Feb 6, 2016

Kaliman and Solin: Magician and Boy Pal

Spanish class didn't offer a huge selection of teenage adventurers with boyfriends, or teen magazines featuring frontal nudity, but it did give gay students some spectacular beefcake and a Batman and Robin-like adult-juvenile relationship.

Kaliman, el Hombre Increible, an orphan adopted by Prince Abul Pasha of Kalimantan, Indonesia, grew up to immensely muscular, gifted with magical powers, and dedicated to fighting injustice.

He first appeared on Mexican radio in 1963 (where his program still runs), and soon moved into weekly comic books.  Over 1,000 issues have been published to date. There is also a Colombian version read throughout Latin America.

Kaliman wears a turban emblazoned with a K and an all-white outfit, though he often takes his shirt off before fighting the bad guys.

He has antecedents in Mandrake the Magician and other magical superheroes of the pulps, but he is a distinctly Latin American creation, with the colorful enemies -- the vampires, aliens, mad scientists, and evil cultists -- that one would expect of a Santo or Blue Demon.

Sometimes he rescues attractive women, but he rarely expresses any romantic interest in any of them.

Most often he rescues his youthful companion, Solin, whom he picked up in ancient Egypt.  Solin's age is not specified, but he looks 12-14.  Because he is depicted with black curly hair and a cute girlish face, because he wears eyeliner and mascara, and because he becomes "the damsel in distress" nearly as often as Robin, fan fiction writers sometimes transform him into a girl.

But when he must rescue Kaliman or perform some other act of bravery, Solin proves more than capable.  There are hints that he will take over the job of protecting the world from evil when Kaliman retires.

There have been two movies (1972, 1976), with a third in the works.  Kaliman was played by the American Jeff Cooper, who unfortunately wasn't as buffed as his comic book counterpart.

Solin was played by Nino del Arco and Manuel Bravo.

Feb 5, 2016

The Top 20 Scenes of Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star

I hope Alan isn't reading these stories in the afterlife, or I'm in for a major haunting.  He would hate being called a Pentecostal Porn Star.  He didn't like talking about his porn career.

Actually, he didn't like talking about his past at all.  Most guys in West Hollywood  loved swapping stories about coming out, seducing a straight man, or seeing a celebrity penis, but Alan generally kept mum:  "Who cares about the past?  It's dead and gone.  We're alive, we're young, we're in the greatest place in the world.  This is our time to LIVE!"

Still, when he was tired and loaded up on sugary snacks, he could tell a good story.  Here are his top 20 boyfriends, hookups, and back room exploits.

Alan was born two days before Halloween, 1956, under another name, in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  When he was ten years old, he began going to a Pentecostal church, got saved and filled with the Spirit, and began speaking in tongues.

1. The Pentecostal Boy.  His first sexual experience was at age 16, with one of his Pentecostal buddies.  Neither of them had any idea that gay people existed.

2. The Preacher at the Bathhouse.  After graduating from high school in 1974, Alan enrolled in the ultra-fundamentalist Waynesburg College.  He majored in either English or History, and played football to become more "macho."  He also began going to the bathhouses of Pittsburgh, where he ran into the minister of his hometown Pentecostal church.

After he got his degree in either English or history, he told his parents that he was gay.  They had a big blowup, and didn't speak to him for year.  He moved to Los Angeles, and got a job teaching ESL to new immigrants.

3. The Son of a Gilligan's Island Star.  One of his first boyfriends was David Johnson, son of Russell Johnson, the Professor on Gilligan's Island.

4. The Star of Land of the Lost.  Alan made the rounds of closeted and semi-closeted celebrities, including Wesley Eure,  who played the teenage son on the Saturday morning live-action series Land of the Lost.

5. Porn Star Kip Noll.  He also began going to the bathhouses and bars of pre-AIDS Los Angeles.  One night he met someone who, impressed by his size, introduced him to porn director William Higgins, who cast him in a movie about a boy who wanders around West Hollywood picking up guys.

6. The Football Coach.  Later that year Alan starred in a movie about a football player.  The exteriors were filmed at UCLA.  While doing research, he met and began dating the football coach of a L.A.-area university.  He wouldn't say which one, although I'm quite the name would mean nothing to us.

In all, Alan appeared in five porn movies.

