Friday, November 30, 2007

World AIDS Day Event

Tomorrow, Saturday December 1st is the annual World AIDS Day. To commemorate this day the wonderful Bowery Poetry Club in NYC is hosting an open mic event for everybody and anybody to share, read, celebrate, yell or vent their feelings and work over the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The event is free although donations are being accepted for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The readings will begin at 2PM and go until 4PM.

Snaxx Turns 5!

Five years ago I stumbled on what I consider to be one of the best and hottest bar events in New York City. Now, Five years later, the event still stands. Snaxx, the every Friday gathering of the "Fun Friendly Furry and Foxxy" celebrates their 5th year anniversary tonight! The every Friday event is held in the basement of the Westside Tavern on 23rd St. between 8th and 9th Ave.

DJ Rich King and Gustavo spin their latest and greatest for the pack of friends and men they helped create throughout the years. I have to mention it is also one of the only consistently recurring hottest gathering of men in NYC.

Doing some research I found a blogger by the name of Jose who had this review from January 2004.

the door alice did not open:

I was at the last one (and the one before that) and it was GREAT! One of those truly New York happenings, which are so rare these days. You walk thru this packed straight pub and in the back, past the pool table there is a little door that I would dare Alice to cross. RichKing and Gustavo are able to attract the crème de la crème of FUN, FRIENDLY, FURRY, FOXXY New Yorkers.
A MUST!

It's the same today as it was then, Jose. See you all there! Congrats, Rich.

Happy Friday! 2 Girls 1 Cup: The Story Behind the Poop

The Smoking Gun Reports on 2 girls 1cup
If you dry-heaved your way through the famously grotesque fetish video of 2 girls 1 cup as I have the article above may prove interesting. Many have said, "oh that's chocolate!" I've disagreed. Is it or isn't it? Gosh, I'm gagging just writing this.

Check out these (safe for work) reaction videos of people watching this stomach-turning video.

Note: I tried sending the link of the video to my sister via AOL email and it would not let me send the straight URL as it is. I had to scramble the url with spaces before AOL allowed me to send.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cramped Fist and White Knuckles

Dear all the gay Republicans and "gay fiscal" republicans I ever met,

Are you really going to vote for any of these small minded, out-dated, Jesus loving maniacs? I sincerely hope you consider your choices even if it's "just one or two issues" in the grand scheme of things. I know you may not side with whats become a rainbow parade of a community, or you'd like to keep more of your money, or you choose to remain closeted or consider being gay a small part of your life but this affects not only you but your brothers and the very cocks you either proudly or shamefully put in your mouths. Think about it.

Every gay blogger today is reporting on this clip from the Youtube Republican Canidate's Debate last night. I really had no intentions of throwing my two cents in but after watching this clip again I felt compelled to post.

Here you have religious-political white men speaking for this country. Making sweeping generalizations that everyone who signs up for the military comes from conservative blue-collar Judeo-Christian valued families and who couldn't possibly handle the "unit-cohesion" of serving next to a gay or lesbian person.

This thinking is so utterly flawed, so incredibly backwards, hate-filled and illogical that I am disappointed and mystified as to how anyone in this country can take them seriously. In front of them, they have a man who dedicated 40 years to serving this country and who also happens to be gay. The candidates thank him for his services and then politely shoot him down (and all the others like him.)

Would this country and our country's military have been stronger or weaker had this dedicated man never served? And to you, gay republicans, every time you apply for a job or anything in life where your sexuality doesn't and shouldn't matter - I want you to remember this man, I want you to remember his undying respect for this nation and the amount of disrespect he got from those trying to run it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Details Magazine's 50 Most Influential Men Under 45

For the sake of simply being controversial or saving themselves from the already too late mistake of putting Kevin Federline on the cover of their December issue, Details Magazine has released their list of the 5o most influential men under 45.

I posted earlier this week about the High School Musical douchebags and guess what? Their number 1 on the list! Go figure.

The list also, for no other reason than igniting unnecessary controversy, includes the Columbine High School killers at #5, saying - and I quote, "Eight years on, and the bodies are still piling up. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who murdered 12 of their Columbine High School classmates in 1999, remain the role models for the killers responsible for this year’s school shootings." Wow, how poppy and current of you, Details! Real, nice. You're a credible magazine!

#20 is my least favorite celebrity/TV personality/tiny-pricked midget, Ryan Seacrest, who I would 1) love to pie in the face 2) "accidentally" puke on at a Hollywood party and 3) see him literally fall off the stage during a live taping of American Idol.

The list goes on, and on, ad nauseum.

I'd much rather read a list of the "50 Most Influential People Under 45 You've Never Heard Of." Now, that's a list I'd be interested in seeing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Everyone Should Get into Yoga!

I love the way Yoga Studios advertise themselves as an all welcoming, all inviting environment where everyone is invited to get in touch with their bodies, breathe, stretch, relax and find healthy living. But really, the only people who are invited to tap into their "inner structure" are people who can easily afford $120 monthly membership fees.

The majority of Yoga studios in New York offer one time drop-in classes between the range of $16-$23 dollars while monthly or 30 day memberships are anywhere between $110-$140, (the same rate as the most expensive gyms in NYC) WTF right?! The only thing getting stretched here is your dollar.

Now don't get me wrong. I love yoga. I eat that breathe-stretch-release shit up with a spoon. I would love to practice yoga several times a week but these city rates are absolutely ludicrous! When I lived in Tucson, Arizona I was heavily involved in Bikram Yoga (90 minutes of intensive stretching inside a 105 degree room!) I would do it at least 3 or 4 times a week and my life, my ability to find peace, discipline, patience all improved while my whole being and energy level was shooting through the sky. I was ecstatic to simply be alive. This newfound joy was directly correlated to my involvement in yoga. In fact, I got so heady and self-spiritual I stopped wearing shoes and every time I talked to my family they were convinced I had become an ecstasy addict. When my friends were frustrated, pent-up or angry I would simply lay my hand on their shoulder and remind them to breathe. Needless to say I got a lot of eye-rolls and fuck you's.

I would love to find this healthy person again. God knows I've got a lot to vent and "release" but I simply cannot afford these rates. Yeah, there's always gym-yoga but that's not the same, you don't get the same attention from the instructors and it's more yoga-express than it is yoga-yoga. Besides, who can focus on their form and breathing when you hear weights clanking in the background and have that nudging fear that someone is staring at you bent over in an awkward position? There's no sanctuary there! It's god-damn New York Sports Club and they're playing that lame Jessica Simpson remix...again!

There are places in NYC that offer donation only classes, like Yoga to the People in the East Village. That means you pay what you can or a small amount each time and you get a full class from it. The only problem is the classes are packed to the walls with everyone like me and a nauseating amount of NYU students. So, what do I do? You tell me. Because while I can't afford your upper-middle class studios my back isn't getting any better! Tell that to the goddess!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Clown Walk

Let's just say that if 2005 was the year of Krumping then 2007 is the year of the Clown Walk.
Peep below for The Clown Walk. Holla.

(It's beyond tough. I've already tried in my bedroom mirror)
here's a vid link for krump (I love the chicks.)

HIV "Modern Epidemic" In DC


HIV in D.C.
According to this Washington Post article, DC is hit hard with HIV/AIDS.

