Mar 5, 2016

The Teenager at the 40+ Party

When I first moved to the Plains, faced with the absence of gay organizations, gay churches, gay bars, or gay anything within a hundred miles, except for a single gay-friendly coffee house, I started hosting bear parties every two weeks, alternating daytime and evening.

Soon the parties were completely split.  Different guests, different atmosphere, different activities.

Evening Parties:  Cute Young Things and Twinks.  

A surprisingly young crowd, mostly college students and young adults who hadn't fled to a gay neighborhood far away, rarely anyone over 30, never anyone over 40.

Gay, out, open.

Discussions of career plans, being out at work, gay subtexts in the latest movies, and the latest streaming gadget.

Confident, relaxed. They often met someone they liked and arranged dates for later.


Daytime parties: Bears and Daddies.

An older crowd, rarely anyone under 40, never anyone under 30.  White-collar businessmen in suits, blue collar workers, retirees, married to women, sneaking out on their lunch break or while the wife was out shopping.

Bi, downlow, on the sly, requiring "discretion."

Discussions of income tax, health problems, the exploits of their children.

The daytime guys were also painfully unaware of the Gay Rights Movement.  Sometimes I felt like I was teaching a class in Gay Studies 101.  "Yes, it's legal....no, it's not a psychiatric disorder...yes, there are books on gay topics...the first gay character on television was in 1977..."

I was tempted to cancel the daytime parties altogether, and stick to the evening, but educating these guys seemed like a public service.  Besides, many of them were hairy, husky, and very big beneath the belt.

One week in March 2015, Joey, age 19, asked to join the guest list for the daytime party.

"It's mostly older guy," I warned him.  "You might feel out of place."

"No, that's great!" Joey replied.  "I love older guys!  My first boyfriend was way old, almost 30."

Um...okay....  "What's your opinion of guys in their 40s, 50s, and 60s?"

"Sure, they're great, too.  I love hot dads."

The full story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.