Hooked on The Hookies

This weekend, I had an adventure. In New York City. Oddly enough, those don’t happen much nowadays. Because I’m broke. Because I’m a hermit. Because I’m terrified of people. But I have a buddy who works for Rentboy.com and he was like “Do you wanna go to The Hookies?” and I was like “Um, YES!”

The Hookies?” you ask? The International Escort Awards. For male escorts. Gay ones, for the most part. The 9th annual, to be exact. I’ve been aware of and curious about them for about half of that time, but I never really made any effort to attend, because it was never really a community I belonged to. It still isn’t, technically, but I’ve become more and more acquainted with men who work as escorts in recent years. And while I’m not a sex worker in the traditional sense, I do a lot of work with sex…so ya know, it fits well enough.

The event took place at BPM Nightclub in Midtown. The only time I’ve ever been to BPM was for the GLAM Awards, so naturally, I expected it to be a lot like the GLAM Awards. It wasn’t. Well, aside from the fact that it was full of homosexual men in minimal clothing. It was a much friendlier, more welcoming environment…which was funny because I’ve been a nominee at the GLAM Awards for three years in a row and I’ve never felt special when I got there, but I felt perfectly at home at The Hookies and I’m not even an escort.

Hookies TrioI expected to feel really self-conscious upon entering this space, what with the plentiful 12-packs and biceps the size of basketballs, but no one seemed to bat an eye at the little impish fellow with glittery nail-polish and practically perfect guyliner frolicking about. I’m certain it helped that I was in the company of my good friend Matt Knife, who was sporting a long neon orange dress, and his husband Cubby Hall, who was the dapperest looking bear I’ve ever seen. We were hella cute.

Yes, I still say ‘hella’ and I refuse to stop. Deal with it.

I have to admit…I was a little star-struck. This doesn’t happen to me very often these days, especially in the context of gay nightlife, but the show was hosted by Alaska Thunderfuck, and well…I think she’s awesome. She did a great job, too. Although her co-host, comedian Brad Loekle may have stolen the spotlight a couple times…particularly when he dropped a zinger in Michael Lucas’s direction regarding his recent switch to bareback porn (which I think we all know how I feel about.) Then of course, there were the numerous porn stars that surrounded us, which is always a little overwhelming. But [BRAG ALERT] most of those that I recognized were people I actually knew and could comfortably strike up a conversation with, which of course made me feel very cool [END BRAG].

I was well-versed enough in the evening’s festivities to have a few people that I was rooting for, but not involved enough to get truly worked up about any of it. The most exciting moment for me though, was when they announced the winner for Best Newcomer. The award went to Viktor Belmont, who is the first trans man to be nominated for a Hookie. He had been nominated for two awards, and while he only took home one trophy, that’s a fucking big deal. There’s still a great deal of transphobia in gay culture, and the fact that a trans guy won an escort award shows a big-ass milestone in gay men including trans folk in their sexuality, and it’s about fucking time.

As you can see, I had an awesome time. I’m very grateful to the Rentboy staff for inviting me as their guest, and I applaud them for putting on a fun, organized show and manifesting a friendly environment for an operation that some might see as shallow or unnecessary. I don’t deny that I’ve thrown some shade in The Hookies’ direction in the past, but I’m really pleased with what they’re doing and they have my support 100%.

 

Boiling Point

Boiling Point

I cried last night. Hard. It was necessary. I’ve been needing it for a long, long time. I thought I had gotten my release when I watched the Backstreet Boys documentary this weekend, but apparently I needed to cry for the right reasons.

Some back story:

Last week I posted this gem to my social media.

 

This sort of response has become more and more typical of me lately, in various fields. I’m noticing more that (presumably) because I bare my body for public consumption on a somewhat regular basis, people feel like they have a right to see it, touch it, and have their way with it anytime they like. I’ve gotten stronger at standing my ground in these circumstances, and while I wish they wouldn’t happen, I can’t deny that I get a rush of pride when I shoot these situations down.

