First, a little background about me. I've been married for just over forty years, lived a completely straight life, and have grandchildren. Since puberty, however, I've been haunted by a compelling desire for a male partner. Yes, I'm gay. And very deep in the closet. There's not another soul who knows the hidden truth. I'm quite certain that no one even suspects it.
Why am I so sure that no one suspects? Because I learned very early in life to avoid any and all comments or behavior that would subject me to ridicule, cruelty, and isolation from family and friends. In fact, over the years, I've become quite skilled in concealing my secret. It's become second nature to me.
My defenses failed me only once. A close friend and business associate and I had several drinks late one night in a bar. He subjected me to a virulent tirade peppered with insults about queers, fags, and fudge-packers. "Be careful," I warned. "That kind of talk would be offensive to a few of your friends."
"I don't have any queer friends!" he emphatically exclaimed. "Never have! Never will!"
I was more than irritated at his narrow-mindedness and his insultingly ferocious diatribe. That, plus being impaired by too much alcohol caused me to drop my guard and violate my self-imposed rule of `don't tell ... anyone ... anytime.' "Oh," I replied. "I guess that means I'm not your friend."
I immediately regretted saying that. I had been so very careful for so many years to keep my secret. Now, I had broken my own rule and I feared the consequences.
He looked at me with an expression of total confusion. It took a while for his drunken brain to put two and two together and deduce that I was gay. Then, his expression changed to a grin as he said, "Sure! Like I would believe that you're a perverted fag! You're straight as an arrow. No way could you be queer."
I should have left well enough alone but his malicious bigotry needed a dose of reason.
"You'd be surprised," I began. "There are lots of men who are gay but have lived a socially acceptable life."
He thought for a minute or so before saying, "Maybe. But you sure as hell aren't one of them!"
Was my straight faade so convincing? Or was he merely resolving the incongruity of hating gays but liking me, a gay? I didn't know. In either case, I decided to abandon any further attempts at enlightening his attitude. Reason is powerless against ingrained bigotry. In the years since, the subject has never come up again.
So there you have it. I'm gay but have lived a long, very straight life, protecting my secret with an almost paranoid obsession.
One more thing as background before I tell you about my unbelievable experience. How do I cope with my desires? Vicariously. I fantasize. Even when having sex with my wife. I would often imagine, sometimes in vivid detail, what I would do and feel with another gay man. I occasionally prowl the internet for erotic stimulation -- photos, videos, stories. I've even written a few stories, anonymously of course. I confined myself to imagination and resigned myself to never having a real gay encounter.
Now on to the incredible experience.
About a year ago, I joined a gym for two reasons. One, I wanted to improve (or at least preserve) my health with regular exercise. Two, I wanted to perv naked male bodies in the shower and locker room.
I went to the gym on a random schedule until I found the optimum time when it was not too crowded but still populated by enough customers to satisfy my wandering eyes. I settled into a regular schedule of two hours workout three afternoons a week. I was, of course, extremely discrete about when and where I looked but I was still able to indulge in some interesting sight-seeing. Most of the clientele didn't interest me. They were either old like me or young enough to be my grandson. Neither type stirred any sexual interest. The older men were as unappealing to me as I would surely be to them. I admired a few of the young studs but I had no desire nor was I in a position to acquire a boy-toy. There were, however, a few men who caught my eye and became fodder for my fantasies. They were typically ten to fifteen years younger than I was and had kept themselves in admirable shape.
Soon after I settled into my regular schedule, a particularly fit man, who I guessed to be in his early forties, adopted the same schedule. I was delighted. He was the embodiment of what I thought the male form should be: just under six feet tall, medium-length black hair, piercing brown eyes set somewhat deep under expressive eyebrows, a masculine and exquisitely contoured chin, broad shoulders, solid but not grotesquely over-developed muscles in his arms and chest, dark nipples amid an expanse of hair that crossed his chest and ran invitingly down across his firm abs.
It was a week (a long week, it seemed to me) before I saw him in the shower. As I entered the shower, he was shampooing his hair with his eyes closed to keep out the suds. I seized the opportunity to take a longer look than I normally allowed myself. The endowment between his legs conformed to my idea of perfect masculinity. My heart skipped a few beats and almost stopped. A profuse pubic bush (one of my idiosyncratic turn-ons) crowned a dangling cock that swayed tantalizingly as he scrubbed his scalp. It was neither small nor large but was perfectly proportioned. Behind it hung a pair of globes in a pendulant sack of wrinkled skin, the left one just slightly lower. I burned the image into my memory; I wanted to be able to visualize it over and over again.
