a man who has always played rough games. That includes rough sex - and
I mean really rough. Got me into a lot of trouble in the early days.
Word soon got around the neighbourhood. Most girls never went out with
me twice. Now, 25 years later I am typical middle American working man
except that I get to play rough games with other men ... including some
sex. Don't switch off because you disapprove or can't relate to that.
We're talking sexual stereotypes and the damage done when you can't
identify yourself comfortably with any of them. My 'MISSING LINK' title
comes from lack of role models I could relate to when I was growing
up. I spent too many fucked-up years trying to fit in.
So-called 'normal' men who get a kick out of rough-housing with other
men are, generally speaking, a recognisable breed. The fact that such
horseplay sometimes produces complicated semi-erotic reactions is something
that not often gets talked about - but for me it's always been an uncomfortable
fact of life. I think an awful lot of players of violent body contact-sports
and those real life 'Action Men' who get their kicks from competing
or suffering hardship secretly get-off on it. Discomfort, pain or danger
at either work or play seems to attract a breed of man and these are
(in fiction at least) hero archetypes (If that's the term I'm looking
for). For many of them the role also demands regular demonstration of
their sexual power over women. All too often, ultra rough sex and offhand
treatment of female partners is a necessary part of their self-image.
Since developments in the Women's Movement brought popular admired ideas
about the macho male chauvinist super-stud into question, perhaps it's
time for me to push my 'MISSING LINK' theory - that there's this gap
in the gallery of American sexual role models.
In the Sixties when I was 15 my favourite jack-off literature was the
REAL MEN type adventure fiction where macho types risked everything
for buddies in mountains and jungles and behind 'enemy lines'. If there
were women in the stories they were usually the cause of the trouble
in the first place or the prize when the challenges had all been overcome.
My life at that time was just starting out on the college jock, army
grunt, red-neck work and play route which any red-blooded Colorado boy
was expected to follow in my neck-of-the-woods. The good-old bad-old
boy of middle America.
Early sexplay experiments with backwoods buddies was plain old manly
horseplay because the girls too often wouldn't put out - and if they
did, we weren't sure enough of the finer points of the game - so we
needed to practice (You know that old excuse!). In ordinary locker room
grab-ass horseplay ... humiliation, pain and sexual harassment was the
penalty for losing out - usually against unequal odds. My well-developed
macho ego didn't allow me to go down without a struggle - but memories
of times I got jumped and roundly 'degraded' disturbed me enough to
stay with me as something to beat off on later. Same applied to those
fraternity party nights which ended in hot rough-and-tumble crude sexual
horseplay. The 'Oh God, I was so drunk I don't remember what happened'
morning-after excuses were a necessary defence on a lot of occasions.
Bondage and S/M weren't part of my everyday vocabulary then (not like
now - I've got an electronic one) - but from way back before my teens,
Cowboys and Indians and Jungle Warfare games for me had always included
tying up, capture and torture scenarios. Through High School wrestling
team days the grab and restrain (and tease) impulse was strong - and
sometimes embarrassing because they made me very horny. Even in the
military, on training exercises, I think I unconsciously looked to get
myself into some physical disadvantage situation as early as possible.
But, however stiff my dick got in the heat of the inevitable grappling,
no way did I think of myself as being in any way Queer. I screwed around
with girls just like all the would-be studs. Good buddies compared notes,
swapped 'good lays' and kept score. Many's the gal I left aching and
sore - sometimes it worried me more than it did them - but other times
there were complaints - and word soon gets around in a small community.
'Neanderthal Man' ; 'The Hulk'; 'The Missing Link' ...!
Along with my reputation for being too rough, I certainly developed
my sexual kinks. Being thought of as being kinky was kind of acceptable
among the people I hung out with. Both rope and handcuffs turned me
on - and for some gals it was a safety defence. A couple of early relationships
lasted only because those ladies learned to tie me down real well. When
I could struggle and swear and get angry without actually hurting them
and being forced to make-nice before I could get loose. I really got
off on it in a big way. Problem was ending a session like that - this
vicious streak in me always drove me to take some sort of revenge -
even if it hid behind good humour.
