Inside The Mind Of A Writer: Plotting “Buy Guys”

Inside The Mind Of A Writer: Plotting “Buy Guys”

Okay, so l got these two handsome gay young guys from Jersey with nowhere jobs and nowhere futures who decide to drive down to sunny Fort Lauderdale to play male hustlers to frustrated locals, partying vacationers and wealthy retirees.

In my very first draft, l had one of them, methodical Pete, with a girlfriend who he doesn’t know he got pregnant until the end when he and cocky Blaze return from their adventures down South. But l soon dropped that storyline since l felt it was a distraction from the budding romance l wanted to develop between my two guys.

The “Buy Guys” in the title refers to the fictional male escort website on which they advertise their talents. (I wonder, are pimps a thing of the past? I mean don’t today’s ladies of the night use the web too?)

Now l can already predict your immediate knee jerk reaction to all this: pretty standard fare for male gay erotic fiction, huh?

But ripping off a technique from Alfred Hitchcock, famed movie director of such terror classics as “The Birds” and Psycho,” l came up with what Hitch called a “MacGuffin,” a plot device or hook. So what could have been a ho-hum boring fuckfest turned into a male version of “Thelma and Louise,” with my protagonists, who thought things would be easy, breezy, instead finding themselves running for their lives.

In the beginning when Blaze, who is trying to convince Pete to join him on this adventure, asks, “What have we got to lose?” the answer should have been “Everything.”

But if l told you more about my “MacGuffin” you wouldn’t buy my book now, would you?

BTW, most of the sex my two guys experience as dicks for hire is based on experiences l had as a private citizen, shall we say, and as a rentboy which l played a month, of course, to research my book.

Hey, anything for my art, right?

 

Inside The Mind of A Writer: Plotting “Not In For The Love”

Inside The Mind of A Writer: Plotting “Not In For The Love”

“Not In It For The Love:”

” A brillant story you can’t help but inhale whole non-stop till you reach the end … this is not your everyday romance, this is not your everyday fiction either. This story is like taking a peek out there in the lives of real people in the real world.”

MM Good Book Reviews

Three events converged in my percolating writer’s mind as the inspiration behind my romantic novel, “Not In It for The Love,” available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble: a vacation in Key Largo, entry point to the Florida Keys; my loveship with my Upstate New York wheelchair bound buddy, Vinnie; and my personal experience with 9/11.

It was 2008 and my partner and I, down for the winter at my home in Fort Lauderdale, decided to spend a few days in the Keys and booked an inexpensive motel on the water in Key Largo. Watching the handsome men serving us in the motel’s outdoor restaurant that jutted out to the sea, l wondered if any of them had left nowhere existences and perhaps, straight or gay, used their good looks as “sex therapists” to the mostly str8 couples l saw at the motel who looked pretty bored with one another.

Thus my inspiration for my protagonist, Josh, who leaves his drug addicted trailer park parents in North Florida to work at his Uncle Cappy’s motel in – you guessed it – Key Largo. It is there that Josh, unsure of his sexuality, comes out of the closet, has a brief affair with one of the motel’s humpy young workers, and learns how to make some real money by spicing up the sex lives of motel guests. It is also there that he meets Bishop, a wealthy Wall Street player, canvassing motels for possible acquisition by hotel conglomerates he represents, who “adopts” him and brings him back to NYC to be his trophy boy. Bishop is modeled after my partner G who, like the character, is a Middle Eastern American who worked on “The Street” most of his professional life.

I met Vinnie, wheelchair bound as a result of a rare viral spinal infection, while spending a summer up at our home in northeast PA. We rendezvoused a few times at a motel equal distance from both us and I fell immediately in love with my handsome stranger, not out of pity, but instead deeply moved by his resiliency and determination to enjoy life whatever shit was thrown at him. Vinnie and l have stayed in touch over the years and, as of this writing, he plans to sell his home in Poughkeepsie, New York, and relocate to Fort Lauderdale.

In my book, Vinnie became Hylan, the young interracial musician with whom Josh, playing the field in the Big Apple, and up to that point in my story, an opportunist when it came to having sex with men (thus my title, “Not In It For The Love”), falls deeply in love. Despite the fact they are both broke, Josh is determined to make it happen when 9/11 intervenes, changing their lives and Bishop’s forever.

I was the PR director for a hospital on Staten Island, NYC’s forgotten borough at the time and was there in lower Manhattan that fateful Tuesday for a system-wide meeting at St. Vincent’s, Manhattan, who we had merged with the year before. The description of what happens to Josh who is thrown into the whirlwind is based largely on my experiences that day. And I made 9/11 as the critical plot twist in my book.

It was also because I wanted to use my 9/11 experience that I decided to place my story in the NYC of the late nineties. The gay scene l describe in the book is of that era, a scene that has now largely disappeared.

Next: Plotting my novella, “Buy Guys.”

Inside The Mind Of A Writer: Plotting “The Czar of Wilton Drive”

Inside The Mind Of A Writer: Plotting “The Czar of Wilton Drive”

For me, coming up with ideas for a new book are like making old fashion percolated coffee. I let my ideas simmer for a while, sometimes months, even years. Then suddenly my ideas have percolated enough in my head and l’m ready to sit down at my laptop.

I’m not one of these formula writers who churn out a book every three months, mostly to pay the bills. God bless ’em but l like to think my books are unique and that means writing for myself first.

Besides having an image of my main characters fixed in my mind, l’ve already outlined my plot, scene by scene in a more cinegraphic approach, right to the last fade-out. Sure, things may and often do change as l get into my writing – l write my books chronologically so that l am living my story as it happens – but l must know the endpoint for my characters and their story before l commit one word to paper.

Okay, to my blank laptop screen.

I’ve lived – and played – in Fort Lauderdale since 2002 and a few years ago wanted to write a book that focused on its dark side as a gay guy who had seen and experienced much of it. I had, at the time, written my memoirs as a hirsute gay man and the dozen or so iconic furry men l had known in my life, thirty years in NYC, mostly in the now gone West Village leather/levi scene, and the last decade in sunny Lauderdale, and l wanted to use it somehow in my book.

But how?

