Feb 13, 2016

Cruising in New Mexico: The Twink, the Redneck, or the Gordito?

New Mexico, Summer 2004

Remember my trip to visit Larry in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the summer of 2004? After four deplorable days, we had a gigantic argument, and I packed up my stuff and drove away, never to speak to or hear from Larry again.

During the next three days, I met three guys, and hooked up with one.  You have to guess which.

Hint: I hate losing friends, so I was quite upset, and not following my usual rules about public cruising or hooking up with complete strangers.

Day #1:  The Tucumcari Twink 

Tucumcari, an iconic town on Route 66!  The stuff of James Dean, Sal Paradise, Peter Fonda in search of America!

I arrived just before noon, had lunch  at the Pow Wow Restaurant, and explored.  Very run down, a lot of vacant lots and boarded-up buildings, old hotels with faded signs, a thrift store, a Chinese buffet, a boarded-up theater.  A community college, a single low adobe building.  I didn't see a downtown; there was no there there.

I stopped in Tee Pee Curios, a tee-pee shaped store that sold Route 66 merchandise: t-shirts, books, Stuckey's candy (whatever that was), license plates that read "Bad Girl" or "Billy the Kid," right-wing patriotic slogans, religious slogans.  Whatever.

But...the guy behind the counter was remarkable: in his 20s, thick brown hair, handsome face, tight muscular frame barely hidden beneath an orange t-shirt.  He was reading a Harry Potter book.  I approached.

"You must hear about Route 66 so much you get darn sick of it."

I'll bet he never heard that from a tourist before.  He looked up with a big smile.  "You have no idea, sir!  Route 66 this, Route 66 that.  We've had an interstate through here since the 1970s.  Get with the 21st century!"

"Like Harry Potter?"

Embarrassed at reading a "kid's book," he tried to hide it.

"Oh, I'm a big fan.  I especially like how Harry and Ron are so devoted to each other, like a romantic couple."

"Hm...you know, I never really thought about it, but maybe you're right."

"Fan fiction is loaded with Harry-Ron shipping."


Day #2: The Roswell Redneck

The town made famous by the 1947 UFO crash was about three hours south of Tucumcari.  I was surprised by the contrast: a beautiful, vibrant downtown with trees and green spaces.  Restaurants, shops.  A used bookstore.  Mexican restaurant for lunch.

The Museum and Art Center, with an excellent selection of Southwestern Art.

Around 4:00 pm, I visited the International UFO Museum. As a long time devotee of the UFO phenomenon, I didn't see much that I hadn't seen a hundred times before.

There were only a few tourists.  Later I discovered that a big UFO festival had just ended, so all of the true believers were gone, leaving a nuclear family, a teenage boy and girl holding hands, and a guy by himself, looking at an exhibit with some very muscular classic grey aliens.

"Who knew that aliens worked so hard on their delts?" I asked.

He laughed.  "And their abs."  He was his 30s, shorter than me, round face, a little beard, solidly built with respectable biceps and a smooth chest visible beneath his half-unbuttoned short-sleeved shirt.

"Maybe there's a Gold's Gym in outer space."

"They've got to do something to pass the time., what with no willies and all."

"I'd think I'd rather have a willy.  Especially on Saturday night," I added suggestively.  This was definitely a cruising conversation!

"This is Sunday," he pointed out.

"Even worse.  Sunday night is the loneliest night of the week."  That came out a little more depressed than I intended.

"I hear you, buddy.  You traveling by yourself?"

"I was visiting my friend in Santa Fe, but we kind of had an argument."

"Well, maybe it's time for you to make some new friends."


Day #3: The Alamogordo Gordito

Around 11:00 am, I arrived at Alamogordo, a "big city" of 30,000, including the nearby air force base.  An old army town with broad streets and low mountains in the distance.

I went to the New Mexico Museum of Space History, stopped for lunch at the Country Kitchen, and then headed out to the White Sands National Monument, a vast sea of sand dunes with nature trails for hiking.

And, apparently, cruising.

I was staring at a multicolored snake, wishing I was back in nice, safe Wilton Manors, when a tall, husky older guy approached (top photo).

"He's harmless -- as long as you don't get too close."

"Don't worry, I have no intention of saying hello."  I turned -- he had a flat clean-shaven face, a little double chin, a barrel chest and thick biceps.  Hair was peeking up over his t-shirt.

"Pretty cool, huh?  I've been hiking all over the state, but this is my favorite trail.  Near dusk you can see bobcats and coyotes."

"I just hope they've had dinner before they see me."

