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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal, While Disappointment Cums in Spurts (Or Not)

Sometimes you just have to slow down and check your surroundings. That’s what I’ve been doing recently. Not out of dread or trepidation… I don’t even have anything to be all that cautious about these days. But I do feel like a dog sniffing the wind.

Summer does not seem to be getting here any too quickly this year. In fact, rumor has it this is supposed to be a very cool summer – meaning cool temp-wise. That does not excite me in the least.

Something else that does not excite me in the least? Sex. Yep, I’m going through that kind of period again. I just can’t seem to work up the enthusiasm for anonymous encounters the way I used to. Not that I haven’t been trying. It’s just the ends in this case do not justify the means; all that work and the pay-off is so slim. I have had two major encounters where I left feeling absolutely let down. I always bring my A-game, because I figure if you can’t do that, then do your trick a favor and stay home (which is exactly what I do some days).

The first incident involved a couple I’d played with once before. They are both leather-friendly, a bit younger than me, and a tad kinky, but nothing that takes center stage. We play in their living room, which is a little weird, considering they have this huge bay window that they put a sheet over. With the plasma screen playing porn, the room is cast in an eerie blue glow, and I can only imagine what kind of shadows appear on the other side of that sheet from time to time. But, hey, maybe they have a neighbor who gets into that.

Our first encounter was swift and somewhat fun. I was definitely feeling it more from one of the partners than the other, but I always do my best to keep everyone busy and involved. The guy I’m not so into is shorter than me, and sort of a ginger with smooth, pale skin, a couple of tats, a pierced tongue, a prince albert and an odd affect – at times he reminds me of a doughy baby bird with his mouth open waiting for Mama to feed him a worm. Of course, to be fair, that first time he did not seem to be all that excited about having a three-way at all. His partner is a tiny bit taller than me, bald with a goatee, a slim, furry build and a bit on the wicked side. Neither one has what I would consider a big dick, but they are both adequate enough to get the job done. While my time with the ginger was just okay, my turn with the bald dude was kind of swift, but epic. He definitely likes to take charge and I kind of get off on being dominated. All in all, I had a nice time.

In the next few weeks the ginger dude, who apparently is in charge of securing them a hook-up when they want to play, kept hitting me up on-line and inviting me over. I kept dodging them because, well, I just wasn’t all that sure that I wanted a repeat performance; besides, they live a distance from me, and with gas prices such as they are, I want bang (pun intended) for my buck. But finally, I felt I couldn’t put them off any longer and decided to see if it could possibly get any better. At least this time I knew where I was going and didn’t get lost.

I arrived on time. The ginger let me in and led me to the living room. No porn on. No bald dude. The ginger and I make out and strip each other in the process. For some reason I am rock hard and start getting the sense that I want to bend the ginger over and fuck him rough. He sucks on me for about ten minutes and I am pretty pleased. He then excuses himself to go get his partner. He returns, minus partner, and then proceeds to spend the next ten minutes trying to get the porn to come up on the plasma screen. Meanwhile, I learn that they had just been out hitting the bars earlier that evening. That might explain the difference in the ginger – he seems more relaxed, more pliable, and a much better kisser than I remember. Yes, sometimes, a little alcohol is a good thing.

But more often than not, it is not. Especially a lot of alcohol, which is what I believe was the issue with the bald dude. The bald dude suddenly appears and grabs the remote away from his partner and puts on the porn. There is something about his demeanor that is really different this time, and almost instantly I realize – I don’t like it! First he orders his partner to fuck me while I suck him and get him hard. So right away, I know that I am responsible for him getting hard. Not cool.

The entire time I’m sucking his dick, the bald dude is asking his partner if he’s shot his load yet. And that is one of the things that make three-ways with established couples so weird for the outsider – the way they talk to one another. Sometimes it’s in a secret code that to the outside ear sounds like a set of identical twins that have made up their own language. Other times – it’s just a turn off: pet names, repeated phrases, nonsense words, creepy familial references.

Anyway, the ginger finally shoots his load, or at least fakes it enough to satisfy his partner, who is now semi-hard and ready to fuck me. He makes me kneel on this little footstool and takes me from behind. And that is when the whole evening goes down the poop shoot – and not my poop shoot. First, the bald one makes his partner stand in front of me. It is so obvious to me that the ginger has shot his load and is all done. He is bored and wants to go sit on the couch. Three minutes into my fuck with the bald one and I’m thinking that sitting on the couch sounds like a pretty good idea. The bald one can’t get hard. He has had too much to drink. But he won’t give up. He tells his partner he can’t “hear it”. This apparently is my cue to ramp up the gay porn talk – which I dutifully do – I’d already been doing it, but apparently not to the bald one’s satisfaction. So, like any bad actor playing opposite and even worse actor, I do my lines, with feeling! Then, the bald one declares that my hole is not tight enough. There is a part of me that wants to turn around and tell him that the hole is not the problem, but I keep my mouth shut. Then he gets mean. He pulls me off my perch, and places me on the carpet. I immediately get a rug burn on my knee and I am not all that thrilled with the hygienic condition of their living room floor. We switch up positions four times – still the postman is not ringing. At this point I happen to look over and find that the ginger has, in fact, gone to sit on the couch. He watches, constantly asks if the bald one has gotten off yet while offering up the occasional odd suggestion. Then he does something that almost makes me want to pick up my toys and go home – he starts smacking my ass – really, really hard. I let it go the first three times, but when that burn turns into a sharp sting I grab him by the wrist and hold on to it really tightly. He takes this as a challenge and puts my arm behind my back. Fine, whatever.

By this point the bald one is flaccid. Period. But does he give up? Unfortunately, no. Instead he puts me on my back, positions his body over mine as if doing push-ups and proceeds to fuck my mouth. He keeps ordering me to gag on his cock, but… ummm... well, quite frankly there’s not enough dick there to do the job. So, while lying on my back, I try to figure out how to resolve this evening and get the hell out of there.