That’s when l came up with the idea of bringing generations together through a gay nephew and his gay uncle who had been incognito for most of the nephew’s life. In my original beginnings of a draft l had the nephew growing up on Long Island and, questioning his sexuality, coming down to Fort Lauderdale for college and to distance himself from his well-meaning but overbearing parents. That was exactly what l did when, after graduating from a commuter college in Jersey while living at home and anxious to live my life as newly “out” young gay man, l fled to Los Angeles to complete my master’s degree at the University of Southern California. In reality, USC was a G rated cover story for what became an X-rated flick – my life as a unencumbered gay man in Hollywierd.

In my original draft, Uncle just happens to be one of Nephew’s professors. In a highly charged scene, the two connect in torrid sex right on the table of the faculty room. The nephew soon after moves into a secluded gay resort the uncle owns where they continue their affair.

Then suddenly Uncle dies mysteriously, the resort is ransacked by his employees, and nephew finds his memoirs on a USB drive.

If you’ve already raised your eyebrows, you know such a story almost glorifying incest would never see the light of day with gay publishers who, perhaps a bit overly sensitive and paranoid about the str8 world that thinks we’re weird, view incest along with child molestation and forced rape as absolute story no-no’s. l soon chucked that storyline.

But that didn’t mean l had to also discard the nephew/uncle angle. What l did instead was distance them time-wise and geographically and have the uncle already dead at the beginning of my story.

I chose Staten Island, the forgotten borough of NYC and so atypical of the rest of City with its suburban and even rural neighborhoods, as the place to start my story, and had my nephew character named Jonathan growing but in the same 1920’s vintage home G, my partner, and l owned with our dogs. Jon himself was modeled after a tall, skinny, furry, twenty something guy l had tricked with in Lauderdale. I liked not just his look but also his cocky attitude and used both in developing my character.

Uncle Charlie, the black sheep of the family who had moved to Lauderdale some years back and, while working as a college prof, bank rolled two bars that would become enormously successful in the burgeoning Lauderdale gay scene was, well, me, kinda, except for the black sheep and bar ownerships, that is. My memoirs of my life as a gay man in NYC and later Lauderdale, were integrated into the book with only minor editing.

The glue l used to bring my two characters together was death, or more specifically Uncle Charlie’s will. When “Czar” opens, twenty something Jon, living with his grandfather, Charles’ brother, who ostracized him from the family decades before when he discovered he was gay, learns the uncle he hardly knew has left him his entire estate.

Quitting his nowhere job at a fast food joint, Jon flies down to Lauderdale to take possession of Uncle Charlie’s beachfront condo and the two gay bars he owns, one of which is the town’s leather bar. And it is in the beachfront condo that Jon stumbles upon Charlie’s memoirs, stowed away on his laptop, and becomes fascinated by the life he had led and increasingly suspicious about the story that he had died of a heart attack.

Having played the leather scene most of my gay life, l wanted to use my book to bring home the reality that the scene is on life support as more and more members of my generation, the Baby Boomers, are hanging up their jock straps. Uncle Charlie is determined to hold onto a strict leather dress code for his bar, the Gearshaft, modelled after Lauderdale’s Ramrod, in an era where such a tradition is almost impossible to maintain and still stay in business. The excerpt l ran on September 15 of the Celebration of Life that Charlie’s leather buddies hold in his memory tells the sad tale of the aging of Leather America.

And while some readers criticized the use of drugs in my book, l could not write a story of the contemporary Lauderdale gay scene without incorporating the current meth scourge which, like it or not, has taken hold of our sub-culture.

In an example of art imitating life, l learned much later, long after my book had been published, that the twenty something kid l had used as the model for Jon had, indeed, been a hard core meth addict.

As l’ve said before, “Czar” is more a docudrama than a piece of fiction. Its characters are men l’ve known, its story largely one l’ve lived.

“The Czar of Wilton Drive” is published by Kokoro Press and available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Next: Plotting “Not In It For The Love.”

Inside The Mind of A Writer: “Buy Guys”

Inside The Mind of A Writer: “Buy Guys”

Like “The Czar of Wilton Drive,” “Buy Guys,” my novella available on amazon.com,  begins elsewhere (Jersey) but is swallowed up like my characters in Fort Lauderdale.

Blaze and Pete are two young, gay handsome drifters with nothing to lose who leave dreary Jersey for the sun and sex of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale. Their mission is simple: to make a free and easy living as male prostitutes; Buy Guys is the name of a fictional escort site on which they advertise their talents. For a while things seem to go their way until Blaze and Pete’s past sins come back to haunt and eventually threaten to destroy them.

In this excerpt, our two guys have just arrived in Lauderdale after days on Interstate 95…

It took them another two days and the weather got better the further south they went. Then suddenly when they hit Palm Beach County, they actually began to sweat. It was as if they had crossed an imaginary line.

The original plan was to spend a few days in a cheap motel until they could check the papers or Craig’s List for a room or studio. But after exiting 95 at Oakland Park Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale and aiming the Bronco east, they stumbled onto Cary’s Cosmos on Birch Road, just two blocks in from Sebastian Beach which, according to the “Gay Fort Lauderdale” guide on the net, was the town’s man sandbox. “Rent by the Day, Week or Month, Free Wifi” read the yellowed sign outside the faded blue and white stucco two story building with a fenced-in pool street-side. Rent by the week was great, but free wifi was a must for their game. Odd, thought Pete, that a place that looked, well, worn around the edges, should be right in the middle of a street lined with well-kept guesthouses and smart townhouses and huge, beach-front luxury hotels just a few blocks away. But Blaze was his usual smug self, acting like they had reservations and the place was the Hilton and had been just waiting for them to arrive.

The sun was wide, hot and high but the only one by the pool was a slim, small guy with a full head of gray hair and white penciled beard in a purple bikini who eyed the two of them like some coquette at a New Year’s party.

And there, behind the counter in the front office, was Cary himself to check them in. The little ID badge pinned to his baggy tank top didn’t make it hard to figure that out. A good six foot three, he resembled a breezy California surfer thirty years past his prime, with long blondish gray hair parted down the middle, a tanned moon face, and tank and baggy shorts that did a poor job at camouflaging his sagging tits and bloated belly.

