Paris, Spring 1989
During my terrible semester teaching in Ankara, Turkey, my friend Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star sent me a airplane ticket to visit him in Paris.
Alan was my best friend in West Hollywood, fun but exhausting, rushing headlong from wild scheme to wild scheme, his frenetic energy making him constantly "up." No quiet nights at home, no nice safe museums or art galleries: lights! colors! music!
Plus he had no sense of tact, decorum, or the consequences of his actions.
But, it was Paris, after all. And I was anxious to see Alan again after six months.
He had put on a few pounds -- actually about 20, a victim of French sauces and limited gym facilities. But he still had the same frenetic energy, the same fervor -- and the same unbrindled erotic desire.
On the way into town on the Metro, he kept pointing out cute lycee boys, burly working-class men, languid immigrants, and timid tourists. "It's like a candy store, isn't it? So many men, so little time!"
He had a tiny one-room apartment on the fifth floor of a building on rue Chapon, in the heart of Le Marais, about two blocks from the Pompidou Center, walking distance from Notre Dame and the Louvre.
He didn't mention the gay Pentecostal church, his ostensible reason for moving to Paris: he had a job teaching literature at the American School went to the American Church on the Quai d'Orsay, and had a circle of friends, mostly ex-patriots. He showed every intention of staying in France permanently.
During the daytime, I was on my own. I had only been to Paris once before, so I did all the tourist things -- the Louvre, the Luxembourg Gardens, Montmartre, even the Eiffel Tower.
At night we cruised. Bathhouses, bars with back rooms, video stores with glory holes. A different one every night.
"It's another world," he said, chomping on an eclair. "Sex isn't something shameful -- it's an ordinary part of life. Did you know gay sex has been legal here since 1805? Guys think nothing of going into a bar with a dark room on the way home from work. Even straight guys, with wives and girlfriends waiting at home."
"Straight guys? You're kidding!"
"Boomer, straight and gay don't apply here. I swear to you, 80% of the men in this city are available right now, and the other 20% you have to buy a drink first. Come on -- point out a guy, anyone you like, and I'll bring him home for you tonight."
Yeah, right -- an ex-porn star would have no trouble picking up someone in a gay-owned patisserie full of gay men in the heart of Le Marais. But what about a straight guy out on the street?
"Ok -- what about -- him?" I pointed out the window at a police officer watching us suspiciously, to make sure no one was having sex.
He was undoubtedly cute, a square face, short hair, muscular chest, meaty arms, big bulge. But in 1989 the police were not our friend.
A vice cop almost arrested Alan in the early 1980s. No way was he going to risk another arrest!.
Alan paled a little, but gained fortitude from another bite of eclair. "Not a problem, no problem at all. I'll just go invite him over after work tonight."
While I stared open mouthed, he walked out the door, walked right up to the cop went over and struck up a conversation. He pointed me out. The gendarme smiled and waved at me, and a moment later walked away.
Alan returned. "Ok, his name is Antoine, he gets off at 6:00, so he'll be at the apartment a little after. You'll be going down on him by 6:30."
I stared, open-mouthed.
"We won't go out to dinner until afterwards, ok?"
Was he putting me on?
"I have to get to work. See you tonight."
I went to the gym, the Lachaise Cemetery to see Oscar Wilde's grave, the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, Luxembourg Gardens (again), and finished up wandering around the Sorbonne, looking at the cute guys and thinking about my upcoming "trick."
Was Alan putting me on? Or would he bait and switch, picking up a guy who looked sort of like Antoine.
At a little after 6:00, I returned to the apartment.
Alan had pulled the couch out into a bed, and was sitting next to Antoine the Cop!
The uncensored story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.