"It's all about the adventure, isn't it?  I'm retired Air Force, enjoying life and trying out new things.  Meeting new people, too."  He held out his hand to be shaken.

Day #4

On to Albuquerque!  I was feeling better, having seen some interesting sites, met three guys, and spent the night with one.

Can you figure out which?

a. The Tucumcari Twink
b. The Roswell Redneck
c. The Alamogordo Gordito

Answer, along with the uncensored photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.


Oh, Calcutta!: The First Nudie Musical

The sexual liberation of the hippie generation led to a number of plays with momentary nudity and casual references to sex, but Oh! Calcutta! was all-sex, all-nude.  It debuted off-Broadway in 1969 and ran for 1,314 performances, with an additional 5,959 performances in the 1976 revival.  There was also a 1972 movie version, plus references in tv shows such as All in the Family and One Day at a Time, making it one of the iconic musicals of the era.

In case you are wondering, the title comes from the French phrase "O quel cul t'as!", "What a nice butt you have!"




It's a series of not-very-funny comedy sketches, written by such high-brow luminaries as Sam Shepherd, Jules Feifer, and Samuel Beckett.   A boy tries to rape a girl; a girl learns to become less inhibited; a young couple investigate wife-swapping; a boy learns to masturbate.

Notice what's missing?

Right -- no gay people, no reference to same-sex desire or behavior of any sort.






Author and producer Kenneth Tynan was an old-school libertine, into many different heterosexual activities with multiple partners, but tremendously homophobic -- he invented the term "gay Mafia," which he called "the homosexual Mafia," in 1967.  He insisted that there be no crossdressing or "perversion," by which he meant gay people.

In the end, for its pretense of controversy, Oh! Calcutta! preaches the heteronormative message of boys and girls gazing into each other's eyes.

Still, it's an interesting study of mainstream resistance to changing sexual mores, with an amazing amount of full-frontal male nudity.




The most hunky of the cast was the muscular and gifted-beneath-the-belt George Welbes (top photo), who appeared in only three movies before he died in 1974.

But the most famous was certainly Bill Macy, who played the husband of the "uncompromisin', enterprisin', anything but tranquilizin'" Maude (future Golden Girl Bea Arthur) from 1972 to 1978.   When I was in high school, we whispered that he had been a "porn star" and watched hoping to get a glimpse of his superheroic endowment.  Unfortunately, we never saw anything.

In 1976, The First Nudie Musical appeared, with lots more 1970s tv stars.

Feb 12, 2016

My Little Black Book

Someone asked "How can you remember all this stuff? Names, dates, the exact restaurant you went to?"

Cruising in Tucumcari in 2004
The Great Redneck Roundup of 1995.
Having lunch with Michael J. Fox in 1985.
Learning about oral sex in the church parking lot in 1975
My first date with a boy, in 1968, when I was only 7 years old.

Here's how:

1. In gay neighborhoods, when friends get together, they often swap stories of erotic, romantic, and homophobic encounters.  I've told some of these stories dozens of times.

2. I fill in the details with research.  I didn't remember the name of the bar where I met the Nebraska Cornhusker in 1995, so I looked up a likely suspect -- hopefully it didn't just open in 2015.

3. I take artistic license for the purpose of plotting.  I'll invent conversations, modify details, change the people involved, in order to get from incident to story.

4. I have a Little Black Book.

When I was 13 years old, one of my Christmas presents was a diary -- a red, square book with gold-laminated pages and a lock and key, one of the few times that my parents consented to give me a girly gift rather than macho sports equipment.

I used it as a date book, to keep track of my concerts, parties, church activities -- and, of course, boys that I liked.

At Indiana University, when Viju and I began picking up guys in bars, I kept records, as a safety precaution.  If you came down with a STD, you should call all of the guys you've been with recently.



In West Hollywood, there were so many things going on, dates, dinners, movies, parties, classes, jobs, festivals -- that you needed a calendar to keep track of it all.  I recorded almost all of my social activities, so now I can go back and see what happened on my first date with Alan, or my third date with Raul, or with the guys that Lane and I shared.

In the early 1990s, I transferred it all to a computer file, and I've kept it up, sometimes faithfully, sometimes not.

When I have a partner and don't hook up often, I tend to go into more detail.

Here, for instance, is my entry for the night of my first experience as a bottom in ten years, in Barcelona in 1994:

June 24th.  Worked out, very nice gym.  Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum.  Bear Night/Sauna Condal.

Busy!  Raul, Chinese Catalan, grandparents didn't speak Mandarin, spoke Wu.  "Have you eaten?" = "Hello."  Him and a muscle bear at the same time.  Into Catalan Independence Movement.  Went to El Quatre Gats, where Picasso hung out.  Dinner with roommate, big hairy bear, curved dk.   Trinxat, cabbage quiche.  Split for bedroom, me and Raul, small, passionate, was G.A. (!).  No breakfast.


