Tuesday, April 28, 2009

House of Cards



Radiohead


No cameras or lights were used in the making of this video. Instead, we are told, "3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. The video was created entirely with visualizations of that data."

Smart realization in which pixels create a house of cards. Excuse my literalness for appreciating the lyrics:

I don't wanna be your friend
I just wanna be your lover
No matter how it ends
No matter how it starts

Forget about your house of cards
And I'll do mine
Forget about your house of cards
And I'll do mine

Fall off the table,
And get swept under
Denial, denial

The infrastructure will collapse
From voltage spikes
Throw your keys in the bowl
Kiss your husband 'good night'

Forget about your house of cards
And I'll do mine
Forget about your house of cards
And I'll do mine

Fall off the table,
And get swept under

Denial, denial
Denial, denial

Lessons Learned



Matt and Kim


If you don't already love Matt and Kim, it's time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Feel. Love. Thinking. Of.



The Faunts


For Bridget. This song is plenty gay but much too short. Ask the DJ for an extended mix.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Genie

A journalism student assigned to write a profile of an interesting person asked me to be his subject. I agreed. He followed me around for a weekend, subsequently interviewing some of my friends as well as myself. Here is the result; fingers crossed for an A.

A family man and a sexual genie, Jefferson is someone who in a way embodies human sexuality in its freest state. With pale skin, blue eyes, a receding hairline and a relatively slim frame, Jefferson doesn't really seem like your average ladies’ man. However, despite his appearance, he has more girlfriends than fingers and toes and leads quite an interesting double life. On one side of the coin, he a loving father of four children, an ex-husband and writer. On the other side, he is a ladies’ man, a “dom,” a sexual fanatic of sorts and a “genie of the sexual fantasy lamp.”

Jefferson was born in the Deep South. His first sexual experience with a girl that he can remember was way back when he was just four years old. One day his babysitter came to him while he was down for a nap. She put his hand on her vagina and began to masturbate with it. Then she left and he took a nap. As far as he knew in terms in sexual experience, you rub your hand between a girl's legs on something that feels like a Brillo pad, it gets wet and she begins to make scary noises. This was just the start.

His next sexual experience was with this girl named Roxanne who was always following him around. One day he went to his friend's house and Roxanne followed him there. Incidentally, the parents weren't home so all three got into bed with the lights off. From there Roxanne started to play around with him as did his friend, unknowingly. Once his friend found out though, he promptly left the room. It was dark, it was wet, it was fast. He may have lost his virginity . . .

He would apparently lose his virginity about two more times and have plenty more sexual experiences in his high school year and college years with both guys and girls. Once word got around that he put out, he became the go-to guy for that sort of thing. Kinky girlfriends, a boyfriend here and there, Jefferson lived out his college years frequently having sex with anyone who caught his attention, even members of the faculty. He also wrote papers and painted things while he was at college.

His powers as a sex genie started after his divorce when he accidentally had an orgy at his place. He attended an underwear party in Brooklyn and afterward, one girl said “What I'd like to do is go someplace else and get naked!” Naturally he said, “We can go back to my place.” So they headed back to his place and well, with a group of naked people dancing, something is bound to happen. They had an orgy. For the first time since adolescence, he and at least six other people he didn't even know were all having sex in the same room.

He came to know couples that happened to be swingers and, after getting to know this kind of crowd, he would use online sites to set up orgies. After telling a friend stories about the orgies, she suggested that he should start a blog. In Jefferson's own words “When you have sex with a lot of people and then you also have orgies, and have friends of friends, and then a blog, you start to develop this network of possibilities. So I just put the word out that if people want something arranged and I could do it, I'd be happy to do so.” And this is how he came to be a sort of sex genie. A man who has the power to fulfill people's deepest sexual fantasies.

From a staged rape to transforming a girl into a cake to be eaten and served, if Jefferson can do it, he will. One satisfied girlfriend, Lola, says that he made her feel very powerful sexually and he came at a time when she really needed someone like him. Another girlfriend, Nancy, had a several fantasies fulfilled, such as a few threesomes and sex in an office.

But Jefferson isn't all about sex. He also has children from his former marriage and one child from a previous relationship. Even though he and his wife got divorced for reasons entirely unrelated to his lifestyle (he was monogamous throughout the marriage), his marriage did come back to haunt him. His ex-wife discovered his sex life after reading about his blog in Time Out New York and tried to prevent him from seeing his children. But a person's sexuality isn't an indicator of his morality or character. Jefferson is a perfectly capable father and thankfully was able to retain joint custody of his kids.

With his lifestyle, certain relationships tend to get messy. He lets all his girls and guys know that he really isn't into monogamy at this point in is life but that still doesn't stop a few from wanting him all to themselves. This occasionally creates messy problems.

One thing that really stands out is how other people view Jefferson. Just about everyone he knows thinks he’s a really nice guy who cares about people He cares for his family and all of his partners.

Although he was born in the South, his very liberal, wanton sexual lifestyle is something that makes him seem like his place in here in New York. At least in this city, if people make noise complaints and walk into an apartment full of naked people, one nude girl go-go dancing, another being flogged, another being spanked and a lesbian threesome in the next room along with a blowjob gangbang, they'll just tell them to keep the noise down and probably wouldn't freak out.

I’ve been called many things, but a "sexual genie?" That’s new.

