I sat around the Eagle listening to the now-rote conversation between my esteemed colleagues when a nice-looking blond skinhead walked past in the distance, giving me a where-have-you-been-all-my-life? look. I grinned back.

Base-of-brain instinct prompted an excuse for the john. I found a spot in line outside the only functioning stall. Fishy. But it kept me visible. The music was oddly loud and clear.

I came out and there he was.


I already had a bone.

We were in the taxiway, so I backed myself against the wall and took him with me. He was already at my sides, shortly at my cock. Ribbed black T-shirt and tight green military pants that weren’t camo or cargo. That was the icebreaker, in fact: Yours are grey.

What is you name?



Pleased to meet you.

I nuzzled his bristles. He kissed me and I proverbially let him. Then the round pegs found the round holes. What do you do? I’m a lawyer. What kind? Intellectual property. Copyright, patents? Mm. We talked shop; we should probably stop talking shop. He’s employed here, but mentions he works in the new Waterloo office. We talked open relationships, and how they’re not really open; the stronger man forces the weaker to open up or he’ll leave.

I didn’t like his nose: Ridge then straight dropoff. (I need me a honker.) He kept his nose out of the way while we kissed. I held his soda water. And you have an enormous cock. No. Just very large. The meanest guy in the bar gave his patented insinuating sidelong cruise as he stepped up to the patio. Do you live here? Of course. (I’ve been here all your life.) Are you from here? No. New Brunswick. So’s he.

Where do you live? East end. (Kiss.) Him: Cabbagetown. I got the street from him. He lives with two married guys. Legally married. I got that. It’s a big house. Well, it’s closer. Naw-naw-naw, he said, tilting his head back, imagining scenarios. What, you did you not make your bed or something? Something like that. Do you-all have rules about overnight guests? No, not at all.

Ted freshened his drink while I returned to my esteemed colleague, whose leg was already bouncing. Start explaining, he blurted. I did. We’re at the your-place-or-mine? stage.

I’m having a smoke on the patio.

You want to meet him? I said, following.

No, shooting a dagger.

Halfway there: This the flavour of the moment? His bear roommate, with a smile. Nah. He’s an interesting fella, Ted explained. He looked around and saw me. Yes, I am an interesting fella.

He sipped his OJ. May I? I pulled out his straw and made for the rim. Gotta watch those cooties. After we just traded saliva. I practice safe straw.

Now we were in the flightpath. Downstairs, we looked around and decided that was that. I thought of my esteemed colleague, but not enough.

He collected his jacket (Leather jacket, I assume. Not tonight, actually) from Stick Insect with Blog at the coat check, whom I avoided. I put on my hat and we walked into the street. The Senior Citizen’s Timothy’s is busy tonight, I said. He laughed a little and looked at me wonderingly. Aggressive. Some of the time. You should see me with cats. But I wonder how it’ll be in the winter, I said, gesturing to the sidewalk. Well, you’ll be there, he said. No. We’ll be just right for it in 20 years. The winter is too cold. All I do in the winter is ride my bike.

The ride phase

I had no cash on me; he did. In the taxi, Ted complained what he couldn’t find is good conversation. Men he can find; conversation he can’t. We seemed to be doing well, with me at my sprightly best. He looked at my card (I gave him the red one), was noticeably taken by my name, which he tried on for size, and gave it back. You can’t give a card back, I said. It’s like giving a Christmas present back.

I locked my door and we kissed. In the light, I noted his lattice of pinpoint freckles with alarm. Are you blond or red-haired? It’s hard to say sometimes. Depends. I rubbed his buzzed scalp.

We undressed with intent. I tamped down my surprise at his strawberry chest hair. He dropped his tightly-packed non-camo non-cargos and lo and behold, it’s red, and what it protects is long, thick, and uncut. The phrase “dream come true” occurred to me, which I squelched.

