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Hope I can type quickly enough. This is a typical Richard weblog moment: urge to say something; desire to get away from the computer as quickly as possible.
Living on Oglethorpe Avenue in Savannah little Richard used to walk through Savannah's Colonial Cemetery to get to the playground. About age eight I sassed the woman who ran it (hard to believe that kid's playgrounds once had supervisors).
How the old bitch finked to my Daddy I can't recall. I remember the punishment he had me bend over the bed, drop my pants and whipped me. Poor, tall, strong, hypermasculine Big Mack, he could've never guessed it was a sexual experience.
I could've have been much older when I saw a rack in a movie, all sweaty and screaming. Or much older yet when people were abused in one of momma's Harold Robbins novels. Both excited me powerfully (of course I was equally excited when one of the women in another of my momma's fat sex novels had sex on the phone: young boy was excited by sex, no?).
By the time I was not yet ten my masochistic / submissive side was manifesting itself. I remember wanting a male friend to dominate me. One of my pre-Junior High sexual experiences was born of that. In my teenage years I certainly craved a spanking without any way to realize it (my parents never used corporal punishment after I was nine).
As my coming out testified to I was never conscious of my sexuality. My masochism went underground along with every other erotic thought or imaging I'd ever had.
I was out and in Atlanta by the time I was eighteen. One day I went into a porn shop (aka adult bookstore) and bought a few gay sex tabloids (do they still exist?). I remember an ad for a butt plug. Nothing I've ever wanted still seems icky to this day. There was also a story about a young gay guy who was picked up on the beach by an older man who fucked him in the mouth and whipped him with a wet towel. The whipping evoked a strong response.
Clearly I was a gay male masochist. That never led to any sex. I was in the parlance of the time a butch gay man. And my head was most easily turned by a perfumed, pixie-dust trailing nelly boy.
I did find masculine gay men evoked my submissive side. Never occurred to me to act on the impulses when I lived in Atlanta. I can't say why. The submissive sexuality was strong enough. Regardless of its phallic potency it didn't arouse, probably couldn't arouse the silly tender emotions. My romantic side quickly came to the top in my relations with other gay men.
And I did meet a masochistic bottom that I spanked, cursed and made lick my boots. It was great fun but I never repeated it. Never even thought about it. Can't say why except to speculate that conventional romantic thoughts always came to the fore (and I wasn't developed enough to understand that power exchange doesn't exclude romantic love).
Atlanta had one gay leather bar back in the 1970s. Called Peach's maybe. I'm not sure. I dropped off the Atlanta Barb there a few times. Swishy guys in leather caps and denim killed every erotic impulse. They were anything but masculine and were mere stereotypes instead of charming nelly boys.
Moving to San Francisco I was good-looking enough to have guys taking me to all sorts of bars. One guy took me to a Folsom Street leather bar. One man did pinch my tits but it didn't occur to me to follow up. Tall and in full butch drag (Army boots, Levis and flannel shirt) I probably looked only like a top. They all had facial hair which put them outside my sexual preference. (That wouldn't have been true of my submissive self but I think I was too dazed to think much about sex. I rarely had sex based on meeting someone in a bar, preferring to sleep with guys I met through friends or on the street or neighbors.)
Through personal ads in the (old) AdvocateI met a few guys in San Francisco. (Indeed, I met a boy so powerfully lovely that I didn't know whether to run away or bite the back of my neck; thankfully he was happy to spend many nights next to me naked.)
One advertiser offered whippings. But he wanted money so I just hung up. Not sure why. I'd meant to have sex with a male prostitute while I was still young. Just for the experience, while I was too young to 'need' to do so.
Living with woman masochistic daydreams faded away.
After she was gone some Playboy magazines came into the shop. No explaining the quirks of face and body. I found myself fantasizing about dominant women with an inexhaustible appetite for cunnilingus and torture. (But alternating with groups of women who only wanted to please me in every way.)
As a pansexual switch I've been something of a failure for not acting on my appetites.
Speculation: Pansexuals, S&M, B&D, D/s . . . ?