Mar 5, 2016

The Teenager at the 40+ Party

When I first moved to the Plains, faced with the absence of gay organizations, gay churches, gay bars, or gay anything within a hundred miles, except for a single gay-friendly coffee house, I started hosting bear parties every two weeks, alternating daytime and evening.

Soon the parties were completely split.  Different guests, different atmosphere, different activities.

Evening Parties:  Cute Young Things and Twinks.  

A surprisingly young crowd, mostly college students and young adults who hadn't fled to a gay neighborhood far away, rarely anyone over 30, never anyone over 40.

Gay, out, open.

Discussions of career plans, being out at work, gay subtexts in the latest movies, and the latest streaming gadget.

Confident, relaxed. They often met someone they liked and arranged dates for later.

Daytime parties: Bears and Daddies.

An older crowd, rarely anyone under 40, never anyone under 30.  White-collar businessmen in suits, blue collar workers, retirees, married to women, sneaking out on their lunch break or while the wife was out shopping.

Bi, downlow, on the sly, requiring "discretion."

Discussions of income tax, health problems, the exploits of their children.

The daytime guys were also painfully unaware of the Gay Rights Movement.  Sometimes I felt like I was teaching a class in Gay Studies 101.  "Yes, it's, it's not a psychiatric disorder...yes, there are books on gay topics...the first gay character on television was in 1977..."

I was tempted to cancel the daytime parties altogether, and stick to the evening, but educating these guys seemed like a public service.  Besides, many of them were hairy, husky, and very big beneath the belt.

One week in March 2015, Joey, age 19, asked to join the guest list for the daytime party.

"It's mostly older guy," I warned him.  "You might feel out of place."

"No, that's great!" Joey replied.  "I love older guys!  My first boyfriend was way old, almost 30."

Um...okay....  "What's your opinion of guys in their 40s, 50s, and 60s?"

"Sure, they're great, too.  I love hot dads."

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

Mar 4, 2016

Justin Bieber: Definitely Gay

Former teen idol and contemporary pop star Justin Bieber is gay.

I wouldn't dare say a bad word about him.  Millions of his fans, nicknamed Beliebers, lash out against anyone who casts any aspersions on the talent, personality, or hotness of their idol, as Patrick Carney, drummer for the band Black Keys, discovered in 2013.

But if they don't think that being Jewish is bad, they won't mind if I say he is Jewish, even if I happen to be mistaken.

So surely they don't think being gay is bad, so they won't mind if I say:


Even if I happen to be mistaken.

Bieber himself certainly wouldn't mind. By all accounts, he's completely nonchalant about sexual orientation.  And religion.

No one can dispute the spectacular rise of the teen idol.  Born in London, Ontario, Canada on March 1, 1994, he began by posting videos on youtube.  This led to his discovery by talent agent Scooter Braun in 2008, and his first album, My World, in 2009.  It went platinum.

Several other albums followed, all top-sellers.  In the last 3 1/2 years, Justin has released several other albums, all top-sellers.  He has won 90 music awards.  He has 45 million Twitter followers.

Of course, anyone who rises to such spectacular fame so quickly is bound to make enemies, and Justin has lots, whole websites devoted to trashing him.  One enemy tried to kill him in a Toronto nightclub last August.

My evidence that he is gay or gay-friendly.

Or maybe just a heterosexual who is not homophobic.

1. Some of his songs are unremittingly heterosexist: "Boyfriend, boyfriend, I could be your boyfriend."

But most are not, suggesting that he recognizes all types of love as valid:

I was a player when I was little, but I'm bigger.
I'm overboard, and I need your love to pull me up.

2. He has a superheroic sexual energy.  Fans and enemies alike enjoy counting the instances where he is aroused on stage.  All the time, apparently.

3. If you google "Justin Bieber Gay," you get 109,000,000 hits.  But if you google "Justin Bieber Homophobic," you only get 479,000.

4. He supports the It Gets Better Project, dedicated to preventing the suicide of LGBT teenagers.

5. He is an evangelical Christian.

6. He said that sexual orientation is "a choice." (Ok, that's homophobic.)

7. He and his girlfriend Selena Gomez partied at gay clubs.

8. He hangs out with gay male friends.

Any questions?