Behind him on the wall was a huge fading color poster of some wild haired shirtless pretty boy blonde, complete with the obligatory smooth swimmers build, modeling a pair of Ralph Lauren shorts. The Polo logo stood out like Blaze’s morning woody.

“So how long?” he gruffed, a cigarette hanging from his lips, his eyes glued to a newspaper lying on the counter.

“A week for now,” said Pete, looking at Money Bags Blaze to step up to the plate.

“A hundred and twenty five for the week, payable in advance—cash only.”

Blaze opened his wallet and counted out the twenties.

“Plus a hundred dollar deposit,’ added Cary.

“For what?” said Blaze, obviously pissed.

“Just in case you punch holes in the walls or try to yank out the toilet or walk away with the microwave and frige.”

Blaze pulled out five more bills as Pete grabbed the keys.

“By the way, who’s the dude?” said Pete gesturing to the poster.

“Me,” said Cary, his eyes still on the newspaper.

More pages obviously torn from magazines sporting a more youthful Cary hung in cheap frames on the walls of their room. Gucci, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren. Apparently he had modeled for the best of them.

In another life.

Blaze decided to stay in the room and work on their Buy Guys web ad. “The sooner we get some money comin’ in, the better.”

Pete, on the other hand, couldn’t resist the beckoning of the sun and the pool.

“Go ‘head,” said Blaze opening his bags. “I’ll let you know when I’m done so you can tell me what you think.”

The old guy in the bikini was still out there sunning himself, ass up on the lounge, when Pete emerged, barefoot, wearing just his Levis that hung nicely around his waist so that the very top of his ass crack showed. Hey, you never know, he thought to himself as the old man caught his eye and smiled.

“I’m Fred,” said the guy.

“Pete.”

“So, Pete, on vacation?”

“Actually me and my buddy, we decided it was time to leave the cold North and find jobs down here. Maybe construction, or bartending, who knows?”

“Where up North?” said Fred, coyfully playing with his sunglasses.

“Jersey.”

“Small world. I’m from Smithtown, Long Island. Been here for two weeks but going back tomorrow.”

“And so what do you do in Smithtown, Fred?”

“Oh, I’m a tax accountant. Been vacationing down here at Cary’s place for about ten years now, he’s cheap and right by the beach. I come down when things are quiet business-wise, but I’m not quite ready to take the plunge, you know, move down here permanently. So many Long Islanders work in the City, I get to prepare city income taxes, state income taxes, plus the federal. Lucrative, you know?”

“Sure,” said Pete who didn’t remember the last time he filed taxes. Fred reminded Pete of Jimmy who lived a few blocks from where he grew up and who spoke slow and deliberate as if we wanted to make sure he got every word exactly right.

“Down here with no state or local taxes, all you got are the feds, so I lose out right from the get-go.”

“I see what you mean,” said Pete, rubbing his hairy chest. “So, since you’ve been coming here for a while, what’s with all these pictures?”

“You mean Cary’s ads when he was a hot shot model? Well, I guess we egomaniacs never get enough of ourselves.”

What the fuck was he talking about, thought Pete. All he saw was an old man. Okay, he wasn’t fat and sloppy like most guys his age, but he had a leathery tan and stretch marks peeking out from the edge of his bikini. He figured him sixty, maybe older.

“Cary was one of New York’s hottest male models in the seventies and eighties,” Fred said like he was reciting a Wikipedia biog, “every designer wanted him and he was the sometime boyfriend of half of them and—well, I’m not talking out of school, Cary would tell you himself after a couple of martinis—he made the money and drank and snorted it away just as fast till a new crop of pretty boys took his place in the limelight and all he had left was enough to buy this place. That was just before I started coming down. He was hoping to make a killing when the boom hit, and a few developers actually talked to him about buying up the property and knocking this place down to build some upscale high rise condo-hotel complex. Then came the bust and well, here we are.”

Suddenly the sun went in.

“Time to take my mid-day nap,” said Fred rising up. Then he giggled like a schoolgirl. “Wanna join me?”

It was the entrée Pete had been waiting for. Maybe he and Blaze wouldn’t need that Buy Guys ad up to start making some dough. He stood up from the chair and instinctively rubbed his crotch.

“Sure, if you don’t mind not getting any sleep.”

”You have to admit,” said Fred as he closed the door of room 23 behind them and pulled the window drapes shut. “I get the best of them.”

“Whatya mean?” said Pete, unzipping his Levis and dropping them to the floor. He had no underwear on.

“I mean, when you’re hot like me, you only expect to get the best and well, look, you certainly got the goods,” said Fred, who walked over and began stroking Pete’s chest as he felt his furry butt from behind.

“I know guys like you love bare backing,” he went on, placing Pete’s hand on his crotch, “and I got a big one.”

“I’m a top,” said Pete, pulling away. “I don’t get fucked.”

“Oh, Okay,” said Fred with a condescending smile, “you can suck my dick then. As long as you swallow too.”

“Hold it,” said Pete. “We haven’t talked price yet.”

Fred fell into a corner chair.

“Are you saying you expect me to pay you?”

Pete said nothing and just glared back at him.

“Hey, I never had to pay for it and, sure as hell, I ain’t paying for it now,” said Fred, dropping the glib smile. “I got guys younger than you begging for this Daddy dick. Hell, you should be paying me. Besides, I take it back. You ain’t that hot.”

“Just because you old fucks pop a Viagra doesn’t make you a stud,” said Pete as he pulled up his Levis. “I think you’ve fallen for your own hype.”

He slammed the door behind him so hard he could hear one of Cary’s pictures fall off the wall.

“Strike one,” mumbled Pete as he walked into their room.

Blaze was sitting on the bed with the laptop. He didn’t look happy.

“First, fabulous Cary’s wifi keeps going in and out, then the god damn site says you can’t talk about actually offering sex …”

“Hey Blaze, even you know prostitution is illegal. You got to beat around the bush.”

“Okay, but now I can’t close the deal ’cause they want to be paid by credit card and my Visa card is maxed out.”

“Don’t look at me, my credit’s in the sewer.”

Blaze closed the lid of the laptop and hid it under some clothes in the drawer just to be safe.

