This is about my two “first” visits to Montreal, my actual first visit in May of 2010, and my second “first” visit a little over two years to the day in June of 2012. I call them both “first” visits because much has changed there in those two years, as it has in many other gay haunts, not necessarily in favor of older gay men who in our youth helped make possible the beginnings of so many of these scenes. Now we are like dinosaurs in a strange land.
Below is my original blog published some time ago about my 2010 visit; tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the sharp contrasts I found in my visit this June.
On my short list of North American gay vacation spots I’d never been to and was still interested in seeing were Palm Springs and Montreal. Along the way, I consulted out-of-town tricks about their experiences at both. Palm Springs sounded hot but all I pictured was some plastic moneyed crowd transplanted from Logo West Hollywood. Plus, I had never gotten a hit from anyone there on any of the half dozen sex websites I subscribed to. Montreal men, on the other hand, with their muscle and their fur, came onto me plenty, so it didn’t take much to finally make up my mind where to spend a long spring weekend two years ago out of town. And all I can say, while I must confess I prefer circed men, I never saw or had so many uncut guys in my life in so short a time in one place.
My financial planners in Lauderdale – gay, happily partnered to each other and Montreal devotees – recommended a small, non-descript guesthouse just a few blocks from St. Catherine, the Gay Village’s Main Street. Maison des Jardins’ proprietors, Rob and Luc, cute, hot, in-shape and seasoned, made me the virgin vacationer in their new top floor apartment suite, complete with its own private entrance and deck. The place was so spacious I could have had three orgies going on simultaneously and the guys from one sexfest wouldn’t have run into the guys from the others.
I have to say having everything on an eight block or so stretch of St. Catherine – the bars, clubs, restaurants and enough bath houses for five urban hubs – made cruising and playing extremely convenient. I also felt a great sense of community, more than even in places like NYC’s Chelsea I left back in the early 2000’s. Here, guys held hands, or embraced or kissed on the street (on the cheeks and the lips) very matter of factly, not to show off or draw attention.
But while, yes, that first day, hearing and seeing French made me feel like I had hopped a plane and gone to Europe, by Saturday the gibberish had gotten a little irritating and just a bit elitist like I had felt when surrounded by the real Les McCoy’s on a visit to Paris two winters ago. For a heavily trafficked tourist area in a country that, after all, is officially bilingual, many of the twinks who staffed the shops or restaurants or even the bath house windows knew about as much English as I remembered of my high school French. About the only person who impressed me with her bi-linguistic expertise was my black shoe polish haired, multi-tatted, nose-ringed waitress at the outdoor café I frequented for dunch who switched from French to English like I would go from chewing a trick’s left tit to his right.
Also apparent, particularly that late Friday afternoon at the very popular beer bust of one of the roof top bars, was the same generational divide between the young, often effeminate guys with their 28 inch waists, and the older seasoned men that I witnessed in most other urban gay ghettos including my own Lauderdale. At least one good thing: they all weren’t umbilically connected to their I-phones or blackberrys checking out Grinders like those cell-obsessed faggots back in sunny Florida.
Knowing my guest house, Maison des Jardins, had wi-fi, I schlepped my laptop with me to close in on the half a dozen or so webmen I had gotten some preliminary commitments from before I left Florida, and to take advantage of the “I want it now” boys. Two of my pre-arranged tricks proved disappointing, another suddenly came down with the bubonic plague and wouldn’t be able to connect, and a third had such an erratic work schedule that he was ONLY available after 11 on Friday night, my one and only Friday night to explore gay Montreal. Oh, but I’d wait for him. Sure.
On a positive note, there was Jacques, a forty-something, long haired computer tech, a Daddy Hunt find, with a typical French Canadian swimmers build, uncut cock, and some fur, who biked over to my place where we enjoyed a hard dicked Friday afternoon liaison; and Eduardo, all of 35, and yes, also intact, who e’d me on Bear 411 at 8:30 on Saturday night, was on my couch by 10, and out with smiles on both our faces by twenty of 11. Efficient.
Daytime I played typical tourist, walking over to Old Montreal which, with its quaint eighteenth century architecture, nicely scrubbed cobble stone streets and overpriced cafes and souvenir shops, resembled a carefully orchestrated Disney theme park; or Mount Royal, a few metro stops from the Village, where I got my aerobic work-out of the weekend, climbing to the top where a former chateau and a panoramic view of the City awaited me.
I was flattered that a bearish young cub on 411 had invited me to an orgy he was hosting at his place Saturday night, but I’d have to take the Metro in a strange town and you never knew whether the set universe of guys at a sex fest would be to your liking or you to theirs. So, instead, I opted for the strip.
After hitting Le Stud, populated with more of my kind of men but mostly paired off on the dance floor, I drifted over the Eagle Noir, hosting an auction to send their guy to IML, to rendezvous with yet another website possibility: Pierre, 43, 5-9, not much fur but honestly handsome, a tight gymnast body and goatee, and a college instructor like me. We connected all right but he kept rattling on in broken English about some ex-lover and even when we mutually groped in a dark corner, pulling up our T’s and reaching into one another’s levis, he insisted he couldn’t go back with me: (a) because he knew my hosts, Rob and Luc (so? were they waiting up for me like some anxious parents to approve whom I had taken home?); and (b) because even though he and his partner no longer had sex, they still lived together and somehow it wouldn’t be right.
I wish I had known how to say “cut the bullshit” in French at that moment. Instead, dripping but not yet ready to head over to GI Joe’s, the bath house where I had encountered my first legion of thick uncut cocks the night before, I smiled a polite au vois and re-entered the sea of new prospects back in the bar – shirtless.
Lo and behold, I found that a gay art that I had thought had long died – good old fashioned eye-to-eye cruising – was alive and well that Saturday night at Montreal’s Eagle Noir. One built mother fucker, apparently with no agenda since he was with a bunch of his clones, gestured to me in the crowd and shouted, “You know how hot you are?” Then there was the tall, burly, dark bearded man with the sloppy black T who said nothing but eyed, stroked or groped me each time our bodies rubbed against one another in the crowd. Maybe not drunk enough, or a bit intimated by his stature, I didn’t make the next move. So who should I rub furry bellies with a half an hour later within the tight hallways of GI Joe’s, my kind of bath house, than my dark handsome stranger who smiled broadly and asked for my room number.
Emile’s English was spotty but we weren’t connecting to discuss American-Canadian relations, and after we had caressed and kissed and played and came, I turned to Emile and asked softly, “c’est bon?” Stroking my beard, he replied with that sexy broad smile of his, “oui, c’est bon.”
At the airport that Monday morning, waiting for my flight to be called, I decided to squeeze in breakfast at the restaurant across from my gate and unload what I could of my remaining Canadian dollars. I placed my order and went to the john and when I returned to my table, my waitress was just strolling over with my cheese omelet and coffee.
“See,” she said all “hope this gets me a nice tip” cheery-like, “timing is everything in life.”
Thinking back to my weekend’s hunting, I nodded. “It sure is.”
Tomorrow: How Things Have Changed in The Land of the Uncut Circa 2012