You can see the famous Bieber penis on Tales of West Hollywood.

Matt's First Night with Fred and His Brother

West Hollywood, March 1993

Whenever a new boyfriend is admitted to a social group, he always has to tell his coming out story.  It's a rite of passage.

But in the five years we've known Matt, Fred's boyfriend, he hasn't told his.  "I'm like Topsy," he claims.  "I didn't have no birthin'.  I just growed."

One night in spring of 1993, at a party at Will the Bondage Boy's apartment, he finally gives in:  "Oh, all right!  But you have to tell it, Fred, mon √©talon.  Tell about the chevalier blanc, the white knight who rescued me from the two dragons of Kansas City."

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

Mar 3, 2016

The Lost Bodybuilder Cop of Tulsa, Oklahoma

This was the cover photo of a book on constitutional law.  A sculpture of family of muscular naked people about to be squished by a scary giant hand.

Where did it come from?  I wondered.  Was it part of the Brutopian mind control plan of some post-Orwellian police state?

The back blurb listed the photographer, so I looked up his online portfolio, and found it:

It's the facade of  Nebraska State Administration Building, previously Woodmen Accident and Life, across from the Capitol on K Street in Lincoln.

Well, that's pretty Brutopian.

I wanted to know about muscleman who posed as the "father," and also the little boy on the right.  Did he spend his whole life walking past a naked image of himself at age 10?

According to the building's guide, the sculpture is "The Protecting Hand," by Lawrence Tenney Stevens, erected in 1954.

Lawrence Tenney Stevens (1896-1972) was one of the progenitors of the "Cowboy High Style" movement.    He grew up in Massachusett, lived in Europe, and finally settled in Santa Barbara, California and Cody, Wyoming.  He specialized in "big" sculptures, entrances to buildings and so on. Some naked women, but muscular men, too.

Like The Contralto, on the Esplanade in Dallas.

There's also a modern dance award in his name.

He was quite a cowboy.

Now, who were the models for the Grabbing Hand sculpture?

A Smithsonian Catalog revealed more: The subjects were Doug Henson, Mrs. Stevens, and Sylvia, Sara, Marc, and Chad Stevens, his own wife and kids.

The boy, Marc Stevens, (b. 1949), now lives in Passaic, New Jersey.

The baby, Chad Stevens (b. 1954), now lives in Montrose, Colorado.

I couldn't find out much about them.

According to the Gay Art website, Doug Henson, the model for the father, was a Tulsa "motorcycle policeman"  and a 1952 Mr. America.

Unfortunately, the 1952 Mr. America was Jim Park (left),  No one named Doug Henson, Doug Hanson, or Doug Hansen competed.

I checked the pro bodybuilder and pro wrestler databases.  Nothing.

A check of the Lincoln obituaries revealed  a Douglas Andrew Henson, born in 1924 and died on May 24, 2014.  He was named "Mr. Oklahoma" in 1949, just before he joined the Tulsa Police Department.

However, I can find no more on the "Mr. Oklahoma" award.  It may have been an amateur title, not based on an actual bodybuilding competition.

I guess there aren't any pics of Doug Henson in a posing strap lying around.

But here's a picture of a modern bodybuilder.

Mar 2, 2016

March 2016: Hooking Up on the Basis of a Beneath-the-Belt Photo

Last week I was sick with the stomach flu, and spent 3 days in my apartment, binge watching Fargo and eating toast.  On the 4th day I was well enough to go back to the gym, lift weights, and have lunch in a restaurant.  On the 5th day I was anxious to get out and jog and see the world again, but I woke up to 3 inches of snow on the ground.  On March 1st.

I couldn't run in this!  I couldn't even go out!  My hiking shoes were in the office.  I'd be sliding all over.

Another day in the apartment.  The wall were starting to close in.