I forced myself to avert my eyes. I knew the consequences of being caught staring. I couldn't afford to have my carefully guarded secret revealed.
He finished his shower and returned to the locker room. Moments later, I finished and walked into the locker room to find that his locker was only a few feet from my own. He had dried off and already put on his trousers. He smiled at me as I opened my locker and said, "Looks like we're neighbors."
"Seems so," I said as I started to dry off. He was seated on the bench, putting on his socks and shoes. I was standing, turned slightly away from him -- for no particular reason -- I wasn't being shy.
"I've seen you in the weight room and pool," he said, "but I didn't know our lockers were so close."
"I've seen you, too. I guess we have the same schedule."
"Right," he said. "I work evenings so this is the best time for me to come. How about you?"
I thought it was impolite to talk to someone behind me so I turned toward him and said, "I'm retired. I can pick my time but early afternoons are best because it's not too crowded."
In a rapid-fire sequence, his eyes dropped to my crotch, paused for just an instant, and rose back up again to look me in the eyes. It was the sort of quick visual inspection that a straight man might employ to assess the size and shape of a woman's boobs. At the time, I didn't think much of it but, remembering it later, I had reason to wonder.
"No way!" he said. "You don't look old enough to be retired."
"Ex-military," I explained. "Twenty years and out with full pension."
"Oh," he said. "I should have guessed -- short hair, great build..." His compliment on my fit body was accompanied by another visual scrutiny up and down my naked body. He stood, extended his hand, and said, "I'm Cliff. Cliff Harris."
I shook his hand and said, "Pleased to meet you. I'm Stan Crane."
He sat back down to tie his shoes. I resumed drying off but then it struck me: he had stolen a quick glance at my crotch when I turned to face him. He did the same thing when he sat back down. One quick look is unusual -- some would say improper -- but I thought two was a little suspicious. After pondering it as I dressed, I concluded that my suspicions were unfounded. Perhaps I was attributing to him interests that I harbored. Perhaps it was merely wishful thinking on my part.
"See ya next time, Stan," he called out as he left the locker room. I certainly hoped so.
I packed my gym bag and went home.
Over the next several days, Cliff dominated my fantasies. The image of his virile body intruded into my mind at various times. But I knew that the most I could hope for was an occasional glance at him in the gym. Even if he were gay, which was extremely unlikely, there was no way he would want to be with me, an over-the-hill, closeted man living a carefully constructed and protected straight life.
More significantly, I was physically unable to do anything even if I had the opportunity and the courage to try. An essential medication I was taking left me with erectile dysfunction and was incompatible with Viagra. That was not a problem for my wife; we had ceased having sex (by mutual agreement) years ago. It was a problem only for me. The best I could manage was a half-hard penis and I could maintain it for only a short time -- just long enough to achieve ejaculation in some but not all of my attempts at masturbation. I'm not seeking your sympathy, dear reader; I'm just telling you why thoughts of being with Cliff -- or any other man -- were consigned to the realm of the impossible.
In the weeks following my meeting Cliff, we crossed paths frequently in the weight room, on the running track, in the pool, and (fortunately) in the shower and locker room. We would greet each other as acquaintances. The friendly greetings became amiable chats. The chats became conversations. We found we had much in common: home towns, love of the outdoors, an interest in classical music, and more. It seemed we were well on our way to becoming friends rather than just acquaintances.
When our friendship had developed, he asked if I was married. I answered him truthfully and then asked the same of him. "No," he replied. "Confirmed bachelor." Then he changed the subject, rather abruptly I thought.
During that time, I was particularly careful not to give any clue to my admiration (and envy) of his body nor any hint of what I would like to do with him (if only I could!). In fact, to eliminate the possibility of his suspecting my feelings, I would often avoid him, altering my routine at the gym just enough that we didn't meet too often. But something very odd happened. He frequently seemed to appear just as I was showering or changing clothes in the locker room. Even more puzzling was that he was not very careful in controlling his eyes. He maintained eye contact when speaking to me but at other times I noticed his eyes wandering over my body with a perceptible pause at my crotch. I shrugged it off, convincing myself that my wishful thinking was corrupting my thoughts.
Two months went by. Cliff and I had become good friends although our only time together was three days a week in the gym. I looked forward to those times; he was extremely pleasant company. He had a serious side with opinions and questions on subjects that ranged from politics to religion to protecting the environment to compassion for the downtrodden and more. We agreed on most things; when we disagreed, the discussion was inevitably amicable. He had an intense curiosity. He always seemed interested in my answers to his questions whether they were about my travels in the military, my specialty (aeronautical research), or more personal information like my children and grandchildren. He also had a delicious sense of humor.
