Monday, December 12, 2011

Maudit Noël (Damned Christmas)

Hate Christmas? Then you've come to the right place. To me Xmas is just one huge orgasm of sentimentality. And after everyone's gushed all over the place, they're all embarrassed and in a hurry to take a shower and get away from it.
   Xmas is the most heterosexual time of the year. How many happy homos do you see in the TV ads? In all the countless sappy movies and -- the horror -- Xmas specials? Things have changed a little bit since I wrote this story in 1990, but let's face it. Christmas is still "anathema for single people, especially queers." 

I HATE CHRISTMAS!” spat Michael. “I had to do my Christmas shopping in the storm yesterday—all those people! It was so hot in the stores. And the snow was wet,” he rolled his eyes. “I was soaked. ‘I hate Christmas! I hate Christmas!’ I kept saying as I slammed the car doors.”
I smiled as I imagined Michael thrashing about in the storm, clumps of soggy snow sliding from the car roof onto his head as he loaded his presents, his thick eyebrows making a V and his bony face all red.
“Look at this bunch,” he said, surveying the two-AM crowd. It was Wednesday night at La Queue Dorée, two nights before Christmas Eve. “They all look desperate and depressed, looking for their Christmas fuck.”
“Their what?”
“Their Christmas fuck,” he said, pleased with himself. “You know, ’tis the season for all that lovey crap, right? When you’re supposed to be with the one you love? But most of us don’t have anybody, and people around us are dying! Who wants to have Christmas alone? Everywhere it’s fireplaces—bloody chestnuts roasting—and we gotta spend Christmas with our folks, like spinster daughters. Trapped.”
“Trapped,” I reflected
“So all the fags go out during the week before Christmas, desperate to get laid. Kinda the opposite of the Virgin Birth, wouldn’t you say? Lots of sex but no babies?”
I guffawed.
“It’s not like New Year’s,” he continued. “Now that’s a real gay holiday. Everybody goes out and gets wild. After all, January first is a penis-related Holy Day.”
“You know, the Feast of the Circumcision.”
“You’re crazy!”
“Yeah, a Christmas fuck,” sighed Michael. “That’s what they’re looking for. At least for one night—someone to hold.” He looked around the bar. “I wonder if I’ll find mine tonight..”
The topic was starting to make me feel a little desperate around the edges myself. At least there weren’t any seasonal decorations in the bar. “You’re right,” I said. “Everybody in bars does look depressed this time of year. Christmas is such a family-oriented affair—mommy, daddy, kiddies—anathema for single people, especially queers.”
Michael rolled his eyes. “Ain’t that the truth. Some of my best Christmases were when I could escape after turkey dinner and go out. Then I felt I was with my real family—all the other spinster daughters. One year I hadn’t had sex for weeks. Finally, after everyone had stuffed themselves to death, I went out. I wanted someone so bad, I actually wished real hard—and I got one! Only I called him my Christmas present at the time ’cause I got him on Christmas Day. He’s always been kinda special to me for that—he really made Christmas bearable that year. Every time I see him, I think, ‘Hi, Christmas present.’”
We beheld the gloomy crowd around us.
“I think I met someone the other night who needed one bad,” I said. “He seemed almost desperate about it.”
“A Christmas fuck?”
“Yeah, I guess you could say that. He was standing just over there.” I indicated a stretch of bar where two men were making out. “He was young and good-looking. He really stood out from the crowd of usual wrecks. It was Sunday—you know, when guys have been around all afternoon and into the evening, getting drunker and randier.”
“I know,” smiled Michael. “‘Slut Sunday!’“
“Yeah,” I chuckled. “Well, half the guys had their shirts off and some were paired up. I felt rather sober and overdressed in my shirt and leather jacket. I wasn’t in the mood to get groped yet. So this young guy kept looking at me—at least I thought he was, it’s hard to tell in this light. After a lot of mutual looking and looking away, I pushed myself over to him and said Salut and asked his name. ‘Justin,’ he said. Then in English he told me he lives in Vancouver now and was in town visiting his parents.
“Up close he was even better looking—tall, with straight black hair that swept down across his forehead, a slightly narrow face and a sexy smile, like a magazine model’s. His eyes were dark and deep—set, but a little worried looking—too worried for someone so young, I thought. He was a bit drunk—but not too—and easy to make conversation with. Though he was Québécois, he had no accent in English. In fact, he spoke very west-coast like, as though he were about to say ‘dude’ at any moment.”
Michael laughed. Being from Vancouver himself, he’d heard that plenty. “‘Catch ya later, dude!’” he mimicked.
“Yeah, like that!
“He said he used to work in bars here before going out west, but I couldn’t remember him from anywhere. ‘Do you do that in Vancouver?’ I asked.
“‘I work on church-interior restorations, everything except stained-glass windows,” he said.
“‘Must be a peaceful place to work.’ I had a picture of Justin the craftsman going about his job calmly and skillfully, dust specks floating in coloured sunbeams, a sexton swinging a mop nearby.
“‘Yeah, I like it,’ he said. ‘It’s quiet.’
“As we talked some more, I noticed more of the sadness I saw before, a fear even. ‘I’m not really looking for sex,’ he said. ‘Just someone to be with.’
“‘That’s fine with me,’ I replied, and we went to my place. When we got there Justin wanted tea. I poured a bit of Scotch and water for myself—he was still drunker than I was. I noticed he’d been coughing on and off. ‘Are you okay?’ I asked.
“‘I’ve always coughed a lot. My grandmother used to worry,’ he explained, as if to reassure me he wasn’t sick or anything. We lay on the couch and talked some more, caressing each other. His clothes were damp.
“‘How come you’re wet? Were you dancing?’ I asked.
“‘I’m wearing a lot of clothes. I don’t want people to see how skinny I am,’ he said shyly.
“I undid the buttons of his flannel shirt. ‘Christ, you’re wearing a wool sweater under this!’ I said.
“He laughed. ‘I’m really skinny.’
“I caressed him some more—his skin was soft. I got hard and pressed it against his thigh. I felt content; Justin looked so too. ‘Do you want to go to sleep now?’ I asked. He nodded deliberately, like a tired little boy. But when we got to bed, something happened. We kissed and hugged and sucked and all that—we really went at it. He looked even more beautiful as we made love. By five o’clock we fell asleep. We woke up a couple of times later covered in sweat—especially Justin. We’d been cuddling hard.
