Aug 5, 2016

My Date with a Star of "The Wizards of Waverly Place"

Plains, April 2014

I'm at Whiskey River, a Plains restaurant which doesn't really serve whiskey, with Jimmy, the housemate of my older platonic friends: 21 years old, slim, sandy-haired, with the most perfect uncut Kielbasa I've ever seen.

This is our fifth date: we've somehow become boyfriends.

I've been dating younger guys for years, and there are some strategic problems:
1. I go to bed at 10:00 pm, and they are still up at 2:00 am..
2. They always order the most expensive entree on the menu, plus a drink and dessert, and expect me to pay for it.
3. They want action five times a night, and expect me to comply.
4. Their friends don't want me hanging around.
5. I don't understand most of their cultural references.

When the excitement of dating an older guy wears off, they usually move on to someone closer to their own age.

I need to impress Jimmy with something other than my physique and checkbook.  How about a celebrity dating story?  They usually impress guys.

But not my usual Michael J. Fox or Richard Dreyfuss: too old.  Jimmy would get a blank expression and ask "Who?"

Who's famous now?  Who have I been posting about on my blog recently?

The Goldbergs, Neil Diamond, Mickey Rooney, Kevin Zegers, a lot of Estonians,   The Wizards of Waverly Place! The Disney Channel teencom (2007-2012) about a family of wizards in modern day New York, with innumerable gay subtexts and an endless supply of teenage beefcake.

The teenagers, David Henrie and Jake T. Austin, are too young, unless our date was last year, but the Dad is played by 43-year old David DeLuise, who was doing a lot of tv shows and movies in the 1990s, when I lived in West Hollywood. And I did meet him at an AIDS benefit.....

"I made out with one of the stars of Wizards of Waverly Place!" I announce.

"Really?"  Jimmy's eyes widen.  "Which one?  David Henrie?  He's so hot I can't stand it, but isn't he homophobic?  Not Jake T. Austin -- I know he's gay, but he's only -- what?  Sixteen?  I know -- Gregg Sulkin, the werewolf?"

The rest of the story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood

Katts and Dog

The Canadian kid-oriented series that aired in the U.S. during the late 1980s came in all varieties. You Can't Do That on Television was sketch-comedy, Degrassi Junior High teen angst, and Katts and Dog (1988-93) teen adventure.

Airing as Rin Tin Tin, K-9 Cop in the United States and Rin Tin Tin Junior in France, it starred the cute blond Jesse Collins as Officer Hank Katts, who worked with a German shepherd named Rudy or Rinty (Rudolph Von Holstein III).  He lived with his orphaned nephew, slim blond Stevie (12-year old Andrew Bednarski), whose job was to ignore orders like "stay here where it's safe," snoop around on his own, get captured by the bad guys, and require a nick of time rescue.

He required nick of time rescues in most episodes.  Sometimes he and Hank required rescue together.

Hank and Stevie behaved nothing like foster father and adopted son.  Instead, their relationship reflected the superhero-sidekicks of the 1940s.  The two were inseparable, and engaged in activities that elsewhere would be reserved for romantic partners: going to dinners and movies, going on vacations.  They shared an emotional intimacy and an easy physicality that was rare in the cop-kid bond.

The producers knew that the main audience consisted of preteens and young teenagers, so they obligingly gave Stevie the best lines.  And, as the actor turned 15 and 16 and began to muscle up, the lion's share of close-ups.

Not only close-ups of his face; Steve's increasingly buffed chest, arms, shoulders, and below-the-belt were subjected to detailed scrutiny.  There were no shirtless or semi-nude shots, but gay teens had almost as much to look at as in the old Bomba the Jungle boy movies.

After Katts, Jesse Collins continued to act on Canadian television.  He also does voice work, directs, and sings. 

Andrew Bednarski studied Egyptology in college, and is now the Assistant Director of the American Research Center in Cairo.  He has published a book on the image of Egypt in the 19th century and several research papers, including one on hysteria among women in ancient Egypt.

