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The Intimate Adventures of a London Eunuch

By Gavin James Bower.

Part One: Man Apart

I used to have it my way, your way, every which way – and loose.

I used to fuck and be fucked. Suck, and be sucked.

But I wasn’t gay. I didn’t even really fancy men.

I was in love – no wait, in lust – with myself.

The desire to fuck one’s self isn’t quite textbook narcissism, but I bet it would’ve given Freud a hard-on – and I would’ve gone down on him, gladly.

I used to trawl gay bars for the catch of the night, ready and willing young muscled and shaved studs; men who, like me, were performing their sexuality, acting it out, rather than just fucking through it – like the rest of you.

Waxed arseholes and cubed abs, silky smooth balls and long, lubed cocks.

It started with a shower, a ritual to show off our wares, and then shifted, to shafting, in the bedroom. Mirrors on every wall – a camera set up – we’d record this hedonistic rite of passage, a Soho Nightmare, for posterity, and play it back, over and over, in times like these.

*

‘How are you feeling?’ my mother asks, reassuming her now familiar position by the bedside.

‘I’ve felt better,’ I want to say, but I can’t muster the strength to answer and, instead, just turn away.

My bed’s on the ground floor, and I can hear – not see – some kids kicking a ball against a wall. That bouncing ball, thudding again and again, blocks out everything else.

‘I’ve brought you some grapes,’ she says, trying to sound upbeat.

‘What?’ I say, not turning to face her. A distasteful choice. She might as well have just brought bloody plums.

‘I’ll leave them here shall I,’ she says, not really asking.

Then, a pause. And not even that bouncing ball can drown the sound of my bawling, the tears starting again.

*

It was a Monday, the new Friday; at least, it’s that for the nocturnal demimonde of which I was a part. With nothing to do and just enough money for a good time, I headed for the dive bars in Soho, looking for some pretty little thing to accompany home.

Always their place, never mine. There’s something about losing yourself when utterly lost that takes everything to another level. Every nipple is harder, set of lips fuller; every cock is thicker, each stroke longer.

And this boy, well, he gives me the tingles just thinking about him, even now.

That night, we found each other in O Bar, moving on to Barcelonas and then, later, to a house party off Brewer Street.

The house was filled with out of work actors, the odd model – the type of crowd that usually turns me off. All the pretty faces, they do nothing for me.

But then we saw him, our magical third. Tall, broad and strong, he looked Brazilian – Portuguese, anyway – and was perfect.

A knowing glance, a share of a drink, a brush of the arm – and he was ours.

An hour later we were back at his. A big, blank studio space, little in the way of furniture – I can’t remember much of it. There was a giant bath, though, and we availed ourselves of it, the boy and the Brazilian starting things off with a simple fuck, me watching on, until I was ready to join in.

Stepping out and making our way to the bed, the Brazilian popped pills, parted powder, to take the edge off, or give us some extra – whatever. The boy refused, already spread-eagled on the bed.

I wasn’t feeling it, not myself, but I wanted to and ended up at the back of the bed, spinning out. Propped up on pillows, I watched the boy take the Brazilian in his mouth.

I know that it got rough, the Brazilian punching the boy when he objected to his thrust, gagging, hissing then storming out of the apartment – bloodied, bruised but, ultimately, safe. He’d live to shag another gay.

When the Brazilian returned I was still on my back, naked, the pillows behind my head. I couldn’t move but I was awake, sober; everything, it was crystal clear.

He was nude, and lit a cigarette at the foot of the bed. Looking at me, he left the room, returning with a large erection and a box.

My eyes must have betrayed me – arms fixed, legs frozen, my penis posing in pert paralysis – but the Brazilian didn’t flinch as he opened the box, taking out some duck tape, steel wire, and a knife.

Then he smiled, the kind of smile you remember: the kind that leaves a lasting impression; the kind that leaves a mark.

*

‘What happened next?’ is a question I can’t answer, lying here in this hospital bed, my mother now gone.

I’m sore, on the outside, but inside – well, that’s another story.

My memory of life until now is patchy, at best. I can piece together the places – even, faces – but everything that occurred in the Brazilian’s apartment, if it even was his apartment, is no more than a blur of images, some of them foreign, some of them so nauseatingly familiar.

I know the facts of another night of falsehoods, preying on the vulnerable to try and recreate some notion of erotica, pinched from porn.

I know the reality of another fantasy pursued in the most mundane place on earth.

And I know the consequences of another evening of seeing without knowing, of touching without feeling – loving without loving.

But I don’t know the rest; the really important stuff, that eludes me.

I sought solace in a lie and found only airbrushed sensibility, and all this on a night when everything was taken from me, even though I never had anything to begin with.

‘What did I expect?’ I call out, to nobody, my hands cupped between my legs, covering my modesty. ‘I’m still a man,’ I whisper. ‘I’m still a man…’

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gavin James Bower is the author of Dazed & Aroused. He is interviewed in 3:AM here.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, December 14th, 2010.