After a while we got around to talking about sex . . .
I mean we are fags after all. He told me he got hard just listening to me,
even when we weren't talking about anything overtly sexual.

And A Bunch Of It, Too
(from the Swahili)

by R.C. Hampton



I hate shit. I really, really do hate shit and I've been spending quite a lot of time thinking about it lately. Not because I want to, either. With all due respect to that significant percent of the kinked community who are into copraphagia, bless your hearts, just go on and have your fun. I still hate shit.

Anybody who has read anything that I've written for BENT or "Disgaytalk" knows that all of what I have to say is propagated by my familiarity with spinal cord injury and its effects. Of course, each spinal cord case manifests differently, so there are no absolutes, but you can make a few generalizations about SCI, and one of them is that each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, has a lack or absence of sensation of, and control over, our most intimate bodily functions. Put bluntly, even if we are aware that we have to take a poo, we probably can't hang on long enough to get to the loo to get the job taken care of in a timely fashion. Either way we end up shitty.

Me, I got no sensation at all, and no control either. Bowel or bladder. For a dozen years I've had a supra-pubic catheter—a small hose that comes out right about dead between my belly button and my pubic bone. As these kinds of things go, it isn't even particularly unattractive. Bowel management is a nother whole varmint. Thirteen years ago when I was going through physical rehab, the party line was this: "Now, you need to train your body to hold things in for three days . . . that third night, you cram a bunch of suppositories up your ass, swill a bunch of laxatives, and cover your bed with hospital chucks—or newspapers over hefty bags if you can't afford the chucks—and shit all over yourself, all night long. And probably wear a diaper for the next day too, just in case you haven't finished your little purge."

I had some real damned problems with that whole thing, but I was briefly diverted by the utter shell-shock of the poor straight men who just took those orders as Holy Writ. They were going to, probably for the first time in their adult lives, have to pay attention to their assholes. Like . . . like . . . queers or something, and who really knew what guys like them did? These poor fellas were suddenly aware that they were going to have to own up to having that little trap door stuck right behind their prostates—which they only recognized as a shadow entity that some Freaky Bitch slid her finger up and tweaked just right one righteously drunken night that they only remember in their fevered dreams.

For the first time these guys were going to have to do more than hunker down for a quick grunt over the commode, pinch off a loaf, make a haphazard swipe across that secret place with a little wad of the last of the paper on the roll, leaving some woman or other to both replace the paper and clean up the damned toilet, too.

That secret spot I mentioned brought me back to my own reality. As a gay man I had thankfully learned early to eroticize my asshole. I was pretty damned good buddies with the pretty pucker, as a matter of fact. Hose that thing out a little bit, scrub that bad boy up some, and I knew, as my straight peers didn't, that a very good time could be had by all.

I had to kinda just roll with that whole fucked-up shit regime for the time being. My mind was warped behind a whole other thing. Even as a fully-functional bi-ped my bed was the center of my home. The most important place I had to recreate. Not only did I sleep in my bed, and dream those fevered dreams, I read in my bed. I watched TV there. I just spent a fucking lot of time lounging there. And quite often enough I wasn't lounging alone in my bed. The whole idea of turning my bed into a shit heap was just not on my agenda. And how do you invite someone who is a stone babe to hang out with you while you discuss, oh, say the relative merits of Neo-Spartan Hedonism or just want to jump each other's bones . . . and the only night you can hook up is when ya gotta do that damned purge? My mind would spin when I'd try to think of it.

In physical rehab they have this little euphemism for the shit regime. They call it the "Bowel Clinic." While pretty much hustling the party line of 2nd-, then ultimately 3rd-day shit fests, they hauled all of us who were assigned to certain nights into the "Bowel Clinic" laid out on gurneys with a hole cut out for your ass (those of us who couldn't sit up yet), dosed us with laxatives and jammed suppositories up our butts, and parked us over some commode-like things that only superficially resembled toilets. Sometimes just over buckets of water. And there we would wait. And wait. With all our kindred in shit. It wasn't no pretty sight, lemme tell ya.

A good portion of the patients of the VA SCI Center in St. Louis, Jefferson Barracks were guys back in because of one kind of complication or other that had been aggravated or caused by their paralysis. There was this guy in "clinic" with me who was older, and I knew from gossip that he had been a para for a long time. Now, some things are nasty . . . but ya just can't help but look. I mean after all you are surrounded by the sound and stink of shit. How much worse could it get? So, I'm lookin' at this guy, who is smoking a cigarette in his latex gloved hand, and his ass is poked out through the hole in his gurney. And then there was this . . . thing, just hanging there. And hanging there. And hanging there.