“We finally got up around ten. He didn’t want to get dressed. He stood in my kitchen wearing only his boxers. I could see how really skinny he was—like an Auschwitz victim almost. I really wondered if he were sick, what with the coughing and the sweating, and then that thinness. At least his skin was a healthy dark colour. ‘Would you like my robe?’ I offered.
“‘No, thanks. I’m okay,’“ he said.
“I turned up the heat anyway. I offered him breakfast, but he said he wasn’t hungry. All he wanted was coffee. I was famished so I started breakfast for myself. I tried the Jewish-mother shtick: ‘No vonder you’re so skinny. Eat, eat!’ He was adamant. ‘You were sweating a lot in bed,’ I said.
“‘So were you. And you were all over me—I was hot!’
“‘Yeah, I really like to cuddle. And I’m getting over a cold,’ I said.
“‘I think I am too.’
“‘And I just washed the sheets yesterday,’ I joked. ‘Now I’ll have to do them again.’
“‘You should always wash the sheets after sex,’ he said somewhat darkly.
“I wondered why he said that in such a serious tone. ‘Sometimes it’s nice to smell the man on your pillow the next night,’ I replied.
“‘So where are you going for Christmas?’ he asked, smiling.
“‘Sainte-Suzanne, to the cottage.’
“Suddenly, he switched to an impassioned French. ‘That’s where my last roommate from Montreal lives now. What a creep! He stole all my furniture when I left for BC, and then he told people at one of the bars where I used to work that I’d died.’
“‘Merde,’ I said.
“‘And when I went back five years later, their eyes almost fell out of their heads. I didn’t know that’s what they thought. But they had believed it. So many people who’ve worked in bars have died, why not? Yvan, Jean-Pierre, Jonathan. It’s no joke to tell people something like that.’
“‘C’est pas drôle,’ I repeated. Still in his underwear, he started to shiver. ‘Do you want me to turn up the heat some more?’ I was really getting worried he’d catch another cold.
“‘No thanks. I’m all right,” he insisted, calming down. He sat down at the table where I had started my breakfast and switching back to English told me some more about himself. ‘I do volunteer work with an AIDS organization in Vancouver. Because I’m twenty-four they put me onto young people—eighteen, twenty. I have one client who was abused by her father since she was five. She’s fourteen now and she has AIDS. What can you do?’ He looked at me with his hollow eyes. In the daylight they were a lacklustre brown.
“‘Aren’t you afraid of burning out?’ I said.
“‘No. I don’t burn out.’
“I had my doubts. ‘AIDS workers need to take breaks,’ I said.
“He looked down at the table. His skinny shoulders shivered. He got up. ‘I think I’d better be going to my parents’.’
“He prepared to leave, putting all his layers of clothing back on. I gave him my number. ‘In case you just want to cuddle again,’ I told him. We kissed goodbye and hugged. He really hugged, kind of held on to me.”
Michael looked thoughtful for a moment. In a serious tone, he said, “Sounds like he’s sick to me. You’re not worried, are you.”
“For me? Of course not. What’s the difference from my point of view? AIDS, HIV—I’d be a fool to think all the men I’ve slept with were negative. Always safe sex. Besides, maybe he really was just getting over a cold, like me.”
“And he is home for Christmas,” said Michael, lightening up, “Anathema for queers, as you say.”
“Gotta pee,” said Michael. “Be right back.”
As soon as he left, a smiling Justin appeared. “So, you didn’t see me? I was looking right at you!”
“That’s me,” I said, smiling in return. “I can be pretty dizzy.”
He looked at me as though he wanted to take me up on my offer to cuddle some more, or so I imagined. We talked a bit. Michael returned and I introduced them.  Justin soon excused himself. Michael raised his eyebrows approvingly after he left. “Was that him?” he asked. I nodded, watching Justin disappear into the crowd. “Nice.”
Michael and I talked of other things, and soon I forgot all about Justin until I noticed him playing pool with a working-class kind of guy in an undershirt and cowboy hat. When the cowboy left the area, Justin came over and gushed in his west-coast speech, “Usually that type is never interested in me!”
“He’s cute,” said Michael.
When the cowboy returned, Justin slipped back to the pool table, looking pleased that he hadn’t been given the slip.
“Funny, I would think most men would kill for him,” growled Michael. We continued our conversation as the other two played on the fringes of our vision. After a while their game ended and they headed for the door.
“There they go,” said Michael. “Looks like your friend’s found Christmas fuck number two.”
“Yeah, maybe he’ll go through the whole twelve fucks of Christmas,” I muttered.
Michael laughed. “Sour grapes?”
“No. Not really. I can understand him wanting to go home with the cowboy—he’s hot.”
“Maybe his night with you made him feel more confident. You said he was embarrassed about being so skinny.”
“Who knows. Oh well, I had my Christmas fuck, I guess. I can live with just one.”
“At least you won’t have to wash the sheets tomorrow!” joked Michael.
I gazed at the empty pool table. Michael grew quiet and pensive. I became aware of the music booming away. “I recognize your Justin from Vancouver, by the way,” said Michael.
“Oh yeah?”
He looked at me—a bit timidly, as though he weren’t sure he really wanted to say what he was thinking. “Yeah. I used to see him in my HIV doctor’s waiting room.”
A group of leather guys took over the pool table. A guffaw rose above the din.
“And some people with this thing feel they’re dirty—they have to wash everything all the time. Such as sheets,” he added.
I was thinking. “When he left my place, he held on to me for so long. I was puzzled.”
Michael looked at me with a little more intensity. “Maybe it wasn’t you he was holding on to. Maybe it was all the loving he fears he’s going to have to give up,” he said. “Or even a special someone he might never have.” He turned to scope the bar again. “Let’s talk about something else.”
I looked at my friend. His eyes looked a little watery. All at the same time I thought of his being positive, of all the friends we’d lost, and of Justin’s young, handsome face I may never see again. One day I might lose Michael too. I thought about Christmases to come. Without Michael. I moved in close so our arms were pushed together. My eyes filled, too. “Okay,” I said.
I hate Christmas.

