Sep 17, 2016

Three Unscreened Hookups on the Same Night


Plains, September 2016

You're probably wondering why I've been posting so many bereavement stories.  This was a bad summer for people I know getting sick and passing away.  Other guys eat when they're upset.  I hook up.

So earlier this week I got on Grindr, put up a photo of my chest, said "Free tonight," and specified in my profile "Kissing, cuddling, and oral essential."

I was not in the mood to screen them carefully -- I just wanted someone in my bed to kiss and cuddle with.  So I did minimal screening, not worrying about age or size, rejecting only the downlow, 420-friendly (marijuana smokers), and "top me, Daddy!"  After that, the first three guys who asked got an invitation, scheduled at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 pm.

To find out what happened, see the uncensored story on Tales of West Hollywood.

Toddler TV

Adults think that gayness is something that "happens" to you late in life, after a childhood of girls mooning over teen idols and boys grinning at the girl next door. But we know that they are wrong.  In every kindergarten classroom, in every preschool classroom, there are some boys who gaze at girls, and some boys who gaze at boys.

But what are they looking at?  Is their desire erotic, romantic, or something else entirely, something that we have forgotten as adults?  When gay boys watched Blue's Clues (1996-2006), did they think of Steve Burns as a cool big brother, or as a hot fantasy boyfriend with killer biceps?














Or Donovan Patton, who took over for Steve in later seasons?






















When they watched Barney and Friends (1992-2010), did they want to hug and kiss Michael (Brian Eppes), or did physical intimacy never enter their minds?






When I was three or four years old, there wasn't a lot of toddler tv. On Saturday morning I probably watched what the older kids watched: The Alvin Show, Tennessee Tuxedo, Underdog, Beany and Cecil.  On weekday mornings I probably watched Romper Room, with a female host, and Captain Kangaroo, with an elderly male host.  And in the early evening, there was probably Yogi Bear and The Flintstones.

I was drawn to the homodomesticity (same-sex partners living together) and to the same-sex rescues. But did I think anyone was hot?
I have very vague memories of liking The Magical Land of Allakazam (1960-64), a live action series featuring a magician (Mark Wilson actually one of the most renowned magicians of the twentieth century), his wife, and a clown. There was no homodomesticity, no rescuing.  In fact, it was somewhat heterosexist, Wilson constantly referring to his "lovely assistant."

I remember not liking the magic tricks.  You could see lots better on any tv cartoon.

But Mark Wilson was cute.

See also: Burr Tillstrom, the gay puppeteer behind Kukla, Fran, and Ollie.

The 10 Ugliest, Biggest Guys

Have you ever noticed that the uglier the guy, the bigger the penis?  It's as if nature has compensated for his clock-stopping face and gag-inducing physique, or it's giving you a reward for being able to look beyond the Ugly Duckling exterior.

Here are the 10 ugliest big guys I could find on the internet.

1. Backward baseball caps do not belong on any guy over age 20.  And he should find some other hobby besides getting tattoos.

2. Nice physique, really nice delts, and a Bratwurst, but the room would have to be very dark to hide the tiny round head and Nazi moustache.

3. A nice Bratwurst, but the greased-back hair needs work.  Maybe the dopey expression is due to selfie-taking concentration.

4. Gigantic sausage, even when you consider the camera angle and photoshopping.  But who can pay attention to the shaft with that face looming out at you?  Another dark room for this guy.

5.  Probably photoshopped, still a garden hose. But the skinny arms, ugly tattoos, and face like a weasel are definite turn-offs.  He'd better have the mother of all scintillating personalities.


6. I'm not sure even a scintillating personality will get me into this guy's pants.  Tattoos everywhere, including on his belly button, ugly face, and what's with the peaked hair?

7. The gypsy bandana doesn't make him look mysterious and exotic, it makes him look like a kid playing dress-up with his mother's scarves. And the dopey stare?  Well, at least he has nice abs and a Mortadella.

8. A word of advice: seven or eight hours of sleep every night, and shave every morning.   But your face, not your pubic hair.  Shaved pubs are ok if you're very small, so the guy going down on you doesn't get a mouthful of hair, but they look ridiculous on an uncut Mortadella.

