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Sir Does Not Allow Me to Watch Project Runway

The porn star wanted me to meet him at Blow Buddies.

“Well,” he said, “not exactly in Blow Buddies. Above it. There’s a meeting room. You should come to the discussion group. It’s pretty informal – you know, folding chairs and chit chat.”

He told me this all over email; we’d met on a local BDSM-related personals site, where I was, you know, just checking things out.

The porn star had a bunch of hot pictures; he was a sexy little guy, and sexy little guys are often near the top of my list. Especially ones who act all tough and threaten to tie me up with rope. When I told him that I’d, like, hardly ever been tied up with rope, he suggested that I meet him at a discussion group for leather men, and sent me a link. I clicked:

Protocols in Dominant/Submissive Relationships: Master/Slave, Daddy/Boy, Dom/Sub…Power based relationships stimulate the mind and the libido. But how do we maintain that erotic charge through the scene and between scenes?

Cool, I thought, I can learn some hot, twisted shit to mutter during playtime. Besides, bad boy sex pigs aren’t just born. A little education goes a long way.

The porn star seemed to agree. “This is the perfect topic if you’re just starting out. And if we like each other, I live nearby.”

Yeah, so, maybe certain bad boy sex pigs out there in my audience could face such a situation without qualms. But going to my first “official” leather event (I’m not talking one a.m. at the Loading Dock), where I wouldn’t know anyone…when I owned hardly any leather…above a sex club…before dusk…to meet a porn star who wanted to tie me up with rope…

Okay, okay. Nobody twisted my arm.

Briefly I considered calling Joe to get his advice about whether this discussion group was worth my time, but decided that I needed to see some things for myself. This would be a test of my courage. A rite of passage.

Stomach in knots, I laced up my Wescos (my only leather) and drove The Blue Devil (my new car) to South of Market.

I hoped to find a room full of leather-clad Colt Studio models just salivating at the thought of a new boy in town.

God, where do I begin?

The porn star looked just like his pictures. They were absolutely true-to-life, and not the slightest bit misleading. But if the internet has taught us anything, it’s this: it’s all in how you carry yourself. He was nervous, and aloof, and totally lacking in charisma: the idea of letting him tie me up with rope made me giggle. As we chatted he kept looking over my shoulder at the door. Maybe it was mutual.

The next two hours were excruciating, and half my fault.

The panel consisted of three homely couples engaged in master/slave relationships. Yes, homely. Ordinarily on dogpoet I try to practice humility, but please. Don’t even try to tell me that you’ve never sat in a crowded room and thought, “I am simply the hottest thing in here.”

One couple were lesbians. All of the couples practiced their roles 24/7. None of this daddy/boy-for-an-hour-in-the-bedroom crap. No, these folks took their roles seriously. The submissives called their masters “Sir.” Even the lesbians. Not “my master,” or “my sir.” Rather, “Sir likes his coffee with a teaspoon of cream and two lumps of sugar waiting for him at the crack of dawn.”

There was a lot of this.

“Boy must walk on my left side, one half step behind me at all times.”

“Sir does not allow me use of the living room furniture.”

Then everyone argued for like, an hour, about whether these things were protocols or rituals. An hour. I wanted to throw my folding chair and scream, “Semantics! You’re arguing fucking semantics! What about SEX?!?”

Yeah, what about it. Nobody talked about sex. Instead we learned that the slaves did the dishes, the shopping, and the cooking. One slave even managed Sir’s goddamned CALENDAR. No, strike that; the slave managed several calendars because Sir kept filling the house up with new slaves, and the first slave had to manage ALL OF THEIR CALENDARS! The slaves, of course, could only have one queeny, nit-picking Sir, but Sir could have eight boys polishing the silverware in their thongs.

“What about the FUCKING?!?” I wanted to scream.

Beside me in his folding chair the porn star was chuckling at stories of new slaveboys forgetting which side of Sir to walk on at Safeway, or slaveboys forgetting that only Sir tells them when to take a piss.

I know everyone thinks they are open-minded. But honestly, when it comes to sex, I’m more progressive than most. What two consenting adults do is blah blah blah. But I’d found my limit. I wanted to run up and smack all of the “boys” silly.

“YOU HAVE A LIFE!” I’d scream, shaking them by their shoulders until their heads rocked back and forth on their little necks. “YOU HAVE A LIFE AND A MIND OF YOUR OWN! FUCK THIS QUEEN AND HIS GODDAMNED OUTLOOK EXPRESS!!!”

I wasn’t getting it. Clearly, I’d reached the limits of my understanding. I didn’t care how “spiritual” it felt for Sir to send boy back to the grocery store for the receipt he lost. Or how much confidence it gave boy to make Sir a BLT for lunch.

The discussion made my dick limp. I took this as a sign.

And that’s when it became my fault. Because there was a ten-minute break, and instead of bolting for the door I actually sat there in my folding chair, and waited for the whole thing to be over. Even when the porn star, who had promised in his emails to put me “at ease,” slipped into the crowd and left me there alone.

“Maybe,” I thought, “they hide all the sex in the second hour. There has GOT TO BE SEX at some point. Aren’t there supposed to be demonstrations? Wait, do I want to see demonstrations with these people? Oh, dear God.”

To be honest, I was still stuck in nice-guy mode. It would be rude to leave during the break, I thought. This is how nice guys finish last.

The second hour was the same as the first. Around this time Blow Buddies opened its doors for the evening, and disco music thumped through the floor. I longed to slip down there and find some real action.

