One day during my junior year at Rocky High, my younger brother Kenny invited me out for ice cream. I was suspicious -- he never invited me to go anywhere. He must be buttering me up!
And sure enough, the moment we sat down at Happy Joe's with our sundaes, he said "I want to have a sleepover Saturday night."
"No way, José!" I exclaimed. "No way I'm spending the night with eighth graders!"
From my eighth birthday through junior high, I hosted sleepovers at least once a month: three or four boys, plus my brother by default, since we shared a room. We spent the night playing, roughhousing, eating snacks, watching tv, and staying up later than usual, and then bedded down, two to a bed and in sleeping bags.
There was always a lot of competition over who would get to sleep with the host; I always picked the cutest boy there, not necessarily my boyfriend Bill.
Kenny started hosting sleepovers on his eighth birthday, too, and of course I was invited by default. It was fine when I was in grade school, or even in junior high. But I was in high school now, too old for such "baby" activities.
"I haven't had one for a long time!" Kenny protested. "And Mom says I can't have one unless you say it's ok, cause you have to be there."
I didn't use to mind bedding down with naked boys. But at age 15 it would be threateningly erotic -- what if I got aroused?
"What will my friends say if they find out I spent the night with a bunch of eighth grade dorks?" I complained.
"They won't all be dorks," Kenny said. "I have to invite Todd, but you can decide on the other two boys."
Todd was Kenny's best friend, a sports nut with sandy blond hair and green eyes (all models in the illustrations are over 18).
"As if! My friends wouldn't be caught dead at a junior high sleepover!"
In retrospect, this seems like an odd offer for a heterosexual boy to make to his heterosexual brother -- I wouldn't figure "it" out for another year. But apparently Ken already knew, on some level.
My eyes lit up. "Anybody I want?"
"As long as they go to Washington [Junior High]."
Considering that I was in high school, I knew a surprising number of junior high boys -- Kenny's friends, the younger brothers of my friends, some boys from church, random boys that I saw at Kenny's school activities. It wasn't hard to decide on one:
"Ok, for my first boy I pick Denny." A tall, blond ninth grader with a round angelic face. He played the lead in the junior high production of Oklahoma! last fall.
"No problemo. Denny and me are tight. Kenny and Denny, Denny and Kenny." He paused. "So...who's the second boy?"
I thought for a moment. Who was the cutest boy at Washington?
In an instant, it came to me: "Rebel."
"No way! I can't get Rebel! He's old -- he was held back a year. And we're not really friends. I just say hi in the hall."
I met Rebel, real name Maurice, when Kenny invited him to church as part of his junior high soulwinning regiment: tall, muscular physique, short hair, perpetual sneer, cute in a sleazy, semi-dangerous way. He sat through Sunday school class and half of the morning service, but exclaimed "This is bogus!" and sauntered out the door before altar call.
According to Kenny, Rebel was fourteen-years old, but still in eighth grade. He spent his time behind the gym, smoking -- cigarettes and pot -- and drinking and drawing fake tattoos on himself. He had been suspended for getting into fights and trying to break into a teacher's car. He was Catholic. His parents were divorced. A juvenile delinquent.
The full story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.