The article states the old stereotype that HIV/AIDS is a "gay disease" can no longer hold. It is truly now everyone's disease. The African-American and African-American female communities are being hit the hardest. 80% of all new infections are found within the African-American community. One should note, however, that African-Americans are also the highest population of people within the DC area.

The first statistics ever amassed on HIV in the District, released today in a sweeping report, reveal "a modern epidemic" remarkable for its size, complexity and reach into all parts of the city.

The numbers most starkly illustrate HIV's impact on the African American community. More than 80 percent of the 3,269 HIV cases identified between 2001 and 2006 were among black men, women and adolescents. Among women who tested positive, a rising percentage of local cases, nine of 10 were African American.

The 120-page report, which includes the city's first AIDS update since 2000, shows how a condition once considered a gay disease has moved into the general population. HIV was spread through heterosexual contact in more than 37 percent of the District's cases detected in that time period, in contrast to the 25 percent of cases attributable to men having sex with men.

"It blows the stereotype out of the water," said Shannon Hader, who became head of the District's HIV/AIDS Administration in October. Increases by sex, age and ward over the past six years underscore her blunt conclusion that "HIV is everybody's disease here."

The new numbers are a statistical snapshot, not an estimate of the prevalence of infection in the District, which is nearly 60 percent black. Hader, an epidemiologist and public health physician who has worked on the disease in this country and internationally, said previous projections remain valid: One in 20 city residents is thought to have HIV and 1 in 50 residents to have AIDS, the advanced manifestation of the virus.




Dear Hannah Montana and High School Musical


Dear Hannah Montana and High School Musical,
Where did you come from and when are you going away? Please let me know as I'm really tired of seeing your cute white wholesome American faces everywhere.

Thanks
Sincerely,
Eric

The Gym

I wish, right?
I've done a pretty good job in keeping it a secret but I haven't been to the gym in close to a month. I have no other excuses other than simply growing bored of the change-lift-sweat-home routine. In the past year I hadn't made any big advancements. My body maintained the same weight, hardly gaining or loosing anything. I've been using the same weights, mildly mixing up my workouts but mostly going to the gym for the sake of defeating health guilt. For the past 8 years I've been hitting the gym on an average of 4 times a week. I felt it was time for a break.

Today, however, was my first day back. It was odd at first. As I fumbled with my lock and changed in the locker room I began to notice things I never had before. Would I do this everyday? Fumble with my lock? Throw clothes into a cubby? It was so odd, as if everything I had been accustomed to doing was something new and strange. I went to the weights and figured I should do chest, my favorite muscle group to work and also the basic go-to for starting up a workout. Again, despite the familiarity of the setting it felt strange. This is what I do everyday? Throw my towel down on a patent leather bench, grab silver heavy objects and lift them? How weird.

But then I felt it. On my second set of bench pressing I felt that burn of my muscles ripping apart, tensing and then pushing energy to lift the weight. Ahh, that's right. There's that old familiar feeling that I haven't felt in a month. The act of physical exertion. Hello, old friend, haven't seen you in a month but it's good to see and feel you again. I hadn't realized how much I missed you until now. By mid workout what started to feel bizarre was how I was able to go so long without going to the gym. I got on some old machines and lifted them and felt my muscles twitch and tinge while my mind reminded itself of, oh yeaaaaaah, this is how it feels. "Hello Hammerstrength Machines," I said, stroking the incline bench press, "I've missed you."
I started to get lost in that mind-muscle connection of feeling my muscles work through the exercise. I repeated silly yet hot mantras to myself to push through the hard work. For instance during reps I'd say, "muscle (push, push, push) bear!" and "Daddy's (push, push, push) Home!" Trust me, it works. By the time I hit abs I was full-on focused and congratulated myself for waking up on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend and getting back on track.

I suppose the real challenge is now convincing myself that I am actually interested in health and that I should want to go to the gym. I can only hope my gym-recharge lasts more than a week and a month from now I'll still be interested in going as much as I am now. Doubt it. I fucking hate the gym.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Modest Mouse

I have been a huge fan of Modest Mouse since 1999, my freshman year of college, when I downloaded Polar Opposites off of Napster in my dorm room. To me, they have always epitomized a dismal American landscape, a satirical yet heartfelt homage of middle-America consciousness and some of the best song writing/poetry I've ever seen.

They released a new album not too long ago entitled: We Were Dead Before the Ship Ever Sank. Other album titles are: Building Nothing out of Something, Lonesome Crowded West, Good News for People Who Love Bad News. All of which I love.

Modest Mouse is the type of music you listen to which makes every second of your life feel like you're living inside an incredible independent film. The type of music that makes you study the way rain falls on a gray day or the way that dust seems to swirl around trailer parks or that one's heart is the most gut-wrenchingly beautiful and most desolate masterpiece ever created.

here some lyrics from "Out of Gas:"
Out of gas
Out of road
Out of car
I don't know how I'm going to go and
I had a drink the other day
Opinions were like kittens
I was giving them away and
I had a drink the other day
I had a lot to say
And I said
You will come down soon too
You will come down too soon

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Transgender Day of Remembrance: Let's Get Ready to Grrrrrumble!

Gwen Amber Rose Araujo (February 24, 1985 – October 4, 2002)
Ladies and Gentlemen, bois and grrrls, today on The Transgender Day of Remembrance we have in one corner the mighty blue and gold team of HRC gearing up for battle while in the other we have the red-faced angry team of activists and the Joe Must Go Coalition, calling for the resignation of HRC's head, Joe Solomense.

Ladies and gentlemen, when this match is over we may face an environment unlike anything we've ever seen before! There may be torn and tattered rainbow flags, car bumpers missing familiar yellow equals sign stickers, discarded wigs or sequenced gowns thrown in the streets. For this, ladies and gentlemen, is the Transgender Day of Remembrance!

Ladies and gentlemen, you may be asking yourselves, where in all of this are the Transgendered of whom this fight is all about?

Well...they're dead. And on this day, we're supposed to be REMEMBERING them. This is a day put into history to remind all of those battling for civil and equal rights that people have died, were murdered, assaulted, harassed, denied and ostracized all because they wanted to be something or someone they felt was themselves.

Instead you have two sides screaming at one another, using this day as an excuse to fight, bring attention to a subject and oust those who people feel have wronged them. This fight will all take place on the very ground to which the transgendered we are supposed to be remembering are buried.

It seems to me the ones who will lose out on this are the very trans people this day is supposed to be about. They'll end up like a baby, forgotten in their crib, while two parents scream at one another as they fight over a divorce.

Now when that bell rings, rip each other to shreds. Ready? 3-2-1 ding!

Joke of a Lifetime

What do you get when a MegaChurch priest confesses to his congregation he's been sleeping with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her?


Can I finally choose how I'd like to live now, openly and honestly, without condemnation or do I have to wait another 50 years before these incidents reach...oh let's say, 1000? Will it even matter then?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Two Days Away

If you're invited to a Thanksgiving dinner and you don't know how to cook or what to bring that pretty much means you're bringing a pie. Here's New York Magazine's best and most affordable pies around the city.

Faux Thanksgiving

left to right: Ryan, Scott#2, Scott, Me, Erika (black,) Brynn (white)
My close friend Scott invited me to an official faux Thanksgiving dinner last night. The dinner, hosted by the outrageously beautiful couple of Erika and Brynn, welcomed all those who weren't getting together with their families for Thanksgiving this year.

