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Friday, August 31, 2012

Stumbling Towards Mediocrity

James Patterson is an awful writer.
Anyone with any appreciation for the English language, anyone who has had any firsthand exposure to the human condition, anyone who has ever held a conversation with another human being, anyone who has ever spent time on the planet earth, anyone who has experienced a moment of reality, or anyone who has ever read a ‘really good book’, will tell you – James Patterson is an awful writer.  Possibly the worst.   Certainly one of the most successful bad writers of all time.
Put it this way – he makes Stephen King look like Charles Dickens.
I have worked my way through several of Mr. Patterson’s books.  They are a mind boggling mess: narrative voices that shift without reason, characters that do things that make no common sense, dialogue that sounds as if it was translated into English from some form of ancient Gaulish by a man who speaks only Mandarin.  Chapters are short, so you feel you are really making progress.  Plots?  Well, the word ridiculous springs into mind.  Mr. Patterson is the kind of storyteller with both eyes on the clock… the story ends exactly when it is supposed to, and he is not above throwing physics, common sense, or character development into a wood chipper in order to accomplish it.  Why?  Because James Patterson is more interested in writing a lot of books than he is writing a good book.  So his work probably ends up the way it does for any one or all of the following reasons: the author is disinterested, lazy, under a deadline, or needs to pay for that new deck he put on his house in Miami/the Hamptons/San Diego/Mars.
Why do I read books by James Patterson?
Because I, too, aspire to be a mediocre writer.
My ultimate goal is to have a book I write turned into a Lifetime Television for Women Movie of the Week, starring a string of C-List actresses well past their A-List prime.  What?  It could happen.  In a world where the SyFy Channel (is that what they are calling themselves these days?) exists, there is a need for product to fill the airwaves, and why couldn’t I be one of those people who write something that plugs up one of those programming holes?
Yes, I now aspire to stumble towards mediocrity.  No longer do I pine to bask in the glow of literary praise.  No longer do I practice my Oscar acceptance speech.  No longer do I wonder what I will do for a follow-up album after I win my first Grammy.  No.  I just want to be a schleb.  And not even a wildly successful schleb like Mr. Patterson.  I will happily settle for writing a book people sometimes see at rummage sales in the free bin that was made into a movie no one remembers ever seeing.  And what has brought about this change, this acceptance, this embrace?
Because I’m a realist.  I know that may be as good as it ever gets.  I’m not unhappy about it, nor am I rendered numb or immobile by this realization.  Rather, I find myself actually working on a book that I may actually finish writing (which also seems to be one of the hallmarks of any James Patterson novel: he typed his way all the way to the end!).   I’m on Chapter 20.  I’ve been working on it for a year and a half.  One friend has been reading it as I’ve been writing and is encouraging my pipe dream by acting as my cheerleader (which I really appreciate). 
I guess it was just a matter of time.  I mean mediocrity – it’s like McDonalds; found EVERYWHERE.  So prevalent is it in our society that one’s life cannot help but be touched by it, and, therefore, one cannot help but eventually succumb to it. 
It brings to mind a line from one of my all-time favorite plays (favorite, because it is a brilliant piece of writing), Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’  It’s something Martha tells Nick: “Relax!  Sink into it.  You're no better than anybody else.”  
And that’s okay.
Accepting one’s own eventual mediocrity is such a relief – a weight lifted from your shoulders.  You can then get on to the real important things in life… like watching Lifetime Television Movies and reading James Patterson novels.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mad Pride: The 2012 Madison Gay Pride Festival

