The Long Dark Seduction Of My Desire

I recently found an old journal about the first time I actually went home with a man and spent the night. The date was March 1 1982. I would have been 20 years old and we ended up picking each other up at an old video arcade that is still in existence here in Missoula today. There are not many details in the notes, but in my head I flashed back to a very vivid cold night, when my body trembled with fear. The sheer panic and confusion I was feeling floods my mind again as if I am standing in that darkness, alone again. I was a couple of years out of high school and knew that I have always had a strong desire to be with a man, but for some reason I just couldn’t quite come to terms with possibly doing it. The video arcade was a way to have encounters with others without really having to make a commitment, always somehow felt it wasn’t quite real. It was a dark world filled with black light with neon signs that glowed vibrantly in the darkness. Anyone with a white shirt took on a haunting purplish glow. You really couldn’t see the faces of people, because skin tones disappeared into in a dark haunting haze. The place was a maze of walls with hidden openings, covered by curtains and the whir and clatter of films being projected into glass screens within the little booths. You could hear a coin drop from anywhere in the places and then the muted/muffled voices of people talking. Back in those days, people actually did talk to each other in those types of films, as inane as it may have seemed then, adds a certain humanity that is lacking today. But it all happened in darkness. A touch, a kiss, someone feeling my crotch, a quick encounter and then they would disappearance back into the darkness. Once I had discovered the place, I didn’t go there very often. Perhaps 3 or 4 times over the course of a 3-year period. I remember living in the dorms on campus and after one of my visits rushing home to immediately jump into the shower and try to scour away any traces of the encounter from my skin, often my body eventually becoming consumed by sobs of grief that I had allowed myself to go back to that place of such desperate temptation. Then eventually after another 5 to 6 months I would find myself lurking outsides it’s doors in the darkness of the street waiting and watching working up my courage enough to enter its seductive labyrinth once more.

I figured something was wrong with me for wanting this desire and I began to see a counselor, not sure if I was trying to talk myself into or out of this sort of encounters. I vividly had that in my notes as well because I had to somehow come to terms with what was actually happening to me. I remember a lot of fear and dread. I remember becoming overcome with desire to explore this within myself but completely needing to reject the possibility. It all didn’t quite feel right, but sometimes our bodies and minds work in opposition with each other with the flesh often winning over and allowing the mind to either succumb and retreat. It never seemed to get easier. Was I to become a lost soul?

So eventually this night of the beginning of March in 1982, I made that leap that would somehow change the course of the life and give a new meaning to me existence. Once I connected with another man in an actual encounter, my fears were waylaid and the doubt overridden. Once bitten, I know what I wanted and continued to seek this partner. Was it love, or lust, or just an open denial of what I had been? A few days later I enter a note into the journal, “I am really starting to enjoy being with Mark and gay sex is very interesting.”

One thought on “The Long Dark Seduction Of My Desire

  1. Elizabeth Lister

    >Oh, wow, Terry, that comment in your journal is wonderful. Thank you for letting us read it and for describing the situation that inspired it.

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