I particularly enjoyed the final paragraph. Reading this list of orgiastic activities, I thought at first that my young journalist was indulging in a flight of fancy. Then I recalled a party he’d attended at my side and recalled: why yes, that had been some night.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Groomer

There are two things a right-thinking fellow shouldn’t have to pay for in New York City: blowjobs and haircuts. In this town, there are simply so many people so gifted in these practices—and so eager to practice them—that a resourceful fellow soon realizes that there must be barbers and cocksuckers who go wanting. How sad they must be, unable to ply their trades in a market so glutted with competitors. How grateful, then, when offered the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise!

I decided to provide such opportunities. Not merely because I am by nature a generous man, but also because I know myself to be an appreciative and yet discerning recipient of blowjobs and haircuts alike. I may be a challenging customer at times, but when a job is well done, my barbers and cocksuckers know they have impressed a connoisseur.

At first, I thought I might combine these opportunities by finding a cocksucker who wanted to cut hair: a barber to take care of my barber-poling, if you will. But the more I considered it, the more I realized that while gifted cocksuckers frequent my life, I’ve actually given my head over to relatively few good barbers.

My mother was my first barber. (To anticipate your follow-up question: no, what must you be thinking?) She had trained as a beautician and occasionally worked in beauty shops when I was a young child. She would usually come back from a shift with her own hair streaked and piled high, looking far more glamorous than the harried young mother who had left home that morning after breakfast. I remember accompanying her on a summer evening walk, shouting to the neighbors, “Do you know who this is? It’s my mom!”

As my brothers came along, she had less time to work. Her customers were limited to five: her husband and four sons. Whenever she decided it was time for haircuts, she assembled her clippers and called to her boys. I was always the first in the chair, as I put up the least resistance and it reassured the younger boys to watch what would soon happen to them. As it was the seventies, I always requested that my hair be cut long to hide my ears. As she was my mother, she cut my hair as she saw fit.

I complained after my hair had been cut too short, though, of course, it was too late by then. Because I was the first in the chair and my mother’s skills had rusted since she last held scissors, my hair was frequently cut unevenly. “Your hair is straight and your ear lobes are crooked,” Mom would reply. “Get back up in the chair.” Down would hop a brother, his wet bangs half trimmed, and up I would go, submitting my already over-shorn head to more clips. I winced as each new quarter inch fell past my eyes. By the time I got back to the mirror, my ears were shown in all their pokey glory. “Don’t worry,” my mom would called as she snipped a perfect cover for a brother’s ear. “It'll grow back.”

After graduating high school, I moved away from home and my mother’s scissors. I gravitated to the rockers and artists, far from anyone who might compromise our locks. “Oh, son, look at what a mess your hair is, all broken at the ends,” my mother would lament. “At least let me even it out, or maybe some layers to make it look fuller. . .” I would politely thank her, but I liked my hair fine just as it grew out of my head.

By the time I rediscovered careful grooming, I had fewer hairs growing from my head. I found that what looks best on my adult head is just the haircut pushed on me in my elementary school years—conservative, short in back, with all-access ears—just as Mom was taught to cut men’s hair during Camelot.

When visiting home each summer, I sit on a chair in my mother’s kitchen, the prodigal customer in her all-boy beauty salon. For the rest of the year, I look for a barber to keep her haircut maintained, always instructing, “Same thing, just the way it looked two months ago.” For a long time, I’ve relied on the proprietor of the Lucky Star Beauty Salon in Chinatown, who gets it just right for ten dollars, inclusive of my three-dollar tip. I tell him he may be my lucky star but I am the luckiest by far. He smiles and shakes my hand.

Soon after coming to my calling to provide opportunities for neglected barbers and cocksuckers, I realized that while I can teach someone to suck my cock as I like, I may not be able to teach someone how to cut my hair as I like. I’ve just had too few good barbers. Naturally, I couldn’t propose that my man at the Lucky Star throw in an extra service. (To anticipate your next question: no, what must you be thinking?) For now, I decided I would keep barbering apart from cocksucking. I set out to find someone for whom cutting my hair would be pleasure enough to do so.

I found just such a barber. “Whatever you require of me, I will do my best to provide,” he assured me. “I know that a handsome man needs to look his very best. He owes it to people, I think.” He understood perfectly. We worked out details in advance of our first meeting.

He undressed after greeting me. I asked him to turn for me so that I could become acquainted with his appearance. He was a little older than me, with a short salt-and-pepper beard and closely cropped hair. I appreciated that he was well tended.

I invited him to undress me. His fingers trembled as he undid my shirt buttons and gently eased my arms from their sleeves. He bent on one knee to untie first one shoe and then the other, removed one shoe and then the other, remove one sock and then the other. He remained on his knees to unbuckle my belt, unzip and lower my jeans. He averred his eyes as he held first one cuff and then the other so that I could step free. With my jeans folded at this side, his eyes gazed upward. “Oh, Sir . . .” he began.

“Yes?” I planted my fists on my hips.

“Sir, you are the most beautiful man I have ever seen. May I . . . admire you?”

“Yes, but only for a moment.” I closed my eyes and turned away. He could now look at me without the distraction of my gaze. He could only use his eyes to admire me. I had been clear in my instruction.

In my mind’s eye, I pictured the Archaic Torso of Apollo. I wasn’t comparing my body to that of the Greek statue. Rather, I was comparing our situations: we were both to be admired. I pictured Apollo as I adopted his role.