He knew what to do with my cock, and from years of experience with my former paramour, I knew what to do with him. We’d better get you inside of me, he said, and picked up his jacket and retired to the bathroom. I see the man carries his own plumbing.

I lay trembling with cold induced by excitement and back he came. I asked if anyone told him how much they liked his back hair – symmetrical patches inboard of the lats, in chocolate brown. His were tits I was happy to crank, smash, trace, incise, and pull. He needs it all the way up, all the way to the very top, which nobody else ever asks for, some guys like, and many cannot handle. Guys hardly ever manage that for him, but I can. On his back, on his stomach without detaching, then standing him up. He keeps saying I must be close. Of course I’m not.

Later, pushing him hard and pulling his nipple, he screams and shoots. Now he has too much of a gag reflex to fuck his face, but his hands and spit are enough. Great load, he says.


I would have to have a type. Two. I can’t just be all-purpose. I like my men, but I like them most when they’re black or red-haired. (Not, actually, both at once, which I’ve seen three times. I would not date Malcolm X.) I went after an astounding physical specimen, a smart, shockingly handsome Jamaican-British black guy with a body that was off the scale, actual athletic abilities (basketball, among others), and stronger pings emanating from him than anyone my gaydar had ever picked up. I never got to his cock. He wouldn’t let me take his shorts off when I went over. It’s belittling, he said. There’s nothing little about it! I said.

After he punched me in the shoulder a good two years later, I resolved to simply glare at him from then on in. I did taunt him at the Toolbox from time to time. He was too much of a closet case, really. Until last year, when his M4M ad showed him to be in an apparently happy open relationship, such as those go, with a white guy. He answered my ad repeatedly without knowing it was me. His nude photos, though technically poor, showed that there really was nothing he didn’t have.

History had repeated. Apparently. I had to be myself, which isn’t particularly hard, but also had to keep Ted from fucking off into the sunset. There are a lot of gay black men; I even dated a second one. But the numbers aren’t working for me here. Redheads are at most 5% of white people, and then I’m dealing with the guys, and below that the queer guys, and further beyond that the queer redhead guys who fancy me. It’s a worst-case scenario of Venn diagramming, and I’m stuck with it.

Now, I said, you have to compensate me for what I just did with my particular fetish. What’s that? You have to scratch my back. He did, with close-cropped nails. I told him he’d have to do it until I said not to, but that didn’t go very far.

We lay in bed. He wanted “sleep,” but we talked, him with his right arm behind his head. That kind of made it difficult to lie directly next to him, so I made him move, but only after a half-hour of dogpaddling in recognition. His chest is shockingly reminiscent of my first boyfriend Tom’s, another redhead, a lad with barely a handful of brain cells to rub together who loved me to death. Tom could pick me up on one shoulder and walk me around the room. He was solid with fair skin and strawberry-blond silky chest hair, all of which Ted also has.

Seventeen years collapsed and I suddenly understood what I’d been missing all that time. The contours of chest, side, deltoid, and arm mixed with his superb chest hair and I had two men in my bed at once.

Of course, Tom is dead now.

We covered the waterfront

He wanted a pizza, which I wouldn’t let into the house, for reasons I explained. I’m his first veganist. (Welcome to the future, baby.) He got a bit paranoid. Aww, post-sex pizza is the best, he said. Well, at your place you can order in next time. We talked Indian food; he’s a newbie, but he came to the right place. We talked fair dealing, and I told him he shouldn’t switch to patents even if the money’s better because they’re corporate and soul-destroying. He wouldn’t tell me whom he clerked for in the Hague, but I figured it out. He griped about the commute to Waterloo. What do you drive? A Hyundai Elantra. He complained about being poor.

He mentioned his old “lovers,” one of them with a Prince Albert; that’ll be a bit clangy on the teeth. No, I enjoyed playing with him, he reminisced.

We agreed we don’t like the idea of being the Other Woman.

