Before I even heard the expression, “being on the downlow,” I knew it existed and that there were a lot of men hanging out there, some to protect their image, some because going on the DL was the only way to get what they wanted. There was a song by the Isley Brothers that first brought the expression to my attention and it was about a girl cheating on her man and the shit that jumped off afterward – I don’t remember the name of it right now but I do have it in my music collection… somewhere. Anyway, suffice it to say that the DL just wasn’t for clandestine meetings with another man’s woman; it was also used by bisexual men looking to have sex with other men.
Unlike some gay men, it’s hard to see – visually – whether or not a dude goes both ways and some men have become quite expert in not giving away any signs that he’s anything but straight until all the planets align properly and he chooses to let his secret be known and, of course, with the non-negotiable condition that his secret continues to remain a secret.
My mind goes back quite a few years to where I lived in the project’s version of an apartment building complex and, in particular, the men who lived in the complex; not including me, there were eight other adult men living in the complex… and seven of them were on the guy side of the DL. It took me a year living in the complex to discover this and, yeah, I’m pretty sure you can guess how I found out, huh? I will also say that one of the things that definitely gave these guys away was their love of cheap vodka – Popov, in particular. Hanging around these guys almost every day reveal two different things: The shit they’d say when they were sober and the shit that came out when they were drunk. When sober, it was all I could do to keep my facial expressions still when they started “bashing” the two gay dudes who lived across the street (they didn’t live together) and how scornful they were of guys who went both ways. Ah, but let a couple of fifths of Popov get passed around and some different shit came to the front, like my learning that those seven guys had all spent quite a bit of time having sex with the gay guys across the street; of course, it goes without saying that those guys with women living with them had no idea that any of this was going on… but I also have to say that if the women did know, they kept quiet about it.
These guys always invited me to drink with them and, to be neighborly, I’d have a couple of sips of whatever hair of the dog they were able to afford – usually nothing but seriously bottom-shelf stuff – and the stuff usually covered with layers of dust. One day, we were all hanging out in our usual spot and someone said that we should get some money together for a liquor store run… and the devil leaped upon my shoulders big time. I told them to put their chump change away and that the first round of drinks was on me and I wasn’t taking no for an answer. They accepted and suggested I get some Popov but, you see, I do like vodka… but I was “trained” to drink 100-proof Smirnoff by my uncle, who said that if you couldn’t drink it straight, you were a pussy. I told the guys that since I was buying, I’d get what I wanted to drink and, if they were up to the challenge, they’d drink it as well. Of course, I didn’t tell them what I was getting so it gave me a great moment of amusement when I came back from the store with two fifths of 100-proof Smirnoff.
They were all taken aback, just totally shocked about my purchase. One guy actually said, “Holy shit, man! Where’s the chaser?”
I replied, “What chaser? I didn’t get a chaser – I drink my vodka straight!” Ah, the looks on their faces were precious as I held out the first bottle for someone to open and you would have thought that I was handing them a bomb with the looks of timidity on their faces. I had challenged their manhood and they really had no choice but to accept the challenge. Given that none of them was used to drinking the good stuff, it didn’t take long for them to get buzzed out of their gourds; since I was so used to drinking 100-proof, my buzz wasn’t anywhere near theirs… and then some things rose to the surface.
I was having a side conversation with one of the guys about the virtues of Smirnoff versus that cheap-assed Popov when, out of the blue, he said, “I hope you don’t get offended but, uh, I been wanting to suck your dick since you moved in…”
I was surprised… although maybe I shouldn’t have been since I heard a lot of things he and the others said when drunk but I told him that I wasn’t offended by it and then waited to see what he was gonna say next. He said, “Well, come on; my old lady’s at her mama’s house so we can do this now if you want to.” In retrospect, maybe I should have played hard to get or act as if I was putting up a fuss about it… but the right thing for me to say in response was, “Okay, but I don’t believe that you suck dick so prove it…”
He made some excuse (and it was lame) about us going to his crib so I could check out something – I played along with it – and he had barely closed and locked the door before he was unfastening my pants in a hurry, muttering things like “I been waiting to get this dick for a long time!” and other such things. He yanked my gear down, took a look at my cock, declared that it was really nice, and then dropped to his knees and started sucking me as if I was his new favorite food. He was good, too, and I was debating with myself about whether or not I wanted him to know that he wasn’t the only one who liked to suck dick and after weighing the pros and cons, I told him to get his dick out as well. That seemed to shock him; I guess it didn’t occur to him that if I didn’t mind getting my dick sucked by another man that I’d want to do some sucking of my own. But he pulled his dick out and we got right onto the floor and into a side-69. It didn’t take him long to cum – he later blamed that on the booze – but I wasn’t all that disappointed by that as he worked even harder to get me off. I told him I was about to cum – it’s still polite to warn someone about that unless you already know that they swallow – and he obviously liked to swallow because he didn’t stop until I’d emptied myself into his mouth.
He proclaimed that sucking me was better than he had imagined and we got our shit squared away and rejoined the group. One of the guys looked at me and smiled knowingly before saying, “Yeah, I know what’s up! He likes him some dick!”
All I did was smile; my smile got even wider when the guy who I’d just had oral sex with proclaimed – after taking a big swig of the 100-proof – “I ain’t the only one – you like dick, too!”