Someone handed out a flier of “camps” around the country where boys could be trained in the art of “service.” There weren’t enough fliers to go around.

“Could I see that?” asked the porn star.

“Please,” I said. “Take my copy.”

When it was all over the porn star followed me to the door, and asked if we could play. If not tonight, then maybe Friday?

“Yeah,” I said, “actually, this week ain’t so good for me.”

I clomped down the stairs in my boots, and sucked in a lungful of air when I hit the sidewalk. Sometimes, when figuring out what you want, you get to figure out what you don’t.

Him: Look at those tattoos.

Me: Move your head, I can’t see. Ah. Nice. Click on that one, his face.

Him: Eh, not so nice.

Me: Well…

Him: He’s alright.

Me: Just alright. Where’s he from?

Him: South Africa.

Me: Wants you to do him?

Him: Yeah. Wants to be my satanic slave.

Me: Oh. One of those.

Him: Yeah. Yawn.

Concerning the Workout Partner

Nick: I would be SO happy if you guys ended up falling deeply and irrevocably in love (and had a sex life that made headlines…)

Me: That would make you happy?

Nick: Absolutely. Honestly. I shit you not. I love to see true love. It’s so infectious in its euphoria.

Me: We used the “L” word the other day.

Nick: Lesbian? Lipstick?

Me: Llama.

Nick: Ah.

Me: Though we’ve known each other for about four years now, so it’s a complicated llama.

Nick: That’s the beauty of it: its complexity, depth, and history. Not to mention your significant common ground.

Me: What? You mean sobriety?

Nick: That, plus everything else that emanates from it.

Me: Like the fact that I don’t need poppers when he’s fucking me.

Nick: Um. Yeah.

The View from Trent Lott’s Porch

Last week I spent some time at a friend’s apartment as he recovered from back surgery, watching a lot of TV. I myself have a television but no cable, which in New York is needed to watch even network stations. If I had cable I’d never get any homework done. I keep up with the Times website every day but if I had only read about the people trapped at the New Orleans convention center I doubt I would have cried. Which is an odd thing for a writer to admit, but so be it. I have a newfound appreciation for TV. That cameraman better get a Pulitzer. And a raise.

Trailing my outrage was a peculiar, uncomfortable thrill. It’s coursed through me countless times over the past five years; a thrill that perseveres despite all evidence pointing to its eventual extinction.

It began in 2000 when Bush lost the popular vote and resurfaced when everyone realized he had initiated Operation Iraqi Freedom under false pretenses. It surged when the pictures from Abu Ghraib were made public and bubbled when Karl Rove was exposed as the CIA leak.

Last week I felt it again: the tiny thrill, shadowing every horrific blunder of this administration, that this is it, this is finally the one: this is when we finally snap out of our slumber and demand revolution.

Like I said, it’s usually a matter of days before the thrill is gone. This is an administration that has pulled out of the Kyoto Treaty, excused itself from the Geneva Conventions, betrayed the UN and the post-9/11 American unity on a unilateral war, cut taxes for the wealthy, lowered antipollution standards, threatened national parks, and is currently slinging mud and blaming everyone else for its stupid, lazy response to Hurricane Katrina.

Here is Bush reflecting on the devastation: “We got a lot of rebuilding to do…. the good news is and it’s hard for some to see it now but out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic gulf coast… out of the rubbles of Trent Lott’s house — the guy lost his entire house — there’s going to be fantastic house. I look forward to sitting on the porch.”

Gee, Mr. President. I feel safer already.

I can think of only two things he has failed to accomplish (yet): Social Security reform, and an amendment to the constitution banning same-sex marriage. If Watergate were to happen today, Bush would probably keep his job.

I suppose if I were a pessimist I’d pay that little thrill no heed. But I’m not quite that lucky.

In other news, my father and his partner came through town. We went to Kitchenette for brunch, and afterwards they both pulled out those little tourist wallets, the kind you hang around your neck under your clothes, to foil New York muggers. It was so fucking CUTE!

And school began today. This semester I have my thesis workshop, which is all about planning the book. Less reading, more writing. We have to submit seven goddamned times, every other week. When the hell am I going to get my back-to-school shopping done? I gots to look good for the new meat.

In my fevered rush of self-promotion, I neglected to mention that there are, well, a few other people involved in the creation of the anthology. Some of them even blog. Rob and Ted are the glamorous, highly-paid editors, and the stylish contributors include Alex Chee and Joe.My.God., so that’s four more reasons to buy the anthology. If books by bloggers sell well, it stands to reason that the publishing industry will continue to troll through our backwaters for fresh meat. Which means your own inspired ramblings could get set down in a clean typeface for the masses, and soon David Sedaris will lose sleep at the mere mention of your name. So really, you’re doing yourself a favor by getting the book. Remember, I’m always thinking of you.

In other news, my little brother just got engaged. My. Little. Brother. I got a bit choked-up when he called with the news, and my mind raced with thoughts of little nieces and nephews running underfoot, drooling, stumbling, and calling me Uncle Mike. Thank God someone in my family turned out straight.

I myself am a long ways from walking down the aisle dressed in white. The closest thing I have to a fiancé is my workout partner, with whom I’ve begun…well…something we’re trying not label. It’s an interesting experience, to say the least, and not so easy to put into words. It’s easier to make art out of bad sex. Good sex just ends up sounding like porn. Let’s just say that he challenges my rather tame conception of what a bad boy sex pig does behind closed doors. The word “scalpel,” for example, has traditionally not made me think of hot, dirty sex. But life is full of learning experiences. And I’ve always found scars kinda sexy.