Apollo has his flaws—he is headless and misses extremities—and I certainly have mine. But despite our incompleteness, we may be admired for the beauty that is beheld, rather than the beauty that simply is. When admired, we are completed in an admirer’s gaze.

I thought of that statue and remembered Ranier Maria Rilke’s poem about admiring it. I don’t know this poem by heart, so don’t ask for a recitation when you see me, but I certainly walk around with the final line.

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast's fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.


I opened my eyes and looked at my admirer. ““Same thing,” I ordered. “Just the way it looked two months ago.”

He nodded and stood. I sat in a chair in the kitchen. My eyes were closed as hair tumbled over my face and shoulders. My upturned palms caught the clippings that fell into my lap, some getting caught in my pubic hair.

I looked into a mirror. “Shorter in the back,” I ordered.

“Yes, Sir, of course.” Again the base of my skull tingled, humming loudest in the left ear and then back in the right. “You know, Sir, and this is just a suggestion, but if I may, you may want to consider a buzz cut.”

I opened my eyes. “Really?”

“I think you have a lovely skull, Sir. And we’d leave enough blond showing so that the effect would glimmer.”

I scratched my ear lobe. “Hmmm, I’ll consider that suggestion. I’ve never done that, so clearly, I won’t do it on a first date.”

“Yes, Sir,” he chuckled. “You can’t give away everything on a first date.”

He cut and returned the mirror to me. “Very good.” I commended. I closed my eyes and looked away so that he could admire his affect on my appearance.

“And this, Sir?” He waved a hand near my body. “Would you care to have your body trimmed?”

I nodded. “Yes, let’s do that.” I moved forward to the end of the seat, extending my body to allow fuller access to his clippers. I closed my eyes. He could look and admire, touching me only with his utensil and, when necessary, the fingers of one hand. I resisted flinches when he trimmed near my nipples, the base of my cock and the flesh of my scrotum. I rested my hands on my head so that he could reduce the hairs under my arm to mere wisps.

He lightly touched my stomach. “And this, Sir? The hair on your belly is very . . . luxurious. But would Sir consider trimming it?”

I opened my eyes. “Really? Well, I hadn’t thought to do that.”

“It’s very masculine, Sir, don’t get me wrong. Still, you might care to try it, to see if you like it trimmed. If not, of course it will grow back.”

I had heard those words before. Still, warmer weather was coming, and I thought, well, why not expose a little more skin. “Sure,” I said, closing my eyes. “Let’s see what you can do.” I sat back as an unfamiliar sensation tickled its way down and across my torso.

“Sir, if you approve, I believe I am finished.” I stood and brushed away the loose hairs. I walked to a full-mirror. “Is Sir pleased?”

“I’m very pleased.” I turned left and right, looking at my reflection. “It looks like the body of another man.” I shifted again. “A thinner man.”

“Sir, you are perfect. May I please shower you? You mentioned liking the scent of eucalyptus and I have that oil for you.” I followed and watched as he prepared the water. He held back the curtain and I stepped inside. “May I join you, Sir, or should I wash you from where I stand?”

I looked down. “You’ll only make a mess of the floor. Step inside, please.”

I closed my eyes, absenting myself into my head. I raised my arms, making them vanish from my torso. I stood contrapposto, legs askance to his washings. He rinsed me for a long time, watching as the water he directed ran over the body he had shaped. Once my skin began to redden in streams, he turned off the water and toweled my body. He dusted me with a fine white powder. I opened my eyes and watched as he combed my hair.

“Sir, if I may ask: do you have a date tonight?”

I nodded. “I do, in fact.”

“She’s a very lucky girl, Sir. May I ask something else, Sir?”

I turned my head. “Yes, you may ask.”

“Sir, may I hold you? In my arms?”

I took his hands in mine. “You’ve done very well. Yes, you may hold me in your arms.” I pulled him close and wrapped his arms around my waist. I put my own arms on his shoulders. I held him, his face against my chest. I held him and felt his warmth and let him feel mine. Finally, he pulled back. “Thank you, Sir. You’ve been very good to me. One moment, please; I have something for you.” He left the bathroom and stepped into the kitchen. “It’s a little something, I thought you might want to share it with your date.”

He handed me a bag. I reached inside to pull out a bottle. “Scotch!” I said. “Twelve-year-old scotch?”

“I know you prefer bourbon, Sir, and I am sorry. But if you care to try this, I’m sure you’ll like it. If not, I’ll be sure it’s bourbon from now on.”

I stepped forward, putting my face to his. “I told you how I wanted my hair and yet you thought to suggest otherwise. I didn’t ask you to trim my belly and yet you thought to suggest it. You know I prefer bourbon and yet you thought to suggest scotch. I haven’t asked you to make suggestions. I was expecting you to take directions.”

He lowered his eyes. “I’m very sorry, Sir. I’ll try to do better, if you will allow me to serve you again.”

I turned my head and kissed his nose. “You make assumptions, but I am a reasonable person. Let me see how your suggestions grow on me.”

“You are kind, Sir.” He squeezed my hand. “I’ll go now to lay out your clothes.”

On my date that night, a cocksucker did not go wanting. My fresh grooming was nicely received. The scotch had a smoky, burning finish.

The next morning, I sent a note to my new personal groomer. “Well done. See you next month.”

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Oh My God



Ida Maria

Ablutions

Three years in, this conversation shows no sign of ending.