I’d been wanting to get back and fuck the shit out of that ginger dude, who is now sitting smugly on the couch, but I get a sense that boat has sailed and he’s not taking on any new passengers. Throughout my play with the bald dude I’d been working my finger in his ass, stroking his prostate to see if that might aid in him getting a stiffie and given our current set up, his hole is again, within reach, so I’m playing with it. Then he says one derogatory thing too many about my sexual abilities and I decide it’s time to turn the tables. I take my time and make sure my dick is nice and hard before getting up, shoving the bald one chest down on the footstool, kneeling behind him and taking his ass to town. I was in a mood to top, and his ass was going to have to do. It was a nice ass. From behind he has a real nice shape; a chest that vees into his waist and a pair of nice concave ass melons. I only pound him for about five minutes – during which he critiques my skills as a top. Finally I have had enough of his drunken bullshit and bring it on home, creaming his hole big time.

After catching my breath, I don’t even bother with the usual ‘thank you’s’ or check to see if everyone is okay. I just pick up my bag and head to the bathroom, where I wipe down, douche my ass, and gargle. When I return to the living room, the bald dude is gone; in the kitchen talking to their room mate. The ginger is sitting on the couch cruising the net. I dress and he pats the spot beside him. I sit for a moment and he gives me a reassuring hug, saying something about the affects of alcohol. I thank him and show myself out, knowing that I will never again be visiting their little abode.

Three days later, I have sex with this guy who has just moved into town. I find I have good luck with dudes who have just moved into town. I’m not sure if that’s because they don’t realize how much better they can do or if it’s because they haven’t been in town long enough to learn what a giant slut I am… but for whatever reason, I attract them and land them pretty regularly. This guy is really nice looking – as in, typical, handsome executive type. His stats seem fine, he’s my age, and, based on his pictures, he’s in reasonable shape. We make a date and I head to his place. He greets me at the front door, doesn’t scream, nor does his face freeze into a mask of horror, so I figure we’re good to go. From my perspective, he lives up to his pics and stats. His smile isn’t quite as focused as I like, but upon climbing the stairs to the second floor, a quick whiff helps me identify the reason behind his ever melting demeanor. The smell of pot hangs heavy in the air. And I’m cool with that, and tell him so.

We enter a room and he has MSNBC on his big old plasma screen (again with the giant televisions?). There isn’t a lot of furniture and we sit on the carpeted floor. I begin undressing while he reloads his little pot pipe. I do two rather quaint puffs and tell him I’m done – just not in the mood to get all fucked up – just fucked. He continues to smoke a bit more while I get undressed. Leaving me to watch a story about Newt Gingrich, he disappears into the bathroom. When he reappears, he’s naked. Dude is taller than me by two inches and his body is okay – a trip to the gym might do it good, but he’s tan and height/weight proportionate. His dick is okay, too – a little shorter than mine, and a little thinner, but nicely shaped. He also has a nice set of balls on him. He’s kind of a Ken doll, really. He stands in front of me and I dutifully take his dick in my mouth. I’m hard, he’s hard; we’re good to go.

I’m immediately in love with his butt because it is fleshy and ripe, not firm. I just like holding the globes of his ass in my hand and giving them a smack now and then – which, judging from the reaction it gets, he likes. Throughout our playtime, he’s doing a lot of poppers – A LOT OF POPPERS – so you know where this is heading, and so did I. Heading to the bed, we play safely. Lots of frottage. He fucks me. We nut fuck. We suck. The kissing is just so-so, but I’m cool with that. I get a definite sense that our energies are very different – that may have a lot to do with the degree to which the dude is buzzed and the amount of poppers he’s doing. Or not. I am not buzzed. The pot has done very little for me – but then, the first time I play with someone, I always err on the side of caution. You never know what you’re going to encounter and I like to keep my wits about me.

Thirty minutes into it, I get a sense that this dude is not going to cum. Forty-five minutes into it, I do. We’re lying side by side, each working our own and I decide – the hell with it – and go for broke. Not that I abandon my duties. I stick in there for another fifteen minutes. During which we try a lot of things – none of which is bringing his fuck stick to fruition. I only cease trying when I notice he has a nasty blood blister on the top of his shaft from where he’s been working his dick. Figuring I’d put in a good effort, I head to the bathroom and clean up. In short order I wipe down, gargle and dress. MSNBC is still playing on the plasma, which I think is a little weird; music during sex helps keep me in the game. We make small talk and as I’m exiting I am pretty sure we will not be getting naked again anytime soon. He will probably realize he can do better and I am just not up for being disappointed. Again.

And I’m not. Which is why I haven’t had sex since.

I think I will probably go in for a full STD screen and call it a day. This part of my life seems to be just begging for a big old period to be placed at its end and I’m in the mood to do just that, at least until the summer comes. If it comes.

Last week I was supposed to write about rimming as part of my Acquired Tastes series, but I wasn’t feeling it. It thought maybe that was due to it being holy week or maybe due to all the singing and rehearsals and performances I’d been doing. But honestly – I think it’s the sex. I’m just not feeling it. I still get turned on, I still feel stimulated by certain people, situations, or images, but overall the sex thing is not working for me at this time. Maybe that explains the two less-than-wonderful scenes as described above; maybe I’m the problem. Or maybe it was just the luck of the draw or the natural conclusion given the odds. In any event, I am taking a short sex sabbatical in order to get my mojo back. At this point I don’t even want to write about it.

That doesn’t mean I won’t be writing – I have been working on something for the past two months that is coming along nicely, but I may take a break from blogging. Unless I just write whatever I feel like writing about. Kristine W. does have a new single out (#19 on the Dance/Play Chart this week). I hope to be writing about that once it reaches #1 (fingers crossed). We’ll see.

You know, maybe this funk is weather induced. I was thinking that once winter dissolved I’d be bouncing for joy, but the spring has been cold and rainy and that isn’t supposed to change until after the third week in May! Who knows, maybe once summer blooms I’ll be good and horny and wanting to strut my stuff. I’ll just have to play it by ear.