Transfer to the Military Police soon after being drafted in the late
Sixties was like getting into heaven early. I found it easy to become
a regular sadistic bastard - and I screwed myself into psychological
knots for a year denying the inevitable. Admitting to myself that I
was definitely weird (= sadistic) was a start - and being openly 'Kind
of kinky' was almost natural in the circumstances. Among army buddies
my perverted sense of humour was much appreciated - and the opportunities
were all there to indulge it. Faggot-baiting was a common sport - and
the easiest way to degrade any man was to accuse him of being a homosexual
and treat him accordingly. The idea that I enjoyed fucking men ... no
way. I guess we've arrived at the main point ... At that time no homosexual
role model existed to even allow that possibility in my mind.
When some 'faggot-bitch' came on to me I would play with them like a
cat with a mouse. Then usually screw them rigid before working off my
disgust with them and myself through some kind of unfocused violence.
No way could I admit my enjoyment. It was only later when I realised
something strange: all through my life I'd liked to have a woman to
go down on my cock and give me a good blow-job, but I would force a
man to go down on me as a sign of my contempt for him. Was I also unconsciously
degrading every woman I ever went with? Life at that time was full of
uncomfortable questions that I rigorously refused to face up to.
An early marriage solved nothing except to give me a smoke-screen to
hide behind. I was like any regular guy wasn't I - with two kids to
prove it. She and they paid the price for my lack of self-image - and
I'm still paying the price in hard cash and conscience. In the run-up
to our divorce even a shrink could not offer any solutions. Seems like
he knew as little as I did at that point in time. People were beginning
to talk about closet doors - but even in the late Seventies the nearest
role model I could relate to was a stereotype fucked-up rough-neck with
a drink problem and an almost irresistible tendency to beat up on women.
OK, I admit I bought a few copies of DRUMMER early on. The men in it
were at least masculine and well muscled - but all that leather and
shit. The stories sometimes took hold of me for a while - but sucking
and kissing and masters and slaves - forget it - but I couldn't and
bought more although there was too little in them for me to relate to
- and a lot that honestly turned my stomach - and I admit it still does.
SOLDIER OF FORTUNE magazine now - the art of survival after World War
Three - me and a few buddies - but no sex with them of course - that
is, unless we got desperate and if there were no women available ....
is that different?
I won't bore you with my 'Coming Out'. It took more than one man to
teach me that even without role models you can override a life-long
conditioning; that too many natural instinctive gut feelings are systematically
ground out of us by parents, teachers and The Church . Family expectations
and peer group pressures frogmarch us along paths that our instincts
tell us are not the way for us. But I guess most people are born to
conform, fit in. Even after I'd admitted to myself that I wasn't 'normal'
- no way was I able to identify myself with images of SM/leather lifestyles
I saw in magazines in the early-Seventies ... although they were still
useful jack-off material ... because I used to dream up what I'd do
to some of those San Francisco butch faggots.
In spite of all the denial, eventually, I slowly began making contact
with other men with similar needs, drives and insecurities. The process
was agonisingly gradual - and dangerous - but somehow inevitable. You
may not accept inevitable - but I do. In looking back I can clearly
see all the signs - and have compared my experiences with other men
who independently found their own way out. My first real advance was
to accept that rather than keep on resisting inclinations - I should
explore them deliberately.
Allowing myself to go along with these instincts took me through some
painful times. Painful for some of the men I met, too. When they brought
out things in me that I'd been struggling to deny for so long, my anger
at me I took out on them. It was easy to convince myself that punishment
was what they enjoyed and was asking for. Slapping men around had always
come naturally to me - getting slapped in return had always followed
like day after night since I was a boy. Looking back, I realised that
for years I'd been picking fights with men capable of beating the shit
out of me. But most of all I enjoyed a good even contest. Now it's obvious
to me that I've wasted a hell of a lot of wonderful opportunities. Fights
I've had with guys who were probably on exactly the same wavelength
as me. With me I just wouldn't recognise what was driving me - or didn't
know how to communicate. Until quite recent I've missed out on living
my life more fully in good company - but at last I am getting somewhere.
Getting this all down on paper is proof of that. 'Thinking' onto the
old typewriter was how I first started sorting out my tangled mind.