I had never met Brynn and Erika before but since Scott has the most interesting, intelligent and eclectic cache of friends over anyone else I know, I knew the night would be fun, festive and abnormal to say the least. Before going to dinner I was excited for two reasons. One, food always makes me happy and, two, Brynn and Erika live in the 190th St. range, and despite having grown up in and around Manhattan my whole life, I had never once made it that far north on the island.

Everyone who has ever told me, "Gosh, you just have to go up there! It's absolutely stunning," is absolutely right! Although I didn't get to see very much I did get the feeling that it was a city away from the city and the pace felt relaxing, communal and unrushed. Also, for the size of Erika and Brynn's apartment, there's definitely reason as to why people make that seemingly long but not-so-long subway ride up there to live. I definitely plan on taking an exploratory trip up there again in the near future.

Upon arrival Scott and I were offered drinks and vegetarian sushi. We scarfed down a few bites, took a few sips and got acquainted. Erika and Brynn are a long time couple, stunning and Erika is currently pregnant with their first child. In their petite and gracious manner I hadn't finished chewing my third sushi roll when I already felt as though I were about to have dinner with a family.

Scott's boyfriend Juan-Jo was next through the door. I hadn't seen him in awhile and greeted him with a kiss on the cheek, a huge hug and a tug on his adorable mustache. Next through the door was our friend Ryan and Scott #2. We were all acquainted, filled our glasses and sat down to dinner. Everything was perfect and vegetarian and quaint. I'm not a vegetarian myself but I do have a profound respect and like for vegetarian based foods. This would be the first Thanksgiving I would ever experience where I would leave the table not feeling overwhelmingly, if not sickeningly, full. The portions were just right. Everything phenomenal. Bean soup with stewed tomatoes, mashed potatoes, butter-nut squash puree, gooey mac & cheese, stuffing and string bean onion casserole. Mmmmmm...Thanksgiving..

After dinner and dessert the gang intermingled between games of Guitar Hero (love it!) and two full rounds of Celebrity (otherwise known as "The Name Game".) We drank we laughed we screamed we shouted and by the end of the night I had gotten more out of this Thanksgiving: that feeling of home, of autumn, of thanks, of friends, of love than many other Thanksgivings in my past. (Don't worry Mom and Dad, you're not doing anything wrong. I love you too!)

There was one thing I kept coming back to again and again throughout the night. On Erika and Brynn's wall hung a black and white photograph of the two girls after just getting married. Both wearing beautiful white gowns and rushing past the pews with smiles which gleamed love and excitement. There was an expression of such ultimate truth within that photo, a symbol of such purity. The purity of two girls, on the best day of their lives, holding hands and walking together toward the future. With every glance it seized my heart and made me melt.

Thank you for the faux Thanksgiving, although what was designed as faux, proved to be more real than most previous dinners I have ever had.

Scott #2, Ryan and I "kicking it."









Juan-Jo and Ryan


Oh Nintendo

Mega64, a team of creative Jackass-like goofballs who produce "short films that recreate classic and current video games in real life," made this clip below featuring a little Tetris piece just tying to fit in.

Also be sure to check out Paperboy.

Don't Kill Me, Bro!

Remember that funny little story a few months ago about the obnoxious college student who got tasered for heckling a campus lecturer? Oh it was so funny! A clearly unarmed 20 year old taken down by six cops and electrocuted after he pleaded, "don't tase me bro!" What a week of humor that supplied! Hell the only thing funnier would be if he were wearing a burka and it happened to him while inside an Iraqi insurgent prison camp!
In fact, a grumpy friend of mine responded to it by saying, "Oh come on. The kid got what he deserved."
Yeah, well what would this country say if the little run-at-the-mouth white college kid died?

Well, it's starting to happen. CNN is reporting:

A 20-year-old man died Sunday after being shot with a Taser device during a scuffle with a sheriff's deputy in Maryland, a spokeswoman for the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said. Amnesty International blames dozens of deaths on police use of stun guns.

Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said deputies responding to a report of a fight in progress arrived at the location in Frederick, Maryland, just before 5 a.m. ET and found four people fighting. A deputy used a Taser device on one of the men, who fell unconscious, Bailey said. The man was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead...

Amnesty International has reported that, since June 2001, more than 150 people have died in the United States after being subdued with a stun gun. The organization has called for police departments to suspend use of the devices pending study of their possible risks. Few have done so, said Amnesty, which added that more than 7,000 of the nation's 18,000 law enforcement agencies use the devices.
Last week, an airport security officer in Vancouver International Airport in Canada used a Taser device on a distraught 40-year-old man on his first airplane trip outside Poland. He died. In a statement released Friday, Taser International cited the Vancouver case and said it "appears to follow the pattern of many in-custody deaths or deaths following a confrontation with police.

Historically, medical science and forensic analysis has shown that these deaths are attributable to other factors and not the low-energy electrical discharge of the Taser.""We are taken aback by the number of media outlets that have irresponsibly published conclusive headlines blaming the Taser device and/or the law enforcement officers involved as the cause of death before completion of the investigation," said Tom Smith, the [taser] company's founder and chairman of the board. But Amnesty International, noting that coroners have identified Tasers as a contributory factor in more than 30 deaths, said such a link cannot be ruled out.

I have always stood firmly against the use of tasers. It's simply excessive force. I certainly understand the theory behind why tasers are issued, but I cannot trust many of the cops to whom these tasers are being handed. There are cops who would hate to use them and then, like anything else, there are cops who would love to use them.

There are 150 total taser deaths. If more than 30 of those death list the taser as a "contributory factor" then shouldn't we be concerned about the idea of tasing itself? Would any of these 150 people be dead had they not been tased? When was the last time we had a story about cops detaining someone naturally and the suspect dying right then and there?

I know since 9/11 this country has been shock and awed into the fear that somehow people have grown to be more dangerous, more powerful, more insidious. Why not? We're pumped to the brim with sensationalized 24 hour up-to-the-minute news sources forecasting our impending doom, movies and television shows with huge explosions, hundreds of thousands of causalities, transformers taking shape into our worst bio and technological weapons and reigning terror upon the world, Jack Bauer fighting season after season to save humanity and bionic women capable of running faster than jets. But believe you me, unless your some outrageously paid, high-honered sports figure, people are not becoming stronger, or bionic, by any means. They're remaining the same flesh and blood we as a species have always been. Yeah, sometimes our species carries a knife, or a gun, or a bomb, but in the case of this 20 year old man, now dead, he was just using his fists.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Organic Humor

ha! The Onion:

Overfunded Public School Forced to Add a Jazz band

MANALAPAN, NJ—Benjamin Harrison Middle School faculty members regretfully announced Tuesday that, despite their best efforts to prevent it, the school simply had too much state and federal funding to avoid adding a jazz ensemble to its music program.

"We did not want it to come to this," principal David DeCarlo said after introducing students to Mr. Metheny, an award-winning jazz guitarist and the new school music teacher. "The children are the ones who are going to suffer. Especially little Sammy Orlovsky, who will have to play those drums where instead of using drumsticks you tap the cymbals with tiny brushes."

The school plans to use its remaining $22.1 million budget to add a sculpture wing to the art department, triple janitors' salaries, and purchase a second computer.


