I don't know if I've ever been as aggressive as some of my porn may suggest.
Oh, there have been moments... sure. I pounded ass and face-fucked plenty in my time (as recently as last Saturday, in fact). I've tied up a guy in my time (though I was constantly worried it was too tight). Sometimes if you bite my nipples or tug my balls the right way, you'll get me in full-on bull aggression mode. And of course, the level of my aggression depends heavily on the person I'm with. If aggression appears to be warranted (or wanted), I can lay it on, baby.
But I don't think I would ever consider myself a Dom. I'm not sure if I have the right perspective for it.
Like last Saturday, at the chub orgy... uh, I mean, party. There was a young man I met there who had the Dom thing. Seriously. I was getting jacked off by a cute guy in the hot tub at one point and he was on the other side of the tub (it's a huge tub, can hold a dozen chubs) and he did this little "come here" gesture with his head and instantly I was like a little puppy dog. I sat in front of him and he got up on the seat straddling me and I tell you, he was merciless. When I wasn't going down far enough, he'd grab the back of my head with his hands and shove my head down saying shit like, "Goddamn it, get on it." I would choke and gag and he didn't care (though he never left me in any danger). Finally he leaned in and growled and shot a load down my throat.
I guess there was just something in him that could switch off the "Am I Pleasing Him?" button and just go for his own satisfaction. I can do that... sometimes... but it's not my regular course of things. Sex for me is usually a little more waltz and a little less tango. But a good Dominant personality is a fine thing to experience every now and then and it's even more fun to try on every now and then.
Later on that night, I watched the guy fuck a friend and he was just as ruthless. Ironically, what he's always looking for is someone to fuck him. Which I will gladly do at my earliest convenience. But I may not end up as dominant as he may want me to be.
Come to think of it, being all Sub is the same for me. I can do it, but it doesn't really come naturally for me. I haven't the "use me" gene, I guess. Even when I'm in a Sub role (like getting spanked), I always have somewhere in my mind the thought that 1. I could stop this any time and 2. after I'm spanked, I'm gonna get some tender lovin'. So I guess I'm not a real leash-wearer, either.
It's apparent, in the end, that Dom and Sub are merely roles for me. Something to put on and play with for a few minutes in the midst of sex play. A character to inhabit for a while.
But there are some guys who display Dom/Sub behavior because it's in their personalities to do so. They are the extremes on a kind of Kinsey-like top & bottom scale. They couldn't imagine being anything but Dom or Sub. Dom and Sub aren't masks they put on in the moment; it's who they are, as well as how they fuck.
Thor bless them (and send them to me!)
What is it about attraction? What makes us fall ass-over-teakettle for James and not-so-much for John? Why is it some guys only get hard for bears or for Arabic men or for men with tattoos? What makes me think one guy with certain attributes is fookin’ hawt while another guy with the same attributes is just okay?
Cupid is a fickle fellow, indeed, and I’m convinced he belongs in that category of the supernatural we call “Tricksters.”
There’s a guy on the bus who I’ve lusted after for years. I’ve written about him in this journal before. (Ah Jeremy! when will I get the balls to approach you?). I thought for sure my cubby would think he was hot, since he seems to match all the criteria that makes my cubby hard. So I snuck a picture of my lust object while he wasn’t looking (is that wrong?) and sent it to my cubby.
Cubby’s response? “Eeehhh...”
In fact, my cub and I do that a lot. It’s almost a game with us. I send him an Xtube video address thinking, I know he’s gonna love this one. And he looks at it and says, “Oh, Dad! No!” On occasion I guess right. But how strange is that? As well as we know each other, I can’t even count on recognizing my own cub’s attractions.
It’s the same with my partner. We’ll be watching TV and I’ll say something like, “Damn, that Tom Colicchio really is sexy, isn’t he?” thinking she will say something like, “Yum!” Instead she looks at me and says, “Naw, he’s more your type.” And we’ve been together 23 years!
With me, attraction really is a person-at-a-time thing. Maybe that’s more true for all of us than we let on.
