Jul 2, 2016

My 10 Best, 10 Worst, and 10 Most Erotic Summers

I hate the summertime.  It's hot, boring, isolated, and depressing, with the sun staying up until an ungodly late hour and people always trying to force you to play outside.  7 weeks left (groan!).

So I thought it would be fun to compile my 10 Best, Worst, and Most Erotic Summers (since moving to West Hollywood in 1985).

Summer will count as the months between the end of spring semester and the beginning of fall, except for the years when I wasn't in school or teaching (then it's June, July, and August).

The 10 Best

1. 1988:  No travel except for a week back in Rock Island, where I hook up with my old grade school teacher.  In West Hollywood, a busy round of parties, barbecues, concerts, book signings, trips to museums, being double-teamed by always-effervescent Fred and Alan.

2. 1990: Looking for penises in Poland and moving in with Lane -- my first live-in boyfriend (not counting 3 weeks with Fred in college).

3. 1991: My first Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam circuit, plus moving to Nashville to start a great new career (ok, a great new semester).

4. 1992: Back to Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam, plus a new job working with juvenile delinquents.  Three summers in a row!  I must have been doing something right.  

5. 1999: Anytime you spend a summer in Paris, it's the best summer of your life.  

6. 2000: Back to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam, plus South Africa.  And, back home, Liam gave me a present for his 18th birthday.

7, 2007: My visit to Yuri and his boyfriend Michael in London, plus meeting the French Moroccan on my Sausage List.

8. 2009: Yuri visits me, and we go back to Manhattan.  Plus I'm picked up by a boy and his dog while jogging, and I start dating Troy, my boyfriend for the next five years.

9. 2014: Busiest summer in years.  Visits from Yuri and Eli (from Amsterdam), visits to Indianapolis and San Francisco, and a Pow Wow Hookup.

10. 2015: Another amazing summer.  Visiting Yuri in London, a bath house adventure in Paris, plus the Indianapolis-Cleveland-New York jaunt.

6 of my top 10 summers involved visiting Paris and 5 involved visiting or getting visited by Yuri.  I know what I'm going to do in August.

The 10 Worst

1986: It sounds good on paper, with trips to Australia and Japan, a lot of hookups, and meeting a celebrity at Mugi, but actually it was uncomfortable being a houseguest in a foreign country for an extended period.

1989: I am just starting to date Lane, which is nice, but this is the summer when I give up my doctoral plans with all but the dissertation finished, and go to work for the horrible Getty Consternation Institute.

1996: We are living in San Francisco.  Lane decides to move back to L.A., leaving me scrounging to find a new place with very little money.

1997: I fly crosscountry to New York, leaving my friends, most of my stuff, and San Francisco behind, to move into graduate student housing at a dreary college on Long Island, with three straight roommates and the nearest gay neighborhood two hours away.

2002: I start dating Wade the Beachboy, but back in Indianapolis, Dad asks me about "pretty girls."  Plus I go to a terrible conference in Brisbane, Australia.

2005: I've just left all of my friends in Florida behind to teach at-risk teenagers in Slovakia.  I get to visit Germany, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic, but still -- it's Slovakia.

2008: My move to Upstate New York, five hours from the nearest gay neighborhood.  My exile into the Straight World begins.

2011: Dull, dull, dull!  Monotony broken only by a Cleveland-Indianapolis jaunt.

2012: More of the same, plus I leave Troy Upstate for my terrible year in Philadelphia begins.

2013: More of the same, plus I move cross country to the Plains.  At least I get to spend a week in San Francisco visiting David.

7 of my 10 worst years involve ending -- giving up on grad school, moving to a new city, breaking up with boyfriends.  Almost everything bad that has ever happened in my life has happened in June, July, or August.

The 10 Most Erotic

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

Jul 1, 2016

Endymion: The Eternal Sleeper

When I was in grad school in English, we had to read the poem "Endymion" by John Keats (1818).  Four thousand dreary lines about the ancient Greek shepherd Endymion, who is in love with Diana, the goddess of the moon, but also with an Indian maiden, but it turns out that they're both the same person, because all women are really one woman, the Eternal Feminine who is the goal of "all" men's lives.

As Snoopy would say, "Bleah!"

At least the first lines are praising male beauty:
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.

In the original Greek myths, it was Selena, Goddess of the Moon, not Diana (who didn't care for men), who fell in love with Endymion and asked Zeus to make him immortal, so his beauty would last forever.  Zeus consented, but -- psych! -- he also put Endymion into an eternal sleep, so Selena couldn't act on her desires.