“Listen, I remember us passing a CVS on AIA when we were checking out the beach. Let’s walk up there, I’ll buy one of those prepaid jobs and we can see what Sebastian is all about at the same time.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

“By the way, how was the pool?”

“Peachy, just peachy.”

Author’s Notes: Blaze and Pete are modeled after the handsome men with not much going for themselves except for their looks that I’ve encountered and even slept with over the years. Fred is a mirror image of a seventy year old egotistical friend of mine who left his wife of forty years to play the gay blade in Lauderdale.

As for me, I researched my book by becoming a male hustler at my very advanced age on rentboy.com for one month. Though I couldn’t pay my bills on the money I made, four guys that month put the stack of twenties on the bureau for an hour with their furry daddy which is how I marketed myself to stand out against the sea of smooth pretty boys. When buddies of mine asked how I could “keep it up,” my response was simple: “The guy wants you bad enough he ‘ll pay for you. That’s the turn-on.”

Next: Plotting My Books

Inside The Mind Of a Writer: “The Czar of Wilton Drive”

Inside The Mind Of a Writer: “The Czar of Wilton Drive”

“This is one of those reads that just takes you along and dominates you as you read and you do not have to think about anything but getting lost in the story.”

Amos Lassen Reviews

While a good portion of it takes place in New York City, my novel “The Czar of Wilton Drive,” available on Amazon Barnes and Noble, is pure Lauderdale. I know. I lived most of it.

“Czar” is the story of Jonathan Antonucci, a 21 year old, barely out-the-closet gay man from suburban New York who overnight finds himself a multi-millionaire, thanks to a bequest by his late gay great uncle. Uncle Charlie has unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving him the sole owner of several of the most successful bars on Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale’s gay ghetto; hence the title.

Flying down to Lauderdale to claim his bequest, Jon encounters Uncle Charlie’s dubious friends and business associates, and is immediately submerged in Lauderdale’s scene of unbridled sex and heavy drugs. He also discovers his great uncle’s memoirs which reveal truths not only about Jon’s own past but also what may have really happened to his uncle.

In this excerpt from the book, Jon goes to attend a Celebration of Life for his late uncle hosted at the home of his attorney, Edward Applebee; Charlie in his will had requested that everyone dress in leather. Up to this point Jon has had a sweaty session with one of Uncle Charlie’s fuck buddies, Marcos, and has been introduced to the leather scene his uncle so loved by humpy Gil, the manager of the Gearshaft, the leather bar Jon inherited, who outfits him for tonight …

Eddie Applebee had said to be at his home off Victoria Park Road around seven but Jon decided not to leave the beach condo til 7:30. After all, while the Celebration of Life was for Uncle Charlie, Jon knew he was the real guest of honor, and he wanted to make sure everyone knew that too when he walked in. No more was he Jonathan Antonucci, Perkins waiter. He was Jonathan Antonucci, Czar of Wilton Drive.
Every oversize Spanish tiled ranch house on the block looked like it was worth at least a million bucks as Jon pulled up to Applebee’s and parked his BMW on the street. Applebee’s circular driveway was already loaded and there were cars, two Lexuses and a Landrover, on the lawn.

Jon’s first reaction as he walked in was how old everyone was. Hell, he knew most of them were Uncle Charlie’s age, give or take, but Charlie looked so vibrant and sexy and with it in all those dirty pictures of himself on his Samsung. These guys were old, tired, overweight, bald, wrinkled, and those that had leather on were wearing their harnesses like they were brasseries. One fat fuck who resembled an albino Buddha had the balls to walk around in a leather thong, his ass cheeks each the size of a watermelon.

“I’m Freddie, Eddie’s partner,” greeted the short, boney guy with a hillbilly beard and long stringy hair like some hippy that had been buried in 1969, then dug up. He was shirtless with a red armband on his right bicep, and his rib cage pressed through his leathery abs.

“So you’re the Folsom in Applebee and Folsom.”

“Aren’t you the astute young man?” replied Freddie dryly. A moment later, Eddie, who looked like an aging football player who had stopped taking his steroids and was dressed in chaps and a leather vest that stuck out like wings came over and gave Jon a hug.

“Let me take you around. Everybody is dying to meet you.”

As they entered the huge living room that overlooked the patio, the canal, and a boatless dock, the poster side picture of Uncle Charlie sitting on an easel by the fireplace immediately caught Jon’s eye. Charlie was decked out in his leather, wearing the same kind of harness Gil had outfitted Jon with. Only, hell, even though he must have been over sixty when that picture was taken, Charlie looked like most of these guys’ younger brother.

“Guess Gil told you Charlie, always the non-conformist, wanted his wake to be festive,” quipped Eddie. “He hated suits.”

“Yep, I know,” replied Jon, and with that he stripped off his tan polo shirt and slipped it through a belt loop on his jeans. He had heeded Gil’s advice and had decided to wear the bulldog after all.

For one golden moment, all the chit-chat ceased and just about everyone in the room turned to gawk. No lascivious smiles, just expressionless stares.

“Yes,” said Eddie with an admiring gaze, “if you weren’t blood, Charlie might have kept you.”

Jon smiled smugly. He knew he almost had.

In the crowd, there were Charlie’s partners in the Climax, seventy-five year old Bill whose walker was painted black, and his forty something other half Mel who resembled an aging Anthony Perkins who Jon remembered seeing in Psycho III on TV. He later learned Mel was being kept by Bill and was a co-partner in name only to screw IRS. Then there were a few former fuck buddies from Charlie’s New York days, now retired in sunny Florida, plus two beer distributors, Charlie’s accountant, Harry, the absent minded professor type wearing a tight, light gray rubber shirt and pants with a yellow stripe down the side, and a few obvious bar-fly, fair weather friends who were there to be nice and sponge off Eddie’s smorgasbord.

All pretty boring.

Jon could tell how a few of them were itching to paw his hairy chest but, after all, even if this was an upside-down Alice in Wonderland wake, Jon guessed there had to be some respect shown for the dead.

It was then that he caught a glimpse of Gil and Marcos chatting on the outside patio. As Eddie left him to make Bill and Mel drinks, Jon used the chance to see his two hot men.

Together.