In the meantime, I have plenty to occupy myself with. I want to de-clutter my home and get rid of non-essential items; mostly things left over from projects or hobbies I have no desire for anymore. I also want to work on my home – it is in need of some minor TLC. The dogs, too. They could use some regular walks.

Maybe if I dig deep now I won’t feel like I am cheating the rest of my life once summer arrives and I want to give myself over to it.

And hopefully, I will. Give myself over to it. Winter was so brutal and I feel like I have been waiting forever.

Of course, I realize this is all just temporary and that change is the only constant. I also realize I am a creature of habit. But will I be able to recognize when it is time to leave the playing field?

Stay tuned.

Friday, April 22, 2011

In Honor of Holy Week...

I’m singing a lot this week… and man, am I tired. The rehearsals have been kind of nerve wracking and I’m also struggling with how well I know much of the music; I don’t like sight reading - I like lots of rehearsal. I also continue to struggle with my current involvement with the church – particularly the Catholic Church; a church that has done so many bad things throughout its existence that I have a hard time justifying my involvement. But it’s not about me. So, rather than focus on the church as a whole, I look at it as an opportunity for community building, and an opportunity to sing with others.

So when this article (from Rage Monthly – please seek it out) just happened to land in my in-basket this week, I decided it was a sign, and in honor of Holy Week, I thought I’d share it with you. I read it and was quite moved by it; surprising, given its subject and source. I remember PTL. I feared PTL. At the time, I remember hearing rumors that Tammy Faye was really a sweet woman and that she was actually very supportive of gay people, but I thought that had to be some mad queen’s fantasy. Of course, now I know differently. The woman really was amazing, a genuine light in the darkness, and I, along with a large portion of the gay community, have come to embrace her memory. So, to learn that Jay Bakker (pictured), her son, is carrying on her work? Surprising. Amazing. And fascinating.

What he has to say is very eye-opening and echoes a lot of what I feel about the bible, spirituality, organized religion, religious leaders, and the world in general. Enjoy.

Falling To Grace With Jay Bakker
by Randy Hope
Rage Monthly
Wednesday Apr 20, 2011

Gay-affirming Pastor Jay Bakker is use to being an outsider. Often referred to as the "Prodigal Son of Jim and Tammy Faye," Bakker witnessed his family’s Praise the Lord (PTL) Ministries come crashing down amidst scandal in the 1980s. This led to a struggle with his own faith and spirituality, which in the end lead him to found Revolution Church, where he is the co-pastor of a gay-affirming congregation in Brooklyn, New York. Author of the new book Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self, and Society, the forward-thinking self-identified "Outlaw Preacher" recently chatted with The Rage Monthly about the transformative power of grace, and his belief that Christian love and compassion should be extended to all people.

While you were raised within the PTL Ministry and the Christian church, you had a unique opportunity to be connected with LGBT people early on didn’t you?

Oh yeah! Most definitely, I’ve always said that the church was the first organization to start "don’t ask, don’t tell." Now that I look back, I realize that I was surrounded by gay people my whole life. I mean I didn’t actually know what it was, but in hindsight I’m like, "Ah-ha, now I know what that was." Actually, in high school one of my best friends was gay. Even when I’ve gone to other churches to pastor, members of the staff have come up to me and whispered in my ear, "I’m glad you’re here." It’s really a shame because I really feel that there is a "don’t ask, don’t tell policy" within the church, which is what creates the extreme prejudice and exclusion.

You’ve also said the church uses what you refer to as "clobber verses." What is a clobber verse?

They are basically the seven or eight bible verses that people have latched onto, to try and prove their argument against homosexuality. Soul Force (at has a great reference to those verses and the counter points, which something I wish I had early on because I was still researching them in Greek and Hebrew and searching through historic backgrounds to find what Soul Force puts at everyone’s fingertips-the answers to those "clobber verses" in the Bible.

You obviously have different relationship with the Bible than mainstream Christian pastors. What are your thoughts on the "Holy Book?"

The Bible is such a strange book. Even with just sexuality period, simple basic human sexuality, it’s probably not the best place to get advice from. You have polygamy, and women are seen as property for land trade, things such as that made me realize that maybe I needed to start to read the Bible in a different way.

How do you suggest it be read?

Well, its context would be a good place to start. (Chuckling) It wasn’t one book written 2,000 years ago- it wasn’t even a book at all, Jesus had never even seen a book. It was collection of scrolls that got passed around in the church and basically some folks in the Catholic church decided they were going to close the canon and deem what books we’d have and what books we wouldn’t have. There were a lot of them left out and we basically just have what is in the New Testament. So realizing that the Bible should be read in such context is eye opening. People also need to realize that some of the books attributed to Paul weren’t actually written by him. So there are definitely contradictions in the Bible.

So do you see yourself as the editor who has to correct such conflicts?

I’m the messenger who says that it is okay to live with conflict, it’s okay to live with two different stories, and it is okay to realize the Bible is not perfect. Because seeing the conflict in context keeps the Bible from being God, that keeps it from being the final word. It allows for Christ-it allows for hope and it allows for love to be the final word. It was made up of different books when different cultures existed just like we have different cultures today. So, I think that we can read the Bible in that context and measure every verse against the question, "Are you loving your neighbors as you’d love yourself or treating others the way you’d like to be treated?" When Christians supported slavery, it was ultimately that verse that helped to end the practice. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That’s what Jesus said was the ultimate law.

As a pastor, what role do you see the Bible playing in your ministry?

It’s not an answer book, it’s a book of questions and of trying to figure things out and solve them. It’s more of a math book that teaches us some lessons but you have to basically work the problems out for yourself. Unfortunately we have a big problem on our hands, because it is viewed by most as the answer book on homosexuality. That’s because someone (somewhere between 1948 to 1958) arbitrarily decided to add the word "homosexual" into the Bible replacing such words as "male prostitute" or the likes.

