November 16, 2003

Good Morning Dear Journal

There’s no way to be delicate about this, so I’ll just describe my afternoon at the ABS. As you might recall, dear journal, I had talked about going there the last time I wrote you. There were indeed some older gentlemen there. However, let me back up and describe the place.

My Visit to the ABS

I parked in a small lot behind what looks like an old warehouse. A small metal door is located at the center of a long narrow wall of the warehouse building. The small sign above it reads “Erotic Stuff.” Well, not the greatest name, I agree. I opened the metal door to find a long steep and narrow staircase descending into the basement of the building. The door shut behind me and I heard a bell go off somewhere behind a second metal door at the bottom of the stairs. It’s a good thing I’m still in such good shape, or I’d never have made it down and back up those steps. Behind the second metal door is what looks like a normal magazine or video store at first glance; display counters lined up in rows, until one looks across the room at the vitrine on the far wall. It is full of sex dolls, dildos of all colors shapes and sizes, penis enlargement kits, cock rings, anal douches, dominatrix and leather items. To the rite of that is the entrance to the theater section. I went to the store clerk, a pleasant young Goth fellow with a pink and bleach blond mohawk, black shirt, arms covered with tattoos of spiders and their webs and got change for a five dollar bill. I asked him how the movies worked. He looked at me as though I was crazy and said, “Just feed-um these,” and pointed to the one dollar bills he was handing me.

The Video Booths Section

I rounded the corner into the booth section. All the videos showing are in a brightly lit glass display case to your right as you go in the room. The covers look something like the photo above except they are much more explicit. I took this photo from an adult male web site though I was careful to chose one that shows no parts. Booths at the Lancaster ABS are arranged in rows on either side of a long hall. Men of various ages were leaning against the walls at the end of each row of booths. Some of them looked to be my age, others much younger, and some looked downright seedy, whatever their age. I was shocked to see that the booths had no doors and you could see right into them. In one booth a very young and good looking man was stroking his penis while watching several men gang bang a somewhat chubby young woman with breasts the size of watermelons. In another, one very large individual was down on his knees before a slightly less large person. As I walked past others, individuals in the booths looked up hopefully, and then quickly turned their heads away. I guess I’m too old and wrinkly to interest most of them.

I did find one fellow leaning in a corner who looked to be in my age range, and I struck up a conversation with him. He told me that this was a typical group of straight and gay men in the booth area, except that sometimes a straight man will allow a gay man to felate him. I asked if it wasn’t a bit strange to have sex in an open booth where others can walk by and observe. He said that he thought that aspect of the place excited many of the individuals who frequent the ABS. He motioned toward a booth at the other end of the cross hall we were in. The red light over the door was lit meaning someone was watching a porno movie in the booth. There were 3 of the younger occupants of the video area gathered at the door, leaning in and watching. “You see,” my new friend said, “They’re watching whatever it is that’s going on in there.” He had a big smile on his face inferring that we both knew full well what was happening in said booth. He continued, “The guys watching are getting off, and the guys in the booth are really getting off knowing they’re being watched.”

We talked more, about the protocol of sexual relations in the place, and he told me that most of the sex that takes place there is anonymous to casual. That guys don’t meet and make permanent friendships there. “Friends may come to the ABS together, but they don’t come with the intention of making new friends,” he said.

“What about all of us older men,” I said. These guys aren’t here to meet other men and form relationships or friendships?” I asked.

“Of course not,” was his reply. “They’re just here to get off. They’ve already got a wife at home, or a boy friend, or they’re loners, who have never decided what they are.” By the last, he meant that

some men don’t decide their sexuality and they live in a limbo of anxiety ridden terror of committing to any relationship for fear of having to admit to being homosexual.

When I asked my new found friend of he would give me his phone number, he said, “No,” but asked me if I wanted to step into a booth with him to watch one of the porno flicks. I declined, simply because I have always felt awkward about anonymous or casual sex. I did watch a couple of the flicks on my own and found one of them to be extremely stimulating.

The photograph above was taken from the site "" Gay Cinema I am not providing a link here because I am not a gay pornography site, nor do I recommend them. I am simply documenting a copyrighted source. My visit to the site to obtain the image was on November 8, 2003.

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Take a look at:

Holty’s blog for great political comentary and much more from an Australian point of view.

Mark Harden’s Artchive. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the best place to find excellent images of artist’s works on the WWW.

Gay Artist’s Galleries

John Giuffre’s blog Thoughts From A Collapsed Brain


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