Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Fraternity of Liars

1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Whaaaat?” I say again.

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

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

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


2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3.

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

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

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

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

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

“Kids at school.”

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

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

“Catch you? Catch you doing what?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Boyfriend Experience

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

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

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

So that part of the transaction is done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then I listen, like a good boyfriend should.

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

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

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

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



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

“Cocktails?” asks a server.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He agrees. “To us.”

Then the lights dim.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We’re home,” I echo.

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

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

“Now let me be good to you.”

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

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

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

Slowly he nods. “I know.”

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

“Yes.”

“Because you’re my boyfriend.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I need your babies.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Then show me,” I tell him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes!”

“Why?”

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 11, 2019

Straight Boy

Saturday night at the Governor Bradford. Two days after Halloween. The joint is packed; at both the front and back bar, staff bustle to keep up with the drink orders. The Black and Gold Ball is taking place down the street at the Town Hall; a little further down, at the Crown and Anchor, men are packed into the Wave for the Spooky Bear dance. Townies and gays alike crowd the Governor Bradford’s battered and sticky tables. Most wear costumes. I’m comfortably installed a bench directly across from the bar’s stage, where a drag queen busily attends to the karaoke queue.

Another group of townies swarm in, seeking seats. They shuffle to where we’re sitting. One of the party is a woman dressed as Nurse Ratched—I can tell because she’s wearing a white nurse’s uniform with a stick-on tag that reads HELLO MY NAME IS Nurse Ratched. She points to the empty chairs on the other side of my table. The noise of a drunk local singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ is so loud, and the sound system so ancient and staticky, that there’s no chance I can hear her soft treble over the cacophony. I assume she’s asking if the seats are unoccupied, however, so I nod and point and mime somehow that it’s okay for her to arrange them in a row in front of us. Nurse Ratched and her crew—a man in an Adam West mask and gray Batman uniform and a woman I assume is supposed to be his Catwoman, and a witch who’s seemingly raided Stevie Nicks’ skirt closet—arrange themselves with their backs to us. Nurse Ratched stands up to wave over a man in a doctor’s lab coat and, improbably, a rainbow-colored Bozo wig.

“Will I be blocking you if I sit here?” shouts the doctor, as he straddles the chair directly in front of me.

“You’re good. You’re good,” I reassure him.

“You sure?” Onto his lap the doctor rests the kind of oversized leather bag that Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman might’ve lugged around.

I hold up my hand and smile, to tell him he’s good.

I’ve already sung once on this noisy Saturday night. So many costumed partiers are stopping here before heading to their revels, though, that the queue of performers is long. Remarkably few are any good. In the center of the restaurant, on the brightly-lit stage that’s flanked by two giant inflatable black felines, another drunk is massacring “Walking in Memphis” so painfully that the cat-masked drag queen doing the hosting is smiling to herself and hiding behind her computer screen, struggling not to laugh. It’s terrible, but the point of karaoke is that no one really cares: everyone in the crowd roars along with the chorus about their feet being ten feet off of Beale, filling out the melody in ways the singer cannot.

At last the song mercifully ends, everyone cheers and applauds wildly. The drunk staggers offstage wearing the smile of a man who assumes he’s nailed it. When everyone at a karaoke joint agrees to a low bar for success…maybe he has.

My friends are on their fourth round of drinks, and I on my third Diet Coke, when another group invades our territory. Three men, three women, all in their late twenties or very early thirties, muffled in puffy coats. None of them are costumed; all are obviously grateful to be inside and away from the Cape Cod winds. They crash down with some force into seats to my left. From the way they weave and laugh a little too loudly, over too little, I can tell they’ve been drinking already. The women are laughing and chattering with excitement at the crowd; their eyes dash around the room from costume to costume. “Honey!” yells the blonde closest to me, as she struggles out of her coat and scarf. “Honey! Look at the two Eltons!”

At a table to my right sit a gay couple dressed as Elton John; the older and more inebriated of the two is wearing a ruffled and bedecked Elton jumpsuit in flamingo hues. His headdress is so elaborate and wide that whenever he turns his shoulders, its ostrich feathers dip into his neighbors’ drinks. I’ve had to pluck plastic straws from it several times already, when no one else would. The younger is dressed in a sequined baseball uniform that’s open to his navel. His chest is muscular and hairy. All the women, and all the gay guys, can’t keep their eyes off him.

The dude the blonde called honey plops down next to me, sharing my table. There’s not enough room on the benches for him to sit with the other couples. He’s kind of an adorable little bulldog of a straight boy, in his Syracuse hat and his bulky sweatshirt, his two-day growth of scruff. “Hey buddy,” he says, nodding at me. I’m feeling a little odd sitting shoulder to shoulder with a straight jock, but he doesn’t seem to mind. “Okay to sit here?”

“Sure,” I tell him. My hip’s already against a division of the bench, so there’s not much further for me to slide. I make a show of attempting it, anyway.

“You singing?” he says, his hooded eyes directly meeting mine. The noise level in the Governor Bradford is crazy already, but even taking that into account, he’s speaking a little loudly; I can tell he’s been drinking for a good portion of the night. “You gonna get up there and sing for us?”