But she found a way to make it with Endymion while he was asleep.  Eventually they had 50 children.

Another myth says that it was Hypnos, the God of Sleep, who fell in love with the sleeping Endymion and decided to keep him that way.

Endymion is a favorite of artists interested in depicting muscular men who aren't being killed or trying to kill someone.  Usually Selena or Diana is hanging around, but it's pretty obvious that she's not getting anywhere with him, as in this painting by Francesco Trevisani (1656-1746).

Or this one by George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), where Selena looks more like the crescent moon than a real woman.

Other artists just skip the moon goddess altogether, as in the Endymions of Nicolas Guy Brenet (1728-1792), and Anne-Louis Girodet (1767-1824) .  Girodet was male, by the way.

This Endymion by Girolamo Troppa (1637-1733) has him sleeping sitting up.

There are lots of sculptures, too.  Endymion was a mainstay on ancient sarcophagi, since he represented the "eternal sleep" of death.

This supine statue is by Antonio Corradini (1668-1752).

You may have noticed that Endymion was a favorite of the Baroque Era.  He doesn't show up much in the 19th and 20th century,, although this naturalistic (and very well hung) sleeper by contemporary American painter Kendric Tonn is called "Nocturne in Blue (Endymion)."

Willie Wonka and the Torture Factory

Name a movie that about a lavender-coated, gay-vague monster who lures five children into his lair with the promise of candy, then tortures and terrorizes them, killing three, before inviting the one he deems "good" to become his apprentice.

No, it's not Nightmare on Elm Street.  But you were close.

It's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a early entry in the torture-porn genre that parents inflicted on Boomer kids in the summer of 1971, causing not a few of them to be traumatized for life.  I still can't hear the song "Candy Man" without cringing.

The plot: Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder), the ultimate capitalist, produces candy for the town.  He offers a free tour of his factory to five kids who win a "golden ticket." Once they arrive, he terrorizes them.

He pretends to be disabled, and once they become adequately solicitious, does a somersault: "See, you were all sympathetic for nothing!  I'm really not disabled!"

What a nasty thing to do!

Even a boat trip down a chocolate river provides an excuse for Willie to toy with their emotions.  He starts shrieking:

Not a speck of light is showing, so the danger must be growing
Are the fires of Hell a-glowing? Is the grisly reaper mowing?

Oh, please -- they're just going to another part of the factory!

But then, he is always extremely volatile, level-head one moment, screaming the next.

Willy arranges for the children to be killed or transformed into something monstrous in retribution for some minor fault, like Billy Mumy's godlike demon in "It's a Good Life."

1. The tv-obsessed Mike Teevee (Paris Themmen) is shrunk to the size of a tv image.
2. The bratty Veruca Salt (Julie Dawn Cole) falls down a garbage chute  into the furnace, where she is burned to death.
3.  The gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde (Denise Nickerson) is transformed into a giant blueberry, whereupon she explodes.
4. The gluttonous Augustus Gloop (Michael Bollner) drowns in a river of chocolate.

 After they are murdered, Willy's slaves, the Oompa-Loompas, sing moralizing songs: if you refrain from chewing gum, over eating, being bratty, and watching tv, you'll "go far," like survive to the end of the torture factory tour.

Charlie (Peter Ostrum) is one of the irrepressibly good, blond waifs who populate adult fantasies about childhood innocence (others include Mark Lester, Jeremy Sumpter, Macaulay Culkin, and Ricky Schroeder).  He has an extremely creepy home life, living with four grandparents who are all bedridden -- and share the same bed.  Gross!

Charlie's fault is larceny -- he and one of his grandfathers sneak into a secret lab and steal an experimental soft drink.  But Willy just yells at Charlie instead of torturing him -- maybe he has a thing for blonds -- and the end offers to make him his apprentice torturer.

I guess even Freddy Krueger needed an assistant.

This was supposed to be fun?  No wonder most of the child stars never acted on film again.
Peter Ostrum is now a veterinarian in New York.
Michael Bollner is a tax accountant in his native Germany.
Julie Dawn Cole limits herself to television.
Paris Themmen works in live theater and film. production.
Even Peter Stewart, who played one of Charlie's friends in town, never acted again.

Would you?

My Third Grade Boyfriend

Rock Island, July 1968

When I was 7 1/2 years old, we moved from a nice house in Wisconsin, a block from the beach, to a gross house in Ill-An-Noise, in back of the grade school. Yuck!