7. The High School Boy.  He got a job teaching English at a Catholic school, and began seeing one of his students -- after class, right in the classroom.

8. A Drag Queen Fairy Godmother.  After a series of crises in the early 1980s, including getting fired from his teaching job, the death of a close friend, and a sexual assault by a vice cop, Alan turned "ex gay," proclaimed that God had "cured" him, and joined Homosexuals Anonymous.  To prove to himself that he was really straight, he went to one of the dive bars in Hollywood and picked up a "woman" -- who turned out to be a drag queen.

In the morning he realized that God loves gay people after all.  He retired from porn, changed his name to Alan, turned blond, grew a beard, and joined the gay-positive Metropolitan Community Church. He became Student Clergy.

9. The Norwegian Con Artist.  Alan and I met in the fall of 1985.  We dated briefly, until he dumped me for a Norwegian con artist (the relationship didn't last long).  Then we became friends, and roommates for about a year.

10. The Bed-Hopping College Boy. In the summer of 1986, Alan returned to his old idea of becoming a missionary, with a gay twist: he moved to Japan to start a gay Pentecostal church, but returned  to West Hollywood at the end of the summer.  When I went to visit him, he picked up a college boy named Minoru, who kept switching between our beds all night.

11. My Celebrity Boyfriend.  In the spring of 1987, I dated the Celebrity, a still-closeted former teen idol.  Alan asked him out immediately after we broke up -- or maybe before -- and they dated twice.

12. The Kept Boy.  Alan found three in a bed distracting, so he didn't do much "sharing."  Our first "sharing" experience was accidental, with a kept boy who we didn't realize was drunk

13. The Parisian Cop.  In the fall of 1989, Alan moved to Paris to...well, start a gay Pentecostal church.  But soon he gave up that idea, and became a permanent Parisian.  When I came to visit, he picked up a Parisian cop.

14. The Father and Son. While in Paris, he  took a trip to Hong Kong, and picked up a father and son -- a biological father and son!

15. The Lapp.  The nice thing about Paris is, everyone in the world eventually gets around to visiting, including a member of the Sami people, the nomads of northern Scandinavia.

16. The Hong Kong Hustler.  Alan loved Hong Kong, and visited as often as he could.  Unfortunately, it didn't have quite the sexual freedom as Paris.  In the summer of 1992, feeling deprived, he hired a hustler, and didn't practice safe sex.

A few months later, Alan discovered that he was HIV positive.  Deeply depressed, he moved in with his sister in Norfolk, Virginia, became "ex gay" again, and cut off all contact with his former "sinful associates."

17. Sandy.  Soon Alan changed his mind -- God loved gay people after all.  He started going to the Norfolk Metropolitan Community Church, where  he met Sandy: middle-aged, African-American, rather feminine, also a recovering Pentecostal.  They eventually moved to Washington, DC, where they stayed together until the end of his life.

18. The Substitute.  I visited them twice in the early 1990s, once in Norfolk and once in DC.  Since becoming HIV positive, Alan insisted on monogamy -- no "sharing," not even with safe sex.  But when I spent the night with them, they brought in a substitute.  Ok, that's my scene, not Alan's.

19. The Colonial Williamsburg Boy.  In New York in 1998, I met Barry, who grew up in Colonial Williamsburg and went to Howard University in DC.  Turns out that he had dated Sandy.  Ok, that's Sandy's.

20. The Male Nurse.  We gradually lost contact in the 2000s, as friends who live across a continent from each other do.  But one day in the 2005, Sandy called to tell me that Alan had died of AIDS-related cancer.  He was in good spirits during his last days, content with his life and certain of his place in heaven.  Almost his last words were "Isn't that male nurse hot?"

Alan LIVED until the end.

The uncensored post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Shaun Cassidy: Not Just David Cassidy's Little Brother

Growing up in the shadow of his brother David, Shaun Cassidy began singing at the age of fourteen, but no one took him seriously until, at eighteen, he landed a role as cleancut teen sleuth Joe Hardy in The Hardy Boys Mysteries (1977-79), alongside Parker Stevenson’s Frank. The plots were simple: sleuthing, a touch of danger, followed by jokes and dazzling smiles, with ample swimsuit and shirtless scenes and the camera lingering lovingly on the teenage bodies. Endless teen magazine pin-up spreads followed.