“Later,” I promise. His response is to grin at me and raise a clenched left hand. Oh, I think to myself, for a surprised moment. This is what the kids call a fist bump. I’ve only fist-bumped kids before. I graze my knuckles against his, then manage to fumble through some kind of elaborate man-shake that involves clasping, slapping, and more bumping. When it’s finally over I feel dazed and a little giddy. I haven’t done anything quite so hetero in years.

“How about your boyfriend?” he asks, nodding at my other side.

Whoops. I guess I’ve been clocked. The dude is pretty matter-of-fact about it, though; it’s always seemed as if the straights in Ptown understand what they’re getting into when they visit. “He’s not my boyfriend,” I say over the caterwauling singer. “And no, he’s not singing.”

“Oh, so you’re the singer in the relationship, huh?” he says. His mouth is so close to my ear that I can feel the warmth of his breath tickling its tiny hairs.

I laugh. “He’s not my boyfriend,” I repeat.

“Oh, oh!” He punches me on the shoulder in a manly way. “Footloose and fancy-free, huh?” His words are a little hesitant as he talks through his mild inebriation, but he’s friendly and kind of cute…and let’s face it. I’m easily charmed. “Good for you, dude.”

The blonde has already made a trip between the two bobbing inflatable cats to retrieve a few karaoke slips and a golf pencil. She’s scribbling something down to give to the drag queen. “And she’s your wife?” I ask.

“Four years in January.”

“Well, congrats.”

When one of the guy’s friends punches him to ask a question, he moves his attention away from me. It feels a little weird to be sitting so close to a stranger. Even by New York City rush hour subway standards, our hip-to-hip adjacency feels alien. He doesn’t seem to mind, though—and his wife and his friends don’t care. So why should I? I give myself permission to enjoy the proximity of a cute straight boy half my age.

I’m not really upset when Syracuse’s wife gets called to the stage before I get a second shot—some karaoke hosts try to let as many people have a first song before beginning the rotation again. I’m not going anywhere. I’m in no rush. The blonde gets up on stage, yells out, “Peeee Tooowwwwn!” and then, “This one is for my honey!” before pointing at the boy at my left elbow. I glance at him. He’s grinning up a storm, watching his wife through the screen of his phone as he videos her performance. She’s chosen a Beyonce power tune. It’s not a bad rendition at all. She’s more on pitch than just about everyone else, at least, and while she’s prone to shouting out “WOO!” at odd intervals, it’s clear she’s having fun.

“She’s good!” I tell my neighbor. “She’s really good!”

“I know, right?” His entire focus is on her. It’s sweet.

The wife’s girlfriends are out on the floor in front of the stage, dancing. When the blonde steps forward off the stage, she and her friends attempt a twerk line that doesn’t quite work out. The husband catches every moment of it on tape. I’m wondering exactly how much she’ll appreciate the incriminating footage the next day. But honestly, he’s so into his wife’s performance that my cold black heart can’t help but melt a little.

When the song is over, I congratulate the blonde on a job well done. The three couples order a celebratory round of drinks from the front bar. The orange-and-pink Elton takes his place at the stage to shout out Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.” There’s another straw hanging from his headdress.

Midway through the qu’est-que c’ests, Nurse Ratched and her crew rise from the chairs directly in front of us. It’s time for them to hit the Black and Gold Ball. None of us have talked to any of them all evening, but they all make a show of waving and smiling as they exit. Only the rainbow-wigged doctor lingers behind.

“Sorry if I blocked your view,” he says to me.

“Oh no. It’s fine.”

“Let me prescribe you something for your trouble.” He opens his leather medicine bag and digs into it. I hear a rattling of glass At last he produces a little bottle and hands it over.

“Well thanks!” I tell him. How many of those did he have in there? I read the label after he’s gone. Spiced rum. My stomach heaves a little, but still. It’s a nice gesture.

The drag queen at last calls my name. “YEAH!” yells the straight boy through cupped hands, even though I’m still all of about three inches away. “KNOCK ‘EM DEAD!”

I’m laughing still when I ascend the little stage. “Hi again, darling,” says the drag queen. Her cat tail bangs against the curtains in back as she hands over the microphone.

While she queues up the song on her laptop, I lean over and say, “It kind of seems that tonight you’re less karaoke hostess and more babysitter.”

“Well,” she says, grinning. “I am so glad that someone noticed. Thank you, honey.”

When I’m in a karaoke bar that’s packed, I tend to keep away from ballads and stick to songs that get people dancing. So I’ve put in a request for “Jump in the Line.” It’s one of my better tunes, and its appearance in Beetlejuice gives it a slight Halloween connection. When the familiar calypso strains begin blaring over the loudspeaker, the drag queen raises her arms in the air and begins twirling. The fringe hanging from the arms of her catsuit flies everywhere.

I’m bouncing my knees and thrusting my hips in time to the beat. When I start bellowing out instructions to shake, shake, shake, Sinora, I hear whooping from the vicinity of the bench opposite the stage. My straight buddy is fist-pumping with one hand, and...oh god, videoing me with his camera in the other. Oh well. At least he’s enthusiastic. The three women in his group are already on the floor in a conga line, and other people from around the bar are joining.

I’m unable to keep a straight face through the song as the drag queen and I dance onstage, because her fringe keeps slapping me in the face as she twirls. “Best car wash I ever had!” I call out, during a break in the lyrics. She shrugs and spins some more, laughing with genuine amusement. Mr. Syracuse has abandoned taping me, I notice with some relief. He’s out on the dance floor with a score of other bar patrons, spinning around with a beer in his hand as the conga line snakes around him.