David Is Hit On by a High School Boy

Castro Street, July 2014

I'm back in San Francisco, Gay Heaven,  visiting my friend David for a week.

When I met David in 1996, he was 43 years old, newly out, with a wife and children back home.  He had just had his first same-sex experience six months ago, and he was making up for lost time by cruising everybody in sight.

He's 60 now, a grandfather, craggy, with thick hard muscles and a shaved head, but he hasn't slowed down.  He's still cruising everybody in sight.

Tonight we're having dinner with David's friends Tim and Tutor, at an Indian restaurant, discussing gigantic penises, celebrity hookups, and the joys of getting older, like becoming a twink magnet.

I'm 53, and cruised by guys in their 20s all the time.  Earlier this summer I dated a 22 year old -- a 31 year age difference!

"That's nothing!"  Tim exclaims.  "I'm 56, and last week I had a date with a 20 year old -- a 36 year age difference!"

"That's nothing!" Tutor says.  "I'm 58, and last week I dated an 18 year old kid.  A 40 year age difference!"

We all look at David in expectation.

"An age difference of 46 years.  Maybe 47.  I can't be sure."

Wait -- David is 60.  That would make the other guy...

No way!

"Oh, don't worry," he says quickly.  "We didn't go out.  I am absolutely not attracted to kids that age, and even if I was, I wouldn't do anything.  I'm not that crazy.  But I was definitely being cruised."

The rest of the story is on Tales of West Hollywood

Fred and The Teenager Downstairs

Fred and Friend
Omaha, June 1980

In the spring of 1980, during my sophomore year at Augustana College, my boyfriend Fred the Ministerial Student ended his internship and landed a job as a youth minister in Omaha -- actually Gretna, a small town about 20 miles south.

Great -- my first boyfriend who knew that he was gay, and after five months, he vanishes!

But what if I moved with him?  We could rent an apartment together.  I could transfer to the University of Nebraska to finish my degree, and meanwhile get a job to help out with the expenses.

It doesn't sound like a great idea, in retrospect, but I was 19 years old, and getting my own place with "my lover" sounded very grown-up and romantic.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

The Little Psycho...I mean the Little Prince

When I was in college, Adam's Bookstore had six copies of The Little Prince, a "beloved children's classic" on the shelf, in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Latin (it has been translated into over 250 languages).

"It will be good for your language studies," Adam said. "Read it in English first, then in the other languages."

So I read it.

I have rarely hated a book more.

Published in 1943 by Antoine de Saint Exupery, it tells of an aviator who is trying to fix his downed plane in the Sahara, when he encounters the Little Prince.  The little blond gargoyle claims to be the prince of a planet the size of a house (um...that would be called an asteroid).

My science fiction mind rebelled against this insanity.  How does he eat?  How does he breath?  There would be no gravity on such a small asteroid, so why doesn't he float away?  Is he orbiting a star, or careening through space?

Question after question. Where are his parents?  Where are his subjects?

Finally I concluded that this kid is psychotic.  Maybe tomorrow he'll claim to be Tintin.

Back on his hallucination planet, the Little Prince grows a garden and falls in love with a rose.

A real rose.  He wants to have sex with one of those red thorny things.

But he gets jealous, dumps her, and decides to go exploring.  He visits 6 other asteroids, occupied by characters just as misbegotten and unpleasant as he is, involved in Sisyphean tasks in their own horrifying Twilight Zones: a vain man, a drunkard, a businessman (who keeps trying to count the stars), a lamplighter (who keeps lighting and extinguishing the same lamp), and a geographer (who doesn't own any maps).

The, I mean Prince...then lands on Earth, where he bonds with the Aviator and saves him from dying of thirst.

Any novel that's primarily about two men bonding in the desert has to have a gay subtext.  Since the Little Prince can travel through space without parental supervision, he must be at least eighteen.