With that prompt, I remembered a lot more.  I just had to add some conversations and a few details.



But here is my entry for my date with the Nastiest Guy in the World, in New York in 1998:

February 11th.  Crazy Troy from chatroom said he had room to rent in the City, actually had a studio, tricked me into going there just for a date!

Other than that entry, what I remembered was Troy belittling everyone in the chatroom, him picking me up at the train station, driving forever to get to his apartment, and sitting on the couch, where I suddenly realized that it was a single.

I had to make up whole conversations, the restaurant we went to -- I just remembered Indian -- and what his apartment looked like.

It's an odd experience going through the entries, recalling people that I knew back then, as friends, boyfriends, dates, or hookups, who are probably still living and breathing and going about their daily lives in some city far away.

I wonder if they remember.

When they're sitting around with their friends, swapping stories of dates from hell, gigantic penises, guys with too many weird quirks to date a second time, and beautiful men who got away, does my name come up?

And which one am I?

Tarik's First White Cop

Norfolk, Virginia, Summer 1993

"Ok, my turn,"  Tarik says.  "I'm going to tell you about my date with a blue-eyed demon."

I'm in Norfolk visiting my friend Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star, his boyfriend Sandy, and their friend Tarik.  We're swapping stories of celebrity hookups, deplorable dates, and guys with baseball bats beneath the belt.

"Do you mean a real demon?" Alan asks, paling.  He's a recovering fundamentalist, and still believes that demonic powers wander the Earth, oppressing and possessing mortals.

"You'll have to wait till the end of the story to find out," Tarik says with a smile.

Tarik grew up on 36th Street in Norfolk.  He was raised by his older sister Tamisha and her husband Jameer, who belonged to the Nation of Islam, and took him to the Friday services at Masjid William Salaam.

There he learned that blacks were the only true humans, the Tribe of Shabazz, and whites were monsters created by the evil scientist Yakub 6,600 years ago, who broke free from their cages and set out to destroy the world.

The imam said, "Be polite, smile, but don't let your guard down.  If they can, they will take what is yours..  They will even kill you. Never invite one into your home, or accept an invitation into one of their homes. You may not make it out alive."

There weren't any white kids in Tarik's neighborhood, or in his school.  About the only white people he saw were the cops, who drove through constantly, looking for an excuse to humiliate the brothers, call them racial slurs, beat them up, and arrest them

"Well, you have to admit, most cops are homophobic bastards," Sandy says. 

The imam didn't like gay people, either -- they were blue-eyed demons, sent by the evil Yakob to  seduce black men and spread AIDS through the communities.

"So...this story is about sex with a white guy?" Sandy asks.  "That's not no thing -- I did that last night.  You did too."

"Not just any white guy," Tarik tells us. 

Tarik was a good kid.  He didn't use drugs, or hang out with the gang-bangers.  But he liked guys who played against the rules: sneaking into of the Virginia Zoo after hours, going skinny-dipping in the Lafayette River, that sort of thing.  Often their evening adventures ended with a heavy session of making out and oral sex, but Tarik never associated that with being gay.

Fall 1985

After graduating from high school, Tarik enrolled at the all-black Norfolk State University as a Food Science major.  He was the only boy in most of his classes.   Jameer and Tamisha disapproved: "Next you'll be turning into a cheerleader, shaking your pom-poms around!"

He went out for cheerleading, just to spite them.

He met some guys who were "in the life," and began dating.  They told him about the racism and discrimination in the gay community, and advised him to stay with his own people.

But...when he watched Miami Vice, about buddy cops Crockett and Tubbs, he found himself imagining the nude form of the white Don Johnson, not the black Philip Michael Thomas.

"No way!"  he chided himself.  "No way!"

Fall 1989

After graduation, Tarik was certified as a dietician, and went to work at the Norfolk General Hospital.  It was fun -- and nonstop beefcake!  He got to plan the dietary regimes of injured men, interview them about their allegies and food preferences, consult with cute male doctors and orderlies.  Many were white,,,,

"No way!"  He chided himself. "No way!"

"Once you go white," Sandy says, "You're never uptight!"  He laughs.  " I just made that up now."

One day Tarik had to interview a new patient, a young man with a broken leg.


White.  And amazingly beautiful: short brown hair, flawless pale skin like marble, piercing blue eyes.

Intellectually, he knew it was ridiculous, but he still associated blue eyes with gay people.  A gay white man!

