Thanks so all the great people who came out for My Perverted Sucky Valentine Puts Out it was a thrill to get out and read ... especially for such a great audience.
For all you poor suckers ... I mean 'unfortunate people' who couldn't make it ... here's the story I read: It originally appeared in my fun Renaissance E Books/Sizzler editions anthology BondageBy The Bay Tales Of BDSM In San Francisco
I shouldn't have so many. I mean ... hell, I only just turned fifty- one. A few, maybe; but when I think of them there always seems to be far too many.
Far too many.
And they all were in San Francisco ... and if they hadn't then they certainly lived in San Francisco: the city where everything always seems to have happened.
Emphasis on seems to have happened.
I can't pick a favorite – and even if I could I wouldn't. Each one, each time, each frozen-flash-memory-moment of time stands unique and still, coming and going depending on all kinds of irrational and almost whimsical cues: the smell of a certain brand of soap, the way this-or-that kind of fabric feels, the unique flavors of ... well, unique flavors.
Sunlight, for instance: not just light-from-the sun but when it comes through big windows. Big, but very dusty windows: the way the warm brilliance reveals little eddies and currents of stuff caught in the air. Back when I was living in San Francisco, when all of these memories were made, I seemed to wake up many time in that one front room in that one special house out in the Sunset.
Lisa, my wife at the time, and I had made a lot of friends while we were together. Some of them were vanilla, but most of them understood the other flavor of that word, vanilla, means. If you don't, then you should probably – especially since you may not understand the rest of this.
The biggest shock I felt after dipping my toes and then (ahem) other body parts into this particular pool was how remarkably normal everyone there was. Larry, the lawyer who worked for the city, might have liked to get dressed up as a young girl – pinafores, pink hair bows, stockings, precious little shoes, and all that – but he was also the friend who liked French comedies and sushi. Marty, the chubby programmer, may have been into being beaten – quite severely sometimes – by a cane but he was also one of the best friends I'd ever had, who told the best stories and had the best laugh. Sally, well- tanned and lithe teacher, was certainly a vicious dominatrix with whip, cane, paddle, clothespin – and anything else within reach – but she was also there, with her arms around me, that day when my usual blues were far too deeply blue for me to see the sun.
That house in the sunset, then. That special house in the sunset: the one with the dusty windows; the one I always seemed to wake up in. That one. It wasn't just after a party or such, though there were a lot of those. Sometimes Lisa and I would just be there, watching movies, resting after some parade or event or such. It was one of those places that as familiar as our own home.
Todd worked for the city, though I forget the details of what exactly he did. Not important. But what I do remember is: Todd was a teddy bear, a great laughing ball of a man. In his basement there had been parties, a space he had created and gave to all of his friends to use, but the best memories I have of him are just sitting on the couch in that front room. Women, sometimes topless, sometimes not, and men, sometimes bottomless, sometimes not, stroll past in my memories, stroboscopic flashes of various erotic adventures and sticky orgasms (from me) and loud ones (from women) flicker in and out, mixing up what was real, what wasn't, and how even to tell the two of them apart. But though them all Todd was always there: a sweet and happy smile on his face, a warm hug always there when needed.
Diabetes was his end. Shamefully, memories of my own father's passing too loud and strong in my mind, I was too cowardly to see him in the hospital.
Beth comes, now and again, as well: the memories of her not really
tied to any particular flavor, texture, or scent. Maybe that means she was ... different from Todd. I don't know. But I do know that Beth was special. They all are, to stay with me. But she really was that and more.
We began to flirt ... but then everyone in the scene does. It's just what the people in that world do: a part of the game, a part of the life but most importantly part of the play. But in her case there was an extra dimension to it. I think she knew, and I think I knew, that we were very similar in a very deep down way: that, sure, we could have just played, only whipped or chained or bound or gagged or pierced or whatever together but no matter what we'd done together it would have become something more than just that – play partners naturally and wonderfully becoming lovers.
