Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The High Seas with High Homos: Part 2

Like a luscious Botticelli painting, Cleopatra basked in the sun with Venetian girls and studly man-boys fanning her, incense infusing the air to cover the stench of slaves rowing her boat as she sailed from Alexandria to Rome. It must have been lovely. Vivid violet sails billowed in the stout ocean breeze, as the bronze-gilded bow penetrated the currents. My Atlantis cruise may have been just as gay as Cleo's, but my painting would appear less Botticelli and more like Burt Reynolds's Playgirl spread. Furthermore, I did not so much bask under lightly bronzing UV rays as I did sweat off the glitter from the previous night's Glitter Gala, yet there was a gay with a fan. Specifically, a thirty-year-old Honduran queen that looked oddly Thai, snapping open a fucking Chinese fan every time he rounded a corner, downed a piping-hot pot sticker or enviously leered at Popeye the Power Bottom. He adorned his greasy pompadour hairstyle with pink extensions and tweezed his eyebrows so thinly that I asked him to let them heal for a week or two. Needless to say, this sailing was my seamen's wet dream.

On the third day of the Reynoldsian voyage, my ears heeded a rumor of a mythological land at sea: a nude deck. In a desperate effort to reduce the appearance of my tan lines and evade the Honduran hot mess, I braced myself to sunbathe on the nude deck. Historically, nude beaches never piqued my proclivities. I have never been conscious, sober and nude at the same time in a public setting, so this decision proved momentous, or at the very least supremely narcissistic. I grabbed my towel and sunscreen and took a frenzied walk from the Lido Deck to the nude deck, perched at the highest level of the boat at the bow of the ship, beneath the place where they keep the steering wheel. My friends knew not of my whereabouts, my solo adventure into open-air nakedness. As I entered, I marveled at the sea beyond the open space of the wood-planked expanse, peppered here and there with clusters of unfriendly, unyielding aqua blue sun chairs made of vinyl and rattan mocking. The deck was almost deserted. Yet, as I trekked further I lurched across the first nudist, a morbidly obese homosexual with about seventy years behind him. He lay prostrate, however, his body overflowed atop the chair. As he shifted to look at this tall, emaciated-looking newcomer, his pannus jostled, and I glimpsed at his previously hidden penis and ball sack. At the base of said penis and ball sack circled a cock ring. HE WORE A COCK RING WHILE TANNING IN THE NUDE.

I became suddenly flabbergasted and stood still for a moment, five feet away from the member-cinched hippo. After a quick shudder and a thought as to how hot his metal contraption felt in the heat, I discerned the rest of the demographics. There were about ten to fifteen other gentlemen, most of whom would remember the Hindenburg disaster, and several of them sported phallic entrapment bands as well. I quickened my pace to the farthest plastic cluster, faced it toward the sea away from the bare-assed octogenarians and slumped onto the chaise. It was then time. I ceded a large heave and shimmied out of my green Andrew Christian speedo and tucked it beneath my back for quick retrieval. I'd barley stripped down and placed my penis toward the sun when an ungodly short man walked up, stared at me for a second too long and asked if the seat next to me was taken. This nudist decision of mine had quickly devolved into disaster territory. I gawked at my own crotch and whispered that the seat was, in fact, available, for I could not look him in the face. Once he plopped down and let his little pecker air out, the four-foot-eleven-inch-waif-of-a-white-man, who incarnated a middle-aged hippie on the verge of late-breaking pubescence, immediately attempted to strike up a conversation. Due to his disability, his face lined up with my pelvis.

4'11": You have the most interesting tattoos. What do they mean?
Me: Oh, this one on my torso? It says "Faking the real me…"
4'11": What does that mean?
Me: Exactly what it says.
4'11": But why'd you get it?
Me: Okay, please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm about two feet taller than you. I'm finding it rather difficult watching you speak directly to my penis, especially without the requisite cock ring.
4'11": You know, this is where the dick deck is at night?
Me: I've been wondering where the public sex section was. Wait, they stack up and clear out these deck chairs before nightfall, right?
4'11": Ummm, I don't think so. I laid on one last night and…
Me: Do they fucking hose these down with Lysol?

Later that night, Tommy, Chuck and I prepped for the White Party. I decided to dress in all black so that I would not blend in to the crowd like I tend to do. By this time, I'd plastered on and scrubbed off so much makeup and body glitter (which I would be picking out of a few orifices for the next week) that I feared my face would echo a cross between Beef Carpaccio and an Egyptian slave's back after a lashing.

I remember very little about the White Party itself, for my combination of starvation, vodka and a complete stranger's "Tylenol" impaired the data recall section of my brain. I do, though, harbor vague hazes of three things: I looked fantastic, as I did at every themed party and/or photo shoot on the cruise (pictures for proof below). A man with white wings or a white swan tried to pluck at my crotch all throughout the night against my repeated rebuffs. And, at the party's conclusion, we connived to covertly spy the goings-on at the dick deck. No sooner had we arrived than the tattoo-adoring-midget with peach fuzz for pubes from the nude deck walked up to me, winked and pointed to the same chair I'd lounged on earlier.

