Brontez Purnell is an Oakland icon, which is why he comes up in conversation very frequently. With lovers in particular, the usual story is, “Brontez tried to fuck me!” I find this to be humorous, mostly because every man in Oakland has said that at least once because Brontez has definitely tried to fuck every man in Oakland at least once. But frequently he tries more than just once. In fact, the “Brontez tried to fuck me!” line is now a barometer for how day one you are in Oakland. If you’ve been here long enough, you know that Brontez trying to fuck you isn’t really, um, special, and it’s nothing to write home about. But all those day ones who have never had a lascivious gay man hit on them before are definitely impressed by it.
I had just finished having some pretty intense sex (or, to put it mildly, I have found that men do not like making eye contact during sex, but I do, mostly because it’s creepy and weird and it’s kinda like looking into someone’s soul in order to see what’s really in there, which often times is nothing, and sometimes it’s violence, but it’s never boredom), when the exact topic of Brontez popped up in the usual fashion.
“Have your read his book?” I asked as we lay there naked.
“No,” he responded. I reached over and grabbed one of my favorite pieces of Oakland artwork: Brontez’s The Cruising Diaries.
“Read it. It’s an easy read,” I said, forcing it into my lover’s hands. He opened up the pages and dove right in.
Now, my lovers are not day one men. In fact, my lovers are barely even heterosexual, although they fiercely defend their status as heterosexual, which doesn’t bother me. To be honest, I much prefer a man with ambiguous sexuality and a big dick. It makes things more interesting. Men who are in touch with their desire for other people’s cocks and pussies tend to be a bit more unfettered about the other weird things that I’m into. Men who don’t feel that their sexuality is being called into question just because they go to queer parties or are friends with the hot trans DJs or present slightly effeminate or have been known to engage in cuddle sessions with gay men – those are my favorite. They’re so confident in their sexual identity that they don’t mind having it questioned by other people or even themselves. However, as I watched him read Brontez’s book, the mixture of disgust and laughter and entertainment on his face belied a new sexual revelation.
“Wow, I…just…will never know what it’s like to be a gay man. This is…so different from what I’ve experienced.”
“Well, that’s why there’s a book about it. So you can know what it’s like.”
“I mean…wow. He paid a drug addict $2 to suck his dick? Like…what? I didn’t even know people did that!”
“It’s a whole different world.”
He handed me back the book like it was a dirty condom with someone else’s cum in it.
“You don’t want to keep reading? I’ll let you borrow it.”
“Uh. No. I’ll just…that was enough.”
“I didn’t know that there was any aspect of sexuality out there that could shock you. I figured you knew about all this stuff already.”
“I mean, yeah, kinda, but…not like that. That was a little, uh, intense? And more detail than I’m really used to. Like, I know that stuff goes on, but I’m just not a part of it.”
I shrugged and put the book back on my shelf. It’s good to know that it’s still easy to shock a guy like that.