I learned that he taught English and literacy at a local junior college. Since his students were primarily adults who had daytime jobs, his classes were held in the evening, which explained why he had afternoons free to work out in the gym. He had very little to say about his family except they lived across the country, near Atlanta, and he rarely saw them. I asked why and he was evasive so I decided not to probe.
Our friendship had another benefit. I found that by mentally visualizing his naked body and fantasizing about being in bed with him, I could attain an erection more easily although it was still not as firm or hard as it once had been. I could therefore achieve orgasm more frequently. I was grateful for that but, at the same time, I lamented that my only sexual satisfaction was solitary masturbation and the titillation of pornography.
Because he had no family in the area and because my own children had other plans for the day, I invited Cliff to Thanksgiving dinner. I had mentioned my new friend to my wife a few times and she was anxious to meet him. He was the perfect guest. He was, predictably, a fascinating conversationalist. He praised my wife's meal and she reacted with delight at the flattery. I found it easy to slip into the role of family man and only had two very brief thoughts of my sexual attraction to him. For that afternoon and into the early evening, he was simply a good friend.
On the following Wednesday, at the gym, Cliff said he would like to return the hospitality. Would my wife and I like to join him for dinner followed by a philharmonic performance on Friday evening?
"That's very kind of you," I said. But my wife left today for Chicago. We have a new granddaughter and Helen will be helping our daughter with the baby for a couple of weeks."
"Well," he replied. "Congratulations on the new arrival." After pausing, he continued, "Perhaps you could come. We can set another date when you wife returns. I thought we could go to that new Italian restaurant downtown. I've heard great things about it and if you're batching it, you might like a good meal. Then we can take in the philharmonic performance. They're doing Mahler's ninth. It should be spectacular. Please say you'll join me."
"Well," I hesitated. "I suppose..."
"Great!" he interrupted. "I'll come by and pick you up at ... shall we say six? That will give us time to relax over dinner and easily make the eight o'clock concert."
The meal was superb. We talked and laughed as though we had known each other for years. But then we noticed the time. We would have to hurry to walk to the concert hall in time for the performance. We took a short cut, walking through a narrow side street to save a few minutes. Suddenly, a young man jumped out of a doorway in front of us. Even though the light was dim, I saw that he was holding a switch blade knife.
"Gimme yur wallets!" he demanded. "And no funny stuff, neither. Don't make me use this." He waved his knife threateningly.
Although my military career was mostly a desk job or in the lab, I did have some combat training. That training, although it was years ago, triggered a reflexive action. He held the knife in his right hand. I feinted to my left. He moved to his right in response. I quickly attacked his left side with a knee to the groin to knock him down, disarm him, and disable him.
My reflexes were not what they once were. Or his reflexes and youthful agility outclassed me. I felt a sharp pain in my left side, just below my rib cage, followed immediately by a blow to my head. I fell backward. My head struck the concrete sidewalk. I saw a flash of light. Then everything went dark.
I woke up in a bed in a dimly lit room with a massive headache and a sharp pain in my side. The first thing I noticed was an IV bag with a tube connected to a needle in my arm. The second thing I noticed was voices. I managed to lift my head enough to see Cliff talking to a man in hospital scrubs by the doorway. Obviously, I survived and was in the hospital. I lowered my head but must have moaned from the pain because Cliff rushed to my bedside.
"You're okay, Stan. You got a superficial stab wound and a nasty blow to the head but you're going to be fine. Just lay there quietly. The pain killer will kick in soon and there's more in the IV. You're going to be fine."
"I'm sorry," I said. I could tell that my words were slurred.
"Sorry?" Cliff exclaimed. "That was the most courageous thing I've ever seen!"
"I failed." I mumbled. "And we missed the concert."
"You didn't fail. You scared the living shit out of that low-life bastard. He took off running like the demons of hell were after him. Which, by the way, they probably are. I was going to chase him down but I was worried about you. The concert? Trivial detail! What's important is that you're going to be okay."
I was rapidly getting very drowsy. No doubt I had been given a sedative. I could no longer focus my eyes. Both sights and sounds were fading away. Just before I lost consciousness, I croaked out words that had been in my mind for a long time: "I love you, Cliff."
When I woke up again, the room was bright from sunlight streaming through the window. My headache was almost gone and there was no more pain in my side. Except when I moved. A groan escaped my mouth. In an instant, Cliff was at my bedside.
"How are you feeling, buddy?" he asked.
"Much better, thanks. Why are you still here?"
"I spent the night here. You had a restless night. How's the pain?"