Joe was frequently thrust into peril, tied up in old barns, menaced by madmen, in need of rescuing and subsequent hugging by his older brother or some other hunk. In a two-parter, wealthy rescuer Jocco Halsey (Kevin Brophy), invites Joe to move in with him.

And Joe rarely expressed any interest in girls. In “Campus Terror” (May 1978), guest star Valerie Bertinelli says “I love you,” and Joe responds dryly: "You've had a long day.”   What gay boy could afford to miss such a revelation?

Unlike many Tiger Beat fave raves, Shaun actually had a brief singing career; between 1977 and 1979, his albums went platinum, and his singles topped the charts. A surprising number of his songs were gender-ambiguous, and "You're Using Me" even alluded to a relationship with a boy.

The cover of the album Room Service (1979) shows Shaun in a hotel room, smiling invitingly at the voyeur who peers through the Venetian blinds. The voyeur's gender is ambiguous (though, if you look very carefully, you can see sharp fingernails). Shaun seems to be openly acknowledging the romantic interest of both male and female teens.


Teen idol careers are brief. Shaun tried reinventing himself as a hard rocker, complete with leather pants bulge, but still, his star faded by 1980, and he moved into writing and production. He’s been married to women three times, but he (like his brothers David, Patrick, and Ryan) remains a gay ally.

See also: Trying to Escape Church

Hooking Up with My Host's Son

Plains, January 2016

Out here on the Plains, there are very few gay guys my age: they all fled to Minneapolis, Chicago, or West Hollywood during the Great Gay Migration of the 1970s, leaving a few shut-ins and down-low closet cases.

Shortly after moving here, I realized that if I wanted to socialize with someone my own age, it would have to be a heterosexual!  

A daunting prospect: in gay neighborhoods, all of your friends and neighbors were gay.  You might have some straight acquaintances, at school or at work, but you kept them at arm's length.  They were the enemy, the oppressors.

But it's the 21st century, I thought.  There must be some heterosexuals around who are not homophobic or annoyingly heterosexist.

I started striking up conversations with heterosexuals at work, at the gym, and at church.  I started going to my friend's vegan potlucks, which were about 50% gay, 50% straight. And last weekend I went to a totally heterosexual party!

It was held by Arthur, an ex-hippie vegetarian in his 50s who often leads services at the Unitarian Church, and his wife Joanne.  They are apparently quite affluent: they have a a formal living room, a separate dining room, a gigantic kitchen, a family room, and a patio that looks out onto the cold wilderness.

Eight heterosexuals and me sat around the gigantic dining room table, eating a potato casserole, cheese tamales, a green salad, and jello squares, then adjourned to the living room for dessert and coffee.

Here's my evaluation of heterosexual parties:

1. Everything is male-female.  Gay parties were exclusively male, with very occasionally a lesbian, but at straight parties, the seating arrangements, the conversations, even the coats are strictly divided into "him" and "her."

2. They are age-segregated.  Gay parties had every age, from young twink to geezer, but straight people invite only their own age group.  Everyone was in their 40s and 50s.

3. They are elderly.  Maybe it's because they they only go to the gym during the first week of January, but most straight men in their 40s and 50s are flabby and sagging or wrinkled and decrepit, with creaking joints and aching backs.

4. They are boring.  Discussions of additions to the house, variations in health insurance, who just got out of the hospital, which kid just got a promotion at work, which stock is doing well, and how good the food tastes.  A lot of how good the food tastes.

5. They end with a whimper.  Gay parties ended with everyone going out to the bars, or else going off in pairs and groups to the bedroom.  Straight parties end with women saying "Can I help you clean up?" and men saying "I have to get up early tomorrow."

During dessert-and-coffee,  the back door opened, and a boy burst in: teenage or early twenties, shorter than me, thick brown hair, handsome square face, thick eyebrows, prominent ears.

He tore off his sweater, revealing an Adventure Time t-shirt. Thick, hard chest, nice biceps.

I wasn't planning to cruise, but it was impossible to not be overwhelmed by the contrast. Hardness, strength, vitality, energy!  In a room full of sagging, tired people.

"How was the exhibit?"Arthur asked.

"Great!  I met a guy who throws pots with Aztec designs."