"No!" he told himself.  :Be polite, be professional, nothing more!"

"Um...um..." he began, speechless.  "I'm your dietitian, Tarik."

"Howdy!  I'm your patient, Jim."  He held out his hand.

How could just a simple handshake be so erotic?  Tarik felt like he was going to faint.  He sat down next to the bed, and looked at the guy's chart.  James Masterson.  A cop!

"Um... the doctor said you can eat normally, so  I just need to check your food preferences.  For breakfast, you have a choice of an omelette and wheat toast or oatmeal..."

He returned after breakfast to see if James Masterson -- Jim -- was eating right.  And the next day.  And for the next two weeks.  And when Jim was ready for his release, Tarik was the one who drove him to his apartment, made sure he could get around ok, and spent the night.

"Details!" Alan exclaims.  "How big was he?  What did you do?  Give us a blow-by-blow."

[See Tales of West Hollywood for details.]

Dating one of the racist oppressors!  What was he going to tell his friends?  What was he going to tell Tamisha and Jameer?

He decided not to beat around the bush.  He called, said he had met someone, and arranged for them all to have lunch together at the Handsome Biscuit on Granby Street -- in public, in case there was yelling.

Jim wore his uniform to make a good impression.  Tarik helped him through the restaurant door and to the booth where Tamisha and Jameer were waiting.  Their smiles turned to stares, then back to smiles, as they greeted Jim, asked polite questions, and sent him on their way.

"So they were more supportive than you thought!" Alan says. "Very nice story."

"Just wait."

The next day Tamisha called.  "I have a bone to pick with you about that white boy of yours."

Uh-oh, Tarik thought.  Here it comes -- the screaming.  Traitor!  Brainwashed!.  Bringing AIDS into the community!

He braced himself.  "What about Jim?"

There was a moment of silence on the phone.  Then: "Now, I know you like a little danger in your men, but really, Tarik, a cop?  He's going to be shipped off to Lord-knows-where, and you'll be at home worrying that he'll get his head blown off by some Iraqi sniper!  You won't get even a minute of peace!"

"They were fine with me being gay, and dating a white guy, but they didn't like him being a cop!"  Tarik laughs.  "Doesn't that take the cake?"

"It could have been worse," Alan says.  "Imagine if Jim was a soldier."

"A white boy in uniform!" Tarik exclaims.  "C'mon, Boomer, let's go cruising."


The uncensored post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood .

Feb 11, 2016

The Thirteenth Year

Every now and then the Disney Channel airs a movie over-brimming with teenage and young adult beefcake, only to hide it in a vault and refuse to release it on DVD, as if the network bigwigs find it embarrassing: Jumping Ship, Luck of the Irish, Johnny Tsunami, Full-Court Miracle.  But the most egregious is The Thirteenth Year (1999), which seems little more than an excuse to display 17-year old Chez Starbuck and his friends in swimsuits.















Chez plays Cody Griffin, a "normal" 13-year old whose main problems are: 1) the swim team, where he competes with star athlete Sean (Tim Redwine, left), and 2) his marine biology project, where he is partnered with the uncool science nerd Jess (Justin Jon Ross).  Oh, and his body is changing, and not just the expected changes of puberty: he's developing gills and scales.

Jess performs some tests, and concludes that Cody is turning into a mermaid -- or rather, a merman.  Turns out that his mother is a mermaid, and he will eventually transform altogether.

In spite of the "keeping my secret" hilarity, the movie is rather disturbing.  The transformation is painful and traumatic, and when it is complete, Cody will no longer be human.  He must abandon his human friends and seek out "his own kind" in the ocean.

But there's substantial gay content, and not just the endless swimsuit shots.

1. Although Cody has a girlfriend -- this is Disney, after all -- he ends up buddy-bonding with Jess.  The climactic rescue comes when he saves Jess from drowning, and then uses his mermaid electrical power to revive him.

2. None of the main characters other than Cody express any heterosexual interest.  They all seemed extraordinarily focused on him.

3. The "fish out of water" looking for a place where he can be himself.  Ok, gay symbolism.

Chez Starbuck hasn't done much acting since The Thirteenth Year.  He played a jock in Time Share (2000) and got undressed in the MTV series Undressed.  He appeared as himself in the reality series The Real L-Word (2011), about real lesbians, and for some reason made a plaster cast of his penis.


Country Boy #4: The Ex-Con

Nashville, August 1991

I arrived in Nashville on August 18th, 1991, sad about leaving West Hollywood but looking forward to my new graduate program in Biblical Hebrew at Vanderbilt Divinity School.  I found an apartment and an adjunct teaching job, toured the campus, and looked for Nashville's gay life:

Three gay organizations, some bars, and a Metropolitan Community Church.