I had noticed and liked his shoulder tattoo, a serifed cross with yellow and red halos. I’m a spiritual person, he said. I rolled my eyes at the catchphrase. I’m a Christian. Well, what kind of cross is that, then? He wouldn’t say. I topped him, and he said Celtic. We discussed the Normans (he thinks he is one) and the Bretons, whose language I had just read about that day. He’s got another tattoo planned – a key and a sun. I kept thinking of the Rosicrucians with their rosy cross.

He wasn’t much for kissing anymore. Oh, lie there and let me enjoy you, I told him, figuring the gig was up. Who am I kidding?

His French-as-a-second-language pronunciation of Pierre Trudeau triggered a little laugh. You and your Belgian French accent, I said. We talked about our generation, how the years of closetedness forced us to know secrecy and fucked us up. I’m pretty out there, he said, and I wouldn’t take the bait. It’s called being out of the closet, I told him. Like at the conference I was just at in Vancouver, I said, where I made a joke about Kate Winslet in a leather bodysuit, “not that I care about that sort of thing.” I wonder how that would go over in Prague, where they’re holding it next year.

I told him of getting razzed for being queer in the accessibility business, how my mostly-business and personal sites are on separate domains but fully linked to each other. Kids today don’t even bother with the closet, and they put their entire lives online. I’m old, but I’ve been online forever, and I do it too. I told him this.

Ted tried to lecture me on the pronunciation of the Czech ř. You and your Belgian accent.

We recapped New Brunswick. He left after the first of his string of degrees, which he can rattle off at the drop of a key (or a sun). The tumblers of a combination lock thudded into place over three long seconds and I was shocked to recognize Ted as a fellow I had chatted with before. Muscles and a big dick, he’d said then. I remembered the stark backdrop of his crappy online picture (I always look at the settings), and figured he was being houseproud now in not taking me back to the married bears’ den.

Up went the stakes. He gets a masculine, dominant, well-hung top, but one who’s in average shape and is the hairiest man in town. Even if the former set is what you desperately want, the latter set muddies the waters. (Who am I kidding?) He gets a man who can keep up with everything he says (who parries half of it based on unusual knowledge) and who does to him sexually what he can barely find guys to do. I get a smart fella whose only physical feature I dislike is his nose. The rest of him is a mixture of everything I’ve ever loved about every redhead I’ve ever loved.

This, my friends, is way too much to process.

He groaned that he oughta see a massage therapist. His job might pay for one, but curiously, he didn’t know what an RMT is. Well, next time, maybe I can massage your back. It’s really tiring. A minute later and without thinking I rolled him over, sat on a pillow on his rear, and used effleurage and other standard techniques on his traps, infraspinatus, deltoids, and lats, and throughout his lower back, where he groaned loudly.

He asks me if I’d taken a course. Not really.


We had talked tops. We had a discourse on the philosophy of tops. Your typical top is a borderline sadist who takes what he wants, and some guys are after that, I guess. (I have interviewed two potential submissives; they both chickened out. I probably would have, too.) With others, it’s a give-and-take thing, especially after you know each other longer. The way I look at it is I give the bottom what he needs, I said, explaining something I rarely discuss, and frankly hoping he would remember what I gave him that next to nobody else can. He shut up.

I was sweating and sore from rubbing him. I told him I’d massage his legs and chest next time. Something came to mind. I self-market as a top because it’s the easiest designation, but I don’t do it to dominate. I do it because I naturally cleave to that side of the fence and because my lovers need it. I do what they need. I fucked Ted hard and I laboriously repaired his sore back muscles because that’s what he needed. So did I, really, because love flows through me that way. I’d never thought of it before, but it was shockingly true, and I sat back with a frown, not that it mattered. I had a sort of out-of-body experience and imagined myself sitting there thinking about this in a heavily meta way while a fantastically attractive redhead lay there inert.

I was rather suffused. I imagined a future of continuing to give Ted what he needed, and associated it with the same feeling. It’s more like the ’60s term lovin’ than romantic love, but love it still is.

