Don't Wear "Short Shorts" on the #38 Geary to LANDS END

By Josh Eliot

 

When I read Will Seagers' blog last week, it got me reminiscing about my years in San Francisco and, even though I was there nearly a decade after Will, I fell in love with the city just as much. So… Flashback, 1981. When I ended my second blog, FRANK ROSS: The Boss, I was still working for the Screening Room Theater in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district and the summer of 1981 was approaching. It’s a little fuzzy as to whether the theater had an ownership change to Savages at this point, but I do remember Frank Ross being in a very different head space. One day on his way to work, Frank was walking down Jones Street and, when he was just a block away, a man jumped from the top of a building and landed not more than five feet in front of him. This messed him up immensely, and justifiably so. I was in the ticket booth when he came in trembling and with a face full of tears as he told me what happened. I jumped up from the stool and just hugged him, while he shook uncontrollably. It took a long time for Frank to get over what had happened; some things you just can’t “un-see.” My on-again, off-again quickies with TK, the hot stripper from the theater, had settled into the off-again stage permanently as he became involved with an equally hot blond stripper more around his age.

 

Savages Theater, formerly the Screening Room Theater

Savages Theater, formerly the Screening Room Theater

 

I was 18 years old and could count on one hand how many sexual trysts I'd had. I didn’t count the customers at the theater who would cruise me from the lobby while I sat in the ticket booth. Occasionally when the coast was clear I would step back into the theater, during a ten-minute break, and let one of them blow me if they were cute enough. That didn’t count as sex in my book, just customer service at it’s finest. I was still settling into the fact that I was now out of the closet and not very experienced. On one of my days off, I decided to throw caution to the wind and set off for a day trip to Lands End. Months earlier, TK and the strippers took me there after a night at the Trocadero Transfer Disco and filled me in on its history. There was a nude beach you could hike to on a path that started at the Cliff House and old Sutro Bathhouse. It was a downhill trail all the way to a cove, and supposedly along the way there were men in the bushes going at it.

I’m embarrassed to say, I put on my favorite corduroy brown cut off, “short shorts” and headed to the beach, knapsack attached, on the #38 Geary street bus to Lands End. The ride there was uneventful and when I arrived, I basically used my “gay-dar” to follow a group of men to help me find the right path. It worked like a charm, and before I knew it I was on the trail headed to the cove. What a “wonderland” of excitement, as the trail did not disappoint. Clusters of men in circle jerks, blowjobs and more. Single men sporting big bulges, with the help of cock-rings, inviting the passers by to have a feel. I bypassed all of them, probably because I was too intimidated, and spent the day at the cove. I spread my blanket, got some sun, went up to my waist in the frigid water and at one point talked with a guy who came up and sat with me. We exchanged numbers, but I never called him. Not really my fantasy Lands End experience, but I wasn’t exactly an aggressor either.

Around 4pm, I hiked back up the trail and to the bus stop to catch the #38 Geary home to the Tenderloin. The bus was packed, standing room only, because everyone was leaving the coast. It wasn’t until we got several blocks into our trip that things took a turn. At one of the stops, a tall gentleman came aboard and shimmied his way through the isle where we were all standing there crammed against each other. I thought to myself, OMG this guy looks just like JOHN BECK. John Beck starred alongside Susan Sarandon and Marie-France Pisier in what was my favorite book and movie of the time. The Other Side of Midnight was a #1 bestseller and hit movie with very controversial content, and I just loved it! Anyway, John Beck, to me, was the hottest thing since sliced bread.

 

John Beck with Susan Sarandon and Marie-France Pisier

John Beck with Susan Sarandon and Marie-France Pisier in The Other Side of Midnight

 

I must have been gawking at him because on his way down the aisle our eyes met and he ended up stopping right next to me. The bus continued on its journey and he kind of just stood there, one arm on the bar to keep balance and the other arm holding a book at his waist. He refused to make eye contact, just kept staring off into space, when suddenly (and this was impressive to me) he started rubbing his knuckles back and forth over my crotch, using the book he was holding as a shield. All the time not making contact but knuckling me non-stop which, at 18 years of age, immediately caused me to get a full boner. I was mortified when I saw a lady in one of the seats looking at me with judgment on her face because these shorts were so fucking short my underwear was pushing below the fringe, exposing my cloth covered boner. Oh the depravity! But it wasn’t enough to make me to move away from those knuckles. Finally, my own personal John Beck was making eye contact with me and cracked a very sexy smile. I was jumping out of my skin, but no words were exchanged. At some point seats opened up and we both took separate seats, still eyeballing each other. We both rode the bus until the end of the line and it wasn’t until we un-boarded that we first spoke. I told you I was shy.