9. The toothless smile, sharp nose, beady eyes, and crazy hair distract me from the Kovbasa.  Maybe if he's really persistent and brings me presents.

10.  The winner, the Ugliest Well-Hung Guy on the internet, comes from a website called hotoldermen.com.  He's definitely not hot, and he's definitely not older, but he's definitely ugly. Check out the gaunt druggie face and skinny arms covered with tattoos.  A thick Kielbasa, but I'd still have to pass.

All ten uncensored photos are on Tales of West Hollywood.


















Sep 16, 2016

Beach Movies 1: The Beefcake

The beach movie crazy began with Beach Party (1963), and lasted through Catalina Caper (1967).  During that 4 year period, American International Pictures churned out a dozen beach movies, starring former teen idol Frankie Avalon and former Mousketeer Annette Funicello, or if they were too busy, Dwayne Hickman, Tommy Kirk, Deborah Walley, and Yvonne Craig.  Other studios churned out their own teen-idols-in-Speedos movies, starring Bobby Vinton, Fabian, James Darren, Tab Hunter, and when they ran out of teen idols, Rod Lauren, Frankie Randall, Michael Callan, James Stacy, and Edd "Kookie" Burns.



The plot of the beach movie is the same in every installment: a gang of teenagers arrives in Malibu for a summer vacation.  Frankie and Annette (or their stand-ins) argue: she insists that they plan for marriage, the next step in embracing their heterosexual destiny, but he is too happy surfing, skydiving, and drag racing.

That is, he refuses to give up his homoerotic buddy-bonding with gay-vague chums.They separate, flirt with others, complain about each other to their friends, snipe at each other at the teen hangout, and walk forlornly on the beach.

Meanwhile a greedy corporation hopes to exploit the teenagers, or else salt-peter their heterosexual passions.  Maybe some juvenile delinquents cause trouble.  The climax comes in the form of a cartoonish teenagers vs. adults or delinquents brawl or car chase.  Frankie and Annette save the day, reconcile without resolving their disagreement, and head for home.



The teens are staggeringly affluent, white, and free from parental intervention of any sort.  They have all of the freedom of adulthood and none of the responsibilities.  They are living in their own surreal world of spies and saboteurs, drag races and skydiving contests, musclemen hanging from helicopters, gorillas riding surfboards.  There are Martians, mermaids, witch doctors, dime store Indians, bumbling crooks, and a girl whose gyrating hips cause volcanoes to erupt.

Every now and then Frankie mugs at the camera and asks "Can you believe this?"



And there is endless beefcake.  There are many girls in bikinis, but the beach is crowded with swimsuit boys; bulges are displayed as prominently as cleavage.  Jody McCrea's bulge makes a regular appearance.

John Ashley is dragged along the beach, the camera zooming in to capture the curve of his thighs, the tight muscles of his legs and calves, and even his frontside.

Tommy Kirk (left) wears a purple swimsuit so revealing that one can't imagine how it passed the sensors (not this photo).




Frankie doesn't bulge, but he is constantly shirtless, bedding down among his chums or standing tall and iconic beside his surfboard, his smooth, toned body preternaturally bright.

 In Fireball 500 (1966), which doesn't have a beach scene and only counts as a beach movie because it stars Frankie and Annette, Frankie spends a long scene shirtless, being interrogated by the police in his hotel room.  He never thinks to get dressed, though the officers stare at him, and one cheekily inserts his business card under Frankie's pendant, against his bare chest, like someone might insert a card into a woman's bosom.

Too bad the Disney Channel's Teen Beach Movie (2013) doesn't fare as well.

Next: The Duds

Sep 15, 2016

How We Invented the Sex Party

West Hollywood, November 1992

In West Hollywood in the 1980s and 1990s, hooking up was frowned upon.  You dated, shared your boyfriend with your friends, and played party games with a sexual component, but bringing home a stranger with no preliminaries -- deviant, dangerous, disgusting.

We knew about bathhouses and backrooms as relics of an earlier age of innocence, but there were none left in Los Angeles, and few of us went to them when traveling abroad.

