I made it through the week, not an inconsequential accomplishment in that strange year so long ago.
I made it through Saturday, too. I wrote a little and did laundry and got some physical activity to try to take the edge off the tension I felt rising within me. I was horny and on a whim, I called up the web site of the Washington Blade, the local gay paper. I scanned the ads, and thought back to how things had been when i was just entering middle age.
During the long, slow march to my divorce I had stayed away from computer contact with the gay world. I now knew enough to know that if it was on the computer’s hard drive, it was recoverable by anyone who knew even a modicum of techno-savvy.
Lists of web sites, temporarily saved imaged that were invisible and present forever. My kids were achieving those skills. I had found some strange images in my sleuthing on the family computer, trying to see what they were up too when we were not watching.
I once called up an image file at random from a long list of picture files and saw a handsome young man with an improbably large erection, his face screwed up in passion, the first jets of his orgasm shooting upward under a clear blue sky. Los Angeles, I thought. I wondered who had summoned this picture to the hard-drive. It had not been me, I would have remembered that magnificent arc of creamy manhood spurting across the sky.
But now, there seemed little reason for caution. I had a lap-top at my little apartment, and I frankly didn’t care anymore what my future ex-wife or her rapacious lawyer could divine about what scurried in the crannies of my mind.
I had to be discrete, of course, because of the potential impact on my job. But even the career was in the concluding phase. I had accomplished all that I desired in the professional arena. It was a magic time in my life. By that I do not mean glittering good.
It was more a sense of giddy freedom, with the knowledge that the abyss beckoned to me. But the abyss will take me anyway at some point. I decided that now I would encounter it on my own terms.
I clicked on the icons on Craigslist and looked through the “personals.” I had been wondering how the market was doing since the big metropolitan dailies started to carry gay ads. They had once been the only outlet for alternate life-styles, a revolutionary vanguard of sexuality.
There were six categories: one each for bisexuals (a short list- if you were in this paper there was little need for a fig-leaf), women, and men seeking the same for a continuing relationship. One for ‘brief encounters’ that shouted out: “Danger, Will Robinson, DANGER!”
To cap it all off, as if there were not enough options, there was a catch-all for men and women who had passed briefly and shared a sidelong look in a crowded place, a bar or supermarket, but who had been unable to say what they felt. It was a mechanism to grasp a second chance at a missed opportunity, and the brief vignettes provided a vicarious way for the rest of us to think of the might-have-beens of our busy days, going the other way on a Metro escalator, or in a club when circumstances precluded more than a knowing glance.
I knew a little about the ad game, since this desire had always been with me, waxing and waning in some rhythm I did not fully understand. When I felt the most trapped in my marriage I would sometimes scan the pages of The Blade, our local gay paper, careful never to keep a copy, reading in coffee houses during breaks I could find in my job in the city. It was pleasant to daydream about casual sex, and the touch of a man’s hand.
A guy can have his fantasies, right?
But as my marriage increasingly became a war-zone of two hostile camps under one roof, I began to think about actually acting out on my daydreams. It became a compulsion.
One problem was responding to the ads. The game back then was an ancient version of today’s click bait: there was a substantial charge to respond to them by phone, and it would leave a record some hostile attorney might track. I mailed a few responses, but realized there was no way I could leave my work number, much less take a call at home.
It appeared that the smart way to commit this act of unfaithfulness was to place my own ad. I composed one mentally, finally screwing up my courage to go to the advertising department of the paper and pay to have it published in cash. Untraceable. That also meant traveling to the paper to pick up the responses. It was quite an adventure, and I will never forget the lovely lady who worked as a receptionist.
She told me I had beautiful eyes. I thanked her, wondering that even while placing an ad to solicit sex from strange men in the greater metropolitan area I was still attracted to this handsome lady.
The nature of sex is an eternal mystery to me. Now it is mostly enjoyable, but then fraught with guilt and panic.
Over the months, I placed several different ads, screening the dozens of responses that ranged from the bizarre to the vaguely appealing. For the most part, it remained a process of mostly mental arousal. But there was an increasing desire to consummate one of the exchanges.
