Years ago I thought I might have been gay. It sounds a bit stupid now, but it was all based on the fact that whenever I drink from a cup or mug with a handle, I always have my pinky finger sticking out. Its not just hanging free, it sticks right out straight. I still do it today. Actually I do it more. I do it when I drink wine, I do it when I drink lemonade, I do it when I drink beer. Basically I do it whenever I drink. Not on purpose mind you. Its not something I've practiced. It just happens all by itself.
I didn't used to notice. I only know now because my friends used to give me such a hard time about it. They all said it meant I was gay, like how having an ear ring in a certain ear is supposed to mean you're gay, or how a guy having a tattoo on his lower back is supposed to mean you're gay, or how sucking another man's penis is supposed to mean you're gay.
So anyway they went on about it in their pack mentality homophobic fashion so much that I started to wonder if their taunts actually had some basis to them. After all I have been told that I'm attractive to gay men but I never really put much stock in that because it always came from my lesbian friends and I think they have some sort of rivalry going on there. I don't really understand that, but I've noticed some gay men don't like gay women and visa versa. I've actually heard one lesbian girl say that gay men are just too gay.
You'd never hear that about a heterosexual, although now that I think about it there are a few people I'd definitely say are too heterosexual. Like Charlton Heston and anyone who takes their kids to Hooters. My dad took me to a strip bar when I was 16 years old and I thought that was too heterosexual...awesome...but too heterosexual. (Come on I was 16. As if it wouldn't be awesome.)
Actually now days I sort of think strip bars are just about the gayest places a man can go for a night out. A few years ago a mate dragged me out to one and it was really weird. There was a stage where the bored looking girls lulled around in a lacklustre drug induced haze, and then rows of chairs...like in a cinema. The rows of chairs were full of guys sitting and watching. I imagine (or try not to) that they all had hard ons and were pretty fired up for it.
I'm not so sure that a bunch of guys sitting around together with hardons can be construed as anything but gay, which would be fine if they were honest about it. I'd have no problem if the footy meatheads just started whipping them out and fellating one another. At least then it would make sense. The girls would then have a slightly more respectable job as fluffers for the nightly homosexual gang bang and everyone would finally have a much clearer understanding of the role of strip bars in the modern world.
I feel the same about bucks parties. I've been to a few of them where someone brings out the porn videos. Its never really a comfortable moment. I was at one once where this guy, who was best man, held the bucks night at his house. He lived in a little cottage with his wife, they were both well paid professionals and their home was decorated like an old lady lived there. There were ceramic geese for storing newspapers and everything was made out of pine. There were even doylies and bowls of potpourri. So when he opened a cabinet and took out a bullet proof vest and some hand weapons I thought it seemed slightly out of character. When he then put Blackhawk Down on the dvd and showed us all how the script differed from the actual army reports that he had printed out, I thought things were getting a little serial killery. When he pulled out the porn however, I felt that we were all being led down the seedy path to circle jerking. These two weird little people had more porn than South East Asia has noodles and lots of sex toys that he also felt would be a great idea to show to his mates. The last thing I want to do is sit around with a group of guys and watch a girl and 5 carpenters going at it on scaffolding. The WORST PART was when guys left to go to the toilet. I couldn't even take a pee after that happened. Too creepy.
Anyway I've gone a bit off track. Where was I? Oh yeah, me thinking I might be gay.
But how to test it? Easy right?
1. Gay porn- I went to the local blockbuster but they didn't have any gay porn, which I thought was a little strange. They had a copy of Edward Penis Fingers and Sex Trek 2 The Search For Spoof, they even had an old VHS of Pokeherhontis (There wasn't one native American in that film, although I'm not too surprised there wasn't an uproar in this case) but there wasn't anything even remotely gay...except maybe that Batman movie with George Clooney in it, where the suit had nipples.
