Or, How I Lost It in the Front Seat of a 1971 Beetle
In my best Golden Girls voice:
Picture it. Dallas. 1972.
Oh, I know already: most of you cant. You werent even born yet. I, on the other hand, was fresh out of college, BA in Foreign Languages in hand, and after four years of college study… still a virgin.
Well, I was pretty nerdy looking in those days, so I suppose that would explain a lot of things…. coupled with the fact that we are talking 1972 here, right? And in Texas of all places. Not exactly the place for a small-town Canadian gayboy to lose his cherry, not if he wanted to live to talk about it the next morning. In college, I was “blessed” with five dormmates, all of which were typical of the young Texas male horndog. If the stories were true, which I doubt they were, these five were getting laid at a shocking frequency… while I just quietly sat there, laughing at all the appropriate places and ever so gently deflecting their questions about my own weekend’s activities. Did they know about me? I doubt it — they werent that smart, to begin with. And we are talking 1972 here, a time long before anyone even understood the concept of someone being gay. Hell, I didnt even know how things were supposed to work for my kind of people. I just knew that it was something I wanted, and I’d figure out the rest of it as we went along.
So, it’s a few weeks after graduation. Diploma in hand, I bought my first new car: a solid black 1971 VW Beetle. Standard shift. Beautiful interior. I loved that car with a freaking passion. It made countless trips between Arlington and Dallas on weekend nights as I started exploring what little there was of gay life in the DFW area. There were maybe three bars, one of which I could not enter because I didnt pass whatever test was imposed at the door. Another was too leather for my taste, which is really ironic considering what happened down the road. The third was just this stand-and-drink kind of place, and that’s where I met John and Frank (names changed because now I have no clue who they were).
They were indeed a couple, and a very attractive one at that. Nowadays we’d call them a power couple, because they knew everyone. For some bizarre reason, we struck up a friendship — probably because neither of them saw me as any threat to their relationship. I was this stray they took into their circle, out of pity, I suppose.
I suppose you’re wondering: Jesus, Sean, get to the good stuff, huh???
Well, we’re there.
One night, while at their place (as I usually was on any given Wednesday), they’d run out of ice. This was, I ask you to remember, before the times of automatic ice makers in most refrigerators. I volunteered to drive to the local Mini-Mart (or whatever it was called), and Frank came with me to pay for our little bag of frozen water. On the way there, he asked, as a joke, if I was still a virgin. I replied, not joking one bit thank you very much, that I was. He just laughed: was I saving myself for marriage? No, I replied. I just want to get laid.
About this time, we got to the store and bought the ice. During the drive back, he asked me why I was still… you know… that way. He’d had sex with another guy as far back as age 13, and he found it incredulous that someone just grazing past 21 had yet to. I didnt know how to answer that one. “Well,” he finally says, “stop the car and let’s get you past that gate.”
That threw me a bit, because I didnt know if he was kidding or not. Turns out, no, he wasnt. We parked in the darkest alley I could find, and before long, I knew — in detail — what sex with another man, even confined to the front seat of a relatively new 1971 Beetle could be.
It didnt last long. There wasnt a whole lot of room to do a whole lot. But it lasted long enough. As we were re-arranging things, he got out of the car, popped the engine bonnet, and put some oil and grease on his fingers. “John’ll think the engine broke down, and I fixed it. I’m good with that kind of stuff,” he said with a smile.
We got back to their place. I brought in the now-somewhat-melted bag of ice while Frank laughingly explained what had happened. Drinks were made, and for a good chunk of the evening, much merriment was made over the fact that the car broke down and I was useless in getting it fixed and running again. I left an hour later and went home.
I never heard from them again.