Tuesday, January 15, 2019

On Watching Boy Erased

Some weeks after its commercial release in November, I saw 
Boy Erased, the film based on Garrard Conley's memoir of a mercifully short brush with the ex-gay movement and "conversion therapy." Mercifully short, because Conley (whose character is given a different name in the film) manages to extricate himself partway through the two-week intake program that for some participants is the initial gateway to months if not years of more of the same.

I was glad I saw the film, but I found it incredibly painful to watch. Conley's story of the spiritual abuse he suffered at the hands of others--his pious fundamentalist parents, the repressed and constricted souls who staffed the program, the unqualified charlatan who led it (and who later himself came out in real life)--is markedly different from my own experience. But it left me feeling utterly identified with him, and viscerrally wanting to rip a page out of a Bible every day, wad it up, and set it on fire as a YouTube clip, from Genesis through to the last page of Revelation.

Reenforcing my reaction to the film the following week was the New York Times' story about a gay Roman Catholic layman who brought his San Diego parish back from the brink of shutdown, and who has now resigned his position as its lay leader after a campaign of homophobic slurs from within the congregation he rescued.

I'm heartily weary of feeling an all-consuming, reactive rage around such bullshit. I'm tired of bigots hijacking a religious tradition I know from my own experience also contains life-giving treasures of all-inclusive, self-transcending love. I'm utterly exhausted by trying, as best I can, to see such people as misguided rather than as malicious, to remember that they're capable of change, no matter how oblivious they remain to the suffering they inflict. I feel like I've been on this treadmill since I embraced my queer identity over forty years ago. 

Fifteen years of nearly total alienation from Christianity didn't really fix the problem. Nor did reclaiming my Christian roots twenty years ago, on my own terms, with a healthy, skeptical detachment from many aspects of the tradition.

If I look deeply at my own experience of homophobia, both as inflicted on me over the years, and the deeply internalized shame and repression I suffered as an adolescent and young adult, I begin to get why neither walking away from Christianity, nor returning to it, has entirely freed me from the defensive rage I still feel, after all these years. 

The fact is, I don't think Christianity itself is the source of most of this crap. If it were, adherents of other religions wouldn't be so readily capable of equally bloody-minded homophobia. If religion per se were the root of the problem, atheists and agnostics would be uniformly queer-positive. Christianity offers a convenient rationalization for fears and hostiiities around sexuality, and around sexual diversity, that are disturbingly close to universal. 

But if Christianity weren't there, in this culture, to provide a powerful, transcendent rationalization, then Judaism or Islam or Vedic Hinduism or much of Buddhism would be waiting right around the corner to take up the slack. Or if it came to that, older and more reductionst strains of Freudian psychoanalysis, or classical Marxist-Leninism, could serve very nicely. Or some versions of evolutionary theory, or genetics.

It is an absolute truth that absolute truth claims suck. But absolute truth claims aren't what mature, authentic spirituality is about. Deep Christianity, like deep Buddhism, deep Judaism, deep Islam, deep Hinduism, come down to this: that the depth of our life is an unfathomable Mystery, to which the appropriate response is gratitude, wonder, and a willingness to be endlessly surprised. That the only appropriate use of sacred writings is one that finds in them an incentive to love more fully, more deeply, more indiscriminately. Homopobia that wraps itself in the cloak of faith is just unregenerate hatred in very bad drag.

All that said--I suspect that for as long as I live, there will go on being some days I will still want to crumple up a fucking Bible, page by page.

A smart man saying smart things about a very problematic book:

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Claiming Wholeness of Body and Spirit

July 10-14, 2019, take your place in a fellowship of erotically awakened, spiritually aware, open-hearted men. Together we'll celebrate the presence of the Sacred in our bodies and honor the desires that spring from the depths of our souls. We'll affirm our place in Creation amidst the natural beauty of western Maryland's rolling hills.

Awaken your body and spirit every morning with gentle movement and meditation. Speak and listen from the heart as we gather in sharing circles. Work together for an hour every afternoon caring for the forested land on which we gather. Find joy, generosity, and healing in mindful, respectfully structured erotic experiences with your fellow travellers. 