We didn't, but we came close many times. She was a big girl, a brightly grinning woman round in all the right and happy ways. One time shines a bit more than the others: her, glowing like a cake from the oven, on Lisa and I'd big bed in our little house, her immense breasts out for fingers and lips, the deep moans of her excitement echoing back and forth in the tiny room. It had been a treat, a special birthday surprise for this bottom to be the center of attention for several of her friends. They were there with me, and they each had things to give her – a little of this, a little of that, and much of what she liked, but afterwards, when the other party-goers had left to go into the kitchen for drinks and snacks, we had cuddled together and half-slept.
Cancer was her end. Guilt there as well; that I didn't find out about her passing until it was far too late to be there for her.
Shelly comes to me often. This is not the time, place, pages, for
me, but let me say that I was a late bloomer ... a very late bloomer. Because of this sex is a sacred thing, every contact a tap on the head of a very lonely young man who wanted, more than anything, for a girl, a woman, to want him. Shelly wanted me, and because of that she was special.
Lisa and I were breaking up, each of us stepping into different parts of the San Francisco scene. I had never gone to a party by myself and really didn't know what to expect. I had hopes, of course. But never thought that someone Shelly would happen.
We connected, like something from a badly written porn story: as the organizers held a little pagan-ish ritual to raise the party's sexual energy she looked at me and smiled. Then she moved closer to me.
She was big, but not round or plump but instead was a giantess: proportionally big in all directions. After the sexual energy was raised, we were free to wander, and do, whatever we wanted.
Odd, but even though we wanted to we didn't. A stranger stuck his nose, literally, into our business and as we kissed and I caressed her firm and beautiful breasts he licked her. But our times did not stop there. We became lovers and had a lot of good times together.
Then she called me, telling me something dark and frightening: afterwards she asked me, her voice cracking and faint, if what she'd learned from her doctor would change us. I told her it wouldn't: meaning every word.
Unfortunately, my own life went one way and hers went another. I am still here, to write about the kindness of her soul, the light of her smile, the beauty of her passion and the music of her joy, but she is not.
Cancer was also her end. Again, I was not there to see her off; again, guilt that I wasn't holding her hand when it happened.
Dora arrives with when the sun goes down, stepping into my mind
when the shadows grow so long they mix and merge into the ink of warm night. But not because of her skin, that would be too much of a cliché ... even for me. No, Dora comes because that's when we saw each other the most: visits to – my heart beat-beating with excitement, a firm erection of anticipation – and then from – my mind furry with post-bliss natural chemicals, the tug of bed after a wonderful roll of orgasms – one of the rent-by-the-hour hot tub places in the city.
One memory hangs over them all. Y es, her glorious smile. Y es, her so-sweet soul and her sparkling laughter. Yes, the times that is wasn't just about pleasure of naked skin (mine white, hers black) and sharing bliss and pleasure and sweat and the sounds we make when it gets very good ... very, very good.
This memory was one special night when the stars in that ink warm sky were in just the right step in their dance from dusk to dawn: she had been on top, a slow, musical, magical, magnificent rhythm of hips and body that could have just lasted a few minutes or could have been for hours on end.
I never used to think that sex could be magic. But then Dora came into my life and changed how I thought, and changed my heart as well.
But then I went one way and she went another way.
A heart attack was her end. Not there, of course, to help or just hold her hand. I don't believe it anything beyond this world but that doesn't stop me from looking up at those dancing stars and hoping that somewhere, somehow, she knows that she is still here, in my mind, my soul: a precious jewel of times together, sparkling even after all these years.
Too many ghosts – but not just the spirits of people gone past. A
city, after all, is not just made of bricks and boards and asphalt and steel and wire and pipe and all the rest of it that separates it from the natural world, but it's more than that. I really do feel that certain cities – certain special places – are as alive as the human beings working, living, and traveling through it.
San Francisco is no exception, and it has more than a few dearly- departed landmarks that also drift in and out of my mind. Though in the case of these addresses the bodies of their previous lives is a little more ... well, concrete: what they were overlaid with their modern incarnations.
