Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The Baron Begs to Differ

Talked to the Baron von Philadelphia tonight. The Baron had been perusing my blog earlier in the week, and was concerned about me in date mode. He expressed concern that the difficult times I'm going through currently are leading me down the primrose path to bourgeois homosexual domesticity. Specifically, finding a guy who is "a good catch" with a "good job" and "aspirations" and a "natty dresser" and enjoys "fine dining" when he doesn't cook at home, as the "gourmet kitchen" in his "well appointed condo" was one of the reasons he bought the place.

Ridiculous, you expostulate? Actually, no. The Baron knows whereof he speaks. Because nine years ago, I did just that. I had lost my job, I was having no luck on the dating front. I had had a bad experience with a guy I met at the Bar at 2nd and 2nd: I went home with him and woke up in the middle of the night to discover he was fucking me. I was game for that. After he shot his load, I learned that he hadn't bothered to use a condom. Romance was scary. And so I wanted to be In A Relationship. At a friend's birthday party, I met a guy who also wanted to be In A Relationship. I wasn't particularly attracted to him, he was not only vanilla but kink averse, he quickly started telling me what was wrong with me and would fly into a rage when I debated whatever point he was making. A false start? No. I was with him for almost seven years.

And the Baron is particularly sensitive about this issue because The Ex decided very early on that the Baron was overly emotional or something and basically told me to break off contact with him. So I didn't talk to the Baron for a period of four years.

So am I doomed, as the Baron fears, to compromise myself and contort myself into whatever absurd position ("Yeah, I think S/M is icky, too, Sweetheart. Anything good on cable tonight? I made that pasta dish you like") to be In A Relationship?

Actually I think not.

Because I dated Special Guy.

Y'see, in the wake of the difficult extrication of myself from The Relationship, I was totally opposed to being in any kind of a relationship again. Or at least, any relationship that endures more than a night. It occurs to me that I still have issues with doing an S/M scene, or even having good old fashioned sex with the same guy twice.

But along came Special Guy. First, I fell in love with his mind. We could talk for hours. I could listen to him for hours. He thought I was the smartest guy in the whole world. I thought he was the smartest guy in the whole world. I thought (and I still think) that he is one of the hottest men I've ever known. He was a big guy. He had an inch or two on me. Broad shouldered. Hairy as a beast. Incredibly bushy stache. A lover of life. A deeply compassionate man. Walking down 8th Avenue with Special Guy, it took an hour to walk five blocks. Every ten steps he'd run into someone else he knew, who had been going through 'a hard time,' and Special Guy would have to hear the guy out, ask how he was doing, offer his shoulder to cry on. And Special Guy was one sick and kinky fucker. We met at the Dugout on a Sunday, and the following Saturday had our first 'date' of sorts: we went to an all-day musclebear sex party. That day, I only had to waste piss down the toilet twice: in the morning before I left the house and that night when I got home. Special Guy was sooooo up for everything. Truly one of the highlights of the first date was when I flogged him on the patio.

And there we were on Christopher Street. There was a sudden downpour. Torrential rain. Coming down in buckets. We took refuge under the awning of the flower guy at Christopher and Bleecker. While I talked to a woman who was asking directions, Special Guy bought me a single red rose. He pressed it into my hand, kissed me deeply, and said, "Wanna be boyfriends with me?"

And what did Mr. I'll-Never-Be-In-A-Relationship-Again-Ever have to say?

"Oh yeah. I wanna be boyfriends with you."

The five months we were together were five of the best of my life. I never guessed that dating someone could be so wonderful. Imagine! It didn't feel like an obligation to have to give up a perfectly good Saturday night to hang out with him watching a movie! I didn't want to do anything else.

I raised Special Guy as a counter to the Baron's argument. Not that kind of a relationship, a Special Guy kind of a relationship.

The Baron was not persuaded.

"Do you really think," he said, "that the world is crawling with Special Guys? That there's one in every wee hamlet and scores in every great city of this nation of ours? Consider that there's only one man of that caliber who has ever lived in New York City, and that was Special Guy."


So in the wake of Special Guy, it's gonna be all about settling. As in, settling for someone who drives me bonkers, but hey, he's my boyfriend.

I don't think so. I don't think that Special Guy was unique.

Okay okay okay. He was definitely unique. When he said Mass for us (Special Guy was a priest; did I forget to mention that?) it was one of the most amazing experiences I've had. But I've met some other amazing men. Men that I would give a kidney to date. Sadly, the two that come most immediately to mind--one rides his motorcycle in the desert outside San Diego, and one rides his motorcycle on the back roads of New Hampshire--are pretty much taken. But that doesn't mean that all the special guys out there have been snatched up. There's three I can list right off the top of my head. And I've got a line on a few others. (Sadly, I haven't run across the Bucks County edition of the special guy line.)

So relax, Baron, my dear wonderful old friend, you don't have a lot to worry about. I'm not looking to play house with whatever available bachelor comes into my line of vision.

But thanks for your concern.

Get a Job

I spent most of the day today hauling fallen trees out of the woods (my father lives on four-and-a-half partially wooded acres) so I'll be able to saw them up for firewood. The day was cool, and the work was hard, and it felt great. Great to use the muscles in my back and shoulders and arms for actual work, as opposed to lifting plates of steel at the gym. Great, too, to give myself some time to think. Manual labor is good for that.

I realized that I need a job. I'm getting nothing done. The simplest things, like returning phone calls, take days for me to do. Each day is a blank screen in my Palm Pilot. Except for mondays and wednesdays when I have welding school. In other words, I have too much time. If I don't get to it today, I'll be able to do it tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next day.

And that's why I need a job. On good days, when I accomplish One Thing early on, then I get a bunch of things done. Accomplishment is great inspiration to do more. So I need a job.

I perused the want ads in the local paper and came up with three possibilities that appealed to me. The local SPCA is looking for help in the kennel; a Master stone mason is looking for an apprentice; and a sheet metal shop is looking for a general helper. I called the sheet metal shop, and they were only looking for someone with experience. ("Experience as a general helper in a sheet metal shop," was the qualifyer when I responded, "I have a lot of experience with a ten year work history...") I went down to the SPCA and filled out an application. The place seems to be run by alarmingly overweight passive-aggressive women who litter their desks with dream catchers and mugs proclaiming their belief in unicorns and angels. But still, it's the dogs I'd be working with, not the passive aggressive women. I left a message with the Master stone mason. ("I'm something of a Master myself, but in another context.") (No, I didn't really say that.) My romantacized notion sees him as looking like Burgess Merideth or Wilfred Brimley, a taciturn craftsman, seeking some young pup to whom he can pass on his craft as his own children are investment bankers or real estate developers or whatever. The voice that left the incoming call greeting when I left the message did nothing to contradict these fantasies.

It ain't welding, but at least it's working with my hands. And I like that it passes the Non-Traditional Homosexual Male Job Test. And, the house that I want to end up living with is built of concrete, so stone and concrete isn't so far off. So it would still fit with the Five Year Plan.

A job, a job, I want a job.

And now, I've gotta get dinner on the table for my father.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Each man wants not universal love, but to be loved alone

W.H. Auden had my number. Well, I guess he had a lot of peoples numbers. When he wrote that line anyway.

I'm spending time (whilst driving, hauling lumber for firewood out of the woods, sitting on the porch and listening to the night sounds) thinking about the Dad hunt. The desire grows daily.

Just what is it that I want?

Good question.

I want to be valued. Some man's Pearl of Great Price. A champion. A good boy to my Dad.