I arranged discrete encounters, sometimes seeing the man I arranged to meet. Like that Persian guy in the parking lot at Buzzard’s Point. He scared me a bit with his raw need, and I pretended to be just a tourist watching the airplanes and not to know he was there to commit some act of sodomy. I felt bad, but I panicked when I saw his dark eyes searching.
But I was never able to bring myself to actually walk up to my potential partner and complete the rendezvous. Anonymous sex was too dangerous, and the thrill was mostly in the sick knot that tightened in my belly and groin with the knowledge that I was capable of this desire.
From all the correspondence I could not keep, I composed a list of likely men I might call back, using an arcane private code. I toyed with it, dreamily imaging scenes of intense passion to rival the scenes of my youth, before I fled the horror of being found out to be a queer, faggot or worse.
Actually, I am not sure what could have been worse. On the whole, my horrified flight back into faux heterosexuality might have saved my life, since the only sex I had with men at that time was raw and unprotected. That black guy I met at the only gay club in the medium-sized town where I grew up had been assertive and commanding. After a beer in the club, I found myself with my head forced down on his enormous manhood in the backseat of my car, and almost choked me with his seed in the most erotic moment of my young life.
The memory of the raw power of that encounter stayed with me, always part of the soft oozing core of my desire.
One of the letters I got when I advertised by mail and was still trapped in the marriage contained a phone number, and I screwed up my courage and called it. I went out to Herndon in the distant suburbs to meet a recently-divorced Justice Department Special Agent for an early coffee.
It was an uneasy meeting, neither of us quite sure what would develop, and neither quite smitten enough to do anything interesting. There were no sparks, and I thanked him for his time and left for an appointment in the equally distant Maryland.
Returning to the reality of homosexual intimacy after the ravages of the AIDS scourge was harder than I had anticipated. I needed it and I was afraid of what I wanted.
Still, the closer I got to actual intimacy, the urge became more compelling and insistent. That was the drug of it, and I began to crave the risk of exposing myself. The thrill must lie in the anticipation, I concluded, not in the physical act.
Yeah, I know.
But you live and you learn. Like any drug, I developed a tolerance for the suspense and sought even more. A few weeks later, I arranged to meet a young man at a strip mall off Route 7. He was standing right where we had agreed to meet.
After an awkward introduction, I agreed to follow him to his house. As I drove behind him I thought how insane this behavior was, and yet how intensely exciting. I noted a butterfly net in the back of his little white Ford Fiesta. I asked him if he was an entomologist, and he said he was.
At some point he asked me if I was married. I said I was. He had kissed me ferociously, clicking his teeth against mine in urgency. We were, by that time, in his bedroom.
We were lying against one another, he was slim and boyish and wanted me badly. I was so aroused that I erupted the first second he touched me. The release was too soon, no buildup, just a jet of wetness without the delirious sense of completion.
I was embarrassed and tried to jerk him off, but didn’t know to lubricate his thin erection. It irritated him, and we parted badly. I tried to call him later, to see if there was a way we could meet to try to fix things, but he was adamant that there was not. I dropped it and walked away from the pay phone, scratching his name from the list. I felt frustrated and a little lost. With the unsettling disappointment at how things had gone, the desire left me, and for a couple days I felt almost normal again.
Sure enough though, the next week the fever was on me once more. I was lobbying at offices downtown. The commute from the suburbs only worked very early, due to the volume of traffic that choked the roads like that man’s huge cock had my throat, and there was normally time to kill before my first appointment of the day.
I could work out at the health club, or have breakfast and read the paper. Or I could play with my little list of names from the ads. The one I placed this time had said I was looking for an “Early Riser.” This particular Monday I made a call to another promising name on the list. The man who answered had a curt demeanor that was a little unsettling. He was willing to meet and gave me directions to his house on Ridge Road. He told me he would get up early to have coffee with me and see if there was anything there to work with. The next morning I awoke long before the alarm.
There was a hunger and the familiar heaviness in my belly. I drove downtown earlier even than the specified early hour. I bought both morning papers and drove slowly up the imposing hill to Ridge Road. I saw a light glowing on the porch at the correct address and parked around the corner so my car wouldn’t be identified.