To be honest, I’m not sure I can even define what it is that attracts me to someone. I can think of specific things that start the old familiar swell: thick eyelashes or eyebrows, hairy forearms, the perfect round belly, a vein running down the abdomen, a round ass. But when I break it down into to its respective parts, I find those parts are really only attractive to me when attached to a specific person. In other words, there are always people who really ring my bell who don’t have those respective parts or even who have the opposite of those attributes: smooth forearms, muscle belly, etc.
For instance, the guy on the bus (Oh, sexy, sexy Jeremy! when will you be mine?) has the thickest fur on his arms and chest (and face and hands and shoulders and in my imagination...). I can’t stop fuckin’ staring at him. Yet, I know other specific strangers who have the same kind of furry bodies, but staring isn’t a problem with me. Or for another instance, I have a major crush on my buddies R&J, yet one of them is pretty damn smooth for a bear, very little hair at all, and I can’t get enough of that fucker.
I do know overt kindness is a big turn-on for me (seriously, it makes me harrrd). But I don’t want to fuck every guy who’s kind to me. I do have a fondness for some muscular furry Italians, but some really turn me off.
It’s the same with cocks. I haven’t yet met a cock I didn’t like. They are delicious and fun in all shapes, sizes, strengths, colors and girths. But of course there are some cocks that ring a deeper bell for me personally than others (no pun intended).
I have a fuckbuddy who has a cock that really gets me going... it’s of nice length but not huge, but it’s of a strong width and it’s dark brown, almost purple in places and it’s always drooly (at least when I’m around it). I can’t get enough of that cock. Seriously, I do things I never thought I would when that cock’s around. I’m that cock’s bitch. Yet I have another friend who has a cock that I swear to god could be it’s identical twin. In every way. And that cock is fun and all, but I am definitely not that cock’s bitch (my cock is his bitch, bitch!).
Attraction is a strange, inconsistent thing. It explodes all over one guy and shrugs its shoulders over another. Attraction doesn’t let you in on the joke. It will do what it will and you will find yourself follwoing after it scratching your head.
You never know when attraction’s going to smack you between the balls. But it sure is fun when it does.
In Portland, arguably one of the most queer-friendly towns in America, we have had only nine reported queer bashings so far this year. Only nine. Count them: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine people reported being harrassed, abused or beaten just for being queer.
In Portland, Oregon. One of the most queer-friendly towns in America.
If that doesn’t take your breath away, let me parce this a bit more. Nine people reported a queer-directed hate crime so far this year (as of end of May). That doesn’t mean nine happened, it means nine people reported it happened. Distrust amongst the queer population toward the police and other authorities is a big problem historically and most believe that the actual number of queer-directed hate crimes is much higher.
And, by the way, this statistic is an improvement! Last year the Portland police had reports of sixteen queer-directed hate crimes and the year before saw thirty-fucking-two! In Portland Fucking Oregon!!!
Okay, look. I don’t think I’m a naive man. I’ve seen my share of the ugly underbelly of homophobia. But still... this news shocks the stink out of me. These are my friends, my co-workers, my fucking family and they are being beaten, cursed, robbed, stabbed, dragged behind trucks, strung up on fences...
I bring this up, not as a downer, but to mention that it’s become kind of vaguely hip in the queer community (and especially amongst bears) to put down Pride Parades and Pride Festivals. Every year around this month, I begin hearing the backtalk about it. They’re too loud. They make us look too... gay. Too much nudity (is that possible?). Too many churches march and it gets boring (too many churches? WTF?? Too many, you complain??) It’s 2010; we’re almost integrated into mainstream society... Haven’t we outgrown this nonsense?
Ask the nine Portlanders. Like the gay man who met some people at Skidmore Fountain this Memorial Day weekend. They invited him over to their apartment for drinks where they held him down, shaved his head and punched him in the chest while yelling “Faggot! Faggot! Faggot!” Somehow a few hours later, he managed to flee. Tell him about our integration into mainstream culture. Tell 'em how much the straight guys love the gay guy on Grey's Anatomy. Tell him how visibility isn't necessary anymore.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is still a law, which means you can still be fired from your job for being queer. Not all queer couples have the right to insurance settlements, legal decisions or medical access, things that aren’t even dreamed of being questioned amongst straight couples. The teen suicide rate for queers is three to five times higher than for straight teens. There are still thousands still afraid, yes afraid, to come out of the closet for fear of physical and mental violence.