Been spending time in the AOL chat rooms lately. I'm always struck by the pervasiveness of abduction fantasies harbored by farflung submissives. "I want you to abduct me into slavery, Sir." Unlikely that I'm going to be driving the Jeep Liberty out to you in Kokomo, waiting patiently outside your condo for you to take the trash out to the curb one night, making with the pillow case, handcuffs, and ball gag, and driving you back to Pennsylvania to keep you chained up in the cellar next to the sump pump. But I can understand a little better now what's going on there. What he's saying is, "Want me that bad. Prove to me that I'm worth that."

Lthredge has a pretty amazing piece he's written called 'You.' (If memory serves, that's the name of it.) [Note to 'Edge: email me a link for posting, if'n you please.] He describes (brialliantly) the desire and longing and waiting and searching for The Strong Man. And how, tired of waiting, the narrator transforms himself into that man. It's beautiful. I see my own experience as the mirror image of that.

Something fused for me at Inferno this year. (I know, I know... it's coming. Really it is. Really. No. Really.) Perhaps, in a way, I am filled with domination.

Have you had the experience of reading a book that changes your life? In reading it (The Illusion of Technique by William Barrett would be a good example from my life), everything crystalizes, and you see the world in a whole new way. Call to mind the feeling as you read the last words on the last page and close the book. You're full. The experience is complete.

This is not to say that it's the end. Life and learning go on. And, if you should pick up the book years later, it's disappointing. It's become a part of you, so it can't have that same effect of smashing your Weltanshauung to pieces and building it anew. And you look at it with a more critical eye (I can't believe Barrett was so catty in discussing Simone de Beauvoir! Fuckin' A!) and realize that ultimately, it's just a book. One mortal man's scribblings.

So I'm not through with being a Top. Heaven forfend! As Nietzsche said of music, life without whipping is a mistake. I am totally looking forward to introducing a wonderful bear of a man to the experience of getting singletailed in October. (My birthday month.)

But Top space has become for me... well, sort of like New York City became over the thirteen years that I lived there. At first, it was strange and exhiliarating. Gradually, I came to know the ins and outs, getting to know the farflung quarters (132nd Street and St. Ann's Avenue in the South Bronx, Third Street between First and Second, Second Avenue and 81st Street, Flatbush Avenue and Lincoln Road). And all of those individual blocks and corners came together to form a coherent (mostly) whole. And I am at home there. I know my way around. I know which pizza places make it just the way I like it. I know good places to sit and have a latte and read a book. And though there's always something new, something yet to be discovered, past experience leads me to have a pretty good idea of what I'll find when I trek off to that new corner in that unexplored neighborhood.

And, history is a prison, though if you're lucky, it's a comfy minimum security prison for white collar criminals with a great gym and a library. Your past experiences and feelings determine your expecations of the future. Your perspective, and indeed, the person you are, becomes hidebound.

So, too, with Top space. I'm a known quantity. And I'm known best of all to myself.

I like to think that sub space is different. Although, what do I know, I could be wrong.

I once was told about a group of New Yorkers traveling down to DELTA together. One was a Top, and two were bottoms. They were driving down in one car. The Top packed in all of his gear, filling the trunk, 4/5ths of the back seat, the wheel wells. This wasn't a problem for the two bottoms he was traveling with, as they basically had with them all they needed for the run: clean socks to change into.

In my romantacized notions about a sub, I love that image. Setting off to meet the world with just what you'll need, a change of socks. Traveling as light as possible, so that you will be unencumbered in taking on collars and restraints and hoods and rope harnesses, and bedding down in dungeons and cages and on bondage tables or at your Sir's booted feet.

Being a Top is being a priest. Being a bottom is being some mad itinerent monk.

Being kept naked. This is another recurring thing in Mondo AOL Chat Rooms. "Will you keep me shaved and naked, Sir?" Oh yeah. And when it's cold, you'll feel the cold. And when you're sleeping on the floor, you'll feel the grit of the dust on the floor. And when you labor for Me outside, you'll be bitten and stung by insects, and the sun will burn you, and your skin will be scratched by brambles and sawgrass and nettles. Physical sensation is not what you try to protect yourself from, it's what you open yourself to.

Hey, Dad.

Here I am, Sir.

Waiting. Waiting for Your cigar smoking, bushy bearded big old self. Waiting to feel the weight of Your collar around my neck and hear the cl-click of the padlock securing it in place. Waiting to submit myself to Your expertise with floggers and canes and straps and paddles and rope to as testimony to my love for You. Waiting to taste Your boot leather and Your piss and Your sweat. Waiting to feel Your arms encircle me and hold me. Waiting to hear You say, "Good boy. I'm proud of you."

And... y'know... waiting to show You what a champion You've collared, when I take some sweet strong man out to the barn and whip him till he's singing his birthday song under Your watchful eye.

Here I am.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Shine a Light

Jumpin' Jehosephat.

I just had such a great time at the Bike Stop. If'n you're unfamiliar, that's the Leather Bar in Philadelphia. As in the bar where you'll find men dressed in leather. (A foreign concept if you moved to New York City after April 5th of this year, but there is such a thing! I swear!)

There was an abundance of woofy men there. And I met a lot of them. A whole lot. One... two... three... four... five... (Five was a total dreamboat: shaved head, bushy fuckin goatee, gorgeous man, think he might be among the sashed) six... seven... eight... nine. Nine woofy guys! In one night! It totally rocked. And, there were two Chicago Hellfire Club members whom I already knew. And this way hot guy who knew my name, but I have no idea from where I knew him. And a guy (way woofy) who I recognized from NYC, but who is buying a house in New Hope.

What in the name of all that's good and holy has kept me in NYC all of these years? Philadelphia is where the action is. And what's more, how about enjoying a cigar with your beer? Why, go right ahead, Chief!

Not that it couldn't stand some improvement. A watersports guy I talked to complained that he's unable to quench that undying thirst at the venerable Bike Stop. According to him, they ask you to take your play home. And, one thing that NYC has that Philadelphia doesn't have is GMSMA. As in, workshops. I don't doubt that it would improve the scene immeasurably if everybody knew their ropes. (I wonder how many thousands of New Yorkers can adroitly tie rope handcuffs and deliver a decent flogging because of GMSMA?)

I wonder if it would work to start something along the lines of a group I heard about at Inferno called the San Francisco S/M Discussion Group. Apparently, they meet monthly or bi-monthly, format of the meetings varies, but at every meeting, there's a speaker who talks about some aspect of S/M or demonstrates some technique, and then they all talk about it. It seems really simple and very low maintenance. Gorgeous Man was a member of the Philadelphians MC. Mebbe they'd help with organizing something like that.

And tomorrow, I'm meeting up with a man that flags Hunter Green left. We're meeting at my favorite hangout, the Starbucks in Doylestown, that veritable hive of juvenile delinquency. Y'all wish me luck with that.

Things are good here. Things are really good here.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Greeeeeen Acres is the Place For Me!

On Wednesday night, after welding school, I'm driving to the Humble Abode in Beautiful Downtown Jersey City. Then, on Thursday, I'll spend the day putting everything into boxes. (cubbie has graciously offered to assist with this, as I don't think I'd be able to do it all on my own in a day.) Then on Friday morning, October 3rd, Men with a Truck will come, load it all up, and drive out Route 78. It will all be unloaded in my father's garage.

The end of an era. This is truly 'bittersweet.' It's good to be here; it's hard to leave there. Tarnation.

Somehow I've got to get a pic of me in a muu-muu climbing a phone pole.