I've always assumed that Antoine de Saint Exupery was gay.  I just discovered on wikipedia that he had a wife.

However much he likes the Aviator, the Little Prince still wants to go home to his rose.  But birds, his usual mode of transportation between asteroids, won't give him enough lift to break free of Earth's gravity: he's stuck.

A horrifying Snake offers a suggestion: let me bite you, and then you will ascend.  Oh, not your body, which is too heavy.  But trust me, you won't be here anymore.

You idiot, can't you see that the Snake wants to kill you?

The Aviator doesn't approve of this plan, but the Prince is determined to go through with it.  He just asks that the Aviator not watch, as seeing a dead body will make him sad.

Ya think?

So the Snake kills the boy!

And kids were supposed to read this paeon to suicide?  I can see it now, kids all over the world killing themselves in a hapless attempt to ascend to the Little Prince's asteroid.

If this is French literature, I'll stick with Stephen King.

If you're not traumatized enough by this horror, there have been numerous sequels by other, more sane writers (who let the Little Prince live).

Plus stage plays, ballets, and films, most recently a Netflix version with Paul Rudd as the grown-up Little Prince.

A Guide to Physique Watching

There's nothing like a bulge, or better yet a sausage sighting, but have you ever seen a picture of a penis without the guy it's attached to?  Boring!  We're attracted to everything that makes a man a man, the way he moves, the way he sounds, his clothes, his face, his physique.

Especially his physique, the front of his trunk, his chest, abs, shoulders and arms.

There are eight main types of physiques, dependent on genes and your exercise routine.  Each has its attractions.

1. I like a Bodybuilder's Physique: well-defined, thick muscles, especially triceps (very hard to develop) and abs (a six-pack suggests very low body fat).  The muscles stand out better with dark skin and a shaved or bare chest.

A Bodybuilder's Physique requires a strict diet, a dedicated personal trainer, and at least four hours per day in the gym.  It's physically impossible for many of us, and beyond the emotional and financial reach of most.

2. But not to worry, two hours per day at the gym and a reasonably healthy diet can produce a West Hollywood Physique.

Tight and firm, a v-shaped torso, a flat belly rather than a six-pack and big pecs and biceps -- muscles that are easy to bulk up, and stand out the most when you're dressed in street clothes.  This guy looks like Troy, my boyfriend in Upstate New York.

He's actually pumped up from a recent workout. His usual appearance is somewhat more manageable.

3. The Swimmer's Physique can be had with even less gym time, an hour a day, concentrating on cardio.  The chest and biceps are smaller, lean and hard rather than exceptionally big, and there's more attention paid to the abs.  This works best with an outtie belly button.

4. The Slim Physique comes from minimal weight training and a lot of cardio.  It emphasizes long, smooth lines, with little arm and shoulder development, though there still should be some abs work.  

 Sometimes it's nice to be able to fit your arms around the guy, and a Slim Physique shows off the penis better: less fat around the pubic mound means that it hangs all the way down.

If you were hung to begin with, a Slim Physique can give you a monster.

5. Since hair tends to decrease definition and draw the eye away from the muscle, a hairy chest works best with physiques that don't emphasize pecs:   The Mediterranean  Physique (because it is commonly found in guys with ancestry from Italy, Greece, and the Balkans) develops the pecs just enough to produce some hardness, and allows a little belly fat over developed abs.  

6. The Bear Physique, only for guys with a hairy chest, comes from weight training without any dietary restrictions.  It results in pec and bicep development plus a layer of fat, a pleasant sense of massiveness.  Very nice for hugging.  This guy looks like Alan, the ex-porn star, except Alan's penis was a big longer.

7. With a Chubby Physique, weight training and cardio should be the minimum necessary to maintain health. You can develop chest and arms if you want, but no one's looking at them: it's all about your belly, which extends at least an inch beyond the waist, a symbol of raw masculine power.

