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Sex Tips for Gay Guys
By Dan Anderson, Mark Neston
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2001 Dan Anderson
All rights reserved.
Welcome to HomoLand
We all remember our first trip to Disney World, and the wondrous and exciting subworlds inside. As a mini-Mo in training, you were probably quite fond of Tomorrowland, with its gleaming, shiny surfaces, futuristic look, and the promise of a life of ease and contentment, complete with a videophone that knew how to scramble your image on a bad-hair day. You may also have harbored a special fondness for Tomorrowland since it was where you wanted to be, instead of stuck in the boring straight world, waiting in line for Space Mountain and looking at pictures of perfect futuristic families that you knew would never be yours. Well, tomorrow is suddenly today, the videophones are here (though they haven't yet solved that hair issue), and there's no more waiting in line for the rides.
HomoLand is the place that we all imagined and thought we'd never see. It is full of handsome musclemen in skimpy spandex outfits who walk down the street holding hands, who cruise you back with a boldness you never dreamed possible, and who are ready and willing to talk to you right now. It's the restaurant where two guys having dinner together don't feel like freaks, the bookstore with all the gay mags, the shop where the salesboy doesn't flinch when you ask him if those pants make your ass look good. In HomoLand, you're really popular, have a fabulous wardrobe, and need to have cards printed up with your phone number because so many guys are asking for it.
Well, guess what? HomoLand is open for business and your table is ready. As you no doubt know, some version of HomoLand already exists in every big city across America, and probably the world, for that matter. We won't even list them since they're so well-known, and if you're reading this book, it's safe to assume that you know where to find them.
But there's more to HomoLand than geography, since it also exists in your head, and you don't have to live in the gay ghetto to shack up there. HomoLand is also a social construct, a way of viewing the world, and we have to say it, a way of life. It's not just about being out, it's about being out in the world, and not afraid to take chances, follow your dreams, have fun, make mistakes, and even learn from them. It's about accepting not just yourself, but also evil poofs, mean queens, body buddies, and others whom you may not necessarily like, but acknowledge nonetheless. In other words, everyone has a home in HomoLand.
"We Love Gay Life"
That being said, however, it can still be a real blast to live in the ghetto, hang out with the boys, and have tons of fun. Many years ago, my best friend, Jim, and I were on our way from Philadelphia to New York for a weekend visit with our other dear friend, Miss Amy. It was a cold, rainy winter night, and we decided to pop for a cocktail before the drive. Needless to say, one cocktail turned into three or four, and we were soon talking about how nice it would be to bake on a beach with an endless supply of margaritas. In what was probably the most spontaneous thing we ever did until then or since, we got into the car and headed straight for 1- 95 South. Fearful that our booze-fueled resolution might fade if we stopped home for bathing suits, we got on the road immediately and decided that we (and another trusted friend, Miss Visa) could buy whatever else we needed in Florida.
The drive down was long and, frankly, better forgotten. In any case, we made it to Fort Lauderdale in time for dinner the next day. We called our respective jobs and told them we wouldn't be in the next week, nabbed a disco nap, then headed out amidst the palm trees to the big cha-cha palace. It was Saturday night, after all, and there was no missing that. The details are a little hazy now on whether we got lucky that night or not.
The next day we picked up cheapie bathing suits and perched by the pool for a solid seven hours. The little poolside bar had a dishy bartender named Patsy, who seemed to have the dirt on everybody, and who kept us in cocktails for most of the afternoon. Later that night, after moisturizing our one-day tans, we were getting ready to go out. Jim was doing something to his hair, and I was doing some sort of face mask, when we looked at each other, raised our glasses (it goes without saying that cocktails were a constant companion during the visit), and said, "We love gay life!" We even had a visit from this nerdy guy Edwin, who happened to be visiting our hotel with his parents from some awful hick town in West Virginia. We figured anyone who was traveling with his parents from West Virginia and had the chutzpah to actually knock on our door to ask if he could go out with us really needed a night out. So we took him along and soon learned that little Edwin was no artless ingenue when it came to a pickup. Within minutes of our arrival, he was chatting up some six-and-a-half-foot-tall drag queen, with whom he later left. We never saw him again.
The rest of the trip was pretty much the same setup every day, minus the Edwin visit, and we had a ball. The point is that, at that moment, we were two young guys without a care in the world, and the most important issue of the day was which bar to start the evening's activities in. There's a lot to be said for those days, and we highly recommend that, at some point in your gay life, you enjoy some.
Sex and the Single Guy
When you're young, cute, and single is possibly the best time to enjoy your boys' nights out. Life has a way of being less complicated: a trick is a trick, a date is a date, and you know well enough not to mix them up. If you fool around a lot when you're young, it can also be your chance to see the interiors of lots of chichi apartment buildings that you'd otherwise have to wait years to be invited to. If you're really good, you may even be invited back to see the place some night before 3 A.M.