Date Mode

(I wrote this post last night, but it doesn't seem to have... uh... posted.)

I've noticed something. Usually, when I'm out in public, I'm cruising. When I see a man I like, I'll look at him like a restaurant purveyor surveys a side of beef in the Meat Market. ("Good marbling. Probably some juicey cuts there. Could do with some aging. But I'll take it.")

I really really like giving men that Damn-what-I'd-like-to-do-to-you stare. I lock eyes. I smile. The reactions I get vary. Some guys smile back. (Perfect!) Some guys look away nervously. Some guys look faintly hostile.

But lately that's changed.

Here's how it's been going lately: "Hot guy. Facial hair. Cigar smoker. Good build. Looks intelligent. Reading the New Yorker. Yankees cap... all good. Yikes! He's coming over here! Shoulders back! Chest out! Tighten deltoids! Smile warmly!"

Y'see, I'm not looking to get laid, I'm looking to go on a date. I want a Steady Eddie. I'm in Date Mode.

I think that overall, a Steady Eddie would be a better strategy than cock-of-the-walk here in Bucks County. Bucks County has a lot to offer, but Sunday Afternoon Bear Beer Blast at the Dugout is not among the things it has to offer. (But earlier tonight, when I came out here on the porch, I heard two hoot owls, sounding like they were fifteen feet away, calling to each other. Eerie and sublime.) Gay men in these parts tend to be sweet, clean cut, and as fashionista as the Oxford Valley Mall allows them to be. Not my flavor, in other words.

But there are Bears in these here woods. I know. I've talked to them on line. Also tonight, I made the discovery of a new group, PhillyPhisters, to which I'm gonna try and wrangle an invitation. And I here there are dungeon parties in Lambertville, although there's some kind of a screening process. (And I don't cope well with being screened.)

But still. I want a Steady Eddie.

To be sure, a Steady Daddie would be welcome, too.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Date Mode

The New York State Department of Labor necessitated my presence here in NYC at 9:30 a.m. So, late last night, I arrived here at the humble abode. It turned out to be a mandatory orientation to the highways and byways of unemployement insurance. I sat there among the newly On The Dole, and tried to imagine how each of them might have reacted when they got The News. There was a certain aire of fragility and hurt about each of us.

Best graffitto I've seen in years was in the men's restroom: "NYS Dept of Labor Bitches are Hos!"

Love that.

Afterwards, I met up with UnFortunate for brunch at a really lovely new coffee place that he's discovered on Perry Street and 7th Avenue called Doma. It's run by Czech immigrees. Sehr Gemuttlichkeit. (Don't speak Czech, so German is the best I can do.)

Then I went to my appointment with my therapist, then dropped in on TekServe to purchase a make-do PDA (a Palm Zire for $99), then went to enjoy a cigar on the pier before jumping on the PATH train.

At some point during my perambulations, it dawned on me: I'm in Date Mode.

Previously, walking around NYC, I would assess male polchritude the way a purveyor for a restaurant assesses beef down in the Meat Market ("Nice marbling. Would cook up nice and juicy. I'll take it"). My thinking--and I'm being pretty generous in ascribing that word to what went on in my head--was along the lines of, "Damn! Love to whip him!"

I was predatory and rapacious, locking eyes and leering.

Not no more.

Now, I'm more inclined to look at the whole package, not just the swell of the rhomboid muscle group beneath a tight t-shirt. "There's a good looking bear. Butch and bookish. Seems reasonably well put together. Unlikely that he's a lawyer or an actor. Well worn hiking boots. He looks kinda outdoors-y. Wonder if he has a dog. Okay! Back straight! Chest out! Flex the deltoids! Hips slightly forward! Warm smile! Dang... walked right by me. Must have a boyfriend."

With Hot Fellas fewer and farther between out in the wilds of Pennsylvania, a Steady-Eddie would be a good way to go. And there's the whole Want Somebody in My Corner phenomenon. And, I think Dad would have less of a problem with me not coming home nights if he had met the guy. And introducing Dad to every random peg boy that I meet at the Raven would be taxing.

So to the Yentas out there, if you know anybody within 2 hours drive of Carversville, Pennsylvania--facial hair, heavier, cigar smoking, intelligent, and kinky (well, show me somebody who's kinky and not intelligent...)--don't hesitate to fix me up.

Cuz I'm in Date Mode.

Meme Alert!

Things are going well with the relocation of Singletails, from the Singletails Building on Park Avenue in the 50s to this historic mill (circa 1740) and barn that I.M. Pei has graciously assisted us in renovating.

The Popular Culture Advisory Department is up and running, and brings news of a newly identified meme from our correspondent, UnFortunate, who was down in New Orleans for that delightful and festive celebration of debauchery known as 'Southern Decadence.'

UnFortunate notice on several occasion that Circuit Boyz seem to have latched on to a new Must Have accoutrement: an Asian boyfriend. At one point, sitting in an airport waiting lounge, UnFortunate had within his field of vision no less than five of those poreless, single-digit-body-fat-percentage, immaculately groomed and perfectly coutured denizens of the Circuit complete with younger Asian proteges.

The Popular Culture Advisory Department could not help but editorialize in their briefing memo on this development, along the lines of "What's up with that?"

And indeed, what is up with that? One can almost here the conversation over cosmopolitan cocktails and appletinis to wash down the Special K now: "Yours is Thai? That's fabulous. Mine is Vietnamese!"

It's been no secret to us here at Singletails, but we hesitate to spring the news on an unsuspecting world: Gay men are weird.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Weld One Well Done

Tonight in Welding Class, we learned the Five Principles of Stick Welding (Speed, Angle, Amperage... and... uh... two other ones), and started in on the Pad Project. Basically, working with a square of steel (steel! I love steel!), we made rows of welds, such that each weld overlapped slightly the weld above. I was not getting it. The instructor came by and I showed him my efforts, and he told me that they looked good, but I was going too slow. (Speed is a principle of Stick Welding y'know.) And, I was too far away from my work, and my stance was awkward. He had me do another weld, and talked me through it. I got comfortable, and got right down near the weld, so it was right in front of my helmet shielded face. I started in, and he said, "See that? See that bubble behind the weld? That's your 'bead.' You want that to sort of rise up behind the stick.

Then I got it. It's all about the bead. Just melting the steel (steel! I love steel!) and having it flow into the bead. Tragically, just when I was getting good, I ran out of sticks. I went to get more, and there were no more of the variety I was using (called '724,' just like the variety of slavery). The only other 724s were 3/32nds of an inch, as opposed to the 1/8ths of an inch I was using. They seemed too thick. But I found an unmarked batch of sticks and grabbed a few of them. This was a mistake. They were slightly thicker than those I had been using, so I upped the amperage. (Amperage is one of the Five Principles of Stick Welding y'know.) Maybe too much, because there was smoke, fiames, and lots of spattering. I lowered the amperage to stop that, but I couldn't get a good bead. I went back to the instructor, and he pointed me in the direction of the 724s that were 3/32nds of an inch thick. And told me to up the amperage slightly.

I was back in business. And I was making it happen. Nice fat beads. Straight welds that overlapped the weld above by half, so that the finished product was nice and smooth.

When the instructor does a weld, the slag comes off in one piece with just a flick of the hammer, one complete carapace. Mine were coming off in wee little chunks, particularly the earlier efforts. But towards the end of the evening, they were popping off in two or three pieces.

So I'm getting there.

It's so beautiful, to see that bead rise up, like a wave at the beach. Molten metal. About 6,000 degrees fahrenheit. Wonderful.