Well...that's not entirely true. There was lesbian porn. So I rented out something that looked classy, some french film that looked a bit nouvelle vaguey, something with "anal" in the title and hurried home. I know it wasn't strictly what I went there to get but hey...its all gay right? So I got the lesbian porn and I liked it, which made me think maybe I had my first bit of proof. I enjoyed watching gay people have gay sex, I was stimulated, I couldn't stop watching, but...did this mean I was gay? Probably not.
2. Gay Bar- I went to a bar that is locally known as a gay bar called The Beat. The beat however, I was to find out later, had recently been turned into a strip club. I went in and the place was packed with both men and women. Were these my people? They had pretty cool dress sense and like me, many of them seemed to enjoy interesting drinks with umbrellas in them. I raised my eyebrows at a few fellas (my suave pick up method) but nobody seemed interested in what I was putting out. I'd gone to the trouble of buying hair mouse just for this night. I even had the neck of my shirt open a little more than usual, but nobody even talked to me.
This seems strange to me now. Since that night I have been hit up for man sex by a huge deaf mute on a bus in L.A (see previous blog posts), proposed to by a man with a massive pussy sore on his face in Peru and even winked at in court by a business man with a scarf. This night however, I got nuthin'.
But then the DJ announced the first stripper of the evening and I saw my problem. The Beat was no longer a gay bar and so, self esteem saved, I bought a drink and thought, 'what the hell. I may as well watch the first show.' It actually turned out that an old friend of mine, Doug Chapman had recently taken over management of the bar and had been instructed by the new owners to change it into a straight bar. Pfft...like there is such a thing. He'd figured a strip bar was the best way to achieve that goal.
So the stripper walked out on stage and started her act and a strange thing happened. All of the guys moved to the back of the room and all of the girls in the bar moved to the stage. The look on the face of the stripper was funny enough, but then I saw Doug's face and he just looked horrified. The stripper danced quickly past the approving female audience and danced up the back of the room to the apathetic male punters. I guess nobody told the gay people that their bar wasn't gay anymore. I imagine, in fact, that the lesbians just figured they had decided to up the lesbian level somewhat.
It was awesome.
Then, as I began to sweat under the strobe lighting, a guy came wondering up to me. I thought, 'Okay...game on,' but he turned out to be another old friend of mine named Brad. It seemed Brad and a number of other lads had been called by Doug to come to the club and help hetero it up a bit. Brad was freaking out. He really wasn't comfortable with all the gayness and so was drinking profusely. He was knocking back scotches like jelly babies and got obliterated. The last I saw of him, he was leaning on the bar, trying to stay upright, and chatting to a fella.
Actually its sort of funny...sort of...but weeks later he told me that he went there with a "mate" and that "mate" got really drunk and that that "mate" ended up getting raped by a fella on the beach down the street from the bar, and that that "mate" was a bit weirded out because that "mate" sort of enjoyed it.
In case you didn't pick that up, I think Brad was actually talking about himself.
When I, horrified at someone being raped, said "that's terrible," he quickly but awkwardly agreed, saying, "yeah me too. Gays are sick!" I then explained that its not the finding out he might enjoy gay sex that I thought was terrible, but the act of rape and we have never spoken since. He literally stopped answering my calls and eventually moved away.
Anyway the gay bar yielded no results and I was at a loss, when one day the perfect opportunity arose. I was working for a company doing faux paint finishes and murals for rich folk in penthouses and stuff around the Gold Coast and they sent me to do a job at the home of Mr Leather Forever, a fairly rich fella who owned a chain of leather retail stores throughout Australia. Mr Leather Forever was about as gay as you can get. I'm not being homophobic. He just was. Like a fish is very much like a fish, or a teddy bear is very teddy bearish, Mr Leather Forever was gay...ish. Let me give you the run down of things that tipped me off.
He wore a toupee that was sandy blonde and blow waved beyond what even WHAM era George Michael achieved. He thought everything was fabulous. He pursed his lips in that sort of way that looks like you're coming off the end of eating something sour. He wore lots of jewellery. He collected 50's movie memorabilia, he listened to a lot of Minelli and...there's something else...something I'm forgetting...what was...oh yeah, he was fucking another guy.