From "East of the Big Q," a collection of short stories about queer Montreal, by Raymond John Woolfrey. Copyright 2001-2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Pink Triangle

Copyright 2011

"There are eight million stories in the Naked City, and this [is] one of them."
There may not have been that many stories coming from K.O.X.maybe just a few hundred thousand. One of my fondest memories is sitting at a booth wearing nothing but my vest and fedora, a three-day-old beard, and my jeans around my ankles. That and the look of shear horror on the face of my Bostonian house guest as he went by and noticed, never to speak of it afterward. I was getting a wicked handjob from this nasty Portuguese guy who was always egging me on to "whip it out" as a perched on my usual spot on the railing outside the rear WC, in front of the back bar, my testicles busting out of the holes in my jeans that men made larger from groping me. Ah, how I loved being a piece of meat!

“LOOK, A LUMBERJACK!” I said to Michael.
“Over there— On the dance floor. See ’im?”
“You mean that stocky guy with the skinny kid? He’s trashed. Lumberjack!” he hissed. “What are you talking about?”
“That’s one of my favourite kinds of guy,” I gushed. “Look at him. Beefy without being fat or overly muscular, not too tall, short black hair. Oh, man. Look at those luscious, full lips. And, with that ex-treme-ly masculine two-day-old growth of very black beard, don’t you think he looks like a lumberjack? Check out the smile. Doesn’t it make you wanna jump him?”
“Well, you can jump him, but he’ll probably fall over. I told you—he’s bombed. Why don’t you go jerk off in the washroom or something?”
The object of my lust must have seen me ogling him, because just then he spun across the dance floor, slammed into me, grabbed my shirt and hauled me on to dance. It quickly became all too apparent that Michael was right: the guy could barely focus on me, and to keep himself from falling into the other dancers he grabbed hold of me again. I wriggled free and slipped back over to Michael.
“You’re right,” I said. “He’s gorgeous. But useless. Pity.”
It was a balmy Sunday evening in late March, one of the first days of spring when hormones run like maple sap and boys go wild after a long, cold winter. Michael and I were at the very busy Queue Dorée, and there was lots to do—people to talk to, men to cruise, and adventures to have. We split up to explore. I wandered around on the lookout for friends and hot guys. After a while I came to rest on the railing outside the washroom and watched the parade. Friends and acquaintances passed by in both directions—some stopped to chat, others just said hi. In between, guys cruised me and I cruised them—some I’d never seen before, and others whom I cruise regularly but don’t dare risk the sexual tension by connecting with (translation: I don’t dare risking rejection!). I had a long chat with an old college buddy—like me, he had one eye out for eyes out for him, the other eye regarding me intensely to assure me that he was listening—which I knew he was. So was I to him.
After an hour or two I wandered past the booths where I saw Michael sitting next to a small, balding guy in his late twenties. Though they weren’t talking, they looked as though they were together. I passed Michael and caught his eye. He looked away quickly as though signalling he was busy, so I continued on to the dance floor to check things out.
The lumberjack was still there, grinding away, but gracefully, as though he’d sobered up some. This made me want him again—that plus the beer that I’d drunk. From the sidelines I watched the crowd dance, with an eye on my costaud[1] friend. He was dancing with agility, rhythm and, to me, eroticism. His big, beefy torso gyrated and his tight groin pulsed. Mr Sex. Eventually he stopped to rest by the speaker just a few feet away from me. He gazed at the dancers, occasionally glancing at me. After a few minutes he turned and smiled—in sharp focus this time—I smiled back and moved in. Next we were touching and kissing right where we stood. He flirted by smiling with his black, Indian-like eyes and fleshy, sensuous lips. I asked him his name; he answered with a kiss. In our jeans and T-shirts, he wearing a corduroy jacket and I a black leather one, we danced crotch to crotch on the edge of the floor, both hard, sometimes kissing, sometimes murmuring Ah, c’est bon and other protestations. We rubbed our beard stubbles together and licked each other’s ears, making slurping noises inside our heads. We ran our hands over each other’s backs and chests. I squeezed the flesh of his fesses[2]; he pulled the small of my back toward him to rub my bone against his. Somehow this went on for two hours.
When he went to the washroom and didn’t return after several minutes, I panicked and went off to look for him. I ran into Michael. “When you saw me at the booths back then,” he said breathlessly, tacitly acknowledging his snub back then, “I was getting the wickedest handjob ever. That little creep had me in multiple orgasms for ages!” Then, noticing my anxiety, added wryly, “Where’s your lumberjack?”