There were no other explanations or introductions.  The boy tore into the kitchen, grabbed a plate, and piled it high.  He put a knife and fork in his pocket, grabbed a can of soda, and ran out of the room.

"Isn't he joining us?"  I asked.

"Oh, Dustin doesn't want to hang around us old folks."

Maybe not, but I wanted to hang around with him.

I asked about the bathroom, and was pointed to the same direction that Dustin went.  I found him on a couch in a study off the family room, shoveling food into his mouth and watching a music video.

"I love Adventure Time," I said, sitting next to him.  "Do you think Princess Bubblegum and Marcelline were a couple?"

He grinned at me, perhaps astonished that a guy my age knew the show.  "Maybe not canonical, but that's definitely the writers' intent."

Dustin was an undergrad at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, home for winter break. He was mainly interested in animation.  We talked about Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Simpsons, and the 1960s French sci-fi animated movie Fantastic Planet.   I didn't do any obvious cruising, but there was a definite connection.

Then Arthur was standing in the doorway.  "Here you are!  I thought you got lost.  Dustin isn't boring you to death with his animation stories,  is he?"

"Not at all.  I'm a big fan."

He looked at me with an odd smirk.  "Well,  when you're ready to join the grownups, we're playing mad libs."

After he left, Dustin laughed and touched me on the shoulder.  "Hey, bro, if being an adult means playing mad libs, I'll give it a pass."

"Me, too."

He paused.  "I have some gorg cels from the Lord of the Rings, the Ralph Bakshi animated version, up in my room, if you'd like to see them."

The full story, with nude photos,is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Feb 4, 2016

Spring 1989: Alan Cruises a Cop

Paris, Spring 1989

During my terrible semester teaching in Ankara, Turkey, my friend Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star sent me a airplane ticket to visit him in Paris.

Alan was my best friend in West Hollywood, fun but exhausting, rushing headlong from wild scheme to wild scheme, his frenetic energy making him constantly "up."  No quiet nights at home, no nice safe museums or art galleries: lights! colors! music!

Plus he had no sense of tact, decorum, or the consequences of his actions.

But, it was Paris, after all.  And I was anxious to see Alan again after six months.

He had put on a few pounds -- actually about 20, a victim of French sauces and limited gym facilities.  But he still had the same frenetic energy, the same fervor -- and the same unbrindled erotic desire.

On the way into town on the Metro, he kept pointing out cute lycee boys, burly working-class men, languid immigrants, and timid tourists.  "It's like a candy store, isn't it?  So many men, so little time!"

He had a tiny one-room apartment on the fifth floor of a building on rue Chapon, in the heart of Le Marais, about two blocks from the Pompidou Center, walking distance from  Notre Dame and the Louvre.

He didn't mention the gay Pentecostal church, his ostensible reason for moving to Paris: he had a job teaching literature at the American School went to the American Church on the Quai d'Orsay, and had a circle of friends, mostly ex-patriots.  He showed every intention of staying in France permanently.

During the daytime, I was on my own.  I had only been to Paris once before, so I did all the tourist things -- the Louvre, the Luxembourg Gardens, Montmartre, even the Eiffel Tower.

At night we cruised.  Bathhouses, bars with back rooms, video stores with glory holes.  A different one every night.

"I'm in vacation mode," I told Alan one morning at breakfast in a patisserie -- which, as the name implies, offered no choices that weren't 98% sugar.  "So the West Hollywood rule against tricking doesn't apply.  But you've been here six months.  Have you been tricking every night?"

"It's another world," he said, chomping on an eclair.  "Sex isn't something shameful -- it's an ordinary part of life.  Did you know gay sex has been legal here since 1805?  Guys think nothing of going into a bar with a dark room on the way home from work.  Even straight guys, with wives and girlfriends waiting at home."

"Straight guys?  You're kidding!"

"Boomer, straight and gay don't apply here.  I swear to you, 80% of the men in this city are available right now, and the other 20% you have to buy a drink first.  Come on -- point out a guy, anyone you like, and I'll bring him home for you tonight."

Yeah, right -- an ex-porn star would have no trouble picking up someone in a gay-owned patisserie full of gay men in the heart of Le Marais.  But what about a straight guy out on the street?