All in the United States of Fucking America.
I’m proud to be a queer. This is who I fucking AM. Over and over we’re told that Pride is supposed to be about pride in ourselves, not about visibility. Listen, it took me a long, long time, but I’m already proud of who I am.
Now I want some goddamn visibility.
So, if you want to know where I’ll be on Sunday, June 20th, I’ll be at Portland Pride, waving my freak flag, wearing my gay clothes and kissing every man who’ll let me. Just try to stop me.
My theatre mentor in college was a professor we'll just call "Mr. W." He was fresh out of grad school, young, sandy-haired and very talented. He was shorter than I, but very muscular and hairy. He had stunningly blue eyes which he flashed behind a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and a wicked, trickster smile he would toss to me on a regular basis. He was one of those guys who had to shave twice a day and whenever he took off his shirt, I'd nearly pass out from the thick pelt of sandy fur and manly musculature.
I had a serious crush on Mr. W.
But we were in a fundamentalist Baptist college in the south and there was no room in that world for love or lust between men.
Besides being an excellent actor and director, Mr. W wrote plays with incredible depth of character and a wicked sense of arc. To top it off, he was also an artist, drawing expertly and constantly - mostly in pencil, mostly drawings of musclemen posing.
I know, right?!
We were very tight friends. Probably our mutual talents drew us to each other, but I think he was a guilt-frozen heteroflexible as well. I think in fact he loved me like I loved him. Sure, this was a man who had several affairs with women during the five years we were buddies. I knew all about these affairs, and occasionally even helped in the deception. But when it came to fooling around with me, he seemed more than passing interested, but he just couldn't do it, because he didn't want to piss off Jesus. (Oh the irony!)
We used to work out together in the college gym. The time of day we worked out was a quiet time, right before lunch, and we pretty much had the gym to ourselves. He was essentially my personal trainer, getting me ready to play the role of Oedipus, where I would have to wear a very skimpy chiton that showed off my legs and shoulders and arms. We were doing free weights, so we spotted each other and he would build routines for me. It was the "spotted each other" part that was toughest. Bench pressing with his sweat-panted crotch bulging above me (I swear sometimes he had a hard-on)... that was tough. He caught me staring all the time and would just laugh it off.
"Concentrate!" he'd say. Easier said than done.
He'd let me feel his biceps sometimes in a fit of "worship me." It wouldn't last long and he'd break down laughing, shoving me away.
Once we were showering after a workout (individual showers, but shared locker room). I came out of the shower and he was standing there with a towel around his hips, his package keeping the towel bumpy in front. I started drying off, trying not to stare.
"Hey," he said, "tell me, does this look like something I should worry about?" And he pulled his towel down, pointing to his bush. I gulped a few times and leaned forward. "What?" I said, just to have something to say.
"This," he said, as he rubbed some skin in his bush. His thick fur flicked back and forth under his fingertips. I didn't realize I had stuck my finger in and felt the skin beneath his bush until I had already done it. I caught myself right before reaching for his cock.
"It's nothing," I said. "Just a heat rash. You'll be fine."
He was. I wasn't.
A little later, we were rooming together while doing a film in Alabama. We had worked together for about a week, and we had been staying in the same motel room. I was awakened to find Mr. W standing above me at my bedside. He had no shirt on. Hairy abs with strongly defined love handles descending into his slightly unbuttoned jeans. No underwear.
"I got to catch a flight home," he said, quietly. "I'm done filming. Come to the Waffle House and have breakfast with me."
I turned around in the bed to get a good look at him. His crotch was two feet from my face. The impulse to sit up and grab his hips and bring that crotch to my face was so strong. I wanted to bury my nose in those pubes and feel my hands creep up his muscular back and slowly stand, kissing my way up those abs, up that hairy chest, that stubbly chin to kiss him long and deep and for days. Or I wanted to unbutton his 501s with my teeth and let that huge floppy dick slide into my willing throat. Or I wanted him to grab me roughly by the shoulders and pull me up to him, kiss me while I shove his jeans off his hips and turn him around, bending him over the bed and I would shove my hard cock deep into him rough and ready and both of us would fuck like angry rabbits until Jesus wept.