“You saw us?”
“Who didn’t! What’s the matter, he disappear?”
“No … he just went to the washroom. …  I don’t know… ”
“Getting lust-hormone withdrawal, eh?”
“Cut it out!”
“Don’t worry. I’m just teasing. —Jeez. That fucker got me off! Follow me. I know where your bruiser is.”
I brightened. Michael led me to the entry way, where costaud was arguing with the doorman in front of the neon cum-dripping penis sculpture.
“Some guy tried to pick up your man,” explained Michael. “When the guy wouldn’t let up, your shiny knight warned him that if he didn’t go away he’d beat him up, and he smashed his fist against his hand to show him. Then the guy ran up to the doorman to complain, and the doorman tried to kick him out. Some other guy came—the manager, I think—and made the doorman let him stay.”
Just then my lover saw me and came running over, repeating what Michael had just told me.
‘Non, non, non, non,’ je lui ai dit,” he said (No, I told him), acting out the dramatic pleading look he’d given the doorman, while holding my hands to his chest. ‘J’ai rencontré un ami et je dois aller le retrouver (I met a friend and I gotta get back to him).Please. Non. Please.’ J’ai crié comme ça: (I said it like that.) ‘Please, non, non.’” He grinned into my face.
We hugged, kissed and left (Michael had slipped away), glowering at the doorman on the way out. The doorman glowered back.
Once up on St. Catherine Street, my friend ducked into the doorway of another bar, beckoning me to come in with him. We went up the stairs to a huge dance club filled with the young and trendy. He swooped up a nearly full beer that someone had rested on a speaker and a few feet farther on presented it to me.
Merci !” I grinned. How valiant, I thought, and how practical, since neither of us had any more money. As we continued along the edge of the dance floor, he quickly spotted another full one on top of the next speaker and grabbed it for himself. A few feet and a dozen writhing bodies later, we came to rest in a corner and laughed. Soon we started up again with our erotic dancing, holding each other and rubbing our chests and crotches together, slurping on each other’s tongues and mouths. I thought this was pretty daring for a pretty-boy bar, even though several twenty-somethings were shirtless—and some had formed a daisy chain, bumping and grinding into the ass in front of them, but in such a clean way, no passion, lustless; as though acting out what desire looks like but not having it themselves. I wonder if any of them were even hard.
Costaud was looking only at me, and I felt like a cad for gawking at the others. So I turned my back on them all and looked only at him until we left for my place.
But romance can be exhausting when it’s drawn out over too long a time and fuelled by too much beer: once at my place, my spent buddy collapsed on my bed and passed right out. I had just enough energy to pull his clothes off—it wasn’t easy to haul his tight jeans over those muscular legs—strip myself, and crawl in alongside him where I passed out too.
In the morning under the bedclothes we spooned and caressed and came and spooned some more. The time grew late and we both had things to do, but I didn’t want to leave this gorgeous, smiley man. I pulled down the covers and in the filtered morning light explored his chunky body. He smelled so good all over—sweet from the previous night’s dance sweat—and he still looked like a lumberjack—especially naked, and even the next morning. His thick chest, forearms and legs were spattered with short black hair, and he was naturally muscled, with just the right amount of fat under the skin to prove he didn’t get that way through weight training. After we came one more time he rolled on his chest and I rested by head on his smooth, creamy ass, and my arm across his big, broad back. We snoozed.
Merci,” I said at the door. “Merci,” he said in return. We smiled. “Thanks for the romance,” I added, in English. He winked. “Thank you,” he replied. We kissed each other gently on the lips. He left.
I still don’t know his name. He never learned mine. And the only number I got from him was the one I found earlier when I was exploring his body. On his inner left thigh, just below his balls, a number was tattooed in black: 1964. His birth date, I guess. And below was a pink triangle.

Not me, but you get the idea.
I just love seeing men making out in a bar!

This story happened in 1990, and costaud won my personal Trick of the Year Award. (Really) Ten years later, in 2000, I was making all-night love with this really hot, naturally muscular guy, when, after about four hours, I finally noticed it: a pink triangle with the year 1964 stamped underneath. Neither had recognized the other until that point; in fact, he didn’t remember me. Needless to say, he was the best sex of 2000 (I have long since stopped with the awards). I can’t wait for 2010.

