May 24, 2015

Spring 2001: Skinny Dipping with the Biggest Guy on My Sausage List

The Biggest Guy on my Sausage List was Jermaine, a political science major at Harvard with a spectacular Kovbasa++++.  We hit it off when I went to Boston for a job interview in February 2001, but since we lived four hours apart and planned to graduate and move even farther away at the end of the semester, the relationship remained casual.

Our only other "date" was in late April or early May, when Jermaine invited me to spend the weekend at his Uncle Titus's house for his fiftieth birthday party.

"Are you sure?" I asked.  "It sounds like a family affair."

"Absolutely! I used to visit Uncle Titus every summer, and I brought friends along all the time."

I was definitely interested -- not only to spend a weekend with Jermaine, but to see if I could get a Sausage Sighting.  Maybe his super-gigantic Kovbasa++++ ran in the family.  Maybe Uncle Titus was even bigger!

Uncle Titus was an engineer, and Aunt Emily (who died a few years ago) worked for the Dover school system. They had no children of their own, so they "adopted" Jermaine and his brothers and cousins, taking them on ski trips and bike trips and tours of historic sites, having them for week-long visits at Christmastime and during the summer, in pairs and groups.

A houseful of young African-American men, showering, hanging out in their underwear, sleeping three to a bed!  The mind reels with erotic possibility!

On Friday, Jeremaine drove down from Boston, picked me up, and drove us south four hours, past Philadelphia to Bowers Beach, Delaware.

A small town near Dover, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Murderkill River.


"Sounds gruesome, doesn't it?  There's even a local legend about some settlers being murdered by Indians here.  But it was originally Mother Kiln.  I guess they made pottery."

"So, what did you do during your summer visits?"

"Oh, it was great.  Uncle Titus and Aunt Emily had a boat and two canoes.  We went swimming and fishing."

My heart sank.  I hated activities requiring you to leave dry land.  "I guess it's too early in the year for that sort of thing."

"Oh, no, we go out year around. We'll go out tomorrow morning before the party."

We pulled up to a big yellow house only half a block from the ocean.  I shivered in the cold wind.

Unfortunately, it only got colder.

1. There was no romping with roomsful of young, muscular African-American men.  All of the other party guests drove up from Baltimore or Washington DC for the day, so Jermaine and I had an upstairs bedroom and bathroom to ourselves.  It was ungodly cold.   Uncle Titus was a fresh-air nut, and left all the windows open all the time.

2. We got up early to go for a boat ride, shivering in the cold as salt air whipped in our faces.

3. The party was held on the beach, with Uncle Titus opening presents and being toasted with champagne as salt air whipped in our faces.

4. I was the only white guy and nearly the only gay guy among the 30 or so party guests. Almost everyone was friendly and accommodating, but I got frosty glares from an uncle and a cousin who didn't like white people, or gay people, or both.

5. We went out to dinner at 7:00 pm at a place called the Wharf, which was actually on the wharf.  You ate outside.  In the cold and the dark, with the sound of seagulls and crashing waves.  Then we walked home.  In the cold and the dark.

6. It was pleasant to sleep under a thick quilt, with Jermaine snuggling against me, but sheer torture to get up in the middle of the night, tip-toe naked into the bathroom, and sit down on a frigid toilet seat directly beneath an open window.

7. On Sunday morning, Uncle Titus woke us at dawn.  "How about a nice swim before you head back  up north?

Are you kidding?  I thought.  The water must be like ice!

"Um...I didn't...I didn't bring a swimsuit."

"That's ok.  No one is around at this hour.  We can go in the buff."

"Buff?" I repeated, shocked.

Jermaine patted my back.  "No big deal.  My cousins and I do it all the time!"

Thinking I was shy, Titus said "Don't worry.  I'll go naked too, if it will make you feel more comfortable."

I agreed, thinking that I could finally get that Sausage Sighting, find out if Jermaine's huge endowment ran in the family!

So we went to the beach and stripped down.  I saw only Uncle Titus's backside as he and Jermaine ran into the surf and started splashing each other.

I only made it ankle-deep.  The wind was whipping through me, and the water made my feet numb.

But it was worth it when they turned and ran toward the waiting towels, Jermaine's spectacular beneath-the-belt gifts swinging between his legs, and Uncle Titus's....

Perfectly ordinary.  Even a little small.

Of course, it shrinks in cold water.  Maybe I should try again in a sauna.

See also: The Biggest Guy on My Sausage List.; and My Top 15 Sausage Sightings.

May 23, 2015

Top Coming Out Stories: Louie the Lilac to "Getting Some Cocks"

During the 1980s and 1990s, every time you met a new person, you exchanged coming out stories.

It doesn't happen anymore.  No one offers, and if you ask, the under-30 crowd says "What? Oh, I've always known that gay people exist.  My parents had gay friends over all the time."

But in the 1980s and 1990s, we all grew up in a world where gay people were never mentioned, heterosexual desire assumed universal..  It was interesting to hear how someone gradually pieced together clues, measured evidence, and concluded that "it is not raining upstairs."

It was a bonding experience.  It gave us a sense of camaraderie.

So here, preserved from the dark, quiet days, are the most interesting of the five hundred or so coming-out stories I've been told (Part 1):

Age 5: The Homosexuals

One day I was playing in the family room, and my father walked through with one of his friends.  I heard him say: "...and we need to do something about the problem of homosexuals...."  I didn't know what a "homosexual" was, but I knew that it had something to do with me.