Mad Pride
Last weekend I went to Madison, Wisconsin with a friend of mine to experience their Gay Pride.  I was way excited, as Madison just happens to be one of my favorite hangs.  I think it’s the level of safety I feel there and also the fact that everything is laid out relatively well (except all those weird one-ways around the Capitol Building).  The festival was scheduled to take place downtown, around the Capitol building, so I chose a super hotel close by. 
Now, most cities schedule their Pride Festivals in June, as that is national Gay Pride Month.  But let’s face it, there are only so many weekends to go around – and if Minneapolis is one weekend, and Chicago another, and Milwaukee, yet another – well, you see how it goes.  That is part of the reason for such a late date.  The other is that the students all return to college on this particular weekend (think Fleet Week!), so it made total sense that Madison would have theirs in August.
We got into town early on Saturday.  I parked the car in a lot I always use when checking out the bars downtown, or visiting my sister, who happens to work on State Street.  My eyes popped huge when I saw the number of tents set-up around the Capitol, but alas, after walking around a bit I came to realize that this was not part of Pride, but the weekly Farmer’s Market!  I’d been to it a couple of times with my sister, but was surprised that it would take up all the prime real estate on Pride Weekend.  I discover later, of course, that all the Pride events were to begin Saturday evening, with the parade taking place on Sunday afternoon.  A picnic that had been planned had been cancelled, as had a gay weddings event.  No problem.  That just meant I had more time to snack, nap, and douche before the night’s festivities.
Cooper’s Tavern
After touring the Farmer’s Market and the Capitol Building, my friend and I found our way to Cooper’s Tavern, a real favorite of mine.  There, we had a tasty Bloody Mary.  We would return here later, after a nap, for a really great dinner.  I have to say, the food at Cooper’s Tavern is very good.  For dinner, my friend had one of the specials – a good looking plate of food  featuring a steak, mushroom filled crepes, and green beans.  I had a salad.   We both had a good time, and if you’re ever visiting Madison – be sure to give this place a try.  It’s right off State Street, across from the Capitol, and next to the Military Museum.  They even have a sidewalk patio area.
The Shamrock 
After our first Bloody, we ambled back to retrieve my car.  On the way there, we stumbled on a little place called The Shamrock.  The Shamrock happens to be the very first gay bar my sister dragged me to in Madison some 15 years ago.  Has it changed?  No.  And it’s all the better for it.  The place was hopping, so we snuck in.  There was a very ‘Margaret Cho’ waitress working part of the bar, and a cute, young, thin man with headband and a mean swish working the other.  When we returned later that night, this poor dude would still be working!  The place has food, and it is a cut above your average ‘bar food’, including salads and breakfast.  All the food we saw walk past us looked great.  We ordered another round of Bloodies with beer chasers.  My friend and I both liked the bar a whole lot.  The atmosphere is authentic Midwest, no-frills, but very clean and neat.  Layout is pretty much a long rectangle with the bar on one side, next to the kitchen, next to the restrooms, and various seating taking up the other.  There is a small stage near the front entrance and a mirror ball hanging from the ceiling.  The crowd was the full spectrum of gay – all ages, all types.  It felt good to sit there.  Okay, so the Bloody Mary’s were awful (the mix was weirdly sweet) and the chaser (which came in the cutest little bottle) was bitter.  Needless to say, we didn’t drink much of them (or at least I didn’t), but that hardly spoiled our visit. 
The Doubletree Inn by Hilton
After leaving the Shamrock, we got in the car and decided to let the GPS system on my Droid guide us to the hotel.  So, first off, it pays to know the name of your hotel.  The Doubletree Inn is not the same as The Days Inn.  Second off – sometimes you need to stop listening to your GPS system, take in your surroundings, and recalculate yourself.  It took us five or six tries, but eventually we did find the hotel (a few blocks away from State Street – where we pretty much began our search). 
What can I say?  We pulled up front, and parked.  Check in was super easy, and so was parking.  The staff was friendly and well-informed (they even called me in my room to let me know that there was a block party that night at Woof’s!).  The hotel was clean and nicely decorated.  I liked the pool, never got to see the work-out room (but there is one).  Our room was super comfortable.  We never turned on the T.V.   The moment we sat on our beds and discovered just how comfy they were, along with the comforter and the pillows, we were sold. 
Travelling With a Friend
My friend took a cat nap while I trolled on-line. 
So, here’s the thing about travelling with a friend that I hadn’t considered; ummm… how do you hook-up with someone if you’re sharing a room with another dude?  This particular friend is a joy to travel with: great conversationalist, great taste in music, knowledgeable about food.  When I am with him, I am guaranteed a great time.  He’s good company.  But two is company… and three is… awkward. 
On-line, I get hit up numerous times throughout my stay by the hottest guys.  Some were intellectual giants, some passionate connoisseurs of gay sex, and some preppy cuties.  Most were age appropriate for me and right up my alley (which is exactly where they were hoping to stick it to me, nudge-nudge, wink-wink). 
Unfortunately, there was the matter of place and time.  They all wanted to come to the hotel room.  Or, if they did want me to come to their place, it turned out they lived somewhere I was unfamiliar with or made their request at an hour that I was not willing to drive. (After bars closed ?  Not this guy.)  They all understood about my friend sleeping in the queen bed next to mine – some even went so far as to suggest he join in – but that is not my friend’s thing, so I am thinking it is also not our thing.  I would suggest meeting up at Woof’s or someplace downtown, only to be told that they did not frequent bars. (So they troll for company on the net, but not bars?  To each their own.)  Needless to say, almost my entire weekend came and went without the passionate embrace of a fellow pride lover.  Which is a damn shame – because every one of those guys were blistering hot and raring to go.  Final count: Three that wanted to come to my hotel room while the roomie is sleeping, and if he wakes up, he can join in or watch.  Six that wanted me to travel to their place either clear across town or at an hour I would not travel, and seven hotties that wanted to come to the hotel room, but offered no alternatives.  Sigh.  My loss, Madison.
Lesson Learned:  When travelling with a friend – ALWAYS GET SEPARATE ROOMS!
After my friend woke from his cat nap, we talked about and shared a laugh over our predicament.  If the rooms had been cheaper, maybe we would have tried to get another, but, hey, sometimes it can’t all be about sex – even when you really feel it should be all about sex.
We made our way to Cooper’s Tavern for an early dinner, taking in the sights of State Street and the like along the way.  After dinner, we strolled around that Capitol Building (truly a beautiful structure, inside and out) and noticed the block party being set up in front of Woof’s on King Street. Okay, so at this point, I’d had 1.15 Bloody Marys, a chaser of beer, and a delicious Hendrick’s Press (thank you, Cooper’s Tavern), and a salad – minus croutons, minus bread.  I woke up at 5:00 a.m. – packed, showered, etc., drove to St. Paul to pick up my buddy, and then drove to Madison, stopping once at a rest stop to piss and grab a vending machine Sanka, and once to eat some breakfast (which I only ate tiny bits of – IT WAS HUGE).  While my friend slept, I was on–line, getting revved up, only discover that my vehicle was up on blocks for the duration.  My eyes are tired.  I want rest.  I want my pillows and comforter.  We head back to the hotel for a second cat nap.  I wean myself off Grindr, and my laptop, and close my eyes.  But I’m revved.  And I can’t sleep.  But I do rest.  My buddy falls to sleep immediately.  He wakes an hour later, and heads into the bathroom to prepare for our evening adventures.  I’m tired, but still revved.
I’d been to Woof’s once before.  It is a tiny, efficient leather bar, catering to those who like their men with a little scruff, a little buff, or a bit kinky.  It’s a great crowd.  Super-friendly and accommodating.  The bar is at the back of the club, behind which there is this little store full of leather goods, jocks, and kink-wear.  Main part of the house is open space, lined with high tops and stools, featuring a small stage at its center. At the front of the club is this wonderful little dark room with a nice leather sofa and some chairs – a kind of lounge, where I kept imaging myself making out madly with some impassioned dom.  This has yet come to fruition, but I will not give up hope.  I will live out this dream – someday. 
Now, this evening there is a block party outside. It is a well put together affair, I must say.  There’s a portion in the parking lot, next to the bar, where there are porta-potties, a tiny foam pit, a series of large, cushy bean bag chairs, and even a mini bouncy castle.  Dominating the end of the street, which is cordoned off, is a sharp DJ stage with flashing lights and three male dancers.  The dancers are not good, though the music is – and this is true of the entire weekend.  Madison DJs know their audience and how to keep a good time moving forward.  This DJ hits all the marks, including ‘When Love Takes Over’ and every Gaga song ever recorded.  The dancers?  Not so much.
The crowd is a good mix – lots of hot leather daddies, blue collar boys, a few young professionals, a handful of kinky twinks, a bachelorette party (of course!), and an odd assortment of tragic drag queens, old hippies, tourists, oddly costumed posers, and fag hags. Everybody was drinking a great deal and pretty much keeping to themselves.  It’s at this point that my friend spots a rather attractive looking older preppie downing a beer.  He’s quite good looking, in a classical way, and my friend is a bit smitten.  The dude is wearing a light blue polo and would play a bigger role as our evening continued.
Having got a sense of the whole block party scene – the parking lot, the stage, the dance crowd, a few lingering retail booths, and a series of makeshift bars – we make our way inside.  A different DJ is occupying the little dark room, which is disappointing, for me.  We soldier up to the bar and wait for service.  And wait.  And wait.  People are being belligerent.  The bar is understaffed and I do my best to be patient.  Finally, we get our waters - $3 a bottle (kind of ridiculous, if you’re the designated driver, but hey, it’s Pride).  We scope out the place.  On the center stage are a couple of dancers – not good at all – as in, neither has a clue how to dance, and one of them is a tad overweight and has cottage cheese butt.  They both have beards and the heavy one has a lot of fur.  The other one is kind of an otter-type, and is kind of hot, but he really doesn’t seem to be into it.  So my attention shifts to the crowd. 
Seated in a corner in a boot smith’s chair is one of the Ladies of Perpetual Motion – or that’s what I will call them.  There’s a whole group of them, dressed up like gothic, naughty nuns running havoc over the whole event.  This one must be the queen bee, for she is decked out exquisitely in a black lace dress, white clown-face, black tights and a pair of black cripple-boy shoes.  In other words, she looks totally unholy and a little bit dangerous. I should have chatted her up, but I have no booze-buzz, and therefore, no social skills.  Instead I just stare. 