No matter the meanderings or dead-ends or cul-de-sacs at which we arrive, there are a never-ending supply of detours in the forms of “yes, but” or “and, also” to get us back on track (or is it off track?) in our determination to try every path afforded by deep insight, mindless observation or the discovery of some story left untold.

If there are brief blips in the conversation—if she crushes on another man or becomes too annoyed by someone I’m dating—the acceleration that follows more than makes up for lost traction.

As the conversation never truly abates, we have no choice, it seems, but to bring it with us when we have other things to do. We converse as I cook, we converse as we write, we converse when we have sex—generally to the amusement of others who may be present—and we converse as I go about housekeeping and errands.

Three years with Cody underfoot, I might have thought we knew pretty much all there was to know about one another’s thoughts and habits.

One morning, she was pursuing a point with me when I interrupted to say that I needed to shower before heading to an appointment. My departure would necessitate a pause in the conversation, so she followed me to the bathroom to talk as she joined me in the shower. I listened as I lathered and rinsed her body before turning to my own. I soaped from top to bottom, as usual, and leaned slightly against the tiles, standing on one leg as I scrubbed the sole of my foot.

Cody watched as water cascaded around her neck. “Oh my God, I can’t believe you still do that,” she said.

“And I can’t believe you still don’t,” I replied, putting down the scrubber and reaching for a pumice.

“But Jefferson, it makes no sense to wash the bottoms of your feet! Look.” She stomped in the water racing to the drain. “See? You’re standing in water. Your feet are automatically clean. That’s just ridiculous and redundant.”

I made a point of washing carefully between each toe. “It’s a part of your body that comes in contact with the floor, with your socks and shoes. You don’t always wear socks with your Chucks, so you should take special care of your feet.” I held my foot to the stream of water leaving her body, stood on the opposite leg and began to clean my other foot.

“But that’s absurd,” she laughed. “No one does that. You’re absurdly concerned with your feet.”

I stopped and turned my leg. “Well, I do have nice feet, don’t I?”

She splashed me. “You’re ridiculous. Now, what were we talking about?”

I pumiced my heel. “DeLillo, trauma theory, Zac Hanson,” I prompted.

“Oh, right! Baby Zacky, he’s so cute. But seriously, okay, so when Tower Two fell . . .”

That night, Cody reported to her cousin Reynolds that I stubbornly continue to wash the soles of my feet. Reynolds, a fastidious gay teenager, laughed.

“But Cody, did you tell him? No one does that.”

“I know, I told him! Maybe it’s a Southern thing.”

“Could be inbreeding,” Reynolds mused. “Did he have shoes growing up? He might be overcompensating.”

The next morning, Reynolds mentioned to his mother that “Cody’s special friend” washed the soles of his feet when he showered. Cody’s aunt, a well-put-together Manhattanite, scoffed.

“But why would anyone do such a thing, Reynolds? If you’re in a shower, your feet are automatically cleaned.”

“That’s just what Cody told him, and yet he insists on washing them with his hands.”

“With his hands?” His mother grimaced. “Disgusting!”

Reynolds and Cody often enjoyed making fun of his mother’s overreactions. When Reynolds reported his mother’s response, Cody repeated the story to her younger sister. Michelle, a suburban teenager who showers twice daily, once in the morning, again before bed, dropped her jaw.

“Well, our aunt is crazy. But who washes their feet? I mean, come on, that’s gross.”

“It’s so unnecessary!” Cody exclaimed.

“I know!” her sister agreed. “Maybe he has to do it because he’s old. Does he have disgusting old man feet?”

“I don’t think so,” Cody thought. “They just look like, I don’t know, feet.”

Cody began to wonder if maybe taking such care of one’s feet was a special concern as one aged. That evening, as her mother made dinner, Cody mentioned my showering habits. “You don’t wash the soles of your feet, do you, Mom?”

Her mother looked up. “Well no, I don’t think I ever have. The only time my feet are washed like that is when I get a pedicure. But of course, I’m not the one washing them.”

“Well, naturally, those women are paid to wash your feet. It’s their job. Probably some health code thing. But in the shower, your feet are cleaned automatically, right?”

“I never really thought about it,” her mother replied. Cody mentioned that she had asked Reynolds and Michelle about this, and neither of them washed the soles of their feet either. Nor did Reynold’s mother, the sister of Cody’s mother. “And you say Jefferson washes his feet? Soap and water?”

“And some stone thing.” Cody sighed. He says it’s normal. I’m sure it’s not.” She paused. “Is it?”

Her mother thought as she stirred a sauce. “Hang on, just a moment.” She wiped her hand on a paper towel and reached for her phone. She pushed a button. “Hi Mom, it’s me. Yes, just cooking dinner, pasta. Can I ask you a quick question? Do you wash the soles of your feet? . . . Yes, in the shower. Or I guess the bath.” She looked at Cody for confirmation. Cody nodded. “Well yes, that’s what I thought, too. They get cleaned automatically . . . Oh, no reason, just something on television. Okay, look, I need to finish dinner. I’ll call afterward. Love you, too.” She hung up.

“So Grandma doesn’t wash her feet, either?” Cody asked.

“No, she doesn’t.” Her mother placed the phone on the counter and returned to her sauce.

“Huh.” Cody watched her mother’s face, lost in thought. “So, do you think I should ask Dad?”

Her mother furrowed her brow. “No, let’s not. I’m wondering: what if it’s just my side of the family? Maybe your father shouldn’t know about this.”

“Oh my God, Mom!” Cody raised a hand to her mouth. “Were we supposed to be washing our feet, all this time?”