"I'm still sore. And hungry!"
"Can't do much to make the pain go away, Stan, but they'll bring your breakfast soon. Hospital food is not five-star but I'll feed you a decent meal when I get you to my place. They'll be releasing you this morning."
"What did you say?" I asked.
"Breakfast is coming."
"No. I meant about being released. And your place."
"I'm taking you home with me. Helen is out of town. You can't stay alone. I'm going to take care of you until the wound heals and you can safely be on your own. Which reminds me. How can we get in touch with Helen. The hospital called your home -- next of kin sort of thing. I told them your wife was out of town but I didn't know how to reach her."
"Don't tell her," I objected. "Not yet. She has enough to worry about with the new baby. I'll call her in a day or so."
"As you wish, my friend."
Breakfast arrived. It was awful. And I had a lot of difficulty sitting up to eat it. Cliff filled me in on more details of our confrontation with the young hoodlum, the extent of the stab wound, his 911 call, and the arrival of the medics. He was embarrassingly profuse in his admiration of my defensive action (although it failed to disable the bastard).
Later, the attending physician came into the room, poked and prodded, asked obligatory questions, made notes on my chart, and announced, "You'll be fine, Mr. Crane. I've given complete instructions to Mr. Harris on your recuperative care including changing the dressing on your wound. A word of warning: follow his instructions exactly. No physical exertion until he says you're ready for it. And call your family physician for any -- I mean ANY -- problems during your recovery. Understood?"
"Yes, sir," I meekly replied. I had no choice. I was incapacitated. I was dependent on -- and grateful for -- Cliff's help.
By the third day in Cliff's guest room, I was feeling much better. I no longer needed help sitting up, standing, or walking. Cliff had been extraordinarily attentive to my needs -- meals, conversation and company, and even helping me into the bathroom to pee. For the latter chore, he was especially considerate in respecting my privacy while I took care of bodily functions. But I was feeling grimy and much in need of a shower, which was out of the question because of the bandages over my stab wound. I mentioned to him that I was looking forward to a shower. "Not yet," he replied. "But I have an idea. Come with me."
I had already given up on objecting to his continuing insistence that he was in charge of my care and I was not to be too macho by trying to be independent. So I obediently followed him into the bathroom. He sat me on the toilet while he started to run water into the tub. When there was about four inches of warm water in the tub he said, "I didn't want to offend you, Stan," he grinned. "But you are starting to smell a little gamey. A sponge bath will solve that problem. Take off your clothes and I'll help you into the tub."
I felt like a helpless child and had some misgivings about sitting naked in the tub. Sure, he had seen me naked frequently at the gym but not here in his apartment. It was an awkward moment but I knew it was useless to object. Besides, getting clean was more than a necessity. I could easily have washed most of my body but willingly yielded to Cliff's offer to wash me. He stripped off his shirt, saying, "I don't want to get it wet." The exposure of his manly chest had a profound effect on me. It was then that I felt the first strong sexual attraction to him since the nightmare scene in the side street. He started washing my face and worked down across my shoulders, arms, upper back, chest, and abdomen. Then he moved to my feet and up my legs. His touch was simultaneously firm and gentle. I enjoyed it thoroughly. As he got nearer to my crotch, I felt the unmistakable sensation of an impending erection.
"Would you rather wash your private parts?" he considerately asked.
"No," I replied. "You're doing fine."
I felt his hands on my cock and balls. They moved tentatively at first but then, with more confidence, he manipulated them, still tenderly but with tremendous erotic effect. I couldn't help thinking that this would be the closest I would ever come to intimacy with the man I had grown to admire, to worship, and, yes, to love. My cock rose to salute the man of my fondest dreams. It was quite embarrassing but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
"My, my," he grinned. "You must be quite horny."
"I can't help it," I replied sheepishly. I hoped that he would interpret that to mean it was nothing more than the physical stimulation but, in my heart, I knew it had an emotional significance. I loved him. I wanted to express that love in ways that were impossible.
My cock achieved a hardness and proportions I had not experienced in years. He surprised me by stroking it, slowly at first but ever so gradually increasing in pace. "Oh my God," I thought. He's jerking me off!"
The experience was so euphoric, I could do nothing but moan in pleasure, which only brought a smile to his face. He tightened his grip on my throbbing member and increased the pace of his stroking. The inevitable happened. As my orgasm began, I threw back my head and screamed in delight. When my senses returned, I looked at him. He was sitting back on his haunches and smiling at me. "Feel better?" he asked.
"Never felt better in my life," I said as I smiled back at him. "Thanks."
