I Didn’t Need AA But Its Meetings Saved My Life

I Didn’t Need A A But Its Meetings Saved My Life

Jimmy, the home health aide for hire I used for my recent shoulder surgery, was driving me to my first post op doctor’s visit (you’re not allowed to drive for six weeks to keep the shoulder immobile) when he very matter of factly mentioned he was attending an AA meeting that night and wanted to know if I was curious and would like to join him. Since he was the one who opened up the subject, I asked him about his sobriety and he replied he had been sober for over thirty years since he saw his life going down the sewer in his twenties, and made it a point to make an AA meeting whenever and wherever he could, even in vacation out of the way spots like Australia.

Now one thing I never had a problem with was alcohol. “Speed” has always been my nemesis, from my six cups of coffee days to the black beauties of my college career that got me through a part time job and full time student schedule, to those speed enriched Slim Fasts of my professional days, to my current on again, off again meth habit as a retiree. ( I have since learned there are AA-like meetings for druggies and may attend one myself.) But I was planning to make two of the protagonists in my next book alcoholics, so I decided to take Jimmy up on his offer and do a little research.

Since that first time I’ve attended half a dozen meetings populated by young gays and old gays, young str8’s and old str8’s, men, women, and poly addicts, and realized that these meetings were more than support mechanisms. They also provided its members with a safe, non judgmental and welcoming social environment free of our society’s social glue – liquor.

Now I have to confess I didn’t buy its core dogma about relinquishing yourself to a higher power. My lifetime philosophy has been you are responsible for your own actions and it’s you who has to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. But what fascinated me were the stories people told about their lives before AA.

Wrecked careers, marriages gone down the sewer, near death health scenarios, all that got me to thinking that if these individuals who came from all walks of life, many of them white collar professionals, could deal with their issues with alcohol everyday of their lives, fuck, when it came to my collapsing spine and the resulting arthritic pain that was driving me to end what was and still is a good life, I could deal with my shit too.

So I said to myself, Ray – I talk to myself a lot, it’s the way I think out problems and stay sane – I said, Ray, if these folks could pull themselves out of the depths of degradation, you can deal with this left hook that Nature has thrown at you.

After all, I’m still mobile, still got my dogs and my handful of friends – anyone who says they have more than four or five steadfast friends are bullshitting you or worse themselves – can still turn a head or two, and make love to a 43 year old man who makes love to me. So stop with the pity parties of one at six in the morning, take your fucken Advils or a few puffs on your medical marijuana vapo-cig…

And shut the fuck up.

It could be a lot worse.

You could be living in your car.

And that repo tow truck is right around the corner.

Trump Should Be Charged With Treason

Trump Should Be Charged With Treason

Believing Putin, our country’s arch enemy, when he told him Russia had nothing to do with the meddling in our 2016 Presidential election while all the evidence points right back at Russian cyberspies financed by the Russian government?! In fact there’s indications they’re already fucking around with our 2018 midterm elections.

If that’s not an impeachable offense, defined broadly in the Constitution as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” when as President of the United States you are ignoring your own intelligence agencies’ findings and siding with the worst person in the world you could support, you tell me what is. No wonder Putin wanted Hillary, a seasoned politician, to lose. He knew he could walk all over Trump which is exactly what he’s doing – on a world stage.

Trump isn’t just a jerk.

He’s dangerous.

My Window On The World

My Window On The World

For a person who traveled the seven continents, worked over thirty years in two demanding careers, and, yes, lived what I wrote and wrote what I lived in five works of erotic gay fiction, one memoir, and hundreds of blogs, my life has been reduced of late – by choice – to my large screened in patio facing one of Lauderdale’s famous canals.

My window on my world.

It is a lush world here in south Florida, a universe away from everywhere else, a place I spend much of my waking hours as a contented recluse, reading the morning paper, writing, hugging my dogs, taking unending naps on a thread worn but comfortable old couch with my three babies cradled around me, making love to my man – in and out of my heated pool – arguing on the phone with my cantankerous eighty year old ex up at our home in PA about absolute shit who I, being a masochistic, will be visiting later this month for a few weeks to see he hasn’t become a hoarder …

… and seriously contemplating my own destined, preplanned demise. After all, I already have my mausoleum picked out and paid for, my revised will is signed, sealed and delivered, so there’s not much left but to, well, do it.

The pretty foliage which adorns my patio was laid out by a conniving metrosexual fuck buddy who thought the tooth fairy would fix his transmission and who at 56 was out of a job with almost no money put away, yet thought I was the uncouth one because I led my 20180715_190528life as a realist. Our lingering on again, off again one sided three year “romance” where I performed the sex and provided the drugs like some willing standby unpaid rentboy ended abruptly when he realized the candy train was coming to an end, but just before, with his designer eye, he laid out the plants that make my window on the world all the more lush. I have no animosity towards him – though he owes me a thousand dollars and I hope he loses everything and ends up homeless  or turn him over to a buddy of mine who said “any body gives you trouble, they’ll end up in my trunk” – only anger at myself for having played the fool so long.