Her mother looked at her. “I really need time to think about this.”

Cody related this story the next time we showered together. I shook my head, clucking my tongue. “Someone should do a study,” I said, offering my pumice. “On the phenomenon of the dirty-footed family.”

Cody stomped her feet near the drain. “Ridiculous,” she asserted uncertainly.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I'm Confused



Handsome Furs


It's all pop minimal fun until the zombies show up.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dom on Dom

I recognized her from across the street and waved. She smiled and waved back. He nodded. I nodded in response. The traffic light took its sweet time about changing. We continued nodding and smiling at one another as vehicles flew between us.

That dude, I surmised, could break me in half.

When the light changed, they stepped to the curb together, waiting as I crossed the street. I noticed that they were holding hands. Good. If I’m in this for them, it’s best that they are in this together.

She stepped forward, holding out her arms. “Oh my God, Jefferson! I can’t believe it.”

I stepped into her embrace and bent to kiss her cheek. “Long time coming, Julia. Nice to finally meet in the flesh.”

“Likewise.” She hugged me and stepped back, smiling. “Jefferson, this is my husband, Brogan.”

I extended a hand. Brogan took it in his own massive hand. “Jefferson, heard a lot about you, man.”

“None of it good, I trust?” He laughed slightly, revealing a wide mouth full of sturdy white teeth. I smiled back, allowing my hand to rest in his grip.

Julia and I have been correspondents since she dropped a line a few years ago to let me know she enjoyed my blog. We traded notes on parenting and sexuality, writing and books, easily making jokes with one another. “If you’re ever in Oakland, we should get together,” she wrote. “Brogan would really like you.”

Seeing them now, in my city, I thought that I should get to Oakland more often.

We went into a restaurant and settled into a corner table surrounded by windows. As we looked over brunch menus, Brogan ordered a pitcher of sangria. “Anything for the two of youse?” he joked. We placed our orders and relaxed into conversation. Julia and I did most of the talking. Brogan seemed to be assessing how well we got along. Our correspondence had already established a nice rapport between us, and now that we were talking in person, and I saw her eyes behind round lenses, her straight hair and her easy smile, I began to rethink the surprise I had in store for my new friends. See, I had decided that I wasn’t going to fuck Julia.

I was going to fuck Brogan.

Julia had laid the groundwork for my decision. Brogan had never been fucked by a man, nor had he been submissive to a man. He was curious to try it, but whenever the situation arose, the other man was either more interested in having sex with Julia or in being submissive to Brogan. It was easy to see why this was so—Julia was lovely and Brogan was broad and muscular. He looked the part of the dominant he was. How could anyone expect such a burly man to be submissive?

But I’ve been around enough to know that our sexualities don’t always conform to our appearances. I’ve dominated Amazons and I’ve been flipped by slight fey boys. Now, faced with a straight dominant man, I intended to take care of him as no one else seemed capable of doing. After all, his wife had been so sweet in bringing us together.

After brunch, we walked out into a hot summer afternoon. We had been talking about the injuries sustained by Brogan’s teenage son years before in a car accident. He had come to live with Brogan then, as the boy’s mother wasn’t able to care for him. Brogan was describing the nature of his son’s ongoing challenges when he interrupted himself. “Look at that,” he said. “That’s a beautiful cathedral.”

“Isn’t it?” I agreed. “I pass it every day. Never been inside.”

“Would you mind if we stopped in?” Brogan asked. “It’s really lovely.”

“Brogan left Ireland twenty years ago,” Julia explained. “But he’s still a good Irish Catholic kid.” We crossed the street and entered the cathedral. My eyes adjusted to the darkness. People sat apart from one another in the pews. An altar boy waved a thurible, his back to the congregants. Julia’s eyes rose to the clerestory. “Ooh, such beautiful stained glass,” she marveled.

“I can’t believe I’ve never been inside,” I said, looking up.

Brogan touched Julia’s arm. “Hey, I’ll be back,” he murmured. “I want to light a candle.”

Julia kissed her husband’s cheek and watched as he walked up the aisle. “Brogan lost his mother not so long ago.” She paused. “Complicated relationship, but . . .”

“Aren’t they all?” I took Julia’s hand. “I like him. You were right.”

She smiled. “Yeah, and I can tell he likes you. He’s nervous, a little, but he’ll be okay.” We watched as Brogan searched for a candle, but there didn’t seem to be any remaining. He gave up his search, bowed his head for a few moments, and then crossed himself. He returned shaking his head. “Nothing?”

“No, I could ask someone, but . . .” He raised a shoulder. “It’s the thought that counts, eh?”

We left the cathedral and walked the remaining blocks to my apartment. I turned on fans, apologizing for the heat wave and the few boxes still remaining from my recent move. I offered them a drink before noticing through the bedroom door that one of my curtains had fallen. “Darn, that’s a bother,” I said. “I think we’re going to want to fix that before . . . well, we should fix that.”

“Here, let me look.” Brogan slipped off his shoes and climbed onto my window ledge. “Well, here’s your problem, man. The curtain rod wasn’t installed correctly. Do you have a drill?”

I retrieved my toolbox. Julia and I drank water as Brogan hung the curtain rod. “This makes him happy,” she said quietly. “I’m sure it’s good for his nervousness. He loves to fix things. One reason my dad is always glad to see him.”