So do you think it’s forever changed?

Oh yeah! You can look up the word homosexuality in the Bible today and so people think it’s always been there. Yet, it has only been there a little more than 50 years. People don’t understand that English is a limited language and the Bible wasn’t written in English. It has changed for me, not in a negative way either.

If anything, it’s given me a greater faith, it allowed me to love beyond the Bible-experience God outside the limitations of two pieces of leather. You realize that these people who you once may have looked upon as sinners, are actually seeking God. And they were people just like you and me trying to find him.

With that said, you have obviously had a special relationship with grace in your life? Elaborate on your relationship, and what you truly believe grace is.

I always felt that there was something wrong with me and that I would never live up to the church’s expectations or God’s expectations. So eventually, I just stopped doing any type of that stuff. I had a friend with whom I was discussing it and I told him, "I’m a horrible person, I’m miserable, God hates me." He told me, "And you’re full of sh*t too!" I said, "What?!" He told me that I was trying to earn my salvation, invalidating grace and using Jesus’ death in vain. He told me, "Jesus took care of this. You’ve been forgiven and really, it’s not about you, and you have to accept that!" I thought he was really full of it, until I started to read the Bible for myself when I was about 20. I read and saw all these scriptures about love, forgiveness and the fact that everybody is accepted. The Bible was full of all these beautiful things that I had never seen before- It blew my mind.

Why is that? Weren’t those same words always there?

Indeed they were, but that’s not what we were taught in church. Most of the time, I was never really encouraged to read my Bible. So when I started reading it for myself, I thought it was really good news, but also knew that people had to hear more about this. All I wanted to do was tell people they are loved and accepted no matter what. So that’s what I’ve spent the past 14 years doing-letting people know that they are accepted-period. I always say that even the unacceptable parts are accepted, and I always say by a power greater than them. So many people are not at a point where they can even think about Jesus because they’ve been so hurt in his name. I want people to accept that there are no ifs ands or buts. You don’t have to be more spiritual or less spiritual, you’re accepted where you are. I’ve found great freedom in that concept of grace. God’s grace and love is as much for "the others" as it is for you and me, and I believe that is beautiful-it’s so beautiful that it’s scary.

What message do you have for right-wing Christian leaders?

I really don’t know what else to say to them except, "Hey we need to talk and have a conversation and take another look at this. You need to sit down with some LGBT folks and truly listen without an agenda."

You mentioned God’s love was as much for "the others..." What do you mean by this, who are the others?"

I struggle with it and fight with it, I doubt God all the time. I have a ton of times that I doubt my faith. But it’s that freedom of grace that keeps drawing me back in. It’s definitely not other believers that encourage me to keep following along... well maybe there are a few, but not a whole lot. It’s certainly not the church. It’s the grace and love that rises above everything that keeps me coming back, and wanting to create an atmosphere for people to see that they are loved and accepted.

Even the things that were unacceptable in my life that I had to accept. I had a really bad drinking problem; I realized that even that is accepted through Christ’s grace. I got into a 12-step program, which I’m still in today and I haven’t had a drink in 14 years. It took me accepting the grace from God and not any other reason for me to that. There are people who say, "I won’t drink because of the church" or "I won’t drink because of God." For me, I had to realize God accepted me and then accept him in to my life. God’s love and grace are outstanding and for everyone-they are there even for "bad people" who we may think are evil, the others whoever they may be. It’s for Jerry Falwell as much as it is for you and me.

Well there’s a bomb to drop. As a gay man I shiver just hearing his name. I can only imagine that it took a lot for you to just say that?

Oh yeah, because he did many bad things to my family. But there’s beauty in love and I got to a point where I realize that there is beauty in loving our enemies, it is the one way to disarm them. That’s how Gandhi did it and that’s how Martin Luther King Jr. did it-they loved those who hated them. They realized that people aren’t the enemy, it’s the messages and the words are the enemy. It’s really easy to put a face on evil and feel that a singular person is the problem. Human nature is the problem, the need to be exclusive, the need to be in your own group, your own little tribe and all the other tribes are bad. That seems to be the major problem. I’m open to a grace that allows me to love and pray for those who are persecuting me-I hope to live to see my enemies redeemed. That’s what grace does and it’s a beautiful thing. The more I look at it, it keeps growing and that’s why I wrote a book about it.

What are your thoughts about religion being thrown around so much?

We have a T-shirt that reads "Religion destroys" or "Religion kills" and I feel it’s true. Religion is a man-made concept where all the rules come in, following Christ for me is much more spiritual. For those who say, "I’m not religious. I’m spiritual" it’s a great place to start. I hope I’m not religious either; I want to follow Jesus to the best of my ability. I want to create a safe atmosphere for people to come to, not just on Sunday, but every day. A place for people to come to hang out, for them to talk, agree or disagree, a safe space for people grow together. To me that is not religion, if one day it becomes religion, then it’ll be great! I’d be telling everybody to call me religious. Somewhere along the road religion got lost to me today and religion has nothing to do with Christianity.

Well, you’ve had many life experiences that have led you to this point. I understand that somewhere along the way you met Jesus in a drag bar?

Yeah! It was one of those things where I was in LA; somehow RuPaul, who was doing the narration for the documentary about my mom, got a hold of me and invited my wife and I at the time to this drag show. I was very hesitant, that "religious voice" or self-condemning voice got a hold of me and was telling me, "Oh you’d better not go there, you know you shouldn’t be seen there." Sometimes I just want to knock that thing off my shoulder, it’s as if an angry preacher is standing on my shoulder saying, "You’re bad." That was about the time I was moving toward becoming an openly affirming pastor and church, but hadn’t publicly stated it yet. While I did hesitate, I went and it was cool.