Thanks Jill.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Barebackers, Meth Heads, Young Guys, Sex Parties and Everything Else We Love to Blame

I admit it. I used to be that kind of person too. The kind of person that upon seeing an article about a surge or spike in HIV would immediately blame the so called monsters of the barebacking, anonymous, sex party going, crystal using community. It didn't matter that during this time of my life I didn't know anyone involved in these scenes- all that mattered was that people, somewhere at sometime, we're doing this. "They" were ruining everything. "They" were irresponsible, disrespectful and their behavior, disgusting. "They" were wrong. I was right. Then that all changed. I met Wayne.

Wayne is older by at least 10 years and he was an activist when HIV wasn't so manageable and still pretty fucking scary. He has been involved in some things like sex parties and hooking up but not others like crystal or barebacking. He's negative. He tackled Rudy Giuliani's New York based sex wars of the 1990's. A revolution not so familiar to my generation as it is to Wayne's. I've only known Wayne for a few months, but in this short amount of time, I've learned more than I could have imagined and within that, had to drastically revamp everything I was told and led to believe.

"Anonymous," "excessive," "bareback," "sex parties," "crystal meth," these were all words I loved to directly correlate to HIV infection in modern America. In fact, not only did I feel justified in using these words I felt righteous by not being a part of them either. But then, I was schooled. I was asked to look at the way I view the words I so matter-of-factly throw around. Excessive sex? What is excessive? Well, really, all excessive means is someone who has sex more than you. Anonymous? What's anonymous? Is anonymous knowing someone for 10 minutes or a full day, or less, or longer? Besides, having a circle jerk with 15 men is and always will be safer than having anal sex with one. Going further, performing oral sex on 3 men is still considered safer than having anal sex with 1. So, anonymous and excessive, where do you draw the line? Can you? I was beginning to find that even I was unable to put definition or quantification to these adjectives I so loved using. I was starting to find the amount to which you have sex matters less than the type of sex you're having.

"Bareback meth sex parties." This was a big one. This would be the largest hurdle to jump and one that also demanded the greatest amount of soul searching. I had this previous belief that despite how out and about I was that somewhere in this city and country there were scores of men attending parties where meth was freely passed around, men less-than-casually offered their holes and condoms were nowhere to be found. I also believed that these parties had some sort of unspoken recruitment process where they would encourage healthy, negative men to walk into their den of debauchery and walk out HIV+. But if this was happening then where were they happening? And why, despite my being in the scene, haven't I heard more about it? Why haven't there been more reports of negative now-turned-positive men running from these parties yelling, "The bareback sex party HIV's are coming! the bareback sex party HIV's are coming! Watch out!? It always seemed like these parties were a forecast of a thunderstorm that never came. That's because, despite how easy and tangible it is to blame these men and these communities, it simply isn't true to the level we think it is.

Yes, there are men who attend these parties, and yes some of them are reckless and some of them are high and some of them get HIV. And yes, we should be concerned, or angry, or upset, or frustrated but the majority of new HIV infections in this country aren't due to these barebackers and their sex parties, they only account for a minority of it. I know. Bummer, right? We so wanted to have a villain in all of this. It's easier that way.

But think about it yourself. Do you really think that in this world of modern information and STD knowledge that negative men are walking in by the gross to these parties and coming out positive? Do you really think that today's older and younger generations have such a high feeling of worthlessness that they're willing to throw themselves into these sloppy, sexual pits of hell? No, they're not. Some yes, sure. There will always be men who despite the most current and ubiquitous information will make the conscious or meth-rattled choice to not use a condom. Yet still, they're not to blame for any spikes or surges in current HIV rates.

The blame is on us. On all of us. It's within the simple human condition. We're people. We're not perfect and we all make mistakes. The majority of HIV infections in this country are happening in the antithesis of these bareback meth addicted sex parites. They're happening in "one time" mistakes, in "I should have been smarter," instances, in the "I just assumed he was safe," thought processes, in the "he's my boyfriend, I trusted him," in the "I'm a minority, I didn't know. I didn't think. I don't have the education," in the "English isn't my language," communities, in the, "I'm young," reality, and in the "I don't know about condoms," of the abstinence only world. Sure, positive men infect negative men. It's the only way the virus is transmitted, but keep in mind, much more often than not, it's "negative" men, unsure of their status, infecting negative men. And yes, of course, there are men entirely knowledgeable of their positive status having unprotected sex with negative men. But as the old, tired, cliched saying goes, "it takes two to tango."

Is barebacking and the festishizing of bareback sex a problem for the gay community and the younger generations? Absolutely. Is Crystal Meth a problem in the gay community? Without a doubt. Do these so called bareback sex parties exist? Yes. Are they at the forefront of ongoing HIV infections? No, they're not. They're just a minority of people, within a minority, making the choices they choose to make. We all have the ability to make choices. I can only hope we choose to make the right ones for ourselves. Understand it takes more than knee-jerk moralizing to see who is getting infected and how and where and why.

Take your finger off the trigger, click your safety back on, and dislodge the, "your-lifestyle-is-dirtier-than-mine" bullet and think twice before reloading and taking aim at another problem.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Giving Whole New Meaning to "Hump Day"

Yeah, so I don't know how I missed this, but as we all know Wednesday is the official "hump" day and my friends over at Lifelube found a perfect way to celebrate this standard mid-week work day: Woof Wednesdays.

Just the perfect dose of swoonful deliciousness to perk up your Wednesday.
(Safe for work- unless you work for an uber-corporation, suckerrrr)

What Would Jesus Buy?

Last year the Americans people spent 455 billion dollars during the holiday season all while our consumer credit debt is at 2.4 trillion.

Just in time for the holiday season. Perfect.

Neo-pop doc filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, of the massively popular what-happens-when-you-eat-McDonald's-for-Thirty-Days, Super Size Me documentary, brings to you his latest documentary project, What Would Jesus Buy. This new documentary set to release this week focuses on the wild-fire consumerism of Americans during the holiday season. The film follows Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping as he travels across America protesting the absurd spend-what-you-got message of the Christmas season.

I had the opportunity of seeing a test screening of this film sometime last winter and immediately fell in love with it. Check out the trailer below.

In 2005 I scored what became one of the best working experiences of my life when I was asked to become part of the team over at Actual Reality, a Los Angeles based production company which oversees the production of Spurlock's popular "30 Days" television series. Throughout my time working there it was clearly understood that we were making a real documentary series, not "reality," and to take our projects and jobs seriously. Morgan Spurlock is a real documentarian, committed to the most honest and realistic portrayals of his projects while also understanding that without pop, you lose the attention of this nation.

Big Apple Dodgeball Makes Headlines

Well...Chelsea headlines.


Dodgeball has long been considered a controversial childhood game, favored by bullies and dreaded by less athletic children everywhere. But ever since the 2004 blockbuster comedy “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, adults have increasingly been reclaiming the sport for themselves.

However, the only adult dodgeball leagues in New York City cater mainly to heterosexuals, and those in the gay community may feel understandably apprehensive about the possibility of being pelted with rubber balls thrown by homophobic players. With this in mind, Mark Marraccini founded Big Apple Dodgeball, a new LGBT-friendly dodgeball league in Manhattan founded on the principles of tolerance, acceptance and diversity.