By whom, I had no idea, but my anxiety was high. The heels on my dress pumps clicked on the concrete and my heart was sunk down in my belly with nerves. It was the familiar feeling of dread and anticipation. I took a deep breath and rapped on the door with my knuckle. I heard footsteps approach inside and the door opened.
“Paperboy” I said, offering the two bundles.
“Thanks” said the man.
He looked to be in his middle fifties. He was of modest height but had a powerful torso, like a wrestler. His hair was thinning and he had cropped it short. Close shaven. Full sensual lips. “Why don’t you come in?”
“Thanks” I said, a little breathless. Thoughts of flight ran through my mind as he led me through the formal dining room of the Arts and Crafts-style old house and into the wood-paneled kitchen. The house was one of those built in the 1930’s, and the floor plan had not changed much and retained the sort of antique elegance I associated with visiting Grandma.
A close-in house, predating the suburbs. two story, and designed for the needs of another era. He turned away from me and pulled two coffee mugs from a cabinet over the sink. A small color TV murmured in the corner under soft warm yellow light.
“My name is Rick,” he said firmly.” Would you like cream and sugar?”
“No, thanks,” I answered. “Black is fine.” He poured from the Mr. Coffee and then led me through a door and back up the hallway to the living room. He sat on the couch and I joined him, sitting properly two feet away. The conversation began awkwardly.
“So, what are you looking for?” he asked, matter-of-factly, as though strange men came to his door every day looking for something dramatically and intimately personal.
His voice was smooth, his vowels were oval. He wore a t-shirt and shorts and no belt. I said I was looking for a friend. That began a monologue for him, and I listened to his soft voice. He told me about his life there in Alexandria. He was an entrepreneur. He had invested wisely. He had no day job, save to manage his portfolio.
He was a bit of an Auntie, I thought, though his arms and shoulders were powerful, like a grappler or a collegiate butterfly specialist.
He smoked, and that was a relief, since I did back then as well. I have always been an oral guy, I suppose. I noted my fingers quivering as I lit one of my own. The coffee was strong and good, and we eventually had another cup. I began to turn my thoughts to escape. Once again I was acting out the pattern. I was getting further along, but again decided that it was the anticipation rather than the consummation that was the culmination for me. In the course of the conversation, I was moderately surprised to find he was a Republican, I don’t know why.
We talked about politics, which is about all we actually do talk about in DC. I glanced at my watch and told him I was grateful for the coffee but really had to be going. He smiled as we rose and he walked me to the foyer.
“I don’t think this will work,” I said. “It’s not your fault, and I think you are a very nice man. I just don’t know what I want. Maybe I will figure it out someday. But I want to thank you. I really enjoyed the conversation.”
“I did, too” he said. “But I got up early to make the coffee. So, I think you owe me a favor.”
“Of course” I said. I felt bad that I had led him on, but relieved that this encounter was nearly complete and I could go back to real life.
“Just show me what I am going to miss.” He took me by the hand and led me to the stairs. He turned and walked up. I looked up at him, frozen. This wasn’t going to work. I had told him, had finished it, and said goodbye.
Then my feet moved forward and I found myself climbing the stairs behind him, my heart suddenly thumping. What was this? Could he be a killer, enticing seekers and then garroting them in the stillness? What was I doing? My feet were moving completely on their own.
It was dark in the hallway. There was a bedroom to the left as we reached the top of the stairs. He didn’t stop there. He rounded the corner and went down the hall. There was a bathroom directly ahead. I could see the light reflected on old white decorative tile.
Bedrooms were to the left and right. He paused at the door of the one on the right and I stopped behind him. He gestured at the striped coverlet on a neatly-made double-bed within. I wondered if he had slept here last night, or if he reserved it for something else, purely recreational in nature.
A clock on the nightstand next to the bed radiated the time in blue light. It was wrong by several hours. The room was bathed in low soft orange light from the rising sun, though our faces were still enveloped in gloom. The furniture was in keeping with the house, old and dark and solidly built.
