Monthly Archives: August 2020

Moment of Zen: Deliveries

Pic of the Day


Sometimes you see things and you just have to say, “What the fuck?” That was my response when I saw an email for Fleshjack, which included a picture of their new product the FleshSack. I think most of us get those emails for “toys,” especially if you’ve ever bought a toy online. I actually don’t mind those emails, but sometimes I do just delete them. Other times, I’m just shocked at what they’ve come up with new. That’s how it was with this new FleshSack.

A Fleshjack is the gay version of the Fleshlight. If you don’t know, it is a masturbation toy (sleeve) that acts as an artificial orifice “lined with stimulating textures to grip, massage, and tantalize your penis.” Fleshjack has teamed up with various porn stars, the so-called Fleshjack Boys, to create molds of their penises for dildos and special textures inside the sleeves depending on which Fleshjack Boy you choose. You can experience adult film stars such as Brent Corrigan, Johnny Rapid, Jake Bass, Levi Carter, Pierre Fitch, Boomer Banks, and others. There are about two dozen choices.

Their new product the FleshSack is a masturbation sleeve with balls attached. They describe their products as:

Slide into this back door option and you’ll find that it has something extra to offer. Hanging proudly are a pair of soft, yet firm testicles to feed your fantasies. Made from the same material Fleshlight is famous for, these balls will rock in motion as you thrust in and out with every stroke. Like any anal adventure, make sure you use plenty of lube to help you glide through FleshSack’s gripping inner texture.

Realistic dildoes have long had testicles attached to them. A company called Fort Troff even offers dildoes with hair, which also looks odd. It’s amazing some of the sex toys they have out there. Some look pretty innocuous. I remember my dad had one of those hard-plastic vibrators in his underwear drawer. If you’re my age or older, you probably saw advertisements in magazines for these “body vibrators.” 

These days, sex toys are getting more and more inventive and some just look strange. Fleshjack has even made “vampire” versions. I even saw Game of Throne themed dildoes once. Who wants to fuck themselves with a White Walker dick? What about a zombie dick? What people come up with is amazing. Toys range from simulating you wildest fantasy to attempts at being as realistic as possible. I am not judging, to each his own. I guess as long as you’re safe, who cares how you get off. I say have fun, but I did have to laugh at the FleshSack. It just looks so odd and amusing to me.

Pic of the Day

Not Feeling Loquacious Today

Lately, I have been a bit loquacious in my posts, but I don’t have a lot to say today. I love the word loquacious though it’s an adjective that means someone who talks a lot, I am using it here for writing a lot, but I always think of my posts as a conversation with my readers. Sometimes, my blog is just me rambling on, but I always think it’s best when we have a conversation in the comments section. I don’t always respond to all of my comments, but I am trying to do better and allow my blog to be more interactive. 

I was not familiar with the word loquacious until I picked up the book Good Omen and read about the character Sister Mary Loquacious, who was a nun of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl, a satanic order of nuns who were tasked with switching a human baby with the Antichrist. If you are not familiar with Good Omen, it’s a book by the English authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Good Omen is a comedy about the birth of the son of Satan and the coming of the End Times. There are attempts by the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley to sabotage the coming of the end times, having grown accustomed to their comfortable surroundings in England. It’s a pretty funny book and has been turned into a six-episode miniseries, which was a co-production between Amazon Studios and BBC Studios.

Okay, that is all I have to say for today. 

Pic of the Day

The Never-Ending Cycle

On Monday, I wrote about coming out to someone for the first time. As most of you know, it’s a never-ending cycle. You come out over and over again whether to co-workers, doctors, family, new friends, etc. As for family, I’ve only come out to my parents. My mother had suspicions I was gay for years. She found gay porn once in an overnight bag and confronted me about it. I told her it was just curiosity. It was an awful scene; she reacted negatively. I realized I would probably never be able to come out to her. Years later, when I was home from grad school, she checked my email or so she said. I do know she saw an email over my shoulder from, and she probably lied to me about checking my email. I had logged out after all. It was another ugly scene, but I did not deny it this time. I was living as an out gay man in Mississippi, and I decided I couldn’t deny who I was anymore. She told my father. He told me I had to tell my mother I was being celibate or something. She took the news badly. (Imagine my eyes rolling.) They both made me promise never to tell anyone else in the family. My dad told me especially not to tell my grandmother. I never knew if he meant his mother or my mother’s mother. It doesn’t matter anymore, as they have both passed never knowing I was gay. I think my aunt knows, but we don’t discuss it. One day I plan to tell my niece and nephew, but probably not until they are adults. I have no desire to tell my sister; as long as my niece and nephew are young, I firmly believe she, or her asshole husband, would no longer allow me to see them.