This new world was stupid and boring, but I was determined to make the best of it.  The first thing I needed was a boyfriend.  Somebody to show me around, introduce me to other kids, point out the places to get necessities (like cookies and comic books), and the places to avoid (with mean dogs, mean boys, crazy ladies, and escaped killers).

He should be a boy, of course, around my age, and preferably both nice and cute.

In August, when school started, there would be a whole roomful of boys choose from, but that was over a month away, an eternity for a 7 1/2 year old!  I needed somebody now!

Fortunately, 1968 was the heart of the Baby Boom, the biggest generation in history, and there were  kids in nearly every house in every direction.  It didn't take long to compile a list of prospects who lived within a couple of blocks:

The Little Kid, the Cereal Boy, the Football Player, the Parakeet Boy, the Old Guy, The Sick Kid, the Angel, the Rock Star, and the Indian..

The full post is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Jun 30, 2016

Jimmy McNichol and the Gay Coach

Many gay teenagers in the late 1970s and early 1980s were more familiar with Jimmy McNichol's body than the bodies of their real-life friends.  They saw it more often, tanned and pleasantly muscular, splashed over dozens of pin-ups and photo spreads in teen magazines, and during his dozens of tv and movie appearances.

Born in 1961, Jimmy began acting as a child along with his sister Kristy.  But he didn't hit teen idol mania until the Eight is Enough clone The Fitzpatricks (1977-78).  It only lasted for 13 episodes, but teen magazines were ecstatic about his taciturn Irish Catholic teenager and his buddy bonds with Clark Brandon.  They got even more ecstatic over California Fever (1979), which lasted for only 10 episodes, but showed Jimmy and costar Lorenzo Lamas in swimsuits.

Jimmy may have had bad luck on tv series, but he gave well-received performances in Champions: A Love Story (1979), in which he falls in love with a girl and figure-skates in a revealing leotard, and in Blinded by the Light (1980), in which he is brainwashed by an evil cult and rescued by his sister.

In Night Warning (1982), he plays a shy, sensitive heterosexual teenager who is subjected to homophobic harassment by the evil sheriff  (in addition to being nearly smothered to death by his crazy aunt). And there is a positive portrayal of a gay person, the high school gym coach who is trying to help (and gets killed by the crazy aunt).

Then there was Escape from El Diablo (1983), also released as California Cowboys, which gave Jimmy a buddy-bond with Vincent Van Patten and a truckload of hot male friends, including John Wayne's son Ethan, trying to break him out of a Mexican prison. An added attraction for gay fans: Patricia Quinn, Magenta of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, has a small role as Rosa.

Jimmy's teen idol star faded by the mid-1980s, in spite of his friendships with Hollywood hunks like Michael Damian and Byron Cherry.  I haven't been able to discover much about what he's doing today, except that he lives in Colorado and is involved with environmental activism.

See also: Peter MacNicol

A Search for a Roommate Leads to Three Hookups and Two Dates

Germantown, Pennsylvania, September 2012

When I got a temporary one-year position at a small college in a distant suburb of Philadelphia, I was ecstatic.  Finally I could move back to a gay neighborhood.

It didn't take long to realize that the commute was going to be a problem: a five block walk to the metro station, wait for the train, take it to the downtown station, wait again, transfer to a new train, sit for 45 minutes, walk to campus, an hour and a half each way 4 days per week.

Maybe I could relieve some of the pressure by finding someone in town to stay with now.

Unfortunately, there weren't a lot of gay men on the small, conservative campus at least not many open enough to find and amiable enough to make friends with.

I ended up with three hookups, two dates, and no roommate.

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

Lorenzo Lamas: from Gay-Vague Prettyboy to Straight Kickboxer

The son of Hollywood royalty, Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl, Lorenzo Lamas had a delicate, prettyboy face, big hair, a slim, hairy chest, and a penchant for semi-nudity that made him perfect for gay-vague roles.

 Gay teens first noticed him in Take Down (1979), as a high school wrestler who finds inspiration in his unconventional English teacher (Edward Herrman).

And in  the short-lived California Fever (1979), hanging out on the beach with Jimmy McNichol and Marc McClure.

And in a photo spread in the gay-vague magazine After Dark (1979).

They were expecting a lot from the gay-coded young hunk.  But it didn't happen.

Instead he got married -- twice by 1983, four times altogether.

And he landed the nighttime soap opera Falcon Crest (1981-1990), as Lance Cumson, the lazy playboy grandson of matriarch Angela Channing (Jane Wyman).  His character was married four times during the course of 227 episodes.