But I didn't. And he didn't.
There were several more incidents like this. So close... so far apart. In the end, though I knew I loved him (and suspected it could be reciprocal), we also knew that Jesus made a bad third.
Christianity doesn't really teach that there's anything wrong with two men getting it on together. Literalist interpretations of Christianity does. I wish then we'd known the difference. I could have really fallen for that guy. Even with Jesus' blessing.
Here's another favorite erotic poem. Happy National Poetry Month!
-------------------Guatemalan Entryby Harold Norse
I stare at the young hot cock throbbing
in tight white pants on my bed.
How long can I go on about travel fares and news of the day?
Dark smoldering eyes, half-sleepy, gaze at me
from a face the color of cafe au lait.
I'm anxious to strip this 19-year-old down again
and expose the rest of that dark marble skin.
I stop talking and look at him.
He comes over and presses his huge hard-on
against my face and I turn my head
and kiss him there.
He begins to unbuckle his belt with the head of a bull
for a buckle and I smile and say Toro
and he smiles and says Verdad
and suddenly throbbing in the room in the sun
with chocolate skin darker than the rest of him
his cock appears.
He grabs my chest under the shirt,
moving his strong hands down my thighs
white and hairy against his smooth darkness
and turns me around so that my back presses
against his cock
that he pushes between my buttocks
as he kneads my nipples in the sweltering heat
of a lazy afternoon.
And we both begin to hump in a tropical trance
quickly reaching orgasm, he inside me,
I in my hand, as the madman boils over
and splashes onto my fist and drenches
the burning bed.
--From The Badboy Book of Erotic Poetry, Masquerade Books, 1995
In the late 1970s, while I was wending my queer closeted horny way through high school in teenie-tiny Sheridan, Montana (population 600), there was just no friggin' way to meet other queers without running great risk of being caught. Oh, it happened, all right! There were cowboys in the area who didn't mind a quick discrete blowjob up at the reservoir at night in the back of their pickup truck (you know who you were)... but finding them was difficult and, in some cases, downright dangerous.
What a difference the internet has made: a true revolution in the way we can reach out and find someone to help us not be alone. And this is a good thing.
But I'm here to tell you, not all queer social networking sites are the same. Some are for meeting people and making friends and falling in love with Mr. Right Bear and showing off your collection of Disney paraphernalia.
And some, let's face it, are just for finding a fuck.
Both serve an important purpose. For those into the hookup scene, it's nice to have a place where there needs be no pretense, but you can just lay it out there and shop for your boner-buddy. And if you aren't into the hookup scene, isn't it nice to know there are places for guys to go and do that without having to do it in your yard?
Which brings me to a pet peeve: men who get all huffy over being hit on when they're in a hookup site.
I mean, look, don't go on Grindr and say you aren't there looking for sex. It's GRINDR, for Christ's sake. The purpose of the party is the hookup. Even the name of the site attests to that. And that rule goes for Squirt or SpankThis or cruisingforsex or any of the other hook up sites out there for horny guys. There are tons of places to sit and twitter your latest fast food lunch menu, go there and have fun! But don't go to a hookup site and act self-righteous when you're hit on.
Granted, there are grey areas.
Bear411 is a prime example. I have a deep and abiding love/hate relationship with Bear411. There are aspects that are imperfect (like any other site) and it's kind of weird that it's restricted to the traditional notion of who a bear is (I have friends who were kicked out of Bear411 for not being "bearish enough.")
On the whole, however, Bear411 is a pretty damn useful and fun site where bears can meet other bears. The format does, though, lead to some ambiguity about the site's nature. For instance, it allows you to put up pictures of yourself and your dogs and your boyfriend and your mom... kind of Facebooky. It also allows you to put up naked pics, kind of like a hookup site. It allows you to write your own introductions with very few limitations. Write it in poetry. Write a list of things you love. Write that you're shy (but if one more person makes a joke in the "I won't bite unless you want" vein, I'm going to vomit). You can express all your feelings about love and movies and perfect relationships and hugs. On the other hand, there's the guestbook thing which let's you send little prefab messages like "you're hot" and "woof" to someone... very hookup siteish.
