with the boy.
I let Cory tell me he loved me, though. He’d say the words as I was impaling him, or when he approached a climax. “Let me be in love with you,” he begged me early on. “You don’t have to feel the same. I won’t be a threat to your relationship, your home. If you ever want me to go, just say the word and I’ll disappear. I promise.”
After the trauma of Cheater, I needed to hear assurances like those. From beginning to end, we had that bargain—and never did I have to take him up on his promise.
Because in the end, Cory disappeared anyway.
(To be continued.)
During my hiatus, I’ve received from readers a lot of very sweet emails wishing me well. Most of them have recognized the amount of work I’ve poured into my blog and have expressed their thanks. I’m so grateful for those sentiments.
Many people who’ve written, however, have made the assumption that the reason I have decided to take a break is because of the so-called haters—that is, the men who leave nasty comments on my blog, and those who go out of their way to make sure I understand how contemptible I am to them.
I’ve had plenty of haters over the years. They wear me down, yes. But more than anyone, the men who have sucked the joy out of my writing (and to a certain extent, my life) are those who meant well. They’re men who claimed to admire me, who wanted to meet me—and many of them did—and who then, whether out of clumsiness or fear or whatever, failed to recognize they’d gone too far. A man can only withstand so many successive blows to the ego (even an ego as Jericho-sturdy as mine) before it begins to tumble.
What’s more, every single one of these men read my blog. They’re men who subscribed to my point of view, who enjoyed my writing. Or read my writing, at least. Some of them wanted to be written about. Others never intended me to know they were blog fans.
Maybe one of these men is you.
If it is you? Although there’s a small and petty part of me that wants to flip a finger in your direction, I’m not going to. I’m moving on as I write this series. A friend of mine shared with me something his grandmother used to say that I truly believe: People do the best they can. If they could do better, they would.
My advice, if you think you recognize yourself . . . or even if you don’t: do better.
All of us could stand to do better.