People are having fun. The drag hostess looks like she’s getting a break from tuneless drunks. I’m enjoying myself. The song feels like it’s over too soon, and to a round of enthusiastic applause I thank the crowd, hand back the mic, and step down from the stage. I’ve done a good job.

Or maybe—I think, as I wend my way back to my seat through a flurry of back slaps—maybe I’m just that clueless guy who thinks he’s nailed it.

“DUDE.” The straight guy is slapping my hand hard the moment I sit down. “You ROCKED.”

“Hey, thanks,” I laugh, as I settle back down on the bench. Something in my pocket makes sitting difficult, though.

“Did you see all the people dancing?” he asks. “You were crazy good.”

“I saw you dancing,”I say. I reach into my pocket. I’d forgotten I’d shoved the tiny flight-sized bottle in there. I slap it down and push it in front of my straight buddy. “Want a shot?”

He stares at the bottle, then reaches for it. “What is it?”

“Spiced rum. Some guy dressed as a doctor prescribed it for me earlier.”

The guy examines the label. “You don’t want it?”

“I don’t have the stomach for spiced....” My words trail off as the straight boy uncaps the bottle without hesitation and downs it in a single swig. I actually had in mind a little addendum to my speech about how I didn’t think it wise to chug from bottles given to me by strangers, but at this point a warning would be moot. The dude is already slapping the empty container on the table, wiping his mouth on his sleeve, and giving me a thumbs-up.

I just laugh and shake my head as I stand. “I’m heading to the bathroom,” I tell my friend on the right. Up on the stage, a woman in her mid-fifties is gyrating her hips and wailing out the lyrics to “My Humps.” I have to push through the three twerking wives to get through the dance floor. On the way toward the back, a few people shake my hand as congratulations for my recent performance. I laugh, thank them, and try to pick my way through the packed tables toward the men’s rooms.

The restroom is a veritable oasis of peace, compared to the taproom outside. The fixtures are old and worn, like everything else in the Governor Bradford, but I’m just there to piss. I hear the door behind me swing open on its creaky hinges, admitting another blast of “My Humps.” I shake, zip, and turn to wash my hands.

Syracuse is leaning against the toilet stall, blocking the men’s room door. In the brightness of the restroom, I can tell he’s drunk enough that he’s using the sturdy frame to keep himself standing. “Hey,” I say, soaping up. “Your wife was really good earlier. Is she a singer?”

“You don’t like rum?” He’s not quite slurring. But he’s inebriated enough to be amusing.

I rinse, and grab for a paper towel. “What? Oh.” I wipe off the moisture. “Spiced rum is just not my thing.”

I’m ready to head back out. He doesn’t exactly step in my way and block me, when I move for the door. On the other hand, he’s not exactly moving aside, either. “You want to see what it tastes like?”

“Huh?”

This time he does block my exit by propelling himself from his leaning position until he’s standing in front of me. The dude is only five-six, something like that, so he has to tilt his head back slightly to look me in the eye. “I said,” he repeats, loudly and clearly, as if I’m the drunk one, “do you wanna see what it tastes like?”

“I’m not sure what….”

That’s when he cups the back of my neck and kisses me.

His tongue has been deep in my mouth for several seconds before the reality of what’s happening sinks in. I can indeed taste the lingering prickle of the spiced rum, the sourness of many beers on his breath, as he holds my head and hungrily makes out with me. His body presses against mine. Against my leg I feel the hardness inside his sweats, as it rubs my thigh.

For a microsecond I wonder if I’m taking advantage of a drunk dude. But no, I reason. If anything, he’s taking advantage of me. When I wrap my arms around his shoulders, he relaxes into the embrace, and allows me to invade his mouth with my probing tongue. His hands clutch my rib cage, and he kisses me harder.

Outside, it sounds like the whole bar is chanting along with the Black-Eyed Peas. The realization that anyone could walk in, at any moment, though, brings me to my senses. I manage to separate myself from the boy’s amorous grasp. He regards me with liquid adoration. “You’re hot, dude,” he whispers. Then, “I’ve never made out with a guy before.”

Oh, fuck it.

Once again my mouth covers his. This time, I’m the aggressor, pushing in deeper, harder. His erection burns like a brand through layers of thick cotton and denim. He grapples with me to draw me in closer. As we furiously make out, grunting, moaning, breathing heavily through our noses, one of his hands begins to quest lower. It gives my butt a squeeze. Makes contact with my hip. Then searches at the crotch of my jeans. My rock-hard dick is at an awkward angle down my left leg, but at last he finds it, all at once discovering its length and girth and firmness.

“Whoa.” Suddenly the dude backs off. His hand flies back, as if it’s been scorched. He stares at me. There’s fear in his eyes. Maybe even panic.

Too far, I think. I smile, then wipe my sloppy beard with the back of a hand. Then I nod, recognizing I’ve hit a limit. “It’s okay.”

Someone does walk into the men’s room right then. Thankfully, it’s just a townie looking to use the urinal. “So, um, thanks for that shot, dude,” says my straight boy. Outside, the song has mercifully come to a conclusion to raucous applause. He looks around and grabs the door’s handle, ready to make an escape.

“Yeah, yeah,” I mumble, and head to the sink to wash my hands once again.