I'm gonna have to wait until Monday until I get to fire up the Weldmaster 2000 again. Hate that.

And, tonight I have to drive to Jersey City. What a pain in the butt. Tragically, I have a (mandatory) 'How To Get A Job Workshop' with the New York State Department of Labor that I'll need to attend at the ungodly hour of 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. And I'm not gonna be leaving here at 7:30 a.m. to make it.

Also made arrangements with a mover. Next Friday, October 3rd, ABC Movers will show up outside the Humble Abode with a van and men to load it. Then it will all be unloaded into my Dad's garage. And that's it. That will be it for me and Jersey City. For now, anyway. I may very well return. Find some derelict garage on Tonnelle that I can renovate into a cool living loft, welding shop, and dungeon. After I tire of living on 70 acres somewhere in Pennsylvania.

Anyway, I love welding. Love love love welding.

(And I'm just about done the account of Inferno Session B. It's coming, I swear.)

Monday, September 22, 2003

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Oh. Wow.



First night of welding school. Mostly we discussed safety. My fellow classmates are all guys. Some of them are there there for job skills. Most of them seem to be there because they're huge fans of a show called 'Orange County Choppers' or something, that focuses on building motorcycles out of scrap metal. (You bet your ass I'll be tuning in.) I now own a a helmut, welding jacket, welding gloves, and safety glasses.

And then, after a brief demonstration, we were set loose to learn how to strike an arc with 'shielded metal arc welding,' referred to as 'stick welding,' as there's a metal stick that is used as an electrode. Jeff, the instructor, moved his electrode (referred to as a stinger) smoothely across the hunk of sheet metal he was working with. When he knocked off the slag (a crust of impurities in the metal and a coating on the stick that protects the molten metal from the atmosphere), there was a beautiful bulge of steel in the path. Then, he made a second flawless path, overlapping his first by about a half. Continue that over the entire face of the plate of metal you're working with and you've increased the thickness. (And given it this really cool looking texture.)

Another interesting thing about welding. Those sparks, which are sparks of slag, have a way of finding their way in everywhere. And you get burned. It's part of welding. Jeff described it this way: "So a spark will find it's way on to the top of your ear. And then you've got the choice of shaking it so goes down your collar and burns you in several places, or just letting it cook in. Yeah. You get burned. And the next morning in the shower is when you get another surprise."

Cool, huh?

Well, I'd like to say that the first time I tried I was able to make those perfect rivers of molten metal across the face of the sheet metal I was working with, but that's not the case. Still, I took my piece of sheet metal with me. I want to keep it as a souvenir.

Welding rocks.

He Stoops to Conquer

I'm exploring bottomspace.

It's easier than I had guessed it would be. I just remember: Be Here Now. And I decide to give myself totally and lovingly to the man who's topping me. And it's great. In the past, my attitude was more along the lines of showing how much I could take. White knuckles and clenched fists and gritted teeth. And that's not what it's about.

What prompted this?

Well, Punchpig, my literary editor, suggested that my book is incomplete. I need to talk about bottoming. So, "I'm doing research for a book I'm writing." And, I have this feeling that there's a whole continent that I need to explore, places I want to see and people I want to meet. And it answers a need I have right now, with all the craziness in my life, that I can't quite explain. I think it's about grounding myself. And staying in my body, and in the moment. And knowing my own strength, and being surprised by what I'm capable of doing. And keeping the river of my emotional life flowing, not allowing my feelings to be dammed up by fear and anxiety.

But it's tricky. I flirted with the idea of getting whipped at Inferno. (I know, I know, I owe you some Inferno tales. There coming, I swear. For a few days I lost my Inferno journal.) But thinking through the whipping Tops that were available, I couldn't commit to any one of them. I realized why: I wanted to be Topped by me. And they weren't me. And in seeking out bottom experiences and partners, I've had to overcome this. It's not about Topping from the bottom, it's about submission, giving of yourself, trusting, allowing yourself to be taken to a new place. It's not like getting a massage, where you decide what you want (Tai massage, rolfing, whatever), and find someone competent in that. Because usually in those circumstances, where someone is performing a service for you, you pay them for the trouble. Nope. This has got to be about simply saying, "Here I am. Take me." Submitting with love, and trusting in the basic compassion of the Top.

Gosh, who knows? I could get to like this.

Do Something!

All weekend I was dreading today. I received a disturbing letter from the lender through whom I have the mortgage on my condo in Fort Leatherdale. I'm behind in my payments, and I've been in touch with them throughout, letting them know about first my plans to sell the place and pay off the mortgage, and now the decision to rent it out. The letter didn't mention the F-word (that would be, 'Foreclosure') but it was implied. I letter was waiting for me when I went to Jersey City on Wednesday. That was largely the reason that I didn't get any sleep that night. Thursday was full of anxiety, too, but I was busy all day. I was going to call them on Friday. I didn't. I should have. I was anxious all weekend.

Anxious? Would that be the word? It was one of those things that made me feel like I was losing my footing. Like the ground that I was walking on suddenly was sucking quicksand: I'm not making it; I'm not managing my life; I'm a fuck up; I'm a loser. Fear fed on fear, and by last night, I was pretty sure that they had already foreclosed on my mortgage, and all the money that I had poured into the place was just right down the drain. When I called them this morning, I was prepared to beg and plead and grovel.

Well, no.

They took information about my finances: income and expenses, and they're going to work out a payment plan. That's all. They just want a plan. They have absolutely no interest in foreclosing on my mortgage. They do everything they possibly can to avoid that.

And now... and now I feel like I'm suddenly back on track. I go to welding school. I get a job. I hone my skills. I set up a welding shop and begin to do my own work. I spend my evenings finishing up my book. I supplement my paycheck with other writing. I continue to move forward. I meet people. I keep in touch with friends. I make trips to NYC to fulfil my obligations there. I'm back on track. It's fine.

When will I learn? Letting myself be paralysed by fear is the recipe for disaster. Take action. Do something. Make the phone call. Talk to them. Be upfront. Write the letter. Put the check in the mail. It's all so simple.

I'm back on track.

Sunday, September 21, 2003


So I met a guy.

He's 35, 6' 6", weighs in at 230, shaved head, sleeve tattoos on both arms, smokes cigars. He lives in Berks County, Pennsylvania. About an hour and a half west of me. He rehabs houses for a living, and is building himself a place in the country. He's a sick fuck. Fantasizes about getting a hot cub, removing his teeth for a better blow job, and caught on quick when I suggested that his fascination with enforced chastity was a half measure of nullo. In two weeks, I'm planning on heading out to visit him. We're gonna smoke cigars, watch television, and, hopefully, fuck like llamas in heat.

I use the term 'met' loosely. We've talked and exchanged pics on AOL. And you never know with the internet. But he sure holds a lot of promise.

Another interesting thing. He has no idea how hot he is. Walking into whatever cowtown gay bar, he doesn't get a lot of attention. I've explained to him that in the circles that I travel in, he could make a fortune if he put out a calendar. I mean, they would be all over him at the Dugout.

Really looking forward to that. Maybe it will go somewhere. Maybe I'll just give up my heart to him. Maybe. I think I'm ready for that. Way ready.

Next Sunday, a hot bearded man who flags Hunter Green left is gonna ride up here on his motorcycle and meet me for coffee. Way cool.

And the other night, I went to the Raven. Quiet night. And then, this amazing looking guy comes and stands next to me. Built like a brick shithouse, bushy stache with auburn hair. Just a knockout. We talk. Then, he turns to me and says, "I gotta room here. Up for some pig sex?"