I have you to thank for that - and I hope I'm not boring the shit out
To put it politely, I'm still fucking isolated in a world where the
people I can relate to are not only few and far between; they're dangerously
difficult to spot. From what I'm setting down here - I may seem comfortably
out of the closet. But, unlike a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I haven't
reached the point where I can stand up in public and announce with pride
that I AM GAY. That's because not many people would know exactly what
I mean by that, because ... what I am, does not fit with any of the
sexual male images known to the general public at large ..... not in
Denver anyway. If the world suddenly learned that Indiana Jones and
Crocodile Dundee occasionally liked to fuck and get fucked by another
guy: If Clint Eastwood, Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis in their younger
days screwed with other men of equal machismo - we might be getting
close to the missing 'socio-erotic archetype' (how's that for jargon!).
I live in a small suburban community that could not accept me for what
I am - and I don't want to move out. This man wants to retain a footing
in the world he grew up in rather than move over permanently into foreign
territory - but I sure as hell enjoy some of the lifestyle available
in that foreign land (remember my letter about the trip to San Francisco!).
To some degree I manage to enjoy the best of both worlds - but only
by splitting myself in half. Of course a lot of people lead double lives
so they can hide their sexual preferences, but, having found my own
level for living, I find that I can no longer fit comfortably into either
world I inhabit. Again - lack of acceptable social identity (is that
Seems most so-called Gay men are unwilling to accept being anything
less than a full time, card carrying homosexual. Somebody who won't
declare himself to the world and to hell with the consequences seems
to get dismissed as a Closet Case or something worse. For a time I reassured
myself by thinking of myself as bisexual - but this dumb new-found honestly
I've developed has forced me to face it that I no longer get pleasure
from having sex with women. I still find that hard to write ... I even
said it to a buddy a couple of months ago ... but I think it's been
true for longer than I like to admit.
So, I choose to live a lie. The private person I have succeeded in hammering
out of myself allows me to fulfil all my needs. My own self image of
myself is better now than it's been all my life - but no way am I ever
going to disrupt my life by standing up and being counted as a homosexual.
In a GAY PRIDE parade there is too much I can't relate to, to associate
myself comfortably. I'm not being critical of other people. Every man
and woman should be more free to grow and develop in their own direction
according to their own needs - but are they? - even the more sexually
liberated publications (straight or gay) still keep building barriers.
For example, DRUMMER magazine often says it's policy is based on Thoreau's
words "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps
it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music
he hears, however measured or far away". But too much of what I've
read in the Gay Press has convinced me that what I must do to be truly
liberated would totally separate me from my familiar lifestyle. In social
terms the cost of coming out would be too high. As a mature man who
has lived in the same neighbourhood for 35 years, I'm used to playing
poker with guys I've know since grade school. I want to be able to take
my newly married son and his wife to a ball game without them being
embarrassed. I prefer to hold my own in the construction site office
where I work - not face the inevitable battles that coming out publicly
would invite. OK - so I'm still a closet case. That's not because I'm
ashamed of what I do or what turns me on - but being realistic, why
do something that would separate me from people and places I enjoy being
welcome at. To tell the world-and-his-wife that I'm 'Gay' would not
mean the same to them as it means to me. Even I still have trouble with
'Gay' when I look at the men I fuck with ... so people around here would
have no pigeonhole to put me in: ... I get horny when wrestling into
submission a man who can give as good as I can ... I like to tie and
get tied ... sweat my balls of struggling to get free when wrapped head
to foot in rubber or canvas, caked in mud or lashed to a tree in pouring
rain ...? That isn't 'Gay', even 'Queer' doesn't cover it. I lost too
much time trying to find a slot suitable for me - and I welcomed the
suggestion this might get published so other people could read it, because
I know for certain now that I'm not alone in my likes and dislikes.
So, you may ask (that is if you're still reading) ... exactly how do
I manage to stay in the closet and yet still fulfil my needs? I live
alone. Oh, incidentally Jim, a great question for you ... Why is it
that a divorced man is an acceptable neighbour but a man who never married
is immediately suspect?) For a divorced man living alone to have guys
round to the house on a regular basis to play poker or drink or watch
sport on TV is natural enough. Whether the guys who gather at my house
play poker or more physical games till four in the morning gives no
problem to my neighbours. They don't think twice about the cop in uniform,
fresh off duty who may stay at my place till three a.m. or through till
morning (if I decide not to let him loose). A guy from the local Fire
House keeps an extra rubber Turnout coat and hip boots along with mine
in my cellar/playroom. I'm discrete. My visitors respect my 'cover'.