I love Bear411, but sometimes it's difficult to know the etiquette to use. My opinion (take it or leave it)? It's up to YOU to express what you're there for, and then, it's up to US to honor those expressions.
But don't send mixed messages. I swear to Christ there's always some idiot in there with a pic of his long schlong all hard and drooling on his profile which reads, "I am NOT here for a hookup. I'm looking for someone who can love me for WHO I AM." Can you say, "passive aggressive?"
I like Bear411. I like ChubHub. I like Bearwww. I like BiggerCity. I like BearForest, Bearciti, BearNation, BigMuscleBears, M4M and all the other queer social networking sites that are booming out there. None are perfect, but for what they are they are very useful. I also like Squirt and Grindr and crusisingforsex and those other helpful hookup sites.
But know which one's for which purpose. And if you don't... let us know why you're there and do your best to honor that. Come on... don't be shy... I won't bite...
One of my favorite fucking erotic poems in the world. If you aren't "into" poetry, for Christ's sake, don't let the line breaks scare you off. Take a breath and dive in, pretend it's prose on a very thin piece of paper. You might be very pleasantly surprised.
Happy National Poetry Month!
The Moving Man
by Edward Field
He was a burly, curly-blonde ape of a man
who had a moving van
and a bunch of young helpers he paid by the job.
He treated those boys like a harem,
picking one for his pleasure when he wanted.
He had wrestled them all to defeat
for when they fell under his weight
with that huge body on them
they went dreamy as desire took them.
Having him for an example, they were a rowdy gang,
hanging around the office at the front of the garage,
waiting for a job to be called in.
They kept wrestling and grabbing at each other
with an eye cocked for the boss's approval,
half-teasing him with their slim bodies,
muscled from work.
The van stood behind in the shadows
with its tailgate down, empty,
except for the quilts they wrapped furniture in,
lying in a heap.
In the idleness of the afternoon
the boss would start horsing around with a boy,
perhaps one who had been especially fresh
and chasing him through the garage
force him right up the tailgate into the van.
There they fell rolling on the quilts
until the man, pinning him with his chest,
pulled down the boy's pants –
his own were always open.
Large hand roved down naked belly
to the clutch of hair and hard-standing prick,
with balls a handful,
and the boy yelped, but had to stay.
His wrestler arms tamed that young body like an animal:
Holding him prisoner, he forced him over,
his cock probing the backs of his thighs,
the cheeks of his ass. One hand on a breast
fingered the nipple, the other arm
pulled him closer below
with a hot, demanding push.
He breathed hard on the plum of a cheek,
and bit at the boy's neck,
his stubble scratching as he growled in the boy's ear,
teaching him pleasure.
Now he held in his arms the whole boy,
his fat prick nosing between those round tight cheeks,
until the boy, completely submerged in that loving bulk of a man,
relaxed with a moan and opened,
and the moving man moved his prick all the way in,
taking his sweet time.
–– from The Badboy Book of Erotic Poetry, ed. by David Laurents (Masquerade Books, 1995)
The mating call of Ursus Sapiens. Loved by some, reviled by others, the "Woof!" call has been around almost as long as bear subculture. Personally, I like the "Woof!" call, though I am pretty selective about how I use it. But I know plenty of bears and cubs and others who detest it. And their reasons for detesting it is about as many as the people who feel that way.
Some guys think a "Woof!" is cold and impersonal. And sometimes, I guess, it can be. But I've never known someone to say "Woof!" who meant it coldly. Most guys I know say it because they don't know what else to say, and it's a way of approaching someone you think is sexy, but don't know how else to break that ice. A lot of bears are shy guys; "Woof!" is just a way to slide past the shy part of us and get to the good stuff.