My Monday post recounted how I came out in grad school. I didn’t have to keep coming out when new students were admitted. It was just common knowledge. Very few people had a problem with it at least not openly. I don’t think the leadership of the department would have allowed it; we had at least two professors who were gay. The next time I came out was when I went to a doctor for a throat infection. That doctor point blank asked me if I was gay. I said yes. He then told me I had thrush which can be a sign of an HIV/AIDS infection. Because I was gay, he was immediately convinced I was HIV positive and had me take an HIV test even though I insisted I only had safe sex. I was scared to death waiting for the results. A friend of mine insisted I go see an ear, nose, and throat doctor for a second opinion. I’m glad I took her advice. It turned out I merely had a bad case of pharyngitis. When I asked about the possibility of it being thrush, he said there was absolutely no possibility of that. He had no idea why any doctor would have come to that conclusion. The HIV test came back negative, and I never saw that first doctor again. I should have reported him for the way I was treated, but I doubt it would have done any good in Mississippi in the early 2000s.

Because of that incident, I was wary of telling another doctor my sexuality. When I moved back to Alabama, I never told my doctor because my mother worked in the same clinic and had access to all the medical records. I should have gone to another doctor for more privacy, but I did not have health insurance, and this was an income-based clinic. I didn’t have to pay to see the doctor. Even when I moved to Vermont, it took a few years before I told my doctor I was gay. I did so because I was sexually active and needed to get tested for STIs. I did not suspect I had any, but if you are sexually active you should get tested regularly. My current doctor agreed with that. He is quite good-looking and genuinely nice. I am glad I have a good relationship with a doctor for the first time in my life. I can talk to him about any problems.

The first time I came out at a job was while I was working at an environmental lab in Mississippi. There were a couple of young guys who worked there, and one of them asked me out of the blue if I was gay. I said I was and went about my business. There are a few things I should tell you about this lab job. I had gotten it because my best friend’s sister was working there and recommended me even though she knew I had no experience with science. My only scientific training was two required undergraduate classes: biology and geology. Also, the owner of the lab and his son, who helped manage it, were Republicans. They once threatened to fire someone for wearing a t-shirt of a Democratic candidate. I had not wanted to come out there because of this, but I was determined not to lie. I told the friend who got me the job about the kid asking if I was gay. She was furious he would ask because it was none of his business.

After I told her what happened, she complained to our boss about the kid asking me and making me feel uncomfortable. Honestly, at the time, I didn’t much care. He was just a curious kid, and I knew he meant no harm. However, when our boss found out, he called him into his office and took him to task for being so rude. All this went on without my knowledge. The poor kid nearly lost his job for asking me if I was gay. My boss, who it turned out could have cared less about my sexuality (he really cared nothing about his employees), was actually afraid I might sue for harassment. I wouldn’t have because this was Mississippi, and it would have gone nowhere. The main issue probably was we had numerous contracts with environmentally-conscious companies and the EPA all of whom he feared were more liberal than he was. His contracts might be in jeopardy if anyone found out a gay person was harassed at his lab.

Fast forward to me teaching at the private school, where keeping my sexuality secret was imperative to me keeping my job. Eventually, I did become good friends with the art teacher. One night we were talking, and she confessed she smoked a lot of pot (something that would have gotten her fired). In turn, I told her I was gay. Her response was she’d been waiting for me to tell her that. Eventually, I also told the school lunch lady and her husband. For the longest time, they were the only ones who knew. My art teacher friend did tell her husband who was on the school’s board of directors, but that was mainly so he could protect me if it ever came to that. Later on, I found out he was not fully accepting of my sexuality. He didn’t care that I was gay, but one night we were all hanging out. I said something gay and very suggestive, mainly to get a laugh. He said, “I know you’re gay, but I’d rather not hear about it.” I never felt comfortable hanging around with him after that. One summer afternoon, we were having a pool party. The school’s bookkeeper was there. At one point the husband of the lunch lady mentioned something about me being gay in front of the bookkeeper. It turned out she was hurt because I’d never come out to her. Her brother was gay, and she had no problem with it. The thing is I knew her husband and sons had a problem with it. I’d heard them making rude remarks about gay people. 

While I had other good friends at the school, none of my other co-workers knew (officially) I was gay. One student knew; others suspected and often called me a fag behind my back. The kid I told was a distant cousin of mine. I’d always thought he was gay. We were in my classroom alone one day, and I came out to him. I don’t remember if he’d asked or how the subject came up. He never told anyone, and I knew he’d keep my confidence. For whatever reason, he kind of idolized me and would confide in me. He was a sweet kid but always in trouble. He didn’t take his ADHD medication regularly. He’s actually been to Vermont a few times, and we’ve been able to see each other. He still keeps in touch, but less so now that he has a girlfriend and is more serious about college. I still think he’s gay, though. I know he fooled around with a guy before, but it’s up to him whether he comes out or even come to terms with his sexuality. His parents would be absolutely accepting and have told him as much numerous times which may be why he won’t come out. People can be stubborn at times. I just hope he doesn’t have any major psychological troubles about his sexuality.