From "East of the Big Q," a collection of short stories about queer Montreal, by Raymond John Woolfrey. Copyright 2001-2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

i'm no poet

i'm no poet

Came across this Montreal sex and neuroses blog today. I found it gripping. I find the author fascinating -- I stalked him on facebook, which led me to his blog. I'd love to do him, but he'd probably run away. Partially because neurotic sexaholics always run away from men who want them, right? He's a real individualist, which I love.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The smell of a sauna

Went for a swim this eve, first one since before the summer. As I walked through the door, the smell of sauna wafted up my nostrils. That smell -- like so many others -- always makes me think of sex. Sex in the sauna at the Y and all the other gyms I used to go to. And sex in this sauna 25 years ago, when I lived with my parents for a year while in grad school in the same apartment and townhouse complex on Nuns'Island, just "10 minutes from downtown!" as the ads say.
   Back then I swam religiously, usually at the end of the day during adult hours (for one thing, no kids in the sauna), and always enjoyed a good schwitz. Sometimes I got lucky. A few of them married men. They're the best -- always so hungry for cock. One of them -- about my age at the time, 30 -- seemed to hold in his need for cock for so long that he was ravenous by the time he let the dam break lose. He used to really go to work on my dick. Once, when my parents were away, I took him to their townhouse. "Take your coat off," I said, when we got in. So he did. Then his shirt, and his boots, and his jeans, so that he was starkers in my parents' front hall, as I ran around closing the blinds. Then we did it there in the hall, standing up, then rolling around frantically on the floor. He was a bit rough, in a horny kid kinda way. I always got a kick out of him.
   Nothing like that happens now. Yet. I have to admit, I haven't been that often. Tonight I thought the pool was empty because I could see through the window that the water was calm. But once inside, I same across a young guy texting beside his locker. Late 20s, knee-length trunks, and just the hint of bum crack. I got a look at his face chest eventually: cute and scruffy, with a very sensuous amount of body fat, the kind you can bury your face into. He probably thought he was fat. Some scruffy brown chest hair, too.
   In the pool, he frolicked like an otter, diving and swimming underwater. Once he swam the whole length of the pool underwater. He wasn't there for laps, just some fun. He didn't stay long. 

   He went into the changing room where the sauna is. I swam some more, waiting to see if he came out. If he didn't after a few moments, I knew he was in the sauna. And if he was, maybe... So I went in. He was in the sauna, all right, but so was another man, about 40-something. His vibes were all off, and the young one left first.
   Leaving the sauna out into the cool October night, I could smell woodsmoke from someone's fireplace. I'll check it out another time. I'm older now, but more patient. All I want is to give some guy a good blowjob. As I passed a man on the drive, I thought, wouldn't it be nice if you could just ask a man if he's like to get one? And his answer would be yes, no or maybe later. I know there are so many men who would like that. Who doesn't?

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Copyright 2011

Émile the doorman.
"I only have sex on my bear-skin rug." 
After taking time off to work on my app for Queer Montreal, it's good to get back to my sex blog. 
   I recently joined a Facebook group that celebrates the best cocksucker bar there every was: K.O.X.
   It's hard to believe I was 30 when I first started going. I'd been going to gay bars for so long before that. Where I spent the longest periods before K.O.X. was at Le Jardin and Au Garage. Finally, at 30, I wanted to be with real men (the thought of leather vests and hairy chests....). 
   Last night I was reminded of my first time there, as Jimmy and I drove in from Nuns' Island where we live now. Back when I was 30, I was staying with my parents in their town house on on the same island (where I once snuck a guy in through the underground parking to do him in the basement :-). I took daddy's Buick and drove the Bonaventure and the V-M tunnel, almost as nervous as the first time I went to a gay bar! I mean, these men were older, meaner, dirtier. They were going to snear at me, with my student looks. But man I was excited. Sexually, I mean. I never stopped going after that until it closed.
   The following narrative is my little portrait of the place.

MY FAVOURITE BAR IS HIDDEN in big, old garage down a seedy side street in the village. Michael calls it P.E.N.I.S.S.E.S, as a synonym for the made-up acronym the owners gave it to rhyme with “cocks.” But because the real name is owned by lawyers, I’ll call it La Queue Dorée (The Golden Cock), which, I think, is an appropriate name for the bar in which so many of the stories that happened to Michael and me take place.
La Queue Dorée is a clubhouse for boys—like Tubby and Iggy’s tree house in the Little Lulu comic strip (Iggy is the small, mean-looking one with the brush cut—he’d fit perfectly into Village life, Tubby’s probably a bear, and remember Annie? The tough little tomboy?) But on the door of their tree house, Iggy and Tubby had written  NO GIRLS ALLOWED. La Queue Dorée is like that: a private boys’ club that women cannot enter but once a year on “Ladie’s [sic] Night,” when both dykes and fag-hags line up around the block as early as ten in the evening (which is very early for Montreal). The boys love Ladie’s Night. That’s when they have a whole new audience to show off their sexy bodies to.
You enter La Queue Dorée through an unmarked door, pass through a hall lined with murals of leather men oozing sperm from oversized, veiny erections, and check your coat (unless you’re wearing leather, of course) opposite a five-foot neon sculpture of an uncircumcised, dripping penis. Like the skull and crossbones on a tree-house door, these icons of leatherdom are meant to discourage squeamish queens and uptight SAGs (straight-acting gays).

