Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Memoirs of a Gay Leather Elder 05: Seeking Mentors

The page listing all of the articles in this series can be found here
and my Mentoring for Tops page can be found here.



After my momentous decision in Part Four, I now had a path to follow, eventually leading to deeper wisdom, powered by a belly full of FIRE, to move me further along that path.



The Fruit Loop

After hearing from a wise, kind older gay man (the Navy shrink), I was ready for more useful life-wisdom, but looking to my young peers was turning out to be a dead-end:


I used to head over to the "Fruit Loop" (official name: Marston Point in San Diego's Balboa Park), every weekend.  This was right along the part of the park where men had unending sex in the bushes, yards away from oblivious families. Years later, the bushes were all torn down.


Back in those days, I joined about eighty other young men, to "work on our tan-lines".  This meant that we'd slather ourselves with baby-oil (SPF MINUS TWENTY), and we'd lay out in the hot summer sun to burn, peel and eventually gain dark, "healthy" tanned skin.  The higher the contrast between the bikini-shaped white section, and the dark tan, the more sexual desirability and status.

We knew NOTHING about skin-cancer.  The topic never came up,

I was doing deep work on understanding context, and gaining coping-mechanisms back then.  This was not true for my buddies.  They'd be nattering on and on, talking trash all day.  Popular topics:

Who's Fucking Who?
Where Do You Get The Best Drugs?
Where's The Party?
Are They Still Together After Two Weeks?  And WE Said That They'd Never Last!

This would go on for hours, until I could finally get a word in edgewise. I'd say "Guys, I'm having some big issues with my dad…." and then I'd go into specifics, ending with an invitation for some suggestions.  There would be a long, dead silence, until somebody would say "Well, ANYWAY…" and the conversation would snap back to normal.

Duly noted.  Not gonna get what I want, here.



David Dollahite

I had started attending self-help workshops by this time.  I was active with San Diego's Gay Youth Group, and with the Advocate Experience:
David Goodstein and Dr. Rob Eichberg created The Advocate Experience. Loosely based on the then-popular EST (Erhardt Seminars Training), it was a two-weekend, all-day series of extensive self-realization workshops to bring self-acceptance, awareness and tolerance within the LGBT community. 
Well, I took to those concepts of self-responsibility and living in integrity, and made them MINE.  I had renounced my upbringing and Catholic brainwashing, and was rapidly filling-in the gaps with new, life-sustaining concepts that worked very well for me.  I didn't always handle them well at first, being young and damaged.  I was a classic "est-hole," frankly.  Once I mellowed-out, I was better.

That's me in the middle.

So, I was going to march in the 1978 San Diego Pride Parade with the other gay men from the Advocate experience.  I did, for a while, until I saw a strikingly handsome, dapper man in his forties, wearing a chalk-stripe dark suit, standing on the sidelines.  I walked over, and invited him to join us. This was David Dollahite, the man who would help me immensely along my path.

David, typically naked.  I thought up the license-plate: "MR FISTR"
That 1969 Triumph TR-6 was perfect bait for young, bi-curious Marines.

We flirted, and he invited me to join him at his apartment after the parade.  When I showed up at his seven-room suite with a balcony overlooking the park, I found the place jammed with every kind of people, all laughing, hugging and joyful.  There was a twelve-foot Bösendorfer grand piano in the middle of the living room, and David was seated there, playing Chopin,.

Stark naked.

David and I, 1978

David loved to be naked, as he had a gorgeous penis, and loved to show it off. He urged me to stick around after the party.  I was charmed by his charisma, so I agreed. Once we were in a private play-space with a sling, he asked me to "fist" his ass.  I had never heard of such a thing, and didn't see the point, but I agreed.

Joseph and me, the day that I met David.

As it turned out, I loved the deeply intimate connection that we made, and I had some real talent already, due to my quick learning and happy energy.  Plus, I had a very large fist.  Just like that, David dumped his boyfriend Joseph, and David and I were boyfriends.



My Introduction To Flogging

At David's urging, I attended a kinky weekend event, and saw somebody "flogging" somebody else.  This was news to me, and I had a rather bad attitude when I watched the demo in progress.  The instructor said "Who would like try it?" and my hand shot up high.  I looked up at it in surprise!

I was guided to the proper location and position, and I expected pain and torment, like when my father had beaten me.  My attitude was "Bring your worst, fucker - I am not afraid of you!"  I was shocked as the scene progressed.  The Top was skilled and sensitive.  He formed a wonderful power-flow between us.  I experienced no pain at all. The thought came to me:  "I could fall asleep while this is going on!"

