I’m not a fan of organized religion. It’s not the religion part that I have a problem with, but rather the organized. Inevitably organizing a religion leads to a focus on gaining and maintaining power and accumulating and growing wealth with very little attention being paid to practicing what you preach. There is nothing wrong with faith, but sometimes the faithful worry me greatly; throughout history there have been more godless acts committed in the name of god than deeds that would make him proud of what he wrought.
Worse – because even your faith is all about me – organized religion has done a smashing job of screwing up the hearts and minds of the little gay boys of the world. It’s difficult to be gay when you’ve been taught by your church that being you means you are going to hell. Which most organized religions do teach. Even though god didn’t think Thou Shall Not Be Gay was quite important enough of a commandment to start on another tablet of stone. But maybe that omission was just due to an over-zealous editor.
Of course, being an American when I say religion I mean Christianity because every other faith is, at worst, a cult and at best a bunch of misguided souls headed for damnation. Or a bunch of terrorists, naturally. Not that most of those belief systems don’t screw with the heads of their gay brethren too. But since I am American, my experiences with the results of that bit of evil in the name of god has primarily been with those who were raised in the Christian faith. That would be the Christian faith that is not all about god’s love. Sometimes I think if you’ve been bad in one life you get reincarnated as a Christian in your next one. And if your actions were exceptionally deplorable, you come back as a gay one.
I assume in my previous incarnation I must have been Mother Teresa-like. Okay, so maybe more like an alcoholic Mother Teresa, but the basic goodness must have been there. ‘Cuz I got off easy. My folks raised my brothers and I in the Christian faith, but it was the version that goes to church on Sunday and then just gets on with life the other 99% of the time. And they had no problem when I started looking into other faiths. Though they did cringe a bit when I began referring to the stories in the bible as myths. But then you are not really supposed to talk in church anyway. Hell and damnation, however, were never their forte. Unlike the upbringing of far too many other boys and men I’ve met. And done.
My first experience with god interfering in my sex life was the night I got naked with the little boy who lived next door. Not the blonde one who I’d already been playing doctor with for several years, but the Italian hottie who lived on the other side of our house. Back then I had not yet learned that my taste in men would one day be for those with darker looks and studlier physiques. But my Italian neighbor started me off. Fortunately, at just about the same time when we both had just discovered the joys of masturbation. The only difference between our mutual enjoyment of that act was his was centered on his dick and mine was centered, well, on his dick too.
Sleeping over at each other’s house was something we did a lot back then. And, having both just discovered the aforementioned joys of masturbation, that too was something we both did a lot of. So it was inevitable that a some point the two would coincide. Well, that or I would have become a peeping tom at an early age. Dan – Danny at the age still – was a stud. Buffed. Cut. Muscular. And he really filled out his tighty whities if you know what I mean and I’m sure you do. I don’t remember what pretense we used as a convenient excuse the night we both decided that if stroking your dick was fun, beating off with a buddy would be even more fun, but a good forty year later I can still picture his nascent hard-on springing free of those shorts. I only wish I’d known about the joys of anal sex back then. And how easy it is to convince a straight boy to turn over and give it a try.
But then today’s post is more about religion than sex even though now the two are one and the same for me. So what is important about that night is that once we’d moved from talking to doing, and once Danny’s dick was displayed in all of its erect glory, but before either of us could do something about that, Danny took a time out to turn the picture of Jesus that hung above his bed around to face the wall. I know god is supposed to be all-seeing, but I guess to preteen Catholic boys Jesus is not. Or with a bit of an assist is willing to turn a blind eye when required.
Religion is all about virtues, and patience is one of those that I’ve never laid claim to. Nonetheless, with Danny’s hard dick bobbing freely while he rearranged his room’s artwork, the show made up for the momentary wait and gave me enough time to strip naked just in case Danny didn’t realize our night’s enjoyment would be au naturale and not just slightly exposed. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins and has always been one of my favorites. And while Danny’s brief foray into interior decorating seemed a bit odd, his bits were of far more interest to me at the time. It was only years later that I recalled that part of the event and reflected on how often the teachings of one’s faith get in the way of a good orgasm. Even though that bit of interference was minor and short lived. Not that either of our orgasms were.
