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Wednesday 08 April 2009


The Gay Blade

25th February 2009

Random Thoughts

Posted by: Michael Stevens

Young men often do not realise the dazzling power of their beauty, of a smile, or of a forearm carelessly draped on a thigh. Possessed of such unwitting power, I can’t help but admire it. I once had it. I didn’t know I had it though. I doubt they do either. I love watching it though, and watching them.

I would love to fuck Robert Downey Jr.                                   dsc000972.jpg

And Sean Penn.

Or get them to fuck me. Getting spit-roasted is always fun.

I’ve been thinking about the punk/disco wars in Auckland of the late 70s, early 80s a bit. It was a real mark of who you were, how you saw yourself, depending on what look you took, what music you listened to. I remember Ruff (RIP - burnt to death in a fire in London rescuing her Chanel suits -seriously)  going to a concert in just a black garbage bag, torn fishnets and black stilettos, and lots of makeup. I wore makeup, eye shadow streaked on my cheek, and my hair was high and hard. There were fights outside Babes, one of the main discos, in Eliot St? I can’t remember. We sneered at Billy Idol for being a fake punk. We loathed Abba. We wore op-shop 60s black suits, with narrow ties, and listened to sad serious music. Now I love nearly all music. Funny the natural fascism of youthful bonding and protection.

I’m old enough to remember hair mousse in a can as a new product.

I was a gay hippy for a while, look at the photo and you can tell. We were going to live on the land in a gay men’s commune and change the world and overthrow the patriarchy. Then we grew up.

I had my hair dyed black with pink stripes for a while, and wore a woman’s black lame suit jacket on top of my jeans. Then I dyed my hair bright green (my hairdresser, Sheridan, stole the Krazy Kolor dye from her flatmate’s stock) with a big floppy pink triangle hanging down to my nose, a triangular fringe of cerise.

I can remember the sudden advent of DJs as celebrities in their own right, not just record spinners.

I remember staggering through the streets and alleys of Manhattan in my black leather jeans, my Docs, a white T and a black leather jacket, going to the Mineshaft after being at the Spike. I remember staggering home reeking of all sorts of fluids, amyl and that general raunchy smell of sex.  I remember dancing under the stars at the Saint, totally off my face on coke and God knows what else, surrounded by Gods posing as men, and loving it.

I remember when I was first in Turkey, being in this town called Malatya, and hooking up with this mad Irish guy who lived there, and turned out to be gay. We went on a picnic, to a waterfall, the water pounding down the cliffs into a big pool, with families sitting around, cooking shish kebabs, eating melon, drinking tea, some quietly having a raki, people talking and sharing food. And then we decided to climb the waterfall. Going up wasn’t too bad, but coming down, I panicked about half way down this crumbly cliff and froze. It seemed like hours but I guess it was just a few minutes of complete and utter terror. Then I got down, and no one else had seen how freaked out I was. Lesson: People often never know what’s going in our lives, even though to us it is amazing. And I never got to fuck the Irish guy. But he was hot.

Whatever happened to the smell of amyl in gay clubs? It used to be so pervasive, now it’s so rare.

I love libraries. I remember being the library at Auckland University, before the year started. Such a geek I went in early to explore, especially the library, where I looked up all the gay books. They were in one shelf, a tiny group now compared to the metres and metres of shelf space we take up. Anyway, I think I was looking at something on Gay American History. I was amazed - here I was at 17 and there were serious academic books about being gay that were positive, uplifting, showing wee actually had a history and therefore a culture. So there I am, enthralled, I stop to think, look up and then down the aisle. There’s this guy standing there. I look down at the book again then look up - yes he does have his cock flopped out ! And it’s huge ! Or it is to me at that age. He looks at me, I blush, put the book back, and follow him to the toilets for a great fuck. I love libraries.

I have been hit on by 24 year-olds twice since New Year. I’m not complaining, just puzzled. Aren’t I too old for them? The lust of the young is so refreshing to be around. They have so much careless energy. But it always takes me a while to figure out they’re actually after me, not just politely chatting to me. I’m slow on the uptake at times.

I once spent a night on a fisherman’s boat on the Golden Horn, in Istanbul, with four fishermen. I left a little after dawn. You fill in the blanks.

I have a remarkable knack for falling for the wrong men. You’d think I’d learn, but no, not yet anyhow. But I’m cool with it; I know myself, warts and all. I have fun.