Dita Von Teese (the famous burlesque dancer who married singer Marilyn Manson) was there and I was pretty stoked, I got my picture with her! When I went outside for a smoke, I met what must have been a seven-foot tall drag queen with the Eiffel Tower on her head. Reluctantly I reminded myself that while I know when someone reaches out I’m supposed to reach back, I don’t always do it perfectly. Still, we started to talk about Jesus and I learned this drag queen was a preacher’s son too. So of course, we talked a lot about what it was like growing up. He went on telling me how much he loved my mom and he was concerned about her cancer. He asked if I’d tell her how much he loved her and that he’s praying for her. I got another picture with him for my mom before going back inside.

Next thing I know, as the show wrapped up, that drag queen got up onstage and began spotlighting the famous people in the crowd. He mentioned Dita Von Teese and RuPaul and everyone cheers. Then he asked if people ever watched ever watch the Praise the Lord ministry and if remember Jim and Tammy Faye. I expected people to boo, but surprisingly at least half the audience raised their hands and cheered. Some laughed because I know they were thinking a drag queen would be coming out doing my mom. Instead, very excited he said, "Well, Jim and Tammy’s son, Jamie, is here!"

Suddenly, this huge spotlight hit me and I thought I was going to die-people cheered and the drag queen decides to tease and ask me questions. First he asked if I was straight and I pointed to my wife at the time, whom he said was a lucky lady. Then things got serious as he put his hands on his hips and went on to tell the crowd about how Jesus loved everybody without judgment. "If Jesus were alive that he’d be at the drag show too. After all, Jesus hung out with the tax collectors and the prostitutes and the sinners," he said. The crowd began cheering.

What was your reaction to the drag queen pointing you out and then the crowd’s response?

Well at first I was embarrassed - stunned actually - and didn’t know what to do because one minute a drag queen was making cracks about whether I’m gay, and the next minute he was saying these really amazing things about Jesus and grace. But I knew that he couldn’t have been more right. I personally know I’ve had deeper and more real conversations about Jesus in bars than in other places, I mean after all my church is held in a bar. That night at that burlesque club in Los Angeles, I witnessed firsthand a group of people who are judged and rejected their entire life by the church, who are hungrier than many people I know for the love and truth of Christ. It was like they really knew the real deal: revolutionary grace. That’s what they welcomed it into their lives.

How did that night in Los Angeles impact you?

It challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and let me know that what I was doing was right. It taught me that grace crops up where you least expect it and that there truly are no boundaries to God’s love. It helped me towards becoming an openly affirming pastor. It was a pretty incredible experience that I didn’t expect, but had to be open to.

What do you have to say to the many LGBT people who are hungry in faith but turned off by the thought of the church?

What I don’t think LGBT people realize is how much they can bring to the issue. Although they are hurt and wounded, they can help in the healing by being open, as they want the others to be. By sitting down with someone, getting to know them, and letting someone who otherwise has never genuinely known an LGBT person can change people’s hearts. They can be the messengers because those one-on-one’s change people’s lives.

I’m glad you mentioned your mom; after all she’s an icon in our community. What was it like growing up as Tammy Faye’s son?

Well I definitely enjoy shopping (laughing). Seriously, when my friends just want to stop at the store, I tell them that we’re going to walk around the mall for an hour and eat and enjoy it. That’s something my mom and I used to do all the time. We’d go to the mall and have dinner. She’d have dessert before dinner a lot of the times. She was a great mother. At the same time she would restrict us when we’d done bad things and she was definitely a mom.

She could be a little ball of fire when she needed to be. She was a really interesting and unique person who I’m so grateful for the fact she was my mother. I miss her terribly. I’m just happy I had that time with her and wish I could thank her for it. I don’t know if she knew it but she really is the one that showed me her love was the trump card-that love always trumps everything else. She taught me that what was important to people is that they were loved. So I bought into that and that’s probably why I do what I do.

She was the one who took me to my first MCC church; my first gay affirming church and I got to experience that. I walked in and saw the difference. This group of people seemed to want to worship God more than most Christians on Sunday because so many churches have forbid them to, sadly. Because of mom, I’m stepping up. She taught me that I should step forward and be open. Hopefully I’m building on something she taught me and that is being willing to take a stand on something and be affirming.

It must be difficult having stepped forward as an openly affirming pastor for our community. Some people might ask even why you’d do it?

I love it and I know that I can sleep well at night for the work I do. I know from talking with other pastors who say they wish they could do what I do, but they’re restricted. It’s like saying, "I know what I’m doing is wrong, but because the church say Bible tells me to, I’ll continue to twist the rules and say it even if it’s not there." That makes them miserable, which in itself is proof right there that it’s not for God, because they’d have peace inside if it were. I guess I should say that it’s fortunate they don’t have peace-so perhaps that will change things.

Do you see things changing?

Yes indeed people are changing, at conferences where they might have simply said that it was OK to be gay, they now have gay pastors speaking. Also, the more conservative right-wing folks, are pushing back pretty hard and unfortunately right now, they are the loudest. Still, I think they’re changing. I hope that they will truly see what grace is all about; loving one another and understanding one another and sharing in Christ together, no matter who we are or what others might think about it.

Any final thoughts for those struggling to change or for our readers?

I want to challenge everyone to push himself or herself in this same way, so they can learn what boundaries are they putting on grace. They should remember that Christ allowed everyone to sit at his table and who are they to change those rules. Finally, everyone should ask if his or her rules are consistent with grace.

Jay Bakker is the son of Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner, the co-pastor of Revolution Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the author of the new book; Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self, and Society

Friday, April 15, 2011

Acquired Tastes, Chapter XIII : Toys

Toyland, toyland
little girl and boy land
when you dwell within it
you are ever happy there!

- Toyland written by Victor Herbert

When we were kids, there were lots of toys to choose from; preference played an important role in what populated our toy chests. And fortunately, whether you were a future nelly queen, a future steroid gym bunny or a future high tech nerd, there was surely always something that was sure to tickle your fancy. When it comes to sex toys, the same thing holds true; there is just so much to choose from, surely everyone will find something to love and cherish – or not.