Since then I’ve encountered much higher degrees of the faith versus fucking conundrum. Those raised as Catholics seem to have the most difficult time reconciling the teachings of their church with the inclinations of their desires. Unless, evidently, they become a priest. But then they have that confession thingy as an out. Though I’m not sure how many Hail Marys it takes to set things right after a night of blowing a dozen different strangers in the back room of a gay bar. I guess that depends a lot on your confessor and how many years you served as his altar boy.
Gay boys raised in the Mormon faith on the other hand are truly screwed (as opposed to literally so as many a Catholic has been). The Mormon church is big in Hawaii and there’s a lot of repressed local gay boys in the islands who even though they are willing, still have a difficult time preforming ‘cuz of all the religious crap running through their head. When the only head they should be concerned with is their little one and the action it wants to get. Some can’t rise to the occasion, some can but get so excited it doesn’t last long. It’d be enough to make you turn to religion, but that’s what screwed them up in the first place.
Marrying and bedding a 13-year-old – or several of them – has never been a problem in the Mormon faith; dick meeting dick, however, is a big no-no. I don’t know a lot about that religion – the magic underwear thingy was enough to convince me that looking into Shintoism would be a better use of my time – so I don’t know why those raised in tbe Mormon faith are so screwed up when it comes to being gay. But I do know that if you want to get laid and it turns out he is or was a Mormon you’ll do much better finding a Catholic boy who’s been broken in at his local parish. Unless you are into premature ejaculators.
Noom, my bar boy friend and co-title holder of being the current love of my life, does not suffer from the dictates of his religion vis–à–vis getting his gay on. Raised as a Buddhist and currently considering himself to be a Hindu, he makes his living as a bar boy in Bangkok and his religious beliefs have more to do with baht than they do with sin. Phil, my boyfriend and the other co-title holder of being the current love of my life, is not as blessed. He was raised in the Catholic faith. Staunchly so. But was never, for the record, abused by a priest. Or a nun for that matter, since we are going on record. He is still an active member of his church, but has had no problem in reconciling his life as a gay man with its teachings. Though I assume I give him a lot to confess on Sundays. His nuclear family too is quite religious and handles his being gay – and me being the boyfriend – admirably. They ignore it. There’s a lot of turning Jesus’ picture against the wall going on in Phil’s family.
I’m not sure how much time Phil devotes to contemplating the pros and cons of going to hell, but he does have a very strong sense of what is right, what is morally justified, and what is not. Surprisingly, that does not cause as much friction in our relationship as it could and probably should. But then as a practicing Christian he is big on turning the other cheek. And since I adore both of his, I’m a happy camper.
Still, there are times when Phil’s religious upbringing and beliefs come into play and, in my opinion, fall a bit too far on the prudish side. So you can imagine the tension when I explained to him about my relationship with a male prostitute in Thailand. That’s not really something you want to hear confessed by the guy you are falling in love with. It’s not a Jesus picture flipping moment as much as it is about taking that picture down and putting it in storage. But then rumor has it that Jesus hung out with a prostitute too, so after the initial. “Holy Fuck!” that little tale inspired, Phil accepted it as just another part of my being he’d have to bear. Though I’m sure visions of sainthood helped to ease that burden in his mind. Phil meeting Noom in person did the rest.
Bangkok, and its world of gay gogo bars, was a different story.
Our first night on Soi Twilight was about Phil and Noom meeting each other and the setting was Dick’s Cafe rather than the bar where Noom flashes his beautiful body nightly. So no problemo. Noom’s gay brother, Upward Nod, joined us the next day and we headed off to Wat Pho where Brother Upward Nod took charge of Phil’s spiritual life, introducing him to Thai pagan beliefs to meld with Phil’s Christian pagan beliefs. Which went remarkably well thanks to Phil concentrating on the spiritual rather than the religious. That night we visited Soi Twilight again, this time hitting Noom’s bar. Phil has no problem reconciling his gayness with his religious beliefs, but was a bit uncomfortable with the dick and prostitution staring him in the face. But then that night was more about Brother Upward Nod getting laid, so as a spectator Phil had the time to wrestle with his inner demons while Brother Upward Nod decided which hot, naked demon he wanted to spend the night wrestling.