Boiling Point
For dramatic effect…

Last night, a close friend was asking me why it bothered me so much, because this type of behavior has been considered acceptable among gay men for quite some time. I told him, at greater length, that I was tired by people treating me like public property, assuming interest, and just being disrespectful. He apparently sensed something deeper, and as he chipped away, dozens of thoughts and feelings that I’d been dwelling on for months came tumbling out…

  • The guys online who demand to see my genitals.
  • The festival producer who couldn’t remember my name but still felt it appropriate to tweak my nipple.
  • The bar patrons who smacked my ass when I was go-go dancing but didn’t tip me a single dollar.
  • The boys in Orlando who stole my phone and Snapchatted a video of me getting a lap-dance to every single person I know on there, and couldn’t comprehend why I was furious.
  • The guys who sleep with me and never want to see me again.
  • The guys who date me for months and then drop me with no warning or explanation.
  • And ultimately, the fact that the only guys who express interest in me are already partnered, making me feel like I’m only good enough to be a sidepiece, not a longterm investment.
  • TL;DR: I’m fuckin’ lonely and people are assholes.

Although this seems choppy in writing, the segue was utterly seamless, I assure you. Ugly, yes, but seamless. I’m coming up on four years since my last relationship, and while being single was fun for the first three, I’m not enjoying it so much anymore. And for some reason, people keep bringing it up, which does not help me feel better about it. This past Valentine’s Day, I had more customers at work inquiring/making assumptions about my relationship status in one week than in the last three years combined. People act shocked that I’m single, tell me I’m an epic catch and all that, but my dating life is dismal and very few are stepping up to change that. These mixed messages make my head a very difficult place to exist in. And don’t even get me started on the chunks being bitten out of my confidence.

In addition, I seem to be getting attention almost exclusively from people who are already partnered. I’m a very poly-positive person, and even a little poly-curious myself, but while I respect and understand the whole love-is-not-a-starvation-economy attitude, I can’t help but feel less special…like I’m a second choice, or like it’s somehow safer to ask me out when you already have someone else to fall back on. That’s a shitty attitude to take, I know, but how else am I supposed to feel when I seem to be everyone’s lesser priority.

Yes, this post is a little messy, a little whiny, a little Livejournal-y… I think I would sum it all up by saying: I want to be more than just a sex object to people. Sure, I like being objectified, but it’s much more satisfying to be objectified when you know the person objectifying you also respects you for your other traits. For me, my sexuality is about more than just my body, and I want to be wanted for more than just my body. (And honestly, I find it laughable that I’m having this conversation with myself because a vast percentage of the gay male demographic doesn’t even think I’m worth their time because my body isn’t ‘hot’ enough.) I shouldn’t have to stop doing what I’m doing to feel like I’m respected by other men.

People like to comfort me by telling me that I am that famed ‘high fruit’ that people are afraid to reach for. It’s a sweet thought, and I like to believe that they’re right, but the thing is… I have too much on my mind already right now, so unless you’re going to climb up and pick me, stop fucking squeezing me or pacing around my goddamn tree waiting for the wind to blow me off my branch, because I’ve got other things to worry about.

The Backstreet Boys Bring Me Back

Last night I did something that was very stereotypical of myself: I watched the new Backstreet Boys documentary. What’s that? You didn’t know there was a new Backstreet Boys documentary? ALLOW ME TO ENLIGHTEN YOU!

I definitely got tingles all over when I first saw that a few months ago. As I think we all know, I’m a gigantic boy band fanatic, and I have absolutely zero shame about it. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I do feel a little embarrassment…over the fact that this movie was available for over a month before I finally saw it! I am a naughty, naughty fan boy who needs to be punished.

This film… it was fuckin’ beautiful. I know it presents itself as a prime opportunity for many of you shit all over it to make yourself feel cool, but if you bother to let yourself enjoy something for a couple of hours, I think you’re see what I mean.