Meanwhile Lorenzo started bulking up, to take advantage of the 1980s fad for man-mountains, and he branched out into martial-arts actioners.  Except instead of saving a buddy, he distancesdhimself from his earlier gay-vague roles by saving girls: his sister in Snake Eater (1989), his girlfriend in Night of the Warrior (1991), a female archaeologist in The Swordsman (1992).

There were a few minor buddy-bonding roles, such as the kickboxing movie Final Impact (1992), but nothing like the promise of the 1980s.  At least he took off his shirt a lot.

During the 1990s and 2000s, Lamas could be seen mostly in low-budget actioners.  He also starred in the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful (2004-2007) and parodied himself in the tv series Leave it to Lamas (2009) and Love Sex God (2012).

Not a lot of gay content in his work, but he has performed in The King and I and A Chorus Line at the Ogunquit Playhouse in the gay resort town.

Jun 29, 2016

Bodybuilding, Weightlifting, or Powerlifting?

Although many people use the terms interchangeably, bodybuilding and weight lifting are quite different sports.

Bodybuilding is about the definition, symmetry, and proportion of the muscle groups.  Weights are used only for training.  Competition involves measurement and display.

Weightlifting is about getting as much weight into the air as possible.  It requires exceptional body strength but not necessarily definition or symmetry -- you can even have a belly.    Sajad Gharabi, the "Incredible Hulk" of Iran, has quite a bit of body fat.

Weightlifting predates bodybuilding by centuries.  "Strong men" once performed in circuses and carnivals, and had vaudeville routines.

Strong Man Contests are still popular.  Competitors lift everyday objects like rocks and tires.

And giant balls.

As an Olympic sport, weightlifting has two segments:

1. The snatch: lifting the barbell over your head in one continuous motion.

2. The clean and jerk: lifting the barbell to your shoulders, and then over your head.

The world record for the snatch goes to Behdad Salimi (471 pounds), and for the clean and jerk, Aleksey Lovchev (582 pounds).

Powerlifting is an amateur weightlifting sport involving 3 segments:

1. The squat: bend your knees with the barbell on your shoulders.

2. The bench press: push the barbell up from a supine position.

3. The deadlift: lift the barbell from the ground to hip level and back.

The world record for a raw squat (without wraps) goes to Eric Lilliebridge (960 pounds), and raw deadlift goes to Benedict Magnusson (1014 pounds).

Since there is less risk of injury than in Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting is popular in high schools and colleges.

Many gay men prefer bodybuilding, since there's more definition and more body on display -- weightlifters typically don't even take their shirts off -- and you're supposed to be appreciating the aesthetic beauty of the human form.

But there's a beauty about raw strength, too.  Weightlifting has its moments.

The Gay Villages of Sonia and Tim Gidal

When I was little, my search for a "good place" often led me to the My Village books.  Tim Gidal (1909-1996) was a a pioneer in the field of photojournalism and a respected academic at the New School for Social Research.  In the interest of fostering international understanding, he and his wife Sonia published My Village in India (1956), a photo-story about the everyday life of a real ten-year old boy in a rural village.

It became so popular that they started scouting out villages in other countries, eventually traveling to 23:

1956: Austria
1957: Yugoslavia, Ireland
1958: Norway
1959: Israel, Lapps (Norway)
1960: Bedouins (Jordan), Greece
1961: Switzerland
1962: Spain, Italy
1963: Denmark, England
1964: Germany, Morocco
1965: France
1966: Finland, Japan
1968: Korea, Brazil
1969: Ghana
1970: Thailand
They only stopped when the couple divorced.

Each story was written in present tense and covered a few days in the life of a 10-12 year old boy: shepherding in Yugoslavia, fishing in Norway, tending to a vineyard in France.  He also went to school, played with his friends, talked to other villagers, went to a festival or took a field trip to a big city, and sometimes solved a minor mystery.  On the way you learned something about the history, language, and culture of the country (probably for the first time).

No gay people or same-sex romances were ever mentioned.  So why did these books offer a glimpse of a "good place"?

1. The boys were all exceptionally cute, from my preteen vantage point, and in warm climates they often stripped down to swim or fish or frolic.  Even in cold climates: the Norwegian boy stripped down for bed, and the Finnish boy was photographed completely nude in a sauna.

2. Their fathers, older brothers, and neighbors all lived off the land: they were farmers, shepherds, fishermen, loggers.  That meant endless photographs of muscular adult men.