He helped me to my feet and out of the tub. He then grabbed a towel and began to dry me off. Unexpectedly, he spent extra time drying my limp cock and balls before saying, "Let's get you back into bed." I began to reach for my clothes but he said, "Put them in the laundry hamper. You'll be more comfortable in bed with nothing on."
I allowed him to lead me like an obedient puppy to the guest room. Before pulling the sheet and blanket up over me, he spent an obviously long time sweeping his eyes over my naked body. He seemed not to care that he was visually examining (admiring?) my naked body. Then he sat on the edge of the bed, looked at me, and, with a sad expression, said, "I'm sorry, Stan. I took advantage of you in the tub. I shouldn't have done that. But I couldn't help myself. You see, I'm gay. I've liked you from the first day we met. I must confess that I've lusted after you. The sight of your handsome body in the tub was more than I could resist. Please forgive me."
"There's nothing to forgive, Cliff. That you're gay? There"s no shame in that. That you jerked me off? I not only allowed it, I've wanted it for a long time. You just don't know how much I've wanted something like that to happen. Next to meeting you and having you as a friend, nothing in my life has given me so much pleasure."
He gave me a blank look that I couldn't interpret and then said, "But you're happily married! You don't deserve to be accosted by a gay man."
Married? Yes. Happily? That's questionable. Accosted? If getting what I've wanted all my life is being accosted, then it gives a new definition to the word."
He looked confused and puzzled. "You've wanted..." He cut himself off. "All your life..." He paused again. "Does that mean... Are you..."
I then faced a decision. Should I continue to hide my deepest yearnings? I had struggled all my life to screen them with "respectable" behavior. Or should I be honest and confess not only my homosexuality but the powerful attraction I felt for him? My emotions trumped by reason and I said, quite earnestly, "Yes, Cliff, I'm gay."
"But your wife and family. I thought for sure that..."
I interrupted him. "Wait! There's more. I'm not the man I seem to be. I'm gay and have been since puberty. I married out of cowardice. I didn't want to endure the persecution of being queer. I have to say it, Cliff. I've come to love you more than I ever loved my wife. But until this moment, I just couldn't bring myself to do anything about it. I couldn't tell you because I might lose you as a friend. I couldn't allow myself to hope that I could ever show you the depth of my love for you. I still don't think that's possible but please ... please ... let me be your friend."
A smile very gradually came to his handsome face. He bent over and kissed me passionately. Soon, our tongues were dueling. My confession had not offended him. My dream was coming true. Suddenly, he broke the kiss, removed his shoes and socks, stood, stripped off his pants and briefs, and crawled into bed with me to resume the kiss.
I couldn't resist running my hands over his hairy chest. He threw back the blanket and sheet and laid next to me. He was opening himself up to my hungry eyes and roaming hands. I couldn't refuse the invitation. Before long, my mouth joined my hands in the exploration of his virile body. I was pleased to see that his beautiful cock had hardened into a stately pole. It seemed to be begging for attention and I gladly answered the call. I brought my head down to his manhood, kissed the tip of it, and slowly took it into my impatient mouth. As I suckled on it, I was rewarded with the sensuous taste of precum that, as delicious as it was, only increased my desire to taste, savor, and swallow his sperm.
All too soon -- I wanted my love-making to last -- he bucked his hips and hot cream erupted into my throat in several volleys. I held it in my mouth to relish the taste of the man I loved. My lips remained locked around the base of his shaft. When his cock began to soften, I reluctantly let it slide from my mouth and I swallowed the love nectar.
We cuddled for a long time, our naked flesh pressed tightly against each other and -- strange as it may seem -- it was as pleasurable as my orgasm or having freedom to explore his superb body. We talked at length and learned more about each other's sexual background and about our deepest emotions. He didn't say he loved me but did say that he wanted to be my friend and to make love as often as we could. That was not ideal but much more than I had previously dared to hope for.
Eventually, we fell asleep in each other's arms.
I was awakened by the sound of voices. I opened my eyes and was stunned to see that I was in a hospital room with an IV connected to my arm. The voices were talking about long-term care. I tried to speak but nothing came out but a grunt. Two men in hospital scrubs suddenly appeared, leaning over my bed and calling my name. One voice said, "Call his wife!" and one man disappeared from view. Then everything faded away to blackness.
When I woke again, my wife was in a chair next to my bed holding my hand. With great effort, I was able to ask, "Where am I?"
"In the hospital, dear," she answered.
"Where's Cliff?" I asked.
"He's gone," she replied hesitantly. "He didn't survive the attack. The funeral was two weeks ago. You've been in a coma but you're going to be all right."