You can't get a chubby belly without accumulating fat in your pubic mound, which encases your penis and makes it look smaller.  Obese men can see it shrink down by half.  So if you are small to begin with, a Chubby Physique is probably not the way to go.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Aug 4, 2016

Gregg Sulkin: Gay-Friendly Werewolf

Of all the hunks of the Disney Channel's "my secret" teencom The Wizards of Waverly Place (Dan Benson, David Henrie, Chad Duell, Jake T. Austin), Gregg Sulkin's  conflicted werewolf Mason Grayback is the least gay-coded: he in love with Alex (Selena Gomez).

And he brushes off the frequent expressions of homoerotic interest from Jake T. Austin's Max (left) with a roll of his eyes and a shrug.

Away from Waverly Place, Gregg has played quite a few hetero-horny guys, such as Frank Rowan, who falls in love with Camilla Dickinson (2012), and Wesley Fitzgerald, who is dating Aria on Pretty Little Liars (2012-13).

But he's had room for at least one gay subtext, and a gay character.

In Avalon High (2010), Will, a modern day high school reincarnation of King Arthur, with his best friend Lance (Christopher Tavarez, left) as Lancelot, triangulating their romance through Guinevere/Jennifer.

In White Frog (2012)Randy Goldman, boyfriend of the deceased Chazz.

I've never actually met him, but in 2014 I made up a "celebrity date" with him to impress Jimmy the Boy Toy.

Although he's been rumored to belong to Jake T. Austin's Gay Posse, they're doubtless just friends.  Gregg's Facebook page tells us "I'm not gay, I'm just British," and he appears to be uncommonly fond of female companionship. But being a gay ally is the next best thing to loving men.

See also: My Date with a Star of "The Wizards of Waverly Place"

20 Plains Pickups, Hookups, Dates, and Boy Toys

Guys in the Straight World hook up a lot more than we ever did in gay neighborhoods.  We had sex at the end of dates or parties, and hooked up only very occasionally.  There was too much else going on: cruise bars, dance bars, leather bars, restaurants, churches, community centers, bookstores,

None of that on the Plains, nothing gay at all except for the gay-friendly coffee house, so your usual evening entertainment is Netflix and hooking up.

But only with teenagers and twinks: the older men moved to gay neighborhoods long ago, or are "bi-curious" and terribly closeted.

Here are the 20 top pick-ups from my 3 years to date on the Plains.

1. The Straight Boy  It was kind of flattering to be asked to be the "first time" for a so-called "straight boy," until he started laying down the requirements: no real names, no face pics, don't tell anyone, I don't want to do anything I don't want to do, and what if someone sees me coming in?

2. My Platonic Friends and their Boy Toy.  One of my few attempts to hook up with someone close to my age: a couple in their 50s from the gym.  Instead I had to endure two nights of horribly boring conversation about room additions and car models.  But I did manage a date with their housemate, Jimmy.

3. Nguyen the Gym Rat.  At a conference in St. Peter, Minnesota, I picked up the Vietnamese guy who worked in an art gallery, but got a date with Nguyen the Gym Rat instead.

4. My Dad's Navy Buddy.  Weird story about a guy who looked and acted like my Dad's old navy buddy from the 1950s.  Could have been his grandson, I suppose.

5. The Dakota Boy.  At least I thought he was Dakota: we met at a Pow Wow, where he was staffing a booth that sold corn on the cob as a snack.  Turns out he was a white boy cruising for Native Americans, and thought I was Dakota.

6. The Biker.  When the chunky guy with the beard, redneck baseball cap, and hairy chest showed up at a bear party, I figured he was in his 30s.  Turns out he was only 23.

7. The Guy with the Professor Fetish.  The youngest person I ever dated (up to that time), a 22-year old theater major who wanted me to "keep him after class."

8.The Guy with the Daddy Fetish, who I picked up at a comic book store.  He had cerebral palsy and a Daddy fetish.

9.The Teenager at the Bear Party.  Joey was 19, but wanted to come to a daytime bear party to hook up with the over 40 crowd.