And no one had ever heard of sex parties or bear parties, roomfuls of guys who get together explicitly for sexual activity with complete strangers.

The first one ever was Lane's idea.  But I helped.



The full post, with nude photos and sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.



Cleonike: Gay Illustrator of the Jazz Age

Cleo Damianakes, aka Cleo Wilkins, aka Cleonike, aka Cleon (1895-1979) was an artist and illustrator of the Jazz Age.  Born in Berkeley, she studied at the University of California, and then moved to Hollywood.

During the 1920s, she was consigned to illustrating the covers of many jazz age classics, including 3 Hemingways, an F. Scott Fitzgerald, a Zelda Fitzgerald, and 2 Conrad Aikens.  Later she moved to New York.










90% of her works feature butch, muscular women with biceps and abs.  Even where they are out of place, as in this cover of The Sun Also Rises, which has nothing to do with ancient Greek women in togas.














 A few butch muscular men appear alongside the buffed women.

You probably know Conrad Aiken only from the horrible short story "Silent Snow, Secret Snow," but he also wrote horrible novels.










Occasionally Cleonike gives us some androgynous characters that could go either way, as in this cover to Saturday Afternoon by Marion Strobel (a famous poet of the day).

But Cleonike's interest definitely resides in big, butch, muscular women.

Why does this person not appear on the list of great lesbian artists?   She was married twice, to Richard Oliver and then to Richard Wilkins, but how is that relevant?  She liked what she liked.













The Homophobia of "American Horror Story," Season Five

I've been watching American Horror Story since the beginning.  The anthology series, using a troop of actors to play different characters in different historical settings, has always had a strong gay presence.

In Season 5, however, I have to wonder where the gay characters are.

There are queer characters.  Lots of bisexual hanky-panky.  But gay -- characters interested only in their own sex, establishing only same-sex relationships.

There aren't any.  The show goes out of its way to tell us that, over and over again.

The setting: The Cortez Hotel, a fading icon of art deco glamor in downtown Los Angeles, where the Countess (Lady Gaga) holds court in a world of ghosts, vampires, and boy toys.  The boys are so identical that even I, an expert on male beauty, had difficulty telling them apart.

But one thing is certain: none of them are gay.

1. Donovan (Matt Bomer, who is gay in real life): a heroin addict who was vampirized by the Countess 20 years ago.  He became her main squeeze.  When she rejects him for newcomer Tristan, he formulates a revenge plan.  "Not gay."

2. Tristan Duffy (Finn Wittrock), a male model who flirts with men to get what he wants, but repeatedly announces that he is "not gay."

He falls in love with the pre-op transgender Liz Taylor, but she re-iterates that their relationship is heterosexual: "I'm not gay.  You're not gay for being with me.  I'm a heterosexual woman.  Thank you for seeing my femininity."

3. Rudolph Valentino (also Finn Wittrock), the legendary screen star, vampirized in 1926, and then trapped inside an abandoned wing in the Cortez Hotel for 89 years.  Heterosexual, although he experiences a symbolic "seduction" by F.W. Murnaw (the director of Nosferatu).





4.Will Drake (Cheyenne Jackson),  the new owner of the Cortez Hotel, who seems to be gay by default: he likes women, but he never can perform adequately when in bed with one (his son must be adopted).  But the Countess clears up his sexual inadequacy, and he begins announcing that he is bisexual.














5. James Patrick March (Evan Peters), the extremely effeminate, cultured, aristocratic ghost of the serial killer who originally built the Cortez Hotel as his private playground.  Kills men and women indiscriminately, but is only sexually involved with women, and seems rather homophobic.

6. Detective John Lowe (a very craggy Wes Bentley).  A "family man" haunted by the disappearance of his son.  It turns out that a pedophile didn't take him, the Countess did, to save him from his horrible home life.  John is March's protege, a heterosexual serial killer.

In fact, I can only find one actual, real, honest to goodness gay person in the cast:

The ghost of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (Seth Gabel).






Plus Gabriel (Max Greenfield), an extremely feminine heroin junkie who checks
 into the hotel room to shoot up.  He is raped by the Addiction Demon until Sally shows up and sews him into a mattress.  We're probably supposed to think of him as gay, his rape a punishment for his "sin."

