Me and my other half spent the last few days doing nothing at a quiet, very str8 hideaway in international boating and fishing mecca Marathon, in the middle of the Florida Keys. Most of these little non-descript resorts with their own “no swimming” beaches (that’s because the shoreline is as hard-as-concrete coral) and their aging buildings (we had constant problems with our toilet) and patched together piers date from the ‘50’s and ‘60’ where their current owners are milking ‘em dry with overpriced rooms bought up quickly by tourists from Canada and the Snow Belt (a number of our fellow guests were from Nebraska, Ohio and Michigan). Funny, I always feel like an alien when surrounded by str8’s in a social setting, and here again, str8 married couples, with kids and without kids, with hot hubbies or fat nottie hubbies, seemed to co-mingle almost instantly and spark up conversations about their lives without promptings. But when it came to solo me or me and George, two “regular” guys, all we got was an occasional “how are ya.” Call it intimidation (they’re living the str9 script, I ain’t got one), or call it boredom, (just how exciting can talking about golf get?), but by the end of the three days I needed a fag fix. That is, even if I am asking myself “What am I doing here?” twenty minutes after I walk into Lauderdale’s heavy leather bar, the Ramrod.
This trip I decided to run my own little hookup experiment though I was “unavailable.” I had my Samsung Galaxy combing the phone apps, GPS-driven for locals, and the hook-up sites, also accessible on my phone, still set for “Fort Lauderdale.” Three days later, I had gotten a handful of hits, (half, as usual, from outside Florida), a few I might have taken advantage of, but nothing to arouse my loins. As I said in my last post on my recent trip to St Pete’s, Fl., the web and phone apps’ hook-up abilities are fading , if not on life support. They’ve, instead, become havens for crazies and jerk-off bunnies.
George and I have visited Key West a number of times (unless you’re on the prowl, even KW can get a little boring the third time around and as one you wrote me, “The Island House is up for sale – enjoy it while’s it’s still gay), so there were no plans to repeat the passage. But I do recall a visit a fellow whoring buddy and I made a few years back when the web was a still live wire and all you needed was wifi and your laptop …
I already knew that Key West’s reputation as a premier gay mecca had come and gone, and that the torch had been long passed, first to South Beach, then Lauderdale. Hell, I even heard the cruise ships had asked the town’s fathers to de-fag the place so not to offend its straight-laced clientele, and drunken straights were ridiculing gays on Duval, a street we gays had once owned. Even fifteen years ago, before I began snow-birding to Lauderdale, I had booked a hotel in Key West that advertised in a gay rag in NYC only to find myself the only token homo in the place, surrounded by Euro-yuppies.
But when my main bud Bill and I thought about doing another long weekend, Key West, a locale just four hours away from Lauderdale that my friend was entranced by, seemed the perfect fit. Now on past trips of my own, I had had little luck lining guys up off the web in advance. So this time I decided to test Bill’s theory, take our laptops with us, and hit up the “I want it now” boys while we were actually there.
We booked a small, straight bed and breakfast hotel with internet access (as far as we were concerned more important than a shower and toilet) just a few blocks from the fabled, legendary Island House at half the price. After all, for twenty-five bucks you could get a day pass at IH good till 8 a.m. the next morning and enjoy all of its decadent amenities in clothing optional bliss: the pool, surrounded by an outdoor bar and 24 hour café/ restaurant, the sauna, steam rooms, two hot tubs, and the “culture” room with its nooks and crannies and porn video. Hell, the place was just one high end whorehouse – or so we first surmised after that quick Cook’s tour we got that initial afternoon of our arrival in town by a sixties-style queen.
The weather may have been picture perfect, but our obsession was on the indoor sports. Because we weren’t into threesomes with one another, we agreed that if one of us had a trick lined up for the room, the other would hide out at the IH till it was all clear. Armed with the internet and our cell phones, and with Island House as our back-up, we were almost guaranteed to score.
The scene in Key West has definitely contracted, and if it weren’t for the sun, the palm trees and Hemingway’s house, you’d swear you were in some medium size town like Columbus, Ohio. The gay guest houses, armed fortresses behind pretty white fences and security access gates, were all concentrated on one block, Fleming, and the bars, which you can count on one hand, twinked for the most part except for biker bar Saloon 1, were clustered together on the 800 block of Duval.
As my main bud Bill and I were to see during the course of the weekend, though, an anything goes attitude prevailed once you were safe inside these gay cloisters.
Setback #1: Don’t fall for the colorful promos of bodies by God that Island House hustles. Most of the guys we saw those three days were partnered, kept, nerdy, ironing boards, over-the-hill twinks, old, and/or glued to their laps, I-pods, Blackberrys, or latest gay porn trash paperback. Here we were, along with a handful of other guys who had their shit together, lounging butt naked at the pool, pumped and fresh from our gym work-out, and not one fucker even passed us a dirty look. NO eye contact whatsoever.
One fat fuck who looked like Budda was lying in his room pulling his pud in full view of every passerby all weekend that we thought maybe he was stuffed.
I began to ponder why these guys spent all this money to do nothing to try to get laid when I realized that, unlike Bill and I who live in Gay Whorehouse, U.S.A., many of these guys come from towns where homosexuality is banned from the local dictionary, and apparently are content with just being here.