“Later.” He’s gone.

I don’t really need to scrub again, but somehow it seems wise to give him some time before I emerge from the men’s room. Wiser still to give my dick time to deflate. This is going to be awkward, I think to myself, as I wander through the crowd back to my bench again. Syracuse is dancing—I guess that’s what we’ll call his shuffle-step with a beer held aloft—with his wife when I get back. I don’t even attempt eye contact.

I’m alone on the bench for a few minutes until my friends and I decide it’s time to move on. That’s when the straight boy decides we’re friends again. “Hey, hey, hey!” he yells while I try to put on my coat. He sits beside me once more and throws his arm around my neck, like we’re the best of friends. “The night is young! You and your boyfriend can’t go!”

“He’s not my—“

I realize, too late, that he’s joking. He bursts into laughter. Once again, he holds out his fist. This time there’s only the slightest hesitation before I bump it. And then clasp. And then slap palms. His whole group yell out their goodbyes.

There’s a great load off my mind when I part as friends with Syracuse. At least he doesn’t seem to bear any ill will against me. Will he even remember that men’s room encounter tomorrow? I have no idea.

What I do know is that I can still taste the spiced rum on my tongue.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Reader Questions: Findom Edition

I have a few hot adventures I mean to write up in the semi-near future, but first some questions from readers, today. I solicited my Twitter followers for queries about sex, sexual politics, advice, and whatever was on their mind, and they obliged in spades; I’ve chosen a handful for today, and promise to get to the others.

If you’re not following me on Twitter, by the way, you should. I don’t tweet with the regularity of a hyperactive teen girl or the leader of the free world, if you can tell the difference, but I’m there regularly. There’s a link to my account in the sidebar.



This is embarrassing because I’m a long-time follower and reader, and I’d appreciate if you didn’t post my name with the question, but I’m 22 and still a virgin. I obsess about guys and watch a lot of porn but I still haven’t taken that step. How late is too late to lose your virginity? I guess I’m asking when is the ideal right time?

I’ve had this question before, and I think I’ll be answering it in exactly the same way I’ve done in the past—but it bears repeating. There are men like myself who lost their virginities at a very early age, who were ready to shed it, and for whom doing so was the right choice.

There are men who lost their virginities in high school, or in college, or in their twenties, when they had more of a sense of self and more of a feeling for their own desires—and doing it then was appropriate for them.

There are men who lose their gay virginities late in life, either from not realizing what or who they truly were, or from fear of facing that fact. My opinion is that it’s a pity it took them so long, when they could’ve been having fun during all those years of self-denial—but at least they come to their senses in the end.

As for those men who live in fear and never allow themselves to take an easy step that might bring them happiness? Well, if you haven’t lost your virginity, gay or otherwise, by the time you’re laid out in your coffin . . . I’d say then it’s too late.

Look, you’re 22. Obviously it’s not too late for you. You could get laid this afternoon and have a great sex life for the rest of your life, if you really wanted. If you’re balking today, though, why not take some time for self-exploration and ask why? Is it body issues? Because guys out there with all kinds of looks and bodies are having enjoyable sex.

Is it worry that the first time will be kind of a disappointment? Well, quite honestly, if you were to poll everyone you know about their first times, you’d probably get a general consensus that they were, on average . . . average. Might as well get the first time over with, and enjoy the better sex that comes after.

Are you concerned that any sex you have won’t be as blistering hot as the porn you watch? Dude, no one has porn star-level sex. Porn stars don’t have porn star-level sex. World-famous sex bloggers don’t have porn star-level sex except about seventy percent of the time. (Well, sixty-five.)

Or is it out of fear? It’s okay to be fearful—we all have our anxieties. Engaging in sex means having to get out and talk to people, sometimes even to talk to strangers and make yourself vulnerable in front of them. For some people it involves admitting one’s sexual orientation—whatever glorious form that might take—not only to oneself, but to others as well. Is it fear of your parents? Of the religion that’s corroded your pleasure center? Only you can answer this question, my friend.

If you’re scared, recognize that your unease is totally normal, and think about surveying your inner landscape in order to figure out exactly from where it springs. Consider identifying, overcoming, and eliminating fear—or at least reducing its influence in your sexual decisions.

You deserve pleasure. You don’t want to reach the end of your life and regret never having experienced one of the most joyous things we humans share with each other. Turn off the porn, get out from behind your computer, and fuck for real. You’ll thank me.


Besides sex, what are you passionate about? What in the universe fills you with joy?

I love this question, even as I grumble about how difficult it is to answer.

I had to do some thinking about this issue in my middle thirties, however. I’d reached a point in my life at which I wasn’t really enjoying much of anything. I occupied a university position that I’d held for years; I’d show in the morning, sit behind my desk, shut off my brain, and proceed through a series of appointed tasks and problem-solving. Six p.m. would roll around. I’d stand up from my desk and be astonished to find I’d been there for eight hours—yet I couldn’t really remember much of what I’d done at all, or why any of it had been important.

I lived in a fog for years. I wasn’t happy. It showed. My family life suffered. My health wasn’t fantastic. I wasn’t a treat to be around.

Sitting at a desk pushing papers and drafting emails and—god—attending endless staff meetings deadened my soul. I knew something had to change, so I spent a long time figuring out exactly what.

Eventually I confronted the certainty that I wanted to do was stop stagnating and create.

