Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gay Super Bowl Ad; Snipping the Foreskin; The Rainbow Detective Agency

Gay Super Bowl Ad

First, this isn't a real ad for the Super Bowl. It's a fake gay ad trying hard to be a real locker room scene in what's more like a mockery of gay athletes. But don't quote me on this because I'm not really sure WTF it is.

Well one group has banked on the fact that people will click on something titled “Shocking Super Bowl Commercial 2015″ by creating this very odd, fake commercial for a product called “Queer Beer.”

But the joke’s on them — we watched it because it ends with a bunch of hot guys making out in a locker room, not because it has the words Super Bowl in the heading. Oh. Maybe that’s even worse?

You can read and view here. The comments are amusing.

Snipping the Foreskin

This always incites a certain amount of controversy whenever I post about it either here or on other social media. I've seen arguments in comment threads about whether or not men should be circumcised.  This time they're talking about men who are tired of their foreskin, so the men are having it snipped off. This guy below started the new year off by having his foreskin removed:

Adam was born in France. He now lives in New York’s West Village. Growing up, his parents wouldn’t allow a bris for fear that it would create an external sign of being Jewish “in a hostile world.” And so Adam went his whole life wishing he were circumcised.

Immediately after the procedure two years ago, Adam and his rabbi went to a nearby park to bury his foreskin, a practice which symbolizes “putting the negativity back into the earth.”

Of course, deciding to get the snip was easy. The recovery, on the other hand, was a different story.

“There was a five-week recovery before I could use it,” Adam says, explaining the recovery regimen included remaining bandaged for 10 days and soaking his scabbby junk in Epsom salt twice a day for 30 minutes.

Adam isn't the only one doing this. The article goes on to mention others, and one doc claims this procedure is "hot" right now.

Who am I to judge? Personally, I love a guy with foreskin. I think it's hot. But then again, I had my nose done because it bothered me so I think you should do whatever makes you feel better, not what makes someone else feel better. If that means getting your foreskin snipped, good for you.

You can read more here. You'll LOVE these comments.

The Rainbow Detective Agency

Today is release day for a new series I'm starting that's a little different from other books I've written. The title of the series is "The Rainbow Detective Agency" and because I'm indie publishing this one I'm labeling each book as it's released in consecutive order so readers can distinguish between Book One, etc...

Here's a little about the first book in the series:

When world famous swim suit model Proctor Gamble discovers his business manager has embezzled all his money and left him with nothing but a few bad investments, he has to figure out a way to liquidate in order to generate cash.

One business is a private detective agency run by a sexy, smooth-talking hipster named Blair Huntingdon. When Blair discovers Proctor wants to shut him down, he tries to persuade Proctor to reconsider, with his penis and a few good slaps.

Although the attraction to Blair is too hard to ignore, Proctor doesn’t let mind-blowing sex change his mind about closing the detective agency. At least not until they stumble across a dead guy with a mysterious ring, and a murderous plot that involves the lost paintings of a famous artist who was persecuted during World War II for being openly gay.

Can two completely different men who are both struggling to survive figure out a way to save the lost art and their own lives at the same time? And will they recognize how much they need each other in order to survive?

There is an excerpt at each web site, and I'll be posting freebie excerpts in the future. The genre is m/m erotic romance, with mystery suspense. And I'll post the links below as I get them. These books are always distributed in several places, including iTunes. I'm also posting the cover of the second book because I'm releasing it very soon...within this coming week. I'll post more about that when it goes up.

Smashwords Link 

All Romance Ebooks Link

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why Google Glass Failed; Gays Own Jeb Bush Web Site; Gareth Thomas Slams Perez Hilton

Why Google Glass Failed

There is more than one theory out there about why Google Glass failed. First, here's mine.

It was too much too soon. There are still people who don't know how facebook works. There are still people who don't even understand the basics of twitter. There are still people who are proud to admit they love the musty old smell of print books and will never read digital. And there are still people who will never let go of their land lines. I could list a dozen or so more reasons why GG was too much too soon. But you get my point. There's still an entire generation that has to die off before we're all reading digital books and "wearable technology" is something standard.

Goggle Glass was, indeed, way ahead of its time. But I don't think it failed. I think it's just the beginning of more to come.

This article lists three viable reasons why Google Glass failed.

 . Let's Not Forget Privacy Concerns

Let's face it, Google Glass was creepy. If you ever ran into someone wearing a pair in the wild -- and that was rare outside of Silicon Valley -- the mind would fill up with plenty of problematic questions. Is he recording me? Is she checking my online profile? Is he watching porn?

Movie theaters were the first to stop Google Glass-donning patrons at the door. Some bars, event venues and restaurants followed suit. It made surrounding guests uncomfortable. Someone could always whip out a phone or camcorder and start recording in a public place, but with Google Glass you just didn't know if you were in a frame of a recorded clip.

Of course I personally think this reason is idiotic, however, I agree with it 100% as far as why the failure happened.

You can read the rest here.

Gays Own Jeb Bush Web Site

Frankly, I think this is a little silly...if not self-indulgent. Although I'll admit I'm not certain where Jeb Bush stands on all gay issues (he is pro-civil union), I know for a fact the Bush family, including George Sr. and Barbara, are far from anti-gay. In fact, the senior Bushes were part of a legal lesbian wedding ceremony a year or so ago in Maine...a small ceremony with intimate friends. So with of all the enemies the LGBT community has these days, I'm not sure I would consider Jeb Bush one of them.

In any event, here's why two grown gay men are thrilled to own the JebBushforPresident web site.

Domain owners CJ Phillips and Charlie Rainwater, from Oregon, purchased the site name in 2008, ready for the former Florida governor to enter the race. 

Instead of promoting the Republican politician, however, they're planning on using it for LGBTI advocacy. 

'This page is intended to prompt understanding, insight, and healthy dialogue in the ever changing landscape of civil rights and social justice,' they said. 

I'm thrilled they're going to use it for LGBT advocacy. We can always use more of that. On the other hand, I also doubt Jeb Bush is losing much sleep over this.

Now tell me you bought the Rick Santorum web site and I'll cheer the loudest. THAT one is the one to watch out for. Tell me you bought the Huckabee domain and I might do a happy dance. Between Santorum and Huckabee I'm not sure which one is worst. And, there are others who are far more dangerous than Jeb Bush.

You can read the rest of this idiocy here. 

Gareth Thomas Slams Perez Hilton

Here's another name to add to the Perez Hilton proverbial hit list: Gareth Thomas, an openly gay ruby player. In an unusually vicious way, Thomas publicly slammed Hilton as a "bad example of a human." Hilton is a house guest on the current Celebrity Big Brother in the UK right now.

The retired rugby player took to Twitter today to explain why he's having a tough time stomaching the current season of Celebrity Big Brother: Perez Hilton.

'Every time I flick onto CBB, I have to immediately turn it over as soon as I see Perez Hilton,' he tweeted. 'Rather not see that bad example of a human.'

