Machos in the Metro
I’m always aware of who’s around me in the metro. For two reasons. One is that I like to snap pics of hot guys without them realizing. I pretend to be texting or browsing Facebook, but I’m actually capturing portraits of raw masculinity: an unshaven square jaw, a bulge at the crotch of some sweatpants, the biceps of a guy holding onto the pole when the car starts to slow down. And it’s an even bigger turn-on because they’re not aware of my admiration and idolatry.
The other reason is that I often open Manhunt while I’m traveling, refreshing the screen at every stop to see the faces (and often the dicks) of the guys that the GPS detects nearby. And even though I’m in favor of reclaiming public spaces for displays of affection between gay couples, two guys kissing or holding hands is one thing and a screen, even though small, with erect schlongs is another. The truth is that when we’re out in public, we all stick our noses into what other people are doing around us—just take a look at my archive of hotties, as one example.
I also recognize that looking at sexual profiles in a supposedly innocent context, like on the metro, adds a thrill of the forbidden; it reminds me of how furtive hooking up with someone in person used to be in the pre-smartphone era, when it all started with glances, a smile, perhaps some accidental contact, to indicate intentions and test the waters.
And it gets complicated at every stop because of the flood of people entering and exiting, like a living Tetris, with those of us who remain onboard shuffling ourselves into the empty spaces before the invasion of new bodies.
Pulling into a station, I had Manhunt open, hiding the screen with my body so no one else could see it. During that dance of adjustment, I ended up nearly pressed up against this really amazing hunk, an absolute colossus whose very presence made my knees weak and my mouth water. I wanted to take a picture so I could remember him better at home . . . But we were squished in like sardines, my shoulder and arm pressing against the hard plate of his torso and his six-pack abs, and there wasn’t enough distance to capture more than a tiny detail at point-blank range.
So I just inhaled his imposing presence, looking at him out of the corner of my eye in that forced intimacy, until we reached the next station, where the train stopped abruptly and, since I wasn’t close to a pole, I didn’t have anything to hold onto and I started to fall.
But the guy grabbed onto me by the hand that was holding my phone.
And for one instant, we were frozen there, as if his immense strength had stopped time, and there was nothing more than that contact of my wrist in his hand, the feel of skin against skin while he looked into my eyes in a fixed and indecipherable fashion. I felt delicate while also feeling bathed in the intense aura of his masculinity.
Then the door opened and, without letting go of my arm, he turned his head to see the screen, which showed the dick pics of some guy’s Manhunt profile.
It wasn’t a question of my boss finding out I’m gay, since I’m out of the closet at work and in the rest of my life. My dilemma, when I sat up and peered past my boyfriend’s back down the beach, came from seeing my boss, in a tiny phosphorescent yellow bathing suit, walking in my direction with his wife. I turned my head to the left, estimating where they were going, and calculated that they’d have to pass right by me to get to the only gap between the stretched out bodies that was big enough to spread two towels out.
I examined that miniscule piece of cloth again, imagining what was underneath it. Then I looked at my own crotch, where there was absolutely nothing to leave anything to the imagination. That was my dilemma.
There are always a lot of factors that influence the decision about whether to go naked or not when you arrive at a beach: the kind of shape you’re in, whether you’re well-hung, who you’re with, if you’re looking for some action or not, etc. We’d already seen every variation around us: normal guys and Adonises, nude guys, guys in every type of bathing suit, brand-name pretty boys who took off and put on their D&G swimsuits that cost them a fortune, and guys who were like matryoshka dolls, with smaller and smaller pieces of clothing on underneath each previous one: jeans, shorts, speedos, thongs, etc.
Rafa doesn’t like tan lines. I’m of the opposite opinion. I think those white shadows that emphasize an ass in contrast with the tan are very sexy. But since Rafa looks at my ass more than I do, I didn’t mind giving in to him.
But I hadn’t expected to run into my boss, especially with this difference in clothing. If we were both naked, or both clothed, I wouldn’t be obsessing over it so much.
I had three options:
a) Turn over and pretend to be sleeping, hoping he hadn’t seen me. I doubted that my boss—unlike hundreds of guys in Madrid, not to mention other cities—could recognize me by my ass.
b) Try to put my swimsuit on before he got there. But it would be even more humiliating if he caught me in the middle of that operation.
c) Do nothing.
I elbowed Rafa to wake him up: “That guy that’s coming this direction, he’s my boss.”
Rafa chose a fourth option that sent a chill down my spine in spite of the sun. He stood up and said: “Well, introduce us then.”
What people always want to know is where we all go when it comes to sleeping.
Most of them imagine the three of us together in one big bed, taking turns penetrating or being penetrated, or one who’s lucky enough to be in the middle penetrating and being penetrated at the same time, or two penetrating the third simultaneously . . . they divide our roles according to their own fantasies, what they dream about doing or having done to them.
Some people think that the couple still sleeps together and I sleep in some broom closet by the kitchen, like a servant, except when I’m taking care of their needs (sexual or otherwise) like a male geisha.
Or just the opposite, other people imagine the original couple, with strong bonds of affection between them but no excitement anymore, sleeping in separate bedrooms like in a black and white Hollywood movie from the ’50s, and that I’m the solution to avoid their breakup, satisfying one or both of them with my youthful virility.
What’s hardest for almost everyone is imagining our life outside of bed. A three-way domesticity. Take my hand and try to imagine it. You too, take my other hand. That’s it. Let’s close our eyes now and imagine together. A life for three, no matter how we met or in what order. Imagine an absence of jealousy. Supporting each other. Celebrating one another.
From Una Barba para Dos. © Lawrence Schimel. By arrangement with the author. Translation © by 2016 Sandra Kingery.