Ever since I was a kid, I loved the act of creation. I loved imagining things, then bringing them to life. I loved the goofy process of writing silly plays starring my friends, of writing terrible limericks with unpredictable punchlines. I spent hundreds of giggly hours staring down at notebooks or poised over my dad’s old-fashioned manual typewriter, putting thoughts to paper. In college and grad school I wanted nothing more than to be a writer—to channel all those creative energies onto the page.

When I wasn’t studying or teaching, I wrote short stories and drafts of novels. I even then had some minor work published, but I never seriously thought of pursuing writing as a career. In my unconsidered opinion—and more importantly, my parents’ opinions, despite their academic bent—on the scale of dubious respectability, the only career separating writing from full-time vagrancy would have been something along the lines of professional male cheerleading.

After years of soul-sucking numbness, though, I knew I had to do that thing which filled me with joy. And I have, ever since.

I love the act of playing with ideas on paper. I love taking the materials of my real life and arranging them in ways I control, in scenes I direct, in ways that help me share the ideas I need to share. No matter what the medium, creation is a potent form of magic. It’s assembling insignificancies into something new for others to behold—a something that can be beautiful, or powerful, or startling, or so awful in its ugliness it makes strong men weep. Creation brings me joy.

This, too I love: helping the aspiring discover their own artist within. Helping others tell their stories artfully and thoughtfully. Fostering in the creative a love of playfulness, then watching their excitement when they fashion inconsequences into importance.

And hey. Maybe I’m still not much of a treat to be around—you’d have to ask the people who know me, really—but at least I’m happy.


Do you ever talk about your experience in findom, Sir? I was going to ask how you got started in findom, if it’s appropriate.

For those who think that you, gentle reader, have misspelled ‘fandom,’ and that I’m about to launch into a tale about having dressed up as Commander Riker for a Star Trek Convention (you can see it, right?), I am going to have to take a moment and explain what my reader means here. ‘Findom’ is an on-trend portmanteau word meaning financial domination—a form of erotic humiliation. Think of it as sexual domination not over a submissive’s choices and actions in the bedroom, but over that submissive’s wallet and bank account.

And before we proceed: don’t be all judgmental over someone else’s fetish just because you don’t approve. There are a hell of a lot of white-bread nobodies just itching to turn up their noses at yours. Yeah, some people think it’s weird you want to dress up in athletic gear and call me ‘daddy.’ I mean, don't let it stop you. Daddy likes that one, too. But someone out there sure thinks you're a sick bastard for doing it.

With that out of the way, it’ll be easier for me to explain what financial domination is not: it’s not an exchange of money for sexual favors. It’s not demanding cash, then providing in return one’s own mediocre nude selfies on the internet. That’s an onlyfans account.

When it comes to explaining how financial domination goes down . . . well, that’s a little more complicated. There are probably as many styles of practice between a financial dom and his sub as there are people engaging in it. If you were to troll through the findom hashtag on Twitter right now, for example, I suspect you’d see a lot of tweets that run along the lines of HEY LOWLIFES. This APEX PREDATOR wants to DIG THROUGH YOUR SCUM WALLET while you JERK YOUR PATHETIC DICK to this ten-second murky video of me fumbling in my boxer shorts that’s seemingly filmed in the gloom of a nuclear winter while my filthy bathroom mirror and soiled laundry on the floor is plainly visible in the background. ACCEPTING TWENTIES AND FIFTIES ONLY!!!!

I am not that kind of financial dominant.

There are financial dominants online who solicit donations of fives and tens and Starbucks cash from random strangers, none of whom they know, and none of whose names they ever learn. Some submissives may enjoy the impersonality of that kind of arrangement. I am not that kind of financial dominant, either.

I’ve written many times about the erotic aspects of financial dominance in my life in my blog. My first real-life encounter with it, in fact, is enshrined in an early entry entitled ‘Fag Tax,’ in which I accept a financial tribute simply for having a desirable dick. A lot of so-called financial dominants would’ve simply accepted the man’s first offer of a cool forty bucks via PayPal simply for the privilege of looking at my dick while I exhibited it on a public cam site. To me, that’s not dominance; that’s just me being a cam whore. Per usual.

For me, the erotic charge, the actual act of humiliation over this particular cash sub, was what came afterward, when I rejected his proposed tribute as pitiful and insulting—and turned down his follow-up offers of sixty and seventy-five bucks as a total waste of my time. Forcing him to swallow his pride and cough up a hundred bucks? That’s humiliation. It makes my dick hard.

That particular entry, when it appeared in 2010, opened up a new source of cash flow in my life. In the years since, after dialogue and mutually agreed-upon guidelines, I’ve entered into contracts with select men to exert control over their wallets. I don’t advertise what I do; I don’t go on Twitter with a handle like @BigDickedBreederFinDom and demand Venmo payments for my Frappuccinos. (Though I don’t know. I could go for a Java chip right now, if anyone’s reading this.) I’ve found over the years that the right submissives find me. Together we figure out ultimately what’s best for them—and for my bank account.

When it comes to acting as a financial dom, my focus tends to be on the humiliation—what’s the sub willing to do for the mere promise of my engagement?