Of course you have to understand that Perez Hilton has no idea all this hate is being thrown his way because as a house guest on Big Brother he's completely sequestered from the outside world. So Hilton really can't even defend himself. I know this because I've been watching BB in the US since the very first season and I know the game well.

There are actually crowds on the street jeering and calling for Hilton to be voted out of the house. And then this happened, too:

Hilton recently branded outspoken columnist Katie Hopkins homophobic when she advised him to take criticism ‘like a man.'

Frankly, if Katie Hopkins said that to me I'd tell her to go fuck herself. I don't like that kind of tone because it insinuates shame to the gay man because he's not acting like "the man." And nothing works better and a good old fashioned fuck you, baby.

But I digress. As I said, I've been following Big Brother as a game in the US since 2000 and I don't think I've ever seen any house guest play a perfect, honest game. This game has nothing to do with goodness and smiles or being a great human being. The object of this game is to do anything and everything in order to win the grand prize. There's nothing considered too vicious in this game and the one who plays the dirtiest game usually wins. It's expected.

I won't comment anymore on this because my New Year's resolution is that I'm not slamming gay people anymore at all on this blog...unless it's something unthinkable. But I do find it interesting that Gareth Thomas opened his big fucking mouth that way. And I'm not even the biggest fan Perez Hilton has because I don't like his brand of blogging. I just don't think it's wise to slam other gay people when we're all getting the same slaps in the face daily by douchecanoes like Katie Hopkins who come from places of privilege.  That's why we're a minority.

The rest of this hot mess is here. 

Here's a link to a free excerpt for the book below. 

Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street

Andrew Sullivan Leaves Blogging; RIP Sally Starr; Sam Smith Isn't Fat; Joel Grey, A Gay Man

Andrew Sullivan Leaves Blogging

Long time blogger, Andrew Sullivan, recently announced his departure from blogging. He did this with an eloquent post that even his biggest detractors seem to find praiseworthy. In truth, I mostly agreed with Sullivan, and his posts gave me comfort when it seemed like no one else agreed. I'm going to miss the way he blogged as much as I'll miss his voice.

But we also fought for marriage equality together (and won!), and for a new post-Iraq foreign policy (getting there), and for legalizing weed (fuck you, Hickenlooper!). We faced the brutal reality of a Catholic church engaged in the rape of children, and the bleak truth about the United States and torture. And I think we made our contribution to all those struggles. The Dish made the case for Obama in a way that actually mattered when it mattered.

You can read the rest of his post here. 

After I read this realized that on a much smaller scale I've been blogging for almost thirteen years. I started as a staff blogger with, and continued with my own blog when BGB was sold to another company. I blog for a hobby, it helps me explain my books to readers, and because it gives me a way to vent or rave on topics I find interesting. I often review books and films, though not as much anymore. So I understand Sullivan's post and his need to move on at this point in his life. Even when you only have about 20,000 hits a week like I have here, blogging is something you have to be dedicated to for your own personal reasons. Otherwise it just won't work.

RIP Sally Starr

For those who are not from the Philadelphia area (The Delaware Valley), I'm posting this out of respect and because I do remember Sally Starr at the tail end of her TV and radio career. She was technically before my time, however, even after she retired she continued to be a "name" in the Philadelphia area. And, as you can see below, Sally Starr's story does, indeed, fit in with what I post about often here on the blog.

Sally Starr, a former 6abc variety show host and Philadelphia broadcast legend, has died. She turned 90-years-old just two days ago. 

Starr died Sunday at a nursing home in New Jersey. 

For nearly 20 years, beginning in the 50s, when TV was in its infancy, Sally had daytime shows here on Channel 6. 

Born Alleen Mae Beller in 1923, she had her name legally changed to Sally Starr in 1941.

This is where it gets interesting. I never knew this until I read it here:

In 1998, Starr filed for bankruptcy protection, saying she was "church-mouse poor." She blamed her financial troubles on alleged comments made by a Trenton radio talk show host on the air. She sued WKXW-FM in New Jersey saying that host Jeff Diminski slandered her when he allegedly twice called her a "lesbian cowgirl."

"I've lost thousands and thousands of dollars because of the idiotic statement made," Starr told The Associated Press at the time, adding that her personal appearance bookings had dropped off from as many as six per week to about two since the alleged remark. 

Whether or not Sally Starr was a lesbian makes no difference at all, and it shouldn't have made a difference back then either. This brand of gay shaming is what we're still dealing with now on many levels. There's proof about how damaging it can be.


The rest of the obit is here.

Sam Smith Isn't Fat

Remember how I posted about Howard Stern going after Sam Smith and calling him fat? Well Smith finally responded in more detail, and this time with a selfie. I don't even know much about Smith, but I already like him.

He followed up shortly after with another tweet that simply said, 'Ignore.' 

Smith then uploaded a couple of photos of him at the gym and a shirtless selfie on Instagram with the caption: 'I say what's on my mind. I might do a little time.'

You can check out the pic here. He's a cute guy and I don't think there's anything at all wrong with his body. Evidently, Howard Stern did a little damage control about what he said and you can read about that at the link, too.

What I find interesting is that Stern gained his fame with this kind of slamming and shaming and it just doesn't work anymore...thankfully.

Joel Grey, A Gay Man

Not everyone who ages needs to move on. There are some who are timeless and we never ever get tired of them. In this case I'm talking about Joel Grey who has been around for many years entertaining and comforting all of us. He recently came out as 82 years old and his comments are reflective of the things many of us experience on a personal level.

“All the people close to me have known for years who I am,” actor Joel Grey tells People in a new interview. “[Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.”

The Broadway legend and Academy Award-winning actor just came out as gay… at 82 years old. It is the first time he has ever discussed his sexuality publicly.

“I don’t like labels,” Grey says, “but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.”

The rest of the article gets into the generational aspects he's faced, and the cultural challenges many of us are still facing right now.

It's a wonderful article and you can read it all here. 

Chase of a Lifetime

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gay Victims of Holocaust; Michael Urie on Gay TV Sex; Mark Ruffalo Wins Sag Award for Normal Heart

Gay Victims of Holocaust

I remember the first time I ever heard about gays and the Holocaust. Because my generation didn't live through it I only know what most people know through media, films, and the most commercial books released. And I knew nothing about gays and the Holocaust until I read an article in the 1990's about how gay people were treated. It's something we don't hear about often enough...mainly because the media's history of covering up and downplaying anything gay related has always been so prevalent.

Human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, writes about it here:

'We must exterminate these [homosexuals] root and branch...We can't permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be entirely eliminated.' 

With these chilling words, the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, set out the Nazi master plan for the sexual cleansing of the Aryan race. 

Heinz F was a care-free young German gay man in the early 1930s. He had no idea of what was about to happen. 'I didn't fully understand the situation,' he admitted with pained regret. One morning, out of the blue, the police knocked on his door. 'You are suspected of being a homosexual,' they told him. 'You are hereby under arrest.' 

