Jun 27, 2018

Searching for Beefcake and Non-Booze Options in Hetero Central

I lived in San Francisco for two years, but I never visited Napa, about an hour's drive north, in the heart of Northern California wine country.

I don't drink wine, or any alcoholic beverage, and back in the 1990s, at least, gay men wouldn't dream of going to Napa, or what they called Hetero Central (well, they actually called it Breeder Central)

It was strictly heterosexual, all about ultra-elite male-female couples with great hair and teeth driving up from their condo on Telegraph Hill or the Presidio, staying at a quaint guest inn run by an elderly couple, holding hands on tours of vineyards, and  clicking wine glasses at each other.

Wine itself seemed rather a hetero-coded beverage, something from Frank Sinatra ("I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old kegs"), or Billy Joel ("A bottle of white, a bottle of red"), or the Beatles ("birthday greetings, bottle of wine").

Most of the guys I knew didn't drink at all, and when I went to the bars, all I saw being ordered was beer.

But I haven't lived in San Francisco for 20 years, so maybe things have changed.  Maybe Napa is less hetero-centric and wine-y.

According to Trip Advisor, the top 10 sights of Napa are: Judd's Hill Winery, Palmaz Vineyards, O'Brien Winery, Hendry Ranch Winery, Sequoia Grove Winery, Pine Ridge Winery, Tefethen Family Winery, Stag's Leap Wine Cellar, Paraduxx Winery, and the Napa Valley Opera House (where they serve wine).

I found another article on ten things to do if you don't drink.  Of course, it's illustrated a picture of two male-female couples drinking wine:

1. Some of the wineries have public art or interesting architecture.  Castello di Amorosa is a Medieval castle.

Um...I've seen real castles in Europe, and owner Dario Sattui just started building this one 20 years ago.  Besides, Castello di Amorosa means "Castle of Love." Pass.

2. Go on a hot air balloon ride.  Pass

3. Enjoy the great outdoors.  Um..the great outdoors is what you drive through to get to the next real place. Next

4. The Napa Valley Museum in Yountville, about 10 miles away.  Its premiere exhibition is "50 Years of the Napa Valley Agricultural Preserve."

Um...when do those winery tours start?

Ok, so still wine-y.  What about the gay presence?

I'm sure there are occasional gay couples wandering around, discussing the intriguing acidity of this or that vintage, but gay guides mention nothing specifically gay in Napa except for a Napa Pride Community Cookout.  If you want gay inclusion, you have to go to Sonoma or Guerneville, or even Santa Rosa.

Well, maybe there's some beefcake in town to keep you occupied while you wait for the next bus back to Castro Street.

There are three high schools and a community college that offer the usual swimming, water polo, wrestling, track and field, and theater.

Whoever thought of the name of Vintage High School should have taken internet searches into consideration, where "vintage high school wrestlers" will get you lots of old-timey photos of wrestling teams from the 1930s.

Ok, it was established in 1972, before the internet, and there was already a Napa High School in town, but that's no excuse.

But I do like the bulgeworth gold Rocky Horror Picture Show swim trunks.

One of their powerlifters won some sort of contest back in 2015.

So did this Vintage High School senior, who became a bodybuilder for a class project in 2009, and, at age 17, came in third in a bodybuilding competition in the 18-19 year old category  (by the way, he was also a master of origami).

I looked him up on Facebook: he's a firefighter, married to a woman, with kids, and still a bodybuilder.

There are also a lot of regular guys showing off their biceps in the hope of attracting a date.  With all of those bodybuilders and powerlifters, the competition will be tough.

1 comment:

  1. That's actually kind of funny, I remember in the 2000s, food became code for gay. (There was also an underlying class element, just like that scene in The Breakfast Club, but of course, that's to be ignored because, hey, poor gay people don't exist.) Wine, arugula, sushi, baguettes, that sort of thing.


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