After that, the space opens up to the long main bar on one side and on the other two pool tables separated by a smaller bar. Battered black oil drums stacked up haphazardly between these two areas serve as dividers and surfaces to set your beer upon. They wobble when you lean against them, so plenty of beer gets spilled (well, especially when I lean on them), and the bottles make a big bang when they fall over on a drum.
A small area behind the washrooms comprises a third bar, a couple of pinball machines, and a ’forties-styled phone booth that you can sit in and close the door. Once, when Michael was making a call in it, a guy stood in front of him and showed him his erection. “And I was on the phone to my sister,” Michael wailed.
I like to perch on the railing outside the washrooms. Both have doors at either end, so I get to see the whole crowd as it eventually files by. That’s how I run into old friends and make new ones. And as it’s up a few steps, it gives me a good view over the crowd.
Leather bars are not supposed to have a dance floor: it’s not macho to dance. But in a city where walking and talking is performance art, the owners grudgingly hid a dance floor in a far corner behind some more oil drums. Its view is further hidden from a pool table by a trophy case for various leather and biker clubs. But every kind of person dances on this dance floor, and only the most self-conscious stand back. Some of the weirdest dancing goes on there, not to mention the most erotic, and everybody says it’s the best music in the city. Between the dance floor and a wall are two rows of restaurant booths where joints are rolled and smoked, and where cocks are groped and jerked off.

The decor is all boy/man queer fantasy: A real motorcycle is mounted at eye level, its lights flashing on and off; on a wall hangs a metal Black Cat cigarette sign that says, THEY TASTE BETTER; a couple of chairs that came out of a war-time fighter plane get moved around from one crowd-watching vantage point to another, as does a shoe-shine seat mounted high up on a platform where a white guy named Buckwheat blacks your boots. There’s even a wood stove with a railing around it—on cold winter afternoons I like to teeter on it to warm my bum. It’s especially practical on long-underwear night.
Overhead hang fishnets concealing the DJ’s tree house way up high; a spot-lit Quebec flag is blown to attention by a fan; and neon penis-and-testicle sculptures dangle here and there (at first glance they look like those forms made of thick coat-hanger wire your grandmother used for drying wool socks).
Coloured lights ripped off from service vehicles flash on and off at various times to announce specials: fire-truck red for beer, cop-car blue for soft drinks and liquor, and snowplow yellow for schnapps.
Everywhere is theatre. The crowd is a cross-section of all gay cultures, from bikers and labourers to preppies and guppies; students and artists to lawyers and accountants; Quebec country boys and European sophisticates; fervent nationalists and unilingual English Canadians; drunks and tea-totallers, druggies and midnight tokers. It’s mixed, it’s weird, it’s Montreal. Tourists love it—they can’t comprehend it.
It’s the home of Monsieur Cuir contests, or “Monsieur Queer,” as we anglos pronounce it. The warmer months have (short) underwear night; twice a year there’s uniform night; and of course there’s Halloween. Everybody gets dressed up for any theme that’s going on, or for any excuse to take it off.

It must be the only bar of its size to be packed for twelve solid hours each Sunday, from three o’clock in the afternoon to three the next morning. You can arrive there at eight or nine in the evening and run into a friend who’d been there since four in the afternoon. He might still be there at eleven, still on his feet—but barely. “I can’t believe how late it is already,” slurred Michael one Sunday. “I got here at four, and I only meant to stay a couple of hours.” Then he disappeared into the throng. I saw him much later, still partying strong.
Sunday nights are just too much fun. You can even meet someone at five o’clock, go home with him, snooze after, get a bite to eat, and be back by nine or ten to pick up someone else. It’s the night the students go: While tattooed bears in chaps shoot pool with cigarettes stuck in their mouths, titillated preppies huddle together near the dance floor like a flock of nervous sheep.
You get free tickets for draft beer if you arrive before four PM. When, on the way there, I hear the bells of Saint-Pierre-Apôtre church announcing its four-o’clock mass, I know I have to hurry. And then, coming in from daylight, it’s so dark inside that I often stumble into the invisible black barrels (more banging and spilled beer!).
Though many guys laugh at me when I say the place is romantic, I can’t help feeling it is. Not Venice or Valentine’s Day kind of romantic, but the kind that so many gay men constantly crave: attraction, lust, something that feels like love, seduction (and being seduced), going to his house, sex, sleeping and cuddling, conversation over breakfast, and maybe an intention to see each other again. A whole love affair that takes place over one night—no boring part, no fighting, none of the stuff that fucks up “relationships.”
Now that’s romance.

From "East of the Big Q," a collection of short stories about queer Montreal, by Raymond John Woolfrey. Copyright 2001-2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ode to male strippers!

Village dancers enjoy doing what we'd enjoy doing with them
Tonight I had a fabulous time at the hands of a stripper at Stock Bar. And I definitely mean that literally! As I mentioned on Stock Bar @, my birthday dancer was warm, affectionate, hot, sensuous and thoroughly focused on pleasing me. I guess I could count the number of dancers I've paid for on my ten fingers (does it count when I used to see double? ;-), because after all, it's expensive and I have to see it as a treat. 