My dead friend Ian Stephens got the big A from one too many uncut guys he fucked on Mount Royal. He regretted nothing, and that wasn’t a pose. (A lot of people say they have no regrets.) Because, he told me, every sexual act with those men was an act of love. He would never forget them. And we both hated the expectations voiced in the radical queer press to skip, as if in “liberation,” from one guy to the next, as though each encounter had all the effect of a neutrino passing through the earth. I didn’t spend 21 years of my life in the closet to treat my men like rent boys.

We know all about one-night stands. What we don’t do is forget them; what doesn’t happen is nothing. We are not disposable.

I can do virtually anything for my man, but I seem to attract nothing but bottoms. To cleave to the other side, I would have to love so much I’m beyond giving and am finally open to taking. I’ve been remotely handy to that state a mere twice.

Take your space

I can barely sleep. He pulls my cock against him after I come back from the john late at night. No, sleep, he tells himself shortly. He owns the bed, and since this is someone I don’t want to lose, I don’t reclaim my space. He seems wider, taller, and thicker than me, when he’s only thicker. When on his back, his long arm ends in a hand that rests on his cock, his elbow in my ribs. He clatters his teeth, snores, has one obvious minor apnea episode, and loudly yammers “Yeah” as if in throes.

What time is it? he asks as he gets out of bed with a one-third erection. In the full light of day I am beyond amazed. His well-proportioned legs are frosted with ice-white hair, and simply the idea of an uncut redhead cock drives me insane, let alone looking at one. About 9:00, I estimated accurately.

We showered. I was real worried at this point. May I join you? I bottomed. I moved him around and let him stand under the water and watched him take a mouthful and spit. I witnessed the full range of colouration, with the creamy skin, the Nº 0–cut chestnut-brown hair (losing it up top), the strawberry chest and impossibly silken pubes, the icy legs, the freckles on the shoulders (stay out of that sun!) and the patches on the back. I flashed on Spock burning memories into McCoy: Remember.

He pretended it wasn’t happening both times I hugged him.

Can you think of how I can still work in intellectual property but not in Waterloo? he asked familiarly as he dried off. At this stage of our relationship, I risked with what I thought was sufficient irony, I haven’t thought about that yet.

He turns on my computer, which he rather should not have done. We talk Macintosh: Work just bought him an iBook. He’s dressing efficiently, and not with unseemly haste, though he’s certainly not lingering. You probably won’t make it to church.

He again compliments my apartment. Did you buy it or do you—? Rent, I said. He nodded.

So, Ted, I venture. Tell me you’ll come back again.

I don’t know, he says, seeming to actually mean he doesn’t know. He’s awfully busy.

We may have a good thing going here, I remind him with embarrassing hesitancy. Good sex, good conversation. Not an easy combination to find.

He’s awfully busy, he repeats, complaining again about his work. He gets up, finds a file card, and scrawls his name and shoephone number down. I have to rewrite it so I can read it. Call me on Friday, he says.

Thank you for a wonderful evening, he tells me as he kisses me goodbye.

Now what do I do?


This was a worse gobsmacking than with Troy Aikman. I couldn’t process. I had to talk my esteemed colleague down from the ledge, since he was furious that I’d “dumped” him at the bar, which, in fact, I had.

I polled all trusted sources. I complained of not knowing what to do.

And as ever one’s fate is in someone else’s hands.
as usual... but grab his hands

I explained to my friends who didn’t have types what a watershed it was for a 95th-percentile specimen to walk into my life. I told them it felt unusually real; I had remembered a similar sequence in Crimes of Passion, where a prostitute tells a guy who fucks her epically that “we felt it.” Well, we did. It wasn’t wishful thinking.

High stakes to play. Greenfield was all “But you have trick radar, right? You know how to read the situation.” Yeah, of course.

“I’m always in favour of getting your cards on the table. You should just say to him ‘You’re 95th percentile on all relevant indices’ and see how he reacts.” I screamed with laughter. How he’d probably react is to puff up his ego.