"Ok -- what about -- him?"  I pointed out the window at a police officer watching us suspiciously, to make sure no one was having sex.

He was undoubtedly cute, a square face, short hair, muscular chest, meaty arms, big bulge.  But in 1989 the police were not our friend.

They were homophobes, out to arrest us for solicitation for saying "hello," lewd conduct for holding hands, sodomy for kissing.  They stood around outside gay bars, hoping to intimidate people from going in.  Even crime victims weren't safe from jeers, name-calling, and assaults.

A vice cop almost arrested Alan in the early 1980s.  No way was he going to risk another arrest!.

Alan paled a little, but gained fortitude from another bite of eclair.  "Not a problem, no problem at all.  I'll just go invite him over after work tonight."

While I stared open mouthed, he walked out the door, walked right up to the cop went over and struck up a conversation.  He pointed me out.  The gendarme smiled and waved at me, and a moment later walked away.

Alan returned.  "Ok, his name is Antoine, he gets off at 6:00, so he'll be at the apartment a little after.  You'll be going down on him by 6:30."

I stared, open-mouthed.

"We won't go out to dinner until afterwards, ok?"

Was he putting me on?

"I have to get to work.  See you tonight."

I went to the gym, the  Lachaise Cemetery to see Oscar Wilde's grave, the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, Luxembourg Gardens (again), and finished up wandering around the Sorbonne, looking at the cute guys and thinking about my upcoming "trick."

Was Alan putting me on?  Or would he bait and switch, picking up a guy who looked sort of like Antoine.

At a little after 6:00, I returned to the apartment.

Alan had pulled the couch out into a bed, and was sitting next to Antoine the Cop!

The uncensored story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Feb 3, 2016

The Chronicles of Narnia

When I was in high school, the neopagans, anarchists, stoners, and dungeons-and-dragons players all read The Lord of the Rings.  The fundamentalists, Young Republicans, cheerleaders, and Junior Achievers all read The Chronicles of Narnia.  

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends, but Tolkien never let his Roman Catholicism intrude into Middle Earth, while Lewis was a conservative Christian apologist whose Chronicles of Narnia (1950-1956) was distinctly theological, even though it was set in a Medieval fantasy world with swords and dragons.

I liked the first four books of the series, which starred the Pevensie children, Peter, Edmund, Susan, Lucy, and eventually their cousin Eustace.  They enter Narnia in various ways to deal with the crisis at hand -- usually an evil woman who has wrested the throne from its rightful male heir -- and  on the way one or the other experiences a personal redemption.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: the White Witch, who has made it "always winter and never Christmas"

Prince Caspian: Caspian's evil uncle.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Caspian (played by Ben Barnes, left, in the movie version) leads a quest for the end of the world.
The Silver Chair: a witch with a subterranean lair, who tries to convince them that there is no world outside.

I didn't like the last three:
 The Horse and His Boy: anti-Muslim prejudice.
The Magician's Nephew: a silly tale of the creation of Narnia
The Last Battle: everybody dies!

Unlike Tolkien, C.S. Lewis was aware that gay people exist.  One of his works (I forget which) discusses the proliferation of "the third sex" as a problem of modern culture, and in another, he states that maybe they don't all, necessarily, choose their "disability."

Maybe for that reason, there is no buddy-bonding or male-male rescueing in Narnia. The adventurers come in boy-girl pairs, which effectively eliminated buddy-bonding. Edmund (played by Skandar Keynes, left, in the movie version) and maybe Eustace  are gay-vague: soft, prissy, non-athletic, beset-upon by allergies and the other problems of modern culture -- but they are redeemed, and become exact replicas of the other boys in the series.

But there is no hetero-romance either.  The children -- and most of the adults -- remain blissfully asexual, lacking romantic or erotic interests of any sort.  Marriages sometimes occur in afterthoughts ("And later he got married"), but in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the four Pevensie children grow into adults, and become co-rulers of Narnia, without ever experiencing or desiring romance.

Those few people who are attracted to someone are evil --in  The Magician's Nephew, evil Uncle Andrew finds the Witch "a dem fine woman."  Or doomed -- in The Last Battle, Susan's interest in dating and romance bars her from Paradise.