“So how’s our favorite boy?” said Marcos with that sexy smile of his, who with his tan cargo pants and orange tank looked overdressed. Gil, on the other hand, had a black mesh T on that showed his hairy pecs off well, and boots and leather shorts. Oh, those hairy humpy legs of his.

“Still a bit bewildered,” said Jon.

“Welcome to Fort Lauderdale,” replied Marcos.

“So you guys come together? You’re not a couple are you?” asked Jon, not wanting to know.

“Nay, Eddie and I are practically neighbors,” said Marcos, laughing. “I could have walked here, but Gil’s clunker’s acting up again, so I offered to give him a ride over.”

With that, he gave Gil a nod, walked up and whispered in Jon’s ear, “Remember, sweat is good for the soul,” and went back inside.

“So what do you think of Charlie’s buddies?” asked Gil, gesturing Jon to sit beside him.

“Strange. I mean what gives with that rubber suit on Harry…”

“Latex,” corrected Gil.

“And that red armband Freddie is wearing…”

“He likes to get fisted. You know what that is?”

“Yea,” replied Jon. He could thank Uncle Charlie’s memours he had been reading off his laptop for that.

“Right on, bro, I mean Boss.”

“Well, there’s still a lot you have to teach me about this scene—this leather scene.”

Gil laughed.

“You have to admit I made a big hit with your bulldog here,” said Jon, pulling on one of its rings.

“I’d say so, and by the way, that’s the exact same harness your uncle was wearing when they took that picture of him at last year’s Leather Ball.”

“You mean he wore this?”

“Yea, so I guess besides being blood you got some of his DNA on you too.”

Gil grabbed his bottle of Coors Light from the patio table and took a slug.

“Listen, why don’t we ditch this gig and go back to my place where I can educate you some more?”

Jon’s cock, stiff from the moment he saw Gil and Marcos on the patio, definitely had a mind of its own.

“With or without my leather on?”

“Keep it on,” said Gil, getting up. “Though you sure as hell don’t need it.”

Why, he didn’t know, but Jon was hoping for some reaction from the first man he had ever laid with in his life who was standing at the bar chitchatting with the Albino Buddha. But Marcos didn’t even glance their way.

So just how did Marcos and Gil know one another? From the Gear Shaft? A threesome with Charlie? Or was he right, were they they’re own twosome, despite the fact they denied it?

Jon bid Applebee a thanks and good-bye, and by the time he and Gil had gotten to the door he could see from the living room’s panoramic bay window Marcos speeding away in his silver Lexus.

“So get comfortable,” said Gil as the two of them strolled into his studio, just as messy as the day before when Gil had him try on some leather outfits. “Gotta hit the head.”

Jon lay down on the air mattress, not knowing quite what to do or what to expect. All he knew is what he wanted.

The bathroom door was wide open and from his angle, Jon was able to see Gil in the vanity mirror. Pulling his mesh T off, he admired himself for a moment, then opened a drawer, pulled out what looked like a needle and stuck it very carefully in a vein of his arm. Jon watched the sudden rush on his face. Then as he turned to come out, Jon readjusted himself on the bed. Everything was so fast, Jon had no time to react to the moment. All that came immediately to his brain was the image Uncle Charlie had painted of his parents lying on that bed with needles sticking out of their arms.

Should he get up and leave?

Should he say anything?

Instead, Jon did nothing, waiting for the next cue from Gil.

“So you wanna smoke some stuff?” asked Gil casually as he reached over for a glass pipe. “You smoke before?”

“Grass, My j-o buddy Ernie and I would smoke a reefer before we started flipping through those profiles on Growl’r.”

“Same shit,” said Gil, holding a lighter under the glass globe of the pipe. “Just gives you a better high.”

Gil took a long puff, then handed the pipe over to Jon.

“Now move the globe back and forth a few times as I hold the lighter under it, take in a long puff, hold it in just a second or two, then let it out.”

Jon breathed in, then exhaled. Within seconds, a feeling of super-sensitivity enveloped him.

“Wow.”

“I told you this stuff was better than grass.” Gil took a puff, placed the pipe down in an ashtray on a plastic patio table that served as a bed stand, then reached over and, as he pressed his lips against Jon’s, he exhaled into his mouth.

Jon fell flat on the bed, staring at the ceiling as he felt Gil’s fingers embrace every inch of him. It was as if an electric charge was pulsating through him wherever Gil touched, first stroking the hairs on his chest down to his abs, then his crotch. Then he lay on top of him and began rubbing their beards against one another in some ritual dance.

Gil was the most beautiful man he had ever seen and now he was his. Totally, completely, forever his.

Author’s Notes: In the book I attempted to illustrate the aging of the leather scene which I was a part of it at the height of its popularity in the seventies, eighties and nineties; Jon’s introduction to meth, also known by its street name, “Tina,” by Gil is indicative of the meth epidemic now going in in the gay community.

Next: An excerpt from my novella, “Buy Guys.”

Inside The Mind of A Writer: Florida as My Second Most Favorite Locale

Inside The Mind of A Writer: Florida as My Second Most Favorite Locale

I’ve used contemporary Fort Lauderdale, my adopted home since 2002, as a setting for a good portion of my fiction as much for its breezy, “Forever Summer” environment as for its “throw caution to the wind” decadent gay lifestyle which offers a writer of erotic fiction endless possibilities.

Lauderdale plays a pivotal role in my novel, “The Czar of Wilton Drive,” available from Kokoro Press, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Jonathan, a closeted naive kid from suburban New York City, is left two of Lauderdale’s most successful gar bars on Wilton Manors Drive by his late uncle, ostracized by Jon’s family for being gay. Flying down to assume his bequest, Jon encounters Uncle Charlie’s questionable leather friends and is immediately immersed in the town’s promiscuous and drug infested sub-culture. Stumbling upon Uncle Charlie’s memoirs stowed away on his laptop, Jon soon realizes that his uncle’s untimely death from a heart attack was just a cover story for a meth overdose.

Lauderdale is also the destination for the two broke Jersey gay guys who play the protagonists in my new novella, “Buy Guys,” to be published early next year by Wilde City Press. Blaze and Pete’s objective is to live the free and easy lifestyle of male hustlers – Buy Guys is the name of a fictional escort site on which they advertise their talents – but they soon find themselves engulfed in their own very real, private nightmare.

