I grew up the middle child in a Mormon family of five in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho—a migration pattern dictated by my father’s promotions with the Union Pacific Railroad. Shortly after my 20th birthday, I moved to San Diego ostensibly to pursue a professional ballet career but equally in part to escape the homophobic culture of Idaho.
An HIV+ diagnosis in 1986 derailed my ballet plans, and after four years of chaos, I landed in the relative safety of the very gay City of West Hollywood.
It was in the AIDS support group of the Louise Hay Ride gatherings in West Hollywood Park Auditorium that I was first introduced to the idea of loving myself exactly the way I am. That meant loving my gay, HIV+, financially broke self.
That taste of dignity made me eager to pursue other avenues of self-exploration. I became part of the gay AA 12-step culture. I attended lectures from Marianne Williamson on the Course in Miracles. A couple of years after getting my job at City Hall, I underwent an intense process called The Experience, a human potential program similar to Est and The Landmark Forum. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
My barbacking job at Revolver left me starved for cash, so I began waiting tables before learning I could put an ad in Frontiers Magazine and make more money with one massage client than I could during a whole day of taking abuse from disgruntled shoppers at Starky’s Deli in the Beverly Center, or A-Gays dining at Figs on Santa Monica Blvd.
Unable to process the stigma of being a sex worker, I gave it up and accepted a job driving donation trucks for Out of The Closet Thrift Store. I brought home an old Apple computer and practiced with the Mavis Beacon typing application. My skills improved enough to get me temping jobs in “professional” offices. One of those office jobs was a two-week temp assignment in the Finance Department at the City of West Hollywood City Hall.
I stayed there for 23 years and retired with a pension in April 2020.
During my career at WeHo City Hall, I learned that referencing the sexual culture I enjoyed as a gay man made most people at City Hall, especially some of the gay ones, squirm with discomfort. The City culture enjoyed talking about how gay men should curtail their sex lives to mitigate AIDS transmission, but once protease inhibitors and PrEP came out, they were done talking about gay men’s culture. Sexual or otherwise. After the funerals stopped, the discussion of gay men’s culture stopped. Going forward, the City only addressed LGBTIQA+ culture, transgender culture, and women’s culture. If I wanted to address gay culture specifically, I needed to do it privately. So I did.
When a new Councilmember was elected, I complained to him about the lack of gay men’s programming. John D’Amico allowed me to start a Gay Men’s Discussion Group called Tribe in the community room at the WeHo Library. I did it on my own time, facilitating a 90-minute discussion monthly for five years. After I left, it ceased to exist, and so did any city-sponsored programming specifically for gay men.
Living within walking distance of my job at City Hall in a city with the highest gay male population in the country put me in close proximity to lots of horny guys pinging my sex apps. For almost three decades, easy sex was only 10 minutes (or less) away on foot. I got my steps in. I had my regulars. I met new guys. I’ve visited half the buildings in WeHo. Lots of men. Lots of experience. Most of it anonymous. All of it useful in teaching me about my own kind.
I wanted more. Of what, I wasn’t sure. My intuition told me something significant could be built with the energy shared during all my encounters.
I wanted to know what to do with the sexy guy who knelt at my feet with his head bowed at my first kinky event. I had no idea. So I ran for the Mr. Oil Can Harry’s Leather contest. I was sure of my country roots and hoped my participation would get me on the radar of other guys into kinky stuff. That’s how I stumbled into becoming International Mister Leather 2007. That’s how I received a global tour of kink and leather.
Meanwhile, in the intensely superficial environment of Equinox gym in West Hollywood, a beautiful straight yoga teacher named Brent Laffoon opened me up to the idea that we all have perfection inside of us. Our Atman. He told us that the great sages teach that we need to release the crap we’ve made up about ourselves that isn’t real in order to experience that perfection. It remains my guiding philosophy to this day.
In 2016, anticipating the end of my career at WeHo City Hall (in 2020), I decided to go through a 200-hour yoga teacher training with Brent and Jay Co, two straight dudes with a deceptively laid-back approach that made the 5,000-year-old material relevant to my contemporary life and useful with regard to eternal existence. Meditation and yoga are still a part of my daily life.
In 2017, I began offering naked yoga classes for gay men in spaces I could rent for a couple of hours. I called it Evovo Yoga, Uncovering Your Atman. It was about calling forth (Evoco) your authentic self (Atman). Harnessing our sexual energy by naming it and inviting its charge to fuel our connection while also staying present and conscious of how it impacts our ability to communicate verbally with our partners was the climax of the class. I invited naked men to partner stretch in sexually provocative poses and vocalize their needs of “more please,” “less please,” or “just right.” It was a practice to illustrate a man’s ability to have his crotch and heart energies coexist.
In 2019, with big plans to open up my own gay men’s yoga center after retirement, I participated in the ManKind Project’s (MKP) New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA), a highly ritualized weekend designed to help men release trauma. I made a pilgrimage to visit Joel Benjamin of Yogasmith in Seattle, where he was teaching naked yoga, partnered bodywork (massage), and Lingham (sacred cock) manipulation.
Then, two weeks before I retired, the world shut down because of COVID-19. I was finally free of my 9-to-5 job and had nowhere lace to go.
I started a podcast and decided to learn about the world of coaching. My primary drive is to connect and, if possible, heal the members of my tribe.
I thought learning Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy, and Hypnosis could only help. And I was right. I use those skills almost every day, but selling coaching packages and digging up people’s trauma on a regular basis was heavy and not sexy.
Before COVID-19 lost its grip, I also dived into Tantra, spending a week of lovely isolation in Joshua Tree, taught by Jason Tantra of Tantra4Gay Men and Finn Deerhart. Two weeks of non-ejaculation solidified my belief that the energy of sexuality is a powerful foundation for community.
I decided I wanted a more hands-on approach to helping others. I’m now focusing on writing, massage work, and stepping into my big-boy shoes as a Gay Elder.
My partner, Dennis Gleason, and I bought a condo together and moved to the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles in June 2021. On March 18, 2023, we got married in a small ceremony in our new condo with our queer and bio-families.
We spend most weekends attending events with other sexually social gay men. We’ve had success hosting our own small gatherings, and I am currently discussing options for producing larger ones.
My first love is writing, and I will continue to do that forever.
Much love and horny happiness to you.