10.  The Waiter at the Pizza Place.  A Protestant fundamentalist pizza place that played Christian music and had Bible verses on the walls.

11. . The Boy Who Had Never Been Kissed.  He had been with guys before, but never been kissed.

12. Ricky with a Y.  A crazy date with a rich kid whose parents owned half of the state and criticized everything I did.

13. The Adonis.  He burst into the gay-friendly coffee house and ignored me, no matter how enthusiastically I cruised him.

14. The Boy at the Farmer's Market.  He was selling homemade pickles.

15. Freshman Orientation.  An Asian guy who was playing volleyball at the gym, and got stuck in my office during a tornado warning.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Where's the Beef?

This muscle photo by flickr photographer Deanna Lynne is captioned "Here's the beef."

Gay-positive bodybuilder Kai Greene uses it to sell a muscle mass-building supplement.

The phrase is so universally used for describing massive muscle  that if you aren't a Boomer, you probably don't remember that it started with hamburgers.

In the spring of 1984, a commercial for Wendy's featured three elderly ladies examining a large hamburger bun.  It was large and fluffy, but the burger inside was tiny.  Suddenly one of the ladies blurted out, in a raspy, no-nonsense voice, "Where's the beef?"

80-year old Clara Peller, who had never acted before, became an instant celebrity, and her photo or the phrase soon popped up on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs to board games.  Radio personality Coyote McCloud released a record where he sang and Clara said her catchphrase.

It became emblematic of the search for substance amid fast talk and flipperies.  During the 1984 presidential race, Democratic candidate Walter Mondale put a copy of his book in a hamburger bun and exclaimed "Here's the beef!"

The "Where's the beef" campaign ended in 1985, but Clara Peller remained a celebrity until her death in 1987.

When I moved to West Hollywood in the summer of 1985, "Here's the beef!" had taken on a new meaning.  Men were using it to brag about their size, both above and beneath the belt (the 1970s era of skin-tight jeans was over, so they needed a new advertising gimmick).

Gay men were buying each other gag gift underwear emblazoned with "Here's the beef", or else the original "Where's the beef?" and a large question mark and a magnifying glass.

See also Homoerotic Hamburger Ads of the 1970s.

Aug 2, 2016

My Date with the Teenage Boy and His Mom

Plains, August 2016

August 1st!  2/3rds of the hot, unpleasant, excruciatingly boring summer is over.  I've been going stir crazy with nothing to do all day but sit around the house and read snapchats from my friends in fabulous places.

I've been doing increasingly foolish things, like getting ice cream in the middle of the afternoon, watching Netflick movie recommendations, and picking up a teenager at the gym.

And his mother.

Saturday night I went to the gym a little later than usual, 5:00 pm.  It closes at 7:00 on Saturdays, so I had to rush through my workout, and I was a bit annoyed by the two teenagers hogging the overhead press -- set on 40 pounds!

I asked if I could squeeze in between their sets, pushed past without waiting for an answer, and set the weight to my usual 180 pounds.  Ok, I wanted to show off, so I set it at 200.

Suddenly I realized that they were staring in awe.

One of the mixed blessings about living in the Straight World is that most men are out of shape.  A physique that is only average in a gay neighborhood surpasses 50% of the college jocks who work out at the campus gym, and at least 90% of the men who work out at the YMCA (men on the street, forget about it!)

As a result, you get cruised all the time, much more often in gay neighborhoods, especially by teenagers and twinks.

The full post, with nude photos and sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood

Dustin Hoffman: The Gay Graduate

Gay subtexts usually require longing looks, physical contact, or at least a same-sex friendship, but in The Graduate (1967), there is none.  The plot centers on Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), a recent college graduate, and we do see a lot of him: he is naked more often than clothed, and his hard-muscled physique would not look out of place on a Chippendales calendar.  But there is no one to notice.