On my first Saturday, I went to two of the bars, both on dismal country roads beyond the city limits.  The first was completely deserted except for a woman who tried to pick me up -- a real woman -- and the second was about half drag queens, half rednecks.  No one I found attractive.

I missed Mugi and the French Quarter.

Disappointed, I left after about an hour.  On the way back into town, I stopped at an old-fashioned ice cream place called Bobbie's Dairy Dip, ordered a hot fudge sundae, and sat at one of the picnic tables outside.

"'Scuse me, sir, do you mind if I join you?"

I looked up:  A country boy, barely out of his teens: tall and thin, scruffy black hair, handsome round face, unshaven, wearing a button-down shirt, jeans, and dirty tennis shoes.  Holding a dish of frozen custard.

Shocked, I motioned "ok."  He sat across from me and stuck out his hand.  Very dry, firm handshake.

"You were looking at me at that other place we was at, but I didn't have the nerve to come say hi.  The name's Red."

Was this the way people cruised in Nashville?

Red was very talkative: he was 25 years old, grew up in a small town outside Nashville, and worked at a gas station.  He just got out of prison a few months ago -- DUI and resisting arrest.

Not the best pickup line!  

But he "turned his life around." He was sober, he had his GED, and he was taking classes at the community college.  He wanted to go to Middle Tennessee State and study zoology.


"You been to college, ain't you?" he asked.  "I can tell by the way you talk."

"Yep, I almost got a Ph.D.  I'm at Vanderbilt now, studying Biblical Hebrew."

"Whoa, Biblical Hebrew, that's hard.  I can tell, just talking to you, that your brain is working at like three or four levels above mine.  Let me ask you something."  He reached under the table and rubbed his foot against mine  "Do you think it will ever be legal for people like us to get together?"

At that moment, some kids at another started table laughing.  Red jumped up and ran to his car.

I joined him.  "They weren't laughing at us, you know."



"It's not safe here.  You're from California, you don't know -- we got to keep a low profile.  Could we go to your house?"

Red was cute, with the "lost soul" look I liked  But I was a bit nervous about inviting a scruffy-looking stranger, an ex-con, back to my apartment.  "I like to take things slow, get to know the guy," I said  "How about we go out to dinner Tuesday night?"

"Ok.  But someplace safe."  He thought for a moment.  "How about Bucky's, down in Columbia."

I'd never heard of Columbia, but I assumed it was a suburb of Nashville, where Red lived.

Of course, I got his contact information, and gave it to Lane back home.


Columbia turned out to be about 50 miles away, and Bucky's a heterosexist "family restaurant" that served "chicken an dressin'."

Red was wearing a plaid button-down shirt and a red tie.  He gave me a plastic rose, the kind they sell at 7-11.  A little weird.

"I never had a real date with a guy before," he said with a shy smile.  "Usually they just want to do you and go home."

We ate our "chicken an dressin'" while Red fondled my leg under the table with his foot and smoked cigarettes.

I hated smokers!

Afterwards he wanted to go to the club up in Nashville, where they had drag shows on Tuesday nights.

Then why did I drive all the way down here?  For Southern Country Cooking?

But I had already invested time and energy in this guy, so we went. It was ok, if you like drag shows.

On the way back to our cars, a pick-up truck pulled up next to us, and the passenger-side door opened.  It was all dark inside. "Hey, faggots," someone whispered.  "Get in."

Red grabbed my hand, and we ran back to the bar.  We waited a half hour before trying to leave again.

It was after midnight  I was tired and scared.  I just wanted to go home -- alone.  But when I suggested that we call it a night, Red looked so disappointed that I invited him home.

We sat on the couch in the living room, kissing -- Red was admittedly good at that.  But the moment I tried to go down on him, he said "You got any photo albums?  I want to know everything there is to know about you."

So we watched MTV and leafed through my photo albums.  I showed Red photos of my parents and brother and sister, my friends at Denkmann, Washington, Rocky High, Augustana, Indiana, and West Hollywood.  He kept up a constant stream of questions

It was 2:00 am!  Time for bed!

I drew Red to his feet and pulled him into the bedroom.  He stared at the bed next to the window.

"We can't sleep there!  Too risky."

I was too tired to argue.  I spread some blankets and pillows out onto the living room floor and tore off Red's shirt and tie.  Hard hairy chest, lanky arms.

"Hey, you know what would be good?  Some music."

So I turned MTV on:  to Madonna's "Express Yourself."