3. American media of the 1960s was full of preteen boys "discovering" girls.  But the Village boys never expressed the slightest interest in girls.  Indeed, they didn't seem to know any, other than their sisters.

4. However, they often came in pairs that were extremely expressive by American standards: always hugging, wrapping their arms around each other, lying side by side, even kissing each other on the cheek.  To my preteen mind, it was obvious that they were boyfriends.

See also: Looking for Love in the Encyclopedia; Tracking Down the Gay Boy of Mykonos

Jun 28, 2016

The Mysterious Disappearance of Richard Colvin Cox

Richard Colvin Cox from Mansfield, Ohio, was conforming to the expectations of Cold War culture, to the letter.  In high school he was an accomplished athlete and well-liked by both adults and other teens.  After graduation he was stationed in Germany for two years, and then was admitted to the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he planned to graduate as a commissioned officer.

He spent Christmas 1949 back home in Mansfield, visiting his parents and hometown girlfriend.  He returned just after the New Year, ready to begin classes again.

On January 7th, a gruff, demanding man called the barracks and asked to speak with "Dick Cox."  Peter Hains, the cadet who answered the phone remembered him as gruff and impolite: "He'll know who I am.  We knew each other in Germany."  Hains was "fairly certain" that he gave his name as George.

That evening "George" stopped by, and he and Richard left together.  Instead of going to the Hotel Thayer, the only place cadets could bring visitors, they sat in "George's" car and drank whiskey.

Richard returned to the barracks drunk, and fell asleep.  When he heard the final bugle call, he jumped up and ran out into the hallway, screaming something incoherent.  Some of the cadets heard "Allus kaput!" (It's all over) in German, and others, "Is Alice down there?"

During the next few days, Richard met with "George" several more times.  He told his bunkmates that he was disagreeable, a "morbid guy" who liked to castrate the German soldiers he killed.  But he didn't seem afraid of "George," just annoyed.

On January 14th, Richard announced some distaste that he was going to have dinner with "that guy" again.  He left his room at 6:00 pm, and was never seen again.

Over the next weeks, the local police, the army, and the FBI mounted one of the largest manhunts in history.

What they discovered was perplexing:

Richard -- or his body -- was nowhere on the base.

He couldn't have driven off the base.  He would have had to sign out.

He couldn't have walked off, since his footprints would be found in the newfallen snow.

That means he had to have left in someone's truck, willingly or not.

He probably wasn't intending to go anywhere, since he left a large sum of money back in his room.

UNLESS he wanted to implicate this "George" as his murderer, the better to disappear off the face of the Earth.

Painstaking research never revealed the identity of "George."  No one like him served in Germany with Richard.  Maybe it was all a carefully planned con to allow Richard to disappear.

What would cause a well-liked, successful cadet to want to vanish during his second year at West Point?

Hundreds of calls came in over the next decade, stating that Richard had been sighted in various distant locales.  They all turned out to be false leads.  In spite of the concerted effort of the U.S. Military and the FBI, the mystery was never solved.

In Oblivion: The Mystery of West Point Cadet Richard Cox, Harry J. Maihafer uncovers a reason.  He was gay. In 1950, being discovered would cause him to get booted from the military, arrested, disowned by his family, and probably placed in an insane asylum, where he would be subject to castration and electroshock therapy.  Better to just vanish, leaving behind a mysterious story and the suggestion that he had been murdered

The "Late for Class Dream"

I have a recurring dream where I'm late for class, but I can't find the classroom.  I run across an unfamiliar campus, try to find a recognizable landmark, rush down the corridors of random buildings, becoming more and more anxious.

I was just there yesterday!  Why does everything look so strange?  I've never seen that coffee kiosk before -- maybe I took a wrong turn, and I'm in the Science Building?  Maybe if I go through this door -- no, it's an art studio....

The clock is ticking.  Class should have started by now. I'm late!

Sometimes I rushed out of the house without getting dressed, so I'm running across the campus naked.

Or I have to push my way through absurdly crowded hallways as the clock ticks and I start to panic.

Or it's the near end of the semester.  Suddenly I realize that I've forgotten to go to the class for the last month!  I run out of my office and down the hallway, but I can't find my way...

 Whatever these "late for class" dreams may signify, they're annoying.  Afterwards I have a vague sense of anxiety that lasts through the day.

When I told my friend Gabe about the dreams, he suggested "lucid dreaming," a technique that allows you to orchestrate what goes on in your dreams by rehearsing them in advance.

Before going to sleep, you visualize the dream as you recall it, but make whatever changes you want.  Imagine that the hallways are familiar, for instance, or that you're going somewhere pleasant.

