Monday, July 05, 2010


Forty seven years ago on a Friday in April I was in an after hours gay club called the Pennrose Club in Philadelphia, PA.  I was a young, inexperienced, 21 year old recently out of the Army after a three year stint.  I had recently moved from Pittsburgh, PA to Coatesville, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.  I was in the club that night with friends.

I had moved to Pittsburgh right after I got out of the Army to be near a gay friend of mine that I had met in the Army.  My stay in Pittsburgh was short (three months) because I was homesick.  I had moved to Pittsburgh because I was gay and didn't want to come out at home and embarrass my family and friends.

My stay in Pittsburgh didn't work because in addition to being homesick I was intimidated by the gay scene in Pittsburgh.  It seemed like every time I went out to a bar and met a nice guy, he was trying to get me into bed with him.  I knew I was gay but I didn't think "nice gays" did things like that.  I thought all they did was kiss and cuddle.

That shows you how inexperienced I was.  I was one of those young men who knew he was "different" from a young age (in my case four years old - before I started grade school when I was five years old) but I never had a "mentor" or anyone molest me.  Since I've grown up I now hear all these stories of how young guys who were gay were either molested as small children (thus "turning them gay") or they had a friend who "showed them the ropes."  No such thing happened with this young boy, even as cute as I was at that young age.

In Pittsburgh I had a few occasions where I thought I met someone nice only to escape from their clutches once they started groping and removing my clothes.  Oh no, that wasn't for me.  Oh how innocent I was at that time.  Hard to believe now.  However, on this Saturday night at the Pennrose I was leaning against the bar with my friends when I saw this very attractive man dancing.  He was of slight build (my type) and wearing a light colored, loose fitting a suit that hung on his slim body just perfectly.

He was fast dancing, the Twist I think.  What I particularly remember about him was his beautiful smile and sparkling dark eyes.  He was obviously having a very good time dancing.  He radiated a glow about him that was infectious.  I was mesmerized by him.

Then he noticed me looking at him.  Looking in my direction,  he smiled and his black eyes had a mischievous sparkle to them.  Oh my.  My knees went weak.  I looked around.  Was he really looking at me?  Oh yes, he was.  Then the music stopped.  He walked over to me where I was leaning with my back to the bar with my friends.  Still smiling that dazzling smile of his and flashing black eyes, he asked me if I wanted to dance.  Did I want to dance?  I would say so.

He put his hand out to take my hand and led me to the dance floor.  Once we got to the dance floor he put his right hand on the small of my back and took my left hand and raised it.  This was a slow dance and he was going to lead.  Even though he was quite a bit shorter than me (5'7" to my 6'3") it felt natural for him to lead.

He pulled me in closer to him and we began to dance.  Immediately I felt something hard against my leg.  At first I thought he had something in his pocket like a screwdriver or a pack of toothpaste.  But I quickly dispelled that notion when I looked at him and his smile got even bigger.  My heart skipped a few beats when I realized that "that wasn't a gun in his pocket but instead he was glad to see me" to quote Mae West.  And, of course, I was "glad to see him too" and he noticed.  Again, that smile and mischievous sparkle in his eyes directed at me.  He had me from that moment on.

It was then I realized why dancing, especially slow dancing, was so popular.  So this is what it is all about?  All those dances I had been to in high school and in the Army and those guys were having all this fun.  Wow.  Look what I was missing!

To make a long story short, this was the man who eventually introduced me to my first gay male sexual experience.  He didn't have an easy job of it.  He had to do a lot of cajoling and convincing for me because I thought if I did "the nasty" a lightening bolt would come out of the sky and strike both of us dead on the spot.

His name was Bob. His full name was Robert D. Surina.  He was 29 years old and a recently relocated Washington state resident to the Philadelphia area.  He worked for Boeing Vertol Aircraft.  He was married and had three young children.

I remember clearly at the time thinking he was an "old man"  but that I still liked him in spite of his "advanced years."  Now that I'm 68 years old now I see how ridiculous my thought process was at that time.  Ah, the ignorance of youth.

We didn't go home together that night but he did want to see me again.  I gave him my address and phone number.  I lived in a small efficiency apartment in Coatesville, PA which was a grimy steel town 37 miles west of Philadelphia.  I believe at that time Bob lived in Upper Darby with his family.

Bob would visit me on Saturday mornings and we would spend a few hours together.  For the first month or so we only kissed and cuddled.  That's all I was comfortable with.   After a while Bob was asking to go further.  I was reluctant.  I was sure I would die if I went any "further."  Finally, one Saturday morning he convinced me to "try it."  Looking back on "it", "it" seems very tame now.  Simply put it was mutual oral sex.  What we call a Sixty-Nine.  But oh was I scared at that time.

A funny thing happened though.  Once we got into position, it felt so natural to me.  I had none of that awkwardness that I experienced when I tried (unsuccessfully) to have sex with a woman.  Those episodes were disastrous.  This experience was so natural.  I knew then that I was 100% homosexual.  No doubt about it.

Bob and I continued to see each other almost every week.  He told me that he gave his wife the excuse that he was taking his kids out for a Saturday morning excursion.  What he told me he did was to drop his kids off at a friend's house and then we went to visit me.

I should be ashamed to admit this but I felt no qualms about having sex with a married man.  If his wife couldn't hold on to him then that's her problem.  What I did have a problem with was that he was supposed to be spending time with his kids and instead he was spending it with me.  I have to admit that this guilt did gnaw at me.  Plus, as much as I liked Bob I still wanted to go out and experience life.  Bob did not want me to do that.  He wanted me as his "mistress."  I didn't want to live a life like that.  I wanted to do something different.  He was aware of my desire and tried to do something about it.

The next Saturday morning he arrived at my front door and said "Get ready!  We're going sky diving!"  What?  I asked him "Jump out of a plane?''  With a very matter of fact attitude he said "Sure, it will be safe.  There are experienced people there to show you what to do."  Oh no.  I wasn't jumping out of any airplanes.  But that was Bob, always up for an adventure.

His Saturday morning visits continued for another month until one Saturday morning when my Mother knocked at my ground level apartment door.  Bob and I were in the bedroom.  The only way out of the apartment was out the front door and that's where my Mother was, waiting for me to answer the door.  What to do?  I told Bob to go into the bathroom.  What happened next is the subject of my next blog posting.  That event changed my life forever.

1 comment:

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