Another good reason to earn your sexual stripes when you're young is that you can get away with all sorts of behaviors that will prove unacceptable after the age of twenty-five. Guys don't expect you to call when you take their number, so you need not feel guilty when you don't. You can march up to virtually anyone and strike up a convo, and you can march right off if he turns out to be a dud. You can hit the bars almost every night and still make it to work the next day with only minimal bags under your eyes.
You can even, at times, overindulge and get away with it. Let's face it, a falling down drunk at twenty-three can still be attractive, but when you're thirty-five, it's just messy. On occasion, even gay guys on the make can be generous. At the age of twenty-two, our friend Tony had a bit too much to drink and was chatting up guys at the bar like a telemarketer. Things got a little strange when it turned out that he was talking to one-half of a couple, only he didn't know that at the time. Soon enough, the other half came up, and it looked as if they were headed for a three-way. A few minutes later, while Tony was on a twirl, a perfect stranger came up to him and, in the sternest voice he could muster, really blasted him. "You're too drunk, and you don't even know it," he said. "You're going to pass out, throw up, or have unsafe sex. Now get the hell out of here and go home!" It worked. Tony terminated his twirl, headed straight for the door, and went home that minute. The moral of the story is, well, there is no moral. Or maybe there is, and it has to do with the charm of youth, or perhaps the kindness of strangers. If Tony were doing the same thing at thirty-five, chances are the kind stranger wouldn't have bothered. Maybe someone will do the same for you, and by all means, if you see someone over the edge, think about offering a little sound advice to him.
Partners in Crime
This brings us to the next point of your swingly single days: having a partner in crime. Your partner in crime is the one who's always up for a drink, a coffee, or an adventure, and who won't be offended when you ditch him for a one-night stand. Partners in crime are also the ones who won't be afraid to tell you that the particular one-night wonder that you are about to ditch them for isn't nearly as attractive as you thought with your beer goggles on, or that another friend's friend fooled around with him last week and he was a total loser.
We've had more incidents than we can remember of having to retrieve our PICs from a crime scene when things went awry. You have to be ready at a moment's notice, even if it is five o'clock in the morning and the only thing that keeps you going is the knowledge that they would do the same for you. One friend of ours, let's call him Eddie, got stuck at some wayout suburban bar all alone one night. After the bar closed, he called our friend Greta (yes, that's her real name) for help, and she valiantly drove the forty-five minutes to pick him up. Unfortunately, Eddie fell asleep in the bushes while waiting for her to arrive, and not finding him, poor Greta went home. Eddie woke up, called her again, and miraculously, she drove all the way back, fished out his house keys, and dragged his drunk ass home. A true partner in crime if ever there was one.
The other thing about partners in crime is that it's just always more fun to rage with at least one friend than it is to go out alone. You have someone to run back to if you get snubbed, and someone to grab the tab for drinks if you run out of money midway through the evening's festivities. But most of all, your partner in crime will be the one person in the world with whom you share absolutely all of your adventures, and he will know when you're telling the truth since chances are pretty good that he was around for at least the prelims. And as we all know, 90 percent of adventure is for the retelling factor.
Set Yourself Up Right
So you've got a job, or maybe you're still a student, you've found a few friends to hang with, and you're ready to make the most of your youthful gay life. For right now, we recommend at least a brief stay in the gay ghetto. For one thing, the rents are often a bit lower than in the chicer parts of town, and you can walk to all the action and not worry about taxis, driving, parking, or depending on your flighty friends for a ride home. Chances are these same flighty friends will live close by, and since you'll be going out so much, you'll want to make it easy to rendezvous.
We understand that money may be a little tight, especially since your bar bill will be the size of a car payment. However, it's really important to get a decent apartment in a building that you won't be embarrassed for your mother to see. Maybe all you can afford is a small studio, and that's fine, as long as it doesn't look like a former crack house. You never know who may end up at your place, so it should be at least marginally presentable.
As for decorating, we know that it's tough to do on a budget. There are a few absolute necessities that you need to invest in, or that you can put on your Christmas wish list and hope that your parents come through. First off, a queen- size bed and some decent sheets. Nothing turns off a trick faster than seeing someone's ratty old college futon with sheets that look as if they were lifted from some summer rental. Six inches can make a big difference in one's life, so why not add it to the width of your bed? You and your overnight guests will sleep a lot easier, and it's way better to wake up with some breathing room, especially if Mr. Last Night turns out to be Mr. Fright Night. As for bed placement, keep three sides free so you and your amours will have lots of room to move around while you're rocking his world. Also, it is essential to have a nightstand with a drawer next to the bed where you can stash your equipment and have it all within handy reach in the heat of passion.