Consider this: in person, some men enjoy submissive extremes. When they want to hook up, they promise me things. They’ll dress up for me—in various types of gear. They’ll promise to service my feet, to make my dick and balls the altar at which they worship. They’ll greet me head down and ass up and become a faceless hole to fuck. They want to be called names: boy, son, faggot, racial epithets. They want to be spanked. Slapped. Spit on. They want their nipples clamped. Their dicks caged. Their holes plugged. They want to strap on a mask and a tail and pretend to be my puppy.

Every act of submission . . . each and every of these little humiliations . . . gets me harder. It’s one way I’m wired. They do all these things for my superior dick. And I love it.

From my perspective, my relationship with my cash subs isn’t much different. They’re expressing their submission to me, their desire for my personal attention—yet at a remote distance. Just as with the men kneeling on their mattresses with their holes presented and their faces in the pillow, I find the triggers that thrill them to the core. One of those triggers, inevitably, lies in sending me money—and if I’m to remain engaged, sending it regularly.

Just as I’ve been involved with fuck buddies for long periods of time, I’ve had cash subs serve for months, even years. One of them has been serving me since the day that ‘Fag Tax’ came out, in fact—a nine-year relationship that’s actually among the most intimate and creative I’ve had.

Some of you are wondering what these subs get out of it, though—other than the privilege of sending me triple-digit Amazon gift cards and electronic cash? Just like I pay my real-life subs a lot of attention when we meet, my cash subs score a decent amount of my time. I like to set personal goals with my financial subs. For one it might be a goal of dicks to suck at an adult bookstore for the week; for my longest-term sub, for several years, I set a weekly goal of loads to take in my name, with the requirement that he send me daily emails detailing the real-life encounters.

Men I meet in person love taking orders from me. How to present themselves. What to wear. What to say. How to address me. They like being told what to do, what position to take, when they should suck my dick and when they need to get ready to taking a breeding.

My cash subs enjoy taking orders, too. I’ve had some enjoy being directed to wear fetish gear or women’s underwear beneath their business clothing. Some subs have requested ‘brainwashing’ orders in which they view a certain amount of bareback porn per day, or watch poppers training videos, or submit themselves to subgenres of porn (piss play videos, for example) to which they desire exposure. Some have begged for forced masturbation sessions, while others have asked me to order their genitals locked in cages, the keys to which they’ve ceded control to me. For many I’ve set up schedules: when they’re supposed to hit the poppers, the times of day they’re permitted to eat their meals, the hour each day they’re supposed to text and remind me how grateful they are that I’m their cash master. (And for the record, I notice when those texts are late.) I find out what makes them tick, and I construct my orders from the information.

Subs show their obeisance to me many ways. The men I meet in person? After the fuck, when they’re sated and happy, they share their secrets—sexual and personal. So do my cash subs, through their confessional emails.

The men I fuck enjoy the thrill of exposure—of being discovered naked in a hotel room, of sucking dick in semi-public or public places, of being photographed with my dick in their holes, and of having those photos appear in my online sex profiles. Some have given me keys to their apartments so that I can arrive unannounced at a moment’s notice. My cash subs? They expose themselves to me in different ways. Many send me videos at regular intervals in which they masturbate, praise me by name, and defile their holes with toys. A few send me their bank statements or give to me the passwords to their online financial accounts, knowing that I can violate their privacy at any time.

No one cash sub does all these things. None of the bottoms I meet in real life do all the things a submissive bottom can do, either. (Though some have tried.) I suppose my point is that to greater or larger extents, the partnerships I have with my cash subs are indeed very much partnerships—a back-and-forth, a mutuality of expression. I don’t just take. I wouldn’t just take. Taking doesn’t excite me. Discovering a man’s buttons, pushing them, relishing the responses, then claiming my reward? That excites me as much as it does with a bottom kneeling before me.

My attentions don’t come cheap. If someone’s only going to tribute the amount of a Manhattan movie ticket per month, they shouldn’t expect the amount of time a movie might take—only about as much as it would take for the counter clerk to print the ticket. As with all things in life, you get what you pay for.

I haven’t written explicitly much about my involvement in financial domination for much the same reasons I don’t write much about my home life. I’m protective of intimate relationships that might be misunderstood; I won’t allow them to disparaged or ridiculed or devalued. Financial domination has been a part of my life for nearly a decade, though—a significant amount of time. It’s not the reason I get up in the mornings, but the connections it’s helped me make have gotten me through many a tough day.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Mister Top

So here I am, in my hotel room in Virginia, alone in the dark once more. Naked. Almost naked, anyway—I’ve got a baseball cap on, brim turned to the back. By request, I’m also wearing a pair of black athletic socks and my sneakers. There’s a rubber ring around my cock and balls. Otherwise, I’m completely bare, alone, and shivering in the gloom, kneeling with my forearms planted on the mattress, my knees spread, my ass in the air.

Once again I’ve left the door propped open by the latch. Thankfully, I don’t have long to wait in this submissive position. When the door opens to admit the harsh light from the hallway, I lower my head to hide it in shadow, and arch my back. I’ve walked into enough hotel rooms where bottoms are presenting their holes to know how to make it look good.

The man’s deep voice sends a shiver up my spine. “Damn, top,” he says. I hear the soft sound of him slipping off his shoes, followed by the metallic tinkle of his belt being unbuckled. I swallow hard. “You look so good.”