“Why don’t you take off your shirt and let me see what you look like,” he said. “That’s really all I need.” His eyes twinkled in amusement in the dimness and the corners of his mouth turned up in a knowing smile. I considered his request, thinking it only sounded reasonable as my fingers went to my collar and loosened my tie.
I removed it, looking at him. I turned and placed it on the bureau. I unbuttoned my collar and slipped the then-stylish suspenders from my shoulders and let them hang at my side. I finished unbuttoning my shirt, and pulled the tails from my trousers. Then I took it off slowly. I laid it atop my tie. I turned back to him, avoiding his eyes, looking down.
“Thank-you.” He said. His voice was soft and reassuring. I crossed my arms across my chest, self-conscious and feeling vulnerable. The room was warm and still, the smell of the old house mixed with something else, something vaguely familiar, maybe the scent of Old Spice cologne.
The pause was awkward, but Rick was clearly in control and I felt myself surrendering to his will. I took a step toward him and he matched it. His strong arms came around me. I tensed and then slowly relaxed in his embrace and laid my head on his shoulder. I drank in the smell of him from the hollow of his neck. There was the scent of soap there from his shower and the Old Spice. There was something else, too, a musk that was deep and rich and multi-textured.
We stood that way for a long time, I don’t know how long. My heartbeat began to return to normal, and in a very natural way my right hand reached out and gently felt out his manhood. He responded, his palm cupping me, and I could feel that both of us were becoming engorged. I realized that this was exactly what I wanted at this moment.
Our mutual grope went on for a long time, very still, very natural and incredibly inviting. I marveled at the weight and mass of his package. I could feel him swell against my fingers and I could feel myself respond in kind. His smell was intoxicating. This was not a fevered rush. It was a slow blossoming of something warm and compelling and utterly necessary.
My head came up from his neck, eyes closed, and my lips sought his. I brushed the short stubble on his cheek from his morning shave When I had traced his cheek with mine, I found his lips were lush and full. They opened to meet me and our tongues met, gently probing. I tasted coffee and the cigarette and warmth of his saliva.
Contained in the slow rich kiss was an offer and an acceptance. At the right moment our embrace loosened and he took off his t-shirt. I unfastened my trousers and let them fall to the floor. He unbuttoned his shorts and skinned them off. He wore white briefs and the bulge of his penis distended them in the front. I dropped my boxers on the trousers and we stood and looked at one another, wordless.
He hooked the top of the elastic with his thumbs and peeled them down. The tip of his penis was the first exposed, then the dark mass of his pubic hair and finally his low-hanging balls. His cock stood out proudly, arcing up to the right from his trim belly. I stepped to him and cupped his balls with my hand. They had a velvety feel beneath the coarse texture of his hair. They moved smoothly and independently under my touch. I caressed his shaft.
From the base to the tip he seemed enormous, and the glans was fat and masculine and assertive. It appeared thicker at the business end, larger even than the base even before the pouting shape of the helmet. looking down, It was a wonderful and hypnotic sight.
“May I kiss it?” I asked. It sounded ridiculous to me, surreal, the words floating there inthe air. I hadn’t come here for this, had I? This was too fast.
“Of course” he answered. I sank to my knees on the carpet, eager to examine this marvel of maleness. At eye-level, he was even more massive. I ran my tongue along the length of him, delighting in the texture of the veins and ridges. I was careful not to take him entirely in my mouth. I was concerned about ingesting his semen. I had heard that disease could be transmitted that way, and wanted this to be safe.
Funny how fast good intentions die, isn’t it?
I licked him like a cautious child would approach an ice cream cone. I kissed his balls, tentative at first, but with growing confidence as his hips squirmed in delight.
“You like this, don’t you?’ he said. I nodded against the mass of him, inarticulate, my nose filled with his smell now fully-ripe in my nostrils. It welcomed my lips and began to center all my senses fully on his rampant cock.
At some point, and I am not sure how, he was seated on the bed, my face buried in him. And then he was reclined, me on my knees, suckling on his balls, first one and then the other. His shaft was moist and slippery with my spit, and I stroked him until the spit dried and became sticky. He stopped my hand.