Play with abandon. Touch with wonder and delight. Practice generosity. Heal your soul. Repair the world. Come home to the deep truths of your nature.

StoneSong Nature and Awareness Center is situated outside Flintstone, Maryland, about two hours west of the District of Columbia. 

You can find everything you'll want to know about these five days of embodied freedom and inner discovery here.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Queer Men's Spirituality 101: A Five-Part Series

What is Queer Men's Spirituality? It's pretty simple. If you're reading this, you probably already believe that what happens in your body happens in your soul. Your sexuality and your spirit are an indivisible whole. It's about going deeper and claiming a bigger, freer, juicier life.

Tune up your inner life as a gay/bi/trans/queer man with this series of five 90-minute sessions, Sunday afternoons at 4 p.m., in midtown Toronto. Take stock of where you're at. Increase clarity about where you need to go. Build the personal practices that are right for you. Draw on your own inner resources for healing, liberation, and growth, in community with kindred spirits. All spiritual paths and traditions are equally welcome here.

January 27 Claiming Your Sacred Ground

Guided meditation, inventory exercises, and group conversation will help you clarify what brings you the deepest fulfilment and joy in life, and how you can invite more of it into your daily experience.

February 10 Building Your Sacred Space

Bring objects that are important to you for a "show and tell" session. Share ways to keep reminders of what really matters to you present in your everyday environment. Explore possibilities for creating and maintaining a simple home altar or shrine.

February 24 Creating Your Sacred Practices

Experiment with simple mindful routines that can help ground you in daily life. Learn more about how you can create well-designed, uncomplicated, authentic rituals for yourself that speak to your deep hopes and longings. Explore practies that can help you drop down out of your head into your heart-centered intuition.

March 10 Finding Spiritual Community

We aren't built to be happy in isolation.  Explore the potentials and challenges of creating spiritually engaged queer men's community that supports and nourishes your soul.

March 24 Cultivating Erotic Spirituality

Share a safe, supportive exploration of what it means to integrate our spiritual longings with our erotic energies and sexual experiences. (Much of this session is clothing-optional.)

As leader and facilitator of this series, I bring decades of experience as a teacher, a gift for listening from the heart, a deep knowledge of spiritual resources drawn from many world traditions, and a passionate commitment to the integrity of gay, bi, and otherwise queer men's spiritual journeys.

Men have offered these appreciations of work I've shared with them:

"David Townsend is smart, articulate, and genuine, a terrific teacher, thinker and facilitator. Warm, with a good sense of humour, accessible and engaging, he is a sweet asset to our community."-Richard, San Francisco
"David is a gifted ritual leader. He combines his exquisite and unique artistic talents with a deep reverence for nature and a rich connection to spirit."-Michael, New York City
"David has a gift for creating potent, content-rich experiences. He had us diving right in, and doing so with joy."-Paul, Boston
"David brings together the varied strengths of artist, scholar, and teacher, all permeated with a deep queer spirituality. He has the rare ability to both immerse himself fully in an experience and reflect intelligently and articulately afterwards."-Robert, Rochester, NY
"David was excellent at keeping us balanced between head and heart; he addressed intellectual questions and challenges clearly and openly, kept things moving, and brought us deeper into our bodies and souls." Lee, New York City

Register by sending me an e-mail (anchorholder@gmail.com). I'll respond with the location of the sessions and explain how to make full payment of CN $100 for all five sessions by January 21. Pay by January 7 for a 20% discount on registration. You can also RSVP on the Meetup group Queer Men Building Spiritual Practice Together

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

I'm Over the Maccabees: A Hanukkkah Prayer by Trisha Arlin

I'm over the Maccabees. I'm done with fanatics. I'm done with extremists who demand purity. I'm done with fundamentalists who shut women up. I'm done with religions that kill. I'm over the Seleucids. I'm done with invaders. I'm done with outsiders telling anyone how to live in their own country. I'm done with people telling me how to worship my God. I'm done with liars and rapists and powerful men. 

I'm over the Hellenists. I'm done with accommodation. I'm done with rich suck-ups. I'm done living in comfy bubbles. I'm done with pretending we're one of them.

I'm over Hanukkah. I'm done with Hanukkah bushes. I'm done with eight days of socks. I'm done with parties at the White House.