I must admit I put on a good show for the world outside my world, still sexy and snappy, when I venture out on a weekend night at our leather bar, the Ramrod, or Hunters, our disco dance club, cruised by kids old enough to be my grandson or old men younger than me or when some buddy or girlfriend or my lover ventures into mine. But with the vertebrae and discs of my spine collapsing – there is not a fucken thing else wrong with me – I wake each day, or more likely several times during the night, in pain that only a heating pad brings a smidgen of relief until my Advils kick in. (The medical marijuana helps but isn’t a cure-all – great for sex though.) I bounce from bedroom to living room sofa, inevitably to my thread worn couch on my beloved patio with my beloved Pete, who follows me around like a shadow, materializing by my feet, channeling I think some late gay great great uncle who was the town queer in the old country.

When my primary care doc who became concerned about my mental state prior to my shoulder surgery had me seen by a psychiatrist who I think are jokes, I decided to mind fuck her and laid it on thick when she, after all, asked me how I had planned to do IT. Oh, park my 2009 Honda Element in my carport (which has a great trade in value – pay attention executor of my will) , run an exhaust hose, probably the kind you buy for your dryer, through the utility door into the house. Of course, I’d have my three dogs, my Chihuahua terrier mix Pete and my two elitist doxie girls, Annie and Bebe, with me. After all, what future would three aging dogs have in this cold cruel selfish world when their Daddy was no longer around?

The only problem is dying on my beloved patio where the open air would dilute the blessed noxious fumes. Or maybe it would just take longer.

I might try a dry run and see…

That is, that was what I was actually contemplating until I attended a few AA meetings – yes, AA meetings – with Jimmy, the pay for hire home health aide who helped me during my shoulder surgery. While I’m no alcoholic, though I freely admit I have an addictive personality, those meetings may very well have saved my life.

Find out why on Wednesday…

“Fuck Yea!”

“Fuck Yea!”

Before bedding down with just one man, my handsome forty three year old lover (when you got the near perfect guy who thinks you’re hot shit too, why look elsewhere), I was Run-around Ray when, if I was box office poison on the web a particular week (now the web  is just plain dead) I would hit the sex clubs and bath houses and ended up leaving twenty or thirty dollars lighter and more frustrated than when I came in.

One time I was at Slammers, our local sex club, getting my fifth uncompleted blow job of the night at one of its glory holes (my moment of triumph would cum a half hour later), when a guy, apparently hitting the jackpot on the other end, yelled out, “fuck yea!”
It struck me that this is probably the most frequently used phrase us gay boys utter in our tainted, jaded vocabulary.

Now the origins of the word, fuck, are kinda murky. Some scholars trace it to Latin, others say it’s Germanic, and that “fuck” initially meant “to strike,” then later “to penetrate.” There’s even one silly hypothesis that claims it dates back to when sex was illegal unless it was permitted by the king, so people who were legally having intercourse were doing Fornication Under Consent of the King or F.U.C.K.

But, who the fuck cares how it came to be, right? We all love the guttural sound of the phrase and its lustful, super-butch impact when you say it, making you feel (if you aren’t already) like some hot, big, brick shithouse of a guy, bearded and hairy and hung ….
And we gay guys use it for every occasion:

When somebody’s going down on you and doing a great job, it’s “fuck yea, buddy, fuck yea!” alternated with “fucken A, fucken A!”

Or when you’re plowing a guy, his hairy muscled legs up on your shoulders, and he’s laying there, starry- eyed or his hairy fucken butt’s in your face, or you’re the one getting plowed, every thrust generates another “Fuck yea man, fuck yea!”

Or when you see some hottie across the way at a bar or a bath house and you whisper to your buddy or, suitably plastered, just go up to the guy and spurt it out, “Fuck yea, man. You are fucken hot! So when are we gonna fuck?”

Or as we’re shootin’ our load, whatever position we’re in, don’t we all yelp, “fuck yea!”

Sure we do.

Fuck yea!

My Fifty Years As A Gay Man: Was It Worth It?

My Fifty Years As A Gay Man: Was It Worth It?

If you’re polyannic, wear rose-colored glasses 24/7, or are an alcoholic, meth head or druggie, don’t read this. You may want to throw yourself in front of a train.

I’m too self-centered, maybe a defense mechanism for having been shunned socially as a teenager, but I think I would have made a lousy husband – to a woman – and a lousy father. But life as a gay man? I can sum that up in two words: profoundly disappointing.

Maybe I just had the bad luck of meeting the wrong guys or attracted them, even after I went through the Gay School Of Hard Knocks and should have read people better. But 2018-07-02 18.14.12

sooner or later it was all about THEIR needs, not OUR needs. (The web has only made this worse.) Or they were grossly immature to the point I began to believe some of the old psychologist’s tales that gay men are gay because they’re in some form of arrested development. (You’re 48 years old and don’t have a pot to piss in? What the fuck happened?)

Leading a closed relationship with another man for decades who I should have left after a year of incompatibility didn’t help – you get comfortable with splitting the bills so shoot me – because when I did have time to do my thing it was limited and I ended up in all the wrong places – the sex clubs and bathhouses and the orgy parties – where good people were a rarity.