“You hear about dodgeball and think about the horrors of public school,” said Arnold Plotnick, a veterinarian who owns Manhattan Cat Specialists, on the Upper West Side. “It’s seen as a juvenile, humiliating sport, but now it’s empowering,” he added.

The league, which kicked off on Oct. 15, was specifically designed as a place where members of the gay community could play a fun team sport in a safe, tolerant environment. The rules expressly forbid “slurs against race, religion, ethnicity or gender,” and any trash-talking is purely in jest.

“We’re sending the Big Booty Ballers home in body bags!” joked Jason Saft, a member of the Spread Eagles team, playfully taunting the opposition. (When the Ballers later won the game, Equinox trainer Shaun Bradley rebutted with an enthusiastic “Bodybags, what?!”) Saft, whose team uniform consists of denim cutoffs, leather cuffs and a black T-shirt with the logo of S&M-themed gay bar The Eagle, is also the secretary of the league.

“I’m the secretary, so I show up to everything with two sharpened No. 2 pencils,” Saft laughed.
....Many players in the league feel grateful that they have a safe place to have fun and meet new people without going to a bar or club.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the gay community to get together outside of bars without any stigma,” said Eric Leven, a 26-year-old TV producer from the East Village who also writes a blog called KnuckleCrack. “I probably wouldn’t have hung out with half of these people if it weren’t for this.”

Although Leven is on the Spread Eagles team, he heard about the league from his best friend, Eyal Feldman, the sponsor of the Butter Balls team, on which he also plays. Feldman, a statuesque 29-year-old, founded Boy Butter, a personal lubricant popular in the gay community.

“I thought Boy Butter and the league would be a great combination,” Feldman said of his decision to sponsor a team.

I've been lackluster in my dodgeball updates for the past two weeks for two reasons. 1) I still haven't purchased a new digital camera and without pics the reporting seems to be a bit stale and 2) my team, my wonderful Spread Eagles haven't been playing up to our potential. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a sore loser, I'm just one who doesn't like to report losing.

Two weeks ago The Spread Eagles showed up cocky and boastful in our second place standings. We took the court against the OB-GYMS thinking we could flick them off like a crumb from a table, instead, they kicked our ass, winning two games out of three. Our team coach, Jason Saft, said if we lost to the OB-GYMS he'd have an aneurysm. Well, we did. However, on the plus side, Mr. Saft did not end up having an aneurysm.

This past week The Spread Eagles had the same record. Not only had our second place standing moved down to third, we only won two games out of the total six. We played the top two of dodgeball's reigning terror teams. The undefeated Boy Butter Butter Balls and the throw-hard bullies of Big Booty Bread Booty Ballers. Boy Butter spread us out, fair and square, winning all three games and Booty Bread walloped us with a two-one win.

It's ok. I mean, despite the fact we haven't been playing up to our potential The Spreads did receive a nice compliment from The Splashtastic's fierce lesbian player, Michelle, who said, "You guys are the hottest team out there with the best attitude."

That's worth something, right?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jesus Christ Just Give Us the Best Info Possible!

So I've enlisted myself in a young gay men's health project where young gay men, 18-29 such as myself, are asked to come in once a week for a question and answer survey about gay sex, safe sex, and club drugs. I was happy to help. Despite them asking me not to blog about it, the project is wonderful. I do believe it is pretty effective and I hope they get the answers which will aid new generations of gay men.


As I was leaving my second appointment today I was handed a thick and colorful brochure entitled, "The Manual."
"What's this," I asked flipping through the pages.
"It's a go-to for gay sex and all STD info," my facilitator responded.
"Funny, I haven't seen this around. Looks pretty comprehensive."
My facilitator sighed, "You haven't seen it because we have to order them from London, you can't find them in the US."

I shrugged and was on my way. While in the elevator I glanced at "The Manual" in my hands. The cover has two male Ken dolls embracing each other and on the top it states, "A gay men's guide to sexually transmitted infections and clinics." I flipped through the pages and was wide-eyed surprised that it included everything from detailed, easy to read statistics all scaled down to be based out of 100 people, with explanations as to what the statistics mean, an unapologetic use of the words "top," "bottom," "cock," "arse," etc and an A to Z information on every STD out there from crabs to syphilis, warts to thrush and also included a glossary for every term mentioned in the book. It was colorful, hip-lingo'd, and easy to understand.

So why can't we find this in America? Why does it have to be ordered from England? Oh that's right. Jesus Christ.

In America you can't find a brochure like this because everything is draped in religious and conservative morals (bullshit.) Even when a virus affects millions of its country's own citizens. Jesus, actually, rather those who speak for him have seeped so deeply into our society that we're prevented from using day-to-day language in a clinical brochure because it might be "offensive" to some people.

Let's just get it out in the open. Gay men fuck. And they fuck like rabbits. And when they fuck the "top" puts his cock in the "bottom's" ass. Now I use this language every day and I know millions of other gay men use it too. So why isn't it in the brochures that are so committed to keeping us safe? Oh riiiiight..that's because we live in a country where our lifestyle is still being debated and will never remove itself from being considered "immoral." Because of this, the non-profits who usually put these brochures together cannot get the funding they need from the government in order to make them effective. Why? Because our government is ruled by JESUS!

You know what? I'm sorry. I'd hate to take the blame out on Jesus. In fact, I really do believe that if Jesus were to see how his words have been twisted and abused by the people who speak for him, he would be pretty fucking angry. So this is directed to those who believe they speak for Jesus: STOP HURTING US. Leave us the fuck alone. Do what your "good book" says and leave the judging up to Big Daddy Christ. You're not aiding anything but your own simple minded, ideological moral crap that even members of your own conservative party, or most popular evangelicals can't keep up with. In the mean time let us who are REALLY trying to help people do what they need to do in order to save lives! Let us have the most relevant, hard hitting, comprehensive information possible, now! Jesus!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Open Door Project

Don Weise, a New York gay fiction book editor and his colleagues are launching the first ever Open Door writing competition. With world AIDS day around the corner, December 1st, this competition invites all non-published authors to write anything and everything relating to what is considered the "post aids" era. After the submissions are collected and read the winner will be announced in March and invited to a New York publishing intensive with private and public readings and a meet and greet with the who's who of past and present gay literature. Below is Don's letter:


With World AIDS Day approaching (December 1), I thought perhaps you might be looking for an original angle to this important event. I'd therefore like to let you know about The Open Door Project.

Started by six of Manhattan's leading gay book editors, including myself, the project is in fact a national short story contest launched recently in response to AIDS. A very 21st century response you'll find. Our intention is two-fold. First, we're seeking to help replenish the ranks of gay writers killed by the epidemic by opening doors of the publishing industry to the best unpublished newcomers. Drawing on our vast professional connections, we editors will fast-track careers that might otherwise take years to get started. On a larger level, however, we're attempting to reclaim and renew the gay literary landscape in what today is commonly called the "post-AIDS era".

As a group we editors have published landmark AIDS-themed works by Larry Kramer, Randy Shilts, Paul Monnette, Edmund White, Essex Hemphill, and Allen Barnett to name only a handful. It's especially historic that we come together not around our literature's past but its future. For just as the face of the epidemic has quite literally evolved (ballooning overseas at a horrific pace), so too has the response of gay men to it; no longer content with candle light vigils, red ribbons, and quilts, we've become more creative in our role as witnesses, if not survivors. Where once we gave voice to dying men by publishing their books, we editors now feel called to step up and remedy the void that's been left behind--a void that persists in spite of the tremendous medical advances that have seen a return to normalcy for so many in the US.