So much for gay-friendly.

Well, at least it's bi- and trans-friendly.

See also: What Seth Gabel Looks Like Naked; American Horror Story: Gay World

Sep 14, 2016

The 13 Saddest Songs of the 1970s


People who weren't there think of the 1970s as a nonstop party before the deprivation of the 1980s, with everyone doing weird drugs, having sex with everything that moved, and dancing all night long.  But there was a lot of angst going on: Watergate, the recession, gas lines, Son of Sam, Anita Bryant.  And for every lively, upbeat song about dancing queens, there was a depressing one.

And not just the usual lost-love depression.  Life is meaningless depression.  Death, despair, and agonized crying.

Here are the 13 worst, most depressing songs of the 1970s.

1. "Suicide is Painless" (Johnny Mandel, 1970).   The theme song to M*A*S*H.  Or the way you feel after watching an episode.

2. "Alone Again, Naturally" (Gilbert O'Sullivan, 1972).  Ok, this is a lost-love song at least to start off with.  His fiancee has left him at the altar, and he's planning to kill himself -- but it gets worse.  Mom and Dad die, too.

Oh, if [God]  really does exist, why did he desert me
In my hour of need
I truly am indeed, alone again, naturally

Why are you smiling, Gilbert?

3. "I Shot the Sheriff" (Eric Clapton, 1973).  He shot the sheriff, and now he's going to be executed.



4. "Mr. Bojangles" (Bob Dylan, 1973).  An old drunk has been grieving for his dead dog for 15 years.  And it gets worse.

5. "Billy Don't Be a Hero" (Paper Lace. 1974).  But Billy joins the military anyway (apparently the Civil War, not Vietnam).  He dies, of course.

Paper Lace also sang "The Night Chicago Died (1974), about his cop daddy going after gangsters.  Chicago might die, but Dad doesn't.

Why has no one heard of these guys, before or after?



6. "Seasons in the Sun" (Terry Jacks, 1974).  A guy about to die reflects on his lost innocence with a girl.

Goodbye my friend, it's hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
Pretty girls are everywhere.

Depressing and heterosexist!

By the way, this isn't the same Terry Jacks, but I couldn't resist the photo..

7. "Cat's in the Cradle" (Harry Chapin, 1974).  Dad neglects son, so son grows up and gets revenge by neglecting Dad.

When you coming home, son?  I don't know when, but we'll get together then, Dad.

1974 was a rough year.  But it gets worse.

8. "Rocky" (Dickey Lee, 1975).  I literally cannot tell you what this song is about.  Every time I try to type up a description, I start crying and can't hit the keyboard.

Instead, I'll give you some of the lyrics to "Patches" (1962), which is much less depressing:

I hear a neighbor telling my father
He says, a girl name of Patches was found floating face down
In that dirty old river that flows by the coal yards
In old Shantytown

Ok, he's hot, but who cares?  It's impossible to listen to his songs.




9. "Wildfire" (Michael Martin Murphy, 1975).  Her beloved horse dies, its owner dies, flowers die, and the singer dies.  Fun.

This is not the same Michael Martin Murphy, of course, but who wants to see a picture of the guy singing about everybody dying.

10. "Shannon" (Henry Gross, 1976).  His beloved dog dies.

I'm not kidding.  These songs actually exist, and were played on the radio.

11. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (Gordon Lightfoot, 1976).  The Edmund Fitzgerald was a real ship that sank during a storm on Lake Superior.  The entire crew of 29 drowned.  Why sing about this horrible tragedy?  

12. "Dust in the Wind" (Kansas, 1977).  Everything is dust in the wind.


13. "Baker Street" (Gerry Rafferty, 1978):

You used to think that it was so easy, you used to say that it was so easy
But you're trying, you're trying now.
Another year and then you'd be happy, just one more year and then you'd be happy
But you're crying, you're crying now

Thank God the sad song craze was over by 1979, when the top hit was "I Will Survive"

I've got all my life to live, and I've got all my love to give, and I will survive!