How I make contact with new people and details of the games I like to
play would double the length of this article - and are not the focus
of my 'lack of role model' argument ... but, briefly, a lot of my initial
contacts were made through Contact Ads in both straight and gay publications.
Learning what to say and what not to say has been a matter of trial
and error. It also started me putting in more toil improving my word-power
and ability to express my thoughts on paper. Fantasising, even at my
old typewriter, has helped me to sort out my mind - writing to potential
playmates and preparing the ground for 'scenes'. Having brainstormed
by correspondence with somebody - when you meet you can often pitch
right in with the action without too much eyeball to eyeball discussion.
I've also learned a lot about reading the signs in public. By trial
and error I've learned how to give out signs without taking too many
risks - steering conversations and leaving openings for a man to show
a little more of his hand. It's often a gamble - some you lose some
you win - some you get part-way into a game and decide it's not the
right game for you. There are risks - there are failures - for me there
have been more than enough successes to make it all worth while.
You asked me to describe in more detail the types of games I like to
play. Well, here goes:
... mainly competitive, physical challenge situations ... specially
endurance, survival ... perhaps military-type scenarios either out doors
or in my basement which is a practical workshop cum rumpus-room (rather
than some phoney dungeon). I like the term 'Restraint' rather than 'Bondage'.
... my equipment comes from local hardware and surplus stores rather
than sex toy catalogues (I admitted that when I first wrote to FETTERS).
Master/slave-type SM action isn't for me but the macho stereotypes
from DRUMMER turn me on if they act right as well as look right.
... fighting for control ... once gained, exercising control of another
man imaginatively ... and risking suddenly becoming the one being
... wrapping, strapping, sweating, struggling, roping, teasing, testing,
... inventing surprises and being able to deal with surprises dreamed
up by men perhaps with special training like police, loggers, paramedics
guys more ingenious or with a sense of humour more diabolical than
joint enterprises like two men of equal strength and physical ability
agreeing to a strenuous wrestling bout each with a fat dildo strapped
up the ass, plus padded athletic crotch protectors imprisoning heavily
taped up cock and balls. First man to achieve a submission gets to do
whatever he decides to do for an agreed period or whatever time is available.
Being forced to work up a sweat encased head to foot in a heavy rubber
divers suit with the heating turned full up may be the price paid for
losing a hand at cards or at the toss of a coin.
Taking a camping trip with two or more good buddies each prepared to
test their hunting skills, physical endurance and determination to come
out on top. This may not sound to you the stuff your erotic dreams are
made of. Maybe you should let me know, Jim!
Back to my list of games:
Dildos, vibrators, electro-massagers imaginatively applied
... Tit-clamps, clothes pins by the dozen all over then made to squirm
... improvised chastity devises locked on under jogging clothes or
work clothes in public places; on the back of a motor cycle in leather
and boots (You were right ... nobody can see the plugged butt and
the gag under the crash hat, but on a bumpy country lane it's quite
a trip. Thanks for the suggestion.)
now, can you describe the men who can invent and survive such games
queers or faggots? They may be masochistic, kinky perverted bastards
or just plain nutcases but ... I guess you're right I'm just a pathetic
Closet Case. OK, so the fact that they will fuck given adequate protection,
will suck (perhaps only when forced), does technically make them (me)
homosexual. And the tactile sensuality and the erotic appeal of some
of our wham-bang games may be off-the-wall ... but believe me some of
the most violent orgasms I've ever had have been when I've been powerless
to resist, avoid or control the action. Most of the guys who've achieved
these results admit they're turned on by the erotic side of these violent
games we work out together. Would you describe them as Gay ? Am I splitting
hairs to call them homo-sensual rather than homosexual.
My main point is - is there any established category in either straight
or gay culture where such men comfortably fit? Believe me, after seven
years of correspondence and game-playing I can tell you there are a
lot of us out there. Unfortunately, too many good men will hesitate
for ever - never allow themselves to be what they naturally are ...
never finding soul-mates or playmates ... maybe trapped into unfulfilled
conventional relationships. Luck for me - I found my own way - and stick
to my own path.
