Indianapolis, December 2016
I had been looking at pictures like the one below, and reading sext messages, for three months, ever since I met Ryan H., the college track star, in a diner in small-town Illinois. Finally, just before Christmas, I drove into Champaign, and he took me out on a date, which involved meeting his parents, a wrestling meet, a mediocre dinner, hanging out with his friend, but NO SEX.
Ryan asked me out on a second date, to a "21 and Under" pizza party in Indianapolis on New Year's Eve.
I never go out on New Year's Eve.
I definitely didn't want to go to a teenage party at age 56.
And I DEFINITELY definitely didn't want to go to a teenage party that results in nothing more intimate than a kiss on the doorstep.
But take a look at that combination of face, physique, and Mortadella+! Maybe there's some way I can talk the conservative Ryan H. into dropping his drawers.
I texted him and offered to take him to a "Real West Hollywood-style Gay Party" on New Year's Eve.
"I've never been to a party with all gay guys before," Ryan said. "Sounds exciting, but I'm also a little nervous. There won't be any drugs, will there?"
"No drinking, no drugs, just some desserts and party games."
Now I just had to arrange the party.
I asked Tyler to be the host. He's the "son" of my ex-boyfriend Fred (actually the son of his roommate): a chef, 33 years old, very tall, with a tight physique, curly black hair, a scrubby beard, and a hairy chest.
"I'll take care of the party guests," Tyler offered. But by December 28th, he had managed to get solid commitments from only two of his ex-boyfriends (Jesse and Sandoval), both bears in their 50s.
On December 28th, I got cruised by the waiter in a crazy retro restaurant: Mike, age 23, medium height, on the thin side, with a round face, heavy eyebrows, and short brown hair. We went out on the 29th, and I invited him to the party.
Most West Hollywood Parties begin at 6:00, but since it was New Year's Eve and we would be up until midnight, I picked up Ryan H. at the Sheraton at 7:00 pm, shook hands with his parents, and kissed and groped him in the elevator on the way down to the lobby. Then we drove to Tyler's apartment.
The usual coming out stories, dates from hell, enormous penises, and celebrity hookups. I told about my date with Michael J. Fox, which impressed the older guys but not Ryan -- he looked away. I started telling about my hookup with Justin, the supersized guy at the gym, but stopped when Ryan picked up a magazine. Bored? Embarrassed?
This was the guy who had been sending me nude selfies for three months.
Tyler served a traditional Greek New Year's Eve dinner: a lamb-macaroni dish, a cabbage salad, and vasilopita There was wine, but Ryan, Mike, and I drank Diet Coke. Then he passed out bowls of green grapes.
"Have a mouthful of grapes when the clock strikes midnight," he said, "For good luck in the coming year."
"What if my mouth is already full?" I asked, looking at Ryan. He looked away.
Embarrassed? Was I doing something wrong?
oval asked. "Jesse and I are going that way. We'll be happy to drop you off."
The full story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.