Was I ever.

I'm tired. Suffice it to say, that life is sweet as honey.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Back Out

Dang. Installed back here in Bucks County, I slept like a rock last night. But today, giving a yawn and a stretch while perusing the wnat ads to verify the presence of welding jobs, I threw my back into spasms. Feels a little better now. Good thing. Got a date tonight. A guy I've been talking to for a while on World Leathermen. He's local, 24 years old, but a self-proclaimed pain pig with considerable experience given his relative youth. And he plays softball. Hope I won't be groaning and wincing through dinner.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

The Horns of a Dilemma

Three hours of sleep last night. Not pretty. Stress and anxiety. Interestingly, it wasn't the Demons of 4:30 in the morning. Because I wasn't in bed until almost 5 a.m. So they paid a visit at 8 a.m. Three hours sleep.

Remember what I said about being ready for a relationship? Such the double-edged sword. Do I just want someone in my corner? That, indeed, is something I feel I don't have right now. But that's not good. I don't trust my instincts.

So we'll see.

Patience! Patience!

What about Inferno Session B? It's a comin'. Hang in there. I just need a quiet evening when I can sit down with my Inferno journal and write write write write write. If Hurricane Isabel doesn't knock down the phone lines, tomorrow night might be the night.

How not to go to a Gay Bar

1. When you set off, have in your mind a specific and definite idea of the man you're looking for. (E.g.: "I want a bear, at least as tall as I am, with facial hair, preferably a full beard, who smokes cigars."
2. Go to a bar on a night when the one redeeming feature of the bar (a roof deck where you can smoke cigars, say...) is not in operation.
3. As soon as you arrive and pay your cover, do a quick tour of the bar. Decide that there's nobody there you're interested in hooking up with. Stay anyway.
4. Stand in the corner of the postage stamp sized backyard smoking area smoking your cigar and glowering.
5. When approached, say things guaranteed to put your interlocutor at ease, like, "When you put on your flip flops and headed out to a leather bar, you were thinking what exactly?"
6. Plant yourself on a bar stool facing the room and glower some more.
7. Reconsider the 'there's nobody here I'm interested in hooking up with' decision, and decide that you would definitely hook up with the bar back, the DJ, or a bartender, all of whom are completely unavailable to do that because... like... they're working.
8. Glower some more.
9. Mutter things under your breath like, "Buncha chumps," or "Pathetic," or "Looks like they're spiking the drinks with idiot serum again."
10. Think about how you don't have a guy that you're seeing, but you'd like one, because that would mean you wouldn't have to be here. Let that make you sad.
11. Glower. As fiercely as you can.
12. When some sweet faced boy emerges from the shadow appropriately attired for a leatherbar and pleasing to the eye in every way and greets you with a respectful, "Good evening, Sir," decide at that moment that you're really tired and can hardly keep your eyes open and tell him, "Dang, boy, wish I'd run into you earlier. I was just on my way out," and head for the door. Regret this all the way home.

Bad News!

I am informed that most of the Fall Lines (that's fashion talk) feature a sort of biker-leather-Harley kinda thing. Now everybody is gonna think I'm a fashionista.

Heaven forfend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

There I was sitting at the counter of Schraft's wearing an angorra sweater sipping an ice cream soda when...

I got my phone call today. I report to I. Goldberg's at noon on Sunday to make my television debut. I am soooo excited. The format is such that I and nineteen other people wear jeans and t-shirt kinda clothes, go into a dressing room, and emerge looking I. Goldberg's Fabulous. They have this amazing one piece Nascar looking racing suit in red and blue in the window. (Their stock and trade is army surplus, but they have other surplus, too. And a great selection of Schott leather jackets.)

And, today I went up to the Upper Bucks Vocational Technical School in the suburbs of Perkasie, Pennsylvania to drop of my check and enroll in welding school. Classes start on Monday, September 21st. I get to make something. I think what I'm going to make is a steel rack for firewood that can go right outside the back door.

And... yesterday I got a call. I've been asked to do some grant writing. And I'll get paid for it.

And... I spent yesterday evening tooling around Philadelphia with the Baron von Philadelphia. We went to dinner at Judy's, a really great restaurant that I've missed since I've lived in New York. And then, we went to the Bike Stop for Jockstrap Night. After I relaxed with a beer flavored soda an O'Doul's, I got out of my S*W*A*T team tactical one piece and disported myself in Frye boots, jockstrap, harness, and arm bands. But after I found parking, the Baron took me to an erotic emporium to inquire as to whether they might be hiring.

They weren't.

However, they have a sort of workshop-open house kinda thing on Friday nights. I asked where they found their instructors and the reply was, "Wherever we can." I offered my services. They asked to see a write up. Wait till they get a load of me and my 180 pounds of chain. Can't wait.

So things are cool.

Tomorrow, it's an overnighter to Jersey City. Already I'm homesick. And this would be the home that's making me homesick.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Infernal Doings

Okay. How to tackle two weeks in blog format? Text running on and on and on will not be exactly reader-friendly. So I'll do it in headlines and short items. So here goes...

Westward Ho!

Well, first it was Southward Ho! on the Jersey Turnpike to pick up Diabolique at the Delta Site. I got there an hour later than I would have otherwise as it was Move-In Day for the students at the University of Delaware (Go Blue Hens!), thus the streets of Newark, Delaware were jam packed. At Delta, it was like an Agatha Christie novel: all the principles seemed to be loitering around the lodge when I rolled up. Ran into Peter Fiske who wasn't going to be at Inferno, but who gave me a raincheck for our date. I collected D., and then we headed west.

Down the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In the rain and fog. The PA Turnpike is tediously hilly and winding on a clear sunny day. In the rain and fog, it was arduous. We finally arrived around 11:30 pm at the fabled Radisson in Sharon, Pennsylvania. A baroque and surreal bourgeoise fantasy of opulence. Over the top in so many ways.

The next day, it was the Ohio Turnpike, followed by the Indiana Toll Road (great roads for driving both) and then north to the site of Inferno. We steamed in and ran across to dinner at the restaurant across the street. Finally, here it was. Inferno. I was home.


For two days, it was all about set up. This little gay resort is transformed into an S/M playground. It really is like Brigadoon, that excrescence of musical theater involving a town in the Scots highlands that only appears once every hundred years, but the people in the town don't notice any difference. For them, it's just another day.

So too with Inferno. It's a town that springs up like a mushroom in the dark. And with the mix of men that arrive, it's as though we've all been asleep since last year, as though no time has passed at all.

Set up went well. I spent the first day working on the periphery, and the second day setting up the bondage tent.

There were a few new faces among the set-up crew. Among them, this Bear from Dallas and his way hot cub. Every time Dallas Bear would come into my field of vision, I'd get a hard on. And that cub of his. At one point I was doing electrical work and the cub came over to work with me. My mind went blank, and all I could think about was beating him black and blue. I don't think the cub saw me try to hook up a lamp to one of the ropes that holds the tent up.

On the last night of set up, Dallas Bear asked me if I wanted to play once the run got started. I don't know that he managed to get all the words out before I said, "Oh yeah." Then I asked him what he liked to do. He told me that all during set up, he was admiring that beautiful ass of mine, and he wanted to spend some time beating on it.

"Suits me," I said. And we had a date.

The Apotheosis of Chain Bondage

Before Inferno, Diabolique and I made a date. I was describing chain bondage to him, and he said he wanted to try it some time. Lord knows I was up for that.

