“Purple head,” snickered Chuck, nodding his sunglassed wrapped head to the side to call my attention to a white thirty-something dude whose loose boardshorts did little to hide the stiffy that seemed to be ever expanding. Used to decoding Chuck’s use of pidgin, I looked, saw nothing of interest, and went back to my book. White guys don’t get purple head. Theirs tend to be various shades of red, and ‘red head’ just doesn’t have the same appeal in sound. Or in looks.

Years into our friendship, we were spending the afternoon together at one of Chuck’s more recent favorite hangouts, the nude/gay beach tucked away below Diamond Head lighthouse. Officially there are no nude beaches on O’ahu. Unofficially, everyone knew about the hidden expanse of sand, difficult to reach, where if you wanted to express some personal freedom, it was cool. At the foot of the steep path that dropped from a small asphalt parking lot to the shore below, local windsurfers ruled. A little farther to the right, a small contingent of breeders huddled together to flash a bit of skin. Beyond them the gay area sprawled where the rule was pretty much anything goes.

Compared to world famous Waikiki Beach just a mile away, the community spread out along Diamond Head Beach was sparse, more sand and rocks than bodies. One of the island’s not too well kept secrets, I knew about the spot but in almost ten years of living on O’ahu had never been there. It was Chuck’s newest hang-out. He’d recently decided, far too late for my enjoyment, to finally get a tan. A perfectionist, he wanted a full tan, sans lines, and had begun spending several hours daily at the beach. That it was also a well known spot for gay men to find anonymous partners for a quickie was just icing on the cake.

Sprouting wood at a nudist beach is generally considered a no-no. But then the usual display of bodies at nude beaches are not exactly inducive to erections. Straight nudists come in all shapes and sizes. None of them attractive. Gay men have the good sense to keep their clothes on unless their body scores at least an 8. Chuck was a solid 9. Maybe even a 9.5 once tanned. It wasn’t surprising that the haole dude furtively casting glances our way was sprouting wood. Chuck, who liked white guys, might have returned the favor, but the ability to do so was not a talent he’d ever managed to master. Which had a lot to do with why we were friends instead of lovers. Or fuck buddies.

Chuck was hapa-haole, a true half/half mixed breed of mainlander and local, whose family went back several generations in Hawaii. Born and raised on O’ahu, he’d never been off the island and except for his white skin would fit anyone’s idea of a local boy. The tan he was developing nicely would turn him into a poster child for island hotness. A little over six feet tall, he had a trim body, a lush head of jet black hair and a killer smile. He was gay, but like most local gay boys took his closet quite seriously.

Hawaii’s gay community is a strange mix. There are lots of out gays and lesbians who moved to the islands from the mainland, and free of family and childhood friends begin to live their life in the open. There are a large group of former military, both men and women, who have also adopted the islands as their home. No longer having to worry about being asked or telling, are also out and open about their sexuality. There’s an even larger group of active duty military who are closeted, but readily available to the point that I had begun to suspect that everyone in the military was gay. And then there are the local boys.

Every Hawaiian family has at least one gay member who is accepted and loved by all. And that sets up the odd paradox of the mass of local boys who live in fright of anyone ever even thinking they might be gay. The lengths they go to to protect their closet doors is beyond belief. You’d think that coming out in Hawaii would mean being ostracized for life by everyone you know the way they act. But the aloha spirit is alive and well among locals, and the truth is those who do manage to finally rid themselves of their worries find acceptance and love, their little world doesn’t change a bit. Chuck had finally been slowly inching his door open. His closet, however, wasn’t really what he needed to work on.

I’d met Chuck a good five to six years before. We’d met on a hook-up site, and against my better judgement since he claimed he had no picture of himself available, I agreed to meet. Knowing I was a bit dubious about the meeting, he promised me he wasn’t a troll. He didn’t lie. He wasn’t. He was a hunk. And though our initial meeting was nothing more than dinner and a few hours talking story, we became fast friends. His killer looks were the initial attraction, his sick sense of humor an added bonus.

We started meeting several times a week, getting to know each other. He’d been starved for gay companionship and quickly clued me in to his history. Which was nada. He’d always sensed he was gay, always had been attracted to guys, but had denied those feelings until recently. Totally inexperienced he was torn between wanting to jump in the sack and get it over with and putting off the big moment. In the face of that much naked honesty it’s difficult to push, to close the sale. So I waited, allowing him the time he needed to get comfortable. The night he finally decided to brave a make out session was like being mauled by a lion. A ball of repressed hormones finally being set free is not a pretty sight.

Chuck was hesitant to take the next step. I was hesitant to take more time to bed the hottie, there does come a time when the vision of a payoff begins to fade, working for it is one thing, overtime is another. We talked about his concerns. He talked about his worries. I talked about how tired I was of just talking. I finally convinced him to spend the night at my place, to give it a try. I promised him we’d take it slow, stop any time he grew uncomfortable, that he could call the shots and decide what he would or would not do. That first make out session should have been a warning of what was to come.