More than discovering new talent, The Open Door Project marks the first time ever leading gay editors and leading gay authors--as one publication put it, "a virtual who's who of gay literature"-- have united around AIDS at this crossroads. I'd be thrilled to discuss the project with you further. If the story is not quite right for you, I'd very much appreciate being put in touch with anyone who might be interested.

Very sincerely,
Don Weise

The Open Door Project winner will be invited to:

A five-day publishing introduction intensive in New York City-- including a series of lunches with literary agents, book editors, and other publishing figures, a public reading, and a private cocktail reception with New York's writing community will be awarded to the winner of the first Open Door Project fiction competition. The contest is open to gay men writing fiction with queer content who have not yet published a book of fiction. Accommodations and transportation will be provided to an out of town winner. Judges include Christopher Bram, Alexander Chee, Samuel R. Delany, Dennis Cooper, Robert Gluck, E. Lynn Harris, Scott Heim, Andrew Holleran, David Leavitt, Stephen McCauley, Dale Peck, and John Weir. Submit stories or stand-alone novel excerpts of up to 8,000 words by March 1, 2008. The winner will be announced June 08. There is no entry fee. Submissions should be mailed to:

Don Weise, Open Door Project
c/o Oscar Wilde Bookshop
15 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014

Questions concerning this project can be sent to Don Weise: dweised@aol.com

Monday, November 12, 2007

Straight Online Sex

According to this article and recent study:


"It's confirmed: Online dating is the way to go if you're looking to get lucky. According to a recent survey published by the Sexuality Research and Social Policy research journal, one-third of women who meet people online have sex on the first date, and a whopping three-quarters of those surveyed do not use a condom. Meanwhile, a mere 27-percent engage in oral sex on the first day."

Researchers attribute the sex-on-first-date to be caused by the sense of familiarity people gain by having several casual or lengthy conversations online prior to meeting. This sense also causes people to feel more trustworthy or "knowing of their partner" which makes them less likely to use a condom.

Uh...hello, straight women. Despite how crude this may sound: pregnancy you can get rid of. Herpes, you can't. Wrap it up!

Bugs Bunny: Very Interesting

Yeah, it's Monday and before the tidal wave of work hits me I thought I'd post something quick.

In post World War I America, mostly between the 20's and 30's, gay men sought each other out by code words and fashion accessories. Although I'm looking into this further, from what I understand those who wanted to alert men that they were seeking other men, men would wear red carnations on the breasts of their shirts or pockets. Other signals used were words. One word in particular, the word "interesting" often meant homosexual or gay. If third parties were discussing a man who was assumed to be gay they wouldn't use "homosexual" or "gay" they'd say, "interesting."
Bugs Bunny cartoons are known to have blatant or hidden gay-themed undercurrents. Everyone has seen Bugs Bunny trick his enemies by dressing in drag or fooling them by playing effeminate roles. In the famous clip below Bugs Bunny, in an attempt to trick the Hairy Red Monster, plays the role of a beautician talking about how he would like to meet "interesting" people.
Check it out:

Interesting?
Note: This is a fast post and one I intend to research more. Some of my facts may be off but for the most part, this is the gist. I will update asap.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Friday!

Oh Mr. Selleck, behave!
I often bill Mr. Selleck as the epicenter of my homosexuality. From Magnum PI to his gracing the cover of the current Cigar Aficionado Magazine he has always made me swoooon!

and...despite being criticized by many a friend of mine, it is widely known that I've had a huge crush on Billy Mays, TV infomercial's Oxyclean guy, since he started hocking his product many years ago. Oh Billy, the stains we could clean together!
Click here and here and here for clips of Billy being silly! Oh, Billy..Such a card!

*Note: In publishing this post I couldn't decide which picture of Billy Mays was hotter. So I asked a female coworker who nervously adjusted herself in her seat and replied matter-of-factly, "um...neither..?" Hm, I figured I should put both pics up then.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Kids Ingest Chinese Toy, Want to know: "Who is Spinning the Party?"

Careful Jane, not too much or you'll fall out!
Dr. Suess better get ready for an all night DJ Set!
According to news sources throughout the globe, a Chinese made toy must be pulled from toy stores throughout America and Australia because if accidentally ingested, the toy metabolizes into gamma hydroxy butyrate, otherwise known as the club drug GHB!

2 children in the US, and 3 in Australia have already fallen out been hospitalized, after swallowing the beads called Aqua Dots.

Coming out this Christmas: Playskool's My First Black Party!

Back Off Haters

It really is as simple and as harmless as what you see before your eyes:

Yes, a real family.

Hugging: The New Grade School Delinquency

What. the. fuck. are. we. doing?!?

No, seriously? You hug these days- you get detention or suspended.
Just what this country needs, less people showing love and affection for one another. This is great for our potential high school shooters too: more strict rules and overwhelming coldness! Maybe ABC should take this story up and revamp their latest "social experiment" from kissing to, "Hugging: What Would You Do?!" Oh the audacity of these 13 year old girls!! Oh my god, Jesus Christ, help us! She was hugging another girl! This is like a bloodless Columbine!!!
Teens get detention for hugging
Teens get detention for hugging


I think every student, from every American School should walk out of class, stand in their courtyards and hug one another. Then, as a unified community, we'll watch as society crumbles around us, as hugs destroy
e v e r y t h i n g.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Kids Accidentally View Gay Porn at Motel: Kids Fine, Mom Freaks Out

From Edge Boston and my pal Cody Lyon,


"A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury awarded Edwina McCombs, a Tennessee resident on vacation with her two daughters, then aged 8 and 9, $85,000 after the two little girls were unintentionally exposed to hardcore pornographic material in a Value Lodge motel room in the suburban town of Artesia. According to the plaintiff law firm, the material had included "close up images of people engaged in sodomy and homosexual acts."

Uh, where's my $85,000 for being so affected by the hate, ignorance and utter stupidity I receive from half this country everyday? What a greedy bitch! Read the article to find out how ridiculous it all gets. Hell, the kids probably didn't even know what they were viewing and you know Mom got herself off thinking about it later...or was that the money?

Artivism!

Will St Leger, a 35 year old artist and activist in Dublin, has combined his two favorite passions into what is now being considered as "Artivism." I love this shit. Click here for his official website. Click here for his myspace page which features tons of art and other projects.

Artivism or Artivists developed mostly during the recent antiwar, anti-globalization and anti-corporation movement as a means of pushing forward political messages and social consciousness.

St Leger is famous for his 100 landmines project, where he placed 100 fake landmines throughout a city to bring upon the awareness of what some troops in Iraq deal with on a daily level. The faux-landmines were found in streets, parks, playgrounds, schools, etc. He also is famous for his almost Warholian Pop social art, which can be found on tee-shirts, wall art, or stencil graffiti.

I welcome artivism with tremendous open arms. I truly believe artivism is a means of focusing, promoting and objecting to current and political events without getting angry, and almost always, causes people to think and develop their own opinions. Congrats to St Leger and all the artivists of the world.