We took a night off from the bars for a night of shopping instead, which was about Noom’s religion. And then spent a night at Nana, more for Noom’s salvation than Phil’s or mine – Phil had a bigger problem with the straight commercial sex scene than he’d had with the gay version, wanton women evidently being more damnable than wanton men, with those in-between genders just as confusing to the religious as to the nonreligious. The next night at Tawan I think Phil found god. But in the middle of the week Tawan’s show is rather tame, it’s more about looking at dick than seeing it in action. And its testosterone-laced air and friendly muscle studs are more akin to an extremely friendly gym than a house of prostitution. Not so come the weekend on Soi Twilight where the local have come up with their own interpretation of a lap dance.
“He shy,” was Noom’s estimation of Phil’s obvious troubled mind when we hit his bar that night. And being a champion of confronting your fears, Noom set about encouraging stud after stud and copulating couple after copulating couple to cozy up to Phil’s shyness. Phil was not amused. But was a bit hard.
“Tell him to stop,” was Phil’s estimation of the best way to save his soul. As if. When Noom gets an idea in his head it stays there, protestations or not. But then to be fair, Noom considers himself to be quite religious and in his world naked boys having sex on stage, or closer, has nothing to do with morals. It’s about sanook. And in his experience renting a bit of sanook for the night is how tourists have fun in Bangkok. So even though I should have been expecting it, I too was caught off guard when Noom turned to Phil and sweetly asked, “What boy you lie?”
Huh. Coming to Bangkok so that my boyfriend could meet my bar boy friend had been the plan. Finding him a prostitute of his own had not. And certainly was not something my non-morally corrupt partner would be in favor of. So I stepped up to the plate. “Um, no Noom.” I interceded. “Phil does not want a boy.”
Despite Noom’s view, Phil is not shy. Nor is he adverse to standing up for himself. So I was not surprised when he chimed in too. I was surprised when what he chimed in with was, “Wait . . .”
Suddenly it was no longer about turning Jesus’ picture to face the wall. Or putting it in storage. It was about selling that sucker at a garage sale for $1.99. Or in this case 500 baht for the off fee and another 2,500 for a tip. And the devil’s only involvement was in the details.
My personal cross to bear so far had been the three of us sharing a bed nightly with nothing untoward going on even though I assumed there was more than one erection nestled under the covers of that bed. My prayed for threesome had not yet happened, but all of a sudden a foursome was on the horizon. Or at least it appeared that way for the few fleeing moments allowed to my fantasies. But then math has never been my strong suit. And despite Phil’s start on his slippery slope to ruin, he decided one plus three only equalled three. Or two and a half. So, no. There really is no god. Either that or there is and he hates me.
Noom got the rest of the night off so that Phil could get off with some sense of decorum still intact. And while I’d have never scripted the outcome that way, Phil wasn’t ready for a three-for-all, but did want his cake while he ate it too. My role in his downfall was to watch. Voyeurism is not one of my peccadilloes. Or I should say voyeurism has not been one of my peccadilloes. It is now. Watching Phil with Tun, Noom’s bar mate who’d caught Phil’s eye (and was now busily curling his toes) was a lot hotter than I’d expected. It was, almost, a religious experience for me. And considering how often Phil mentioned god during that tryst, I’d say it was for him.
When Noom showed back up for breakfast the next morning he was all smiles. Needless to say, Phil was still smiling a lot too. The buffet’s serving staff was undoubtedly amazed at how happy the table of gay boys were with their food. Pre-trip I’d been concerned Phil’s morals and religious upbringing would preclude him from enjoying Bangkok to its fullest. Instead he’d doubled down, split his tens, and hit a table full of blackjacks. So when I started humming the tune to I Say a Little Prayer for You, it wasn’t surprising that he dissolved into a contented little ball of giggles.
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