Setback #2: Lack of not just quality but quantity. Isn’t it always the same shit? You go to some celebrated, overpriced gay ghetto, find things, well, quiet, and are told you just missed some big blow-out weekend or one was coming up after you were leaving. That’s exactly the line we got: there had been a bear nude-fest with 200 men the weekend before, and the weekend we were here was the lull before the Christmas gang bang when hordes of guys would be fucking in the streets. Somehow, though, we just didn’t buy that bill of goods when, in the heart of a recession, even bars and guest houses in more centrally located Lauderdale were suffering.
The result: although Bill and I had some action in the Island House back rooms and sweat rooms, quality meat was far and few between. In fact, we found Saturday afternoon and night at both IH and the Duval bars comparatively empty with less guys than we encountered Thursday night on our arrival.
No wonder one of my tricks, a cop who lived here full time, confessed I was the first sex he had had in SIX months.
Setback #3: We had switched our website locales on Manhunt and Adam4Adam to Key West the night before we left and were already getting hits. But just as in Lauderdale, the mindfuckers/gameplayers converged on us new KW meat in full force. Only now, with our laps just feet away on our beds, we could ID these fuckers almost instantly. The same humpy guy would hit Bill up first, then me a half hour later, or vice versa, with the same come-on line, a phone number linked to perpetja-voicemail, and no follow-through. (We later responded with a “gotcha!” reply just to let them know we were up to their BS.)
But, hell, we were seasoned web masters, and we weren’t going to let these losers get in the way of our fun. Like aggressive day traders, we plowed the websites every chance we got: after our continental breakfast, before we went for our IH gym work-out, after the afternoon at the pool, or before dinner or after dinner, or before showering to go out. Once, Bill, negotiating a time and place with some hottie, brought his lap into the john while he was taking a shit.
Even when the internet signal from the office kept dropping out in our room, we persevered, trotted over with one of our laps to the porch just outside the office where the signal was strongest and continued our business, not giving one fuck what the pursy lipped tourists in from Iowa passing by thought of all the dicks and asses popping up on the pc screen.
Armed with our laptops, Bill’s and my perseverance and pure New York style pushiness paid off and we each managed to score a few winners to complement the assorted blowjobs and fucks we made at the Island House. Our collective dance cards by the weekend had about twenty names scribbled on them, a few more for Bill than me considering he’s still in the total whore stage of his budding gay career. Not bad for two aging fags who just breezed into town for the weekend.
Funny, when I asked my humpy, hairy, former Wall Streeter trick now living part-time in Key West if the web was as fucked up in NYC as it was here in south Florida where guys acted like you were negotiating a pre-nup, his reply was simple but all-telling: “In New York, lining up a trick on the web is like ordering pizza.”
Some Kodak moments:
Me getting my first underwater blow job with my dick submerged in the sauna from a cute, former Long Island friend of Bill’s coincidentally down for the weekend, who certainly had a strong pair of lungs to go with his magic mouth.
Bill getting blown by two guys on the pool table Jodie Foster style at Saloon 1, with the bartender ready to join in, a sharp contrast to Lauderdale where any backroom action is squashed. All while I was taking a tour of Hemingway’s retreat and hearing about his string of wives (who Ernest exploited to get ahead in the book publishing world) and his fucking six toed cats.
The hard cock contest at Saloon 1 on Friday night with guys dangling their tools out of some glory hole in full view of a very appreciative audience. Again, compare that to Lauderdale Ramrod’s Wednesday night best butt contest usually populated by drunken tourists where the MC has to hide the guy’s ass crack with a cum rag if he isn’t wearing underwear so the place isn’t closed down.
And the weekend’s comeuppance moment for me?
There was this hairy, seemingly muscular guy in from Oklahoma City who hit me up on the web, said he was staying at the Island House, and in the messages that followed led me to believe we would connect there. Since, unlike me, he didn’t have a face shot, I kept searching for my mystery man based on his height and build. Finally he revealed himself outside the gym only when Bill called out to me by name; but after all the back and forth bullshit on the web, he made no overtures he wanted my dick and shied away from me whenever we would brush by in the day that followed. Frankly, his bod pic had to be ten years old and if he were 44 like he said in his profile, I was 13 and jailbait.
Well, Saturday night, I walked into one of the rooms of the IH whoring arcade to find Rick lying on a platform getting plowed from behind. His plower apparently done with him, Rick continued to lie there, ass up, snorting his poppers in anticipation of his next dick. Only the room was populated by a few losers who kept pulling at their soft button dicks while I stroked my raging hard-on to peak perfection and in full view of Rick’s hesitant gaze. I got up to leave but made sure to brush dangerously close to my would-be suitor who, desperate for another deep fucking, fell for the bait and reached out to touch my cock. Ah, life’s cherished moments! I pushed his hand briskly aside and, strolling out, blurted loud enough for the three other losers to hear: “Fuck you.”
We kept running into Lauderdale folk throughout the weekend (I even blew one of them) and late in the trip, a Latin couple Bill knew told us about the New Orleans House. Right on Duval, it was a mini-Island House without the heavy $$ freight. It had an indoor bar, dance club, patio bar next to a clothing optional pool and sauna, a gym, and even an outdoor “backroom” hut perfect for evening play.
Most important, it sported a strong, reliable internet signal.