I was afraid I had done something to displease him. I looked up apprehensively from my work on his testicles and I saw him smile. “You have to keep it wet, silly.” He scooped a gob of saliva from his mouth with his fingers and ladled it onto his penis. “Now” he said. “Nice and slippery.”
It was. I made a mental note. I stroked him with more urgency. My erection waved between my knees. When it brushed the bed it gave me an electric shock. He gripped my shoulders, trying to bring me up on the bed next to him but I shook my head against his genitals. I wanted him to come first and I knew that I would climax with embarrassing speed.
He relented and stroked my shoulders instead. I felt him stroke my hair and I could hear him moan in delight and feel him tense, coming near, and then he shuddered and my fingers and hand were coated with his ejaculation and spurts of ropy white jetted over his belly.
I slowed my rhythm as he softened, continuing to nuzzle his testicles, taking them both softly into my mouth. Then I traced my forefinger through his jism. Then I caressed his belly with my palm, rubbing it in. I kissed his balls in farewell and rose to my feet.
“I need to be going” I said. “I don’t want to be late for work.” I needed to think about what I had just done, and the electricity that was sparking though my brain.
I glanced at the clock, trying to correct it’s erroneous message to the actual time. It was disorienting. I felt giddy, still aroused. My erection arced up and away from my body. I could taste the essence of him on my lips.
“Not so fast. Come here.” He smiled and gripped my hand and pulled me to the bed. I lay down as he scrunched up beside me. I tensed, uncertain what he wanted. He surprised me by rolling on top of me. I spread my legs to accept him in the Missionary position, wrapping my legs around his powerful midsection.
I think I giggled, thinking that no real traveling preacher would countenance such an embrace between two men. Our groins came together, him soft now and me still hard as a timber. He kissed me with urgency and I opened my mouth to welcome him as far as he desired to go. He pressed his tongue deep into my mouth. His weight was all on me and he pinned me to the mattress, leaving me helpless and delighted. I hugged him hard against me. I began to move my hips in the primeval way, and my cock slid through the sticky residue of his cum, imprisoned between our bellies. I felt myself rising and bucked frantically against him until I too erupted, flooding the skin between us with warm semen. I clutched him in the afterglow of my climax.
“My God” I whispered.
“Yes indeed,” he whispered back in my ear. “Yes, indeed.”
After a time, he pried himself from my embrace and rose. I dragged an index finger through the slime on my belly, and pensively lifted it to my lips and licked it clean in wonder, savoring the taste of our lust on my tongue. I thought that it would have been nice to have had him deposit his gift direct to my mouth, damn the risk. My softening cock twitched at the thought.
Rick walked out of the bedroom and opened a closet next to the bathroom door. He pulled out a towel and tossed it to me on the bed. I was paralyzed in the glow of what we had done, and the intensity of my climax and could not move. “Blue for boys” he said with a grin. I think I blushed.
I don’t recall much about dressing. When suitably attired once more, we descended the stairs that had only an hour before seemed so ominous. His hand rested comfortably on the small of my back, an intimacy that was small but profound on this new morning. When we were once more in the foyer I kissed him chastely on the cheek. “Can I see you tomorrow morning?” I asked.
“Tomorrow isn’t good. Wednesday?”
“That would be fine.”
Walking down the brick walk to the sidewalk and around the corner to the car to continue on to work, I thought that I would have the taste of semen on my tongue in the morning meeting. God, this had not what I had expected but it was absolutely compelling, and it left me giddy- and I would be able to do it again, and soon.
I had crossed some sort of Rubicon, and the house on Ridge Road became a regular stopping place for the next five years. In that time, Rick opened up a whole new world of pleasure for us both that took me places I could only have imagined.
Two days later, he ejaculated in my mouth, as I had craved. Sitting on the side of the bed, looking at the sun rising, I felt him put his arms around me, and rest his head on my shoulder. He straddled my back, and I felt the mass of his sex against me, asking a primeval question.
I wondered what it was going to feel like when he was thrusting it in me.
I did not have long to wait to find out.
Even as the years have rolled by, and the men have come and gone, I will never forget Rick, and I will always be grateful for that first time- and the many later ones- when he placed his hardness in my mouth, and used me as he would.