The Backstreet Boys have always been my favorite boy band. I used to know everything there was to know about them. I wore t-shirts with their faces on them to school (which I most certainly got picked on for, but for some reason it never occurred to me to stop.) I had their posters on my wall. I had an unreasonable amount of their merchandise. And this was all before I realized and admitted to myself or anyone else that I was painfully attracted to all of them. They were just cool dudes who made sweet jams that I looked up to.

Of course, in the years that followed, adulthood happened, and I sort of lost track of them. They’ve released at least two albums that I’ve still never heard (which I am now trying to remedy). While I’ve been nostalgic for boy bands in general over the last few years (see: Dirty Pop), I’ve often found myself looking back and thinking about how competitive fans were over which group was better. BSB and NSYNC fans were like Sharks and motherfuckin’ Jets. I had my feelings at the time, but lately I’ve thought to myself “Does it really matter that much?”

This film reminded me, though, why I adored these guys so much, and that yes, it does fucking matter. Not only are they hella babely (and possibly getting more attractive with age?) but they are a delight to watch on stage and off. Furthermore, this film is borderline-brutal with it’s honesty about the struggles the boys have experienced in the last two decades: family loss, substance abuse, internal conflict. And if you thought Lou Perlman was a sleaze-bag before, oooooooh just you wait. I admire them deeply for continuing to chug along long after the Pop Music Machine broke down on them, and using their skills to be true artists, rather than the excessively manufactured product they once were.

Obviously, you’re going to enjoy this more if you were a fan of theirs in the first place, but I firmly believe that this film is fascinating enough to move anyone who can stomach pop music to misty eyes at minimum. Yes, I totally cried.

Solo-sexual

Solo-Sexual

The summer after I graduated high school, I was given my first laptop computer. At the end of that summer, I moved out from under my parents roof and into my own (sort of) living space. And we all know what comes next, right? Yes.

Porn.

I’d had access to…some…porn over the previous years, which resulted in pretty much the only thing I ever got in trouble for as a kid. But for reasons related to privacy (and a couple instances of being grounded from the internet) I had to rely on my own imagination to get my rocks off. And I dare say, I had a pretty vivid imagination, and it definitely got the job done.

But wanking to porn is just…easier. Sometimes you really have to dig into your brain to whip up something that’s really going to facilitate climax. With hot people doing hot things on a screen in front of me, I didn’t have to do too much thinking to get myself there.

So I became a little…reliant on porn. Okay, a lot. I’m pretty sure that I could count on two hands the number of times I’ve masturbated without the aid of pornography over the last decade. Which is not a complaint. I may be particular about my porn, but overall I have great respect for the adult film industry.

However, in the last week, I’ve been trying something different: masturbating without porn. *Gasp* I know, right? Shocking! Why would I do such a thing?

Well, let me break it down…

– When used ethically, porn is an expensive habit. Once upon a time I felt zero guilt about using free stashes from Manhub and the like, but as I am coming to know more and more adult film stars personally, I can’t do that in good conscience any more. My main pornography resource for the last year or so has been Chaturbate, which I feel slightly better about because even if I’m not paying the model, someone is. Typically I just like amateur porn better because I identify with it more, but it helps when I don’t feel like I’m screwing someone over simply to get my rocks off.

– I have a lot of filthy fantasies in my brain that don’t really get used. I mean, they happen…and I think about them for a few seconds, but I haven’t been letting them expand to their greatest potential. I think allowing them to do so would allow me to discover my wants and needs more, and give me reign to put those I don’t dare bring to life, into practice.

– I also have all these fucking sex toys that don’t get used nearly often enough.

– I still struggle with body image quite a bit. And when my orgasms become dependent on someone else’s body, my own body takes a back seat, which I imagine is not helping the situation very much. By relying more on my own body for my orgasms, I expect that I’ll be helping out not just myself, but my future sexual partners with the daunting task of getting me off.

So far I’ve gone a week without using porn in my masturbation. I’m not certain how long this will last, and I don’t have a goal (a month, perhaps?), but it’s going to be an interesting experience for sure, and for the time being, I’m excited about it.

Feel free to discuss your own masturbatory rituals in the comments below!