Some guys think "Woof!" is objectifying. Well, duh. It's a blatant call of attraction. It's meant to convey to the other bear just how sexy we find him. I doubt, however, a "Woof!" can ever be taken to mean, "Gee, guy, you are a sexy hunk of meat that I want to fuck, but really you are only a pretty boy and in no way do I see you as relationship material."
I mean, maybe someone could mean it that way... but I doubt it.
Most guys find a simple "Woof!" without any kind of follow-up, kind of rude. I don't. I think it's flattering. But knowing that not all guys find it flattering usually leads me to never just toss it off without some kind of further greeting. Just for politeness' sake. Besides what's the point of woofing a guy if you aren't wanting more contact?
There is always the "Woof!" alternative: "Grrr!" Which brings me to a story:
Recently, a friend of mine articulated to me his reasons for hating "Woof!"
"Bears don't say "Woof!'" he told me, "dogs say 'Woof!' Bears say 'Grrrr!'"
Ironically, the exact opposite is true. How often do dogs' barks sound like "Woof"? Rarely. But one of the most common sound an American bear (ursus americanus) makes is a sound that actually comes pretty close to "Woof!" and is the sound made when the bear is unsure of what it's looking at or is trying to send its cubs to safety. (Daddy Bears may make the noise to send their Cubs fleeing as well, but I'm not sure about that one).
"Woof!" has become so ubiquitous in bear culture, that there's even an app for it. No kidding. The "Woof!" app will send out a recorded "Woof!" in nine varieties, including the sexy "Woof!", the equivocal "Woof!", the bored "Woof!" and the assertive "Woof!" It also shows you Bear Run info and has a Bearowser to look up bear shit. It's a silly, silly app, but a lot of fun as well.
"Woof!" may be passe, may be misused and misunderstood, but it will be with us for as long as we have a subculture. Might as well make friends.
One last Woof! story:
Once, I was walking in the woods... okay, okay... cruising in the woods and was just about to give up in frustration when the most gorgeous leather-clad biker daddy turned onto my path. He was about my height, a nice gut, hairy as fuck (you know, the tufts curling up over his t--shirt collar?), touches of silver in his beard and hair. He looked at me and I at him, but it wasn't abundantly clear if his intentions were the same as mine, so, not willing to let him pass without knowing, I tossed out a "Woof!"
Looking back, I saw that he had stopped and was facing me.
"Why did you say that?" he said. He didn't sound angry, but he didn't sound pleased either.
I stammered a bit, "Uh.. well... cause I think you're very handsome."
His eyebrow went up a bit and he frowned a second.
"Then why did you call me a wimp?" he said.
"No! No!" I practically yelled, "Not 'wimp'... 'woof!' It means you're handsome."
"Oh," he said. And then we went in the bushes and I gave him the blowjob of his life. (Seriously you should have heard this guy growl while cumming... I still get hard remembering it. He was so into it, he drooled on his shirt. And then said, "Damn, this is my wife's favorite shirt" and I almost came in my pants.)
All from one little "Woof!"
The moral of the story? If you're gonna "woof" a guy, mean it, and articulate, articulate, articulate.
I'm a big believer in poetry. Poetry is anti-fundamentalist. Poetry laughs in the face of literalism. Poetry allows us to wake up from our sleepy, habitual world and live in the present moment (the only moment we have). April is National Poetry Month. I always celebrate at work and at home and here in my journal.
Here's a poem I wrote. I'm going to post a few of my favorite homo & homoerotic poems from my favorite poets over the course of the month.
THE HEART FEELS LIKE AN ISLAND IN INFINITY
by Glenn Scofield Williams
I am full –
born a moonlit plate of cold green fruit
raised a shy-drawn bear in a Neanderthal cave
to become a patient glacier scooping out a blue bay
I am full –
the Pied Piper and his numb indigo lips
Inanna carrying the memory of meathooks
Goldilocks clutching a sticky square of carroty cake
I am full –
the crow laughs at the grandiose dog
waves rearrange stones with quiet, tiny licks
starfish cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca step by step
I am full –
the sky has fallen in love with me
I am full –
Federico Garcia Lorca has fallen in love with me
I am full –
I have been faithful to the dark