He’s a lawyer. He knows about arguing from interests. Isn’t it in his interest not to treat me like the guy on the other side of a glory hole?


It was a fuck of a long wait till Friday. I ran some options through beta test, and went with the first one.

Ted. Joe. Hey, big guy, what’s up? I’m polishing my boots and listening to drum & bass online is what’s up. He gushed about his iBook as he changed lanes on the 427. So what are you looking for? he essentially asked. A rematch. Well, I’m pretty busy this weekend. Oh? Yeah, I’m having dinner with family and some friends, and when I’m not doing that I’m gonna veg out after a long week. Well, what are you doing in the evenings? I asked, meaning “after those dinners.” Dinners, including with his godmother. Well, fit me in, I told him a few times, and rang off.

Some top I fucking was. I fall into the same patterns with fellows I like. I take the bull by the horns everywhere else, but here my inner quisling squeaks and all he wants is for my man to like me despite myself. That’s one inner quisling who’s gonna wake up smothered in his daybed next time.

That night, my esteemed colleague and I were on the way out after a dull night at the Eagle.

Is that Ted? he asked.

I looked. Yes, it is Ted. Some gormless young skinhead manqué, seen frequently at the bar, was fiddling with Ted’s fly.

Ted took a drag off the twit’s cigarette, a nice addition to my mental image. He turned around so the flavour of the moment could fondle his arse. My base of brain got me right in Ted’s face, brushing whiskers again. Was he surprised.

I see you had some time after all.

I guess so.

You should have been straight with me.

I am, he shrugged, and the twit looked at me curiously.

You wrecked a good thing, Ted.


I walked smartly away and we left immediately. I’m glad I didn’t slap him.

Which is actually worse, a deceptive lawyer or a deceptive Christian?

How to regain one’s Top certification

I felt coolly, dispassionately re-zeroed, as if my valves and gauges were reset to nominal levels. What do I do now? I asked my esteemed colleague. Get back on the horse. There hasn’t been a horse to be on in a while. Well, don’t let that stop you.

I slept the sleep of the good and awoke with a Five-Point Program, four of which have been implemented; the fifth is longer-term, as it will be my second book. PSIP is the most interesting: The Personal-Space Invasion Protocol, under which, contrary to the actual name, I planned to simply be within visible range at all times on the next occasion I saw this very busy lawyer out on the town.

Ted is of course pals with the alternative A-list at the Eagle, whose star is the same guy with the patented insinuating sidelong cruise. (To this day I say hello to him just to force him to be nice back.) I spotted Ted walking over to their little group, who welcomed him warmly, the smart, mean guy wrapping his arm around Ted’s shoulder. Well, that explains the way he deals with men, I figured, since the smart, mean fellow is on a program of getting fucked by every guy in town exactly once.

That modus operandi is destructive to the actual gay community, since it tells us there is no benefit in being out of the closet and knowing each other as actual gay men; all we need is a way to have single-serving sex. We are what we eat and that’s it. I’m fine with one-night stands, as long as both parties know that’s what is happening. You don’t expect much in the way of follow-up at a sauna, for example, though I met a man there whom I spent two years with and – separately, later – missed the chance to get to know another fellow with whom I could have made something happen.

But if the only way you have sex is under the unstated pretext of love-’im-and-leave-’im, then you’re going to hurt your lovers along the way – particularly with men like me who are quite mature enough to handle any arrangement as long as it is agreed upon. Being awfully busy one weekend but not quite busy enough to avoid picking up some other guy, whose capacity for conversation is likely as small as his penis, is deceptive. I am much more than my ability to either fuck or talk a blue streak.

At the bar, it was child’s play to stand across the way in plain view. I got all Tell-Tale Heart on his arse. This was one protocol that actually worked. Ted’s friends were standing in an oval, but curiously enough, he was the only fellow to sit or turn his back to half of the oval-shaped gathering of his close personal friends. When he sat, I moved half a foot to remain visible, and I was in just the right spot when he turned around again.