I'm done with cheap chocolate gelt. I'm okay with light in the darkness. And potato latkes. Oh, and donuts. Let's start there. Amen.

Photo: "Menorah" by Oscar Wolfman

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A Queer Utopia: Supple and Turbulent, Chapter the Last


We sat out on the deck for another hour, watching the bats flit across the rising moon, above the fireflies that went on fucking their way through the grass down the slope, their lust lighting up the forest as ours had lit us up from within. Occasionally the talk ran back to the intensity of our lovemaking. But we floated together in pure, self-sufficient tranquility now. The glow we witnessed on one another’s faces lit up the deck as no torch could have. Eight men who’d made something none of us could have done on our own. Something that no two of us could have created as a couple separated from the rest of us. We’d made Big Love and sent it into the world, sent it coursing through one another’s hearts, joined heart and mind and cock in loving memory of the friend who’d brought us together. 

Pete was with us in spirit, and we’d resolved that he’d be with us in what was left of his body. The previous fall we’d released his ashes and watched them drift into the soil of the forest at our feet. He was all around us now, in the leaves and flowers of another green year. All but a small heap  that we’d treasured up, even before we’d figured out, amidst our afterglow in the spring, that they were destined for this last gesture of farewell. I guess we knew then in our queer, horny, grieving, loving hearts the destiny of these last remains, but hadn’t given voice to it yet.

Billy took the little phial of coarse grey ash from its place on the side altar. Our offering lay pooled and  glistening in our magic bowl: even Luke had managed to salvage a little of himself from where his seed had oozed down his thigh despite our best attempts, in the enthusiasm of the moment, to lick him clean. Uncapping the phial, Billy poured the contents into the pearly swirl of our lust, joy, hopes, and love. As he stirred it, the mixture darkened and went thick.

“Pete with us again,” he said. “The founder of our tribe. Our lover, brother, friend. The one we all carry now.” With that, he dipped his finger into the dark paste, drawing a line down either of his cheeks, and another horizontal stripe across his forehead.

“Pete over my heart,” whispered Jake, taking up the riff of our sexy, blissed-out jazz of the soul, smearing a little on his chest.

“Pete with us, every time we’ve cum.” Kurt stroked a dollop onto his limp cock, then over his heart, finally touching his finger to his forehead, a sign of love and loss between his eyebrows, a third eye of the wisdom and compassion born of our bodies.

“Every time we’ve cum,” Hank echoed, dredging out another portion and smearing it thick.

An invisible force drew me forward to the bowl. I rubbed my fingers together, exploring the grainy texture of  one man’s ashes mingled with eight men’s seed. It gave off a scent like moist soil after a spring rain, sweet and strangely earthy. It was the stuff of final payments, but the ground of new beginnings too. I was ready to welcome the future, mortal and precious, to welcome it as Pete had welcomed it and so opened it up for the rest of us. I crossed the circle to Jim. Raising my fingers to my forehead and gazing into his eyes as I hadn’t since he’d left me, I marked myself with the glory of everything I shared with Pete, shared with this circle of lovers, would share with whoever came to join Luke and me to build an impossible community of loving, horny men. Holding Jim’s gaze, I reached out to touch my muddy fingertips to his forehead, then turned to Rajiv to mark him as I’d just marked the man who’d been mine and was now his, then lowered my fingers to daub his chest. Jim’s arms rose to rest across my shoulder and Rajiv’s. I signed Jim’s heart and my own with the mud that still clung to my fingers before I entwined my own arms with theirs, completing awkwardly the uneasy trinity we all three longed and were afraid to form. 

Behind us the others crowded into a layered embrace with its own life, swaying with the shift of one man’s weight, righting itself, undulating again as one hip pressed against the next man's. Eventually one or another of us nodded off while still we stood there, slumping against his neighbour, waking again as his own fall was broken by the support of seven others. 