For furniture, mix things up a bit. It's perfectly acceptable to snag a decent table and a few chairs at a yard sale, then throw them together with a piece or two from Ikea. Go for comfort, especially on the sofa, since that's where most of your love trysts will begin. You don't want old springs ripping open his pants before you've had a go at them. Lighting is crucial, so spend some time, and a bit of money, on at least one good lamp. For parties, you can put low-watt colored bulbs in them to make sure that everyone looks good in the photos. You can go cheap on the bookcases, since it's the books that really matter, anyway. Just remember that your full set of Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterlies does not constitute a book collection. A coat of paint is also a great way to make a dramatic difference in your decor without spending a fortune, and don't be afraid to be bold.
You'll also need a set of giant martini glasses and a decent pitcher or shaker. You never know when friends will stop by for impromp cocktails, and you can save money by slamming back a few at home before hitting the bars. You should also have a set of rocks glasses, wineglasses, and champagne flutes, a serving platter or two, some sort of ice bucket, a wine opener, and a good paring knife for cutting twists. Dinner service for at least four is a good idea, too. Dinner parties are a lot of work, but you can start small until you get the hang of it, while banking lots of invitations for the future.
As for any little collectibles, get rid of them. Our dear friend Doug ended up one night at what we've come to call the House of Clowns. He met this decent enough dude at the bar, and soon enough they were heading to the guy's apartment for an evening of warmth and sharing. Being a tidy sort of fellow, Doug used the guy's bathroom to wash his hands before they settled down to business. As the bathroom door closed behind him, he looked into the mirror and saw reflected from behind him what he now describes as one of the scariest sights he's ever seen. Arrayed on shelf after shelf after shelf in the guy's bathroom was this enormous collection of ceramic clown figurines — hundreds of them, all staring back at poor Doug with their eerie clown grins. Besides showing extremely questionable taste on the guy's part, the collection was a total buzz kill. Doug readied some flimsy excuse, scooted out of the guy's apartment, then zoomed back to the bar for a second chance. PoorHouse of Clowns probably has no idea why people always leave his house before he can get them into bed. We don't even want to think about what he keeps there.
Now that we've dealt with where you live, the other part of setting yourself up right has to do with where you go. If you're living in boys' town, there will be an array of local spots that you can adopt as your own. Most likely, different ones will be hopping on different nights, so you'll need to flip through the fag rags to figure that out. Whether it's a bookshop, cafe, or bar, the important thing is to have a hangout where you know people and where people know you. That way, if your partner in crime is off on an adventure, you can head out confident that you won't be stuck there all alone.
Your hangout should also be a place frequented by the type of people you want to meet. For this reason, we wouldn't suggest the all-night bookstore or the Dazed and Confused coffee shop. Not only is the lighting always horrific, but you won't be doing your fledgling reputation any good by congregating with a bunch of tweakers and sex addicts. Better to choose a quaint local coffeehouse, where you can see and be seen without the fear of walking out with a used tissue stuck to the bottom of your shoe.CHAPTER 2
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
Dos and Don'ts
So now you're all set up and ready to go, right? Wrong. Before you toss your hat into the ring, we need to make sure you have the right kind of hat. Some people think it's all fun and games being a gay guy, but underneath that fabulous exterior, there's more maintenance than you'll find at a fat-farm reunion. Between hair, nail, and skin care, waxing, shaving, trimming, tanning, teeth bleachings, and personal-training sessions, it's a miracle that we ever get out of the house at all. And that doesn't include special occasion facials, massages, and collagen injections. Being truly fabulous doesn't come easy, and it doesn't come cheap. After your rent and your bar bill, your monthly maintenance costs may well be one of your largest expenses.
We're not telling anyone that he shouldn't be himself. In fact, we all know that one of the most attractive features in a man, other than a huge bank account, is self-confidence. However, you'll want to know that you've made the best of what you've got if you want to feel fabulous. And we don't want you feeling anything less.
Let's start at the top. Your hair, or lack thereof, is quite often the first thing about you that anyone, potential sex partner or not, will see. Given this fact, it never ceases to amaze us how many guys run around with comb-overs, compromise cuts, and the all-too-familiar toupee. "But I'm still young, cute, and sexy," you say. "I don't have to worry about those things yet." Maybe that's true, and bully for you, but we've met guys in their early twenties with some serious scalp showing. If you're up to it, do battle as best you can with Rogaine and Propecia. Just remember that those long locks you had in high school are not coming back, so keep your thinning hair on the short side and well-trimmed.
Excerpted from Sex Tips for Gay Guys by Dan Anderson, Mark Neston. Copyright © 2001 Dan Anderson. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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