 

Inside The Mind Of a Writer: Real Life Experiences That Shaped My Art

Inside The Mind Of a Writer: Real Life Experiences That Shaped My Art

My Sorry Life As a Druggie Kinda Wannabe: II

I had smoked or snorted crystal meth a few times with so-so tricks who wooed me with their stash (as I would woo guys years later) and who were transformed into the loves of my life when we got high. Again, our dicks became useless, but unlike coke or poppers, the high was smooth and sustainable, and made your entire body one highly sensual organ. But I never sought out the stuff until I met Shaw.

Shaw was that hairy stud who I based my character Gil in “The Czar of Wilton Drive” on, the guy with the incredibly handsome black Irish looks and a smile and personality that could convince you to jump off a bridge, who I met on one of the hook-up sites. That first night, he mainlined right in my bedroom, and by the time we met again, I was ready. Here I had silently laughed at my beach buddy Trig for shooting up heroin and here I was, a former Sunday school teacher, hospital executive and college prof, trusting a guy who was virtually a complete stranger to “dart” me, mesmerized both by his male beauty, his infectious smile, and what I had seen slamming Lady M had done for him.

“You got good veins,” he complemented me as he tightened a belt around my forearm.

“I guess working out does have its virtues,” I laughed.

He instructed me to make a fist for a second, then relax.

The immediate reaction was intensive heat running throughout my body, then a total tsunami of utter euphoria. In fact, I shouted “Fuck!” so loud that first time, Shaw gently cautioned me to lower my voice so I wouldn’t wake up the people in the apartment next door. (“These bedroom walls are paper thin,” he quipped.)

Smoking was like kindergarten, slamming like getting your Ph.D.

Now picture this scene: two hairy naked men, high on one another and now high on junk. So what if he was a bottom and I was a top and my Daddy Dick was making an exit?

“It doesn’t matter to me,” he said and I honestly think he meant it. The pure sensuality of the moment as he oh so very, very slowly rubbed his black kid gloves across my chest and we kissed was worth a thousand erections.

At about one that night, after two hours of sensual sex like I had never had in my life, Shaw abruptly left, saying he needed to pick up a buddy at the airport flying in from Australia. Trolling the websites a bit later, I found he had changed his post to “Two total bottoms looking for hot tops,” but no matter. I had had my fun.

After futilely trying to cum, then to sleep (I learned later Benadryl would knock you out), I spent the day cleaning my house and going to the gym. I was still grinding my teeth at six o’clock that night and drinking bottled water like I had been on the Mohave Desert.

Shaw and I got together a few more times – including a once-in-a-lifetime threesome – then lost touch, which strangely is something I’m actually grateful for. He easily could have been my Satan in the wilderness. And I’m no Jesus. In fact, the last time we slammed, he was surprised how relatively calm I was compared to that first wild time.

Was I getting hooked too?

Then again every time since I’ve smoked the shit with another guy, it’s been my feeble attempt to replicate that first time with Shaw, one of the truly handsomest men I’ve ever known in my checkered gay life.

Now, for all its evils, and there are plenty – that you can google – about the only good thing I can say about meth besides the high is that unlike alcohol whose effects you can’t mask, intellectually you can alter your behavior with Lady M if you need to: talk slower, watch your speed and be extra attentive to the road when driving….

But also being, I think, a rational pragmatist, I can see how it can be, ah, so addictive, equating it with total hot sex, though ironically, when you’re on it, you rarely end up cumming.

Crazy, ain’t it?

And at the cost of two hundred fifty bucks for a glassine envelope the size of a packet of Splenda, M can take you down the primrose path of self-ruination quicker than the Titanic sunk. That’s why I’ve met several guys over the last few years who boasted dealing the shit and making three to five thousand dollars a week, only to end up totally broke, living in some flophouse, and looking for another puff from my pipe.

I remember once at his place, Shaw pulled out a Glad bag of junk you could stuff a steak in. There had to be as much as five grand’s worth sitting there conveniently by his bed.

Today, while I have a small stash hidden away in one of the tiny thread drawers of my grandmother’s antique Singer sewing machine, I’ve convinced myself it’s there for that occasional hairy hottie who needs a bit of an extra incentive to come over.

Hey, if anybody could become a meth head, it’s me. I’m retired, have no job I have to go to, am financially comfortable and so have plenty of play money for candy.

But I know better.

Right?

Next: My Favorite Locales

Inside The Mind of a Writer: Real Life Experiences That Shaped My Art

Inside The Mind of a Writer: Real Life Experiences That Shaped My Art

My Sorry Life As a Druggie Kinda Wannabe

Drugs, not in a good way, play a pivotal role in two of my books, my novel, “The Czar of Wilton Drive,” and my  novella, “Buy Guys.” So like just about everything else I write about, I needed to experience the drug world for myself. Of all of my walks on the wild side, this was, no doubt, my most dangerous.

But some history first.

Unlike many members of my generation, the generation of Vietnam and LSD, I was pretty much a virgin when it came to drugs. About the only thing I remember using during my college days were “black beauties,” a form of speed to keep guys like me going who were doing school full time while working through school part time. Hell, I never even smoked grass, all the rage, and, in fact, felt a bit left out I hadn’t.

That’s why I was surprised, yes even shocked, when decades later lying on the beach, a guy I met through another beach buddy – I’ll call him Trig – who had been a white upper middle class Jewish boy from the Jersey burbs, boasted he had done heroin – heroin! – while in college, and that even losing a few friends to OD’s hadn’t stopped him from trolling the streets of Harlem for horse. By the time I met him, he was a barely functioning alcoholic, but I wondered if his walk on the wild side in his youth was at least partially responsible for his early dementia now at 62.

If you could label poppers a drug, then my next step into that world came at Man’s Country in the early seventies, a now defunct bath house on the lower West side in Manhattan, where for two bucks on a Tuesday night you could rent a locker and have fun. It was there I was introduced to the little brown bottle which I forever after psychologically equated with good sex. A guy I had made it with it that night taught me to drink plenty of water afterwards to avoid a headache. But once AIDS hit and it was thought bad bottles of poppers were the culprit (we wish), the formulas changed and the high was never quite the same. Sales of poppers also went underground like buying liquor during Prohibition, and the code term, “video head cleaner” was born.