So if you want it right now, make him show you how
Express what he's got, oh baby ready or not

The erotic encounter was ok, but the the evening was too weird -- a 45 minute drive for chicken, a drag show, gay bashing, photo albums, MTV -- I decided not to see him again.

The next Sunday, I went to services at the MCC, the gay church.  And Red was there, sititing in the front row!

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

Feb 10, 2016

Chris Demetral: Dream On

Star Trek fans will recognize Chris Demetral from his role as Riker's son on a 1990 episode of The Next Generation.  The 14-year old Michigan native had only been in Hollywood for two years, but he had already landed guest spots on several high-profile tv series, including Mr. Belvedere, The Wonder Years, and The New Lassie, and he would go on to guest on several more.


Chris became best known for playing Jeremy Tupper, son of book editor Martin Tupper (Brian Benben) on the HBO series Dream On (1990-96). Advertised as an "adult sitcom," it mostly featured Martin pursuing women (with lots of cable-tv nudity).   Jeremy has his share of dates and romances, and even has sex during the December 18, 1993 episode.




But the heterosexist part didn't prohibit buddy-bonding elsewhere. In the spring of 1993, Chris became a series regular on Lois and Clark, playing a homeless teenager named Jack, whom Clark/Superman (Dean Cain) takes in.  Designed as a replacement for Jimmy Olsen, with some buddy-bonding and nick of time rescues, Jack didn't click with Superman purists, and he was written out.

In Blank Check (1994), Chris plays Damian, the brother of the 12-year old who cashes a check for $1,000,000.  Damian's relationship with his brother Ralph (Michael Faustino, younger brother of David Faustino) is called into question when a computer repeats "Ralph and Damian sleep butt to face."




Chris's last major role was in The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne (2000), a Canadian tv series.  The French science fiction writer travels around with his friends, Phileas and Rebecca Fogg (Michael Praed, Francesca Hunt), and his servant Passepartout (Michel Courtemanche), fighting monsters and the League of Darkness.

Not much buddy-bonding, but Jules is certainly gay-vague. Whenever the group meets a damsel in distress, the horny Phileas takes over.  Jules spends most of his time striking up conversations with strange men.


Chris disliked the "Hollywood lifestyle," so he retired from acting and moved back home to Michigan. He currently works for talkhumor.com, where his bio states that he is "a reformed smartass" known for his love for his wife, family, friends, the Lakers, and his saviour Jesus. I didn't find any gay-positive or homophobic content on the site.

Feb 9, 2016

Charlton Comics: More Gay Subtexts than Casper


When I was a kid in the 1960s, my staple was Harvey comics: gay-vague pacifist Casper the Friendly Ghost saving the world from science-fiction threats.  I liked the Gold Key jungle comics, Little Lulu, Archie, and occasionally a Marvel or DC title, but I hated the bottom-of-the-barrel Charlton comics: cheaply printed on bad paper, amateurish illustrations, horrible dialogue, stupid stories.

Until one day my boyfriend Bill  suggested that I take another look: "They're all full of best men."

That was our word for gay romantic partners.









I wasn't convinced.  "No way.  Harveys are lots better."  I picked up the first on the pile.  "Abbot and Costello?  My Grandma talked about them -- they were on tv like a thousand years ago."

"The big guy has to rescue the little guy all the time."

A same-sex rescue was our main test of whether two guys were friends or "best men."






"What about Timmy the Timid Ghost? It's stupid!"

It was a blatant knock-off of Harvey's Casper the Friendly Ghost.  There was even a tough derby-wearing ghost, Manny, a blatant knock-off of Harvey's Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost

"Do Casper and Spooky live together?" Bill asked pointedly.

No.  Casper lived with his uncles, and Spooky lived alone.  Their paths rarely crossed in the vast Enchanted Forest.

Domesticity -- male characters living together -- was our second test of best men!



The only original characters made no sense, like Surf n' Wheels: good surfers vs. evil motorcyclists in one issue, then crime fighting surfer-motorcyclists in the next.

But Bill pointed out that they had their shirts off for about half of every issue, more than you ever got with Harveys.

Beefcake -- guys taking their shirts off, or even better, wearing only underwear or swimsuits -- was our third test!









Bill pointed out that some Charlton titles, like Hercules, Jungle Jim, and Robin Hood, were even more beefcake-heavy than the Gold Keys.

Beefcake, same-sex rescues, and domesticity.  What else could you ask for in a comic book?

Good stories, interesting artwork, and dialogue that made sense.  I still didn't like Charlton.














Feb 8, 2016

Alan Picks Up a Father and Son

Norfolk, Virginia, Summer 1993

"Ok, time for my most memorable Hong Kong pickup," Alan says.