It's a fascinating piece and the rest is here. I highly suggest reading it when you have a moment to spare.

In semiotic terms...signs and symbols representing something within a culture...the pink triangle is what the Nazis made homosexuals wear to distinguish them from heterosexuals. It's become a significant symbol still worn today to show protest. You can read more here.

Michael Urie on Gay TV Sex

Openly gay actor, Michael Urie, spoke up about gay sex on TV. He has some fairly strong words.

'I don’t think it’s overexposed. If gay sex on TV is too much for you, change the channel and don’t watch it, it’s not for you.' 

Urie was asked about the topic by NewNowNext in light of Billy Crystal's comments last week about gay scenes on TV today 'going too far.' 

Says Urie: 'I think there is far too much football on TV. But I’m not going around saying they should take football off the air; I’m changing the channel.'

Even though I "get" where Urie is coming from, I think his argument is weak and it makes the rest of us look a little dumb. I guess he didn't show up for debate practice in college on a regular basis. The problem with his argument is that you can't compare sex to football and expect to be taken seriously...apples to oranges. There are a lot of people out there who think there's already too much sex in general on and straight. I'm not one of them, but in the same respect I don't think it was the wisest move to compare sports to screwing. 

You can read the rest here. I'm not even commenting in Billy Crystal or what he said. It was gayface the made Billy Crystal a star. If it hadn't been for Billy Crystal playing gayface early in his career in the TV show, Soap, he wouldn't even be on the fucking map. For the record, his character on Soap was the MOST insulting gay clown and court jester stereotype ever to hit television.And yet at the time it was significant because there were NO gays on TV.

Mark Ruffalo Wins Sag Award for Normal Heart

To show that not all straight actors who play gay roles are atrocious, this announcement is something I believe is well-deserved...and so long overdue I'm ecstatic. Mark Ruffalo, who I think owned his part and took the entire film for himself, recently won a SAG Award for playing AIDS activist, Ned Weeks, in The Normal Heart. It's one of the best portrayals I think I've ever seen.

Ruffalo played writer and AIDS activist Ned Weeks in the film based on the play by Larry Kramer. The character of Weeks is a fictionalized version of Kramer.

The award was accepted on Ruffalo's behalf by presenters Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o since the actor did not attend the ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Julia Roberts, Ruffalo's co-star and fellow producer on the film, later took the stage to present another award and dispensed with her prepared remarks to praise Ruffalo's acting abilities and to say 'I am so absolutely tickled to my toes that he won tonight.'

If anyone in Hollywood ever deserved to win an award, it was Mark Ruffalo. And, I think it's important to note that during promotion and marketing for The Normal Heart, Ruffalo didn't say or do one stupid insulting thing with regard to playing a gay character...unlike Matt Damon and a few others I could mention. He truly is the best. And I say that because we're still living in times when we get slapped in the face daily. At least Ruffalo didn't slap us, too.

Here's the rest.

Chase of a Lifetime

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

King of Spain Gay Magazine; Six Great Los Angeles Places; Alan Carr on Perez Hilton

King of Spain Gay Magazine

Because he's such a huge LGBT supporter, the King of Spain's official portrait was used on the cover of an LGBT magazine...with permission.

And this isn’t just a boring puff piece — King Felipe VI has been genuinely awesome to queers. Along with his wife (yes, he’s married, to a woman) he organized an LGBT equality conference last year. They specifically brought up trans issues as being of international importance, and made commitments to support visibility and equality across borders.

So, why is he only just getting a magazine cover now? Because he’s about the get an award at FITUR, an LGBT tourism show, next week. Along with Felipe, FITUR is also celebrating Barack Obama (for his support of marriage equality), the magazine El Mundo for its balanced coverage of the gays, and US Ambassador James Costos, one of two hunky gay ambassadors. (The other is Rufus Gifford, Ambassador to Denmark.)

You can read the rest here. It's interesting to note that President Obama recently posed for the first ever...I portrait of a sitting US President.

Six Great Los Angeles Places

If Tony and I ever were to move to a warmer climate for good, it wouldn't be Florida. I like Florida for a short time as a limited destination, but couldn't live there forever full time. I could, however, live in LA full time. And I found this article very interesting because it talks about places we don't hear about very often. Of course it is an advertorial, but it's not a bad one this time.

I've never been here:

 Abbot Kinney/Venice

Who needs the beach when you’ve got Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice? Especially if you like to shop but don’t want to be bombarded with a bunch of crappy chain stores. Dining? There’s everything from great pizza to coffee to more upscale culinary choices. The west side’s best gay bar, The Roosterfish, is also here. There are lots of bikes and even more pedestrians, many with dogs, many with guitars. If you want to cross paths with a Venice hipster or brooding-but-sexy artist type, this is where you’ll find him

Never been here either, but as a runner who is up daily and hitting the trails around here every day all year long in ALL kinds of weather, I think I might find Runyon Canyon as good as Griffith Park.

Nichols Canyon/Runyon Canyon Park 

Since you’re in the land of the beautiful ones, you might as well get in a day of exercise, sun, and amazing views. Ride your bike up Nichols Canyon, taking a moment to envy all the gorgeous homes you’ll never be able to afford, and then head on into Runyon Canyon Park. There are many hiking trails to choose from, and there’s a good chance you’ll see a celebrity or three (they have to stay in shape, too, you know). There’s no need to rush: Take some time to savor the views and relax in the famous L.A. sunshine. As you’ll learn, not all exercise is meant to be unpleasant. Just be sure to bring plenty of water so you don’t get dehydrated from drooling over all the shirtless hotties you’ll encounter.

You can read the rest here. And don't forget about Chatsworth, Los Angeles. It's one of the nicest places in that area and it's where all of my books in the Chase series are set. I could move there tomorrow.

Alan Carr on Perez Hilton

I don't even know who Alan Carr is, but I'm assuming he's a gay celebrity in the UK with a talk show. He recently spoke with this publication and he had a few harsh words about Perez Hilton. Hilton is now a house guest on Celebrity Big Brother UK.

Speaking at last night's InterLaw Diversity Forum Winter Carnival to benefit the Albert Kennedy Trust, Alan told GSN: 'I just think the man's a knob. The thing is, it's a good lesson to everyone. 

If you spend your whole time gossiping, immersing yourself in other people's lives and slagging them off, spreading vile gossip... It shows, the lifestyle he's had.' 

Straight-talking Alan – who last week took home an NTA award for best Chat Show Host – added: 'He's nasty, nasty, nasty and self-centered. It's a warning to everyone. You've got to look after yourself sometimes and he obviously hasn't done that.'

You can read the rest here. I get what Carr is saying and I personally wouldn't want to live my life the way Hilton has lived his...or run my blog the way Hilton runs his. However, this celebrity gossip deal works both ways. Many of these celebrities, especially C-listers, feed off the kind of content Hilton supplies on his blog. They want that attention as much as they want to be seen hiking up a trail in Runyon Canyon. Without bloggers like Perez, most wouldn't even get their names in print. So it goes both ways and I also get what Hilton is doing. 