The other guy didn’t deny it and, oddly, the rest of them admitted that they liked dick as well. One of the guys was someone I felt was of the rough-and-tough variety and I found myself blinking with some astonishment when he said that he preferred dick in his ass; the other men just nodded as if they knew that for a fact. One of the other guys, who was now looking at me with a hunger I recognized, said, “I think my man here doesn’t mind some dick either, do you?”
“Obviously not,” I said with a wink as I cracked open the second bottle of vodka. “Never did have a problem with it.”
Maybe it was the vodka but, suddenly, it seemed that the fellas really wanted to be somewhere else and it wasn’t all that difficult for me to figure out why they wanted to be somewhere else; they all had that dick-hungry look in their eyes and went off to do something about it, leaving me and the guy who was staring at me by ourselves. He kinda stumbled over to me and asked, “Does your old lady know?”
“Yeah, she knows,” I said, glancing down at the erection in his pants.
“Damn, you’re lucky,” he said as I passed the bottle to him so he could finish it off. “So, ah, when you gonna let me suck that dick?”
I wasn’t feeling any pain, if you know what I mean so I said, “Now would be a good time, don’t you think?”
He replied, “Damned right! Let’s go to my crib!”
Off we went and, I gotta tell you, it wasn’t what I kinda expected. First, he sucked dick like he was afraid of it or something; it wasn’t exactly off-putting but the way he was going about it reminded me of someone who wasn’t quite used to sucking dick yet. He had a nice-sized dick, not that I cared about size but when I went to work on him, holy shit, you would have thought I was trying to kill him! I had never had to hold a guy down in order to blow him before and he was a lot more vocal than I was used to hearing and more so when he was begging me to stop… but I knew he really didn’t want me to stop and, well, I just thought it was damned funny.
He came and, damn, he was acting as if he had never busted a nut before and I would have laughed if I could have at that moment when he said, “I don’t believe he’s drinking my shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!” I lay back and started fucking his mouth with a purpose, taking some evil delight to hear him gagging from time to time even though I only had about a third of my dick in his mouth. I gave him the warning and he stopped, looked at me with a really strange look – and then sucked my knob back into his mouth, sucking hard on it while pumping my dick with his hand. I blew up in his mouth and he reacted as if it was the first time someone came in his mouth (and I later found out that it was his first time swallowing).
I went home after that and, in accordance with the rules my wife and I were working under at the time, told her what had happened and we had a good time laughing about the whole thing. The next day, we were all hanging out and I got razzed quite a bit for getting them all fucked up and making them drink 100-proof vodka. I got the sense that within our little group, something had changed or I felt that it had changed because I was now a “member” of their little secret clique. Nothing much was said about the previous night’s activities except one guy did make it a point to let me know that he was looking forward to sucking my dick soon. The gay guys across the street were noticed and those guys went right back to riffing about how fucked up it was to be gay and other things that even I considered to be mild… and things I interpreted as them just showing the totem, letting the testosterone flow because, yeah, dudes are supposed to be totally against having any kind of sex with other dudes… but the truth lay just underneath their bluster and it was easy to see if you knew what to look for.
And, as expected, it wasn’t until they got drunk off of their usual Popov – I wasn’t drinking anymore of that shit – that the truth came to the surface and, of great import, the fact that none of their women knew that they were into men as well. There was a sort of ‘sadness’ to hear them talk about how fucked up it would be if their women ever found out and how even more fucked up it would be since they wouldn’t understand that, for them, pussy wasn’t enough and no matter how good the pussy was to them. They weren’t exactly kissing and telling but it became clearer to me that these seven men had more than just a passing carnal knowledge with each other but to look at them, you’d never really suspect it. I think they were surprised to learn that I was into dick much longer than any of them; most of them got turned on to dick in their teens and the last guy I had sex with got turned on a couple of years prior to my moving into the complex – that explained much about his behavior with me.
I learned that now that I was a member in good standing in their little club, they weren’t too shy about wanting to blow me and it even kinda surprised me when they’d hit on me and they were quite sober, negating the thought I had that these men only got jiggy when in their cups. The one guy who liked to be fucked wasn’t very happy with me when I told him that I gave up anal sex but he got over it even though he wasn’t beyond trying to get me to fuck him. There were times when I felt… weird, for lack of a better word, to be talking to these guys when they were with their women and knowing that there was something about their men that I knew and, perhaps, they didn’t know; their men were on the downlow and before the downlow became such a bad place to be but even back then, it made me wonder what, if any, choices did they have? They weren’t like me and with a woman who knew I was into dick so if their women didn’t know – and telling them would be a very bad thing for them to do – their choices, in my opinion at the time, were simple and not so much: Give up their desire for cock in favor of keeping the peace with their women… or do the most “logical” thing and get their fill of cock the best way they could.
One day, the women were out there pitching a bitch about some other couple they knew where the guy had gotten caught in the act getting his dick sucked by some other unknown guy. They were furious and their men were very nervous as they listen to their women talk about all the nasty shit they’d do if they ever found their man in a similar situation. From where I stood, it was hard to listen to the levels of violence they cackled about, from cutting their dicks off to one woman saying that she’d kill her man and wouldn’t think twice about it; it was difficult because I happened to know that some of those same women were on the downlow with each other… but that’s a story for another time.