An Excerpt from Copperas Cove

To stretch my legs, I get up from behind the desk to check on Corley.  He doesn’t hear me walk in, immersed the way he is in his writing.  Plugged into the wall in the linen room, the extension cord lays on the floor across the aisle and into his cell.  He now has a small lamp on his table, along with a pitcher of water and empty glass.  Since he has no windows, I’ve left the fan back here.  Nevertheless, these hot summer days are unbearable; he has taken to leaving his shirt on the wall hook and going shirtless.  His shoes remain under the cot, which he leaves unmade.

For a moment I stand there and watch him, his broad sinewy back tapering gracefully toward his impossibly narrow waist, his mind totally absorbed in the work before him.  I find myself wondering why a young man like him doesn’t have a girlfriend.

“You hungry yet?”

He turns with a start.

“Uh, Tommy Lee’s suppose to be back around noon with your lunch.  I put him in charge of your meals.  Any complaints about food are his department.”

I see the hint of a smile in his eyes.

“Anything you need?”

“Haven’t had a shower in three days.” he says.

“Oh, yeah, that’s right,” I say, reaching for the cell key.

He leaves his jeans crumpled on the floor outside the shower room.  I sit down on the bench across the aisle and lean back against the wall facing the door to the front office.  Almost as if I’m compelled, my head turns toward him.  He’s standing beside the spray, adjusting the water temperature.  I find myself staring, wondering if all men secretly compare their penises to other men’s.  That’s something men don’t talk about, but I can’t think of a really good reason we shouldn’t.  Seems like it would be fun to walk over there, drop my pants and the two of us compare, maybe see which one stretches further.  There are some obvious differences.  For one thing the color: his is so much darker than mine, and it seems to hang a bit lower, probably compliments of this heat.   But there are also similarities.  Like mine, his is darker than the rest of his body, almost tar black, where mine’s kinda ruddy brown, not to mention they serve the same purpose.  Wonder he’s compared mine to his—he’s seen it enough times out at the lake, what little there is to see once it hits that cool water.  His doesn’t recede into his body like mine, it just hangs gloriously between his legs.

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Our Bodies

There was no Internet when I was a young boy.  Our natural curiosity about the opposite sex and our own sex mouldered in a forbidden Twilight Zone in the back of our innocent minds.  If we wanted to know what’s under a girl’s clothes, we had to resort to Mom’s medical book (woefully disappointing) or a copy of National Geographic that happened to feature some remote tribe of naked Africans.  To this day I haven’t figured out why the exposure of Africans and primitive Amazonian villagers are some how morally acceptable while everyone else’s is immoral and lewd.

At around age eight I got my first glimpse of what’s inside a girls panties.  It happen in a friend’s backyard, in a playhouse built by the friend’s father.  Aware the little girl down the street had an inclination to give the boys a peek, me and two other boys invited her to join us in my friend’s playhouse, where we right away made our desires known.  She hesitated; perhaps because there were three boys and just one girl.  Negotiations began.  One of us would show ours if she showed hers.  All three of us gave in when she insisted we all show ours, provided she goes first, which she did.  Moments later, racked with apprehension about my turn coming up, my eyes widened on her little twat.  She seemed perfectly delighted by our amazement, but steadfastly refused to let my more forthright friend to touch it.

The moment passed.  Her panties were back up.  It was our turn.  The bravest of the three of us went next, at which time my friend’s mother poked her head in the door to let him know it was time for lunch.  She gasped in horror.  Our hearts dropped.  In the blink of an eye, our feet took flight, all accept an angry mother’s son that was doomed to face the consequences.  Caught and scarred for life.

Imagine a small town in 1950s Wisconsin.  That’s where and when this happened.  My next scarring came when I inadvertently referenced a female body part to my mother.  It was during time I had been hanging around my father’s the auto parts store, listening to the teenage boys that were gathered around their Chevys, blustering about going to Texas for a little Texas pussy.  Back at the house I found my mother in the kitchen and told her I was going to Texas for a little Texas pussy, then shrank to the floor when she screeched.  Knowing Texas was a sunny state, I thought those boys had been talking about sunshine.  I can still feel the scars from that lecture. No wonder I had reached mid-life before I got out in a public park reserved for nudist and enjoyed the feel of the sun on my skin.

So why are so many so uptight about the human body?

The human body is a sensual, mysterious, beautiful work designed by Mother Nature.  Why aren’t more of us celebrating and enjoying it?

So what’s wrong with this picture?

She’s dressed for a day of sun and swimming … he’s dressed for what?  A snowstorm?