When I think of sex toys the first things that spring to mind are vibrators and dildos. Neither really float my personal boat, but I do understand why people find them handy and fun for the occasional release. That said, I have a hard time committing my money, time, or personal sexual mojo to sex that is inorganic in nature (not to be confused with unnatural sex – I think a lot of what I enjoy falls under the category of unnatural sex), and that term – inorganic - certainly applies to the world of…


Scope of Activity:

An appreciation for and use of inanimate objects for sexual gratification

The Official Line:

With information from Wikipedia:

A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate human sexual pleasure. The most popular sex toys are designed to resemble human genitals and may be vibrating or non-vibrating. Alternative expressions include adult toy and marital aid.

List of Toys:

Pocket Pussies
Blow-Up Dolls
Vegetables: Cucumbers, Cantaloupes, Watermelon, Bananas
Anal Beads
Ben Wa Balls

Psychological Aspects:

Using sex toys as sexual supplements can be good and healthy fun, whether it is only occasionally by yourself or with others. I don’t think it is necessarily healthy to use toys by your self as a sole means of sexual expression, But then I also don’t understand asexual people (though sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I was one – I might have written that novel, climbed that mountain, blah, blah, blah…). I just think sex is an important part of a healthy life, and I think that sex should include more human interaction than just handing your cash over to the clerk at your local dirty book store.

So how does that differ from a dick sticking anonymously through a glory hole? Well, you can rest assured that the dick in question is definitely attached to something that qualifies (sometimes barely) as a human being, which is enough to satisfy my need for personal interaction. If it was a big, neon pink dildo sprouting from that same glory hole? I would have to pass – because I like my dicks to be made of flesh and blood.

In this world of ever evolving technical gadgetry that requires less and less physical contact and isolates us from one another physically more and more, I think it’s really important that we get out there, exercise our social skills and get naked with one another.

My Experience:

My very first sexual experience was with an inanimate object. This is embarrassing, but what about this blog isn’t, am I right? No, I didn’t stick anything up my ass… that would never have occurred to me at the time. Rather I stuck my dick in something – something I read about in a little book called “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask) (note: sexy asterisk deleted from title). This little tome sat on the bookshelf of every home where I baby sat in my tiny home town. Needless to say, in those days the television stations went off the air at around midnight and that frequently sent yours truly off in search of something to read. Sometimes that meant checking under the mattresses (lots of classic Playboys) and in the underwear drawers of my hosts, but more often than not, it simply meant a trip to their bookshelves. This book was so popular; some of these people actually displayed it on a shelf in their formal living room! (How very forward of them!).

On one such occasion, I decided to check the table of contents for a word I had run across recently – masturbation, and low and behold, there it was. In that particular chapter I learned about a method involving Vaseline and a bottle. Hey, I thought to myself – I have some Vaseline at home. And I had a bottle, too. So, the next day, off I went, by myself, to my secret lair in the basement, bottle and Vaseline in tow. The bottle in question was a green glass “big-mouth” beer bottle. (Now, I didn’t think they made these anymore, but the other day, while hiking along the river, guess what I found? The exact same brand, too.) Anyway, I must have been about twelve or something. I slicked up the mouth of the bottle with the Vaseline and stuck my dick in it before it got too hard. Well it was kind of weird feeling, but I decided to just go with it and before I knew it… I thought I’d died and gone to heaven; such an amazing feeling. I was immediately flush with guilt. I was totally confused. And stuck. It seems upon achieving orgasm my dick actually got thicker and, as all the Vaseline had rubbed off the mouth of the bottle, my junior weenie was trapped like a genie! In a bottle! (My apologies to Ms. Aguilera).

Okay, needless to say, I was in a panic. I couldn’t imagine explaining this one to my mother and I couldn’t share it with anyone else: my brother was a total shithead and I’d die before sharing this kind of thing with a friend – what friends?). For about ten minutes (seemed like sixty) I tried to imagine what my life (and dick) was going to be like after I took a hammer and smashed that bottle. Fortunately, my blood resumed it’ normal ebb and flow and my little wiener slid out of the mouth of the devil’s bottle. And needless to say, I tried it about seventeen more times that week, until I got to go baby sit that Friday, sit down and really read that whole chapter about masturbation. (Really? You can use your hand? No way! Cool.)

Just for old time’s sake, I kept that bottle around for a whole year (washed out of course), because, you know… you never get over your first love.

Okay, since were telling creepy tales of naivety – as far as insertion was concerned, in college I placed a small bottle of Brut aftershave up my ass during a particularly unsatisfying round of spanking the monkey. Once was enough. And many, many years later, I had a brief affair with the handle of a toilet plunger, but for some reason, that didn’t work out either (his career came first).

Amazingly… that’s it. That’s the extent of my experience with inanimate objects. I’ve seen dildos – touched them and been teased with them, but nothing about them made me want to shove them up my ass. (Do people put dildos in their mouths to simulate oral sex? Hmmm.)

I can see toys as a supplement to sex and have personally experienced evenings where I’ve struck out on-line, didn’t feel like cruising outdoors, spent the evening looking at Xtube vids, and then wished I had something safe to stick up my hole. But I didn’t, don’t own any, and I doubt I ever will.


It’s just too impersonal. Part of what gets me off sexually is the interaction I have with another person. I am just not able to generate the same kind of heat with an inanimate object. Also – if you think sex with a stranger leaves one feeling empty, then trust me, once orgasm has been achieved, a lube-covered cucumber or a sperm filled blow-up doll is going to make you feel even crappier.

It’s not the act itself – although set up can take a little effort – that bothers me, it’s the aftermath. I’m a lazy person and the last thing I want to do after shooting my wad is spend a lot of time cleaning up. A shower and a douche is one thing, wiping up lube, sperm and sanitizing a fleshlight? Not my thing.

