Sunday, 31 October 2010

LIVING PROOF

[Originally published in Dec 2009 issue of Bent: http://mag.bent.com]

There's nothing like living with someone to test a friendship. The person you thought was an innocent-as-pie virgin is revealed to be a hairy, hippy hooker who believes free love comes with small print and a price tag. Some friendships are made stronger, others disintegrate. Some you discover profound connections with; others you learn were best kept as acquaintances you exchanged 'You alright?'/'Yeah, you?' exchanges with in dry-iced nightclubs. And the length of friendship is hardly an indicator either. Some people you barely know can become your biggest confidantes, whilst those you've known for years end up running away from you in their underwear, in the rain, swearing to never set foot through your door again.

It helps if you don't live in a crack den. Luckily, I have a crowbar for removing the crackheads on a weekly basis (they tend to build up around the cracks in the bathroom, for some reason). Crackheads can be rather filthy and often leave their rooms a mess, so you have to make sure to rotate the crops at least every other month.

Living alone has its problems too. You can be lonely, insular, inert. You can spend way too much time on gay dating websites and constantly hitting 'refresh' on Facebook. There's no one to tell you what to do and shame you into the right thing. In fact, it might almost be paradise but for the fact you can't have a party on your own.

Living with family can often be worse than living with friends, because although you're less likely to fall out forever and you've years of experience dealing with each other's foibles, you also know how to hurt each other most. Sisters can complain about the time you smeared their cot in shit as a baby (it only happened the twice!); cousins bitch about you stealing their lunch money; mothers complain that despite two morning after pills and three abortions, you just wouldn't flush . . .

Boyfriends often work well together, so long as they have time apart. But if they see each other for more than two hours a week, there's that awful habit couples have of arguing. About everything. Should we watch X-Factor or South Park? Should we put the lavender bedding on or the violet? Is there a real difference between the lavender and the violet, anyway? Should we have a threesome? Who's that man you've been texting? Why do I not believe you? Why is he sat on your face?

I think it was Sartre who said hell is being stuck in a room with all your mates. But then, I doubt Sartre had ecstasy to lubricate his late-night social interactions. Maybe that's the magical ingredient for healthy cohabitation. Although, I'm not recommending spiking your housemate's Cheerios with methadrone just to keep your friendships together. I'm just recommending that you change friends as often as your underwear. That way, you won't have time to fall out.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

GAY RITES

It's a been a funny few months for gay folk. We've had a rugby player come out as gay. We've had a tabloid columnist effectively say Stephen Gately's homosexuality killed him (as though his cock leapt to his throat and throttled him). We've had proposals tabled in the House of Lords to allow gay couples to marry in churches, synagogues and mosques. But there's also been an increase in the number of reported hate crimes against gay men (either more gay people are reporting the crimes or the number of people being attacked, abused and discriminated against is increasing). A man was found with over 50 nail bombs in his house after being inspired by the Soho Bomber. And straight people are taking over local gay clubs to point fun at the trendy gays.

We're at a crisis point in relations between the gay and straight worlds. Either we'll gain further support (Jan Moir caused such a backlash in favour of civil partnerships and the gay lifestyle) or the lunatic fringe will become more militant and decide to blow us up when they've had a few too many Aftershocks down at the local 'poof pub'.

Hopefully it'll be the first option and not the latter. However, the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 does seem to be a key point in gay history, for better or worse. What's even more shocking is that maybe I'll have a date for Valentine's Day this year. Unfortunately, it's not Iris Robinson's boy-toy 21 year-old. But if Attitude get their way, he may appear on the front cover of a gay magazine soon.

In what I see as a pre-emptive strike in the war against the BNP homophobes and their ilk, I say we mass together and kidnap him like the goblins snatching a princess in some Mediaeval fairytale, to take to their underworld king (in this case, a queen). We'll either keep him on the mantelpiece as a rather lifelike ornament, or we'll ransom him back to the straight world at the cost of all our gay
liberties. I'm sure there are enough old , either in Parliament or sat around watching This Morning, to pay for his release. Maybe that's how we'll win the War Against (anti-gay) Terror.

[Originally published in Feb 2010 issue of Bent: http://mag.bent.com]

Sunday, 10 October 2010

QUEEN OF CLUBS

A friend of recently mine told me how a gay bar he'd once worked at was turned into a straight bar
by the brewery for financial reasons. It wasn't necessarily a problem with falling sales, but rather
an inability to meet the growth of straight venues also owned by the brewery. Gay venues, it seems,
might be the heart of gay life for many people, but only at the generosity of the breweries. After all,
if they would make more money turning their club straight, what's in it for them to keep gay places
gay?