“There, that’ll hold.” Brogan hopped down from the window ledge and returned the drill to the toolbox. He looked around the bedroom, as if searching for his next chore. I pointed out his water and he quickly downed the entire glass. He tugged at his t-shirt. “It really is warm, isn’t?”

“Perhaps we’d be more comfortable nude,” I suggested. Brogan grinned and pulled off his shirt. Julia followed suit, pulling up her tank top to bare her small firm breasts. Soon, we were nude and looking at one another. “I can’t tell you how delighted I am to have such lovely company,” I smiled.

“Yeah, likewise,” Julia nodded, taking me in.

“I think . . .” Brogan began. “Say, you’re a bourbon man, right? Do you think . . . ?”

“Of course, how rude of me not to offer. Please, make yourself comfortable and I’ll bring drinks.” I returned with three tumblers to find the couple in bed, propped up on my pillows. Julia scooted to one side and patted the bed. I put down the drinks and lay next to Julia. I stroked her thigh as we talked. Brogan made short work of his drink, so I brought in another round.

Julia remembered something and skipped out to the living room. She brought back a Tarot deck. “It’s a gift for you, for having us over. Would you like a reading?”

“That’s really sweet. Thanks!” We sat cross-legged on the foot of the bed. Brogan helped himself to another drink as Julia lay out my cards. As she read my life, I thought how nice it was to have grown-up Californians as friends. Drinks, Tarot cards, casual nudity—the left coast had opened a branch in my Manhattan apartment. My friends were refreshingly not New Yorkers. Julia even had pubic hair.

As Julia put away the cards, I asked for a tour of the tattoo that covered Brogan’s back. He lay on his front to accommodate his wife’s turn as docent of his body. Julia explained that the central figure covering the length of his spine was the feminine embodiment of wisdom, and each of the brightly colored rays emanating from her body represented a branch of knowledge relevant to the education life had brought to Brogan. I touched a bare area of his back. “I see that the tattoo isn’t complete.”

“Life isn’t complete,” Brogan said in his subdued brogue.

Brogan the good husband, Brogan the good father, Brogan the good son, Brogan the good helper . . . my heart was genuinely warm for this good man. I was going to fuck him so well. But I know that fucking a straight man can require a circuitous approach. He took comfort in the rapport between Julia and me. I would start there.

Julia took my kisses softly, closing her eyes. Mine, open, watched Brogan watching us. She reached to hold his hand as I flicked her clit with my tongue, my nose inhaling the scent of her moist hair. I wanted to get her off even as she suspected, I believed, that her body was a stepping stone to his. Julia reached out and kissed her husband.

I turned my body slightly, taking his cock in my mouth. He moaned into his wife’s mouth.

We were in no rush. We were adults on a hot summer Sunday afternoon, two Californians and one Southerner. Manhattan was just the place we met. What we wanted wouldn’t happen in a New York minute.

I lolled his soft cock in my mouth, holding it in my cheek, savoring it under my tongue. I braced for the pulsing moments of arousal, followed back when he again grew soft. My own cock was pleasantly flaccid. There was no urgency to any of our touch.

Or was there? I knew this was a new branch of knowledge for Brogan. I knew he was nervous. And now, he may have suspected, this would go as it had in the past: I would fuck his wife and he would be left unknowing.

“I’m sorry, man,” he said. “I guess I’m just nervous . . .”

I took his cock from my mouth. “It’s so hot.”

“You have been drinking,” Julia added. The excuses for a soft cock were laid out for Brogan, inventoried and forgiven. “Let me see if I can help,” Julia went on. She took her husband’s cock from me and returned it to a more familiar mouth.

Brogan grew hard. “You’re my girl, you are,” he murmured. Julia cooed, taking him deep.

Brogan stood and walked to the other side of the bed. He spit in his palm, greased his cock, and slid into his wife’s pussy. I moved to put my cock into her newly vacated mouth. There was no pressure now. This was a threesome, pure and simple. Brogan with his wife, his wife blowing another man. Still, I was determined: I was not fucking Julia. I was fucking Brogan.

Brogan gave Julia a good, solid fucking, and she came into my cock. “Good girl,” I said, He fucked on, nodding his approval to me. That’s right, he thought, let’s dom my girl. That’s where these two men would meet. These two men who knew how to satisfy a woman, his woman, the woman he loved.

I could meet him there.

We rested afterward. Brogan lay on his back in the center of the bed, nursing a bourbon, Julia curled up in his arms, nursing her own. I sipped my bourbon, taking in the scent of our sweating bodies. We were talking easily when, without a word of warning, I bent forward to kiss Brogan. He responded with surprise, but didn’t say anything. I pulled back, smiled into his eyes, and kissed him again. My tongue traced his lips, found his teeth and swirled in his mouth. “Boys,” Julia whispered. Brogan opened his mouth, surrendering to mine.

I locked my eyes on his, my hands massaging his hole, working with lube and condom. I could do those things in the dark, and frequently have. Every gesture told Brogan he was safe, he was in good hands, and, for now, he was mine.

I entered him easily. His eyes widened. Julia whispered into his ear, but what she said didn’t matter. It was her voice, my cock, his mind, his body. Brogan flashed on new, brightly-colored branches of knowledge.

I took his long blond hair in my fist and pulled. He didn’t resist. He submitted to me as so many had submitted to him.