I decided to chain up D. on the weight bench behind the bondage tent. D. showed up and stripped down to just his boots. We kissed. I held him. And then I set about binding him with a hundred and fifty pounds of chain. D. looked beautiful. Amazing. Once I had all the chain on him, I wound a roll of vet wrap around his face, to give him some time to himself. And then, I quietyly moved a lawn chair into position, climbed up onto the lawnchair, and gave D. a new sensation to go along with all of that cold steel: a nice hot bath in my piss. Perfect.

But the best was yet to come. Inspiration hit. I patiently removed all of the padlocks I had used to secure the chains. Then, I leaned in close and told D. that I was giving him a choice: either I could remove the chains, taking some of his body hair with them, or, D. could struggle Conan the Barbarian style to free himself. D. took the Conan option.

D. struggled valiantly against the chains. It was about ten or fifteen minutes of watching this beautiful man struggle and strain against the chains. Magnificent.

When he was free, I held him close. D. said that he had no idea how powerful it would be. I told him that he had about a half an hour to go and take a hot shower before cocktails started, and I gathered up all of my chains, very satisfied.

D. was my sponsor last year. He shepherded me when I was new to GMSMA. It was a joyous scene.

Contra Roadkill

Roadkill, an amazing man from San Diego who makes my knees buckle, was at Inferno with his slave, collared six months ago. Roadkill did a presentation on the uses of pain. It was brilliant. A psychoanalytically trained psychologist, Roadkill took a materialist approach, as opposed to Geoff Mains (who zeroed in on neurochemistry alone) or Guy Baldwin, who paid attention to the spiritual aspects of pain.

It was brilliant. Really amazing. At one point, Roadkill pointed out that if it's all endorphins, why don't we all just go running. Obviously, there's something else going on here.

Roadkill made another really interesting point. An S/M scene not infrequently involves feelings and emotions (crying, intimacy, submission) that are typically viewed as being feminine in our culture. Thus, we create a hyper-masculine environment in which to "safely" have these experiences.


That explains a hell of a lot, doesn't it?


Roadkill made the claim that as an S/M scene progresses, the bottoms defense mechanisms are transcended, going from the more superficial to the deeper defenses.

But here's the thing. Roadkill claims that after a point, the bottom goes into shock.

I think I disagree with that. Typically, when someone goes into shock, he or she will lose control of bladder and bowels. I have never heard of this happening (unintentionally) in a scene. This got me thinking, adn I've come to the conclusion that it just ain't possible to go into shock in S/M. And why would that be?

Shock, as defined by Roadkill, is the body preparing itself for death. And in my experience, albeit limited, this is not what it's all about. The deeper you get--and having PunchPig take me down was pretty deep--brings this fundamental awareness of the basic humanity of your partner. It's all about compassion. You become aware of the compassion in the Top in a profound way. And with this comes the sure knowledge that whatever happens, even if bones are broken and you're gonna be stitched up in the ER, you're gonna be okay. You're not going to die.

I plan on emailing Roadkill on this point. He's the psychologist, and he has a great deal more experience than me. I could be wrong.

The Man from Munich Whips ARt

At Inferno, not only do you get to do amazing S/M, but you get to watch amazing, breathtaking, galvanizing S/M. And so, I sat in the noisy dungeon, watching the Man from Munich whip ARt. ARt is the man who whipped me last October, and who mentored me into the world of whips. The Man from Munich changed the life of Mark Collier when they met. At two memorable times in my life, I've been told that a reminded someone of Munich. And there they both were.

After Munich and ARt did the final ten-count, Munich threw the whip again. "And that's one for Mark Collier, Sir," cried ARt.

Oh yeah. One for Mark Collier.

Hence forth and in the future, every whipping scene will end with One for Mark Collier. Forever and in perpetuity.

After that, I had to be alone. I felt as though I could cry. I went outside. There was the moon, almost full. And there was Mars.

Chain Bondage with a Stand-Up Guy

Whilst I was putting together my chains after the scene I did with Diabolique, I was approached by a a man from British Columbia who I had seen get the bejeezus beaten out of him on the first day. Bejeezus (as we'll call him), said that mine was the hottest bondage scene he'd ever witnessed. (As I was to learn, Bejeezus is given to superlatives.) Bejeezus wanted to play. He wanted to be chained up. We made a date.

I decided to see if I could make chain bondage work standing. Something I've never done before. I found a piece of equipment in the noisy dungeon (the steel rack I had used to secure the movie-star handsome guy from San Diego that I punched out over IML weekend) and I spent a couple of hours working out positions for the chains with ropes.

Bejeezus showed up right on time. And after I had figured out positions for my steel dowels based on the proportions of his body (at the ankles, the thighs, the crotch, his elbows), I started laying on the chain. In this position, it made it soooo much easier to use all of the chain I had with me. There was always someplace that could take more chain. When I was all done, he looked beautiful. I told him that I realized that the steel was cold, and so I was going to warm him up. I started working his body with my kangaroo-skin flogger, with the fine tails. Positioning myself was kind of tricky, but I was able to get up and down and all around.


Then, I started working his dick. He was hard just about the entire time, totally getting off on all of that steel binding him, rendering him helpless. (And who wouldn't?)

Alas, at 6 pm there was to be a 12-step meeting in the noisy dungeon. We had to clear out. I unchained him.

Bejeezus came through with a few parting superlatives: I was the hottest Top there (*blush*), and getting chained up like that was the hottest fantasy he'd ever had and I had realized it.

Way cool.

Dallas Bear Beats My Ass

So Dallas Bear and I set a date.

We chatted some before we got busy. He layed out an array of staps and paddles. I had been battling anxiety the whole day. My big fear when bottoming is that I'm going to disappoint, that I'm going to be a lightweight, and that the Top isn't going to be satisfied. Dallas Bear assured me that he wouldn't be disappointed. When he said that he really liked it when the bottom cried, I knew that we probably didn't have a lot to worry about. Me making noise is a given. Bottoming for me is all about the release, about letting go, the dam breaks.

Dallas Bear is such a beautiful man. Taller than me, big, with a beautiful gut, and a pelt of golden fur. There's probably not a lot I wouldn't have done to give myself to that hot man. And he wanted to beat my ass.

He started with his hands. Who knew getting a spanking could hurt so much? Oh man, did that hurt. Pretty quickly, I was howling.

Howling. And we were doing the scene at night, in the Whipping Tent. And the Whipping Tent is none too far from the road. And noise can be a problem apparently.

None other than Roman Cool was the Dungeon Master. He shushed us. Interesting. When I submitted to Roman Cool back over the winter, he had to forgo whipping me, since even with the gag, I was making way too much noise for his playspace in his apartment. And here I was again, making too much noise for Roman Cool's liking.

Dallas Bear effected a gag from my bandana. I tried to keep a lid on it. We proceeded. He went heavier. When Dallas Bear gave me encouragement by letting me know I had a beautiful butt, and how he wanted to work on it from the moment he saw it, I was his. There I was, singing my birthday song, laughing and crying and having a blast. I could have gone longer and harder when the scene ended, but that was cool. Dallas Bear sure left me wanting more.

I... Power-Bottom.

The rest of the night, I was just floating. Joyous. Except that my shorts felt like they were made out of sandpaper and I couldn't really get comfortable sitting down.

So I was standing in the beverage tent chatting with a group of other guys, going on and on about the great scene I had with Dallas Bear.

"Gosh," somebody said, "I thought you were all Top."

"Well," I replied, "I don't live in bottom space, but I try to make the most of my visits there."