So anyway he was a pretty funny fella and we got along. I worked there for a couple of weeks and he was always good with making me something to eat for my lunch break.
Actually can I stop for a moment to just comment on how nice it is, as a tradesman or whatever, to be offered something to eat and maybe a drink when on the job? I lived in Ireland for a while and people would cook you a full breakfast for morning tea. That NEVER happens in Australia and its really shitty. Tradesmen should be treated with more respect as they are in Europe. In Ireland we were considered craftsmen because we actually KNOW STUFF. Stuff that's a hell of a lot more useful than most jobs anyway. That's all. I just needed to mention that. Now lets move on.
He had an old Atari 1000 gaming system and he let me play space invaders and combat and asteroids on it. He actually GAVE ME THE ATARI!!! It was so cool.
He didn't even seem to care when I turned up one morning with food poisoning and fell asleep in his cupboard for a couple of hours after vomiting in his sink.
His boyfriend, a much younger Spanish pretty boy, seemed to have issues with me being there though, and they seemed to argue a lot about there being a strange man in the penthouse when he wasn't there. That was pretty uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as the moment that cleared up my uncertainty about my own sexuality.
On the very last day of the job I was in his master bedroom and using a seasponge and pearlescent paint to create a sort of rippling sparkling effect in his tv cabinet. I was working away when in comes Mr Leather Forever and starts chatting to me. I'm focused on my work and don't know what he's doing but then I hear the ensuite shower running and I think '....that's weird...did he just get undressed behind me?'
I shrugged and kept working away. Eventually I hear him come out of the shower and sit on the bed. At this point I'm a little scared to turn around so I don't. I just keep working, and then the tv comes on. Then the dvd starts up, and then the sounds and sights of a group of men all having sex with eachother blares to technicolour life 30 centimetres from my face. This wasn't your Sunday afternoon, after church porn, this was the nasty, plastic sheets on the carpet to save the plush pile type of porn.
There was really no way to think my way out of knowing what was happening. I'm usually good at doing that...thinking my way out of believing what I'm experiencing. Like I'll manage, in my mind, to talk myself into thinking a terrible situation is actually an innocent one. Like I'll manage to make myself believe that someone accidentally put on gay porn while laying naked on the bed behind me and that he actually meant to watch E.T. in a full suit and tie. Not this time.
I kept working for a little while, but the sounds of grunting men just got more extreme and then there was a weird sort of noise coming from the bed behind me, a sort of soft sound, like someone sanding a sausage without any sandpaper...yeah...that's exactly the sort of sound and I had to leave. I remember thinking right there and then, "Nope...NOT gay".
I suppose I should have taken a quick look. I suppose that would have been the real test. And I suppose it was a compliment...I suppose...but my fight or flight response just kicked in in a major way and directed me, much like an Atari joystick (althought in this case "joystick" sounds sort of dirty), out of there.
I came backthe next day to finish the cabinet and he paid me my money, although he tried to use the Atari as a reason for me to give him a discount. Pfft...whatever. He didn't do anything weird again and acted like nothing had happened...which it hadn't. At least not physically. I felt pretty mentally raped, but that's even harder to get a conviction with.
Long story short though. I thought I might have been gay but it turns out I'm not. I still point my pinky finger out when I drink, I still like umbrellas in my drinks and I kept buying mousse for my hair. I like the Wizard Of Oz and Liza Minelli singing Goldfinger is awesome, and if that was all it took to be gay then I'd be all in. But there's a bit more to it than that. There's a lot of kissing guys and stuff and more than one penis at a time and eughh...the bodily fluids, and I don't like any of that stuff. At the risk of turning my girlfriend gay, men are simply not good looking creatures. Why the fuck are the balls on the outside!? Its like they're designed to look menacing, to scare children or something. There's certainly nothing cute about them. I'll be honest, I can't believe women haven't just bailed on men altogether.