After that scene, I was wildly endorphinated - I was blissfully high on natural brain-chemicals. I was convinced that this was going to be a big part of my life.  It was yet another life-passage for me:

Coming Out As Gay
Coming Out As Leather (an erotic fetish, based upon how you look)
Coming Out As Kinky (based upon what you do).


I made it my business to learn everything that I could about impact play, and have stayed in that mode for the next forty years.



Entering the Blue-Ribbon Party Circuit

I could not have predicted how my life would change by meeting David. Every weekend involved massive play-parties.  I suddenly became hugely popular with hundreds and hundreds of older men, as David's guest.  Being young, energetic, dominant, and possessed of a large cock, I was a rising new star.  I was younger than the average attendee by around twenty years, minimum.  My dance-card was full.

Sling-Room.  The goal is to lift the legs so that the bottom in the sling can relax.  

David was wealthy, making $400,000 per year - he was employed as a consultant who helped wealthier people find ways to hide their money from the tax collectors. Every home that we stayed in had a sling-room. We lived in that room a lot.

I had my own agenda.  I used my talents as a passionate young Top to attract older gay males.  As soon as I was done playing with a man, I would ask him "How could I have done that in a better way?"  Every man was flattered to be asked, so he would TELL me.

 I did this with every man that I played with.  For years.  Thousands of men.  I became a Tenth-Degree Black Belt Topman, thanks to what these glorious late-1970's sexual athletes taught me.

I had endured a childhood entirely lacking in male role-models and mentors.  Now, I was loved and respected by SO many glorious men.  They could see that I was young, but I was deep, too. I paid attention to wisdom, and followed through.  I was an uncommon young man.



Soft Skills, Hard Skills

After twelve years of sexually-restrictive Catholic school, I was super-motivated to learn how to be the best at kinky play and homosexual pleasures.  No man has ever been in a better environment for those goals. Being a gay, kinky Leatherman in the late 1970's was a paradise.  David and I traveled to major parties in Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as step-by step knowledge of how to perform a kinky technique. By contrast, soft skills are less tangible and harder to quantify, such as etiquette, getting along with others, listening and how to connect easily on an interpersonal level.
I was mildly interested in hard skills at first, and quickly mastered the popular kinks back then.  In a short time, I realized that I had a greater talent for, and interest in, soft skills. I learned how to connect with any playmate on an intensely deep level.  I could establish trust and commonality in seconds. I could guide any play-partner to the best ecstasy that he had ever experienced, IF he wasn't stoned out of his mind. That never worked well for me.



Name-Dropping

Richard Locke's home in the high desert. I used to stay there periodically.  
I'd also fuck Al Parker in his big Dodge van.  He was very short, and a sensational cuddler.

I started forming friendships with "Big Names" in our community. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, going to school alongside the children of movie and TV stars.  As a result, I didn't get all gloopy and star-struck when I met famous people.  I'd meet a porn-actor, and he'd be just another man that I would swarm all over during a play-party.  They found this attitude to be charming. They wanted to be friends with me, because I didn't CARE who they were, to their admiring public.  I treated them like wonderful men who were worth knowing.

I was also a confidant with a lot of men who were locally famous in California, such as Laud Humphreys, David Goodstein and Bruce Voeller. I admired them deeply. They were action-oriented, and were moving gay rights forward, in their own ways.  I didn't always agree with their viewpoints, but there was never any rancor between us.

The Male Couple

I was friends with Drew Mattison and David McWhirter, who were a couple that lived in La Jolla. They were working on the superb book called The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop.  I consider it to be THE shop-manual for successful, long-term male couples.  I give that massive credit for the fact that my husband and I are about to celebrate 28 ecstatic years together.


I remember visiting Drew and David at their home in the summertime for jacuzzi and cocktails.  We were all waiting for their very special guest, driving in from Palm Springs.  He was quite late, and we were getting worried.  After a couple of hours, he arrived in terrible shape. He was wearing nothing but a red speedo, and was so sunburned, you couldn't tell where the bathing-suit ended, and where his red flesh began.

In the late 1970's, the only way that you could get a new convertible is if a local shop sawed the roof off of a sedan or coupe, and added a convertible top.  He had rented a Lincoln four-door convertible, and started driving toward La Jolla.  He pulled over after getting out of the desert, and tried to put the top up.  The motor simply couldn't handle the weight, so he had had to continue on his trip with no shade for about 120 miles!

It was fun for all of us, tenderly rubbing soothing cream on his suffering flesh.



As Usual, I Have To Say It

Every man who I have mentioned by name in this article, died of AIDS in the 1980's and 1990's.  None of them survived, except for me.  I knew some of the finest men in our Tribe, and I still suffer sometimes from Survivor's Guilt, which is classified these days as a form of PTSD.

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