We wander back outside.  Not much has changed.  We study the dancers.  There is one really hot older dude; bald head, goatee/stash, a sort-of-ginger, with a hot, stocky leather daddy body and a buzz cut.  He’s wearing a red wrestling singlet and works that puppy like he knows its power.   He’s good.  Then there is another otter type, very similar to the one inside, only a little more animated.  And then there is… a guy?  Okay, so we can’t figure it out.  It continues to puzzle us throughout the evening, and we even discuss it the next day.  He’s kind of a full-bodied otter, except… he has curves and legs like a woman – as in real triangle legs (thick thighs that taper to tiny ankles in a  perfect line).  We think he may be transgender.  But probably not.  He may just have one of those hard to define bodies.  That said, you have to admire him for getting up there.  And that’s true of all, but two, of the dancers we see that night.  It’s definitely amateur hour, but, for the most part, they fill the bill; a nice selection of cheese-fed Wisconsin men put on display for all to see.
We head back inside, and this time I pony up to the bar and get us a pair of drinks.  Mine’s a gin and tonic, something I drink because I don’t like beer bloat and I can’t think of anything more interesting to order.  The otter has vacated the stage and the little bear that was there before is now dancing with a real tall, muscular dude – quite handsome.  Unfortunately, his idea of dancing appears to be: “lift left foot, lift right foot, repeat” and/or, copying whatever the little bear is doing with his hands. Fortunately, the dude in the singlet jumps up there.  He’s apparently really into the muscular dude (as are we all), for he talks to him a bit and then the two of them start taking turns grinding on each other.  Inside, the singlet dude is a lot more generous, revealing a lot more flesh and plenty of pubes. They also try to do a kind of three-way grind with the little bear, but strippers have never been my thing, so we decide to go back outside.
On our way out we are stopped by… not sure, was he bouncer?  The door man?  He screams at us that we can’t take our drinks outside – no mixed drinks, beer and shots only.  My friend ignores him, I do not.  I am about to ask him a question when he flails his arms in the air and decrees – just like that dude in Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz, “Oh, whatever.  Just do whatever you like.  Sure, don’t listen to me,  just take your drinks out there.  It’s against the law.  But who cares about breaking the law?”  He’s really pissed.  And I?  Don’t know how to respond, so I walk outside with my drink.  It’s in a plastic cup and now tainted with drama.  I don’t finish it.  I throw it away.
That’s when we spot our blue-shirted preppy.  He’s been drinking.  Quite a bit.  He has that ‘I’m melting’ desperation about him now, and suddenly he is not looking quite so hot.  He disappears into the crowd and we turn our attention to the stage.  Things are definitely winding down.  We catch sight of a Carrie Bradshaw wannabe in a long blonde wig which has been pulled into a ponytail.  Missy thing needs to keep trying, she has the off the shoulder blouse just right and the shoes, but the wig and the face?  Well, bless her heart.  The DJ ends his set with some totally un-danceable song, and we decide it is time to head over to The Shamrock to catch what’s happening there.  (Woof’s?  You threw a hell of a block party and we will be back next year!)
The Shamrock II: Night of the Living Drunks
Shamrock’s is hopping.  Same faces from Woof’s, including Mr. Blue-Shirt have followed us.  He is now absolutely piss drunk and looks like a lesson I learned ages ago.  He’s careening about, and bumps into a spikey-haired blond in a plaid shirt who is every bit his equal in the drinks department.  For the remainder of our time there, the two of them do this weird mating dance.  Drunk One walks over to Drunk Two and mauls his face with his mouth in a sort of passionate kiss.  Drunk Two behaves as he is in the process of being thrown up on, so revolted is he by the advances of Drunk One.  They have a mamby-pamby spat and part ways.  Moments later Drunk Two makes a similar pass at Drunk One, with Drunk One reacting in the same manner.  They swat limp wrists at each other in a sort of gay boxing match and go their separate ways.  This goes on and on for at least three more acts.  The bartenders, much to our amazement continue to serve both dudes.  I look to my friend and say, “Things are going to get very ugly at the sidewalk sale tonight.”  The two continue their inebriated tango of seduction and we watch amused.
At one point, I get an elbow in the face by this young kid playing dress up.  He’s wearing an outfit suited for the Robert Mapplethorpe story – sort of a gangly, tall, thin version of Marlon Brando in ‘The Wild Ones’.   I lose it, as the elbow causes my glass to hit the bottom of one of my front teeth.  I grab him by the elbow as he attempts to get past me and words are exchanged.  He’s all wide-eyed and apologetic, I am apoplectic.  Finally I just growl at him to “Walk away.  Walk away!”  My friend gives me the ‘tsk tsk’ and tells me I scared the shit out of that poor kid.  I feel bad, but not as bad as my tooth hurts.
The rest of the evening we attempt to dodge the previously mentioned drunken couple, a tiny peroxide blond dyke who is so high she moves through the crowd like the corpse of Karl Lagerfeld, bumping and weaving, and every motherfucking fag hag there.  Okay… so here is a hard and fast rule for all gays:  Your fag hag is only entertaining in a bar setting TO YOU.  For the rest of us, her tipsy ass is a god damn annoyance, hazard, and – most of all – deterrent from talking TO YOU.  Seriously clueless straight women dance for our pleasure all night, sloshing their drinks everywhere in the process.  Happy  Fucking Gay Pride.
God, I sound like a crabby old queen (Shaddup!). 
Just as I am about to tell my friend that it is time to call it a night, a tall, dark, hunky dude with some sexy scruff sidles up beside me.  I take one look at him and proclaim to my friend very loudly, “Oh, this one will do!” – thinking that this stranger saw an empty spot next to me and just ended up there with no intention of actually talking to me.  But that is not the case.  We do talk.  He’s bisexual.  We talk about eating pussy.  Eating ass.  Titties.  Butt holes.  Va-Jay-Jays.  Then the topic turns to work.  I tell him what I do and where I work.  He works for a similar company.  I know all the companies in our field that operate in his area and ask which one, because my brother-in-law also works at one of them.  He clams up.  Now, I already told him where I work and I don’t know his last name (or him, from Adam, for that matter), but apparently that is enough to cause him to scurry away.  I shrug.  We watch Drunk One and Drunk Two for a moment longer and then I tell my bud that I need to hit the can before we can leave.  On my way to the bathroom I see Mr. Bi.  He’s seated at the bar, on the end where they serve food during the day.  I take note and exit to pee.  On my way back to my friend, I decide to set things right with Mr. Bi before heading out.  This results in a fucking hot make out session, with my pressing all up on the hard dick he’s got hiding in his jeans.  The kissing is good.  The hole massage is even hotter. 
He wants to fuck me, but I need to have a place to go.  I explain about the hotel and my friend and he says he can join in or watch.  Or I think that’s what he says.  Or maybe he says to get rid of my friend.  Really?  And how does that work.  “Hey bud, could you sit in the lobby for about a half hour while I turn this trick?”  In one sense, it is my style (tacky me), but in another – it is not.  And it is definitely not my friend’s style.  I excuse myself, saying I need to find my friend.  I grab my bud and tell him we’re leaving, and don’t even bother telling Mr. Bi  - good-bye.  Such a cock tease!  Well, at least I got a little.  And for that matter, so did he.  Wanting, though, it left us both.  Sigh.  (Shakespeare!)
As we’re exiting I say good-night to the tall, black bouncer, and look over to see the following scene:  Drunk Two in the plaid shirt is dancing in the middle of the street  a la ‘Silence of the Lambs’ while people stand around him and stare.  One the sidewalk, to my right, is Drunk One – who has ripped his light blue polo shirt – ripped it to shreds and is screaming/fighting with about three other people.  I turn to the bouncer and say, “We predicted that two hours ago.”  He smiles and we head toward our hotel.
We stop in Sotti.  It’s last call, but the lovely ladies at the door let us in.  It’s a club in the basement of this building and it is small but nice.  It reminds me of a lot of clubs in the 1980’s.  I have to pee… again, so I head off toward where I think the bathrooms are.  The lights from the dance floor are in my eyes and I – almost go down – but not in the manner I am accustomed to at closing time.  Turns out the dance floor is sunken, as in two steps down.  I do manage to stay upright but wretch my back in the process.  I hobble off to the restroom.  When I come out, my friend decides there is not enough there (all young, very college, sweet – but not our thing) to warrant buying a drink and we head back to the hotel, where I troll on line a bit before drifting off to sleep.  I get three hours’ worth.
The Parade
We drag our asses out of bed, drink the hotel room coffee, clean up, and head downtown.  My sister is going to meet us.  Check out is a breeze and we manage to find parking nearby for the day.  I want a latte and end up waiting for it to be made for what seems like forever, while the three people behind the counter of the coffee house restock frozen fruit, coffee filters, etc. My patience is thin, but the latte is worth it.  We arrive a few minutes before the parade. 
I take in our surroundings.  At the mouth of State Street, kiddy-corner from the Capitol Building (streets are set up like spokes to a wheel, with the Capitol Building serving as its hub) there are about eight booths and a couple of food vendors.  On the steps of the Capitol, a DJ is spinning great tunes.  Beside him, about half a dozen protesters with signs that read things like: “Homo Sex is A Sin!” and the like.  The protesters are flagged on either side by uniformed policemen.  Standing in front of the protesters – people trying either to engage them in debate, or staring them down (dude in gold lame’ pants – you are fierce). 
My sister easily spots me, introductions are done, and we find a nice comfy shaded spot on the curb. 
The parade begins.  There are probably a dozen churches represented, three drag queens, dykes on bikes, a singing group, PFlag, two politicians (only one present), The Latino Aloha Group, two bars (Inferno and Club 5), a karaoke float, a rapper hawking a 30 song CD, HRC, some other human rights group, The Grey Panthers, a radio station, a high school LGBT club, and this wonderful man with a giant rainbow top hat all bedecked in rainbow stripes and marabou feathers (he was the best!).  They pass us once, walk all the way around the Capitol and the walk past us again, and that’s it folks.  We cheer and clap as loudly as we can throughout.  Sure, it’s modest – but it was great.
This serves as my first Gay Pride Parade, ever!  I’ve never bothered with the one in Minneapolis.   Not my thing.  But this one, this was so sweet and earnest.  I’m glad it was my first (Madison, I was saving it for you!).
Capital Tap Haus
We have lunch at Capital Tap Haus on State Street.  It’s a brew house, and has the tastiest suds in the form of their Supper Club beer made from corn grits!  I am not a beer drinker (it was the chaser to my Bloody Mary), but so impressed am I, bought a growler of it to take home.   The food and service was great, too.  So was the conversation.  And, of course, my friend now has a huge crush on my brother-in-law (he is quite a hottie).
Last Go-Round
After that, we head to Woof’s where we both drank water and took a look at the leather goods in the back.  Then, I sat in the boot smith’s chair and a real hot bearded leather daddy come over and jokingly offer to spit shine my boots.  I really should have taken him up on it.  He was as hot as the pics they show on all their video screens.  That’s how I passed the time, looking at classic black and white leather/blue collar pics. 
Then we made our way to Shamrocks.  Again, I had water (I was driving).  We took in the scene and then hit the road.
I’m really glad I went.  I just love Madison.  Next time I visit I plan on staying at the Motel 6 near Club 5.  I love the scene at Club 5, and really should have dragged my friend out there. 
Oh, yeah, and next time, if he comes with – we’ll each have our own room!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Acquired Tastes XVIII: Total Pigs / Pig Sex