So this got me thinking. In particular about bars and clubs that are gay 100% of the time, compared
to those that are only gay part of the time. It struck me that a number of straight clubs I had once
visited when they had gay nights, no longer ran any gay nights at all. Others still had moved their
gay nights to less successful nights, or nights when they would otherwise be closed anyway. It
seems that sometimes we get the short end of the stick—straight nights appeal to a much wider
crowd than gay nights, so we get the nights when the straights don't want to come out.

This gives me a lot of admiration for venues that put gay nights on at weekends and busy periods.
It gives me even more admiration for venues that are gay all the time. After all, the people running
these venues are often doing so out of love for the gay scene rather than a ruthless desire for cash.

Which leads me onto another point. Some cities are smaller than others, and don't have a large
enough captive audience to fill a plethora of gay bars. I'm always shocked that in my hometown of
Leeds, there is a huge local population and yet only a small number of gay people regularly visit the
scene. In effect the scene cannot grow to the size of Manchester's, even though Wikipedia claims
Leeds has a bigger population, because there aren't enough queers to go round. All the bars and
clubs are fighting for the same small crowd. Maybe this is a factor of straight and mixed clubbing
in Leeds being so welcoming, or maybe it's that gay bars are always a little old fashioned and only
appeal to a small demographic. But maybe it is just a numbers game and only a small percentage of
gay people in any city will regularly visit the scene.

So should we be doing more to support our gay venues? And when it comes to a choice between
a straight venue that offers a gay night on a less-than-prime night and a gay venue that's open all
the time, should we stick with the gay venue? Obviously doing so would help ensure gay venues
stay gay; but not doing so would mean more choice and more gay nights. It's a difficult question
to answer. Perhaps the only way to solve it is to force all the queers to go out clubbing at least one
night a week. But in the meantime, maybe we should be more appreciative of the people who bust
their balls to bring us gay nights and gay venues, and when it comes to a choice between spending
all night in a straight bar on a straight night or popping into a gay club or a gay night for just one or
two drinks, we chose the latter over the former. That one hour in your local gay bar might make the
difference between having that gay venue for another year and seeing it close and become straight
the next.

[Originally published in Bent: http://mag.bent.com]

Sunday, 3 October 2010

BOYS WILL BE BOYS

Friends often ask me for advice. They say they can't understand boys. As I frequently say, I've never found boys difficult. They're nothing if not predictable, and usually my friends know this too. They just want to be proved wrong. Here's a handy hint: you won't be.

Take for example Porno Scally. Porno Scally claimed to be the best bang since the big one. He strutted about, hands in pants, wearing trackies and speaking with an 'eezee geezer' laboured Scouse accent. He was rude, bossy, and claimed to be a porn director. He also ran an escort agency and was likely on the game himself. It was clear to me he'd have a tiny cock and be pretty much the laziest shag I'd ever have.

I was right, of course. Despite all his posturing, he dropped his trackies and begged to be fucked. Despite the safer sex messages writ all over the walls of his 'studio', he pleaded for me to shoot a load inside him. If I'd had a gun, I'd have shot him a load, alright.

He lay there, sniffing poppers till his lips and fingers turned blue, and tugged at his tiny cock, while moaning like an Eton nancy boy. So much for being 'hard'.

Next up was The Neurotic Ex. You know the type. They break up with you for some flimflam reason (in this case he was jealous because I spent too much time dancing with my sister and not him), and then immediately regret it.

When he got back off holiday last week, he dropped me a text asking if I was going out that night. I read this as: I really want to see you. I read this as: an opportunity for a good fuck. Because despite his whining, shagging The Neurotic Ex is always a sweat-drenched good time.

I invited him to mine for 'pre-drinks', and if you're getting the gist of this column already, you'd have read that as: me using the poor boy for my own cruel fun. He arrived, booze in hand, and spent the next hour trying to flirt with me. I was bored. I was so bored I almost didn't want to sleep with him.

Just as I was about to give up the ghost and call a taxi so we could go into town, I remembered how big his cock was, and decided I would get back on track. Within minutes his ankles were behind his ears, and when we finished, despite the fact he'd come, his cock stayed hard. I think it was still hard for most of the night when we were out. What followed was more rampant sex on his kitchen surfaces when we got in, with another hard-on that didn't go down, and then even more in the morning.

As I left to jump into my taxi at 11am, the sun scalding my eyes, he was still hard. I read this as: bless, the poor boy's in love! I think his need to hold my hand all the time pretty much gave it away.

And so you see, my pretties: boys really aren't hard to understand. You just have to give up expecting them to change and play the game according to the rules.

Happy shagging!

[Originally published in Bent: http://mag.bent.com]