Finally, our complex flower broke apart. The mud that was all of us mingled together caked and fell from our faces and chests where we’d smeared it thickest; clung smooth to our skin where our touch had stayed light. Wrapping ourselves in the bright cloths that had fluttered from the rails, we settled onto the deck to lie tangled in each other’s arms, talking less as the night wore on, drifting into sleep, roused from slumber by the short, hoarse cry of the nighthawk and the faint sound of prayer flags fluttering above our heads, on through to the first chattering bird and the early dawn of a new day.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

A Queer Utopia: Supple and Turbulent, Chapter Thirteen

We both turned to Luke, who’d hardly moved while we watched everything unfolding across the circle. His cock hung swollen between his legs, drooping onto the crimson sarong, the tip just brushing a fold in the cloth. I held back from inviting our drained, happy comrades lying in their pile across the deck to join us. Luke looked a little stage-shy of all the attention he knew he was about to receive from the whole tribe. 

I wanted him to peak into the best orgasm of his life. I wanted him to see spirals of light, wanted him to scream for joy, wanted him to stay hanging at the edge of the wave longer than he’d ever stayed before. I wanted him to shoot the biggest load of his life and go on cumming deep inside long after his ejaculation. He leaned back on his elbows. I straddled him and cradled his beautiful, ageless trickster face between my palms. He must have looked the same thirty years ago, I thought. I bet he’ll look the same twenty years from now, with maybe a few more crinkles in his smile. 

Jake was right with me. He moved around to kneel behind Luke, kneading his shoulders and kissing the top of his head. “Whatever you want,” he murmured to him. “We’ll give you anything we can. Just ask for it.” 

Luke melted into Jake’s arms, surrendering to himself and the two of us. “Put your fingers inside me,” he whispered to me, “and massage my chest,” he added to Jake, as he took his own stiffening cock in his right hand and began to stroke it, with the sensual abandon of a man who’s let go of all shame and feels nothing but pleasure in the sheer miracle of being alive and naked with other men. As my middle fingers began to massage their way slowly, gently into him, I pressed  my thumb along the inside of his thigh, grazing his scrotum and flicking across the root of his cock. I wanted him to drill down into awareness that what I was touching inside him and outside were one and the same. Jake’s confident hands came down across his shoulders, fingertips gently tugging at his belly, palms pressing either hip as his forearms slid back up and over Luke’s nipples before the next circle down.

Soon the others joined us. Kurt began massaging Luke’s feet. “Fuck,” Luke moaned as Billy and Hank crowded in, each of them flicking the tip of his tongue at Luke's sac where his balls lay loose and draped over my fingers now buried deep inside him. “I want a dick to suck. Somebody please feed it to me,” he whined.

Jim obliged, kneeling straddled above his chest, leaning forward into Jake and kissing him greedily while Luke began sucking languidly on Jim’s now-softened phallus. With the palm of my free hand I traced the line of Jim’s spine down his back to where it bloomed into sacrum, resting my hand there, breathing energy into him, through his cock into Luke’s mouth.

Billy and Hank had reached arms around my hips to clasp wrists behind me. I felt fingers running through my hair that might have been Rajiv’s, or Kurt’s.

Luke still held out--unbelievably, his deep yogic practice notwithstanding. Every time his eyes glazed over with arousal, the wave of pleasure seemed to take him square in the chest but then wash on into the recesses of his body. Finally, the first surges drooled out of him. Billy,  Hank and I had the best sight of him as he started to erupt. Without thought or hesitation, we began licking at the source of the flow until our cheeks were wet with it, the scent of it in our nostrils and the living warmth of it on our tongues. 

But the slow, steady rhythm of his hand didn’t change, until he shot another surge into the air that landed to glisten in the candlelight on his undulating stomach. Three more jets spurted up after it to pool in the hollow between his lean belly and the flaring wing of his hipbone. Kurt crowded in from where he’d stood,  scooping it with his fingertips, touching it to his lips and then reaching around to offer it to Jim and Jake, who lapped eagerly at the gift. Rajiv nuzzled into the slick pool with his chin, sliding his tongue out to taste it. Jake still cradled Luke from behind. Jim’s hand rested over Luke’s heart. Luke’s hand finally grew still. It lasted for whole minutes, from the first flow sliding down his shaft until the last drops seeped out and he touched his fingers to his own mouth, tasting himself as we’d all tasted him by then.

“One less for Pete,” he smiled, a little regretfully, despite his afterglow. 

“No less for the rest of us,” I said. “And Pete would have been the first one to the source.”