I was thinking about this topic last night. I hadn't been fucked since Monday and it was now Thursday night. This has become much more common for me, for I've kind of slowed down with the whole 'need something everyday' thing. Literally - last night I thought about cruising on-line for a hook-up or going to a park, but when I really thought about it? It turned out I would rather have a sandwich. Which is what I did. 

As I was munching on that bad boy, I thought about the days when I was bordering on turning a corner - so to speak, and seriously contemplating moving from merely being a gay man who really enjoys sex to becoming a...

Total Pig(s) / Pig Sex

Scope of Activity:

You know those restaurants that Chef Gordon Ramsey visits where they have a menu with hundreds of items on it? The kind that go for pages and pages and pages? Yeah, pig sex, or being a total pig, is a lot like that - it involves a huge menu of activities. In other words, it goes beyond the realm of being a total slut or extremely promiscuous. If a sexual activity exists, a total pig will attempt it, learn to like it, and come to accept it as something he does. They also tend to be very inventive. This actually is a good thing for the gay community and gay sex in general, because total pigs are frequently the innovators when it comes expanding the lexicon of gay sex.
But then again,some say it is a bad thing for the gay community. 

Or so say those who worry about how the gay community is perceived by the rest of the world (heterosexuals). The more prudish among us would have you believe that by indulging in this type of behavior we give straights the right to criticize us - as in, we behave like wanton animals and therefore that lends credence to many of the hateful arguments by the likes of NOM, the FRC, the Westboro Church, the AFA, and the government of Uganda, dispariging and condemning gay folks. They sort of have a point, but not really... because there are straight people out there who are just as piggish as the gayest total pig. Also - if it exists in the gay world, then there is almost always a straight equivalent activity. So I think that pretty much renders the gay critics point moot.

The Official Line:

With information from : Gaydemon's Dicktionary

So, turns out there are actually three distinct meanings for the term.

1/ A person who is willing and eager to participate in any type of sexual encounter.without limits. This can involve all sorts of activities, including: hard core fisting, water sports, sounding, being the focus of a gang bang, bareback sex, and other extreme fetishes; the kind deemed not for the skittish or weak of heart. "In some communities, the term can also simply refer to someone who is a sex addict, who seeks sex constantly."

You'll frequently find these folks in the Bear, Leather, or BDSM communities, but bottom line - if there is a scene where nasty sex is tolerated and participated in - then you will find total pigs hanging there. Typically, a pig will seek an audience; it enhances the experience for them. They may limit their sexual activity to one dude, or invite those around to tag team them.

"Simply put, a 'sex pig' is someone who will try anything, at least once. They are someone who seeks something new, no matter how great the risk might be, but they do set their own limits. It is just that those limits appear to the casual observer as being inconsequential."

2/ A dude who has sex with another dude that they find attractive due to the other dude's lack of beauty or less than standard physical appearance. Think of it as 'ugly sex', or having sex with someone who is considered by the general population to be repulsive - in this case the repulsive person is the pig and the dude who is turned on by the idea of fucking the pig is engaging in pig sex.

Similar in nature to a 'pity fuck', 'mercy fuck', 'charity fuck', or 'dog fuck'. Generally associated with College Fraternity Hazing, where pledges are sent out to find the least attractive person they can find, have sex with them, and then bringing the pig back to the frat house for scrutiny (this usually involves belittling and humiliating the pig).

3/ Another form of being a 'sex pig' involves someone who is attracted to people who are obese, or considered to be very overweight - in this connotation the obese is considered the pig and the dude attracted to him is engaging in pig sex. This usually has a verbal component; taunting the pig as you pork them. May also involve food and feeding.

For the scope of this article, we will primarily concern ourselves with the first definition.

Psychological Aspects:

.Is it an act of surrender? To quote tomcs128 from the blog Truckstop Troughman: "The wide open depravity of this scene appeals strongly to me. I love it when I’m in a don’t-give-a-shit frame of mind like this. It’s exhilarating and liberating to be so far into your sex needs that you shed social convention and just go after satisfying your insatiable lust, in public." 

Or is it merely a matter of sexual addiction? According to Wikipedia, sex addiction is defined as: "a conceptual model which attempts to explain some forms of hypersexuality - sexual urges, behaviors, or thoughts, that appear extreme in frequency, or feel out of one's control."

"Hypersexuality is often associated with addictive or obsessive personalities, escapism, psychological disorders, low self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, lowered sexual inhibitions and behavioral conditioning. Addiction is the state of behavior outside the boundaries of social norms which reduces an individual's ability to function efficiently in general routine aspects of life or develop healthy relationships."

