I thought the following e-mail exchange, between myself and a very dear female friend (although we won't hold that against her!), said a lot, even without editing. It seems that there are those of us out there who really are able to be sensible about sex, and its place in our lives.
Me: I only went to one of those things once (a Mid America Fists in Action, also known as MAFIA, party), as a guest, and it was very weird because of the kindness and civility. There were rooms on the first floor where people socialized, had a drink, and chatted. All very Martha Stewart. And then you went down to the basement where there were literally about a dozen or more slings (with rolls of paper towels thoughtfully hung above each one, cans of Crisco on the floor, and Wet Wipes nearby), and you stuck your hand up the ass of some guy you were just discussing making veal Scaloppini with upstairs. After both of you were sated, you could return back to the conversations upstairs, and perhaps wax knowledgeable on opera or feng shui.
Her: Reminds me of my first visit to the Gold Coast (once one of Chicago's most notorious leather bars), on a tour of bars with my friend ___, a fellow Gucci slave. We went down into the pit, and I literally overheard two very hard-core leather boys genially chatting about apple pie recipes. It was a little early so there was no action going on, but I did run into a boy who'd worked in the stock room at Field's when I was working there. He was a bit startled at first but then very gracious. Personally, I think the whole thing makes perfect sense. Make a gratifying sexual experience part of an intelligent, civilized evening. No tiresome flirting or half-hearted seduction, just get down to business and have a nice nightcap afterwards.
Me: Ah ... you know, it really is a blessing being a gay man sometimes. Who else can count such bizarre circumstances as part of one's memory? Well, you probably can, but I often wonder if you have a gay man lurking somewhere inside of you.
Her: How flattering. I think so myself. Probably accounts for my devotion to Christopher Isherwood, anonymous sex, West Side Story and to great satisfaction in being with men. Well, maybe next lifetime.
She should be so lucky. Who else, other than our curious and cultivated gay populace, has the good sense to combine the delights of cultured conversation and horribly invasive anal sex in one evening? Maybe I should attend another MAFIA party (what do you think, boys? How about an invitation?). I really could use some tips on arranging dried flowers and J-lube.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org