The first few of the Chronicles have been filmed twice.  The 1988-89 BBC series starred Richard Dempsey, Jonathan R. Scott, David Thwaites, and Samuel West.  I didn't see it.

The 2005-2010  movie series starred William Moseley (left), Skandar Keynes, Will Poulter, and Ben Barnes.  Executive producer Perry Moore (who died in 2011) was gay, and added some buddy-bonding between Eustace and Caspian.  Not enough to incite audience interest.

See also: Shocking the Nazarenes with C.S. Lewis

100 Things To Do Before High School: New Nickelodeon Teencom with Major Hunkage

Have you watched Nickelodeon lately?

Me, neither.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, it produced high quality, creative teencoms, with interesting premises and witty dialogue.  Things you could actually sit through for reasons other than research.

Now, research or not, I can't bear to sit through The Thundermans and Henry Danger.  The laugh tracks are constant, the characters are stupid, and the situations dull.

Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn is about...well, who knows? I can't stand it for even a few seconds.

But there may be a bright spot on the horizon: 100 Things To Do Before High School, created by Scott Fellows, who produced the gay-friendly Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. 

It sounds like Ned's Declassified, with the same three friends:
1. Central character C. J. (Isabela Moner)
2. Crispo (Owen Joyner), a mega-popular Golden Boy.
3. Fenwick (Jaheem King Tombs), the nerdish feminine black kid.

Except instead of rules for survival, each week they go through one item on a bucket list (their "bucket" is high school, not death).  Some are sound advice (make a new friend, join a club), some are crazy:

1. Start a Garage Band
2. Run with Bears
3. Say "Yes" to Everything for a Day
4. Be a Fairy Godmother
5. Find Your Superpower

In the year since the pilot, they have already grown considerably.  One sees major hunkage on the horizon for 15-year old Owen Joyner.

There is also the usual Nickelodeon attempt to provide tweens with as many hot guys as possible in the supporting cast:
1. The guidance counselor (Jack De Sena of All That).
2. Two big brothers (Max Ehrich, Garrett Clayton).
3. Chazz Nittolo, who is billed as Gorgeous Eighth Grade Boy

We'll see whether it lives up to the glory days of Nickelodeon's gay subtext teencoms.

See also: Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.; Garrett Clayton

Feb 2, 2016

From Muscle Beach to the Cimarron Strip: TV Westerns

By the time I started watching TV in the 1960s, the Western was stale, outdated, staggeringly unhip; my friends and I could stomach only those few that involved a flashy new gimmick, like Wild Wild West or Alias Smith and Jones.  But for the Boomers growing up in the 1950s, they were as iconic as Pinky Lee and Father Knows Best.  

The Western heroes were usually the discovery of gay talent agent Henry Willson, so they were gay, bi, or at least gay-friendly.  They usually wore full leather, buckskin, or other less-than-revealing garb, but they were not averse to revealing stunning physiques for the movie magazines, and even for the AMC’s proto-gay Physique Pictorial.  Guy Madison (who went so far as to pose nude) in The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock (1951-56)

Rugged movie star Hugh O’Brian in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955-61);

Clint Walker of Cheyenne (1955-63).

William Smith of Laredo

Richard Boone of Have Gun, Will Travel (1957-63)
Robert Horton of Wagon Train (1957-65)
Rory Calhoun of The Texan (1958-60)
George Montgomery of Cimarron City (1958-60)
Scott Brady as Shotgun Slade (1959-61)

The Western hero traditionally displayed little heterosexual interest: dames were characteristic of an emasculating civilization, along with government, education, opera, and church.  Instead, they had a  “sidekick,” a life partner of the same sex, usually someone of inferior rank due to race, age, or socioeconomic class, who provided an emotional or spiritual energy.  The sidekick is an essentially American phenomenon, and its homoerotic import has been noted for at least thirty years, since Love and Death in the American Novel.

Most of the sidekicks of the 1950s were elderly, corpulent, or buffoons, perhaps because clowns minimze the homoerotic impact of their devotion.  The fat, hee-hawking Andy Devine, later on Andy's Gang played “Jingles,” Guy Madison’s sidekick in The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock.  

Or they were father and son, as in The Rifleman.

 But we can locate several same-sex partners whose homoerotic bond was not miminized:

Indian agent Tom Jeffords (future Days of Our Lives hunk John Lumpton), who fell in love with...um, I mean befriended...handsome, muscular Chief Cochise (Michael Ansara) in Broken Arrow (1956-57).

