Between, oh, 1975 and 1985 (or thereabouts), it seemed like I couldn’t go anywhere in the city without some guy hitting on me for sex and as if – and as the title says – I was wearing a sign that said, “If you wanna have sex with a dude, ask this guy right here!”
It was one thing being in the neighborhood and having quite a few of the guys being down with it and running into each other and, well, hmm, someone feels like doing something and it gets done. I knew those guys and in those “rare” occasions when a new like-minded guy moved into the area, the 411 would make the rounds about the guy and more so if he had a taste for male flesh and, eventually, introductions would be made, well, formally because if the word got out on the new guy, you already knew damned near everything about him already.
We had one known gay bar in the city – but it didn’t used to be until new owners took over and even I didn’t know it was a gay bar until, as a cab driver, I went there to pick up a fare, didn’t see them outside, and went inside to ask who called a cab… and got quite a surprise at all the gay men and women in there and having fun. I note this because, driving a cab, I spent a lot of time going in there to find a fare and not one time did I ever get hit on, well, not inside the bar anyway; once the fare was in my cab, that would often be a different story and even then it was more heavy flirting than anything else… most of the time. So, yeah, I’d expect some… stuff anytime I had to go there to pick up someone.
But I could be walking down the street, minding my own business and some guy I didn’t know would get to talking to me and asking, “Can I get that dick/ass?” and I’d politely tell them that, no, you can’t and move on; or I could be sitting in a bar having an after work drink… and either some guy would sit next to me and start hitting on me or I’d wind up with two or three drinks before me that I didn’t ask for then see that some guy sitting over there is raising his glass… and giving me that look that instantly told me that he wouldn’t mind one bit getting into my underwear… and that’s if he didn’t come on over and make his intentions known. Um, uh, most of the time, I was agreeable – after doing some quick fact finding but many more times, man – what the fuck is going on around here?
Do I have some kind of sign on me that only dudes who were into dick could see… and the sign let them know that, for a good time, ask me? Shit… I was at the unemployment office one day and the guy standing in line behind me leaned forward and whispered, “If you’re not doing anything after you get done here, can I get that dick? I’d love to blow you…” and I thought, “What the hell…?” and, being focused on why I was there, told him, “Thanks but I got other shit to do…” and because I really did… but I was almost constantly dumbfounded at the number of men – and not all of them gay – who just seemed to home in on me and not unlike that “gaydar” thing that eventually started being talked about.
I’d ask some guys, “Why me?” and they’d tell me that they just knew I’d be down for something and making me wonder if there was something about my body language that was “talking” to these guys without me knowing it… but it’s pretty weird trying to pay attention to your own body language, as it turns out. One guy said, “I liked the way you walked across the room…” and that was something I could pay attention to and more so when one guy said that there was something graceful and easy about the way I walked that told him that the two of us could do something if I were agreeable. I realized that I moved the way I did because of years of martial arts training and that quiet, economy of motion that you just learn… but I had a hard time figuring out how that would tell some guy that, yeah, if you’re looking for some action, just hit on me and forget all the other guys that might be in the immediate area.
I thought about all the guys on the forum who constantly complain about not being able to find a suitable guy or getting ghosted or stood up… and I think that they have no idea what it’s like to have men approaching them in “droves” and wanting to have sex with them. I think that given how things are, if that were to happen to a majority of them, they’d either run away as fast as their legs could carry them and probably after soiling themselves over having some strange dude giving them the indecent proposal; or they’re putting themselves in places where they can be seen and, hopefully, propositioned… and no one is giving them any nibbles.
I wish I had had that “problem.” It made me a little paranoid and more so when I just couldn’t figure out what it was about me that was telling guys that I liked dick… and I still don’t know. I remember sitting on my front steps one day and planning my job search for the next day and my thoughts got interrupted by a guy who just stopped and started talking to me; he had asked me what time it was and I told him but instead of him moving on, he, um, he wanted to suck my dick and when I asked him how he knew I’d be interested in such a thing he said, “I just know – can I get that dick? You won’t regret it!”