I’m also not a fan of playing with toys with others. People request this of me a lot and I have never found myself that turned-on by the idea. I don’t like props. I don’t like substitutes. I used to object on the basis of cleanliness. The idea of using somebody else’s toy? Ick. But there is a very simple solution to that – roll a condom over the top of it. That little rubber shield will protect you from whatever microcosmic critters might still lurk in the deep recesses of someone’s favorite little buddy. This works for any insertable device. As for those fleslights and pocket pussies? For those your best defense is the most obvious – roll that condom over your own beloved chubby. Makes for easy clean up, too.

I applaud those of you who love your collections. Whenever I see a picture of a naked dude showing off his plethora of sexual arsenal, displayed in an artful arch I shrug my shoulders and say, “to each their own”. More power to you. The prude in me (yes, there is a little one still living inside me, surprisingly enough), hopes they have enough sense to get rid of that stuff before they die – just think of the looks on the faces of their nieces and nephews as they sort through Uncle Chester’s belongings and come across a big black power fist! But then, is that such a bad thing? Maybe that is the greatest gift Uncle Chester can leave behind – the kind that blows people’s minds and gets them to confront their own sexual uptightness. Yeah… stick it to the Man (in more ways than one!)

And speaking of big black power fists – I can not get over the size of some of these things. Don’t get me wrong, I like my poop shoot to feel fully stuffed when getting fucked, but some of these dudes take it to such an extreme that I can’t imagine what’s in it for them. Bragging rights? A sense of accomplishment? An alternative to traditional means of off-street parking? That said, while I know videos of dudes working with extra large items exist on X-Tube, I don’t really have any desire to watch them. My porn watching time is quite limited, so I tend to stick to the flesh and blood basics.

But fleshlights? They look fun. And I do get off on vids of dudes using them. I suspect, if given the opportunity, I would use one. They seem super sexy. Or maybe it's just the dudes using them. Bet it feels great on your dick, though.

My Conclusion:

It’s like that old candy bar commercial:

Sometimes you feel like a dildo, sometimes you don’t.

And yes, you can be a dildo and not own one. Though many Republicans and Evangelists are and do (secretively, of course – wink, wink).

Next week: Rimming

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Acquired Tastes, Chapter XII : Spanking

Some girls, they like candy, and others, they like to grind
I'll settle for the back of your hand somewhere on my behind
Treat me like I'm a bad girl, even when I'm being good to you
I don't want you to thank me, you can just spank me

Like hanky panky
Nothing like a good spanky
Don't take out your handkerchiefs
I don't wanna cry
I just wanna hanky panky guy

- Hanky Panky by Madonna

Those lyrics are from one of the oddest Madonna songs ever. Recorded as part of her “I'm Breathless: Music From and Inspired by the film Dick Tracy” (isn’t that a terrible title?), the song, on the strength of a then current wave of Madonna madness, actually managed to hit number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It’s a little bit of fluff with more than a slight nod to the music of Eartha Kitt that had America titillated. 

She took it as a sign that America was ready for something a little nasty, and was proven right with the success of “Justify My Love” and its racy accompanying video. Unfortunately for Madge, that was as far as the U.S. was willing to go at that time, for the next year, when she freaked out the world with her “Sex” book and album “Erotica”, more prudish eyes prevailed.

So Madonna likes it rough. So does Janet Jackson. And, according to the latest issue of Rolling Stone, so does Rihanna…

“I like to be spanked. Being tied up is fun. I like to keep it spontaneous. Sometimes whips and chains can be overly planned – you gotta stop, get the whip from the drawer downstairs. . . . I’d rather have him use his hands.” – Rihanna

Currently, one of my favorite songs is Ri-Ri’s delicious “S&M”. I love it when it comes on the radio while I am on my way for a little dirty-dirty at a trick’s house or for a night of abandonment at the warehouse. It just sets the mood and makes me feel so naughty.

So, as they say, the world goes pop and many of my favorite divas just happen to like a little smack on the behind. Of course, I’m assuming that at 50-something Madge is still good to go for some light paddling. People do change. So does the world – though not necessarily in the way we would all like. When I look at the state of our current world, I am convinced that what America needs now, more than ever, is a good…


Scope of Activity:

Striking an adult male on the buttocks as a means of mutual sexual stimulation.

The Official Line:

With information from Wikipedia:

Spanking is a form of corporal punishment commonly used to discipline a toddler, child, or teenager. It generally involves an adult- typically a parent, guardian, or teacher--striking the offender's buttocks as a response to poor behavior, with either an open hand or an implement, to cause temporary pain without producing physical injury. When an instrument is used in lieu of a hand, spanking becomes switching, paddling, belting, caning, whipping, or birching, depending on the type of implement. When an open hand is used, spanking is referred to in some countries as slapping or smacking. Historically, boys have tended to be more frequently spanked than girls.

Spanking can also refer to the practice of striking an adult in a playful manner as a social ritual or form of entertainment.

Adult spanking differs from traditional parent-child spanking in that the act is between two consenting adults. Adults engage in the activity for several different reasons. The most common is simply playful erotic spanking amongst people engaging in other intimate activities. People who require spanking to be a part of their sexual play are considered spanking fetishists.

Erotic spanking (also known as spankophilia) is the act of spanking another person for the sexual arousal or gratification of either or both parties. Activities range from occasional sexual role play (such as age play) to domestic discipline and may involve the use of a hand or the use of a variety of spanking implements, such as a spanking paddle or cane. Many cultures describe pain as an aphrodisiac. For example, the Kama Sutra, in particular, goes into specific detail on how to properly strike a partner during sex

Positions which may be used to administer a spanking include:

• over the knees (OTK) or across the lap
• stooped over a chair or couch, or bench
• on hands and knees (bed or floor)
• over the spanker's shoulder
• Head-between-legs position|head-between-legs
• Waist-between-legs position|waist-between-legs
• kneeling on a bed or ottoman, stooped over with hands on the floor
• bent under the arm of the spanker
• Lying position|lying face down
• bent over, touching toes or over a desk
• lying on back with legs raised upward and toward chest (diaper position)
• handcuffed to a bed
• tied to a doorway
• tied to a tree or pole that is in a safe area outside
• legs spread apart, almost in the splits position.