Chase of a Lifetime

Monday, January 26, 2015

"Looking and Douching" / SNL Bachelor Parody/ Tighten/Loosen Your Anal Sphincter/ Ugly Howard Stern Goes After Sam Smith

"Looking and Douching"

While watching the latest installment of HBO's gay series last night, Looking, I realized that in over 100 works of gay fiction I've written I never actually got into the act of anal douching with characters in any great amount of detail. I sometimes write the character "took care of things" before or after a sex scene. But never thought it was important to go into too much detail about this...preaching to the choir? 

Evidently, not the case in Looking. They actually added so much douchery into the storyline in such detail I don't think I'll ever be able to see Jonathan Groff again without thinking of mountain fresh scent. We saw Jonathan buy the douche, joke around about the douche with the clerk in the store in a lame attempt at humor, and we even saw him on his knees and elbows while he douched his ass. What that part was about I still don't understand...getting down on the floor in THAT position. Without going into detail here on the blog, I never found it necessary to do that.

And then, just when you thought the douchery scenes were all over, they brought it up again while Jonathan was in bed with the guy he's cheating with.

Speaking of cheating and Looking, it's interesting to see how this storyline of infidelity is being handled. Jonathan's character is sleeping with another man's partner/lover. The interesting thing is there doesn't seem to be an ounce of remorse about this. While he's stuffing himself with mountain fresh scent, and another man's partner, on a regular basis so far it's all giggles and laughs and let the games begin.

I watched with Tony last night. We usually have the same taste in TV shows and movies and when we don't we usually give in and let the other one watch whatever he wants. In this case, gay themed TV is almost always something we both enjoy. But last night, during Looking, I don't think I've ever heard Tony groan so much aloud. At one point I thought he was in pain. From the douchery scenes to the cheating scenes, he kept asking me how much time was left, and when will it all end. And I'm starting to wonder if that's how other people are feeling.

I had to watch the show; just for blogging purposes alone. But frankly, if they don't make Jonathan Groff's character a little less self-indulgent I'm not sure how long I'll continue to watch. When this show first started I thought it was filled with promise. I'm not so sure anymore. I don't know one single gay man in my life who ever enjoyed infidelity as much as Jonathan's character does. For me, it just gets tired. If I can't relate to the character I can still watch. But if I don't like the character it's a completely different thing.

SNL Bachelor Parody

I've never seen the reality show The Bachelor, and I haven't watched SNL since the early years of the Bush administration. I think reality TV is tired and completely staged, and I think network shows like SNL are about as relevant now as dial up land line telephones.

But they both still seem to be holding their own, so to speak, with a certain market and there was a recent question about whether or not SNL went too far with its parody of The Bachelor.

The Bachelor has been called into question for its lack of diversity before, and Shelton even takes that issue on as he tells one of the black women, "Would you be cool with never seeing another black person again?" In the parody, he went even further: "There's so many beautiful girls here, but I have to send three of them home. Probably the two black girls plus one of the curly haired ones."

I have no opinion because I don't watch either show. However, I do just once wish that someone would go after SNL the way they've been going after everyone else. Of course, with parody. Make it gay parody on straight liberal people humor. And start with the way that show is and always has been designed for the most heteronormative market out there. With the way they go overboard trying to apologize to the black community and the gay community I think a parody on them would be even more amusing than one on The Bachelor. We could start with one about Michael Moore and his badass. I would do it myself, but that would mean I would have to actually watch SNL. Said me, never.

You can read the rest here.

Tighten/Loosen Your Anal Sphincter

This can be a serious matter...even though it hasn't been talked about on Looking yet. Although I've posted articles about anal sex before in a variety of ways, as I see them popping up in gay culture, I've never posted anything about one of the most important aspects of anal sex: the sphincter muscles. It could be the difference between good anal and bad, and depending on whether or not yours is too tight or too loose really does matter a lot.

If you've been around and back, you might want to check out this article below about tightening that old anal sphincter. No one wants to top for the Lincoln Tunnel. And those of you who do get pounded regularly won't even know this because you're on the wrong end of the stick, so to speak. But that top guy who isn't going to reply to your texts the next day knows exactly what's wrong.

Of course this article is designed with medical terms for more practical reasons. But the same concept applies to tightening the anal sphincter with regard to anal sex. Here you go:

 Kegel exercises, also called pelvic floor exercises, can help reduce fecal incontinence by strengthening rectal muscles. To perform them, tighten the muscles of the anus, buttocks and pelvis as if you were trying to prevent the escape of stool or gas. Hold the muscles as tightly as you can for at least five seconds, then relax. Do 30 of these at a time, three times daily, for a total of 90 Kegels a day. This regimen may cause improvement in fecal incontinence within a matter of weeks.

Now, if things are too tight down there, which usually tends to be the case, this article might help you...and your partner.

Even if a person does feel comfortable during anal sex, he or she may still need to learn voluntary control over his or her internal sphincter in order to relax it at will. Doing so requires regularly inserting a finger, perhaps in the shower each day, and feeling the internal sphincter. The muscle changes spontaneously and in response to behavior. In this instance, simply paying attention is more important than trying to relax. Anyone can gradually learn to control the internal sphincter at will.

It really is a matter of concentration. And once you learn how to master this you'll be trying to figure out ways to tighten that sphincter up in no time at all.

For those of you who don't think this can be an issue, this amusing exchange at Yahoo will back me pun intended.  It's about a guy who is wondering if "his" hole is too tight for anal sex.

The anus is a muscle like any other. A gymnast or dancer stretches on a regular basis to maintain flexibility. He or she doesn't just wait until they have to perform. You don't sound like you have anal sex very often, so perhaps he needs to get more comfortable with regular anal penetration. Buy him a small, flexible ********* (jelly or silicone), and use that to loosen him up. Incorporate it into other sex play. See if he can get comfortable just wearing it around the house . Ideally he should start having "stretchy time" every day for a short while. When the ********* stops feeling big he can go up a size. Repeat this process until minimal warm-up is required for anal sex and there is very little (if any) discomfort. 

I would suggest removing the ********* while driving or jogging. That could be embarrassing.

Ugly Howard Stern Goes After Sam Smith

I really don't like going after anyone's physical appearance online. This is the first time I've ever done it and I hope the last. I think it's the lowest form of online behavior. However, sometimes a point needs to be made. 

That ugly old frizzie-haired, big-nosed fuck, Howard Stern, who gained fame in the early nineties by bashing and shocking everyone...which is his only talent in now going after Brit singer, Sam Smith, without provocation. And he's doing this in the most vituperative way since he went after Kathy Lee Griffin. It must be that Stern has become as irrelevant as SNL and he needs publicity. He also knows a guy like Sam Smith is far too polite to go after him and call him what he ugly old frizzie-haired, big-nosed fuck. You know, because the gay people are all too polite to ever reply in a less than dignified manner. Of course I would probably react the same way Sam is reacting, however, I did want to point out that there are different ways to approach this kind of attack Stern has launched.