Is it possible to be a psychologically healthy total pig? Do they do it because they want to, or are they doing it because they feel compelled to?

That pretty much captures the internal struggle a total pig must overcome in order to commit to this type of life.

What are the rewards? Sexual bliss. Total fulfillment. The sense of being needed and used. To be of service to the community. 

The downside? Self-esteem issues. Risk of STDs significantly increasing with the wide array of activities a total pig is likely to participate in. Risk of injury. And depending upon the circumstances (like say, public displays in non-traditional locations) the possibility of being arrested. Then there is also the shame cast by those who deem such behavior as unseemly and socially unacceptable. Sometimes a pig is viewed as a social outcast. He runs the risk of either being the life of the party/the center of erections - or - being a social pariah. 

There is also the physical toll to be considered as well. A well-stretched asshole is not always a pretty thing. I watched a video of this rather young, total pig get his hole pissed in. Due to the amount of fisting and fucking he was used to, he was able to open it up with his hands like you would open up a purse! Needless to say, no funnel necessary. That said, his hole looked used and abused. His had a nasty red rash-looking ring around it. I have also seen those where it looks black, as in bruised. One's hole doesn't recover from that. Such extreme sex can have an effect on your overall appearance as well, and that can be what can lead to them being ostracized at a bathhouse or sex party. The psychological consequences of such rejection can be quite impactful.

My Experience:

I have definitely sat astride this fence. And, based on my observations and experience - you either embrace the life or you remain nothing more than a total slut. Some of the requests I have received when in a 'pig' mood have had me running for the nearest exit. That said, there must be some internal mechanism that prevents me from ever giving myself over to the total pig experience. Not that I haven't been a totally nasty slut, sucking on any cock in my vicinity at the local bathhouse, but the more extreme activities always leave me cold. So, perhaps, one not only needs to embrace the life, but also be born into it. 

Extreme bondage, or leather scenes? Have limited appeal for me. I can look at a few pictures of them, but not tons. And I can be titillated by the idea of being involved in such scenes, but, given the opportunity, I would decline to participate. So, no pig, am I. I remain nothing more than a common slut. Taking multiple cocks up my ass in my garage while wearing a blindfold. That is extreme. But it was something I wanted to try and that was the end of it. I get titillated by the idea of doing it again, but the reality is - it was a lot of work setting all that up. And the results didn't quite live up to my expectations - not that it was bad... it was actually really hot, but I didn't find it so fulfilling that it was an experience I needed to repeat with any frequency. It was more a phase. I don't think total pigs have that option - to opt out. I think the compulsion rules their lives.

Do I cast derision down upon the heads of total pigs? Eek. I want to say, who am I to judge and more power to them, but the fact is... I do, a little. I avoid them in sexual situations and find them a little too unseemly for me to associate with - though I enjoy their videos. And who am I to judge? I support their right to behave in any manner that does not harm others. And, as a total slut, I do understand that overriding need for sexual fulfillment. In the end, I say 'there for the grace of God, go I'. I could easily become one, but I'm just too damn busy. I don't have the room in my life for something so all-consuming. I don't have the income to afford all those accessories, either.

My Conclusion:

Being a total pig is all-consuming. You have to have the resources and the time to dedicate yourself to the life. You also need to be hardwired for it. While I revel in their total surrender, I flee should one approach me at the bathhouse. They are brave souls. I am not. And in the end... slut that I am...

I think I'd rather have a sandwich.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Book Ends: The Summer Knows....

Ah, August... you bring thoughts of autumn and of having to relinquish my days of sun and fun. I have a kick-ass tan this year; though I am thinking this may be my last year for tanning. I don't want to end up looking like I'm made of leather.

As the season winds down I keep thinking that what was there at the beginning is now returning, sort of like bookends to the season. And after my adventure yesterday I am more than convinced that summer is folding in on itself, and repeating itself in the most delicious way.

Let me backtrack.

At the beginning of the season, and it began quite early this year (I was actually out there at the end of April getting my tan on), I was at the prairie, playing around on my cell phone and soaking up the rays. As an experiment I had put out a quick ad on a hook-up site I have come to prefer (or at least, at that time I liked it).  Basically I was adopting my "Little Whore on the Prairie" persona and hoping someone would wander into the woods and take me up on my offer. My ad caught the attention of all the usual players, those that claim interest, ask way too many questions, and then, for some vague reason, just can't seem to make it on that day at that time. Players are part of the landscape when hooking-up on-line and I am getting pretty handy at spotting (and remembering) them. Most of the sites I frequent have a limit to the number of emails you can send back and forth, so I don't waste my time with certain people anymore.

Pretty much convinced this is going nowhere, I am about to give up and go home. It is way early in the season and none of the regulars have appeared on the scene yet (as many would not this year), for the prairie grass was not very high. It was still showing signs of being butchered last fall when the parks and wrecks department had had a field day re-landscaping and manicuring the space into something more family-friendly. Hard to say what they had in mind, but the result was, and this would remain true for the whole summer, that likeminded gay folk in search of a little something-something in the woods stayed away in droves. So, mission accomplished parks and wrecks! You suck. And we gay dudes that love sex in the great outdoors, did not get suck much at all.

Thinking of packing it in, I get hit up on by this black dude on-line, someone I had never talked to before. He asks the usual questions and I am about to write him off as a time waster, but since I am not doing anything else at the time, I decide to see where it goes. Once he's googled the spot I am occupying and determines where I'm at, the conversation dials down ending on a vague, "I will see what I can do" note. Well, that holds more promise than anything else I have going on, so since nothing is going on but the rent, I stay put and chill out for a bit longer.

Twenty minutes later, I spy a nice-looking black dude walking down the main road that leads to the beach. I'm seated in the perfect spot to catch any and all activity on the prairie. Sometimes when seated there I feel like a giant spider waiting for some poor innocent to stumble into my web. Anyway, my spidey-senses pick up on this one immediately. I watch as strides forward. I know he caught a glimpse of me, but his eyes do not meet mine, and I am thinking he is probably on his way to the lake. But I do not lose hope, and in fact find my heart racing. Is this the dude I spoke to on-line? Possibly.

See, my phone is small, which means the pictures on it are even smaller. The glare of the sun, washing out my phone's display doesn't help matters either. That said, I have no idea exactly what the dude on-line looks like, despite the fact that he had pictures posted in his profile. Still, you don't see a ton of black dudes on the prairie, so, for that reason alone, I hold out some hope.

He matches the stats of the dude on-line: 5'10", 170, bald head... oh, yeah - and black. Even without my glasses and at some distance, I can tell he is fairly good-looking. Generous lips, kind eyes. I don't get a sense of anything mean about him. His body is stocky - meaty. He turns off the main road onto a path that leads behind me. I play coy and keep my eyes averted in the opposite direction. Now, either he will circle the entire prairie or disappear down one of the paths that lead into the woods. I turn and look, catching a glimpse of him as he vanishes into the trees. Did he look back at me? Not sure.

So part of me is thinking I should just stay put and the other part of me wants to chase after him. Chasing after him means leaving my stuff out in the open, but then I consider the fact that nothing else is going on and nobody else is around, so maybe I should go for it. Then I realize that by weighing my options, I have probably lost any chance of getting him because he is probably already halfway down to the lake by now. Indecisiveness is something I am not comfortable with, so I grab my poppers, a condom, a tube of lube, and head on back into the woods.
A few yards in, I am thinking he is gone and that I am wasting my time. I almost turn around and go back to my blanket, but in for a penny, in for a pound, right? I walk another couple yards and glance to the right and left. To my left, I catch a glimpse of something other than flora. With my hopes rising, I wind my way down the path. Up close, he's even lovelier than I imagined. I figure he's about 32 and his skin is beautiful and smooth. I like his hunky form - a real man - not a gym bunny, but muscular and masculine. His lips part into a smile. It's killer and my knees automatically bend as if to assume the position.