    Speaking of getting older, Ricardo was my "32nd birthday" present. ("Thirty-two" is the age he gave me, and I like to subscribe to the notion that 22-year-olds think everyone over 30 is 32.) He just seemd to love thrusting his hot body against mine, fondling me, squeezing my dick through my jeans, and even biting my pecs. He gave me such a workout that I came out of the booth sweating like the pig I am!  
    All five of the dancers I hired over the past two years (Dominic was at Campus) were equally warm and hot. I mean, they were really human, and treated me like one.
    What I really admire is that, with the exception of Tran, they were all straight! You wonder, how could a straight guy manhandle (my favourite verb in the whole world!) other guys? Well, there's the money.... 
    I used to resent them not being gay, until the one after Tran. I thought, what a wonderful thing he's doing, giving his body and affections like that, and making an older man feel good. When I was young I used to get all the hot guys I wanted, but not now. And I miss holding different young man in my arms, feeling their perfection and masculinity. So to get to do this, even if it costs me around $100 each time, provides me with some wonderful therapy. Connects me with my youth, when I was having guys other young guys  two or three times a week. I love men and everything about them. I especially love them naked! 
   So, here's to you, strippers! Some of you should  be sainted. And may you all get all the hot women you want. XOX   

PS I love you, Ricardo! ;-)

I love strippers so much I married one! Seriously, Jimmy, my partner of 7 years, was a stripper at Taboo way before I met him. :-)

Photo: Male Strippers 101: Montreal vs. Ottawa (Ottawa Boy Toy Blog)

Montreal's famous male strip gay bars:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bus Stop Exhibitionist

As Jimmy and I were stuffing our steamies into our faces at La Belle Province (Jimmy wanted us to do a review of it for, we were privileged to some exquisite erotic entertainment. At the bus stop outside our booth stood a very hot guy putting on a very subtle sex show for us. Nothing extreme, but sexual nonetheless.

Yesterday was one of those early days in April in the Village, when the air is cool but the sun is very warming. The star of our show was in his twenties, medium height, with tight-fitting jeans containing a delicious ass. His hair was brown and cropped short around the sides, while the top was lighter and styled a bit longer. His face was a cross between twink and gangster, with a nose that was longish in a very erotic way. His beard was between a stubble and a real beard; I guessed he carefully sculpted it to be like that. His throat and part of his jaw were shaved clean.

He was a sculpture in himself, with the best part being his chest, which is the part he was -- ever so subtly -- exhibiting.

When I first noticed him, his tight, ivory cardigan exposed the top of a taut, tanned chest. Then he turned his V-shaped back to us, and I could tell he was undoing some of the buttons. When he turned back to face the sun, his hairless chest was exposed from belt upward, revealing a large piece of artwork tattooed on his upper right breast and shoulder. His muscles were also carefully sculpted, his skin tight. He leaned back against the bus stop sign, arching his back slightly, looking up at the sun with eyes closed. He wore no sunglasses. Passersby, mostly gay men, turned to look and drink him in. 
He turned every few moments to show off to more and newer admirers. Each time he posed in my direction, he would glance furtively and steamily at me to make sure I was still watching, drinking him in. I did not want to disappoint. Once as he turned he pulled his fly back up. Damn, I thought to myself, not hearing my partner's chatter, I missed that! All the time he had his cell phone out, sometimes texting, usually just looking at it, as though it were a prop, and at the end, talking on it. From time to time, he would innocently hike up the side of his sweater to show some skin, or pull down on his belt. He redid the buttons on his cardigan, refreshing the scene.

I wondered if he were a prostitute at first, but he had shopping bags resting at his feet. Maybe he was looking to get picked up, I thought. But I was certain of one thing: he was high on the endorphin that flows when you're exciting men. It's a great trip, a fine trip. I understood him very well. I knew what he wanted, what he needed, was to incite desire in men. I know that high. Turning men on. 

Finally, he gathered up his bags. The bus came, and he climbed on board. He sat on my side of the bus, probably so his fans -- including me, his #1 fan for the time -- could see him chatting on his phone as the bus pulled away.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vers l’Est du Gros Q (East of the Big Q)

Copyright 2011

What a difference four year makes! At nineteen, and several much more satisfying encounters later, I moved into a flat with two friends and an advertised-for fourth at 4646 St. Catherine St. in Westmount, right next to the Pom Bakery. It had never been "updated" -- as they say today, so we each paid $50/month and had our own rooms. The kitchen was completely original, with a too-low-for-a-tall-guy counter and sink and paneled cupboards above. The gas stove was a beauty, with only three burners in a row and porcelain knobs. I'd seen antique wood stoves like it before -- all steel and white enamel, but never in gas. The gas furnace beside it heated the water for the radiators. It was relatively new, and we used to like to get stoned, lie on the floor and watch the blue flames through the grill. The bathroom had a 2"-wide pipe leading through the ceiling and to the roof to let the steam and odours out -- not to mention the heat! But it was the seventies, when no one cared about such things. 

Since I had my own bedroom for bringing home guys, I took full advantage of it. Finally, I could go to Stanley Street every weekend, no questions asked. I can recall some pretty cute guys that came home with me. One turned out to be on a weekend pass from a psychiatric institute who, upon meeting a female roommate's boyfriend, announced he'd rather have sex with him. Fortunately, that only happened in the morning, after we'd spent the night together. Needless to say, Cynthia's boyfriend was not interested.