Stern is also gay-shaming.

In an astonishing verbal on air attack, Howard Stern, a veteran US radio show host and judge on America's Got Talent, said of UK singer Sam Smith: 'Do you know what I love about that guy? He’s an ugly motherf***er.' 

'He’s fat. And I love it. You know what, he looks gay to me. Not that anybody looks gay but he does seem effeminate,' he added. 

The 61-year-old DJ, which TMZ once dsecribed as having made a career out of controversy, also predicted the openly gay singer's career success will be short-lived. 

It's hard to go after someone who will be on social security in a few short years, but seriously sometimes we just have to forget all about that peace and love business and call it for what it is. It's just a different approach. And that ugly fucking Howard Stern should be the LAST person on earth to call anyone else ugly.

You can read more here, where there's a series of Tweets in Smith's defense.

Chase of a Lifetime


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gay Film Review: Love Is Strange

Gay Film Review: Love Is Strange

Frankly, this film was strange. The beginning started out with huge promise, with an established gay couple living in their small but comfortable NYC apartment, getting ready for their legal wedding. Ben and George are together almost 40 years, and I sat back thinking I would finally see a film that celebrates gay men in long term relationships. The wedding was excellent, the small reception in their apartment was believable. But what follows after that left me wondering more than a few times.

Before I continue, keep in mind this is an established gay couple together for almost 40 years without any of the obvious signs of distress. By distress I mean serious alcoholism, drug addiction, emotional issues that cause them to over spend and go into debt. They seem to have good credit ratings, they seem to pay their bills on time, and they live within their means. In fact, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with either of them, so you would imagine that by the time they reach this stage in their lives they have something put away for a rainy day, or at least a certain amount of equity in something tangible in case of an emergency. Unless I missed something, these guys followed all the rules just like everyone else in America. They are so heteronormative and sexless they make Lucy and Ricky look like sinners.

George, the younger of the two, works as a music teacher for a Catholic school in NY. After his legal wedding, word gets out...through facebook of course...that he and Ben were legally married and ultimately George loses his job with the Catholic school. This trope has become so cliche I'm not even going to get into that in this review, in depth, because I just don't understand why anyone would put themselves in a position like that, knowing how much they depend on their job. I don't agree with the Catholic church on this, clearly, but I don't expect them to change the rules for me or any other gay couple overnight. The reality is that the Catholic church does not support gay marriage, plain and simple. So if you're working as a teacher in a Catholic school you're going to have to play by their rules whether you like it or not. And for the record, I went through 12 years of Catholic school and I know plenty of gay Catholics who do support gay marriage and gay couples. There are a lot of things overlooked we don't hear about, and Ben and George are not the only gay couples linked to Catholic schools. Just ask a nun when no one is listening. She'll tell you the truth.

In any event, what happens to George and the way he's fired sucks. It can happen in real life, too, and that sucks even more. However, what unfolds following this just left me wondering about what is missing from the storyline. As a result of this job loss at the Catholic School, George and Ben are faced with serious financial issues so horrific they are forced to sell their apartment and move in with relatives. And this all just sounded too contrived to me. First, they sell the apartment and only make a small profit, partly because they sold it too soon and are required to pay a penalty fee to the co-op. The realtor couldn't have mentioned this ahead of time? George and Ben couldn't have gotten a line of credit to hold them over until the grace period lapsed? They themselves weren't bright enough to know this was coming ahead of time? It's just not plausible. This is not how normal people who own property behave in a time of crisis. Gay men who reach that age are so familiar with this sort of financial management they can run circles around most straight people. And that's because they had to worry about it because they couldn't get legally married. So either Ben and George are just a couple of idiots who don't even know the basics, or this part of the plot was pulled out of a hat for pure drama. In other words, it's hard to be a gay man who has worked hard all his life and take these two seriously. 

Then it gets even worse. Okay, they lost the apartment and don't have enough money coming in to keep them together as a couple so they split up and George moves in with these weird gay friends who party all the time and poor old Ben goes to live with a nephew who makes him sleep in the bottom half of a fucking bunk bed. Again, I could understand this if there were something fundamentally wrong with either Ben or George...something serious where there's no other alternative. But the way they are portrayed in the film shows they are as normal as it gets.

In the course of my lifetime so far, I've known many older gay couples who have gone through a reversal of fortune and they've had to scale back drastically, change their lifestyles, and learn to live on a more limited budget. I know one who lost his dental practice, invested all his money in a ridiculous business scheme, and had to start from scratch all over again with nothing. I could give so many examples of how these gay couples coped with this I could fill this page with stories about moving to Fort Lauderdale to living in a small condo in New Jersey. But never in my 42 year old gay life have I seen a gay couple who would move in with relatives and sleep in a bunk bed unless there's a legitimate logical reason for this to happen, without any hope for anything else at all. Literally, the next step for Ben and George, as they are portrayed in this film, is sleeping on the street. And as a married gay man in a relationship for over twenty years I can tell you for certain I would just as soon take a room at the Ramada Inn somewhere in New Jersey than move in with a relative and sleep in a bunk bed.

I won't give out any important spoilers because there are a few surprises at the end. The love that is shown in the film and the strong marital bond Ben and George share is wonderful. It breaks your heart and makes you cry to watch them forced into separation...until you start to wonder what's wrong with them...what aren't we getting? Did Ben play poker and lose everything on male strippers? Did George squander all his money on video games and booze? That part of the storyline is completely overlooked and if you are gay and married for a certain amount of time you have to wonder why this flaw is so obvious.

But I think what bothers me the most is that when straight people see this film they will think all older gay couples are like this...or could wind up in a position like this eventually. Of course I guess anything can happen, but that's so far from what I've always known as a gay man surrounded by other older gay couples it's almost as if I feel insulted by the way Ben and George are portrayed. We think about our finances all the time, maybe even more so because most of us know we don't have kids of our own to depend on when we're older. I have one friend who went through a serious reversal of fortune...from millions to social security...and he's still in his home. He's close to 80 and he's still working part time to supplement his income. And good friends have helped him out, too. So where are Ben and George's good friends? I had to wonder that as well. They don't know any older gay couples? The only gay couple they know are two younger goofs who party to the point of ridiculous?

The hardest part about this movie is that it could have been so good if a little more attention had been paid to reality and important details. I know the writer/director is gay, so I can't blame this on cultural lack of knowledge...I really just don't get it. At the same time, this ridiculous portrayal of an older gay couple who are too damn dumb to even know the basics about their own finances has been nominated, and won, several awards.