Julia smiled at me, joyous in her husband’s bliss. I cupped her face in my free right hand. I took back my hand, balled it into a fist and hit her husband in the chest. He grunted and tensed his arms in reaction. But then his mind relaxed his body. He gave over. I punched my fist firmly, methodically, into his well-developed pectorals. I was harsh, wanting my pelts to be felt, to resonate in all his muscle. His eyes were wide on mine. He felt my fists, my cock in his body and he was gone, deeply gone.

Julia held his arm, anchoring him in their shared reality. I knew this. He wasn’t mine, not truly; I was there for them, and they were in this together. That was good.

Brogan was relaxed as we dressed later. “You need to come to Burning Man this year,” he told me. “It’s not what it used to be, but there are still paths, ways to experience it. I can show them to you.”

“I’ve never been and I’m not likely to go this year. But I’d love you as my guide.” I put my hands on his shoulders and put my lips to his.

“You’ll come see us,” he said. “You’re a good lover.”

“We’re just getting started,” I assured him.

Julia looked on, smiling.

A few days later, they were back home in Oakland. Their son was glad to have them back and life was back to normal, Julia wrote. She thanked me for having them over and I thanked her for visiting. That was great, I wrote, and I really enjoyed how sweet Brogan had been when we parted.

“Well, that was then,” she replied. “He was cursing your grave when we were on the plane. His chest was murdering him.”

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Illegal Grill

“That’s too funny,” Sandra said. She lifted her wine glass. “Her ‘expensive face.’ That’s too much!” She sipped cabernet.

“That face must be worth a fortune, serious money,” I nodded, chewing steak. “The ring tone was the killer for me. I mean, there I was.” I put down my fork and knife and grabbed two fistfuls of air. “I was fucking and fucking this woman, she’s looking up at me and saying, ‘I sink you don’t like me so mush,’ and then, suddenly, the air is filled by ‘The Ride of the Valkyries!’” Sandra sputtered and reached for her napkin. “It was like Apocalypse Now! Only I’m napalming her with overwhelming force and she's simply shrugging it off.” I grinned and reached for my wine.

“It’s so funny that that’s the ring tone she picked for her husband. Pretty foreboding!” Sandra took a bite of salad. “So tell me, do you often hook up with married women?”

“I love this wine,” I hummed. “Nice choice.” Sandra smiled. “Um, well, married women and men, because, remember, that’s also an option. I don’t really seek it out or anything, but it happens now and then. I mean, married men are always looking for bisexual fellows, it seems, so that’s a niche. Married women, sure, that happens pretty frequently. I guess because it’s clear that I’m not looking for a wife myself, so I’m a relatively easy side dish.” I cut into steak, thinking. “Well, I also get with married couples, but I take you to mean cheating spouses.”

“I was referring to that, yes.”

I swallowed. “Great, great steak. Perfect. Well, I suppose I have a lot of sympathy for people who are in sexually unsatisfying marriages, having been there myself. I think we have to be real that wedding rings don’t control our desires, else monogamy is simply a trap.” I reached for my bourbon. “Monogamy is gorgeous when it works, but when it doesn’t . . . “ I took a sip and shuddered.

“But don’t you think,” Sandra leaned over the table, intent, “That instead of cheating, people could just, you know, be honest about that?”

“Yeah, of course, but please. That’s hard. You could sit down your spouse and say, ‘Honey, let’s try something different.’ But it’s natural that this takes more bravery than most people can muster. Especially if they feel they already know the answer. It’s easy to assume that it’s better to cheat than cause strife within the marriage. I suppose.” I skewered my roasted potatoes. “I suppose I have a lot of respect for the coward’s way out. At least it’s a way out.”

“Do you ever feel bad about being ‘the other woman?’” Sandra asked, laughing softly.

“Me? Nah. That’s really an issue between a husband and wife. I’m not the one cheating, I’m just the vehicle for cheating. But like I said, I have sympathy in many cases. I mean, being a faithful husband apparently got me nothing but fifteen years without a blowjob.”

Sandra laughed. “I can’t imagine you going fifteen days without a blowjob, much less fifteen years.”

“Perish the thought,” I said, reaching for the wine bottle. “Fifteen minutes, maybe; beyond that, I get the shakes. But you’re still seeing that married man, right? How’s that going?” I poured wine into Sandra’s glass, refilled my own, and settled back to hear about her affairs.

Sandra comes and goes in my life as she chooses; so far as I’m concerned, she has a lifetime pass. She first showed up in my life having read my blog, recently divorced and looking for some fun. She told me that being a “corporate chick” had made her boring, but if so, I couldn’t see it. She had an easy charm and a lilting drawl that could make an annual report sound flirtatious. We both grew up in the South, in the same years. A former lifetime of iced tea and “yes ma’am” gave us the lingua franca that makes instant let-me-hug-your-neck friends of ex pat Southerners in New York.

During our first conversation over bourbon, I could imagine Sandra as a popular blond cheerleader in high school, her boyfriend a good-looking linebacker. We would meet as equals in the classroom, two of the smart kids, her taking care to be bright without seeming competitive, as Southern girls once did, me developing a crush, wishing she would let her brain shine, wishing she would notice me in some way other than the inevitable recognition that I was too nice to date. In high school, I would’ve been told I was so sweet, and I love you, but not in that way, so let’s just be friends, okay?

Now, as grown ups, we sat on my couch, drinking and talking, both anticipating the first kiss that would certainly lead to my bedroom. Breathing the contented air of Sandra’s adulthood, I didn’t regret a single missed kiss, furtively stolen behind the bleachers. We had found each other at the right time.

