But even in the world where smartphone apps have made anonymous hookups commonplace, sharing has some distinct advantages.
1. You don't need to bother looking; the arrangement is already made.
2. Someone else has already screened him to make sure he's not crazy, a criminal, or lacking in basic hygiene.
3. You get to be with someone who would otherwise be out of your league, spoken for, or not into hookups.
4. And you might develop a polyamorous 3-way romance.
Here are 20 memorable sharing experiences.
1. Mark the Optometry Student and Shaun During my first year in Bloomington, I accidentally intruded upon my down-the-hall neighbor Mark with his boyfriend Shaun, who he introduced as a visiting cousin. I didn't realize that they were gay or on a date, so I "stole" Shaun away for a date of my own.
2. Viju and Sunan. My roommate Viju and I often cruised at Bullwinkle's, competing over who could pick up the cutest guy. One night we competed over a Thai guy named Sunan, who finally invited both of us back to his apartment.
3. Alan and the Kept Boy. When I first moved to West Hollywood, I wasn't interested in sharing. But one night at Mugi, a tall, blond twink named Zack invited himself home with me, and Alan joined in the bedroom activity.
4. Raul and Heinz. Raul was my on-off boyfriend from 1986 to about 1989, and Heinz was his roommate, an older German guy who had a lot of annoying habits, like requiring us to take our shoes and socks both off before walking on the carpet, and singing "Come away wiz me tu Mal-i-buuu" all the time. So how did we end up inviting him into our bed? It was Raul's idea.
5. Derek and Cowboy of Sunset Boulevard. My housemate Derek, a fitness model turned realtor, never invited me to share. Until the Cowboy of Sunset Boulevard dumped me for Derek, and felt so guilty that he invited me to share.
6. Lane and the Teenage Beach Boy. Lane and I were together from 1989 through 1996 or 1997 (depending on who you ask). We were allowed to date other guys, as long as the date ended with the all three of us in the bedroom together. We both were interested in Artan, the teenage beach boy, but he broke up with us after the third date because we were too energetic for him.
7. Gershom and the Gentile. In gay Jewish circles, dating non-Jews was frowned upon and uncommon, and Gershom, raised in an Orthodox household, was more scrupulous than most. But then he met the Man of His Dreams, who happened to be a Gentile. He asked to practice on me first.
8. David and the Homeless Teenager. David, the ex-Baptist minister, came out at 43 and was making up for lost time by cruising everyone in sight. But I didn't think he would cruise the teenage panhandler...and make a date with him. We didn't actually share, but there was some fondling going on.
9. David and the Straight Boy. David bet me that we could both pick up straight guys at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I struck out with mine, but later he went back to the festival, picked him up, and brought him back to the hotel to share.
10. Yuri and Ali. After Yuri came out, he was a little nervous, so he asked me to share in the bedroom activities on his first date.
11. Yuri and the Unhung Hippie. Yuri's four-point plan for finding super-sized penises went astray when we cruised the unhung hippie.
13. Dick and the Pizza Boy. When I was in Rock Island one summer, I cruised Jack, a theater major working the counter at the pizza place. I didn't have time to finish the hookup, so I asked my friend and former bully Dick to take over. He ended up dating Jack, and later gave me to as a "Christmas present."
14. Dick, Jack, and the Son of Mr. Blowfish. Sammy, the son of my old speech teacher Mr. Blowfish, invited me to visit him in small-town Iowa, and wouldn't let me leave. To avoid becoming "the boyfriend," I introduced him to Dick and Jack. They took him off my hands.
15. David and the Teenage Hitchhiker. David came to Florida for a visit one summer, and we took a road trip to Key West. On the way, we picked up a hitchhiker, an 18-year old FIU student.
The full list, with uncensored photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.