In the late eighties, working professionally in New York, with a stuck-in-the-mud partner who preferred his Mets over sex, I developed my own stable of fuck buddies, mostly former playmates from the East Side Baths. One of them, Doug, a cameraman for NBC’s Today Show, lived in North Jersey about 40 minutes from me on Staten Island. I remember visiting his place after work where we’d first have a round of beers, then smoke a joint, nothing like the medical marijuana Vinny, my wheelchair lover in PA would share with me decades later that was almost as good as meth without killing your erection. Then we’d go upstairs to the bedroom and snort a few lines of coke. That was my first experience with the white stuff which I equated with the high I got from poppers: a quick spike, then a drop off and a need to do more. Even though we were still in our early forties, by the time Doug and I were done with the coke, our dicks were virtually useless.

By the nineties I was through with most of my international traveling to Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, even Australia, and was snowbirding more and more in Fort Lauderdale which was just coming into its own as a major gay mecca. I eventually bought a one bedroom condo for twenty thousand dollars in Wilton Manors which at the time was a shit hole. (The place was later valued at over one hundred and seventy fifty thousand dollars.)

I’ll never forget Rick, my six foot five Texan from Austin who I made back in the New York baths, visiting me one snowbird vacation, and how we rolled around on my outside terrace in the dark, high on cocaine he had brought, our dicks as soft as putty.

Ah, but it took early retirement and my permanent move to Lauderdale from NYC, to ride me to the top of the drug shit pile with Lady M by my side.

Next: Part II of My Sorry Life As a Druggie Kinda Wannabe

Inside the Mind of a Writer: Real Life Experiences That Shaped My Art

Real Life Experiences That Shaped My Art

This Hand Belongs in the Fisters Hall of Fame – And More

The first time I fisted a guy was in the Clubhouse II baths in Lauderdale on one of my snowbird visits in the nineties. The guy, a lean and mean, lightly furry, handsome fucker, all of thirty, was obviously strung out on something when he gave me the eye as I passed his open room door. Even if I wasn’t quite as versed in the ins and outs of gay sex as I am today, I knew the can of Crisco on his bed stand wasn’t there for frying chicken.

That night I also learned I was a born fister. I had the strong but tightly built hand of a musician and, in fact, had been a concert pianist by the age of 8 but gave it all up when my piano teacher moved to another town. It took very little effort for me to slide first two fingers, then three, then my tapered fist, and finally my whole hand half way to my elbow up his stretched hole. He was a clean machine – you know what I’m saying – and all I felt was wet, warm tissue enveloping my arm. Frankly, I wasn’t sexually turned on by the experience, but neither was I turned off – just curious. My buddy, on the other hand, was in Fistee Heaven. I’m sure whatever he was on certainly helped the cause.

I thought guys who loved getting fisted may have gotten bored with conventional dick fucking or even super-sized dildos. I also knew from that first night that it had to be far more than massaging the guy’s prostate since the prostate is only a few inches up the rectum while your hand feels like you could grab the guy by the throat from inside. But as a seasoned fister buddy explained to me, the anal sphincter is another erogenous zone which becomes so sensitive after a fisting experience, just touching it continues to drive the guy wild and even more hungry for a hard cock to enter next.

OK, I’ll buy that, but I still think there’s also something of a mind game going on here, the fact the guys knows that once you’ve got half your arm up his butt, you have complete dominion over his life. And his soul.
Over the years I had my fair share of asses, but increasingly I found the experience, well, a little boring. While I knew that the guy I was doing it to was obviously enjoying it – I could tell by the level of his grunts – my mind would often wander to my weekly food shopping list.

That is, until I met my fisting brothers from LA, Tim and Tom; they made such an impression on me I used them as secondary characters in my new novella, “Buy Guys” to be published early 2016 by Wilde City Press. “Buy Guys” is about two young Jersey drifters who go to Fort Lauderdale to play hustlers and encounter my two fistees who are known as the “Bimbo Boys” in my book.

I connected with Tim and Tom on Manhunt; they were on vacation here in Lauderdale, staying at one of the overpriced guest houses by the beach, but they were willing to make it easy for me by coming to my place. Hairy, masculine, gym-built fuckers with thick uncut cocks, they looked like the types who would want to tie me up to a post and take turns fucking the shit out of my tight virgin ass. Tim, 44 had a shaved head, his younger brother, Tom, 40, sported a buzz. But no, instead it was I who took turns fisting their glorious furry butts, Tim’s first while Tom went down on my dick, then vs. versa, as they say. Reciprocation made all the difference for me, something that could only happen in a threesome arrangement. We took it slow but the more arm I gave them the more each of them wanted til I felt I could rip their hearts out if I willed it.

And when they had both gotten off, flaccid dicks spurting away, Tom twisted my nips while Tim went down on me and took my load like a pro. Then they packed up their stuff, in as organized a fashion as they had unpacked, slipped back into their jogging shorts and tight tanks, and thanked me for a good time. For once had by all.

A few years later, this studly bearded furry handsome Cuban named Marcos hit me up on Daddyhunt and invited me over to his Miami luxury condo. Marcos wanted one thing and one thing only: for me to pound his bull balls with a mallet or, when he was really warmed up, a baseball bat, while he lay there, those thick muscular, hairy legs spread. No touching, no kissing, just three hours of solid whacking while we smoked meth.

Ever wear one of those Israeli gas masks you can pick up cheap for twenty bucks on one of those online sex shops? The feel of confinement is over the top. A meth head buddy introduced me to his while he gave me a BJ and I watched through the mask goggles. Later a geek FB and I had loads of sensual sex with mine as he blew some poppers up the hose while he ever so slowly stroked my tool. He told me later his best hard-on was watching me go into some kind of trance. But, shit, this was child’s play compared to what that guy years ago in Columbus, Ohio, asked me to do to him.

I was on a drive vacation to Chicago and decided I’d stop along the way at lesser cities I’d never been. Columbus, Ohio, was among them. I’ve forgotten the name of the place but one glance said bear/leather/levi bar. It was August, hot and sticky (the bar had only ceiling fans) and when I saw a few other guys shirtless, I slipped off my T and strung it through my belt loops.