Benjamin lives in a world of suburban castles with wide lawns and pools, organization-man husbands, and drunk wives, the logical culmination of the heterosexist myth, a glimpse into his future, a glimpse into the future we were all told that we should long for.

He spends most of the movie trapped, staring mutely from behind fish tanks, wet-suit visors, wide shots angled to suggest enclosed space, and Mrs. Robinson's legs shaped into a triangular dragnet.  There is no escape from his Stepford world, not even among the hippies.  When he goes to Berkeley, he finds no shaggy-haired, tie-died counterculture, just straights with textbooks.  Roger Ebert says that he is "utterly unaware of his generation."

He is a rebel without a cause, made vaguely nauseous by materialism and loveless marriages -- and by his heterosexual destiny.  He has no interest in girls until he is seduced by Mrs. Robinson.  There are no pictures of girls on his bedroom wall; he mentions no girls at school.  It seems unlikely that a handsome track team champ with a magnificent physique would be deprived of hetero-romance, if he desired it, so one must conclude that he doesn't.

The adults seem to notice, and obsessively try to prod him into heterosexual practice, always suggesting that he "call a girl."  When Mrs. Robinson first approaches him, he rushes horrified down the stairs, where Mr. Robinson sits him down and has a heart-to-heart: "You should be having fun with girls!"  Benjamin protests that he is not interested in girls.

Later Mrs. Robinson tries again.  When displaying her body doesn't work, she tries to insult him into bed, accusing him of being a "virgin" and "inadequate," not man enough, that is, gay.  Now he "wants" to be a lady-killer; he slams the door and comes toward her.  They begin an affair.

Eventually Ben finds a girl, actually the only adult his own age in the entire suburb, Elaine, spontaneous and free, the polar opposite of the cold, calculating, constrained adults.  No matter that she is the daughter of his fling Mrs. Robinson, or planning to marry a Stepford beau in a cold, square church in the suburbs.  Ben calls her name over and over until she acquieses.  "It's too late!" Mrs. Robinson snarls.  "Not for me!" Elaine responds.

She and Ben will not forget that they majored in art or married for love.  They will be deliriously happy and gloriously fulfilled.  They fight off oldsters who are literally snarling with rage, flee the church, and jump on a bus.  Fade out to freedom.  They have escaped the suburban nuclear family, husband, wife, kids, organization-man job, and house made of ticky-tacky -- the entire heterosexual trajectory -- through heterosexual love.

Then something remarkable happens.  Instead of congratulating each other on having discovered the meaning of life, Benjamin and Elaine sit somberly, staring out into space, exactly the way Benjamin looked in the first scene when his airplane began its descent into suburban doom.  Paul Simon reprises the theme: "Through restless streets I walk alone."  Why is Benjamin still restless, still alone?

Because the bus is taking them right back to the suburbs, where they'll buy a house, and Benjamin will sell plastics, and Elaine will sign up for charity drives, and in twenty years he'll be a workaholic, and she'll be an alcoholic.  "The one" inevitably becomes Mrs. Robinson.  Heterosexual love provides no escape.  They are trapped.

See also: The Graduate Revisited

Aug 1, 2016

My Date with the Boy Who Cried "Fabulous"

Wilton Manors, Fall 2004

How is it possible to get into a relationship with someone that you don't even like?

I met Florian when the South Florida Gay Men's Chorus performed at our church.  He was a Cute Young Thing, a fencing champion back in high school, handsome, with a firm, hairy chest, a little too tall for my tastes. But his extremely upbeat personality won me over:

"Isn't a beautiful day?  Of course, every day in Florida is beautiful, isn't it? Gosh, it just doesn't get any better than this, does it?  Welcome to Paradise!"

Our First Date

Picking me up: "I didn't know if you gave me the right address or not.  If you didn't, that would have been ok.  I had a marvelous evening planned, either way.  What a fantastic house!  And the decor is fabulous!"

Dinner: "This is the best crab quesadilla I've ever had!  And, oh, gosh, this salad is marvelous!  And aren't the waiters gorgeous?  I've never had such a fabulous meal!"