I sort of did an inventory of bottoming experiences. Getting whipped by ARt. Having my ass beat by Dallas Bear. Really painful bondage at the hands of Roman Cool. Spending time in Aubrey Sparks' cage. And then I described getting punched in the face by PunchPig. There I was, screaming, crying, fetal position, trying to bury my face into the carpet, begging for mercy that didn't come, because PunchPig wasn't finished with me yet. If I was a dungeon master watching a scene like that, I would have shut it down. I was glad there wasn't a dungeon master around. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

As I described this, the group I was talking to all took a step back. That got me a little juiced.

"Yeah," I said with half-mocking braggadocio, "I'm a Power Bottom."

I kind of made a list of things I wouldn't mind trying. The list included cutting, scrotal inflation, hanging (...in fact, I have an idea for a fantasy next year), and breath control to unconsciousness (but I'd wanna see the Top's updated CPR certification before we begin). Now, there's a few things that... ...well, I'm not gonna say never, because you never say never in this game... that... don't hold a lot of attraction to me. this list would include temporary piercing, sounds, catheters, moving to Ohio, fire scenes, and getting fed in a scat scene.

But yeah, I don't think I'm the wimpiest bottom on the scene.

But what is it about me and bottoming? There is something about it I'm afraid of. What is that? Why can't I embrace it? At the hands of a man who knows what he's doing, I have a blast, and go to some really great places. What's the deal? Why do I experience my desire to bottom as a sort of compulsion to do something that's not good for me?

Why indeed. This seems to be something I need to figure out.

Best. Flogging. Ever.

After Dallas Bear beat my butt black and blue (Yes! Marks! Love that!), the night was still relatively young. I wanted some action. I wanted to flog somebody. I went back to my cabin, and armed myself with a flogger, and hit the compound. And along came Does Mean Well. Who we'll call Alpha from now on. As that's what he calls himself.

"Hey," said Alpha, "what's that for?" and indicated my flogger.

"I wanna flog somebody," I answered.

Alpha indicated that he'd be up for that.

Oh. My. God.

No way!


I went and packed up a tool bag. Alpha and I finally found an available cross. I plunged in.

Now, I've come to enjoy punching and beating more than flogging of late. Doing a beating scene, you're more often face to face, or at the very least up close with the man you're playing with. It's not impossible to maintain a constant body contact all the way through. In comparison, flogging someone from a distance of six feet almost feels impersonal.

But not with Alpha. The connection was there. And it was amazing. Incredible. The scene had the intensity of a whipping. It was like our hearts beat as one. I've never gone so deep doing a flogging. Alpha had a blast. I had a blast. We couldn't get enough of each other. Deeper deeper deeper harder harder harder heavier heavier heavier.

A flogging scene was never ever ever like that before. It was incredible. Something I'll remember for the rest of my life.

We were in the whipping tent, and it was nighttime, so we got shushed again. Twice. Even the gag that I gave Alpha didn't do a lot of good.

It was sublime.

After we were both spent, I said that now he had to do something for me. Alpha had asked on the first night about the hard time that I've been having. All these changes. He asked me if I wanted someone to hold me.

I said I did.

Alpha said he'd hold me.

And that's what I wanted. I wanted Alpha to sleep over. And spend the night holding me.

Alpha was up for that, too.

And that's no mean feat. We're talking spending the night on a flimsy cot outfitted with a thin, lumpy mattress. With one pillow. And not a lot of room.

But Alpha made good on his promise.

Thanks, Alpha. Thanks for all of that.

Puppy Gets A Bath

Last year at Inferno, I met a man who lives at a Radical Faerie sanctuary. I'll admit that at first, I viewed him with jaundiced eye because of that. But as I got to know him, all my concerns vanished. He's such a great guy. And he has this boy/pup/boyfriend named doghood. Last year, doghood was in dog-mode for the entire run. This year, doghood was in boy mode. I asked if I could do a scene with doghood, and this was fine.

I wanted to give a dog a bath. That's all. It just seemed like it would be so much fun. I actually love giving Faithful Companion a bath. He hates it, and so I go right into Top-space, encouraging him, holding him, getting him through it, having him go deeper. I wanted to do that with a human dog.

I got a greenlight to give doghood a bath. doghood is very sweet. At one point, he was bottoming in a hot wax scene. he was not having a good time, and so he blew out the candle. Pretty spicey, no?

I got everything set up, and doghood got into puppy-space. We started out doing sit, stay, and I taught him how to roll over. We played fetch. We had a tug of war with his rope toy.

And whaddya know, puppy got dirty! Time for a bath. I tied him with a very short rope leash, and brought over a bucket of warm soapy water. Using a sponge, I washed the pup all over. Talking to him the whole time. It was sweet and intimate.

And then it was time for the rinse. I got a bucket of clean water, and doused the pup. The pup yelped and barked. He didn't like the rinse much at all. Oh. Did I mention that I used ice water for the rinse? I thought that would make a nice scene. After all, this is about my Sadism.

Then, puppy got toweled dry, and then got a nice brushing all over. For being such a good pup, he got a treat, and sort of nestled in my lap while he ate it.

Beautiful. Loved that. Just what I wanted.

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

Diabolique and I witnessed an amazing scene. The Top was Waxer, sort of an elder statesman of our Brigadoon. The scene was simple. Waxer attached alligator clips to the belly, chest, and arms of the bottom. Each alligator clip had a cord that held a lead fishing weight. When about thirty of them were in place, Waxer lead the bottom in a sort of dance, gently swaying. Diabolique was entranced. He wanted to go there. He approached Waxer, and said he wanted to experience that. Waxer said that he'd need to get three people to assist. Diabolique asked me to be one of the three.

We all convened out by the picnic table. Waxer explained our role: to catch him should he fall. So we all positioned ourselves around Diablolique, as Waxer started to apply the alligator clips.

D. started to sway. Unconsciously, I found myself swaying, too. The scene was so intense, and so intimate, all of us were sharing in the energy bouncing off Diabolique and Waxer.

Waxer started to growl at Diabolique. Diabolique growled back. There they were, in an eye lock, Diabolique swinging his lead weights as the alligator clips dug into the skin of his belly and chest.

"Yeah! Yeah!!" encouraged Waxer, "You're like a tiger, swinging that tail! Yeah!"

Diabolique growled. Waxer growled. Just amazing.

Then the clips came off, one by one. the pain must have been excruciating, but by this point, Diabolique was flying. We helped get Diabolique over to a picnic table and laid him down, then we started applying ice cubes to the sites of the alligator clips. I thought of preparing the body of Ramses for passage to the next world. It was so intimate bathing Diabolique, who was still flying.

Again, I have so much to be grateful for the amazing fits that Diabolique has given me.


And then, Session A was over. After the closing banquet and another night in the dungeons, it was time for Session B. Sunday is sort of an in-between day. The guys just here for A head for home, and the guys just here for B (or as they're called, "Fresh Meat") arrive. This mean that of my four cabin mates, I lost two and gained two.

Last year, I spent Sunday afternoon at the beach with my buddy from St. Louis. This year, St. Louis couldn't make it. (Last year, my fresh piercings got infected, and I was cleaning Lake Michigan out of my tits for the next six weeks). This year, I teamed up with Sweetheart Sir, who was making his first Inferno. Sweetheart Sir and I headed into Saugatuck. I had three goals in mind: something to eat, a postcard mailed to Dad, and a latte.