I'm visiting Alan and his partner and their friend Tarik in Norfolk.  Today we drove out to Colonial Williamsburg.  Now we're having a very healthy vegetarian dinner and swapping stories of sexual exploits in days gone by.

"Picture it: seven million people crammed into 426 square miles.  7 of the tallest buildings in the world.  Over 50 shopping malls, including Harbor City, with over 700 stores."

"It sounds awful," I complain.  "Everything I hate about big cities, the reason I prefer small-town gay neighborhoods."

"You don't know what you're missing.  The lights, the color, the shopping.  The 3.5 million Chinese men..."

"The 15 hour plane flight..." his partner Sandy continues..  

"Not to mention the horrific anti-sodomy laws," Tarik adds. "Life imprison for gay sex, not repealed until last year."

Alan glares at him.  "Need I remind you that your beloved state of Virginia still makes gay sex a felony?  That doesn't stop the guys down on Granby Street from cruising everybody in sight."



Hong Kong, Summer 1990

Alan was living in Paris.  Anxious to meet some Asian men, he spent his vacation in Hong Kong, shopping and sightseeing.  

Gay culture in Hong Kong wasn't well developed -- very few organizations, only three gay bars, only one very unsatisfactory bathhouses.  But street cruising was an art in itself.  Beaches, malls, parks were teaming with men, Chinese and Western, gay and straight. Most were available, some for free, some for pay.

One day he went sunbathing at Middle Bay Beach, where a lot of local gays hung out.  He saw a cute Chinese twink with an older white guy, who was pretending to be asleep.  







The rest of the story is too explicit for Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.  But it involves the older guy and his son.

You can read it on Tales of West Hollywood.



13 Country Boys, Cowboys, Farmboys, Truckers, and Rednecks

Both of my parents grew up on farms, and everybody who finds out that I'm from Illinois makes a crack about farming, so I've never found country boys particularly exciting. I was always into short, dark-skinned, muscular, not tall, chunky, and Anglo-pale.

Besides, I spent my childhood trying to avoid football, pick up trucks, country western music, hunting, fishing, and beer  Why would I want to hang out with someone interested in those things?

Still, country boys are often attractive, perhaps due to their hard iconic masculinity.

And the gay ones are so unexpected.  What causes someone to resist the siren call of West Hollywood and spend his life amid the vast fields?

Here are my top 12 country boys dates and hookups.










Texas

1. Ole Miss.  On my way south from Rock Island to my horrible year in Hell-fer-Sartain, Texas, I stopped in Oxford, Mississippi, and in one of my few experiences in street cruising, picked up a University of Mississippi undergrad named Elmer (really)

2. Carl the Cowboy Cop.  Texas had fewer country boys than one would expect, though lots of guys pretended to be.  Carl was 6'8, lanky, blond, and from a ranch near Abilene.  On our first date, he bought me a pair of cowboy boots and took me country-western line dancing.









West Hollywood

3. The Cowboy of Sunset Boulevard was actually a college music major from the San Fernando Valley, but he pretended to be a cowboy, and hit it off on my Montana-born roommate, Derek.

4. Frozen Custard and Gay Bashing.  During my semester in Nashville, I got a date with a country boy who wanted to go through my photo album, insisted that we didn't do it in the bed near the open window.  And smoked.

5. The Country Western Singer, also in Nashville. At least, a singer.  Adter I crammed Country-Western into my brain to impress him, he turned out to be into pop.





6. The Nebraska Cornhusker.  In 1995, Lane and I took a road trip from West Hollywood to Rock Island: The Great Redneck Roundup, 20 hookups in 20 days.  But few actual country boys.  A highlight was the Nebraska Cornhusker, a former football player who now worked as a college recruiter, and had three of the six characteristics of Country Boys.

7. The Honest-to-Goodness Cowboy of Missoula, Montana, another highlight of our   He made his living in rodeos.

New York

8. The Bear Who Wasn't into Sharing.  
My boyfriend Joe's ex, a carpenter who lived in rural Rhinebeck, New York.  We thought he wasn't into sharing, and he thought Joe wasn't, until two of his friends convinced us otherwise.

9. The Football Player Who Got Unstuck In Time, Carey the Alabama Farm Boy who was going to the University of Alabama, and got lost on a field trip to New York, either in 1939 or 2000.


Florida

10. The Florida Cowboy.  Did you know that there were ranches in Florida?  The ranchers are called "cowhunters" or "crackers." But the tall, buffed guy that Yuri and I shared actually worked on an alpaca ranch.  Fortunately, Yuri dated him long enough to be invited on a tour.