The Filling Station: "Isn't that guy hot!  And him, too!  I've never seen so many gorgeous guys in one place before!  It's like a Mr. Universe contest!  I can see why you like coming here! It's the best!"

Back to my house: "This is the most wonderful evening I've ever had!  You are positively incredible!  I can't believe how lucky I am just to be sitting here beside you!"

The kiss: He leaned in for a kiss -- with a wide grin on his face.  You never smile when preparing to kiss! It looks idiotic.

The bedroom:

The full post, with nude photos and sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Kaptara: Will and Grace in Space

I heard that Chip Zdarsky, who wrote the "Jughead" reboot for Archie comics with Jughead as asexual, was doing a new graphic novel series, Kaptara, about a gay space hero, so I bought the first volume.

Expecting a gay action hero cruising through the galaxy.

Instead I got Will and Grace in space.

Keith (left) is a thin, fashion-obsessed, sex-obsessed, limp-wristed, sarcastic queen, the bitchy best friend of a hundred straight women in "chick flick" comedies who somehow got selected for a mission to Mars.

He's also lazy and a major coward.

His ship goes through a space warp.  Separated from the rest of the crew, he ends up in the faux-Medieval kingdom of Endom on the planet Kaptara, where all the men dress like Conan the Barbarian and don't mind being drooled over by screaming queens.

Naturally, Keith doesn't want to leave, but there's a problem: the evil Skullthor plans to use the space warp to travel to Earth and conquer it.  The queen's son Manton, who Keith has a crush on, and Danton, an effeminate muscleman, are going to try to capture Skullthor.  Keith opts out - he doesn't care about anybody back home, so why should he help?  But after looking at a mysterious photo of a heterosexual nuclear family, he decides to join the expedition.

En route they join forces with She-La, famed tracker and hunter; Melvon the Wizard, who lives in the Unchanted Forest; and Laurette from the original crew, who has become an insect-person.

They never get around to finding Skullthor, at least not in the first volume, but they have lots of picaresque adventures on the strange alien planet.

As you can tell, it's rather tongue-in-cheek, parodying The Lord of the Rings and Masters of the Universe far more than science fiction stories. The visuals are creative.  And everyone on Kaptara being nonchalant about gay people is a step forward.

But I would prefer a gay hero who isn't a throwback to the screaming queens of yesteryear.

Jul 31, 2016

My Ex-Boyfriend Hooks Up with the President's Son

Claremont, California, August 1988

My ex-boyfriend Fred has just moved to California to study at the Claremont School of Theology, about 40 miles east of West Hollywood, along with his boyfriend Matt.  Alan, Thanh, Will the Bondage Boy, and two other guys whose names I don't remember descend upon them for a housewarming party.

After diner we sit around telling stories about the biggest penises we've been with, dates from hell, and hookups with celebrities.

Everyone in West Hollywood had a good celebrity dating story or two.  Alan tells about Scott Baio.  Will the Bondage Boy tells about Keanu Reeves.  My real-life celebrity boyfriend isn't famous enough to wow anyone, so I tell about Michael J. Fox, with our innocent hug at lunchtime transformed into a wild night.

Fred sits silent.  No one really expects him to have a story -- where will he meet anyone, spending his life in western Illinois, Nebraska, and Kansas?  We're not judging him on his lack, we're trying to entice him with tales of the joys of living in West Hollywood.  Who knows, tomorrow he might run into Tom Cruise at the Gold Coast!

Then Matt tells us about how, as a freshman at Harvard, he spent the night with Bronson Pinchot, the androgynous star of Perfect Strangers (1986-1993).  He does the "don't be ridiculous!" Myposian accent perfectly, although Bronson Pinchot doesn't really talk that way.

Suddenly, in a weird accusatory tone, Fred says "Well, I can top that.  In fact, the first guy I ever topped was Ronnie Reagan Junior,  President Reagan's son!"

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.