I think all this critical praise is because at a glance the movie has all the schmaltz and faux art elements the elite crowd seems to absorb with relish. I can't say that I hated the movie either. I continued to watch just to see if Ben would get tired of sleeping in a bunk bed and get his act together and find a good cheap hotel so he and George could be together. And what happens in the end will probably surprise you, and leave you either thrilled or disappointed. I only wish just once someone who makes a movie like this would pay more attention to how older gay couples live and think and deal with financial issues instead of just guessing and creating a storyline that leaves a handful of us who do know better wondering.


Poison Gay Wedding Cakes? Perez Hilton in Underwear; James Franco Kissing Gay Man

Poison Gay Wedding Cakes?

I'm starting this post with the fact that everyone who follows me knows I do, and always will, support equality and gay marriage. Most people also know I'm not very political. That should go without saying, however, the way things get turned around these days you clearly have to cover every last fucking track you leave.

The headline reads, Conservative US pundit jokes about poison in wedding cakes for same-sex couples, which is probably one of the most misleading headlines I think I've ever seen. Notice how they don't even capitalize headlines anymore. They're talking about something conservative pundit, Ben Carson, said recently during a conference. At a glance, they spin it to make it look as though Carson is doing a comedy routine about poisoning gay couples with wedding cakes when in reality he was giving an extreme example of something that could happen.

Here's what was said:

'What I have a problem with is when people try to force people to act against their beliefs because they say "they're discriminating against me,"' Carson said, according to The Hill. 

'So they can go right down the street and buy a cake, but no, let's bring a suit against this person because I want them to make my cake even though they don't believe in it,' he continued. 'Which is really not all that smart because they might put poison in that cake.'

I don't agree with anything Ben Carson stands for. He makes me gag. He's a tool for Fox news and a good one at that. I'm sure he's compensated well just like all other pundits, including our very own Rachel Maddow. But if you think that what he said suggests in any way he would like to see anti-gay bakeries put poison in gay wedding cakes I feel very sorry for you, because that means "they" have accomplished "their" goal.

You can read the rest here. In an ironic twist, it's actually a great example of bad journalism that fuels people like Ben Carson and helps make them even more money than they already have.

I call bullshit on this one.

Perez Hilton in Underwear

This is only post-worthy because I've already posted twice about Perez Hilton being a house guest on the UK's version of Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother.  Evidently, Hilton did not get evicted from the house this week, and was so excited about it he stripped down to his underwear.

Host Emma Willis said it was a very close eviction, with 1% separating the bottom three contestants on the UK reality TV show. 

Hilton was then seen stripping down to his underwear and licking his own skin as he celebrated his victory, despite crowds outside the house chanting: ‘Get Perez out!’ 

My new rule this year on the blog is that I'm not knocking other gay people...unless it really, really needs to be said. In this case, I'm keeping my mouth shut.

You can read the rest here. Stay tuned for more Perez and CBB. 

James Franco Kissing Gay Man

I've been ignoring most things related to James Franco, frankly because I find him a little dull lately. He seems to be going to camp. And I'm one of the four people in the world who actually "got" his novel, Actors Anonymous, and reviewed it with five stars.

Of course the way he's been promoting his new film, I Am Michael, is pure cultural appropriation...because he's straight playing gay. The nasty little fucker is laughing at us, and I also think with us, and people are loving every minute of it. So I can't actually knock Francofor being good at what he does. In fact, he's overpowered this film so much no one even realizes Zachary Quinto is in it.

Franco plays Michael Glatze – the man who went from gay, proud and founder of a gay twink magazine to become a pastor and the poster boy for the ‘ex-gay’ movement. 

Quinto plays his former boyfriend and at one point in the film they take part in a steamy threesome scene with Teen Wolf star Charlie Carver. (see photo below)

The rest of the article is here. 

The reviews are interesting, at least from what I've seen. I won't run out to see this one, but I probably will see it eventually.

Chase of a Lifetime

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Anti-Gay Message Cake; School Denies Admission to Gay Dads; Patick Stewart Flattered to Be Gay

Anti-Gay Message Cake

Along with the discrimination, hate, and unrest that's been happening with a few so-called good Christian bakers right here in the US who have refused to bake gay wedding cakes, there's now another spin to add to the story of free speech, religious freedom, and really nasty people. And aside from everything else, that seriously is what it comes down to...nasty people who carry pitchforks in the name of religion...the holy ones.

This particular holy one went into a bakery in Colorado and asked the baker to make a cake with a bible. She had no problem with that. But when the holy one asked her to write some kind of vituperative statement about gays on the cake, the baker declined and now she's facing legal issues as a result.

The holy one claims the baker discriminated against his religious beliefs for not putting a hate message on the cake. The holy one filed a complaint.

She said she would make the cake, but declined to write his suggested messages on the cake, telling him she would give him icing and a pastry bag so he could write the words himself. Silva said the customer didn't want that.

"It's just horrible. It doesn't matter if, you know, if you're Catholic, or Jewish, or Christian, if I'm gay or not gay or whatever," said Silva, 40, adding that she has made cakes regularly for all religious occasions. "We should all be loving each other. I mean there's no reason to discriminate."

If I were the baker, I would have handled this much differently. I'd rather not comment on that in writing. 

School Denies Admission to Gay Dads

I want to make it clear that I'm not siding with the Christian school that denied admission to a child because the dads are gay. I think the school should be avoided at all cost. I think they are the scum of the earth. With that said, I can't help wonder why two gay dads would even want their kid exposed to that kind of emotional abuse from the Christian school. Are they trying to make a statement?

In any event, two gay dads are now going berserk because some Christian school wants no part of them.

Married couple Brian Copeland and Greg Bullard have been searching for the perfect school to send their young son. Their first priority in seeking a quality education, was a place that would be safe for their child -- a school where their family would be welcomed. Additionally, as Greg is Senior Pastor at a local church, a school where a focus on faith was also important.

So Brian asked a friend about Davidson Academy, a Christian school with no direct affiliation to any religious organization or church. The friend seemed to think the school would be very amenable to a family like theirs, in fact a representative from Davidson had told this friend exactly that when they inquired.

I'm sure the two gay dads are very good people. I don't doubt that at all. I'm sure they believe in what they are doing, for whatever reasons that I'll never fully understand. But why they would subject an innocent kid to that backward kind of thinking just passes me by. It's not like fucking Harvard rejected them. Plus, I'm a strong believer in the public school system and the separation of church and state. Get your faith and bible at home.

You can read the rest here. 

Patrick Stewart Flattered to Be Gay

Those who follow me have been listening to me harp about the way some straight men always seem to take offense when someone mistakes them for being gay. It's like the world ends, their dicks fall off, and nothing else could be worse than calling them gay. And that kind of gay shame freaks me out more than the honest holy one who wants to write gay hate speech on cakes. At least I know where I stand with the holy one. He's telling me the truth. But these straight guys who claim to support gays and then go batshit whenever someone suggests they might be gay really bothers me.

But that seems to be changing. This is the second time today I've seen a comment like this from a straight guy who was mistaken as gay.

Patrick Stewart says he was "flattered" when The Guardian mistakenly identified him as gay in a 2014 article. 