I remember being young: Inside I still feel it, but my body doesn’t seem to agree.

Tags: General

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mark A. Thomson // Mar 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Other than a nostalgic look through one’s journal it is difficult to see the point of this piece.
    Random thoughts?

    The idle thoughts of an idle man rather.

  • 2 James // Mar 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I enjoyed this. A warm insight into a lifestyle completely different to my own - both chronologically and socially. Thanks!
    (I am also 24, and think you look not-too-bad ;)

  • 3 Clasp // Mar 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    rough baby, (wee had a history and a culture? lol) but the photo, replete with morning glory and milk weed garland, makes it all worth while. Too gorgeous. Don’t miss the smell of amyl in clubs for a second myself though, can’t stand the stuff.

  • 4 James2 // Mar 2, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I concur with Mark A. Thomson, you need some new material Michael, you’ve been peddling these tiresome sex stories for decades.

  • 5 Eddy // Mar 2, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Well, he might have related similar aspects of his history before but has he related exactly the same one? I doubt it. Anyway, I found this one interesting enough to read all the way through.

    It seems to me there are deeper things going on here. There is a need in us as we get older to consider whether or not we really took advantage of earlier years and the opportunities they offered. As we get older we all succumb at least to fatigue and less energy than we had earlier, and most of us will succumb to various body parts going wrong. All of this IS depressing. That’s why you seldom find really old people with great grins on their faces. So when the depressing nature of getting older sets in it is natural and necessary, I think, to consider our earlier years and really wonder whether we lived it to the full. This is one thing that Michael is doing. The other thing he may be doing is battling with whether or not he regrets or should regret some of the things he did in all that youthful exuberance - not necessarily regret it because it was wrong or unacceptable, but because pragmatically it may have had negative effects. For example, what if most of the energy and enthusiasm of youth is diverted into creative work in the scientific or medical laboratory? Intense passing pleasures of the bodily or sensual variety may then be fewer, but the rewards of achievements may be greater. Shouldn’t there be a balance?

  • 6 Mark A. Thomson // Mar 2, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    A gratuitously narcissistic piece with Michael indulging in sentimentalism like a latter day Gustav von Aschenbach.
    The photograph says it all. One pictures a sad old queen fumbling through a scrap book looking at photographs of decades past and longing for one last youthful indulgence.

  • 7 SiegfriedHans // Mar 3, 2009 at 12:29 am

    And once more the personal vendetta rears its ugly head. The Idle thoughts of an idle man could just as easily apply to your contribution to this piece mr thompson. Still it wouldnt be a vendetta without unneccesary assasination now would it.

  • 8 James2 // Mar 3, 2009 at 12:59 am

    It’s not a vendetta, it’s observable fact. Same ol’ safe bet from Michael [it didn’t work in the past why would it work now] - frankly it’s time from him to take a look in the mirror, compare it with the posted snap, and make some serious decisions about his future writing.

  • 9 Eddy // Mar 3, 2009 at 3:02 am

    “Mark A Thomson” and “James 2″, don’t become known as abortionists, as people who stab, kill, or totally maim the creative endeavours of other people.

    Also, exercise some humanity and compassion, and remember that Michael is a man living on a daily basis with the horror of HIV.

    Also, in terms of the literary content of what he has written, it occurs to me now that you should consider what he has written as being somewhat poetical.

    Lastly, perhaps his writing is simply not YOUR reading material.

  • 10 Ben // Mar 3, 2009 at 6:13 am

    That was very interesting and funny.
    Some of the comments above are just stupid.
    Please share more of your life with us, I find it very interesting.

  • 11 Graeme // Mar 4, 2009 at 3:25 am

    You ain’t old enuf to be a real Hippy…… and, Fuck that funereal wreath just looks plain stupid….

  • 12 Sheridan // Mar 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    First of all Graeme didn’t your mother tell you “if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut the fuck up.” Personally as a recently “out” gay you I find these memories of a gay past fascinating. Cheers Michael for giving me a snapshot of your some what sordid past.

  • 13 M. Sibne // Mar 4, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I guess hubris breeds sycophants. Me thinks the gay blade needs to fall on his sword, metaphorically and literally. What an inane existence we queer kiwi’s must have if this is the fluff that wraps the valuables of our lives.

  • 14 M. Sibne // Mar 4, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Oh, and for those of you awe struck by ego (you know, the stuff that keeps Paris Hilton famous), just give a read to all these rambling pot tinged musings and try counting all the “I’s”.