 

Crowded #38 Geary bus

Crowded #38 Geary bus

 

We both over-shot our stops, had a laugh about it, then he invited me to his place. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. All too often when someone pops their cherry, like I did that day, it’s an uneventful situation. This one had it all: the anticipation, the courting, the foreplay (in silence), then the foreplay in bed followed by my first time bottoming. There was even a follow-up dinner date at his place, but that was it, I moved on. Of course, the first time hurt like hell and I really didn’t enjoy most of it, but he was very sweet and even bathed me in his tub afterwards because I was trembling. I guess it’s normal for middle-aged men to bathe their children!

I’m not saying, “Don’t Wear Short-Shorts on the #38 Geary to LANDS END,” but if you do, you might just get your anal cherry popped! (Again.)


Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 

 

You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment

That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(Un)Easy Riders
7 Years with Colt Model MARK RUTTER
Super NOVA
Whatever Happened to NEELY O’HARA?
Is That AL PARKER In Your Photo?
DOWN BY LAW: My $1,000,000 Mistake
We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot... Is That a World Record?

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Sex and Bathrooms Redux

posted by Madame Bubby

Once again, after being forced to urinate and defecate in the dull and stinky men’s room in the building at the university where I teach, I think once again about the relationship between not just mansex and the men’s room, but the whole sociology of the bathroom.

First of all, the fact I am saying bathroom is significant, because in this dull and stinky men’s room with the constant problem of the unflushed toilet (it is supposed to flush automatically, it does not always do so), there is no bath. La salle de bains? No. Showers are available in the gym, of course, but no bathtub. Why not just call the room the sink/toilet/urinal room?

Second, why are public bathrooms in general such blah physical spaces (unless the ones in expensive spaces)? Yes, they are a public space, and utilitarian in the most basic way, but it seems, not that I would know this, the ladies’ rooms aren’t that different. The luxurious rooms with cushions, chairs, and couches I used to notice in movies made in the 1960s aren’t, or perhaps never were, the norm.
 

Basic public restroom

The unisex/disabled (not parallel terms) restroom the university recently constructed is clean and efficient, and also, and this is a plus to many, private. Single occupancy. Now, that might be interesting, to lock the door and enjoy some action, but that might create more potential for getting caught than doing a quickie in a stall. Knock, knock. Who’s in there? I have to go … I’m calling security.

Thirdly, the issue of privacy is something that seems to be more exclusive to contemporary American/Western culture. Contemporary, I emphasize, because in early modern Europe, urination and defecation weren’t exclusively private acts. People “went” when and where they needed to. Separate bathrooms with plumbing were a luxury, and even those in the upper classes used the chamber pot whenever and wherever, even when dining. Some dining areas and other public rooms contained elaborate close stools for convenient evacuation. The aesthetic features of these receptacles, one could say, were designed to conceal the act as well as blend the object into the overall luxury of the space, but it was clear what people were doing in them. At least, in much humbler settings an outhouse was a private, separate building, but not exactly the jolly T-room.
 

17th century toilet
17th century toilet

I’ve often thought, and perhaps my view reflects how Americans have insisted on enclosing the space and judging a person or institution or business by the cleanliness of their bathroom, that the actual bath and shower should be more separate from the toilet. The juxtaposition of the toilet and the bathing area creates a tension between purity and danger, as Mary Douglas in her book by that title explains. The danger is the expulsion of waste, the crossing of a physical boundary, in this case, the body, however natural this process. It’s not just that the waste itself is toxic or gross, physically. More than instinctual repulsion is going on here, more than concerns about health. We feel the need to control this process, enclose it in a pristine setting. The place to dump the waste must be the cleanest, purest, most private room, treated like a sacred shrine. The toilet is the porcelain god.

Thus, when one puts sex into the bathroom space, the act itself a crossing of physical boundaries which also involves a change of fluids, this purity and danger tension exacerbates. It is interesting that in one’s own private home, one doesn’t usually see the bathroom as a place of sexual activity. It’s the bedroom. One sleeps with another person, and the sleeping verb is a common euphemism for sexual intimacy. Yet, sex acts, anonymous sex, occur in public bathrooms.

Perhaps the connection here is between the words anonymous and public. Any time one even goes into a public space, one is taking a risk, because one is in the position of being seen by others at various levels of intimacy, and in the case of bathroom or toilet sex, what is deemed private becomes public in a space which is enclosed, private, for a private act. One now can see what one has fantasized about seeing. It’s the one moment of connection, the ultimate boundary crossing, the danger, the thrill, the orgasm mixed together in a space designed to enclose a natural, albeit for most, non-erotic process.

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Is Sex Dead? Part One

 

More gay bars are closing. So we've heard. But then I heard Touché Chicago is undergoing a major renovation. 
 

Touche Chicago facade

Who goes to gay porn theaters to watch movies (ostensibly), other than at the legendary Bijou Theater? It's still hopping late weekend nights/early mornings. 