So how about this … or at least something close

or better still, this …

I know … we’re not all young and beautiful.  So what?  Isn’t life too short not to enjoy the sensual joy of our body, even if it’s not in perfect shape?  If everyone was perfect, this would be a very boring world.   So why not get out there and feel alive, feel the sun, the fresh air and other people’s eyes on your skin?

I recently spent a week on the Florida west coast, a state that has 2276 miles of beaches.  In the whole state, there is only one legal nude beach, Haulover near Miami.  What’s up with that?  Two or three city blocks out of 2276 miles!  Every man I saw on the beach that I went to, young and old, was clad in those ridiculous balloony outfits.  How do they swim in those?  What keeps the wind from blowing them away?  When they float they look like a guy that fell from the sky and landed on a parachute.

I live in Texas, a big state, millions of people. In the entire state there is just one place human beings can get naked, legally that is. McGregor Park, commonly known as Hippie Hollow, a sunny, sloping, multi-tiered shore on Lake Travis just north of Austin. My wife and I have spent weekends there: a motel room by night, sun and fresh air by day, sharing the unspoken kinship with other like-minded naked adults, looking and being looked at.

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Nude Rugby

It all began in 2002, with the Irish in town to play the All Blacks, when a local bus company was running packages for backpackers to visit Dunedin, experience the student atmosphere enjoy test match weekend Looking to add a little something for them to do before the game, the Nude Rugby International fixture was born. Held at St Clair beach ( the perfect spot for a nude mid winter rugby game ), this first game was fought between backpackers and local students for their version of world supremacy.

One of the icons of the first international that was held between Ireland and the Nude Blacks in 2002, was Fergus Mather of Tipperary. He became an international star as media honed in on the Irish captain and stories whizzed around the globe.

From its humble beginnings as a bit of fun to an annual event that generates international media attention and crowds in the thousands, Nude Rugby celebrates all that is unique about Dunedin – hardy souls taking on the world ( and the elements ) and not letting anything hinder the desire to have a good time.

From the European rugby strongholds to the high veldt of South Africa, many from around the world have gravitated to Dunedin to participate in this tradition, and 2011 will be a watershed year as we work towards a series of games that celebrate the world on our doorstep. Watch this space for dates and times around each game.

nude soccer.




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Bisexuality … the Blessing & the Curse

The Messy Realities of Bisexuality

Bisexuality lacks clarity between attraction, behavior and identity.

Published on July 5, 2011 by Loren A. Olson, M.D. in Finally Out

When I searched Twitter for “bisexuality” I found this: “Bisexuality is the ability to reach down someone’s pants and be satisfied with whatever you find.” I once defined it (less colorfully) on my blog, MagneticFire. I wrote, “Bisexuality is being sexually attracted equally to both men and women.”

The response was swift and furious. “Am I defined accurately as bisexual only if I have one ejaculation with a woman for every ejaculation I have with a man?” I was accused of being a poor scientist and unfamiliar with the literature on bisexuality. My definition was considered far too restrictive. One bisexual man wrote that a bisexual could be any of the following:

• Straight-identified married men who have surreptitious sex with other men.

• Single men with steady girlfriends

• Divorced men who partner with another man but remain attracted to women

• Transgender persons and their transgender partners

• Men in polyamorous relationships.

That is a very large umbrella! I could cop out and say that labels are useless and this discussion is meaningless, but labels are essential for research and important for the development of a sense of belonging. Within the LGBT community, not only are the L, the G, the B and the T distinct from one another, but each can be divided into multiple sub-populations.

The term “bisexuality” lacks clarity about the differences between attraction, behavior or self-identity. Many scientists prefer a definition based exclusively on attraction because behavior and identity are more fluid. For some behavior and self-definitions may evolve over time. Lisa Diamond in Sexual Fluidity has suggested that a shifting of sexual intimacy is more common in women than in men; that is consistent with my clinical experience. As I described in, Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, I began life believing I was a heterosexual man, went through a brief period of believing I might be bisexual, and now am completely confident that I am a gay man. Once I aligned my sexual attraction, sexual behavior and my self-identity, the dissonance I had felt for much of my life disappeared.

bisexualityI recently had a conversation with a married man who described himself as bisexual. I asked him if his attraction to men and women was equal. He affirmed that it was. I then asked, “How do you commit to one person if you must give up 50 percent of who you are?” He responded, “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone. I want to have kids and grandchildren.” I then asked him if he was sexually attracted to his wife or if his attraction was based on his attraction to the privileges of the traditional one man, one woman, and monogamy. He agreed that he was sexually attracted to men but socially attracted to his wife.

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