Well, um, I didn’t – but that’s not the point. Even the local guys would say that there was… something about me that just told them that I’d be down for it and even more with those guys looking for their first experience… but none of the fellas referred me to them. They all pretty much alluded to there being something about me that told them that not only would I hear them out but I’d give them that experience, not that I always did but, still. I’d eventually come to the conclusion that for some guys, I just was attractive to them and in some way or it’d be my good or bad luck to be in the right place at the right time and the guy making the proposal was looking to get with the first guy he saw.
Like one guy said, “No harm in asking, right?” and I guess he had a point although the “overall mood” of things would often say otherwise as stories of other guys getting hit on by dudes – and the resulting violent response – had been making the rounds for a while and I was beginning to get the idea that some of those guys who were protesting too much about getting hit on and saying no just might not have been telling the truth. I couldn’t quite figure out why some of those “protesters” would sometimes be talking to me about their protest and total objection to this kind of sex… but would be dropping hints that Stevie Wonder could see that, you know, if you wanted to, man, I wouldn’t tell anybody that we did. That I’d either “catch” the hint and we did something or I just sat there looking as clueless as possible also isn’t the point… as much as the point was that they were hitting on me and like they knew there was a chance they’d get lucky.
I remember talking to one of the women in the neighborhood about this and she laughed at me and said, “Well, yeah, there is… something about you that makes someone want to check you out because, um, I wouldn’t mind checking you out either.” When I asked why, she didn’t help matters any by replying with, “Why not? You’re a guy, ain’t you? You ain’t that bad looking!”
I guess not… but still. I got a lot of dick when I was younger because, well, we all pretty much wanted to get some and, more often than not, went out of our way to get into each other’s underwear and even when I’d make new friends in other parts of the city, well, a lot of those guys wanted to get some dick, too. It was “rare” that someone I didn’t know – or knew of – would approach me for sex and, at the very least, they lived maybe a block or two “outside” of my immediate neighborhood and, as such, someone I knew would know them. But what I was and had been running into? I felt that this was very different and, later, would understand that I was seeing a different “phase” of guys wanting to have sex with guys and one that was more… expansive than my youthful experiences had been able to prepare me for.
In one moment of just one day, I got hit on six times… just by walking five blocks. I’d seen five of those guys in the area before but never interacted with them except maybe seeing them on the basketball court and playing with or against them and that sixth guy, well, never saw him before and learned that he’d been canvassing the city looking for a guy he could have sex with… but that didn’t explain how and why he’d passed a lot of guys before he got to me but didn’t even speak to them as he passed… but he stopped me and asked me if I’d be interested in letting him fuck me and fucking him in return. I’d said, “No, thanks…” and kept on walking… but my “paranoia” was increasing and I even got to thinking that maybe one of the guy I was having sex with had “put the word” out on me – and I could neither confirm nor deny that this happened but I just couldn’t really explain why I seemed to have that sign on me.
I remember talking to one of the fellas who was kinda complaining about needing some “fresh meat” to have fun with but he wasn’t finding it and I told him that all he had to do was get out of our neighborhood and he might be surprised at how many dudes would run up on him and hit on him… because that’s what was happening to me… a lot. I saw him a couple of days later and he had said, “Man, you were right! I was downtown taking care of something and like ten guys rolled up on me and wanted to know if we could do something!”
It didn’t seem to matter what ethnicity the guys on the prowl was; it was like the “whole rainbow” just knew for a fact that for a good time, just ask me but, really, just ask any guy and it got me thinking about why there were so many men – and men who weren’t gay – looking for dick. One thing that came to mind was that the job market was hard to break into and Reaganomics had done a number on a lot of inner city men and their ability to get work, leaving them stressed and even more so when, if they had a woman, they wouldn’t have her very long with him not having a steady job and that steady paycheck that was better than the minimum wage at the time. I’d thought back to the early days when us guys would be sitting around with nothing productive to do… and having sex just made sense so maybe, given the conditions and other contributing factors, this is what I was really seeing and it was just my dumb luck to keep winding up as a potential sex partner.