Who can get bored, with a computer?  You can walk the streets of Budapest on Google Maps, take a virtual tour of the Guggenheim, see all the ancient cuneiform tablets ever dug up, translate Armenian into Dutch, watch youtube videos about the World's Worst Cartoons, research your great-grandmother's family tree, read old comics from 1896 New York World, and download as many pictures of naked guys as your hard drive can hold.

Well, I was getting heartily bored.

Time for a boredom-hookup.

I went onto a KIK group that my ex-student Eli told me about.  Very basic profile, a name and an icon, typically your penis.  No face, no height and weight, no profile describing your personality and listing your favorite music groups.  Of course, you can ask all that during chat, but what if you didn't?

Could you choose a favorable hookup just on the basis of his penis?

The rest of the post, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Mar 1, 2016

14 Shirtless Stanleys of "A Streetcar Named Desire"

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams (1947), is probably the most-beloved American play of all time.  It's staged incessantly in big cities and small towns; it's been filmed six times, it's been made into a ballet and an opera.

This seems odd, because it deals with topics likely to make censors nervous: sexual promiscuity, domestic violence, and rape.

Not to mention its strong gay connection.

1. Faded Southern belle Blanche is reduced to living in her sister Stella's two-room apartment in New Orleans after losing the family estate. She is traumatized by the long-ago death of her husband Alan, a "poetic" (that is, gay) boy who probably didn't realize that he was gay until she confronted him.  He went out and committed suicide, one of Tennessee Williams' stable of dead gay guys.

2. Stanley, Stella's brutish, violent husband, has a coterie of male friends who like him...a lot.  Notable is Mitch, who is mother-obsessed and not particularly interested in women (two signifiers of gay identity in the 1950s).  He courts Blanche, but badly, not at all sure what he is doing, and then dumps her when he discovers that she has a history.

After Mitch dumps Blanche, Stanley sexually assaults her, leading to her descent into insanity and famous last line: "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

3. Stanley takes his shirt off -- a lot -- most notably when he is flirting with Blanche, and when Stella flees to the upstairs apartment after an abuse incident, and he yells up at her: "Stella!"

I don't know if Williams wanted to emphasize his raw savagery, or if he just liked seeing muscular guys with their shirts off, but Stanleys from Brando on down, whether on Broadway, community theaters, or college drama departments, have always displayed muscular physiques.  Here are two dozen shirtless Stanleys:

1. (Top Photo) William L. Peterson, star of soap operas and CSI, at the Stratford Festival in Canada, 1984.

2. (Second Photo) Joe Manganiello, star of True Blood, is currently playing Stanley on Broadway.

3. New York actor Miebaka Yohannes (left) at the Boal Barn Playhouse in State College, Pennsylvania, 2010.

4. Marlon Brando (left), the original Stanley on Broadway and in the 1951 movie version.

5. Alex Baldwin, who starred in the 1992 Broadway revival and in the 1995 tv movie version.

6. Stephon O'Neal Pettway in an all-black version of Streetcar at Pace University in 2009.

More after the break

Feb 29, 2016

Getting Spanked at the Oscars

I had a friend in West Hollywood, Larry, who had a very nice house in the heart of Old Hollywood, walking distance to Mann's Chinese Theater, and every year he held an Oscar party for 20 or 30 gay men.

We had to mark little ballots about who we thought would win Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Costume, and so on, and the one who got the most categories right won a prize-- a nude photo of Yul Brynner (bisexual star of The King and I), an anatomically correct Oscar statue, or a camp music album like The Odd Couple Sings.

If you got too many categories wrong, you got a spanking, bare butt, one slap on one cheek, by each of the other guests in turn.

The problem is, except for blockbuster science fiction, I saw only movies with gay characters, a promise of gay subtexts, or significant beefcake, so my knowledge was limited.  Check the best picture nominees that I had actually seen at the time of the Oscars.  And my spankings.

Larry's House
1988: None of the nominees. Winner: The Last Emperor. Spanking

1989: I was in Turkey.

1990: None of the nominees. Winner: Driving Miss Daisy. 

1991: Ghost (which I thought would be paranormal) and Goodfellas. Winner: Dances with Wolves. 