Of course I was still burned. I’m still burned, I muttered repeatedly to my esteemed colleague. I remember my lovers; I remember every slight; so I remember every slight from my lovers twice as hard. The next night, I paced down the road to see Kill Bill, which, I thought afterward, was rather profound. The gears move efficiently after a good film, and I fixated on the image, well-known now from the publicity photograph, of katana-wielding Uma Thurman in a blood-stained yellow-leather motorcycle catsuit. She was out for revenge, which we do to retain honour. (Or regain it.) And I’ve got a lot of honour, not to mention ego. Latino-like levels. Someone’s gonna have the last word, and that someone is not gonna be a liar and a bottom, no matter how his hereditary dice lined up.

So I implemented Point 6 of the Five-Point Program. I took some psyops advice from Greenfield and got at him by proxy: I mailed his shoephone.

He just ignored it. (Or at least he didn’t respond.) But it did the job: Picture his surprise at having his shoephone beep and suddenly display a rather personal set of admonitions. Ghost in the machine, anyone?

By definition, you cannot fuck with me. I don’t love you enough.


Thus do we wind our way to the end of my tale. I met a 95th-percentile specimen, the physical man of my dreams, and learned the lesson I already knew: How you look is not how you are.

But then I took another slop through the personals – as ever I do, mostly for amusement. I was surprised to see the old photo again, with the dumpy, studenty bedroom backdrop.

Cool bottom for cool top: Loyal, fit, healthy, proud, strong, yet complex btm looking for similar top. Lking for a guy who can handle my mind and body, and who I can support to meet his goals, sexual (with myself and others) and non-sexual.

Rather elaborate for a fuck-me ad, I must say, and rather unreplete with truth. (Loyal?) I added him to my bookmarks, which the system alerted him to. So he looked me up on the other system, and suddenly I had a new chat message waiting for me. I did’t chat, but boy, did I recognize the ad.

I am
Professional guy, into camping, spirituality, biking, good food, swimming, conversation, computers, social issues/politics. LTR focus but fun now OK.
I am looking for
Comfortable/honest/fit/hung/smart guys. When I btm (preferred), seek dominant hard-play men. When top, I drive. Both ways, seek men with whom I can focus on achieving our goals (in/out bed).

I was still feeling burned and this time I felt actual burning: Betrayal, rage, danger and fear, the lot. (Uma with katana.) I got up a head of steam. I wrote.

And I got back on the horse and went out again. While we sat at the bar in a civilised manner, it was my esteemed colleague who was able to decipher the runes of the personal ads: What Ted’s looking for isn’t a top or a lover or a soulmate. He’s looking for a sugar daddy. How else to explain the superbly cryptic allusions to taking care of each other’s needs? (Loyal. LTR focus.) How about the implication that Ted, who would hate being the Other Woman, would work a threesome if that’s what it took?

More tumblers fell into place. The initial griping, the continued griping, the questions about my house, the willingness to cut off my cock to spite his own arse: It’s all making sense. He could be perfectly happy as a handsome, tall, strapping, intelligent, articulate man in the rarest colouration category next to albinism. He could be even happier, since he could have all that while blessed with a man who loves all that.

I don’t even pretend anymore: I never left the Maritimes. (“You can’t go home again; you can never leave,” etc. It’s one of my catchphrases.) But here’s a New Brunswick boy who wants to be ever so much more. Hence the overachieving chain of university degrees typed after his name, the European education, the European-style superiority. He’s a golddigger, an arriviste, a grasper, a social-climbing class-jumper. A parvenu.

He doesn’t want a husband. He wants a line of credit.

So here’s to you, Ted. You’re a lesson I needed to learn, and it took a pair of almost-perfect redheads spaced 17 years apart to teach it to me: Don’t count on the 95th percentile when the other five points are what kill you.

You can take that to the bank.

← /fawny.org/blog/  ¶  2003.10.21