11. Tucumcari Two-Step.  When I was visiting Larry in New Mexico, I met a guy from Tucumcari, on old Route 66. He had never heard of the tv series.

Ohio

Not a lot of country boys in Ohio.

Upstate

12.  The French Canadian Farmboy.  When I took Troy to Montreal to go to his first glory hole, he hooked up with Max.  Troy was impressed that he was an actual, honest-to-goodness farmer.

Plains

13, The Dakota Boy.   When I went to a Pow-Wow, I expected to meet a member of the Dakota Indian Nation, but instead I got a farmboy of German ancestry.  Cute, though.

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

Twenty Years, 10,000 Naked Men, Part 1: Asian to Hung

When I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, you never saw a penis except in the locker room after gym class.  No pictures.  There were plenty of pictures of naked women, but male dangly bits were deemed de facto obscene, so there weren't any. Maybe on a statue or a naked Amazonian Indian in an occasional issue of National Geographic.  Otherwise you had to make do with looking for bulges.

When I turned 18, I could buy "dirty" magazines, but they were all about women except for Playgirl, which I didn't dare buy.  Sometimes I bought Hustler, because nude men would be shown alongside the women.

In grad school in Bloomington, I finally found porn magazines aimed at gay men: Blueboy, Honcho, In Touch.  You could see penises, but they were frightfully expensive, $3, $4, or even $5 (twice my hourly salary) for nine or ten pictures.

In the 1990s, the internet allowed you to go to online bulletin boards, pay a monthly fee, and download jpgs, hundreds of them.  Guys who had been bereft of erotic imagery for the last 30 years suddenly found themselves spending an hour or twoevery morning just looking at and downloading images.  Maybe 20 a day, or 7300 per year.


Then in the 2000s, bulletin boards were replaced by blog sites like tumblr, and suddenly every hunk with an i-phone was posting nude selfies.  Today you can see uncountable thousands of pictures instantly.

But the guys who were bereft of erotic imagery earlier in life were still overwhelmed.  It's like you were starving for half your life, and suddenly you are invited to a nonstop banquet.  You gorge yourself, worried that the display will someday end.  So you continue to spend an hour or two every morning downloading images.

And before you know it, you have 10,000.

I've used many of them as illustrations on this blog, but there are thousands more.  Here are some of my favorites.  In each category.

Asian.  (Top photo.) Lots of men from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and South Asia.  I like this sultry Desi with a Kielbasa+.




Ballet and Opera Bulges. (Second photo.) Admit it -- you go to the ballet primarily for the bulgeworthy tights.  Here's a trio of buddy-bonding guys with tripods beneath the belt.

Batman and Robin.  I have a whole folder of pics of the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder, both canonical and fan art.  Nightwing -- Robin all grown up -- shows a fabulous physique but no basket in this canonical drawing.











Black. It's the insouciant attitude and the cap that makes this photo.  And the baseball bat between his legs.















Bulges.  Charlie Day of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia displays the second most important reason I'm a fan.  The first is his comedic talent.  Ok, who am I kidding? His comedic talent is #2.













Celebrities.  I have over 1000 pictures of shirtless and nude celebrities.  Most I've seen in things, or at least heard of.  This one is labeled Casey Moss.  I have no idea who that is.

Ok, I just looked him up.  He's the one on the right, a star of Days of Our Lives.  

But I'm really more interested in following that trail of hair down his abdomen to his...

His friend is invited, too.






Comics.  Comic book and comic strip characters saying and doing fun things, especially things that, taken out of context, sound dirty.  Looks like Mr. Magoo's sexual expertise was too much for the twink he hooked up with.














Dads and Sons.  Not sex photos, but shirtless or naked, at the beach or in the sauna.  This is an interesting series, Dad and Son photographed every year, as dad gets a little saggier and son gets a little more buffed.  The changing hair styles are fun, too.













Dwarfs and Other Unique Men.  Men who are very short, very tall, or have other unusual physical qualities. Some interesting -- and hot -- nude photos, but I'm going to go with this muscular swimmer who is missing a leg.












Fine Art.  Lots of reproductions of male beauty in statues and paintings.  Franz Metzner was a German sculptor known for his stylized musclemen.  In this poster, two nude men are hoisting a flag to celebrate the International Exposition of Industry and Labor in Turin in 1911.














Hung.  My file of supersized guys contains some whoppers, but I like this amateur shot of a Spanish guy posing for the camera in his attic.

Ran out of space.  Next up: Kilts to Pairs and Punks to Urinals.

The uncensored photos are on Tales of West Hollywood.