McGill University was already throwing gay dances back then, and it was at one of them where I met Jacques.  

JACQUES WAS A GITANES-SMOKING QUÉBEC NATIONALIST who hated to speak English— “It hurts my mouth,” he said. He was a slim man of my height (six feet) with a shock of thick, black unruly hair and a bony forehead that sloped over thick eyebrows and piercing black eyes. His nose was hooked, his nostrils flared, and a luxuriant moustache bristled over lips that were hard but sensuous. He usually wore a Greek fisherman’s cap and a five o’clock shadow. He made me think of Stalin.
He was twenty-six—so much older, it seemed to me then, than my nineteen years. He picked me up at a gay dance at McGill University late one November. He wasn’t my type at all. I tried to get rid of him but he persisted and hauled me onto the dance floor for a slow one. Before long he had a hard-on. I got one too—I thought this was so daring, having one in public. He rubbed his against mine as we danced. Once I was aroused he had an easy time getting me to his place in the East End. It wasn’t very far in—just a few streets past Saint-Laurent Métro—but I’d been to very few guys’ places so far, and none in the east.
Through the cold night we climbed an outdoor staircase that turned and twisted inside a brick cage up to his third-floor flat. Once inside, Jacques turned up the flat’s only heater and we made out before its hot, dry blasts.
To a boy raised in a suburban two-storey house thinking the rest of the world had three bathrooms, everything about his place seemed exotic. His bedroom was off the living room—not down a corridor like West End apartments—and instead of a regular bathroom with toilet, sink and bathtub/shower, a big, four-legged tub and the sink with separate taps were in one small room, and in another, closet-sized room next to it stood the ancient toilet with its wooden tank way up high that you flushed with a chain. The kitchen contained one sole set of wooden cupboards above a low counter. The free-standing sink was like a large laundry tub, and in a corner stood a grimy gas-fired hot-water heater. And, though there was nothing behind the building but an empty lot, the kitchen windows and the back door looked right across a narrow court at the identical kitchen windows and door of the adjacent flat.
In the living room stood a magnificent harpsichord. Over the next few weeks Jacques played for me, sometimes staring at me so intensely I felt self-conscious and had to look away. But I could listen to him play for hours. Today I still feel a special magic when I hear it; I’m still not sure whether it’s because of him or because it really is a magical instrument, speaking of ancient times of cold and misery and finding hope and love through the mournful and joyous pieces written for it by Couperain and Bach.
That night Jacques and I had sex in his room on a mattress on the floor. We had to leave the door open to let the heat in as we slept, and throughout the night his kittens came in pestering us to play. In the morning Jacques poured rich-smelling coffee into bowls. I’d never tasted anything as good before—I didn’t even put milk in it. I’ve often had coffee like that since, at guys’ places in the East End, and in France.
He had an aroma that entranced me. I don’t know how to describe it, because it was nothing I’d ever smelled before, nor since, exactly. A mixture of Gitanes and his own musk, I guess.
He was the archetypal separatist—I don’t know why he wanted an English boy like me from “the Town of Mount Royal,” as he called it—he said it made no sense to call it Ville Mont-Royal because it was so English. He only spoke English when I didn’t understand something, and then he made a point to show his contempt for it.
He grew ashamed to be seen with me in front of his nationalist friends. I had a hard time understanding what they said—they all talked so fast among themselves, their words all running into the other, consonants and vowels swallowed up. I couldn’t catch their jokes. I tried to speak like them, but Jacques only disparaged me. A waitress scolded him once for calling me a barbarian when I ordered a 50, a beer he considered too middle class. He’d cultivated a “Bohemian” life, but he was from the upper middle class like me (his father was a doctor); he was even circumcised.
After three months he’d had enough of my adolescent obsession with him and he dumped me. He was my first boyfriend and it took me nine months to get over it. From the time after Christmas when we broke up, as I moped at my office desk, hoping he’d call or later in summer as I floated on an air mattress on the lake, a scene from that first night haunted me, and has ever since: The kittens had awakened me. As Jacques slept, I raised myself to peer outside his bedroom window. Big, fluffy flakes of snow were still gently falling. The twin rows of kitchen window sills and decrepit wooden balconies flanking the view were covered with the dim, night-time white of the snow that had fallen. Directly ahead, about three blocks away, through the scrim of the falling snow, I could make out the fuzzy outline of the big letter Q with its lightning-bolt tail on the Hydro-Québec building. To me that Q represented the east end, with winding outdoor staircases, rich-tasting coffee, the smell of natural gas, mattresses on the floor—maybe even a harpsichord or viola da gamba—and black-haired men who know how to make love with their bodies and souls.
It was still snowing the next morning as I left his flat and trudged though the snow. Halfway along I stopped to look around. Everything was so quiet, the air smelled so clean, the snow on the curving staircases and rusting mansard roofs so white and pure, my footsteps on the street the only tracks. The lovemaking that had reached so deep within my soul the night before glowed right to my skin and I’m sure from my eyes. Transported emotionally as well as physically, I knew I was coming back.

From "East of the Big Q," a collection of short stories about queer Montreal, by Raymond John Woolfrey. Copyright 2001-2011