Friday, November 16, 2018

A Queer Utopia: Supple and Turbulent, Chapter Twelve

Between us and the fireflies, Billy, Hank, and Kurt had pulled sarongs from the railing of the deck and spread them on the floor. They lay sprawled in a triangle, faces buried each in the next man’s groin, fingers inside each other. In the fading light Billy’s tongue flicked over the tight swell of Kurt’s balls cinched in the stretcher., while Hank deep-throated Billy’s cock down to the root. Billy pulled back from Kurt and gasped. Kurt, in his turn, began milking Hank hand over hand, pulling his shaft down with each stroke between his thighs–as we’ve all learned gives him the most intense pleasure.

All three teetered at the edge. Rajiv saw it too, took the bowl from the table, and sat down near them, far enough not to intrude on their magic, close enough to arrive in time. As he sat cross-legged watching them, his own cock started to swell again between his thighs.

“We’re gonna need that over here,” Kurt said. “This boy’s just about to lose it.” He continued to work on Hank with one hand as he reached across to take the bowl from Rajiv. The triangle broke up: Billy turned around to kneel and rub slow, clockwise circles on Hank’s belly with one hand, as he took the bowl in turn from Kurt , who went back to milking Hank in earnest. Billy steadied the vessel just below the head of Hank’s cock, the rim tipped up to catch any runaway first jets. 

Rajiv slid over closer and began tugging on Billy's nipple ring while he languidly stroked himself with the other. In the dusk I could make out the hypnotic fascination in his eyes and the slack line of his jaw as he watched. Spent as he was, he couldn’t get enough.

Hank’s heaving belly suddenly went dead still. Kurt’s practiced hands still worked him. A strangled moan seeped out of his throat as his load surged into the bowl. Billy shifted his hand to the back of his neck to protect him from thrashing his head against the deck. Kurt was merciless, stroking well after Hank had begun begging him to stop.

He immediately moved on to Billy, squatting on his haunches, wrapping the spit-and-semen-slicked fingers of one hand around Billy’s shaft. With his other hand he pumped himself steadily, his cock pointed straight for the bowl now set on the deck between his knees. His balls hung down taut in the strap, practically grazing the floor below his pale, sinewy thighs. The chain still swung from the clamps that bit into his nipples. Rajiv began lightly feathering Kurt’s asshole, stretched and exposed as it was in his crouch while Kurt went on stroking himself and Billy simultaneously. I couldn’t see his ejaculation from where Luke, Jake and I lay spent in our own pile watching, but I knew the moment when he threw his head back and his torso went into spasms. He lost his balance and collapsed across Rajiv’s legs. Rajiv cradled him through the convulsions. Soon they lay giggling in each other’s arms. 

Billy rose now onto his knees and pointed himself in turn down into the vessel most of us had already hallowed. His semen spilled into it in two big pulses. By that time, dusk was verging quickly into night. Fireflies, moonlight, stars and the candles we’d lit for each of us on the little altar to the side of the deck illuminated the blissful, exhausted knot of us draped over each other beneath the deep blue of the clear Tennessee sky. A nighthawk rasped invisibly above us. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a bat flitting just at the edge of the candlelight.

“Just one of us to go,” I heard Jake whisper from where I still lay with my cheek nestled in the cleft of his chest. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Feast of All Saints

We're a week past the point when the veil is thinnest between the worlds--Samhain, aka All Hallow's Eve, aka Hallowe'en; then All Saints's Day, and All Soul's Day, the Day of the Dead, Dia de  Muertos, on November 2. When we can accept the invitation to look and listen for the ongoing presence in our lives of those who've passed over. When we can choose to reflect on the inevitability of our own eventual passing over, a reflection which, if we do it well, can open us to living our one wild and precious life more fully in the here and now. 

A friend and I talked about all this a few days ago, when with the sometimes surprising directness I value in our conversations, she asked, "So, who are your saints?"

My grandmother, I told her without much hesitation. A woman whose mythical reputation lives on among her descendants, nearly fifty years after her death. A woman who carried a willow sapling over her shoulder the day she and her family moved to a new house a century ago, because it was the most important thing she could imagine taking with her. A woman who nursed fallen fledglings to maturity, and was given to standing on the doorstep laughing up into a livid sky filled with lightning and the crash of thunder in the midst of Indiana's prodigious thunderstorms, before she went back to cooking for a table of nine, plus any human strays who happened to show up.