You asked about the risks of leading a double life. Of course there
are risks - and one day the shit may hit the fan. Somebody, out of spite
or because they've been tempted and chickened out, may blow the whistle
on me to neighbours, workmates or family. I'll deal with that when it
happens. Until then, a very private grapevine quite regularly brings
me new playmates, often with new and way-out games they like to play.
By phone, modem and good old US mail we exchange ideas. You'd be surprised
how far some guys will travel - and I cover a lot of territory to indulge
in games which we invent for ourselves (and sometimes lift from the
pages of fiction .... specially the stuff you've sent me).
Today I still read the strictly macho male homosexual magazines where,
although the Editorials state that they try to cater for all tastes
... I still wonder how strongly they influence the tastes of people
who fail to find their ideal role models there. Recently a few stories
by writers such as Victor Terry and in BOUND & GAGED ring bells
for me. Now I know where I'm at - I can disregard the inevitable master/slave
role playing and the interminable slurp and suck action in most fiction
and Gay male videos. What I used to think of as my limitations, I now
recognise as preferences. Most importantly, I am no longer intimidated
by the implied message that unless you're willing to publicly commit
yourself to a DRUMMER lifestyle you fail to qualify for full membership.
A lot of very private people know that being Gay need not be an all
or nothing deal. There must be thousands of men like me who have too
much to loose to Come Out publicly. The gay Media fails to recognise
that - so a lot of potentially available hot men who enjoy Mansex steer
clear of the whole Gay Scene.
Maybe as a matter of Gay Politics I should let it all hang out - but
maybe the gay political activists have, in their public relations exercises,
failed men like me. The image of the homosexual male is still too narrow
- or maybe too extreme. I disagree with much written by Marshall Kirk
& Hunter Madson in their book 'AFTER THE BALL' but there is some
logic behind the argument that low profile homosexuality is, for a lot
of people, easier to live with. I almost titled this article 'COMING
OUT or STAYING HOME?'. A tough choice. I prefer not to declare myself
at the expense of so much that I'm used to and happy with. I don't want
to freak-out my neighbours by stomping in and out of my house in Bar
Leathers, rubber or sequins. OK, that's my problem but also my prerogative.
I certainly don't want to subject my kids or my friends to the trauma
of what to them would be so difficult to get their minds around. I guess
they could handle it - but why should I hit them with it unnecessarily?
Many Gay Men would condemn me for making this choice of keeping one
foot firmly in the closet. Maybe they have more commitment to The Cause
than me, but perhaps they also have less broadly based social lives.
I am the missing link in the gallery of sexual iconography (as you put
it) - but I'm not as rare a breed as I at first thought. I've already
met lots more of my own kind - and I suspect that there are many, many
more waiting until a few more barriers are lowered. How can this happen?
Maybe in the fetish oriented hetero magazines, more personal case histories
of a men with suppressed homosexual fantasies could be explored. Maybe
some bi-men would be exclusively gay if they could handle better the
social and psychological problems involved. That takes us back to appropriate
Role Models or even a descriptive name, for God's sake! I know from
experience that suppressed sexual drives can take you over in socially
unacceptable ways - ask my ex-wife. It took me a lot of unhappy years
to get to where I'm at - and a source of relevant information and suitable
buddy-fucking role models would have helped me make some of the connections
it took me too long to discover for myself. Women reading what I've
written here may react with resentment, or sense a challenge that they
could deal with me in a way I'd respond to sexually. Maybe so. I still
have women friends, but I make no concessions when it comes to the sort
of sexual horseplay I most enjoy.
there are also a lot of women who after social expectations have funnelled
them into the narrow passage of inevitable marriage, mortgage and kids
to chore for ... decide that they don't even like men as permanent live-in
liabilities. Maybe, like me, they may someday wake up to the fact that
they've been conned by Middle America and that, in spite of all the
sexual indoctrination they absorbed unconsciously, they don't even particularly
like what they've been told is 'normal' sex. In recent years I've socialised
with several divorced or separated women who are not only NOT looking
for a new man, they're no longer looking for sex. Sometimes that's sad
because they can't face considering the possible alternative - sex with
their own kind. That they could find more sexual fulfilment with a woman
rather than a man is sometimes an idea blocked only by social conditioning.
On the other hand ... some basically hetero magazines (even quite raunchy
ones) find lesbian scenarios more acceptable than ones about men with
erotic fantasies about other men. Why is that, I wonder?