The touch of his hand on my ass startles me; I hadn’t realized he was so close. Another hand, on the other cheek. He pulls my ass apart to expose the hole to the air-conditioned cool, and I hear the weight of his belted jeans hit the floor. Although he keeps his hands on my butt, I feel motion—then the warmth of his breath mere inches away from my flesh.

“You look so fine. So fuckable,” he murmurs, as his meaty hands massage my ass. “Mister . . . Top.” My legs twitch. There’s mockery in his voice, but his tone isn’t malicious. “You’re my bottom tonight. You know that, right?”

“Yes sir,” I murmur. His hands are all over me now. I feel the flats of his palms pulled down my spine, over my ass, down my thighs. His hands tug at my hanging balls. He wraps his fingers around my rock-hard cock.

“Mister Top,” he says again. “Ass up for some big black dick tonight.”

“Yes sir,” I whisper to the mattress.



He’d hit me up online several days before I’d even arrived in Virginia. A handsome guy—big warm eyes, cocoa skin, trim beard, lightly muscular body. In his photos, his narrow waist led down to a huge uncut dick. Nine inches, at the very least. My eyes bulged at the sight of it, after he messaged me with a polite hello.

Maybe we can get together while you’re in town, he’d messaged, if you’d be interested.

I’d blinked a couple of times, reading the words. Yeah, who wouldn’t want to get together with such a good looking man? But at the same time, he’d branded himself as dominant in his profile. Top was listed as his preferred position. Not versatile top—top. Every single one of his photos, save for the exception that was only his smiling bearded face, made sure to put his enormous dick on display. His profile even read that he was looking for deep holes that could accommodate him.

Though his invitation to get together surprised me a little bit, given the uber-top impression he was projecting, I figured I knew what he wanted. I get invitations from tops all the time who want a little walk on the wild side—especially when I travel. They need to lap up a little what they’ve been dishing out, especially from someone who’s not going to stick around long enough to brag about it. Fuck, I’ve even had professional porn actors who were exclusively and infamously all top in their videos come to me for a little anal relief. I like flipping tops. This guy was going to be just like every breeder I’ve known who’s needed some dick in his hole.

Well sure, I said, playing it cool. But what would you get into with another top man like me?

His answer surprised me. You’re sexy as hell, and I was kind of hoping I could convince you to bottom.

Interesting.

I hadn’t bottomed in years. Fucking years. Periodically I get the urge to have a man inside me, sure—but those urges don’t come around very often, and when they do, I find that no one is exactly offering. This guy, well. He was offering.

But did I have that urge?

I looked at his photos again. It was a big dick. The previous guy to fuck me was the Russian some years ago, who boasted similar equipment. A fat nine. The last time I stumbled out of the Russian’s midtown apartment, I felt like my prolapsed hole was dragging along behind me on the concrete sidewalk. Why couldn’t I find a nice dude with a starter dick to take care of my need when it swung around, like Halley’s comet? Why is it that only tops with monster dicks wanted my hole?

First-world top problems, right?

But yeah. Something stirred inside me as I looked at those photos. It wasn’t longing. Not yet desire. But curiosity.

I’m really not much of a bottom, I warned him. It’s been a really long time. I’m not even sure I could take that monster.

He writes back with the same expert assurance I would give a novice bottom. You can take it. I’ll relax your hole and make good love to you and make you want it…then I’ll go in nice and easy. You look like you’d be hot to fuck. No pressure. We both would love it. Just think about it.

Oh, I thought about it. I thought about it while he kept hammering my phone with photos of his big dick, and of his big dick inside wide-open mouths, and of his big fucking dick inside other mens’ gaping holes. Every dick shot tickled the flames of my curiosity higher and higher; every reassurance that I would love his enormous meat inside my tight hole simply fanned the fire higher. If I hadn’t been in a mood to bottom when he’d first approached me, within twenty-four hours I was a hole in heat.

Let’s do it, I finally told him. We made a date for Tuesday, my second night in Richmond.

You won’t regret it, he replied.

I was visiting town to help my dad get to some medical appointments. The state mercifully revoked his driver’s license a few months ago. Although he is perfectly capable of using Uber to get places, it’s peace of mind for me to be there for more knotty scheduling. Tuesday was a complicated rush of early-morning doctors’ offices followed by a supermarket sweep before the hurricane projected to sweep up the coast later that week, and then a late afternoon run to his periodontist. After dinner with the old man, I’d made an excuse to head back to the hotel early.

I had cleaning to do. I’d brought my large enema bulb with me, and I got to work. Luckily I don’t have to rush—he planned to be at a movie with friends until after nine. By the time he’d be done, I would be clean inside and out, toweled dry, wearing the gear he requested, and on my knees.



I’ve got to admit. This guy is smooth. “You are gonna feel so sweet wrapped around my big dick, baby,” he’s telling me, as he kneels on the floor.

Pulling my hips down to this face, he spreads my cheeks again. “Oh, fuck,” I grunt, as I feel his big broad tongue lapping at my ass.

“That’s right. Mister Top is gonna get his ass fucked tonight.” His lips press against my pucker as he begins a long, unhurried make-out session with my hole.

I buck. I squirm. Sounds are issuing from my mouth that I haven’t heard from myself in years. Damn, he’s making me feel good. I’d sensed a confidence in him when we’d been exchanging texts the week before—the kind of confidence I suspect I normally exude, that puts nervous bottoms at ease and makes them desire to be opened. One finger at a time is slipping in and out of my spit-slick chute. I’m not resisting in the least. It’s true that I’d been warming up with the inflexible nozzle of the enema bulb for more than an hour, but even so, I’ve shown much less resistance to the invasion than with other guys who’ve tried to top me in the past.

