Under the railway station

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Photo by Roman Fox on Unsplash

I grew up in a place where even to look at a man too long was proof that you were gay. The only guys who had fun in the gang showers after gym class were the jocks whose masculinity was beyond question. I couldn’t imagine, I didn’t even allow myself to fantasize about what it would be like to kiss another man, until I left town at eighteen.

Living in London was another world. It was an urban playground where many things were permitted. It was three thousand miles away from where I grew up. No one knew me there…

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Photo by Anastasiia Pyvovarova on Unsplash

Should I try jumping out of the cab?

The recklessness of the kid I used to be shocks me. He was always getting into situations that he ought to have avoided. I’m happy he came out alive, but it wasn’t always a sure thing.

I was then in my mid-twenties. I was living in an eighteenth-century suburb of London while I collected the research for a detailed and obscure dissertation. There were no gay bars out there and this was long before Grindr. To find a guy you had to go into town, about forty minutes via Underground.

On a warm summer night, I had a drink outdoors…

Did I take advantage of him?

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Photo by Dimitar Belchev on Unsplash

When he contacted me online, all his face pics were polaroids of him at different baseball stadiums. He looked sexy in all those baseball tee shirts. But why didn’t he have digital pics like everyone else? His texts were different too. His responses were one beat off the ordinary. They sounded odd in a way I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Yes, he was flirty. Yes, he wanted to meet up. But I was also afraid he was a robot, luring me into some kind of sting.

I was too horny to stop myself. I wanted to see what…

True story

Sex at midnight

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Men wrestling, photo by E. Muybridge, 1887, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

I was in England in the 1980s doing the research for my dissertation. I was in my twenties, tall, blond, and with decent teeth, the sort of American guy that made some Brits salivate. But I only had eyes for a man who’d been dead for a hundred years.

I was spending long hours in the manuscripts room of the old British Museum. I was reading the letters of a nineteenth-century prime minister, William Ewart Gladstone. Every day I opened up big leather binders with his original, handwritten letters sewn into the pages.

Gladstone lived roughly at the same time…

Where’s that leave me now?

Once at 18, again at 62

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Photo by Emir Saldierna on Unsplash

I have had two transcendent experiences of sex. One was at eighteen, the other at sixty-two. Both were with the same man. This is my story.

I grew up talented, cared for, loved by both parents, well-fed, not bad looking, and ashamed to be gay. I enjoyed writing. I appreciated language. I liked clothes. Boys stripping down to their underpants in the locker room made me yearn for them. It was like yearning for the Black Death because there was nothing worse than being gay in the American Midwest of the 1970s. I kept a straight face.

I did nothing…

Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice

Troubling incident seen through the pages of a queer novella

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Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

This happened about a month ago. A teenage boy I was chatting with fell in the water and hurt his foot. It was troubling not only because a kid I liked injured himself in the water. It also bothered me because he was underaged. Even to notice his sexiness felt a little wrong.

More than a hundred years ago Thomas Mann wrote a queer novella in which his hero’s experience was like mine. An aging writer goes to Venice and sees the most beautiful boy. He knows this boy’s beauty is forbidden to touch, forbidden almost to think about. …

40 Years Younger

Unexpected ride at the rodeo

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Photo by Briona Baker on Unsplash

He has 17.5 thousand followers on Instagram. He attends the concerts of Mariah Carey and Madonna. He gets a front-row seat and posts pictures. His followers go wild.

I could fit all my followers into a single room with plenty of social distancing. I sit at home minding my own business. Who should pop up on my Grindr screen but a twenty-four-year-old with a mischievous smile, a tight body, and what appears to be a digitally altered picture of his schlong? He proposes a dad (me) and son (him) hookup. It’s the influencer with 17.5 thousand followers.

As I write…

Former Army Officer

Sexy, but from a different world

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Photo by Tommaso Fornoni on Unsplash

There was this guy. We met online. We met in person at a small house in the country, not far from a wide, slow-moving river. We swam naked. We fooled around in the water. He was a great kisser. He didn’t talk a lot, but he was alert to all the changes in the air between us during that first time we were together.

After that splashing afternoon we met, he stayed for dinner. There were a few odd things about him. I assigned him to make the salad for our supper. He shredded the lettuce into a very fine…

No one around?

He drove 3 hours to meet me

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Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

I’d rented a small house in New Hampshire for the summer. The front of it faced a two-lane road with little traffic. The back faced some hills on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River. I had different friends who were going to drive up and stay with me for different weeks. Then there was an unexpected cancellation my very first day there.

I’d already explored the territory. I’d walked down the rutted gravel road behind the house. It was about ten minutes’ walk to the river. There were meadows and cornfields. On the river was a small dock, its…

Improved UX

Grindr overhaul

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Grindr has become the single most important feature of most sexually-active gay men’s lives. It marries the dreams of two different generations. The smartphone hookup app fuses the sexual liberation of the late 1960s with the post-millennial tech revolution now underway.

It makes getting a live body into your living room almost as easy as porn. If things don’t go the way you want, or if you’re embarrassed about having had even good sex with a stranger, blocking the guy and pretending it didn’t happen are common stratagems made possible by Grindr.

In my town, since the first wave of…


Sexy gay things that happened to me. Also writing over here: https://www.amazon.com/Rory-Andrews/e/B08SHRTVXM?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

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