He's sequestered himself in a tiny alcove off the main path; just big enough for two, but no more. It offers, even this early into the season, plenty of privacy, or at least enough to get the deed done. His right hand is casually toying with the magnificent tent in front of his nylon shorts. In a flash, I am on my knees servicing his his dick. My new thing is to open my mouth as wide as I can and swallow the whole member right off the bat. I must be really eager and ready to get it on, because in spite of his dick being a good eight inches, I still manage to wrap my throat around it without any struggle. He moans. They usually do. After all these years, I do believe I am now as a good a cocksucker as I am a kisser. Yes, on occasion, they both get a little too wet - saliva is a good thing, until it is not - too much never being a good thing.
I work my way around his tool as my hands wander under his shirt and up to his nips. I give them a squeeze and he likes that, too. The shirt comes off. I really like his biceps. Not sure exactly what he's up for: is it just a suck and go? Does he want to fuck me? After ten minutes on my knees, I decide to try and entice him with my ass. I rise, keeping his dick in my mouth while angling my ass to his right side. Bent over, this gives him easy access to my hole, should he want to poke around back there. Much to my pleasure, that is exactly what he has in mind. His right hand slips under the waistband of my shorts, as his index finger finds its way to my lubed hole. He's good with his fingers and I am pretty sure he's going to want to fuck me. Now it's just a question of bareback or covered.

I'd dropped the lube, condom, and poppers on the ground next to us when I first fell to my knees, so I'm pretty sure he's aware that they are there. I stand upright in order to shuck down my shorts. As I do so, our eyes meet and soon our lips are melded together. He grinds his dick into mine, all the while; his hands are spreading the cheeks of my ass, his fingers expertly opening up my hole. "Fuck me", I say. I keep it quiet; it's not a question, but a request. He doesn't say anything, simply turns me around so I'm facing away from him, bends me over, and starts teasing my hole with the fat head of his dick. I reach for the poppers and lube, hand him the lube, and take a hit off the poppers. I offer them up to him as well, but he shakes his head no. His slicked up dick slides its way slowly into my hole. Fuck yeah, just how I like it. A nice easy entrance. No pain. No ugly surprises. He pulls out just as slow. It feels like heaven, which makes me wish I hadn't done the poppers, for when the experience is that sweet, why dilute it with chemicals? From that point on I decide to discontinue using them for the remainder of our session.

In and out. He picks up the tempo until he's pounding my hole hard, pulling back on my hips, forcing my ass to meet his dick. He's so strong. I feel like a fucking rag doll in his hands. I arch up and turn my head, searching for his lips, but he's so intent on fucking me, such intimacy is the last thing on his mind. "You want it?" he asks me. "Fuck yeah", I respond. He loads my ass up and continues to ram into me. He wants me to get off, too. Thankfully, I haven't been doing any additional poppers, and the pressure against my prostrate has me hard as a rock and on the edge. He fucks the cum right out of me... and since I hadn't cum in a week, it's a nice load, leaving a nice pool of glaze on the forest floor as testimony to the great time we just had.

I ease my ass off his dick, turn around and am on my knees to do clean up duty, taking his dick in mouth all the way to the root. This, in spite of all the health risks, has become one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes dudes are too sensitive and beg off, but this man is digging it, even pulling me off his dick and redirecting me to clean up his balls, before deep fucking my throat a bit more.

Completely satisfied, he pulls me up. Eye to eye, he kisses me, deeply. Despite our precarious surroundings and the possibility of being seen, he's in no rush. His embrace is all-consuming and manly. I feel used, in the best sense of the word.

Shorts are pulled up, sundries collected. He walks out the way he came in. I follow and watch him as he exits the prairie. Still reverberating with pleasure, I hear a little voice in my head say "come back." He doesn't, of course. And he never does. I return to the prairie numerous times that month and run the same ad on that site, but I never hear from or see him again.

Fast-forward to mid-August. I'd given up on the prairie for some reason. It is a bit more of a drive for me to get there and I found that I wasn't meeting quality people. I tried changing things up by going down to the lake quite a bit more than I had in previous summers, but people drink down there and, if I want to hang out with intoxicated gay guys, I will drag my ass to a gay bar. Instead, I begin spending my time after work at another park, this one on the Mississippi. I have a spot I always sun in and... I am the only dude that does so. It's on a small hill facing the west with a picnic table at the bottom and a trail beyond the picnic table that leads down to the river. It's an ideal spot where I get plenty of sun between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 pm. No one else suns here, mainly because it's right out in the open: there are no trees or underbrush to serve as cover. Not that I have anything to hide. I put it right out there in the open. I don't mind the attention... and I do get a fair amount. Some of it unwanted.

There are a lot of trolls that frequent the parking lots. I have befriended a few of them, but most, I keep at arm’s length. Some of them are much older than me, the others, simply not my kind of fun. Have I developed standards? Goll, I would have to say, yes. In fact, this summer, I have spent more days outdoors, sunning and NOT having sex, than I have actually having sex. The decision to do so was mine; motivated by one too many STD scares and a desire for a healthier sense of self.

The trolls I have befriended? They are sweet and fully realize that absolutely nothing of a sexual nature is ever going to happen between us. On occasion, they have been very helpful. I lost my keys once, and one of them helped me find them. They also go out of their way to inform me whenever they suspect an undercover cop is lurking about. Whether there's any validity to their suspicions? That I can't say. But I appreciate that they have my back. They kind of serve as my gay guardian angels.

Last Thursday, I only had an hour to sun bathe. I take a rather intensive two-hour naked yoga class once a week on Thursdays, so, rather than my usual, leisurely hour and half to two hours, I really had to watch the clock. After weeks of blistering heat, this week has been rather mild, with temps only in the high 70's, and I have really been enjoying my time outdoors, even more than usual, and I don't want to miss a single day.

I change my clothes in my car, pack my duffle bag, and make my way to my usual spot. There are lots of cars in the parking lot today... all minus drivers and passengers, which indicates, to me, that they are probably all down below, near the river, busy cruising and getting their freak on. I recognize a number of the cars, but there are several I do not. There was a time when I would have made my way down to the river, just to check out who was about and what they were up to, but no more. I figure if they are interested in seeing me, they know where to find me and whatever it is they are up to down below... well, that's their business, not mine.

At my usual spot, I unfurl my blanket and start my usual routine, the details of which I will spare you. The entire time, I am keeping my eye on the comings and goings near the parking lot, mostly because I am curious to see who is out and about. I strip off my shorts and remove my tennis shoes before coating my body with lotion. Today, rather than baby oil (which I know is so bad for me) I am using cocoa butter. I'm just starting on my feet, when a young black male appears from the woods near the parking lot. Even at such a distance I can tell that he is cute and a bit on the young side. He spots me right away and rather than continuing to the parking lot and his car, he pauses on the blacktop path.  Without thinking, I raise a hand in greeting, and yank it down just as quickly. I don't recognize him. He could be a cop, for all I know. He doesn't respond in kind, but he is intrigued enough to start strolling down the path toward the picnic table at the bottom of the hill.