Age 6: Louie the Lilac

I was watching the old Batman tv show, the episode where Milton Berle played Louie the Lilac, a villain who dressed in a lavender suit.  I thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world.  I asked my older brother, "Can I get a suit like that for Christmas?"  He laughed and said "Only if you're a lilac!"  Ever since then,  I associated the word "lilac" with being gay.

Age 8: The Babysitter

When I was little, I had a male babysitter, a teenage boy from the neighborhood, and I liked to sit on his lap.  I liked the warmth, the closeness -- and the feel of his basket!  One night I overheard him talking to his friend: "Yeah, the kid's very affectionate.  If I didn't know better, I'd think he had homosexual tendencies."

So "homosexual tendencies" meant "you like to sit on guys' laps."

Age 12: The Porn Magazines

When I was around 12 years old, my friends and I were walking through a wooded area near my house, when we saw some porn magazines that someone left lying on the ground.  We started leafing through them, the other guys gushing over the naked ladies, you know, when I saw an article called "Inside a Gay Bar."  I didn't know what "gay" meant, but I returned later to tear out the article and take it home.  It was about me!

Age 13: The Sleepover

I was spending the night with my best friend, sleeping in the same bed, and in the middle of the night I woke up to him...well, fondling me.

"Hey, what are you doing?" I whispered, shocked.

"It's ok," he said.  "All the guys do it.  It doesn't mean you're queer if you think about girls."

So I tried to think about girls, but I kept imagining guys.  That meant I was queer....

Age 13: The Alternative Prom

One day my mother, who taught high school English, came home and started complaining to my father: "You'll never guess what those idiots on the school board are up to now -- an alternative prom!  I can't believe they would pander to the deviants like that!"

I had never heard of gay people before, so I asked "What's a deviant?"

Mom said "You don't need to know.  It has nothing to do with you."

But I persisted, and finally she said, "A deviant is a pervert, a man who wants to go to the prom with another man."

Age 20: Getting Some "Cocks"

In the service I was stationed down in New Orleans, and when we had leave,  one of the guys in my barracks said "Let's go down to Bourbon Street and get us some cocks!"

I didn't realize that there were guys in the world who liked guys, so I said "Cool!  Let's go!"

Turns out that "cock" is Cajun slang for "girls," sort of like "chicks."

But the "damage" was done.  I knew that gay people were out there somewhere.  I just had to find them.

See also: Two Men Hugging.

May 22, 2015

American Dad: Horrifying, but not Homophobic

For as long as anyone can remember, Sunday night on Fox has meant animated sitcoms about nuclear families:
1. A fat, dopey Dad.
2. A slim, smarter Mom
3-4.  Two kids, a dopey son and a smart but plain daughter.

They vary in their expressions of hatred against gay people.

The Simpsons (1989-) is usually fine, with only a few homophobic jokes and only a few swishy stereotypes, plus two regular gay characters, Smithers and Patty (although Patty's gayness is barely alluded to).

Family Guy (1999-) oozes with homophobia, with a dozen homophobic jokes per episode, no regular gay characters, and the walk-ons always horrible stereotypes. Actually, I rarely manage to sit through an episode, even for research purposes.  It's too awful.

American Dad (2005-) is somewhere in the middle, with occasional homophobic jokes and swishy stereotypes, but not enough to make it unwatchable.

Unfortunately, something else makes it unwatchable.

The nuclear family consists of:
1. Ultra-conservative Stan Smith, a CIA agent who is sometimes world-traveling assassin, sometimes office drone.
2. His wife Francine
3. Nerd Steve, age 14, who is obsessed with girls in a nod to heteronormative bias.
4. Ultra-liberal daughter Hayley, a community college Women's Studies major.
5. Klaus, a German skiier whose brain was transplanted into the body of a goldfish.
6. Roger, a classic gray alien with a sarcastic sense of humor.

The only ongoing gay characters are neighbors Greg and Terry, ultra-feminine news show anchors and domestic partners.  Although swishy stereotypes with high-pitched voices who adopted a daughter as an accessory, they are a pleasantly progressive change of pace after watching the gay-baiting monstrosities of Family Guy.

They're not the problem.

Nor is Steve's hetero-horniness a problem.  He has three best friends, Toshi, Barry, and Snot, who alternate in buddy-bonding and gay subtexts.

There's even some beefcake to look at.

The problem is Roger.

Originally he was just a sarcastic alien with swishy, gay-coded mannerisms. Now he's mostly heterosexual.  And a monster.

He lies, swindles, manipulates, assaults, and kills with absolute impunity.

He tricks Steve into working in his meth lab by convincing him that it's Hogwarts.

When he's working as a limo driver, he gets revenge on some guys who "drive and dash" by killing them.  The last one tries to escape on an airplane, so he blows it up, killing everyone aboard.

He gets a crush on Hayley, but she's in love with Jeff.  So he cuts off Jeff's skin and wears the bloody mess, hoping that she'll like him now.

 Granted, Stan is a professional assassin, and the other Smiths have been known to kill people from time to time, but come on -- why do they let this psycho stick around, after he's assaulted and tried to kill them multiple times?

And why would anyone think that this carnage was funny?

See also: Simpsons Beefcake