Maybe I really didn’t have “that sign” on me but what was going on was just a sign of the times and, again, one that my youthful experiences didn’t really prepare me for all that much but, hmm, maybe it really did and I just wasn’t paying any attention to it. It’s hard for some guys today to believe this since being randomly hit on doesn’t happen all that much if at all; I can’t remember the last time some guy I didn’t know propositioned me but I’m sure it was in the late 1980s/early 1990s. After that time, if I got hit on, it was by someone I knew… and didn’t know they were even into it or, sometimes, I suspected their intent because if I hadn’t been paying a whole lot of attention before, I was now and, yeah, how ’bout that: I could just look at a guy and know that he was down with getting some dick and had no idea how I knew other than that “gaydar” thing that had really taken off. I didn’t really believe in that but since I didn’t have any other explanation for being able to see “signs” on other guys, it worked. If a guy I knew came to me and asked if he could talk to me about something, there was a good chance I’d know what that “something” was before he even got to it because he was wearing a sign just like I was. Sometimes I’d hear the expected something but from a guy who wasn’t wearing one or he hadn’t gotten his sign yet but “wanted to” since it would be his first time… but there was still the mystery of why me? I couldn’t have been the only guy these guys knew!
But I’d gotten used to it. There wasn’t the… rush to get some dick at there had been just a few short years earlier and I’m sure the HIV threat was responsible for the sharp decline and, as such, the push was more toward the devil you knew than it was toward the one you didn’t… still didn’t give me a “definitive” answer as to why a guy I knew would just know he could talk to me about getting some dick… and asking if I’d be interested. More like the “adult version” of boys being boys. How some guys just gave off “signals” that just told you that if you asked them nicely, you just might be able to get into their underwear… and I happened to be one of those guys who gave off those signals and unintentionally so; I’d see a lot of guys who pretty much did everything except come right out and let “everyone” know that they liked dick… and it was funny watching them trying to get another guy’s attention; sometimes it worked for them and sometimes all that happened was the people around him wondering if he was gay.
As an adult, I can probably count the number of times I actually asked a guy if I can get his dick on both hands and maybe one foot… because I didn’t have to ask and that’s because, invariably, some guy would come along and make me an offer and especially when I wasn’t looking for any offers; when I would be looking, I’d consistently come up empty handed so… I stopped looking. Because some interested guy will somehow see I’m wearing a sign and make me an offer and now it’s all about whether I accept it or not. If that period of time taught me anything, it was that if you wanted to get some dick – or wanted someone to give you some – just be where other men can see you… and that can be literally anywhere. I went to the bank one day and the guy behind me whispered, “You have a nice ass…” and when I turned to look at him, he just smiled and gave me that look that clearly said he wouldn’t mind seeing my naked ass. You get to understand that if there’s a guy staring at your crotch – and acting like he’s not staring at it – yep, if he gets up the nerve, he’s gonna ask if he can play with what the clothes aren’t so much hiding.
Like the guy who kinda/sorta hit on me and his reason for it was, “You have a nice print in those pants!” He wasn’t hitting on me – just complimenting on the niceness of the print in my pants and like I really believed that he was just paying me a compliment… because I didn’t. I just thanked him for the compliment but now he got my attention and I wanted to see how long it was going to take him to make me an indecent proposal. He never got the chance to because his wife snatched him up and they left the event I’d been attending… but still.
You wanna get some dick? Just be where other men can see you and be approachable. Yeah, be on guard at all times because it is better to be safe than sorry and while you might not be of a mind to do anything “right there and then,” there’s nothing saying that the conversation can’t continue until both of you feel comfortable enough to do something together. Alas, so many men are, bluntly, scared shitless to find themselves having their sign noticed; they’d rather rely on the very dubious apps that are more work than the result may be worth or they’re just sitting on their asses and doing nothing toward getting the dick they say that they want and need. I can do something as innocuous as going to the market… and there will almost always be that one guy checking me out… and I tend to act like I don’t know that they are but, yeah, I’ve already checked them out to see if they’re wearing a sign, too. Sometimes you can just feel that someone is looking at you and it’s not a passing glance and I’ve felt it – and in a lot of places – and when I’ve turned to look to see who’s giving me this feeling, yep, that guy over there in the red shirt and jeans just looked away real quick… and he’s wearing a sign.
I might be wearing one… but I’m not the only one…