Part of me is hoping he will sit on the picnic table and stare at me for a bit. Then I can give him a show. See, I have taken to sunning this summer wearing a sort of jock strap made by a company called Pistol Pete. It looks like a pair of bikini underwear or a speedo from the front, but the ass is totally exposed and nicely framed. Therefore, I typically only get to sun lying on my back, with my legs flat and usually held close together. That is, except for those occasions when someone who piques my interest sets his butt down at the picnic table. Then I like to put on a little show; the kind that indicates to them that I am a bottom who likes to get fucked. Now this is not a daily occurrence - again, it's rare these days that I find myself sexually attracted to someone. And sometimes the show is all they get, as in, either circumstances don't allow for more (too many people about), or I am not in the mood for more. Today, despite my time constraint, that is not the case. It's been a full week since I got fucked and I am not going to turn down an opportunity to do just that. Given that, I am very tempted to just turn over and put my ass in the air, but then I don't know this dude at all, so I hold off.

He reaches the picnic table and then does what so few before him have done - he starts walking up the hill towards me! As he draws closer, I start taking note of his stats: black, 22-26 years old, swimmers build, great skin tone, nicely shaped head, killer eyes, good hygiene. His hair is buzzed short and his lips are... luscious. I greet him and ask him how it's going. He stands before me wearing sweat pants that hang nicely on his hips and a tank top which shows of his smooth arms. Two sentences into a discussion of the weather and I decide to go for broke. I spread my legs wide on the blanket and slowly bring one of my knees up, exposing my nicely framed hole. His appreciation is instantaneous. This encourages me to reach over, take a dab of cocoa butter and rub it on my pucker. He drops down to the blanket and sits between my legs. Tentatively he takes his index finger and presses my hole. "Is it safe to do this here?" And, yes, he has a point.

The black top path runs the length of the park, and while we have a great view right and left of anyone approaching, they eventually will have an equally great view of us. "It is as long as nobody comes walking down that path." He smiles as his finger presses more firmly against my hole, until it opens up and allows him inside. We check around us. No one in sight. Once he buries his finger in my hole, I decide to up the ante. I raise up my hips and literally begin fucking his finger. He's way into this. So much so, he removes his finger and wrestles down the waist band of his sweat pants in order to show off his hot, hard dick. Oh, be still my throbbing asshole.

Checking the landscape for interlopers and seeing none, I dive mouth-first down the length of his cock and hold him there. I constrict my throat and swallow just to show him what he's in store for should he decide to comply with my next suggestion. After working my throat up and down his shaft a few times, I pull off and ask him if he'd like to continue this somewhere a bit more private. He's game and clueless as to where to go. I tell him to head down the path directly behind the picnic table and wait for me. He packs up his tool and heads toward the river.

Now I have to get my poop in a group and quickly. He's not going to wait forever and I need to get to him before someone appears on the path and catches me disappearing into the bushes. Why? Because if it is a troll or another cruiser, they will follow, hoping to participate or watch. And if it is a dog walker, a bicyclist, or a casual stroller, then they will see me disappearing into the bushes and probably surmise why I am doing it. On go the shorts and the tennis shoes. I dig in my bag and locate the following: poppers, cock ring, lube, and a condom. I don't want to risk not getting fucked, and since we didn't discuss bareback or safe, I want to be prepared.

Just as I am getting on my feet, I spy a couple of dog walkers - regulars - coming down the path to my left. They are far enough away that I might be able to make it to the mouth of the pathway without attracting too much attention. Swiftly, I make my way toward the picnic table, my heart racing. Once on the pathway, I spot my intended standing with his back to me a few yards away. As I approach, I see he has his dick out and is stroking it. As I pass him, I pause long enough to swallow his eight inch wonder, before continuing down the trail. He follows. I veer off to the left, going just a tad further than I usually do. There is a nice set of large rocks jutting out of the side of the hill and I have always thought they would make for a great spot to fuck.

Turning around, I drop to my knees and get busy. His dick is perfect; nice head, great width and length, with a nice pair of medium hangers. I take in all I can, varying my technique, while spending ample time on his balls as well. He smells fucking hot - a nice, rich, fresh funk. I like it so much I even lick his buzzed pubes. Soon I have his sweat pants down around his ankles. I've already shucked off my shorts and am wearing only my Pistol Pete. He sits down, bare-assed, on the rock above us and I dutifully remain between his legs. I'd placed the lube, condom, and poppers to the left of this rock when we arrived. He spots the poppers, uncorks them and takes a huge hit before offering them to me. We are in a precarious place, one where if we lose our balance it will not end well at all, but I feel pretty secure with him and take a brief hit. Fortunately, the poppers are old - effective, but not mind-numbing. That suits our purposes and situation to a "T".

After a bit, my hands move up to his nipples, and he shucks off his tank top. His body is truly sweet. A true swimmer’s build, I can't help but wonder how the hell his magnificent ass is handling that abrasive rock. But then again, if things go as planned, it's going to get even rougher for him. I'm not sure how we manage it, but soon my Pistol Pete is off and we are pressing our dicks together. The kissing is really electric and it gives me a moment or two to really study his face. He has Eurasian eyes and his eyes are not sunken at all. This makes him even more exotic looking. I'm smitten.

I caress his scalp. He bites my neck. I return the flavor. We're totally in sync with one another. He's playing with my ass and I want to ride his dick. I reach up and grab the trunk of a small tree overhead. Pulling myself up, I situate my feet on either side of him, my hole perched over the head of his dick. His dick is slicked up enough with my saliva that lube isn't necessary and his busy fingers have more than opened up my hole. He holds the poppers under my nose and I take a hit as I impale myself on his cock. Yep, this is awkward as hell and feels precarious to say the least, and yet... it really works. Using the tree in one hand and the top of the rock with the other to improve my leverage, I begin to raise and lower my ass. He's duly impressed and we kiss like mad. It's a hot position, but one with a definite time limit. I keep it up for as long as I can; the muscles in my arms straining, the ones in my thighs cramping just a bit. Fortunately, I think his young ass has taken quite a beating sitting on that rock and he's ready for a change, too.

We stand and he finishes me doggy-style, pounding his hips into me. We would offer quite the sight to any boater happening by on the river below. And who knows, maybe we did - we were too far gone at that point to even notice if anyone was watching. Taking turns, with me fucking back on his dick, and him taking control of my hips and pulling me onto him, he tells me that he wants to breed my ass. I am only too happy to let him do just that. Finished, he pulls out of me and I do my usual clean up. We kiss. He's very complimentary, as am I... we exchange names and he promises to look for me next time he's at the park. We dress. He exits straight up the hill as I retrace my steps, exiting the way we came in. I get back to my blanket, grab some water, return down the path, and clean out my ass. Then I make my way back to my blanket to rinse my mouth with some Listerine.

I spend the next half hour marveling at the weather, my recent experience, and it's then that I recall how the season began, and how this man was like a bookend to the season. I doubt I will ever see this dude again, either. There's not much of summer left.