Fall 1987: The Universal Agony of Heterosexual Life

Fall 1987:  I'm in grad school in Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California, enrolled in a Seminar in Modern Literature.

Big mistake.  I've had my share of elitist, condescending, heterosexist professors who dismiss everything I like as "plebian," "bourgeois," or "idiotic," but Dr.Lazar is the most elitist, condescending, and heterosexist of them all.

"I don't watch television, of course, but last night I was looking for the news, and...."

"We won't be reading mindless trash in this classroom."

We read only the World's Greatest Authors: Eugene Ionesco, Harold Pinter, and especially The Greatest of the Great, Samuel Beckett (1906-1989).


Beckett was born in Ireland but wrote in French. I'm quite sure that the top photo is a composite, since he wasn't into bodybuilding.  Or much of anything else except women -- he rejected socialite Peggy Guggenheim -- who got revenge by starting a rumor that he was gay -- and then married Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumezil. But he also had a long-term romance with BBC writer Barbara Bray.

During his lengthy heterosexual machinations, he managed to stay in good shape through playing tennis.  And he wrote Great Literature.

He liked James Joyce, but thought that Ulysses was far too simplistic.  After all, if you dig down far enough past all the obscure references, you come up with characters and a plot.  He wanted to write plays and novels that had no characters or plots, just random thoughts that made no sense.

Besides, it has pleasant scenes.  He wanted to depict the unrelenting agony of life.

While living in Paris and playing tennis with an heiress.

So he wrote horrible plays:

Waiting for Godot: two guys stand around waiting for him, but he never comes.  Let the heavy-handed over-symbolic interpretations begin.

Krapp's Last Tape:  an elderly crazy guy replays the tapes of his life as he's dying.









Happy Days: in a horrible postapocalyptic world, a woman who is slowly sinking into the ground tries to carry on her daily routines, while her husband (left) walks backwards.

And horrible novels:

Molloy: an elderly man lives in his mother's old room and thinks.

Malone Dies: an elderly, bedridden man is writing a novel about something or other before he dies.

The Unnameable: the inner musings of a deformed being who is apparently blind and unable to move.





 Professor Lazar is completely enchanted with the last line: "I can't go on, I'll go on."

"This is a commentary on all our lives," he says.  "Determined to endure in spite of the horror."

Ok, he lived through World War II, so he saw some horrors.  But now he's a tenured professor who flies off to Paris to give speeches.  Surely there's been a few pleasant moments in his life?

Gay subtexts: are the guys in Godot gay?  Is Malloy?

"No, of course not.  Beckett writes of Everyman, of the universal agony of human experience.  He has no time for something so ridiculous as the gays."

I can't go on, I'll go on.


Sorry I can't stick around for more discussions of the universal agony of heterosexual experience.  I have to get to the gym, and then I'm meeting Alan for dinner at the French Quarter, and afterwards we're going cruising at Mugi.  A paradise of masculine beauty awaits.

See also: Gather the Faces of Men; Cruising Dublin with James Joyce.

Sep 13, 2016

10 Little House on the Prairie Hunks

When I was in high school and college, if I was home on Monday night at all, I was watching a hip sitcom like The Jeffersons or WKRP in Cincinnati, certainly not Little House on the Prairie (1974-83).  But my sister loved it. The historical drama, based on the autobiographical novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder, was about a farm family in frontier Minnesota in the 19th century: Charles and Caroline Ingalls and their daughters Laura, Mary, and Carrie. Other relatives come and go, the daughters grow up, and so on.

I always thought it was a family-friendly drama, like a TGIF sitcom, but my research reveals that it was quite angst-ridden, more "what shall we cry about this week?" than humorous anecdotes about one-room schoolhouses and general stores.  Episodes featured drug addiction, leukemia, child abuse, alcoholism, prejudice, diseases, accidents, murder, robbery, and rape, not to mention an ongoing story arc about Mary's blindness and a series finale that has the whole town of Walnut Grove blowing up!

This was the 1970s, when the top songs on the radio were about people and horses dying and the top "sitcom" was about soldiers being blown to bits in the Korean War.  Still, the pain and anguish seems a bit excessive.