South of Market, for instance (SOMA to Bay Area people): it's a lithograph stop now, but when I was putting on my tight black pants, cinching up my waist cincher and stepping out to a Links, Society of Janus, QSM, Black Leather Wing Fairy, or this, that, or other group or event or simply a party With No Name, that place was stale cement, the lingering perfume of mold and maybe even urine. It was hardly elegant but it was still a place that holds some primordial memories: friends naked, friends moaning or shrieking in orgasm, friends with their arms around me, me with my arms around my friends.
Then there was that one special Society of Janus panel. My wife had been the Program Director, picking and choosing this-friend or that-friend to step up and demonstrate a kinky talent or expertise.
That night was cutting, and one of those volunteers had been the Program Director. The cutting had been of a Kris, the undulating Indonesian knife: chosen because of its similarity to my name.
The place is gone, and my marriage ended. But she still has that mark on her back: the literal scars of an old relationship.
In the same area, another place – though I can't remember what it is now I have fond memories of what it once was: a playspace full of leather-this and leather-that, swings and slings and St. Andrews' crosses and even a stock or two. It was in one of those slings where I gave up my anal virginity to my strap-on wearing wife, while a pair of bountifully buxom friends bent over me, nipples dangling in my face and mouth during the whole bout of play.
Over in the Mission is another space, though I've heard that while it still lives and breathes it is closed to the casual, the everyday players: shut to everyone but a select few. It is the Shangri-La of spaces, the wonderland everywhere else is measured against. From the Pink Floyd inspired bathroom to the bubbles of a hot tub set in the middle of a lushly green garden, to the catacombs of its leather-fest dungeon, it's a space that – no matter how old it ever gets – will forever glow and sparkle from the energies raised there.
I can't begin to say how many times I'd been there, how many orgasms and experiences had been enjoyed in the framework of its walls. I do know that, even after my first marriage, it stayed in my life – even beginning another long term, and much happier, time in my life with a new partner.
There are other architectural ghosts, of course: the parade of offices that San Francisco Sex Information occupied, the storefronts that hid spontaneous sex parties, the bash secretly held in a massive public storage place downtown, the galleries that went up at night and down with the morning light, and even the play that happened beyond the walls of a house or a home. The legendary Folsom Street Fair, for instance, will always be in my mind – though it is hardly a ghost as it still lives and breathes to this day.
But to me my favorite times are as invisible and intangible as long- lost lovers or repurposed sex clubs: the Amazonian girl I'd played with for a new months, both of us half-naked, both of us dancing to so techno-or-other and then, when the steam between us grew too steamy, a quick trip to a sacred alley next door to orgasm with mouth and hands between two parked cars; the on-again, off-again partner pressed against me in the swelling crowd, laughter and giggles all around as I playfully unzipped her latex catsuit, laughter and giggles more when she unzipped it more, pulling my head to an already erect nipple.
These places, those times, are still there even if they are not really there: a drive through the streets of San Francisco turning me into a tired, old tour guide, pointing over there with a wistful commentary: "Right over there this or that happened..."
Far too many. Yes, it feels like far too many of them: phasing in
and out of my mind when I think about those years in San Francisco. Both the spirits of sadly past friends and lovers, plus the lingering memories of spaces and events having been replaced by chain-stores or locked away behind private and respected accesses.
Far too often the city I knew, the city that seemed to flow as easily and warmly through my body as my own blood or other, stickier, fluids, seems to have gone, died as well. San Francisco, when I move through it now, seems instead to be a place of plastic arrogance, a hipster paradise of hundred dollar t-shirts, obvious and loud non- conformist conformity, without a trace of true creativity, free- spiritness, or the perilous risks of showing true love, lust, or even the glorious stickiness of an orgasm.
Alive or dead, though, I still have my ghosts and while they sometimes drift into my mind unexpected and unwanted, I wouldn't give up the memories, the people who made them: with each visit they remind me of how many of them changed how I see the world, San Francisco, and – most of all – myself.
Thank you, all of you: thank you for reaching out and touching me. Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for sharing yourself with me. Thank you for being there.
I will never, ever forget you.
*All names have been changed to protect the innocent, the guilty, the fortunate, the unfortunate ... they are all missed