In my current job, they all knew I was gay when they hired me. Apparently, it was part of my first boss’ worry that my sexuality, mannerisms, and voice might be perceived as a negative by those I’d be interviewing. (Remember, when I was first hired, I was an oral historian not a curator.) The others convinced her she was wrong, that I was the best person for the job. And she was proved wrong. It has never once been an issue. However, no one said anything about my sexuality until I said something about it. The administrative assistant we had back then was bisexual, and she was the first person I told. That didn’t happen until my friend died shortly after I moved here. I was so distraught I could barely work. Through tears, I told her who he was to me, and confirmed I was gay. My university has a long-standing non-discrimination policy which includes sexual orientation. They have offered same-sex benefits since Vermont introduced civil unions in July 2000.

While most people know my sexuality, I still don’t tell everyone. Every situation is different. It is naturally easy to come out to some people; with others, it takes a bit of courage. I don’t hide my sexuality in Vermont, but I don’t scream it from the rooftops either. I know I will never have problems with my current boss. His best friends are a gay couple, and he was the best man at their wedding. The other curator doesn’t discriminate against anyone for race, sexuality, or any other reason. Like me, she was raised in the South and has seen enough discrimination to last a lifetime. The other Southerner, who works with us and is coincidentally my neighbor, is the same way. In fact, she is more liberal than I am and often votes for the very liberal Progressive Party of Vermont. Vermont may not be the perfect place to live, but I am blessed to be surrounded by loving and accepting friends.

Pic of the Day

The Backwards Poem

Back when I was in school, it was very popular for teachers to make students memorize poetry. I had to memorize “Because I could not stop for death” by Emily Dickinson, Mark Antony’s Speech “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and numerous other poems and speeches I can no longer remember. The two mentioned, I can still at least recite the first few lines. When I was teaching, the other English teacher at my school required her English Lit class to memorize and recite the first stanza of the “General Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer in Middle English with the correct pronunciation. This assignment is one of the toughest memorization assignments I know, and I too learned part of it when I was producing a play called The Canterbury Tales or Geoffrey Chaucer’s Flying Circus by Burton Bumgarner, which was a cross between The Canterbury Tales and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The only poem that I ever actually memorized and retained was one that I learned in second grade called “The Backwards Poem.” I cannot find an author from it, and I remember that it was supposedly Anonymous. This is the version I memorized and can still remember today:

Backwards Poem
By Anonymous

One bright day, in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back, they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came and shot the two dead boys.
If you don’t believe this lie is true,
Ask the blind man; he saw it, too.

In spite of clearly remembering the poem for decades, I one day decided to look up the poem and learn more about it. I was working on a skit for my drama club and thought this poem would be a funny one to act out.  So, I decided to look it up on the Internet to see if I remembered the poem correctly and to find out who the author was.

It turns out that it’s an anonymous “folk” poem, one that has innumerable versions and has probably been around for at least a century and many different versions exist. It is also a much longer poem than I originally learned. One key point about folk poetry is that it invariably rhymes, so variations that have the odd non-rhyming line are personalized versions of it.  

The poem is essentially a sandwich-style story, but with only one slice of bread.  If a narrator is brought in at the end, there should be one at the beginning, too.  The main story starts well.  It provides a brief description of the setting for context and then plunges into the action.  Except that there is no follow through.  A story consists of series of events, not just one.  So, what happens next?  Surely there would be consequences to something that results in two dead people.  But most damning of all, where did the blind man come from?  You can’t just throw in a brand-new character right at the end to help you wrap up a story. Further research allowed me to piece together the complete poem. I also learned the poem is most often known as “Two Dead Boys” or “One Fine Day.”  

One Fine Day
By Anonymous

Ladies and gentlemen skinny and scout
I’ll tell you a tale I know nothing about
The admission is free so pay at the door
Now pull out a chair and sit on the floor

On one bright day in the middle of the night
Two dead boys got up to fight
Back to back they faced each other
Drew their swords and shot each other

The blind man came to see fair play
The mute man came to shout “Hooray!”
The deaf policeman heard the noise
And came and shot the two dead boys

He lived on the corner in the middle of the block
In a two-story house on a vacant lot
A man with no legs came walking by
And kicked the lawman in his thigh

He crashed through a wall without making a sound
Into a dry creek bed and suddenly drowned
A long black hearse came to cart him away
But he ran for his life and is still gone today

I watched from the corner of the table
The only eyewitness to facts of my fable
If you don’t believe this lie is true,
Ask the blind man; he saw it, too.

With the exception of the addition of the first stanza, I like the version I memorized better. Therest of the poem seems to muddle things even further and, in my opinion, breaks up the flow of the poem.

Pic of the Day