The 74-year-old "X-Men" star tells The Advocate he was ultimately proud of the assumption, which appeared in a Feb. 17 article detailing Ellen Page's coming out, penned by writer Jane Czyzselska.

"Indeed the first contact I had was from Ian McKellen, who sent me an email saying, ‘Congratulations!’ And I accepted the congratulations and said, ‘I think this is a very distinctive honor that I’ve been awarded,’” he recalls in a new interview with Jase Peeples of The Advocate.

Now that's how you handle the situation. Take note, little Harry Potter man. When this topic was discussed with Daniel Radcliff and I posted about it here, I was amazed at how many times Radcliff had to let the world know he had a girlfriend. But even more amazed at how many gay men were willing to let him off the hook. Self-loathing comes in many forms and takes years to understand.

Here's a quote from Radcliff:

 'I’m pleased my girlfriend (Erin Darke) comes up before alcoholic or gay,' Radcliffe says.

He's pleased....because you know he's not gay, of course.

You can read the rest of the Patrick Stewart article here. 

Chase of a Lifetime

Friday, January 23, 2015

Free Gay Excerpt; Gay Semiotics; Male Full Frontal Nudity on TV; Rapper Big Dipper

Gay Semiotics

Semiotics basically means a study of communication and behavior through elements that might include symbolic the symbolic handkerchief deal in gay culture. I took a grad course once about communication and literature that was so complicated the professor admittedly didn't even get all the time. In this case, however, they're talking about gay subculture in the 1970's, and the distinct ways gay people defined themselves in what really was the first time in gay culture people were actually open about it.

Photographer Hal Fisher was especially interested in these newfound gay signifiers, and as part of his 1977 publication Gay Semiotics, he provided detailed itemized descriptions of the gay experience in San Francisco at the time. Note the very early use of the term “basic gay,” though we’re guessing he didn’t mean it quite the same way.

Of course this was before my time and what's been dubbed as the pre-aids era in gay culture. I have older friends who still talk about it all the time and I always feel as if I've missed a huge event. 

An earring in the right lobe may suggest that the wearer prefers to play the passive role during sexual activity. Conversely, an earring in the left lobe may signify active behavior on the part of the wearer. Unlike the other signifiers, however, Right/Left placement of the earring is not always indicative of Passive/Active tendencies on the part of the wearer. Furthermore, the earring or stud is often adopted by non-homosexual men, thus making the earring the most subtle of homosexual signifiers.

I honestly don't know about any of these signs and symbols. They died out in the 90's in most parts of gay culture.

You can read the rest of them here. There's a link to the book with a price tag of $500, which I don't get completely. I've posted about used books of mine selling on Amazon for $50 and upward, money I obviously never get because the books are used. I've also seen my books on E-bay for these ridiculous prices, too. Maybe there's something with used books about gay culture. I'm not sure about that. But you can check that out with the link, too.

Male Full Frontal Nudity on TV

I've posted many times about the double standards on TV and in films with full frontal nudity in general. I've posted each time I noticed a glimpse of male full frontal nudity on TV. It's all in the archives with a simple search. And evidently I'm not the only one who wants to see more male full frontal nudity on TV. The creator of Queer as Folk recently said this:

There is not enough male frontal nudity on TV. You’re far more likely to see a naked woman than a naked man. It’s only [seen as] rude because the rest of television is rather tame — it doesn’t actually talk about sex and our bodies and how we feel about them. I’m not out to shock.”

Here's the link, with a photo of Charlie Hunnam. Last night while Tony and I were watching the season finale of American Horror: Freak Show, we were waiting to see if Dandy would be killed off with full frontal nudity. He was in his underpants.

Rapper Big Dipper

There's a web series called Big Dipper's World where big guys are celebrated, often in what sounds like interesting ways. I've never seen it and can't comment. But it looks like fun and the comments all sound encouraging.

Or as the bubbly queer rapper succinctly puts it in episode one:

“Feel your oats. Feel your body. Feel your friends. Just walk around and let everybody have it.”

I'm all for anything that can help remove body stereotypes and improve the quality of life for gay men with respect to body image. I've been starving since high school and it becomes a mind set you simply can't get rid of no matter how hard you try. You're gay; you're expected to be thin. If you're not, God help you. 

You can check out a sample video here. 

Chase of a Lifetime

Free Gay Excerpt

Here's an excerpt from an upcoming book I'm re-releasing with a new title, Meadows Are Not Forever.