This may ring familiar if you're a fan of Adbusters Magazine. They featured many "spoof ads" in the back issues of their magazines attacking consumerism, materialism, irresponsible corporations and rampant capitalism.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

HIV/AIDS Basics: What Do You Know?

This past weekend I took my camera out and decided to do a little interviewing. I wanted to know if people knew the basics of HIV/AIDS. Peep this:

Did you know all the answers?

Some of the interviewees knew the correct answers, however, none were certain they were right.

Answers:
What does HIV stand for? :Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV harms the body's immune system by attacking certain cells, known as helper T cells or CD4 cells, which defend the body against illness.
What does AIDS stand for? :AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, occurs when an individual's immune system is weakened by HIV to such an extent that the individual develops one or more of about 25 "opportunistic infections" (OIs), conditions that take advantage of a weakened immune system.
What does an HIV test look for: When HIV enters the blood, the body reacts by making cells called antibodies. Most HIV tests look for these antibodies and not the virus itself. It can take the body up to three months to make enough antibodies to be detectable on the test, but most people will create enough antibodies in just 4 weeks after infection.
When does HIV become AIDS: According to the official definition published by the CDC, a person receives an AIDS diagnosis when he or she has a CD4 CELL COUNT of less than 200 and/or certain opportunistic conditions common with advanced immune efficiency.

For more information to learn more about HIV/AIDS go to
www.knowhivaids.org

UPDATE: Yes, everyone, relax... I know this PSA thing of mine is not doing anything to "solve" the HIV/AIDS epidemic, nor the how-to-get-the-message-through issue either. It simply was an experiment to see if this is a subject matter worth exploring. I got my answers and I think it is. I plan, as I always have, on hitting more directly related demographics (i.e., gays, youths, minorities, and minority youths) with more obvious, less clinical related, relevant questions.

Pothead/Meathead?

Funny, I DO always feel as though I'd like to work out or play a game of ultimate frisbee after getting stoned. Now I've got this study to prove it! New York Post featured this blurb today:


"Youngsters who smoke pot function in some areas as well as or better than those who don't, researchers said yesterday.

According to a study of 5,263 Swiss students published in this month's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, those who used only marijuana were "more socially driven . . . [and] significantly more likely to practice sports" than abstainers. Moreover, even though they are more likely to skip class, they have the same level of good grades."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Gays Kiss: ABC Wants to Know "What Would You Do?!"

In an attempt to be- well, who knows what, ABC is conducting a "social experiment" on the public's reaction to gays and lesbians showing open displays of affection on the street. Click here for the article. Click here for the video.

"ABC is doing a social experiment in Birmingham that includes having same-sex couples show affection for each other in public, according to Birmingham police department sources. FOX6 first learned about this story from a Southside merchant who pointed out an RV parked at the corner of 20th Street and 11th Avenue South. The merchant said ABC was working on a week-long project to see how people would react to things like public displays of affection by gay and lesbian couples."

Sure, ok. I guess this is kind of interesting but there are really only two outcomes. You either care or you don't. Does this really need to be a "social experiment?"

We all know the reaction of the uncomfortable and conservative parties: "This is just mainstream media pushing forward the homosexual agenda."

Reactions are already coming in from Birmingham, Alabama:

"A South Precinct officer who spoke anonymously said he had received at least three or four reports from people who said they were disgusted over two men kissing in public. That officer says the ABC project is not a violation of the law and that ABC has a permit to park the RV."

Surprised? Well, I'm willing to wait this out and see if anything revolutionary comes of it. Thoughts?

Hollywood Writers Strike!

So the Writers of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are striking because they want increased residuals and a share of the DVD profits which goes toward the studios. The major studio are reacting by saying the lack of these profits would hinder the development of future productions and the progression toward online media. Aww, so you mean American audiences will have to wait longer for another inane sequel or an irrelevant remake of a 1980's television show long forgotten? Bummer!! Gosh, what will supplement the mediocrity?

The writers are the backbone of film and television industry. Give them their fair share. They're the one's that make YOUR studio and actors (who make more than the writers) look good. So, what's the problem? No Saw 15 or sequel to the latest and dumbest Kate Hudson New York-based romantic comedy? God dammit!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Effective?

I think so. Found this on the net:This is right up my alley. In my opinion and experience, all it takes is an image like this to remind sexually active gays and straights to simply put on condom. This image illuminates the idea that although manageable, HIV leaves a permanent mark within one's body and within one's life.

Blog Awards!

Yo,
The site for which I am a contributing writer, The Bilerico Project, is up for best LGBTQ Blogsite.

Click here to vote for us!

and click here to check us out: www.bilerico.com

Also in the running is my Blog Daddy and friend, Joe.My.God.

Hey Teenagers: What's a "Virgin?"

This New York Post Article is just another example of why Sex Ed & Sex Communication classes are needed NOW:
"November 2, 2007 -- Is your teenager a virgin? That depends on your teen's definition of "is" - as well as a few other words that parents might want to run past their kids.

A study suggests 70 percent of kids 12 to 16 believe they're virgins even if they've had oral sex - and 16 percent believe anal sex doesn't count either.

Researchers at the PIRE Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, Calif., interviewed more than 900 middle- and high-school students. The study is in The Journal of Adolescent Health."

My definition of virgin is any person who has not yet had vaginal or anal intercourse. Although I do refer to oral sex as having sex with someone, I do believe intercourse and oral sex are separate practices. That is to say, oral sex is not full sex but it is a form of "having sex." Oral sex is oral sex, intercourse is intercourse.

My straight girlfriend, Amanda, is livid with how I use the term "slept with." While joining me at a gay bar or two I pointed out a guy that I referred to as having "slept with." She asked, "so you had intercourse with him?" "No," I responded, "I have done other things with him aside from that." "That isn't sex then, Eric." "Then what do you call it," I asked. We were both stumped.

The straight and gay world are completely different when referring to sex. More often than not, the straight people I know only use the term "slept with" when they've actually engaged in intercourse with someone. To me, having "slept" with someone means I've gotten off with that person in one way or another and does not necessarily include intercourse. When I want someone to know that I've had intercourse. I'll use the big ol "F word" or simply say, "we had full-on sex."

Also interesting to note is, in my experience and my friend's experience, when having a just-met-at-a-bar or online hook up, gay men are often satisfied with going as far as practicing mutual oral and stopping there. Straight people however, according to my friends, take oral sex as a cue of going further. I asked my best friend and straight guy Eric, The Roommate, to share his experience.

He says, "For me, oral sex is usual a precursor to actual sex. If I've decided I don't want to have sex with someone, I won't engage in oral sex either. The same screening process exists for both. Oftentimes, sex comes first and oral won't occur until later dates."

My straight girlfriend Lindsay has this to offer: "Oral Sex does not count as sex. And it almost always leads to sex. I can't remember a time when it didn't."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween

...Knowing 6th Ave. was going to be packed because of the annual Halloween Parade I relied on my feet and skateboard to bring me back to the East Village. I needed to get to the thrift store by my apartment on 11th St. and Ave. C before it closed at 7PM. I work just above Canal St. on 6th Ave and as I flew out of work at 6PM I groaned at the already massive throngs of people hanging out on 6th. I figured I'd walk up 6th to Spring and cut east that way. Loud music was blaring, cops were scurrying around trying to direct both car and pedestrian traffic, road blocks were dropping to the left and right of me like a child's stomping foot trapping an ant. I looked at my watch: 6:07.