“So you gonna enter the contest?” asked the burly, bearded bartender as he handed me my Bud Lite.

“Contest?” I asked.

“The best hairy chest contest. We do it every Friday night. Winner gets fifty bucks.” Then he reached over the bar to stroke my chest. “Yep, you sure do qualify, mister, yum yum.”

Not exactly being shy, I signed up with the MC but knew that bars held these things to milk the crowd for more drinks, so that “Contest at Midnight” actually didn’t happen until closer to one.

I was on my second Bud when Gary strolled in. Tall, lanky and hippish with long flowing black hair and a long scruffy beard, he wore big horn rimmed glasses, a baggy, button down shirt that he had open to his navel to show off some lightly fuzzy flesh, and baggy black jeans. I was used to mentally stripping the superfluous off a guy, though, and could tell underneath his disguise that he had the bod and the looks. I was holding up the wall by the bar as he came over to stand directly across from me.

“Ten more minutes til we crown this week’s hairest chest!” announced the MC along with a drink special. Gary used the cue to open up.

“So I hope you entered buddy. I’m sure you’ll be the hands-down winner.”

“You never know,” I replied, moving over to him. “There’s always somebody better.”

“Hey man, I live here and I can tell you nobody I know has got you beat. Not by a long shot.”

I laughed. He groped. I told him about my trip. He told me about his life as a sometime employed graphic artist.

“Listen,” he went on more in a whisper,” If you win, will you come home with me? I live only a few blocks from here.”

“And if I lose?” I asked.

“Then I’ll come home with you.”

“Hotel, you mean.”

“Hotel, motel, convent – shit. As long as it’s got a bed.”

There were only three other guys up there competing with me and frankly, it was a slam dunk. Hell, I had more hair on my left shoulder than one of them had on his whole body. I collected my money and fifteen minutes later we were in Gary’s cramped cluttered apartment, naked on his waterbed, foreplaying away.

That’s when he sprang it on me.

“You into breath control?”

I tried to look and sound ecumenical.

“Never tried it but if you like me to do it to you …”

With that, Gary stood up, reached for his jeans he had flung on a chair and slipped off his wide leather belt. Then he lay back on the bed, tucked a pillow beneath his head, and handed me the belt as I sat down on his belly, straddling him.

“I want you to put it around my neck and pull it tight.”

As I did what he told me to do, I could see his chest first become more agitated, then his breath more labored. I stopped.

“No, no,” he said softly, grabbing my hand. “Keep going. Don’t worry, I’m okay.”

I hesitated a second, then continued my tug on the belt until his face turned blue and he appeared to fall into unconsciousness.

That’s when I panicked, slapped his face a few times, and getting no response, sprung up, grabbed my T and headed for the door.

“Where you’re gonna?” he shouted in a gruffed tone. “I’m not done yet.”

“I am,” I shouted back, slamming the door behind me.

But nothing quite beat going over the top than the time I was in a bath house in Montreal and a big brute of guy, J, asked me to punch fist him and was disappointed when no blood showed on my hand.

Now do you get why I can’t understand all the hoopla about “Fifty Shades?”

Next: My Life as a Druggie Kinda Wannabe

Inside the Mind of a Writer: Real Life Experiences That Shaped My Art

Inside The Mind of a Writer: Real Life Experiences That Shaped My Art

Kinky Sex

While the long anticipated movie version of the BDSM erotic romance, “Fifty Shades of Grey” was largely panned by the critics as “insipid,” it made a mega-fortune off wives who drag their husbands to it in hopes its dirty tale inspires them. A sequel is even in the works. I didn’t read the book nor plan to see the movie. But from what I gleamed from the internet, my response is one big yawn.

I mean what’s the big fucken deal?

I can’t speak for str8’s, but unless you’re totally vanilla without sprinkles in the bedroom, most of us gay guys have “been there, done that” somewhere along our checkered careers. I know I certainly have as a seasoned leather man and used a lot of my experience in my books: I’ve been cuffed, had my balls tied up and weighed down with fish hooks, had hot wax dripped on my privates, have deep fisted and punched fisted at least a dozen men, tightened a belt around the neck of a guy who craved breath control till he passed out, had a young guy who looked as squeaky clean as a farmer’s son eat out my dirty asshole, wore a gas mask while a guy shot poppers up the hose and a third blew me, and get a hard-on in Home Depot and Office Depot when it comes to looking for new toys. That’s just for starters, and most of the time I wasn’t even high.

Take, for example, my introduction to electrical simulation or e-stim. The closest I came to being adopted by the Mafia, besides living and working on Staten Island, a borough of the Big Apple, and the most Italian American county in the U.S., was Peter, a short (like me), stocky, swarthy, hairy, Italian gorilla with a shaved head and thick black beard and a build that Tom of Finland would have used as a model. It was mutual lust the second we eyed one another in the Lure, NYC’s legendary leather bar. Pete said he was in “construction,” but at 47 was already retired, and living on Staten Island all those years taught me not to ask too many questions.

After screwing around at his Jersey mansion a few times, we rendezvoused at his other estate a bit closer to New York City in Caldwell, Jersey. I took the afternoon off from work to play, and this is where Peter introduced me to this new kink. With us squatting on the bed, face to face, he placed a long metal rod beneath our ball sacs wired to a large lantern battery and another wire around the base of each of our hard cocks, then flipped some switch and began slowly racketing up the voltage with a dial. It was the first time I shot without touching myself, and the sight of globs of cum spurting from our twitching cocks up onto our furry bellies and chests almost in unison would have been a ratings winner on xtube.com if it had existed then.

Peter actually wanted to keep me, but I was too self-reliant a person to be held down. Looking back now, thirty years later, I think I was plain stupid. Peter, who was almost twenty years my senior, might be dead by now, and I would have been set for the rest of my life like some jerk I met on the beach years later in Fort Lauderdale who after taking care of his “partner,” thirty years his senior, for fifteen years, and not working a day all those years, is now living off a trust fund. But, hell, at least Peter didn’t hire a hit man when I deserted him.

Next: This Hand Belongs in the Fisters Hall of Fame – And More