And making friends was difficult when both my ex-partner and I were working hard and G was antisocial to begin with. You meet gay buddies on vacations and cruises and activities like bowling or softball or jogging, none of which G wanted to do, and so I did my traveling alone with no one to share my experiences with, and when I attempted other stuff I soon felt like a fifth wheel with other guys, often coupled off with their other halves, viewing me as some kind of threat. So I eventually just dropped them for the quickies of the sauna room and sex club dark hallways. The tinsel part of gay life – the white parties and the club circuit and the drama – never appealed to me.

Also being halfway decent-looking was a problem because many times I wanted to be friends – just friends – with guys who thought a conversation would eventually lead to the bedroom. So I just stopped doing it.

I did end up with three reliable fuck buddies in NYC but was alone my first ten years in Fort Lauderdale until I entered the meth scene where everyone was you’re buddy – if you had the stuff. And they’re were some handsome fuckers to get high with. I knew what I was getting into but I was lonely, till I gradually dropped them all including a guy I had fallen in love with but had told me directly and indirectly he didn’t want a relationship. I wasted three years and thousands in drugs before two degreed and former professional me got the message.

The web that I played heavily and which was pretty successful in its early years has diminished to one big carnival joke. Most of the guys who hit me up don’t even read my profile, or are so fucken ugly I’m beginning to wonder if some enemy of mine is paying them to hit me up just for laughs.

I am in love with a very handsome guy, thirty years my junior – no drugs – but his being married to a man for whom he is deeply obligated has made our half a relationship difficult for me to cope with, but at my age cope is all I can do. I should be happy as shit someone like him is interested in me and I am.

But gay life? Baby, you can have it. And the fellow faggots I’ve met along the way? Nine out of ten you can put on the Titanic II and sink it.

Photo: It’s my birthday Sunday: me at 71.


My Fifty Years As An Out and About Gay Man

My Fifty Years As An Out and about Gay Man…

This past Friday night, the beginning of an extended Fourth of July holiday (since the Fourth falls in the middle of the week), I was at the Ramrod, my old drinking hole and Lauderdale’s leather/levi bar, enjoying the club music and the half naked men gyrating on its postage stamp dance floor when it hit me. Besides turning 71 in another week, July also marked my fiftieth anniversary as an out and about gay man.

Practically every Gay Pride festivities in the U.S. has the word Stonewall in its title. Stonewall was a seedy Manhattan bar in the West Village, open when its Mafia owners paid off the cops ( remember, gay bars were illegal at the time), raided when they didn’t. Only this time, on a hot June night in 1969, the patrons, many of them drag queens, were in no mood to be paddywagoned to the local police station. Instead they rioted and the Gay Liberation movement was born.

No I wasn’t in the Stonewall that fateful night. But it was the first gay bar I ever walked into a year earlier in July of 1968.

Living at home in Jersey while I was completing my degree, I was working to pay for college at a now defunct retail store chain called Two Guys where my boss was a dead ringer for Jackie Gleason, that rotund, wise-guy comedian. Only there was something a little peculiar about Charlie. When he said he wanted to do something special for me for my 21st birthday, I figured we’d go out for dinner at the local Italian restaurant where, for lunch, Charlie would have a gargantuan meat ball sub and a “diet Coke, please” since he was on a perpetual nowhere diet. I had convinced him to hire Rob, a crush of mine from college, but I was surprised when the two of them pulled up at my parent’s house to pick me up that Saturday night.

Driving into the City, Charlie revealed his true persuasions to me and Rob (we soon came out to him, too), and how he had been a headliner drag queen entertainer in the ‘50’s. So where did we end up but in Manhattan’s then seedy West Village and the Stonewall. I’ll never forget the beads you had to walk through after the bouncer let you in, and the go-go boys dancing on the bar. It was years later that I read how the place had been run by the Mafia and how it was constantly raided if the payoffs weren’t enough. Had I known then, I would have hightailed it to Port Authority Terminal that night and taken a bus home.

Years later, my ex who is ten years my senior told me he was nearly caught in a bar raid in the mid ’60’s. Believe or not, gay bars were illegal and if you got caught in a raid, your name was published in the paper. Your family knew, your employer knew, your life was over. My ex managed to escape through a back emergency entrance, otherwise …

I had hoped I would make it with Rob, but in the end he fell asleep after his first drink, and I ended up getting picked up by some older guy (probably 25) in a white suit who took me back to his apartment a few blocks away. Naïve me, when he whipped it out my first reaction was, what am I supposed to do with it?

But I’ve always been a quick study.

Over the intervening decades I would play the gay scene in Hollywood, California, before there was a West Hollywood, return to New York and its West Village leather scene, now all gone, meet my ex partner who I remained with for forty six tumultuous years, somehow survived the AIDS Genocide of the eighties, built my career and my fuckbuddyships in the nineties, and entered the world of the web in the early 2000’s as an early retiree to Fort Lauderdale which was poised to become the epicenter of gay life in America.

If you want to know more, check out my memoirs, “Furry Man’s Journal” on Amazon under my pen name, RP Andrews.

And have a Happy Fourth.

Friday, my assessment of my life as a gay man. Was it all worth it?