"Hey, officer, excuse me. Where can I cross the street," I asked an already grumpy cop standing behind a barricade.
"You got to go south man, back to Canal," he replied, "and quick! They're closing off the whole town."

Suddenly I got the feeling this was no longer just Halloween in New York but rather a city being walled in by marshal law. I shrugged and swiveled my heel south to Canal, determined not to let the stress of this holiday ruin my upcoming night out. As soon as I found some space I jumped on my board and crossed the street quickly, pretending not to hear the female cop's pleas for everyone to stay put. It was 6:15. I wasn't anywhere near home but, at least, I was on the east side of the street. I pushed forward, pumping hard through a disorganized mob of costumes and traffic. I had a smile which read "suckerssss" painted on my face as I coasted in and out of cars caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I caught the green light through Houston and focused my center of gravity as I swished through the torn up pavement of the always under-construction street.

At 6:25 I was just entering Washington Square Park. I knew I'd make it to the thrift store before it closed but I worried it might close early. I kicked through the park and up 5th Ave. which was the most jam-packed I had ever seen. The bike path b
ecame a battle between bikers, skaters and suddenly opening cab doors. I pushed passed a frustrated biker who seemed to be as in much of a rush as I was. "Hey asshole, this is a bike path!" he growled, passing me by. I would have thought about getting off the bike path in such a bumrush environment had I not noticed cops dropping barricades to the left and right of me. "Every man for himself," I thought as I pumped harder toward 10th St.

The rest of the journey was quick and easy except for navigating through costumed people ignoring any and all standard pedestrian street laws. People were already rowdy. I knew this was going to be a fun night. I arrived at the thrift store at 6:40 and sighed with relief that it was still open. I barged in.

"Hi," I said to the store clerk. "I'm the guy who called about the flannel shirt. I'm the werewolf."
She smiled warmly, "Oh yes, I think I've found the perfect shirt for you. Red flannel, right?"

The clerk, dressed as a witch, went behind the counter and pulled out a perfect red-plaid flannel button-down shirt.

"Perfect! THANK you," I jumped giving her a high five. I gave her five dollars and took the shirt without a bag. On the way out she gave me a tootsie roll and said, "Trick or treat."
"Thanks," I said
. I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. "Oh by the way, fierce hat!" And, with that I was gone and climbing the stairs to my apartment to get ready.

Eric, the roommate, was home laying on the bed with a pillow over his face. "Happy Halloween," I gleed and jumped on his bed. He gaged my level of excitement, rolled his eyes, sighed and said, "ugh. I think a nap is in store."

I left him alone and began preparing my costume. I took the flannel shirt, turned it inside out, found the seems of the sleeves and began cutting them off. I tried to rip it a bit to make it seem as though I was a werewolf freshly turned. It
worked. I threw it on. My werewolf gloves, mask, fangs, painted my nose black at the tip and jumped upstairs to my gaybors apartment to see what they were up too. Jason wasn't ready at all and was pacing back and forth thinking of what he could pull together with what he has in his closet. Nick, on the other hand, was brutal. He was standing damn near 7 feet tall, gold sparkled platform boots going above his knee, white dress, red cape, blond wig. He was the best drag Shira (of Heman and Shira) I had ever seen. That is, of course, given that I had seen this costume before. He looked radiant and I made sure to stress that to him. We exchanged plans and details and I headed back down to my apartment to retrieve my cell phone. Alex called. 6 times. I called him back and he decided to head over from Mud Cafe.

Alex showed up 10 minutes later with a severe gash and black eye painted on his face. "I'm a bash victim," he said in a matter-of-fact tone. "Ok. You look great," and kissed him on the cheek. "Happy Halloween." Alex and I hung out for a bit at my apartm
ent wasting time until he had to meet his friends elsewhere in the East Village. We both skated over to his friend's place where I wished him a good evening and headed out myself to see what the night held in store.

I had planned on meeting up with Wayne on Christopher street around 8ish. I haven't been to the West Village on Halloween before and he assured me it was quite the scene. I skated across town back to Fifth Ave. where the street became so jam-packed with people and cars I had to get off my skateboard. There were barricades on every street. People were walking all the way up to 14th just to cross east to west. It was ridiculous and managed poorly and cruelly
by grumpy police with bully attitudes. I tried to play the dumb card and just walk on through 10th st. A cop stopped me.

"Where do you think you're going?"
"Uh, (duh) crossing the street."

"No you're not," the cop responded in that East Coast Italian you-looking-to-pick-a-fight tone.
"Where do I cross then?"
"Not here," he sm
ugly spit back.
"You know," I said being very informal, "that doesn't help either of us."
"14th," he stated firmly
"14th!?, what're you crazy?!"
"What did you say to me," he asked, this time really looking for a fight.
I stepped back, "I said slowly, what-are-you-crazy? That's 4 blocks from here!"
"Looks like you're the one whose crazy. Now GET OFF THE STREET," he hollered.
I climbed under the barricade and stood across from him. I put a huge smile on my face and in the most excited and ecstatic tone, said, "Happy Halloween," and waved him bye.
What I was thinking though was more along the lines of: "You stupid mother fucking ape-bully. Go home and beat your wife, don't take your bullshit out on me, moron!" I stood there on the street grumbling my frustrations.

That was enough for me. It was time to head back east. Besides, from here I could see 6th Ave. was a stand-still of congested costumed traffic. There was no way I was getting across.

I skated back toward the East Village and went down to 6th St. to meet up with my pals at Eastern Bloc. I would have gone later but figured I didn't have any other plans up my sleeve. By the time I got inside the bar it was already packed. Josh was spinning Salt N' Peppa's "Push it" and I decided to have my first of many drinks for the evening.

I g
rabbed a cranberry and vodka (hey, it's a night of getting drunk) and swigged it while talking to Josh and petted his chest since his costume was a drowned Greg Louganis. Until that point I don't think I've ever seen Josh without a shirt and I was digging it. Eventually, Ludo showed up as one of the meanest clowns I've ever seen and Matt quickly followed dressed as a High School Coach. We all drank up, heavily, and enjoyed the scene of costumed gay-hipsterness around us. I was chatting with everyone, feeling more outgoing than usual, maybe it was the costume and made sure to give shit to people who didn't dress up.

After one-too-many drinks already Ludo and I headed to The Phoenix to have one more pint before we called it a night. The Phoenix was half packed and definitely less costumed out than Eastern Bloc. We grabbed a pint and found a seat. My friend, Steve, from Dodgeball was there dressed as a cowboy and I was forced to ask if he was, "broke-backian." He said he was and I smiled. We sat there chatting and drinking until it was time for a cigarette and to go home. Everyone departed and I jumped on my board. I took a look around me and despite the fact it was 2AM people were still out, drunker than ever and I decided to appreciate this and skate around for awhile. I kicked my way down Ave. A howling at the moon in my werewolf costume and getting others to jump in. "THIS is what Halloween is all about," I said aloud with a sloshed smile on my face. At 2:45 I noticed the streets had gone empty and that it was time for me to finally put Halloween to rest. I felt secure in this decision. There wasn't anything left to do. There were no more places to go and I was sure-as-hell tired of wearing this costume. I peddled up to 11th St., took off my mask and climbed the steps to my apartment.