I met Will at Sunset Junction, the gay street fair held every October in Silverlake, L.A.'s second gay neighborhood.
He was about five years older than me, short, compact, with a little belly and a very hairy chest, one of the first "bears" I ever met. He told me that he worked at the Eagle, a leather bar in Silverlake.
I was a little nervous about accepting a date with a bartender -- he must get drunk a lot. But Will was attractive, different from my usual Asian and Hispanic guys, and besides, I wanted a tour of Silverlake. It was 15 miles from West Hollywood, way out where Santa Monica met Sunset, so we didn't go there much.
We had dinner at La Casita, a very bright, colorful Mexican restaurant -- rather a treat, since there were no Mexican restaurants in West Hollywood at the time.
Then Will took off his shirt, put on a leather vest, and took me to the Eagle.
It was my first time in a leather bar. Older crowd, a lot of bears, a lot of chaps and leather jackets and cigarette smoke. I was the youngest guy there, a little out of place in my cruisy tank top and jeans.
Will got himself a bottle of beer and me a soda, and introduced me to some of the regulars. One asked "Isn't it past your bedtime, kid?"
I wasn't amused. "I'll be 27 next week."
Will escorted me away. "Don't mind him -- he's just jealous, We don't get many young guys at the Eagle. The rule is, West Hollywood for twinks and creepy old guys, Silverlake for daddies and bears." He paused. "So, what do you like to do? In bed, I mean."
The question was surprising, even shocking. In West Hollywood we never asked -- we just brought the guy into our bedroom and found out. It must be a Silverlake thing.
"Oh, um....the usual." I stammered. "You know, a lot of kissing and cuddling and...well, the usual."
"What about non-vanilla sex? Like, you know, bondage? BDSM scenes?"
"I'm not very experienced with that," I said. "My first boyfriend Fred liked to be tied up and spanked, and I met a guy at Mugi who had a closetful of whips and paddles. But I've been reading Cavelo and Sean since I lived in Indiana."
"Wow, Cavelo and Sean, that's hardcore stuff! You're probably ready for a scene, do you think?"
"What kind of scene?"
"Kidnapping and POW are my favorites, but my super super favorite is cannibalism."
The rest of the story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.