And then, without much more hesitation, Matthew Shepard.

The ashes of the twenty-one-year-old gay man who was abducted, brutally beaten, and left to die tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyoming in 1998, were laid to rest in Washington's National Cathedral two weeks ago, on September 26, in a service that was live-streamed via YouTube. Gene Robinson, the now-retired Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, who as an out gay man wore a bullet-proof vest to his consecration in 2003, gave the homily. 

To watch the online recording of that ceremony is to be reminded that we don't so much live our lives, which then end, as that Life lives us--flowing around us, into us, through us, out of us to others, and back again. 

"If you close your eyes and open your hearts, Matt is right here," Robinson told the congregants.

"I'm here partly to celebrate [Matthew's parents] Judy and Dennis Shepard," he later went on. "They could have so easily gone home and grieved privately. But by the grace of God they decided they were going to turn this horrendous event into something good....They could have just grieved privately, but they shared Matthew with us. And today, they are sharing Matthew with us one last time."

The remembrance of the Day of the Dead, the remembrance of Christian Holy Comnunion--anamnesis in Greek--is the living experience that Life lives us, not the other way around. "It's to recall a past event so dramatically that you bring it into the present moment, and it becomes your event, not just stuff in the past," Robinson continued. "That's the kind of remembering I pray for today--transforming remembering."

The illusion that we're separate, that we can save our own lives, leads to our losing them sooner or later, continuously by slow degrees and inevitably at the end. The realization that our life is so much bigger than what goes on inside this skin is what has the power to save us: the understanding, as Thich Nhat Hanh observed, that we have to die countless times every day in order to let the present moment come into existence; the understanding, as therapist Hedi Scheiffer puts it, that we have to cross the bridge to the world of the other in order to find new life in the encounter.

My grandmother's life flows into mine, blessing me and sustaining me, as surely as it did when I stood by her side at the age of four. Matthew's life flows into mine, though we never met, and though he died fifteen hundred miles away. Hate crime legislation signed into law in 2007 bears his name. The suffering with which his life as an individual ended has turned into an outpouring of love and affirmation touching tens of thousands. The living and the dead go on, together.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Queer Utopia: Supple and Turbulent, Chapter Eleven


We’ve debated whether the first or last to go over the edge is luckiest. If you’re last, the ecstasy of watching seven men you love pump the joy of their lives out into the world leaves you wondering whether you even need  your own release. Except if you don’t, you’re going to lose it completely and never come back down to earth. A band of seven ministering angels hover around you, steering you straight toward the brink of the waterfall, whispering their encouragement into your ear, or shouting it from the top of their lungs.

But if you're first, you get to watch everything as it unfolds around you in the sharp, clear light of your own blissed out fulfilment. You become the slut voyeur memory of the whole tribe, the one your lovers all depend on to tell them afterwards what they’d looked like the moment before they shot into the collective flood of joy. You get to play ministering angel yourself, over and over. And if you’re so inspired, maybe crest the wave again to contribute once more to the common good. Four times in a row, I’d found myself somewhere in the middle of the pack. 

I wanted nothing now but to give back the pleasure that was still washing through me. Jake and I lay locked in each other’s arms, with Luke spooned against him, undulating his hips against the small of Jake’s back, massaging his neck with one hand and running his tongue around the ridges of his ear, reaching with his other hand between us to grab Jake’s big erection by the root and rub the tip of it against my belly.

“What do you need, lover man?” I asked Jake.

“Go to work on my chest,” he drawled in a voice slow and thick with lust. “Chew on my pecs.”

In the spring we’d discovered together that Jake loved my face nuzzled into the muscles that curved out under his broad collarbones as much as I loved burying it there. Thick slabs of meat had burgeoned on the hay-lifting Montana farmboy he was nearly forty years ago. They’d grown a little heavier with passing time, a little looser with the late middle age he wore with so much sweet-faced grace. Just enough give in them now to grab by the fistful. I pressed the flat of my tongue over his left nipple. Cupping my hand over the mound of flesh that surrounded his right, I grazed it lightly with my palm.