Psychological Aspects:

This is complex stuff – a form of punishment typically meted out by adults in our childhood becomes a means of sexual expression when we become an adult? Whaaaaa??? That’s quite a leap – and something tells me there is lots of dicey connective tissue in there keeping the home fires (and the seat of our pants) burning.

The authority surrendered to the spanker by the spankee would seem to be indicative of a consensual power imbalance. So, this is definitely role play material, where the spankee is reduced to a powerless child, deserving punishment. 

 And while it would appear that the spanker is in control of the situation, they are not. The spankee has undoubtedly been savvy enough to put in place a safe word that when invoked calls a halt to all play. Also, a spanker who spanks someone without permission could, technically, be guilty of assault, no matter what the spanker’s intentions might have been. So you gots to be careful, children. Consent is very important in these types of situations.

There is the humiliation of being spanked (the humiliation of having one’s buttocks exposed, your pants pulled down), heightened further if the spanking is done in the presence of others. That gets some folks boats a-floating. Again, the source of such a need is probably quite twisted and rooted in some childhood or teenage experience.

Question: In a dom/sub S&M type relationship, where the spankee actually gets off on being spanked, is spanking considered a reward or punishment? If they get off on it, aren’t they more likely to act up in order to be spanked? Or is this just one of those cases where it’s a win/win for both parties?

Is it punishment? Is it a reward?

My Experience:

I am a fan of the idea of being humiliated as a means of sexual stimulation; however I have yet to actually act on it. I doubt I ever will, because that’s a pretty detailed kind of sexual activity and I don’t see myself ever getting that involved with any one person. For it to work I would really have to lay my cards on the table and certain trust levels would need to be established before something like that could work. In my humiliation scene, having my dick slapped kind of gets my motor running, but having my ass spanked really doesn’t quite work for me. The idea of it? Sounds fun. But the reality?

There are numerous sites devoted to sexually-based spanking. I belong to one of those Yahoo picture trading sites where I get daily emails of the pictures posted by members. I enjoy spanking in a voyeuristic sense. No, I don’t think I would every get off on seeing someone actually being spanked, as in in-person or even on a video, but I do enjoy looking at pictures of them unfortunately, the spankers in the photos I typically see are predominantly not very hot. They tend to be older, out-of-shape, fat dudes with bad senses of fashion and facial hair. Maybe what bothers me is the implied power imbalance, since the spankee always appears to be at least twenty years the spanker’s junior. Eh – naw. More likely the spanker just isn’t that hot, which kind of kills the whole fantasy for me.

I like the idea of a hot, older phys ed coach taking a jock-strapped twink over his knee. That’s rather specific and probably plays more into my own past than I would like to delve into or reveal. Recently, while masturbating, I discovered that the thought of my high school gym teacher disciplining me or demanding sex from me still pushes all my buttons. Yep, thought of him and bam! Cork flew out and that turkey was done!

There is a 70’s gay porn video – The Adventures of Marc Noll, which features a soon-to-be-spanked Marc Noll on the cover. Some feather-banged blonde has poor, clueless Marc over his knee. I actually tracked down a VHS copy of this on EBay. Turns out the cover is much more memorable and stimulating than the film. But hey! That gives me an idea for a future Acquired Taste: 70’s Gay Porn.

So, have I ever been spanked. Yes. Twice. Guess what? Loved the idea of it, but the reality of it had me reaching back, grabbing the dude’s hand and ordering him to stop. The first time was with a dude I didn’t find very attractive – he was older and kind of creepy. It was weird. I mean, he was physically someone I usually do find attractive: taller than me, strong chin, Nordic looks, big hands, big cock, but there was just something off about the whole thing. His house was dark. Some of the phrases he used as sex talk kind of creeped me out. And the concept of what a ‘light’ spanking might entail totally escaped him. He even smelled a little off; maybe it was just his breath.

The second time – boy-oh-boy, was I into the guy. I thought he could do no wrong… and then he did. He threw me over his knee and went to town on my ass with his bare palm. It was one of the few times where something so threw me off my game that I packed up and went home; nobody got their cookies that night.

So – he spanked me without my consent and that was a deal breaker for me. I’ve never seen him since.

As a spanker I have made that same mistake. I used to assume (when I was younger and a total top and something of a clueless twerp) that if you were playing with a submissive twink and they were into you and you were getting to shove your dick into them that, as the dom in the situation, you could do whatever the hell you wanted.

But that would be no. I never had someone walk out on me, but I did have one guy read me the riot act. Suffice to say, I have never made that mistake again. No matter how tempting that cute ass may be, you still have to get permission before giving it even a playful smack, or you risk being labeled a physically abusive jerk; because without specifically implied consent, a spanking is just simple assault. Personally, I hate the idea of having bruises and marks on my ass, so I certainly understand why somebody wouldn’t want me smacking up their ass.

Oh, and the idea of getting hit with a hair brush, or a whip or a wooden paddle? Uh-uh! You go sell that shit to somebody else, honey, cuz I gots me enough emotional scars as it is. I don’t needs to be adding any physical ones to the pile.

My Conclusion:

Hmm… so, I’m all for Madonna, Ms. Jackson or Ri Ri getting their behinds warmed by the palm of some hot stud. I might even get in line to help out. And Jake Gyllenhaal? Man, he sure would look fine bare-assed, bent over my knee (or anyplace else, for that matter). But for yours truly, getting spanked? - that would be a ‘no-go’. And of course, at my age, who in their right mind and with any taste would want to spank me? (There are a lot of old dudes out there advertising to get spanked – and they make me sad, posting those pictures of their flabby, white, pock-marked, ripple-y old asses for all the world to see.)

That said, I guess this is one Acquired Taste where I can sure dish it out, but I cannot – and will not – take it.

Next week: Toys