"If you'd like, I'll show you a few tricks from my act," Harold said.
Cade shrugged.  He didn't even know the guy.  But he didn't have anything better to do.  And there was something about Harold's sinewy good looks that made his heart beat a little faster than normal.  "Sure, I'd like that.  I'll bet you're very good."
Harold dropped the sheers in the grass and said, "I'll be right back.  I have a few things in the truck.  Don't move."
When he was gone, Cade looked down for his swim trunks so he could get dressed before Harold returned.  But they weren't on the grass next to his lounge chair.  They weren't behind the chair and they weren't under the chair.  Cade was certain he'd set them down nearby when he'd removed them; just in case he had to put them on again fast.  But by the time he turned to see if he'd left them on the table near the pool, he saw big strong Harold loping down the back lawn carrying a small leather travel bag.
Cade smoothed out the towel and made sure his private parts were well covered.  He didn't want Harold to get the wrong impression.  Even though he'd suspected that Harold might have been flirting with him, he couldn't always trust his own instincts when it came to these things.  Meadow said Cade was like all the gay men she knew: he tended to think all good looking young guys were gay, or had the potential to be gay.  And it was getting harder to tell these days.  Cade had been wrong more than once and he didn't want Harold Smith to think he was trying to seduce him.  Something like that in Salem County, New Jersey could cause a scandal that would linger for years to come.  The Catholic boy with red hair and freckles who was always running after the priests and used to bake cakes for the summer carnival at the Catholic Church once made a pass at a straight guy.  The rumors began and his family wound up moving to Delaware in the middle of the school year, never to be heard from again.
Harold sat down at the bottom of Cade's lounge chair and set the black leather case on the grass.  He unzipped it and pulled out a deck of cards.  "I'll just do a few really simple tricks right now.  I don't want to bore you to death."  Then he moved his thigh toward Cade and shuffled the cards right on his leg.
When his knee brushed against Cade's naked calf, Cade felt something stir between his legs.  Thankfully by then Cade was old enough to know how to control his feelings.  So he gazed down and watched how Harold handled the deck of cards, with the skill and grace of a true card shark.  The cards fluttered; his large nimble fingers did a dance.
Harold spread the cards out in a fan on the chair and told Cade to choose one.  Cade picked one from the center and Harold told him to memorize it, concentrate on it, and then put it back into the deck face down so he couldn't see it.  Harold shuffled the deck again and cut it three ways.  He spread the cards into a fan again and concentrated on them for a second.  And when he pulled a card from the center and turned it over, it was the exact same card Cade had chosen.
"How did you do that?"  Cade asked.  He couldn't stop staring at the card.  He even forgot he was naked.  The towel slid down his leg and exposed his naked hip.
"Practice," Harold said.  "Magic is a skill you learn and practice over and over until you get it right.  It's all illusion."  His voice sounded even smoother now, as if he were about to do the six o'clock news.
"Do it again."  Cade rubbed his palms together.  He'd always been attracted to these things.  Show him a circus tent with a side show and his heart started beating faster.  If there was a monkey and a bearded lady, he'd pay anything to see them.
Harold repeated the same trick six times, and each time he found the exact card Cade had picked from the deck.  Then he showed Cade a few more card tricks that left Cade's mouth half open and his palm against his chest.  And while Harold worked his magic, he often spoke as if he were on stage speaking to an audience, with a deep, smooth announcer's voice.  Harold had one of those well-trained, silky voices, with a deep natural resonance that made Cade's eyelids grow heavy.  If he hadn't been a magician, he could have been a host on one of those soft late night radio shows Meadow always liked to listen to when she couldn't get to sleep.  He'd have made a fortune selling used cars to gay men and straight women.
"Show me how to do a trick," Cade said.  He spoke too fast and had to catch his breath.
Harold smiled; he waved the fan of cards.  "Oh, I don't know," he said.  "This is an old art and you can't just learn it in a few minutes.  You have to study and practice for years."
Cade knew Meadow would love this card trick.  And it would torture her not to know how to do it.  And the guys at the condo would love it even more.  "Oh, please," he said.  He moved forward and didn't notice the towel slide down another inch, exposing his entire naked right side.  "Just show me the most basic card trick you know.  I'm good with cards.  I play poker all the time with my best friend, Meadow."  He usually lost.  But he didn't mention this…or that they played poker with Oreo cookies instead of chips.
Harold sent him a long, slow glance.  He lowered his voice to a stage whisper and said, "I'll show you a trick that's very easy.  But you have to promise you'll never tell anyone where you learned it.  It's one of the oldest card tricks there is.  And it's considered very sacred with all magicians.  If anyone knew I was even thinking about telling you how to do this, they'd banish me from the profession."
Cade's eyes opened wider; his lips parted.  He thought it was so special the way Harold was so willing to take him into his confidence.  Cade felt so honored and so thankful he leaned forward and pressed his palm to his heart.  "I promise.  I'll never tell anyone.  You can trust me, Harold. I’ll take this to my grave."
Harold nodded.  Then he shuffled the cards and said, "I'll do the trick once, and then I'll show you something you'll never forget."
"Oh, thank you," Cade said.  He'd never been so flattered in his life.  "You have no idea how much this means to me.  You're a great guy."  And here he thought he wouldn't have anyone to talk to in Salem County.  He couldn't wait to tell Meadow about Harold, his new friend, only he'd leave out the part about being caught naked.  She could turn something perfectly innocent into something naughty.
 Harold shuffled the cards again, and then he spread them out into a fan.  "Now you pick just one card.  Look at it, and then put it right back into the deck face down.  And remember the card you chose."
Cade smiled.  He picked a card toward on right side of the fan this time, thinking he'd mix things up a little and make it more difficult for Harold.  He pulled the card out, hid it in his curved palm, and gazed down at the queen of hearts.  Then he turned the card over very slowly so Harold couldn't see what it was and slid it back into the left side of the fan.
"Okay," Harold said.  "I want you to look into my eyes and repeat these words with me: out of the darkness comes light and beauty; out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder.  And you have to concentrate on the card you chose.  This trick is about as magical as it gets.  I think you'll love it. I can’t wait to see what you think."
Cade blinked.  "Magic words?"
Harold set his jaw.  "I'm serious," he said.  "If you're not interested in saying the magic words, we don't have to do this."
Cade felt a thump I his stomach.  He hadn't meant to sound skeptical.  "I didn't mean anything.  I'll say the magic words.  Don't worry.  I was just a little surprised, is all. I’m not familiar with magic."
"And you have to look deep into my eyes while you say the words," Harold said.
Cade nodded; his eyes widened.  "I will.  I promise."  This was getting really exciting now.  He couldn't wait to see what would happen next.
"Do you remember the card you picked?"  Harold asked.
"Yes.  I remember it."
"Okay," Harold said.  "Now look into my eyes and repeat the magic words with me.  And concentrate hard on the card you picked.  You'll be rewarded very well for this."
Cade looked into his eyes; his chest caved in and he felt every muscle in his body relax.  This was one of the most exciting things he'd done in a long time.  When Harold nodded, they both said, "Out of the darkness comes light and beauty; out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder."
Harold said, "Repeat it with me one more time."
So they did it again.
When they were finished, Harold shuffled the cards one more time and spread them out in a fan.  He held up the jack of diamonds and asked, "Is this the card you picked?"
Cade felt a pull in his stomach.  It was the first time Harold had been wrong.  He smiled and tilted his head.  "I'm sorry, no it's not."
Harold made a face; his eyebrows furrowed.  He chose another.  "Is this the card?"
Cade glanced at the three of clubs and said, "Nope.  Sorry."  This wasn't going well at all.  Poor Harold Smith. 
On his third try, Harold chose the ace of spades.
Cade shrugged.  "I'm sorry, that's not the right card either.  Maybe I did something wrong this time.  Maybe we should do it again.  It's probably my fault.  I tend to mix things up sometimes."  The expression on Harold's handsome face had fallen by then.  Cade hated to see anyone in distress that way, especially someone so adorable.  "Maybe I didn't concentrate hard enough on the card."
Harold closed his eyes and squinted.  "No, that's not it.  I've had this happen before.  I'll figure it out."  He rubbed his jaw and concentrated for a moment.  He repeated, "Out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder, out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder, out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder."
Cade gaped at him.  He'd never seen anyone concentrate so hard on anything.  From the way he was squinting, it looked downright painful.
Then Harold opened his eyes slowly.  He lifted his right hand and snapped his fingers.  "I think I know what happened.  Sometimes the energy gets mixed up with different frequencies on hot days like this.  Sometimes the card winds up somewhere else other than inside the deck."
It sure was hot that day.  Cade leaned forward.  "Where do you think the card went?"
Harold smiled.  He pointed to the towel over Cade's private parts and said, "Spread your legs a little for me."
Cade blinked again.  "Spread my legs?"
Harold nodded.  "Just spread them a little.  It's okay.  Sometimes these things happen and there’s no need to get nervous."
Cade spread his legs and looked down at his lap.  Harold's large hand slid up beneath the white towel and stopped between Cade's legs.  Cade felt Harold's knuckles brush the inside of his right thigh.
Harold remained still for a moment.  He lingered, with his knuckles against Cade's bare skin.  He closed his eyes and said, "Out of the garden comes sweetness and wonder."
   Cade's eyes bugged as Harold's hand slide out from beneath the towel. He almost fell sideways when Harold pulled a single playing card out from between his legs and smiled.