"Professional Photoshoot"

Beach Party

The Disco Ball

 The Glitter Gala

The Eighties Party

The Wild Things Party

The White Party

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The High Seas with High Homos: Part 1

Cleopatra was the ultimate drag queen. As I often quote, gay men play the role of powerful enchantress, regal beauty. Her "queen of all queens" attractiveness, however, remains not on the Elizabeth Taylor level but more roundly on the Ernest Borgnine level. I recognize these things because I like to reside abreast of current events, and I also happen to be reading Cleopatra, A Life. So far, two tidbits have mesmerized me: catty historians deem her a mild butter-face, and the deified diva knew how to travel. Her cruising along the Mediterranean evokes quite the scene, as "she herself reclined beneath a gold-spangled canopy, dressed as Venus in a painting, while beautiful young boys, like painted Cupids, stood at her sides and fanned her. Her fairest maids were likewise dressed as sea nymphs and graces, some steering the rudder, some working the ropes. Wondrous odors from countless incense-offerings diffused themselves along the banks." Fuck me silly running sideways with a tiara, but this excerpt screams "gay cruise" in a muted, nasal soprano. One could surmise my experience on the MS Oosterdam in October as an exact repeat of Egyptian-Ptolemaic nautical history, except with Boy Butter lube gently frothing about the ship decks, spreading a sheen so splendid that queers walked on the sun at dusk.

Before the sojourn on my big gay cruise, I harbored a sneaking suspicion that the usual homosexual debauchery and livery would ensue amongst the guests, bringing to mind a Fire Island meets Poseidon Adventure aura. Who would play Shelley Winters bore the fatter question. Shockingly, I initially said "no" when asked to go by my usual cohorts, Tommy and Chuck. The nay-saying lasted about thirty-seven seconds before I became all gung-ho and rah-rah-let's-raise-some-stiff-sails-and-or-masts.

Atlantis Events, a gay vacation promoter and purveyor, sponsored this particular cruise (ironically on the sister ship of my sailing last spring in the Mediterranean…the one where I stumbled down a flight of stairs in Cannes with gelato in my hand and French teenagers doing absolutely nothing to help a walking-impaired American and my friend, Lauren, laughing hysterically). Atlantis basically rents out boats and resorts, gays up the joints, and forces the already in-debt GT population to pay to stay, but not the LBs. Glossy advertisements with picture-perfect men in festive banana hammocks sporting a stunning array of neon colors with the backdrop of the Caribbean sparkling slightly less than those men's teeth completely entice people to buy this shit. Men are stupid. Even the bottoms. Most guests arrive, strutting across the gangplank with their latest bronzer, Victoria Secret Angel wings and boxes of Fleet enemas expecting to get some sort of attractive, Atlantis Shangri-La experience hosted by Ryan Gosling. Most guests leave with rug burn summoned by an aggressive, aging bear and a half-eaten Ecstasy pill attached to a newly sprouted hemorrhoid.

Once we reserved our tiny, interior stateroom on the Oosterdam, Atlantis mailed us the party itinerary. While I thought skimpy bathing suits would be the uniforms of choice for brunch, sunbathing and oceanic circuit parties, I was baffled by the costumes necessitated for The White Party, The Disco Ball, The Wild Things Party, The Into the Blue Dance, The Glitter Gala and The Eighties Party, among others. First, where would I find the stamina to attend these events and would they demand an RSVP? Second, I had to pack body glitter, loincloths and a mermaid tail into my suitcase? I also needed to ensure I packed my hazmat suit, for I'd heard that Atlantis cruises possess a slutty reputation – sex in rooms with open-door policies, saunas, pools and public toilets. God forbid I saunter past a doorway or jacuzzi jet and get squirted in the face.

With the inside of my luggage mocking the stylistic virtues of a Labelle concert, I ventured out to conquer high-sea homosexuality. Once onboard Holland America's finest, we did a quick survey of the vessel before dinner, scouting places to be seen, decks to circumnavigate, dicks to circumvent and ranking men based on BMI and how butchered their eyebrows were from over-grooming, ranging from Joey Lawrence, circa Blossom, to Joey Lawrence, circa obscurity.

Tommy, Chuck and I decided to partake in the Vista Dining Lounge's "open seating," meaning the Filipino maître d' would place us at a larger table with random strangers. As it so happened, midway through my first bite of buttered bread, Tommy nudged me excitedly. "You're sitting next to (some guy's name I cannot recall presently)!" he insisted. "Who?" I muffled, my mouth full of yeast and carbs. "He's a porn star, a huge power bottom!" Tommy answered. I'm not an avid watcher of porn and maintain terrible insight into the industry's stars, and I can say my collection goes as deep as my collection of lesbian friends. "Then why the hell does he look like Popeye?" I pondered briefly what I would look like dressed as Olive Oyl, quivered and then engaged Popeye the Power Bottom in a side conversation.
Me: So, how do gay men eat on an Atlantis cruise with such vast quantities of 2-Star delectables? I mean, where do the bottoms put it?
Popeye: Oh, well I’m sure some go to the gym, and others really stick to portion control.
Me: So bulimia is out of the question? And what about onboard douching? Does Puerto Vallarta have a CVS?
Popeye: Ummm…
Silence. I could discern at this point Popeye had the personality of a calculator button and that a piece of toast could outmaneuver him verbally, but on I tried.
Me: So, I've been thinking about getting into porn. I've actually uploaded a few videos to xxxxxxgaytube.com/skinnywhiteboys, or something like that. Do you have any suggestions? I’m dying to get into the brown-eyed business.
Popeye: Oh, well I guess it's not too hard. It depends on how you want to use the industry. Amateur videos are always a way to make a following, but that's a long road to any kind of livable wage. But, if you really want to get into the business, even the gay business nowadays, it's getting tougher and tougher. I'd recommend…
My apathy and annoyance increased, as I started to chew my bread louder to drown out the noise. Really, like I'm going to make a business case for porn? After I swallowed, I interrupted him to change the subject.
Me: Did you hear about Muammar Gaddafi? CNN just announced that he was killed.
Popeye: Oh no. He was so good in his Men of Israel scenes.
To be continued…