I lifted my mouth from the broad tan circle I’d slicked with spit, grinned at him and said, “I’m gonna make you scream, daddy. I’m gonna coax it into a tight little point and go on licking till it pops right off in my mouth.”

As I’d shifted down his torso to plant my face where he wanted it, he grabbed his own shaft in his hand, and Luke lowered his arm to cup Jake’s balls lightly in his palm. I shifted around on my side so I could watch Jake masturbate while the tip of my tongue spiralled from the outer edge of his flat, smooth nipple in towards the centre, then swirling tightly as the surrounding aureole began to contract. “Oh, fuck, yes,” Jake hissed above my head. “That’s my sweet boy.”

I focused the tip of my tongue to tease the rising point up, at the same time gathering the surrounding skin between thumb and forefinger, then brushing out from the centre, shifting, repeating, as though tracing spokes on a tiny, perfect wheel. Then I went down over it with pursed lips, sucking eagerly, grazing it with my teeth, until he pressed his free hand into the back of my head, crushing my mouth into his chest muscle. “Chew the fucker off, you greedy little stud,” he growled.

His sighs turned to groans and then to guttural screams that echoed back at us from the glass wall of the house. I looked down to see him pumping fast. He couldn't turn back, and I made an executive decision. Pulling my face from his chest, I swivelled around, grabbed his hand to slow it down, and took his swollen cockhead into my mouth. Just in time, because I’d no more than settled my lips around him than his sperm started flooding over my tongue, thin and salty-sweet. I wanted his load all to myself, wanted to swallow down everything he had to give me, but I held it carefully as it started pooling in my cheeks. The load he’d saved up was a big as my own. As his spasms slowed and I was sure I had the last of it, I wanted just to settle in, nuzzle into his crotch, and stroke his legs with my hands as he came down. But his cum had started trickling down my throat, as hard as I tried not to swallow. Struggling to my feet, intent on reaching the table, I drooled Jake’s gift into the bowl. 

Rajiv and Jim were standing over it, side, by side. They backed off a little as I leaned over to deliver my precious burden, then came forward again, arms crossed, slowly and deliberately stroking one another’s shafts, their hands in sync, the rhythm matching their coordinated breath, their gaze fixed on each other, two sorcerers conjuring. 

“Close now,” Rajiv whispered.

“I’m right with you,” I could barely hear my ex-lover  reply.

They hardly needed to say it. They were one being, joined at the cock. They slowed down even further. Stepping forward with a timed, deliberate grace, moving their free hands to their own dicks, wrapping the arms they’d crossed tightly now around each other’s shoulders, hip pressed to hip, they crowded in. 

“Three more?”

“Yeah, I can do it.”

The arcs that broke out of them on their third breath crossed in mid-air, each of them overshooting, Rajiv’s splaying out thick and white across the tabletop, Jim’s landing two feet beyond it on the deck. Neither of them had it in him to aim more intently before most of their loads lay shining and scattered before them. 

“Shit,” Rajiv said.

“It’s OK,” I said. “Just ride the wave the rest of the way into shore.”

“I wanted to make it so bad,” he answered.

“It’s all good,” I repeated, as Jim pressed his hand into Rajiv’s heart. “It was fucking gorgeous. Just breathe and take it in.” I gathered what I could of it with the edge of my hand from the tabletop. It hung in thick, viscous ropes from my fingers as I delivered it into our common treasury. “There’s no need to get too literal about this,” I added when I’d collected most of what hadn’t overshot the table entirely. I planted a kiss on each of their foreheads and turned back to where Luke and Jake still lay, Jake draped across Luke’s lap now, idly stoking his slick, softening cock. 

Luke patted Jake’s shoulder as though coaxing a cat to settle into an inviting cushion. I pressed my cheek into the hollow between Jake’s shoulder and the swell of his chest, then reached up to fondle Luke’s nipple, as Jake ran the fingers of his big, semen-glazed hand through our lover’s hair. “Look out there,” he whispered.  Floating above the slope beyond the deck, a thousand fireflies lit up the twilight. 

“They’re getting it on too,” Luke laughed. “The whole world’s fucking along with us.”