One of the problems with being an academic is constantly moving from job to job, which means you make a lot of new friends, then move away, then make more friends, and so on and so on. Every summer is a flurry of activity, as you fly across the country to visit them, and they fly out to visit you.
This summer I was in Indiana (Tyler and my relatives), New York (Troy and his relatives), Virginia (Jonathan), North Carolina (Verne), and San Francisco (David).
David is 65 years old, a bald, buffed Daddy with craggy features, a moustache, a tight hairy chest, thick biceps, and extra-thick beneath the belt gifts. A Baptist preacher from conservative small-town Arkansas, married with children, he didn't have his first same-sex experience until his 43rd birthday, January 6th, 1996.
Within a week he had come out, resigned from his pulpit, filed for divorce, and moved out of the parsonage.
Within a month he had moved to San Francisco, the only place he had ever heard of with gay men. He got an apartment, a job, a new wardrobe, and a gym membership, and began cruising.
David vowed to have "make up for lost time" by having sex with 5 different guys a day until he reached the goal of 5,000. Soon that proved impossible, even in San Francisco, if he wanted to do anything else, so he reduced the goal to two, then one. The rules were:
1. It had to be a new guy, one he hadn't been with before.
2. He couldn't go to a sex club or bath house and get a whole week's worth at once. One per day.
3. Except if he was too sick to have sex, he could make up for it later.
4. Any sexual activity counted. No orgasm was necessary.
During my visit in June, I asked David if he actually kept track.
"Absolutely!" he exclaimed. Every night, or if the guy spends the night, the next morning, I record his name and pertinent details in my Little Black Book."
"It must be a Big Black Book by this time."
"Actually, it was written at first, but around 2000 I moved it all to an Excel Spreadsheet. I record the guy's name, where I met him, and any pertinent details."
"Rating, on a scale of 1 to 5?"
He laughed. "No, nothing like that. Just their size, what we did, that sort of thing.
"What if it's a sex party or a bathhouse? Do you record a dozen guys?"
"No, just one guy per day."
Suddenly I had an idea. "Hey, let's look up me. Our first time together, back in 1996. See what you said."
He agreeably opened his laptop, pulled up his spreadsheet (it really was titled Big Black Book), and searched for Boomer. 15 entries, mostly guys annotated with lines like "Shared with Boomer" or "Boomer's roommate." But the first Boomer entry, the first time we had sex, was Tuesday, June 25th, 1996:
Boomer. Met at work. Nice chest. Interfemoral
"I remember that night," I told him. "It was first week at the AIDS Foundation. I was working in publications and publicity, and you were in prevention services. You offered to take me out for "a drink" after work. We ended having dinner, talking about the deprivation of a fundamentalist childhood, then having sex."
"Interfemoral," David says.
"You were babysitting your friend Buzzy's dog."
"Right...he was going away for the weekend." I thought for a moment. "For the weekend...it must have been a Friday night, not Tuesday." I checked the spreadsheet.
"Oh, I must have mixed up the dates when I was transcribing all this," Dave said. "Maybe the sex club Daddy was on Tuesday, and you were..."
"Or I was the previous Friday."
Friday, June 25th. Haldor. Waiter at Almost Home. From Denmark.
"That was our dinner! Almost Home, because you wanted to be reminded of home. Haldor was our waiter. He was from Denmark, and I went to a Swedish Lutheran College, so I won him over. Did you go back after our date and pick him up?"
The rest of the story, with nude photos and explicit sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.