  • 15 Mark A. Thomson // Mar 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I am sorry if I do not share the same enthusiasm for this style of writing as others seem to. But I reject the notion that my criticism is part of a vendetta? Such an idea is utter rubbish.
    I simply cannot see the point of this particular piece of writing.
    Excess was without doubt a large part of Stevens’ homosexual experience as it was for so many of our generation, but then so was a viral plague that was eventually to bring the partying to an end. I don’t know whether Stevens’ intent was to lay down the gauntlet for the young generation of gay men or simply to indulge in reminiscing about his decadent youth.
    I am probably the same age as Stevens, and like him, I too, am HIV+, there the similarity ends. But I am no shrinking violet.
    We both came of age as homosexuals at a time when the defenders of gay sexuality were as indiscriminate in their defence of promiscuity as the opponents were in their attacks on homosexuality as a whole. It seems that while one side excoriated promiscuity, the other glorified it, and from what he writes it is obvious where Stevens sympathies lay.
    Stevens seems to represent a group that believed that even with the emergence of a plague within our community, saving lives was less important than saving a culture of promiscuity. Personally I find such sentiments are demeaning to gay men of that era. Some of us did hold back from excess and look back to that period with more than a hint of regret and sadness.

    Stevens in this piece seems to be glorying in the hedonistic pleasures of his past through rose tinted glasses and with, I think, a dangerously nostalgic longing.

  • 16 Eddy // Mar 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    “Mark A. Thomson”, you need to think more that a wretched and detestable virus has ambushed and caught YOU and others, rather than feeling that through any degree of excess of pleasure you went and caught IT.

    You should also re-consider the notions which you have referred to above, namely promiscuity, decadence, excess, & hedonism. These are terms which are too easily applied to behaviour about which people may feel guilt because unfortunately they are behaviours upon which the wretched virus relies.

    Consider this: there is nothing wrong at all while a man holds down a steady job, is a responsible and contributing member of society, and is a functioning member of his family, in him loving dozens of men in his free time as compared with a man who chooses to love just one. “Promiscuity” is a term dreamt up and used by those who largely let their lives be dominated by the limiting prescriptions of religions. Everyone has a right to be “promiscuous”, as you have put it. However, many of those who have been or are “promiscuous” reject this negative and loaded word. They are people who see there is nothing wrong in engaging in free and open love with many different people.

    I can’t apologise for the pain that the above may cause to prim and proper religiously-inclined minds - or minds that decide what is correct social behaviour according to the dominance of diseases!

    If it is correct to be completely in sympathy with the anti-promiscuous notion, either through religious inclinations or because of the prevalence of diseases, then it is surely correct to let diseases (and all the pain and destruction they cause) rule unchecked and unstopped. In other words, if it is correct to be deride behaviour termed “promiscuous”, it is surely correct to advise all scientists, medics, and technicians throughout the world to immediately halt all research into vaccines and cures for sexually transmitted diseases.

  • 17 David // Mar 5, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Thanks for the story telling Michael, I enjoy these captions of your life experiences. God how funny, I remember hair mousse in a can; it triggers my own thoughts where I was at that time. Cheers

  • 18 jonno // Mar 5, 2009 at 12:39 am

    I’ve found it good practice to avoid the writings of those that do not interest/amuse/stimulate me - for those who don’t like MS writings, how bout not reading them.

  • 19 M. Sibne // Mar 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Good practice is being mature enough to respect all people’s opinions both positive and negative … what kind of writer would anyone be if all people ever allowed themselves to say was … “Oh! Great job mate!”

    Please, its nostalgic egocentric tripe. Gay New Zealand has so much better to offer in so many other writers.

  • 20 Mark A. Thomson // Mar 5, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Inviting readers to comment surely provides a measure of how well or not a piece has been received.
    I am curious as to why would think this is a worthwhile literary piece and permit it to be posted.
    It would be more appropriate scribbled on a lavatory wall.

  • 21 Eddy // Mar 5, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Mark A. Thomson, read some Genet and you may learn not to be so condemnatory of lavatory walls!

    Anyway, one must presume you are familiar with scribblings on lavatory walls and so I suggest to you that were you to find Michael’s piece on ANY lavatory wall YOU would be impressed! “More than a cut above all the other scribblings!” I can hear you proclaiming.

  • 22 Jonathan // Mar 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you for this Michael. And thankyou for the photo!

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