 John Bromfield as The Sheriff of Cochise (1956-60) with Stan Jones his faithful deputy.

John Smith and Robert Fuller of Laramie.

Yancy Derringer (1958-59), an ex-Confederate soldier turned gambler played by Jock Mahoney, and X Brands as his Native American companion.

Feb 1, 2016

Summer 2005: Searching for Beefcake at a Slovak Waterpark

One day in Levoča, Doc and some of the other faculty got saddled with the job of chaperoning 20 students on a day trip to Tatralandia, a water park about an hour's drive west of Levoča.and he invited me along.

"Couldn't we take them to a museum instead?"  I asked.  I'm not big on sliding down waterslides."

"It's got more than that. There's a Jungle Cove, a Wild West Town, an Adventure Cave."

"Like Disneyland?  Gross!  I lived in Los Angeles for 13 years, and only visited Disneyland once, and I hated it. Does a Slovak Mickey Mouse come out to shake your hand?"

"Tatralandia has something that I think you won't see in Disneyland," Doc said with a sly grin.  "A thousand Eastern European men in Speedos."

I never thought of that!  I had already gotten a glimpse of Slovakian endowments in Kosice. "Ok, I'm in."

Eastern Europeans love water parks.  There are three in Slovakia, and AquaPark Tatralandia is the biggest, probably the biggest in the world.

You go in through a Wellness Center, like a well-equipped gym with hot and cold spas, 16 steam rooms, massage, exercise equipment.  The ads showed muscular guys getting massages, but inside were mostly middle-aged women.

Next came water slides called The Galaxy, The Fire Slide, the Sun Slide, and the Splash, occupied entirely by children, while their parents, fawning heterosexual couples, lay on deck chairs at the Tropical Paradise.

"Um...hot guys in Speedos?" I asked.

"They are around.  Keep looking."

The little kids were occupied in a castle with a dozen water slides protruding from it, a Safari Adventure, and an Old West Mining Town, where you could mine for "gold" (I did that as a kid, too, at Mother Goose Land in the Quad Cities).

So far I wasn't impressed.  Lots of swimsuits, but little kids and dismally unattractive adults.

We pressed on past water slides called Amazonia and Niagara, a place where you could practice Free Falls, a Monkey Slide, an exhibition of paleolithic artifacts from a nearby museum, and lots of restaurants.

"Um..have you been here before?  Did you know about the lack of beefcake?"

Doc shrugged.  "Last year there were some muscular guys."

Then we turned onto a Sports Pool, where you could play water polo, and an entire university team was splashing around!  Gems of Eastern European manhood everywhere!

The northern part of the park was devoted to non-water sports: archery, shooting, tomahawk throwing, soccer, oversized chess.  And it was crowded with single men in their 20s.

It made sense: people in their 30s and 40s were often parents who had to supervise their kids, and by their 50s and 60s, they were ready for the Wellness Center.  But the guys at the peak of muscularity just wanted to play Sports.

While wearing Speedos.

See also: I escape to the gay haven of Slovakia; and Jozin z Bazin, the Swamp Monster of Moravia

Best Friends

Before you come out, "best friend" is often code for "boyfriend," or someone who would be a boyfriend if only you knew that gay people existed.

After you come out, you realize that a "best friend" is something entirely different.

Not a romantic partner, although you may share boyfriends and hookups.

Not a roommate, although you may live together.

Someone with whom you share a fraternal bond, someone closer than a brother, closer than a lover, who stands beside you as boyfriends and jobs and years pass.

I don't know how best friendships begin.  You meet, and it's like you've known each other forever.  He moves instantly into an empty space in your life that you didn't even know existed.

You may mistake the instant connection for passion, and date for awhile, but after a few weeks or a few months, you realize the truth: your connection is on another level altogether.

I know how best friendships end:

1. They require constant contact.  When one or the other moves out of town, a daily barrage of letters and emails gradually diminishes to once a week, then once a month, then "it's been a long time -- how you doing?"

2. They are exclusive.  They can withstand casual boyfriends, but not a serious relationship.

When one of you moves in with a partner, the other becomes an ordinary friend, one of several who you call every few days, part of the rotation of guys invited over for dinner every few weeks.