A virgin in his late twenties finally getting to taste what life is all about is a joyous thing to see. And a scary thing to experience. Once we were naked, there was no more hesitation on his part. Anything and everything he’d ever fantasied about was fair game. For a novice he was wildly inventive. With that much enthusiasm even a 5 can be fun. Presented with a lush tropical bubble butt mounted below those two cute little dimples some guys have right above their ass, I was in love. Or at least firmly in lust. Chuck seemed to be enjoying himself too. Except he was having trouble rising to the occasion. Six hours later, I was drained, totally depleted. Chuck was still raring to go but had still not managed to achieve lift-off.


Okay, first timer. Nerves. I get it. While we were engaged, he made light of the problem and didn’t want to stop. Afterwards, cuddling up together in bed, both of us with smiles on our faces, I made the appropriate sympathetic noises, let loose with the oft used lie that it happens to everybody, and looked forward to our next time together when we’d both get to participate. It never happened. Three years of spending countless nights together and regardless of what we tried Chuck never achieved a state of purple head.

Chuck’s wasn’t a physical problem. The boy was addicted to gay porn. He jacked off as often as most people breath. Abstinence from his favorite pastime didn’t help. Getting him started alone in a separate room doing what he did best didn’t work either. As soon as I’d walk in, he’d go limp. Eyes open, eyes shut, in the bedroom, the kitchen, the shower, naked, dressed, with hours of foreplay, or jumping right in, nothing ever hit his up button.

I suggested maybe he needed to try a different guy, but he wanted to be with me. I suggested maybe he needed to try a woman, his retching sounds said no. A threesome? I’ve seen deer caught in headlights that looked more at ease than that idea invoked in him. Part of the problem was that he was good with it. He enjoyed bottoming; you’d think he was having multiple orgasms from the noises he’d make. He told me that later when he’d get home he’d break out the lube and get busy replaying our recent tryst over in his mind while having the time of his life.

I enjoyed being with Chuck, naked or not. Our friendship bloomed even if his cock never did. But finally I realized that I wasn’t in a relationship. I was in a porn movie. One that didn’t include a money shot until it’d been rewound and played later in private. I decided he’d become too familiar with not getting up, that possibly a different partner might be able to convince little Chuck to come out and play. I suggested we move from fuck buddies to friends. He was cool with that. So we moved in together.

Chuck was a better roommate than he was a lover. As long as you were able to overlook his constant masturbation thingy. I worked regular office hours, he worked nights. I’d come home from a long day at the office and he’d be stretched out naked in front of the wide screen playing with himself. Daily. I’d roll my eyes and sneak a quick look on the off chance I might catch a glimpse of improvement. He’d laugh, shake his head, and call me a bastard if he’d been close to cuming and my entrance had ruined his moment of ecstacy. Eventually he left himself alone long enough to meet a new guy, fall in love, and move in with his newest beau.

Upon hearing that news, using a finger to emphasize my point I asked, “Um, you mean things are looking up?”

“No,’ he said sadly. “But he loves me anyway.”

Ouch. But cool. Love may mean never having to say you’re sorry, but it does usually mean at least occasionally being able to say, “Look! You’re hard!”

Chuck and I stayed friends, getting together every now and then to catch up or enjoy a day out together. Sex was a thing of the past, but I always hoped he’d finally tell me that he’d had some success below the belt. His boyfriends never lasted long (go figure) but he had started making progress with coming to terms with his sexuality. As secluded as the gay beach was, just a few years earlier he’d have been too scared to visit much less make it a daily stop. I thought it was probably healthy that he was spending time naked on the beach instead of naked in front of his television.

After haole boy moved his erection further down the beach where someone might be interested in it, Chuck rolled over on to his back, allowing his more private parts to soak up some rays. And I started the next chapter of my book.


It was a quite call. Almost a whisper. I looked over at him to see who or what he wanted to bring to my attention now.

Not moving a muscle, he used his eyes to point downward. “Look!” he whispered as though using his full voice would bring the wrath of the gods down upon him.

Immediately catching on I looked. And I’ll be damned, it was: debatable.

I’d thought I was going to finally see Chuck in all his glory, swaying proudly in the breeze. No such luck. But it was a start. It almost qualified as a chub. There was growth. And a sense of firmness. Good thing that before I made the disparaging remark that popped into my head I looked back at his face. Even though his accomplishment was small, his pride was obvious. So instead I congratulated him. “Nice,” I said. And then settled back to see if the combination of sun, sand, public nudity, and an appreciative audience would further things along. It didn’t.

I have no problem writing about friends and ex-lovers on my blog, sharing their most embarrassing moments with the world. And I have a bad habit of using their real names. Still, I probably wouldn’t be telling this one now except that I lost touch with Chuck when I moved away from the islands. When Viagra first hit the market it made me think of him and I mulled over the idea of trying to track him down. Like with waiting for him to sprout wood though, it didn’t seem to be worth the effort. And I don’t know that the little blue pill would have worked its magic on him anyway. But I hope he got a script, that it worked, and that whatever guy he is with now is getting to enjoy Chuck’s purple head.

[The artwork in this post is from Douglas Simonson, one of my favorite Hawaii-based artists. You can visit his website and check out his paintings, drawings, and photography here.]

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