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Naked Night at Blow Buddies

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Given the name, I suppose that you won’t be surprised when I tell you that Blow Buddies is a sex club in San Francisco for men who want to find other men for, shall we say, oral enjoyment.  It’s always quite a diverse group of men, all ages, ethnicities, builds, styles….there are a few rules of the establishment–no cologne, “no polyester”, and shrieking about “Sex and the City” is probably not a good idea.  They do encourage bare skin, and it’s always warm enough not to need clothing.

And once a month–the first Wednesday if you’re planning travel–they have a Naked night.  On that night, everyone checks all their clothing except shoes and socks.  It’s one of my favorite times to go.  It seems that, in addition to our clothing, we also shed some of our defensiveness that urban living requires.  The result for me is often an evening of quite friendly connection.

It’s also great to see the variety of the men who are there.  And there is a certain shamelessness that comes from everyone being naked–and plenty of guys are obviously aroused.  I think that it would also do most guys a lot of good to see the varieties of “equipment” as well.  According to legend, all men are concerned that they don’t “measure up”.  Well, take a look and get over it.

The other amazing part of the evening for me is that, for any uniqueness of appearance, there seems to be someone else who is noticeably turned on by that uniqueness.  If I want to connect with a tall, skinny guy with lots of body hair and a large member–well, I can find one…plenty, in fact.  I’ve had to get over the fact that not every man is equally interesting to me in the erotic arena.  But really, I understand that what I’m doing is looking at the surface.  Is it any more superficial than saying that I want to marry an Ivy-league educated lawyer?   

As the evening goes on, I find myself thinking of the experience as more a matter of weaving a connection among the various possibilities of men who I attract and men I’m attracted to.  Most of us seem not to be overly “specialized” in our tastes.  Frankly, one thing that really gets me interested is another guy making clear that I’m just what he’s been looking for.

And, when it’s time for me to go, I can leave with a light heart and a spring in my step.

“Yes” means yes and “No” means no

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Many years ago now, I was taking a long car trip with a woman friend, and we were having one of those “car conversations”–those long discussions that one has on a long trip, at least in part because everyone understands that there is the time that it takes to talk about something complicated.  At the time I was single, and she asked me about my erotic life–she knew I’m gay, and she also knew that I was sexually active. 

So I explained that there are a whole variety of places where gay men can go to connect for sex.  I explained that, depending on the venue, it’s quite uncommon to know very much about one’s partner-of-the-moment.  She couldn’t believe that it would be possible to do this.  After a while trying to puzzle out what the confusion was for her, it became clear that the thing that makes these places work is that everyone understands that “yes” means yes and “no” means no.  So it’s possible to engage in some activity on the briefest of acquaintance without worrying too much about the activity becoming something that is unpleasant, or worse.  Usually, it’s enough to say “This isn’t working for me” to extricate myself from a situation.  And part of that freedom is that everyone knows that there are plenty of other guys around–so if this one didn’t turn out so great, I can try someone else.

On the other hand, I met some real friends and lovers at sex clubs.  When I was living in Massachusetts, I would occasionally go to the bathhouse.  Once, I met a guy, and we went back to his “room” for some great sex.  And that was that.  A month of so later, we crossed paths again at the bathhouse, and we wanted to connect again, but neither of us had a room yet.  So we sat around and started talking about who we are.  It quickly became clear that we had a lot in common.  After a while, he got a room, and we adjourned for some more sex.  He invited me to stay over at his place, so that I could drive home in the morning–it was a bit of a way.

The next morning, a Sunday, he asked me to drop him off at the Quaker meeting.  At that point, we started to understand just how few “degrees of separation” there were between us.  I asked if he knew my first boyfriend, who was active in the Friends for Gay and Lesbian concerns–and of course he did.  He found out the college where I was teaching, and he told me that his best friend from high school was one of my colleagues–in the same department.  Later I told her about meeting him, she said that she wondered if we would run across each other, because we were “the smartest and sleaziest people she knew”.  I took that as a compliment.

To return to the friend on the car trip, she explained that, in general, relations between men and women are not characterized by this kind of straightforward communication.  And it does seem that there are a lot of messages telling men to believe that when a woman says “No” it means maybe, and when she says “maybe” it means yes. 

I suppose that the best way to tie this up is to refer to “What part of No don’t you understand?

Faggots & their Friends between Revolutions (2)–Women Wisdom

Friday, April 18th, 2008
   I think it's time for another bit from this book.  There are a number of pages labeled "Women Wisdom".  They represent various things that women have learned that they can and do teach the faggots.
 The strong women told the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Faggots & Their Friends between Revolutions (1)

Saturday, April 12th, 2008
In the 1970's, some amazing literature for gay men appeared.  One such is "Faggots & Their Friends between Revolutions", by Larry Mitchell.  The copyright is 1977.  I'm going to be quoting at length, because it is out of print.  I ... [Continue reading this entry]