She declined to sleep over after we had sex, saying she needed to be ready for work the next morning, and she preferred to leave from her apartment. I could imagine her place as well ordered and reflecting a lifetime of acquiring only what she needed. This proved to be true when I visited her. She apologized for living in a dump—it was a nice Upper East Side apartment with a small patio in back—but it was only temporary, she told me, while her own place was being renovated.

As we fucked on her large bed, she asked if I would mind if she did something a little nasty. I acceded. Sandra climbed off me to dig in a nightstand drawer, retrieving a dildo. “Thanks for not minding this,” she smiled shyly. “It really gets me off.” She lowered herself onto my cock and, after a few moments of kissing and grinding into me, she groaned into my mouth as the dildo entered her ass.

“Here, let me help,” I offered, reaching to hold the dildo in place. “You just cum for me. Can you do that?” She nodded, her hair shaking in my face. Soon, she had done as I asked.

“Well, that was intense,” she gasped.

“Honey, we need to do a few things together,” I smiled. “You game?”

She laughed. “Well, I’m a big girl. What do you have in mind?”

I put a finger to her lip. “Let’s talk about that after I fuck your ass.”

As I left her place that evening, an itinerary was already take shape in my mind.

When I invited her over for sex with a few of my men, she brought a bottle of wine. I thought that was rather classy. The boys were charmed and she enjoyed the admiring attention.

I knew a secret of Sandra’s body. Her first orgasm comes more readily than those that follow. After our times together, I knew where to find them all. As I fucked her before passing her to other men, I whispered, “I’m getting you off.”

“Don’t,” she whispered back. But it was too late. It was already happening. As she caught her breath, she looked at me crossly. “That’s just too easy for you.”

“I know, I’m a bastard.” I smiled, pulled back and looked around. “All yours, boys.”

She had never been with a woman, so I set up a threesome with a friend who was, as it happened, also a Southerner. The two had even been in the same sorority, albeit at different colleges and in different decades. Sandra brought Chardonnay. “That’s one lovely lady,” my friend admired as Sandra tasted her body.

After her place was renovated, she invited me over for a steak dinner. “I have an illegal grill on my terrace,” she confessed. “I could get in trouble, but I know it’s safe. I flirt with the firefighters down the street and I had one of them check it out.”

“The power of positive flirting,” I admired.

I had been late arriving, which she pointed out politely. “Thanks to you, I’ve already opened the wine,” she admonished. “So you’ll have to drink your cocktail alone.”

I kissed her cheek. “I am ashamed to impinge upon your hospitality. Forgive me?”

She frowned. “We’ll see. You may have to forgive me if I do anything untoward, having overserved myself.”

“’Overserved!’” I laughed. “That’s now my favorite Southernism.”

“Don’t try charm on me.” She wagged a finger. “Consider buying a watch.”

She served me a bourbon, poured herself another glass of wine, and we repaired to her terrace. We talked as she grilled, and gradually, I was forgiven.

She was in good spirits as we finished dinner, talking about the two men she most frequently dated—the married man, and one other who lived some distance away.

“I may break it off with the married man,” she mused. “I really prefer my long-distance lover, and after all, this guy is married, so . . .” Her voice trailed as she reached for her wine. “One thing I’ve wanted to ask you: do you think you’ll ever remarry?”

I sipped. “Dunno. How about you?”

“No, now, you answer me. I asked the question. Be serious.”

I shook the ice in my glass. “I never say ‘never,’ but you know, I was married for a long time. Marrying now would be complicated, as it would involve my children, and really, I’m not looking for a new stepmother for my kids. I do know that if I remarried, it would be different. I’d get married as an adult, because I wanted to, not because I am young and that is what one does. I can imagine something when I’m older, something companionate, sensual and warm. And sometimes I imagine starting another family, when my kids are older. It could be a joy to raise kids in a loving marriage. But no, I don’t really think about that much.”

I looked up to see Sandra looking at me intently. “You know what I think?”

“Tell me.” I lifted my bourbon. “What do you think?”

A slight smile crossed her lips. “I think you’re going to marry Madeline.”

“Yeah, we hear that now and then.” I sipped.

“The way you both write . . .” Sandra swirled her glass, looking through wine at a candle. “It’s just so romantic.”

“Thanks.” I let the thought linger in the red glow of her face.

Sandra watched the flame for a moment before looking up from her reverie. “I’m sorry, that was a little rude of me,” she apologized. “It’s just that, with you and the things we talk about, I have a hard time remembering that some things are personal.”

I smiled. “That’s fine. And I appreciate that you understand the distinction.”

She sat back. “Are you ready for dessert? I’ve got a really nice pie.”

“Let’s save that for now. I’ve got another dessert in mind.” I stood. “Here, let’s clear the dishes and reconvene at the couch.”

With candles burning, the lamp low and fresh drinks ignored on the coffee table, I took Sandra in my arms. Her body pressed against me as I kissed her hair, drawing deep scents as my heart accelerated. Her heart picked up my pace and she turned to kiss me. My neck craned as my mouth responded. She lifted onto her knees, hungrily moving into my mouth. I gave back with equal ardor. “Oh, Sandra,” I breathed. “You really do make out so beautifully.”

“Kissing is my favorite thing,” she spoke into my mouth, taking me back. We may have missed our high school kisses, but now we brought to one another a lifetime of kissing others to make this new kiss, singularly ours and in our moment.

I stayed over that night.