Sweetheart Sir was a great companion. It was really swell spending time with him. We had lunch at the Harley Davidon Pizza Parlor where I had lunch last year. Good food at reasonable prices. I found a nice post card and mailed it off to Dad. Then Sweetheart Sir lived up to the name I've given him by buying me an ice cream cone. After ice cream, we went on the latte hunt. But first, Sweetheart Sir's keen eyes spied a leather pride flag. We had to investigate. We found a shop selling objets d'art. I caught the eyes of the two guys running the place as we entered, and I couldn't help flashing them a big grin to let them know we were in on the joke.

There I found a set of hair and facial products to take back to Baron von Philadelphia, my fellow Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fan, with the brand name of 'Balls.' For Dad, I found a pillow with a counter cross stitch design on the front reading 'A Father is someone you look up to, no matter how tall you get.'

The latte hunt continued. It seems that there is exactly one place in Saugatuck to get a latte, a swell littlye coffee place called 'Uncommon Grounds.' It took some hunting, but we found it. Then back to the compound. Session B was upon us.

That's enough for one night's writing. You'll have to tune in again to hear about Session B. 'Night for now, readers.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

I, Model...

So's anyway. So's I packed up all of the luggage I have with clothes, and didn't bother to unpack from Inferno. And loaded up the car to head down to Pennsylvania. First stop was dropping off Baron von Philadelphia in the City of Brotherly Love.

So the Baron and I roll across the Ben Franklin Bridge and into town. We unloaded stuff at the Baronial Homestead deepinnahearta the Gayborhood. Then, as we were starving, we wanted to grab some dinner. So we drove around and found parking on Chestnut Street between 11th and 12th. I decided to give Faithful Companion a walk. And there was I. Goldberg's Army Navy Store!

I. Goldberg's is the best Army Navy store I've ever known. It totally rocks. Bunches of cool military surplus from all over the world. I. Goldberg's pretty much kept me in boots since high school. Since I've been spending more time here, I've been trying to get there to pick up some tank tops and such. Every time I went into Philadelphia, I'd call and see how late they were open. Alas. I. Goldberg has a flaw: they close at 5:45 pm every day. I wanted to find out if perhaps they had a day when they were open later, so the Baron, Faithful Companion and I headed over there to check.

Although they were closed, there was a group of people inside. I found that they did not have a late night, alas, and headed down Chestnut Street. And this guy came out of the store, and chased after me down Chestnut Street. He caught up to me, and asked if I was here for the casting call.

The what?

The casting call. I. Goldberg's was looking for folks to be in a commercial that they're filming. He was the director. Director Guy asked if I would be available to film on Sunday the 21st.

I said, "Sure."

So I followed him back to the store, gave my address and phone number and sizes, and was videotaped saying my name and the number assigned to me, number 37.

Director Guy seemed really enthusiastic about me. (Chased me down the street.) He'll give a call on Monday if I'm selected to be in the I. Goldberg's commercial. (Chased me down the street.) On my way out of the store, he said, "And whatever you do, don't shave those whiskers!"

Chased. Me. Down. The. Street.

So this is the moment that I've always dreamed of. Being approached by a stranger on the street who grabs me and says, "Buddy, I'm gonna make you a star!"

Years ago, I was in Polonia Restaurant in the East Village. An exquisitely dressed woman was sitting with a friend having blintzes. She went over to one of the waitresses and told her that she worked for the Ford Modeling Agency and asked the waitress to please call her to set up an interview the next morning. The newly minted model was sitting with a stun-gunned look on her face, staring at the woman's card. The other waitresses were gathered around her awestruck at her good fortune, like ladies in waiting attending a milkmaid who had been selected as the bride of a prince.

Okay okay okay. We're talking about a commercial for I. Goldberg's. Not only is this not The Big Time, but it's not even remotely possible that it will lead to The Big Time. Or even be the gateway to the Wee Little Time.

But it might get me laid.

If and when I'm hanging at the Bike Stop (that's the leather bar in Philadelphia; Philadelphia has a leather bar; New York used to have a leather bar...) (Okay. I'll stop.) and somebody says, "Omigod! You're the guy in the I. Goldberg commercial!" then there will be no living with me.

Mr. Warhol, I'm ready for my fifteen minutes!

Can't wait to put a modeling credit on my resume!

Oh. Tomorrow I'll work on the account of my Inferno.

Friday, September 12, 2003


Last night was an interesting evening spent tooling around town with Baron von Philadelphia. The Baron is one of my oldest friends. He's known me for almost half my life. I blurted out a half formed thought: I think I might like to be in a relationship again. It's been a couple of years since I left my Ex. I want someone to go to the movies with.

Interestingly, being with Dad feels a lot like relationship. Things there have sort of come full circle: my relationships with men have been informed (true for all of us) with my experience of living with my father when I was growing up; and now my relationship with my father is informed by my relationships with men as an adult. Seriously, we behave just like a staid homo couple. ("Oh heck, I'd better get those dinner dishes cleaned up before I settle in for a night of television.")

Anyway, I think my chances are slim. I'm unemployed, and living with my father. Not exactly date bait.

And there's another thing, too. The Baron and I were talking like this. Most of my exes have been to some degree obsessive compulsives. I don't think I'm particularly attracted to O.C. guys. So why do I end up with them?

I'm sort of a rock. Steady. Reliable. Right there. Always the same person. Good in a crisis. Impassive. Immobile. And those aren't bad qualities, right?

But here's the thing. I'm fine on my own. I'm bad about pursuit. Half the time, I figure that a lack of a response or a lukewarm response indicates that the other party isn't interested. And the other half of the time, I choke and don't do anything, afraid of being rebuffed. And the third half of the time, I drop the ball. Follow-through has never been my strong suit.

So the only guys who make it through that gauntlet are the ones who are willing to make me their obsession. Attaching themselves to rock-me like barnacles.


I guess that all might have something to do with fear of letting others get too close or something.

I wonder if I can change that? I wonder if I can be solicitous?

Oh. And I still want a slave. More than ever after my days and nights at Inferno.

Now how does that fit into the picture?

Sorry about this half-formed-thought blog. I'll ponder some more.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Back from Michigan with Tales to Tell!

...but unfortunately for all of you, it's 2:33 a.m. as I write this, so I won't be doing that tonight.

But I will leave you all with this. My favorite part of CNN's coverage of the September 11th doings at Ground Zero this morning was a brief moment when artwork (presumably by the children of those lost) was visible. It depicted Sponge Bob Square Pants planting a U.S. flag atop a pile of rubble, with his big goofy Sponge Bob grin on his face.

Love that. Although I spent most of the day on the road (I-80 between DuBois, Pennsylvania and Beautiful Downtown Jersey City), at my stops for gas and lunch and such, folks were bedecked in American flags and were in 'barely-holding-myself-together-under-the-circumstances' mode. Somehow, I knew that this would not be the case in NYC. And sure enough, there were no maudlin doings here. Bars tended to be packed. People were perhaps not festive, but clearly, that New York joie de vivre did not go down with the towers. Interestingly, in our perambulations, Baron von Philadelphia and I ran across a couple of groups of firefighters out drinking toasts to fallen comrades. God Bless'em. We shouldn't forget that the tragedy of September 11th is that life is good, despite the pain and grief and unfulfilled dreams that comes along with it, and that wonderful thing called life is what more than two thousand people were deprived of in the name of religious fanatacism. Life is precious and good, and I very much doubt that if any of the those who perished had the opportunity to spend another day back here on this mortal coil, they wouldn't devote the day to sackcloth and ashes, not even red, white and blue sackcloth.

I'm with Sponge Bob on this one.

Anyway, Inferno Tales to come. And there are some doozies. We are talkin' about eight magnificent days.