Z’s Initiation

Some time back I posted The Story of Z about a misadventure undertaken by an old friend. He recently called me up wanting to reminisce about our first meeting, and when we did so, I discovered that he’d got a good bit of it wrong. To set the record straight, and because my version is so much more entertaining, here’s my side of the story.

Back in 1984 Z’d got his MD and come to San Francisco to apply for an internship at CPMC, our main hospital. Having spent the day in stressful interviews, he decided to spend the evening on Folsom Street, which was back then infamous for bars catering to the gay SM scene. Well, actually, spending time on Folsom Street was part of the itinerary from the beginning.

See, Z had come out a few years earlier and had had his share of vanilla sex, but what he had not had, even though he’d been wanting it badly for many years, was an opportunity to exercise his masochism. I, on the other hand, had a good deal of experience in entertaining masochists although that night I had gone out to my favorite South of Market bar just to socialize rather than in hopes of picking someone up. See, on that day our house was full of guests, friends of Allen’s from Boston, so there was no way I could take a trick home. So wouldn’t you know it, I’d barely got into the bar when I noticed, hiding in a corner, a handsome young redhead. And when he held eye contact, I walked over and boxed him into the corner. This made him so nervous that he was answering in monosyllables, and when I briefly described the entertainment that could be his if he came with me, he went white. When I asked if he wanted to go, he nodded, “Yes”. But wait, I couldn’t take him home.

Oh, but of course. Just down the street was a gay “bathhouse” I could take him to, but first I had to go by my house and pick up some toys. On the way home, I told him to just wait in the car while i ran in quickly. It took only a couple of minutes, and he was waiting for me in the car when I returned, so we got to the Slot early enough that there was still a room available.

Just as I started messing around with him, he confessed that he’d never done this before, a wise move that caused me to ratchet down the level somewhat. Umm, quite a lot.

But even though he was a beginner, he was an eager student and made a good deal of progress that night until finally, finally he was screaming for permission to come. After an appropriate delay, it was granted. We exchanged names and addresses and I took him to his hotel, not really expecting that he’d get the internship and we’d become fast friends.

Years later he’d confess that he’d been so frightened that I’d end up killing him, that when I left him alone in my car in front of my house, he scribbled my address and license plate number on a postcard, addressed it to himself, and dropped it into the mailbox across the street so that at least I’d be brought to justice.

The next morning, as I was telling Allen about taking this eager beginner to the Slot, I observed that I hadn’t been in the place for years and didn’t remember it being so filthy. “Hell”, I said, “my feet stuck to the floor”.

“What!!!” shrieked Allen, more familiar with these sleazy places,”You took your boots off?”

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