With all the sobbing going on, you wouldn't expect much beefcake and buddy bonding, but apparently producer and star Michael Landon went out of his way to appeal to gay men and boys (and maybe heterosexual girls).  Dozens of 1970s musclemen and androgynous teen idol-types crossed the screen to have accidents, lose loved ones, die of diseases, and take their shirts off.  Here are the top candidates.

1. Michael himself, Charles Ingalls, previously Little Joe on Bonanza, with a famous body and bulge.  Where to begin?  He loses family members and friends, loses houses to fires, loses jobs, deals with infinite pain and sorrow, yet still believes that there is a Divine plan behind all the misery (it's actually the writers, wondering "what horrible thing can happen to the Ingalls this week?")    And he has plenty of time to work out.

2. Jonathan Gilbert as Willie Oleson, the spoiled son of the town shopkeepers (his sister Nellie was the snooty, bullying antagonist to the girls).  He is mostly comedic relief, but he helps out during blizzards, fires, and illnesses.

He grew up, but this is the only shirtless shot I could find.










3. Matthew Laborteaux as Albert, an orphan adopted into the Ingalls family.  Subsequently his girlfriend is raped, he takes to stealing, gets an incurable disease, and becomes addicted to morphine.  He should have stayed in the orphanage.

4. His brother Patrick as Andy, one of Laura's friends whose mother is killed and father (played by Merlin Olsen) becomes an alcoholic.












5. Linwood Boomer (love that name) as Adam Kendall, one of Mary's colleagues at the School for the Blind.  They get married and lose their infant son in a fire.  Eventually he gets his sight back and becomes a lawyer.














6. Jason Bateman (seen here as an adult, pouring lemonade onto his crotch) as James Cooper, who loses his parents in an accident (on camera, naturally) and is adopted by the Ingalls family.  Later he is shot during a bank robbery, but healed by a miracle.













7. Stan Ivar (left) as John Carter, whose wife runs the town newspaper.

8. Dean Butler (right) as Almanzo, who marries Laura and is crippled by a stroke.  Then his house is destroyed, his wife gets sick and almost dies, his brother dies of an incurable disease, his infant son dies....

Just another week in Walnut Grove.




9. Steve Tracy as Urkel...um, I mean Percival Isaac Cohen Dalton, who rejects his Jewish heritage and marries Nellie Oleson.  Perhaps she was attracted to his very blatant bulge.  No angst in his plotlines, but the actor himself died of AIDS in 1986.











10. Radames Pera as John Sanderson Edwards, who dates Mary Ingalls before he moves to Chicago to become a newspaper reporter and is murdered.

Whew!  After all that, M*A*S*H sounds like a lighthearted diversion.







Sep 12, 2016

Will the Bondage Boy Hooks Up with Peter Fonda

West Hollywood, April 1993

Every year Lane's mother Rosa hosted a huge Passover seder.  Her house on Romaine Street was packed with relatives from New York, friends from Temple Beth El, employees, neighbors, and minor celebrities.  I went twice as Lane's roommate or boyfriend (depending on who asked).

Rosa died last year, so Lane has the responsibility of hosting.  Fifty people will never fit into our small two-bedroom apartment, so he's paring down last year's guest list.

"What do you think?" Lane asks.  "Should we keep Jane and Peter Fonda?"

I look over his shoulder at the guest list: Jane Fonda and Ted Turner. Peter and Portia Fonda.  "Rosa knew them?"

"Sure. They met when Jane's husband Tom Hayden was running for Senate. She's been to seder several times, [Her brother] Peter only once that I can remember, but Mom invited them every year."

The 1960s counterculture heroes sitting down to Passover dinner with Lane's elderly, kugel-baking mother?   It seemed bizarre.  But, I remembered, Rosa's politics were very liberal.  When she was younger, she wrote for a radical Zionist newspaper.

"Should I continue the tradition?  It means four table settings."

"Go for it.  I'd love to meet them."

A few days later, at lunch with Will the Bondage Boy, I mention the Jane and Peter Fonda guest list.

"Can I get an invitation?" he asks.  "I'd love to see Peter Fonda again.  I wonder if he remembers our trick."  [Trick was our word for a hookup.]