Since coming out, I've had six  best friends.

Bloomington: Viju.
Hell-fer-Sartain, Texas: nobody
West Hollywood:  Alan, then Raul
San Francisco: David
New York and Florida: Yuri
Ohio: Chuck
Upstate: nobody

All but Viju and David were ex-boyfriends.  All but Alan and David were younger than me.  All were outgoing, flashy, and uninhibited, drawing me into adventures that I would never consider on my own (I'm always the one in the group who says "I don't think that's a very good idea.").

Sometimes we become so engrossed in the search for passion that we forget the joy of having someone just sitting beside you on the couch.

(Illustrations borrowed from the Hot Guys of Facebook tumblr).

See also: 15 Rules of Gay Cruising.

Jan 31, 2016

Which Incident Happened without Exaggeration?

These stories are all based on real events, but I always take some artistic license, combine two events into one, make up conversations, change details.

Some changes are to protect people's identities. About 3/4ths of the names are made up.

Sometimes I can't remember everything.  If I don't know the exact name of the restaurant I went to in Barcelona 20 years ago, I'll look one up.

Sometimes trying to include all the people and events would be too confusing.

And of course I have to make some changes, to turn an incident into an interesting story.

Can you figure out which story actually happened the way I wrote it, and which was modified?


A, I visit my Indian cousins, and play a game where I get to tie the older one up and....

B. Two older boys teach me about oral sex in the church parking lot?

Answer.  B.  When I visited my cousin, I pulled down his pants, but his brothers intervened and "rescued" him before I got to do anything else.

High School

A. In Switzerland for a Nazarene conference, my friend and I sneak into town, and dance with a Swedish leatherboy at a bar?

B. A week after figuring "it" out, Dino the Golden Boy invites me to a 4th of July party involving naked guys sliding into each other?

Answer: B.  We did go to the bar in Switzerland, but I met the Swedish leatherboy in another bar in London years later,


A. I trick the boss from hell into revealing his Trouser Snake, running out from the bathroom into the store, still....

B. My professor at a small religious college in the Midwest invites his advanced students to a handcuff party?

Answer: B. My boss did come running out of the bathroom, but he wasn't....

West Hollywood

A. A Ginger Boy for Christmas.  Fred and I go to JRs in Rock Island and pick up a Ginger Boy, who ignores me, and a few years later Dick and I go to the same bar and pick up the same Ginger Boy, who gets ignored by Dick?

B. Gershom, the Orthodox Jewish guy who had never been with a Gentile before, and asked to practice on me, so we did it in the kitchen, with our boyfriends waiting out in the living room?

Answer: A. Gershom and I did practice before his big date, but in private.

San Francisco

A. I dated Kevin the Vampire, who had special powers, like you couldn't see him unless you wanted him to?

B. The Amazing Invisible Boy, who came back to my apartment, couldn't explain the brown stain on his shirt, didn't understand contemporary references, and vanished without going through the door?

Answer: B.  Kevin was not nearly as vampire-like as the story suggests.

New York

A. I meet famous composer Andrew Lloyd Webber at a party, and he gives me a ride home in his limo, and we stop for tacos?

B. Visiting Rock Island for the holidays, my 14-year old nephew asks me "how gay guys have sex," and Yuri and I take him to the park and demonstrate gay kissing?

Answer: B.  I talked to Andrew Lloyd Webber, but didn't get a ride home with him.  That was Tom Wopat.


A. Janik the Frisian Bodybuilder, who I met in the Horseman's Club in Amsterdam, invited me back to his small town in Friesland?

B. When I was in Arizona, cruising in the Navajo Nation, I finally met a Native America guy, except he turned out to be white?

Answer: A.  I didn't meet anyone in the Navajo Nation.  The jogger pickup actually happened in Albuquerque.






A,  At a comic book store, I pick up a boy with cerebral palsy who has Daddy issues and wants to rip my clothes off?

B. I go to a heterosexual dinner party, and hook up with my host's college-age son while everyone else is having dessert and coffee in the next room?

Answer: B, of course.  In #A,  I didn't pick up the boy with cerebral palsy at a comic book store, with his father standing right there.  It was at a bar.

The uncensored post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.