1992: Bugsy and JFK. Winner: Silence of the Lambs.

1993: Howard's End and The Crying Game. Winner: Unforgiven.

1994: The Fugitive.  Winner: Schindler's List. Spanking

1995: I didn't go.

1996: None. Winner: Braveheart. Spanking.

1997: Fargo.  Winner: The English Patient. Spanking

1998 and 1999: I was in New York.

2000: Larry didn't do it, but another guy hosted. None  Winner: Shakespeare in Love. 

2001-2004 I didn't go.

2005: Finding Neverland. Winner: Million Dollar Baby.

4 spankings in 11 Oscar parties!

It wasn't all bad.  Some of the guys turned the spanking into a grope, and by the end of the evening I usually had a few telephone numbers.

But still, either I have to start watching more heterosexual dramas, or Hollywood has to start nominating more movies with gay content.

Feb 28, 2016

Petey's Boyfriend in "Cul de Sac"

It seems that comic strips I hate, like Blondie, go on and on and on, generation after generation of gags about napping on the couch and burnt potroasts.  But comic strips I like are short lived.

Cul de Sac had a syndication run of five years, from September 2007 to September 2012.

Ok, it's not cartoonist Richard Thompson's fault.  He discovered that he had Parkinson's Disease, and it's hard to draw with your hands shaking.  But still...

Cul de Sac is set in a fascinating, jarring universe, a suburban wasteland on the outskirts of Washington, DC.  The star is ostensibly 4-year old Alice Otterlooper, a preschooler who combines adult-level world-weariness and childish innocence.

But I think the real star is her older brother Petey, a neurotic outsider who is frightened by everybody and everything.  Her older brother Petey is a classic neurotic.  He is the world's pickiest eater.  He goes trick-or-treating in a costume consisting of a sign reading "Boo!" attached to his chest.  He is a devotee of Little Neuro comics, with a hero who does nothing.

Peter is unique, yet the type of all kids who grow up isolated, alone, hiding their desires and interests to survive.

Like every gay kid in a heteronormative society.

Petey has mild heterosexual interests.  A gigantic girl named Viola D'More (a play on d'amore) befriends and bedevils him.

Plus an admirer, Ernesto, who wears a business suit and belongs to the "Future Adult Guild."  Petey can't understand Ernesto's interest, and suspects that he is imaginary.

Later in the strip's run, Viola fades away, and Petey makes a "best friend," Andre Chang, at cartoon camp.  Andre is as gigantic as Viola -- apparently Petey likes them big.

The two become inseparable, in spite of Ernesto's jealousy, leading one to imagine that Andre is Petey's first real boyfriend.

Unfortunately, the strip ends shortly after the relationship begins.

It's easy to compare Cul de Sac with Peanuts, other children with adult voices, but while the Peanuts kids experience angst, cruelty, and pain, there is no pain in Petey's world, unless you count Mom forcing you to substitute a store brand for your favorite cereal.  There is no bullying, no cruelty.  No one even comments on Pete's favorite pizza: no red sauce, and cheese on the side.

It's a world I want to live in.

Fall 1993: Matt and the Bartender Frighten the Horses

San Bernardino, Fall 1993

"Ok, mes amis," Matt says, "I'm going to tell you about the time j'effrayé les chevaux."

Lane and I have driven 70 miles to San Bernardino  to spend the weekend with my first boyfriend, Fred, and his partner, the 27-year old Cute Young Thing Matt.  Their friend Jerome, a Daddy months away from becoming a Geezer, has joined us for dinner, and now we're swapping stories of dates from hell, supersized penises, and fantasy hookups.

I told about how Alan and I hooked up with the kept boy, Jerome told about how he almost had sex with his own father.  Now it's Matt's turn.

"You frightened the horses?" I translate.

He nods  "When Mrs. Campbell heard that gay people exist, she said 'I don't care, as long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses.'  Well, mes amis, right in the bar, right before the very eyes of the scandalized patrons, the bartender and moi...well, you'll see what we did."

The rest of the story, with nude photos and sexual situations,is on Tales of West Hollywood.