"You tricked with the star of Easy Rider?  Why haven't you told this story before?  You always tell about Keanu Reeves."

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

The Interrupted Journey of Betty and Barney Hill

There haven't been a lot of alien abduction stories recently, but for about ten years, they were all the rage.

People having weird "missing time" experiences or strange screen memories, going to a therapist, and uncovering years of abductions, painful medical procedures, and forced sexual acts orchestrated by groups of greys, praying-mantis beings, and humans.

Contrary to popular myth, the average abductee is a well-educated, wealthy young woman trying to deal with a history of traumatic abuse.

Unfortunately, the accounts try to heterosexualize the abductees whenever possible, reducing gay hints to "two women on a camping trip" or "two men sitting in their car."

The first well-publicized alien abduction case involved Betty and Barney Hill (left: James Earl Jones, who played Barney in a tv movie. Or at least, when I searched for "James Earl Jones" on google images, this is what it showed me).

  They were a middle-aged, middle-class couple, well educated, and active in politics: the local civil rights committee, the Unitarian Church and the NAACP.  They were interracial in the racist 1960s, but if you were careful, you could avoid most of the prejudice.  They got occasional stares, and some of their relatives wouldn't talk to them, but they had never been assaulted, yelled at, or turned away from a hotel.


On the night of September 19, 1961, they were driving home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire after a delayed honeymoon trip to Niagara Falls and Montreal.  Around 10:30 pm, they saw a bright light on the road ahead.  It got closer and closer, until they saw that it was a gigantic flying object about 60 feet across.  They could see beings through a row of windows: short humanoids wearing shiny black suits with matching caps and weird snake insignias.  One gave Barney a coquettish, over-the-shoulder smile, which frightened him.

The next thing they remembered was arriving at home, two hours later than expected.  They showered extensively, feeling unclean.  Their clothes were ruined, as if they had been torn off.

Later Betty began having vivid dreams, and under hypnosis she and Barney both recalled stopping for a road block, being taken from their car and brought aboard the spaceship, and being subjected to medical procedures.

 Betty had extensive conversations with her captors, one of whom spoke English (or used telepathy). They showed her a star map, and offered to give her a book (but the offer was rescinded later).

Barney didn't interact with them, and mostly kept his eyes closed, but he said that the aliens moved "with the cold precision of German soldiers."  In another session, he elaborated: "He looks like a German Nazi.  He's a Nazi."

The alien who smiled at him looked like "a redheaded Irishman," which made Barney nervous, due to his past experiences with racist Irishmen.

 Barney had a long tube inserted up his rectum, and a device placed over his penis to extract sperm (but, he said, he experienced no arousal).

(Left: Barney with a rocket in his pocket).

The case was written up in Look magazine, then in a bestselling book, The Interrupted Journey (1966).  Barney died in 1969, but Betty became a lifelong advocate of the alien abduction phenomenon, dismissing other explanations, insisting that they encountered beings from another world that night.


What other explanations have been suggested of the Hills' experience?  Other than fatigue and leading questions by the hypotherapist, the most cogent is an encounter with a motorcycle gang -- the bright lights, the uniforms -- who stopped them, questioned them, and subjected Barney and maybe Betty to a sexual assault -- they felt unclean afterwards, and showered and wanted to burn their clothes.

But why would your mind transform a sexual assault into an alien abduction which was just as traumatic, but would subject you to scorn and derision for the rest of your life?  And why would a motorcycle gang have a cordial conversation with Betty after assaulting her?

I read The Interrupted Journey around the end of grade school or the beginning of junior high, and I was fascinated.  Not only by the abduction:
1. You never saw black men and white women together on tv, in movies, or in real life.  I didn't know that interracial relationships existed.  If they were possible, what other desires were erased, hidden from view?
2. This was the first time I read the word "penis," anywhere.  It felt liberating and rather naughty to be thinking of Barney's penis.
3. Barney's experience, however much he denied it, was obviously sexual.  And it occurred at the hands of men, or male beings.  If same sex acts could occur in an alien abduction, certainly they could occur in real life!