But, if this were to be my last day in the sun, it sure was a sweet way to end it.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Savage Word: The Rebranding of ‘The F-Bomb’

Can you rehabilitate a word?  Can you reclaim something if it wasn’t yours to begin with?  I don’t think so. 
For me, it began when I read yet another article about sex columnist/gay activist/MTV talking head Dan Savage spouting off about something in a manner that got him lots of negative attention.  Dan is cool.  But Dan still thinks he’s twenty-four years old.  He, born October 7, 1964, doesn’t buy into the notion that what is perfectly excusable out of the mouth of someone under the age of 25 is no longer acceptable when you are an established 40-something, self-appointed role model.   But that is his choice (to behave that way), and while I don’t think he needs to conduct himself like Anderson Cooper, I also feel his message would be taken more to heart and be more readily received by a wider audience if it were delivered utilizing civil, less-bombastic language.  He is a writer, after all, and one would think, clever and talented as he is, that he has an arsenal of words at his disposal and would therefore resist the temptation of resorting to hurling ugly, sophomoric epitaphs (a final judgment on a person or thing) at his intended targets. 
Case in point, and the whole reason I’m writing about this, Dan’s recent tweets re: GoProud – that horribly misguided group of gay Republicans who insist on being part of a party they were not invited to attend.  And yes, it’s a little like the NAACP joining forces with the KKK to hold a bake sale.  They (GoProud) are a ridiculous group, apparently only interested in whatever power they can glom onto in an arena (gay Republicans) where there can’t be all that much competition (like a bunch church ladies), or only concerned about how much of their money those damn Dems are going to suck out of their collective teat. Or maybe the tea room sex at the Republican Convention is simply too irresistible and the only way they can get in is to be official party members – given the many, many so-called ‘gay scandals’ involving Republicans and conservatives, perhaps it really is worth all that well gestated self-loathing.
The tweet in question: “The GOP’s house faggots grab their ankles right on cue.” – Dan’s response to GOProud's official endorsement of Mitt Romney for president back in late June 2012 (yeah, I know – where the hell have I been, huh?). 
Here is the letter I wrote Mr. Savage:
I have to take issue with your recent tweets re: those stupid gay Republicans.
First off, let’s look at your use of the word faggot.  I know, I know… the current understanding is that by using the F-Bomb we are reclaiming it and it therefore loses its power.  Now, where have I heard this before?  Let me think.  Oh, yeah!  That other culture and that equally offensive N-Word.  Dan, sorry, but an offensive word used to demean others is... wait for it... still an offensive word. Plus – if I remember right, and I do… IT WAS NEVER OUR WORD.  It was theirs.  To hurl at us and make us feel awful.  Suggestion:  grow up and play like a grown-up –deliver your message without coming off as a total ass wipe.  There are tons of wonderful words out there to use.  I realize that GoProud has used the F-bomb in the past as well, but… hey, like we expect anything different from those idiots?  See - self-hate is still hate, Dan.   Word to your muthah!
Second issue: you demean bottoms when you liken the activities and choices of the self-serving, ridiculously un-evolved, status and money hungry, gay Republicans to certain God-given sexual acts.  Those Log Cabin boys at GoProud?  What they do is disgusting.  Where as butt sex is just a damn good time (if you’re doing it right and have enough lube)… whether you are a top or a bottom.  To cast a bad light on the act of bending over and taking it sends a message of ‘shame on you’ to all bottoms, and I know that was not your intention.  Because I’m pretty sure you appreciate a good bottom.  Please choose your metaphors more carefully in the future.
Thanks, Dan.  I’m warming up to the idea of you being an activist and the voice of our people (well, at least those not so fucked in the head that they align themselves with the Republican party – not that I mean to demean those who like getting fucked in the head: for maximum pleasure use plenty of lube).  Like Mary Tyler Moore before you – you’re gonna make it after all!
-       Uptonking 
I am not holding my breath waiting for a response.  I have written Mr. Savage a number of times over the years, about all sorts of things.  Sometimes I compliment him or congratulate him.  Sometimes I am critical of something he has stated, done, or is related to his ‘Savage Love’ column (the illustrations he used to use were sometimes not very PC).  I have always been surprised (and pleased) when he had the time to respond.  I know he’s super busy now, as his career is on a whole ‘nother level (hate that phrase).  What I have learned from those emails is that he does not take criticism well (who does?).  Still, I remain a big fan and continue to read his column faithfully.  Would he agree that my stance on the word ‘faggot’ is legitimate?  I doubt it.  Because those who don’t get it only see their side of the issue, and, hey – free speech is free speech, right?
Back to the question at hand – can you rehabilitate a word?
I know that the African-American community, or at least those involved in the parts of the music industry (rap/hip-hop), have made it their mission to reclaim what those of us not allowed to use it refer to as ‘the N-Word’.  Personally, I’m glad ‘we’re’ not allowed to use it, because I despise it.  It conjures up one of the very worst parts of American history.  The people that uttered it then were ugly, repugnant souls – whom one could argue (if you dared – but don’t, please) were simply ignorant and born into a culture of hate.  But hate is hate, and America has had a hell of a lot to answer for before and after the antebellum days of yore.  The fact that the KKK and other such groups exist in this day and age at all is a testament to the power of hate and the inexplicable need for one person to declare themselves superior to another.  That a good number of Caucasians don’t understand why they can’t use the ‘N-Word’ also demonstrates a sort of willful ignorance on their part.
David Bowie wrote: “Blacks got respect, and whites got his soul train”.  For the sake of this argument I would say that blacks got the N-Word and the gays got the F-Bomb.   
And based on their former uses and users – I think it is an apt comparison.
That said – I don’t think the F-Bomb is a word anybody should be using either, unless they are referring to a bundle of sticks.
I very much doubt if there is a gay guy out there who did not, at some point in their life, have this word either hurled at them in a hateful manner, or uttered in a negative manner in their presence.   In most of those cases I just bet that we – to reference Mr. Savage’s tweet – grabbed our ankles and took it without protesting at all.   Why – because it was meant to scare us.  It was uttered in hate, and hate, by its very nature, is frightening.  It is meant to silence us.  It is uttered so that we will disappear.  So why would anyone think this is a word that we can now throw about as if it is cuddly as a Care Bear?
Have I ever used this word?  Yes.  For a time period, when it was first deemed acceptable use by the gay community, I would refer to a gay guy who had earned an eye roll from me for something that they had done as ‘oh, that faggot, blah blah’.  But I stopped rather quickly.  It just never felt right coming out of my mouth.  It felt like overkill.  After a point, I just couldn’t come up with an instance where it was appropriate – what would someone have to do where I could justify calling them that?  So I stopped using it.  And now, I really advocate that others stop using it as well.  It’s juvenile.  It’s beneath us.  We don’t need it. 
And at the heart of this reasoning is the fact that the word never belonged to us.  It belonged to them.  They (those that hate gay people) shouldn’t use it anymore and we have no reason to use it either. 
The same could be said of the ‘N-Word’, but that’s not mine to argue.  The ‘N-Word’ has gone under a kind of cultural metamorphosis. The ‘N-Word’ when uttered by an African-American incites, in Caucasians with a conscious, a kind of sick fear – white-guilt, if you will.  And, as I understand it, the ‘N-Word’ is now used by members of the black community as a common identifier (inclusive), much in the way ‘homey’ is used.   I very much doubt that the F-Bomb will ever gain that kind of rebranding.  For when gay guys use the term faggot, we are not being inclusive  in our use, we are hurling it as a negative – which is exactly what the word was originally intended to do – to be hurtful to a gay person. 
We all know that language is a powerful tool.  That is why people like Dan Savage, who write for a living and serve as role models– self-appointed or not – for a given community need to choose their tools wisely. To do otherwise muddies the water and dilutes whatever impact their voice may have in the world.  Dan Savage has a rare opportunity to create social change, and yes, social change has never been pretty – it has always been accompanied by ugly words being hurled back and forth.  I just think it would be prudent for those on the frontlines to make sure that the ugly words that must be said are not only the right words, but also aimed at the correct targets.