And based on a random sampling of craiglist ads (not exactly a scholarly statistical source), plenty of man-on-man sex is still happening outdoors in forest preserves and indoors in adult “bookstores.” There's one in the Chicago suburb of Roselle that gets mentioned at least once a week as the site of some tryst. 
 

woods and Roselle adult book store


Oh, I forget about the activities in the bathrooms at Macy's and some of the train stations. Ogilvie (what used to called Northwestern Station in Chicago) seems to be quite popular these days. 

So, what's different about man-on-man sex these days (not just the public sex I've noted is still going on) these days, say, compared to not just the pre-AIDS 1970s (sad that one needs to divide LGBT history that way) but the ensuing decades when AIDS drastically changed sexual interaction between gay men and also much of gay social culture? 

The obvious answer is the technology. One could argue that gay men pretty much energized online interaction as early as the 1990s (anyone remember those America Online chat rooms)? Then the Internet became mobile with the advent of laptops and wireless technology. And of course the cellphone which became the multifaceted smartphone/i-phone changed the medium of the sex hunt, but not the goal itself. 

But I really wonder if all those wondrous social media apps have really “killed” physical sex. What was cruising in the docks and parks and bar backrooms in the 1970s and in the 1980s via 1-888 numbers and personal ads has become today's hook-ups via apps. 

Of course, it's so easy to substitute jack off sessions via the phone for actual physical sex, but don't forget, before instagrams and youtube videos, magazines and books served much the same purpose. 

So, what is really going on in this scenario? I think you have to got to start by exploring the type of man-on-man sex that was going on the 1970s, which you can see in several of our Bijou titles. 

More, much more to follow on this subject in a later blog. 

Rest assured, sex is not dead. The madwoman Arachne in Drive has not won and will never win! 

Christopher Rage as Arachne in Drive

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Madame Bubby Is Damn Mad: Ageism in the Gay Community

Madame Bubby Is Damn Mad: Ageism in the Gay Community

Recently posted on craigslist, missed connections: 

Thursday night it was the backyard at Manhandler. You were sucking guys off with your shirt off. You smoked a lot. That's nasty by the way. You seemed to be in my proximity or in my face the whole time I was there. You were inside fucking with your tired little cell phone (probably seeking even more cum from the web) and I got a good look at your face in the light. No wonder you lurk around dark sex venues. You are at least 55, maybe 60, wrinkled, fugly, and that Sean Hayes hairstyle has GOT to go. Please, do us all a favor, and take the summer off from sex. Don't come to water sports parties or bear naked or anything else. Stay home, or whatever the fuck. And the next time you try to elbow your way into the middle of my sex with someone, I'm going to give you a swift kick into your dried up decayed little balls. You know who you are, the one who looks like Jack from Will and Grace, and wears that ridiculous half-lopsided little harness thing sometimes. Go pickle yourself, hon. 
 

Manhandler Saloon

Reply to the above: OMG I know exactly who you're describing. He is everywhere!!!! And so rude and will try to horn in on your action. He needs to stay home for about 20 years until sex no longer matters lol. 

I am damn mad. I understand the poster's need to vent on one level, but I actually felt sorry for the person this individual was complaining about. 

I wasn't surprised by the poster's crass materialism (”tired little cellphone”) and of course, obviously, the insults about the person's age and physical appearance. Such unabated viciousness seems to be common these days in a culture of narcissism and entitlement. 

And let's face it: these have always been problems with ageism in the gay community, as well as the rampant discrimination against those who don't possess an ideally perfect youthful body. Even in vintage Hollywood, an actress over 35 was over the hill. 

And the prejudice against age and those who don't match up to certain physical standards has escalated in a world where sex is available on a phone app, bodies can be photoshopped, and Kim Kardashian is a role model. 
 

Gay body issues

 

Regarding the reason for the vent, I do understand the etiquette about not “horning” in on public sex scenes, but rather than posting something so hurtful anonymously (the coward's way out), how about speaking kindly to the person and perhaps explaining the etiquette, for a start? 

(But then, in the middle of a circle jerk, counseling might not come to mind.)
Hairy stomach face circle of hell


As I said above, I feel deeply sorry for this person who was the target of such vitriol. Loneliness … sexual addiction … who knows what drives this person to behave this way? I think his fate is the fate of so many unattached older gay men, many of whom don't know how to develop relationships (or, even more sadly, they could be lonely survivors of the AIDS epidemic of the eighties) because their only exposure to gay life was “dark sex venues,” which before today's environment of acceptance, were often the only places a gay person could connect? 
 

And finally, to the person who posted this: Who are you to judge? You also seem to frequent these “dark sex venues.” I don't think I would be wrong in predicting that you will be that person in about twenty years. Karma's a bitch, bitch! 

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