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

Jun 27, 2016

Why I Read "Pearls before Swine," Homophobia and All

As social media makes everyone's life a fishbowl, an ongoing issue becomes: should I read this book or comic strip or see this movie after the author or director has made a homophobic comment?

There are really 3 questions:
1. Should my money go to help support someone who is homophobic?
2. Will other people think I'm homophobic, too?
3. Will the product contain homophobic scenes, situations, or comments?

I don't care about #1 and #2. After all, there are dozens or hundreds of people involved with every movie, tv show, and novel.   Some are homophobic, some are not.  My money is going to support all of them.

But I draw the line when they let homophobic scenes, situations, or comments leak into their products.

So why do I read  Pearls Before Swine (2001-)?

It's an acerbic newspaper comic drawn by Stephan Pastis (top photo), who grew up in the Bay Area in the 1970s, went to UCLA, and worked as a lawyer in San Francisco before breaking into cartooning.

Not the background you'd expect in someone who is homophobic.

The characters are crudely drawn stick figures:
1. The misanthropic Rat
2. The goodnatured Pig
3. The pompous Goat

4. Larry the Crocodile
5. Zebra, who is surrounded by predators ineptly trying to eat him.

There are frequent gay subtexts in the relationship between Rat and Pig, who live together and behave like romantic partners.

And between Zebra and his predators.  Their lame attempts to eat him can easily be read as attempts at seduction.

But universal heterosexual desire and behavior is assumed throughout.  "How about a man hug?" the lion asks, suggesting a hug between two heterosexual men with nothing homoerotic involved.

Rat claims that is impossible for men and women to be platonic friends, since the man will always want to have sex with the woman.  Pastis later explained that he wanted to specify "straight men," but the syndicate nixed it, because "kids read the strip" and might ask their parents what "straight" meant,.

Traditional gender roles are promoted throughout.  When Zebra is found with a People magazine, his lion friend tells him that the female lions (who do the hunting) will think he's "weak, effeminate.  An easy mark."

Wait -- aren't those female lions strong and powerful?

When Pastis wants to identify a character as gay, he throws in antiquated stereotypes about fashion and show tunes.  Once he congratulated himself over including an up-to-date reference to the movie Brokeback Mountain (but he was careful to specify that he would absolutely never, ever, ever see it himself) 

Ok, Stephan, you don't like gay people.  I get it.

There have been occasional "pansy" and "fairy" slurs, plus a pun on gay men as "queens."

And when Goat discovered Rat and Pig in bed together, and concludes that they are...you know, Rat screams in a homophobic agony that has to be seen to be believed.

So, after all that, why do I continue to read the strip, and buy the collections, including the big treasuries with Stephan Pastis' comments?

1.  I like the idea of Pastis learning that gay people read his strip. They actually put their hands on the treasuries!  Even worse, the treasuries are on a bookshelf in the room where they engage in their sickening, disgusting sexual acts!

2. There are plenty of unintentional gay subtexts.

3. I love the Croc accent.

4. There are a surprising number of muscular guys with their shirts off hanging around the strip.  Pastis loves drawing hunks.

5.  Bottom line: it's funny.

See also: R. Crumb, from Fritz the Cat to Gay Marriage.; and Get Fuzzy.

Jun 26, 2016

The Thug on my Sausage List

When I was making up my list of the 15 biggest "sausages" I ever "cooked," I completely forgot about T (for Thug).

Spring 1986: I had been in West Hollywood for about six months, and I was starting to notice that it wasn't all heaven.
Con artists, hustlers, pickpockets.
Poverty, homelessness.
And racism.

You rarely encountered Men of Color in West Hollywood; it was Anglo-white in all directions, as far as the eye could see.

And when you did see someone black or Hispanic, the clerk in the story was eyeing him suspiciously. Or the bar was charging him a cover charge of $10 ($1 for white guys).  Or you overheard casual comments like "What's he doing here?"

Even my ex-boyfriend Alan, the Pentecostal Porn Star, chimed in: "I'm not racist, but I wouldn't date a black guy.  I like to be the dominant partner."

 So bedroom positions are based on race?  Really?

I decided to educate Alan by dragging him along as I cruised for African-American men.

He agreed, but only if we went to Mugi to cruise for Asian men afterwards.

He told me that there were three "black gay bars." in Los Angeles.  White guys went to the Study or the Zone, and Jewel's Catch One was black only.

So naturally, I wanted to go to Catch One.

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