My butt is high in the air, my knees spread to their widest, the side of my face planted to the bedspread, where drool is probably puddling around the corner of my open mouth. Want, want, want, my brain beats like a drum. I want this dude inside me. I want his dick. I want it all, now.

Next thing I know, he’s flipping me over onto my back, shoving a pillow beneath my hips. My legs are up in the air and he’s on top of me, his muscular body pressed against mine, his hips between my raised thighs. When his dick swings forward and collides with my ass, it feels like a heavyweight punching bag knocking against my hole. “You gonna give it to me tonight, Mister Top?” he murmurs into my ear. A shiver begins spreading from the top of my skull down my spine. “You gonna give me that sweet hole?”

“Yes,” I whimper. “Fuck yes.”

“I’m gonna get so deep in you your eyes will pop,” he swears. His mouth covers mine, and my whole body responds: my legs wrap around his hips, my arms around his shoulders. My spine arches. My skin feels as if it’s aflame. His kisses are deep, rough. He grunts slightly the harder we press our mouths against the other’s. Finally, he pulls away and looks me directly in the eye for the first time since he came into the room. “How do you want me, baby?”

“You tell me,” I say. I’d do anything for him at this point. “Any way that gets in deep.”

“Get on your knees.” He slithers down the bed to its bottom and stands. Pats its edge. “Show me that ass.”

I reposition myself face-down once more, my knees digging into the corner of the mattress. He helps himself liberally to the lube I’ve left on the hotel desk behind him, and works the cold gel against my hole. His fingers dig in the pucker, spreading the goo inside. I don’t think I’ve ever been so receptive to a man playing with my hole, before—tonight is going to be fucking special. I can just sense it.

“Are you ready for the fuck of your life, Mister Top?” he asks in the low, sexy voice of an overnight DJ at a Smooth Jazz format station.

“Please,” I whimper. “I want it.”

There’s a pause before he answers; I feel some fumbling at my ass as warm flesh presses against it. And presses against it. And presses against it some more. “Oh, I know you want it. . . .” he says at last.

I hear the lube bottle being squeezed again, followed by its plastic clatter on the desk. He uses his sticky hands to adjust my positioning slightly. Then there’s more activity in the vicinity of my hole.

I’m stuck in my downward doggie style position, and can’t really tell what’s happening back there. “I want it so bad,” I tell him.

“Oh, you are gonna get it.” He shifts around some more. Fingers my hole. I feel the head of his dick tickling against my point of entry. Then some fingering. Then more pressure. And now I’m beginning to wonder—because this isn’t some kind of erotic foreplay that’s going on back there. Can’t he find my hole in the dark? Is he unable to get inside me? Am I not as open as I think I am?

I reach behind and pull apart my cheeks for him. Maybe that’ll help. Again I feel his dick as it bounces across my fingers and lands in the vicinity of my hole. There’s some pressure, but nothing’s going in. Am I doing something wrong?

Finally, after what seems like long minutes of fumbling, he sighs. “Sorry.”

“What’s the matter?”

“My ding-a-ling just isn’t cooperating tonight.” I hear the sound of him wiping himself with the hand towel I’ve left on the desk chair, and stepping into his clothing. “You deserve better.” I clumsily roll over onto my butt.

“Wait—wait. . . .” I say. “You don’t have to go.” He’s still pulling on his pants, thrusting his arms into a white tee. “Do you want to make out some more? Let me suck it.” He’d seemed hard, or at least mostly hard, when we’d been kissing.

“It’s me. When it gets like this, I takes too long to get over it.” He’s putting on his shoes, now. “I’m real sorry to disappoint you, Mister Top.”

A million calculations are going through my head. I’m studying every word for candor. Is he just being kind in making excuses to get away? Was my ass so repulsive that I made him go limp? He seems genuinely embarrassed, though—and he’d been so amorous and sincere when he’d been eating me out and then kissing me. If I’d been that unattractive to him, would he have gone to the trouble of all that? Would I, in a similar spot?

On the two occasions in my life when I’d lost my erection, I felt so cornered, so immediately caged by fear and embarrassment that no matter how gentle and loving my partner’s ministrations might have been, I probably wouldn’t have recuperated. Nine years ago, when my lover Spencer had attempted to pick a fight with me and it ended with him deriding my alleged ‘toy-sized dick’ during sex, I not only lost my erection, but I couldn’t get hard for a full subsequent two or three weeks—and with Spencer, never again.

Yet I wasn’t getting a read of insincerity from this man. He made me genuinely sense he was ashamed his equipment wasn’t functioning as intended. Decades of fear, though—all arising from being sexually assaulted in my twenties—make me feel like the guilty party. I’d dared to ask for anal attention—something I never do, something that makes me feel vulnerable and often a little frightened. The second it hadn’t worked out, I was retreating to that fearful corner and worrying about what I’d done wrong…rightfully or not.

He gave me a quick kiss on the lips before he left. “Sorry, Mister Top,” he said. Then he was gone.

And I was in my Virginia hotel room with a rarely-hungry hole, alone in the dark once more.