As subtly as you can in a place called a "Bowel Clinic" I motioned a nurse named Lois over to me. Lois was cool. You could talk to her about anything. I once heard her explain to a couple of (straight) guys that some women do like it up the ass, and she herself thought the practice had some particularly entertaining merits. So I know I can get a straight-up answer from Lois. I sez, "Lois, check out that guy over there. What appears to be a very long and nasty turd is hanging out of his ass, but it isn't going anywhere. What gives?" Lois tells me that it wasn't a turd I was furtively watching, but the result of an old practice in the unenlightened days of constant enemas, called "megabowel." As the name implies, the bowel just inside your asshole gets stretched out of shape and weight until, unless you are doing something to stop it, like sitting on it, it will simply fall out of your rectum and hang there. As if it had any business doing that. I asked if my guts would one day be al fresco. She said, "Maybe."

Lois moved on but like a kid looking at a gory video again and again I was drawn back to this guy's innards. More horrifying, I noticed that he would dig around down there with his gloved hand, and then put his cigarette back into that hand to smoke it. I had to be easily as horrified as those poor straight boys who were first having to confront their own asses. Is this the future of my ass? Well, no. Not exactly. Let's refer back to the kinked community for a moment. Those fellas who are into "fisting" know just how elastic assholes can be. And, while I never bottomed in such a situation before my paralysis (nor since) I can imagine that it would be very . . . intense.

Now, growing up as an American boy it is just in my genetic coding someplace that I have a natural right to a warm puppy, a fast car and a sleek intimate friend of one model or the other, depending on taste. Oh, and at least as many orgasms a day as I could possibly want or until my dick bled.

Fast Forward : I am now outside the hospital setting, and I'm really beginning to miss those orgasms that I have a God/dess-whatever-given right to. Not being a straight man, I am well acquatinted with my ass and know that there are nerves just all over the place. I have also ditched that damned laxatives-and-purges bullshit. Make it short and neat. Put on a glove, lube it up and check to see if there is anything to drag out. Nice, tidy. No fuss, no muss.

Okay, so I can't feel my asshole. Or my prostate for that matter, or anything for a couple of feet up in there. But it could feel me. I bought my first high-end, well-made vibrator and a bottle of Poppers (no children, not the things you eat at Amigos). If you offer enough insult to a prostate gland, even a dead one, it will yield results. The orgasms aren't as good as you remember them—think of them as sort of a subterranean sneeze. But it does give one a feeling of accomplishment.

"Digital Stimulation," which is the name they gave to the method of bowel control I use (which is wildly inaccurate since I'm pulling stuff out, not tickling it), has its own drawbacks. So does sitting with a gut-load of junk waiting to get let out. In tiny increments over the years things stretch all out of shape. While my guts don't hang a foot out of my ass, I can see where that guy was at years ago.

I am not typically troubled much by, ahem . . ."accidents." Or rather I am deeply troubled by them, just not all that often. "Often" being a key word here. When stuff like that happens it usually does it for a while. You know, like things get out of whack for a while.

Ruby, my only companion in bed for years, is not disturbed by rude body noises. She just looks at my ass, and then to my face as if she means, "You can talk out that end, too?" If the worst happens and for whatever reason I find myself all be-shit (and of course the bedclothes, wheelchair, floor and everything between wherever the discovery was made and the bathroom, depending upon the exact nature of the problem and consistency of the results), when I am about to start throwing and breaking things, screaming wordless rage, Ruby goes, "Hey! I've been wonderin' what you've been doin' with that stuff. Wait, don't get rid of that! That'll tell everybody for blocks around that you're the Big Dog here! What kinda fool are you?", and I kind of ease back down to a place where I can cuss and grumble, but my emotions are more sorrow than rage, and while sorrow is not a condition particularly sought after, it beats the hell out of rage in a world too full of it already, and rage eats away at your deepest parts, figuratively as well as literally. Studies have shown that people who hold rage in for long periods of time are almost certainly going to wind up with cancer (okay, so we probably all will one day, but why not hedge our bets?). Ruby keeps me from utter humiliation. What bi-pedal person could do that?

All this talk about guts and their payload brings us around to the real point of this story. Sex. As in I might be having it soon, with someone I am very much impressed by, and I'd like my body to cooperate.

While I'm not hoping for much . . . I can't feel getting fucked and, thanks to thirteen years of digging stuff out of my innards slowly stretched by tiny increments of holding stuff in one place for long periods of time and periodically causing such trauma to my ever-diminishing prostate to obtain one of those equally diminished American-Boy- Birthright-Orgasms, neither would anybody else. But I would like it very much if, during the time we may spend in bed, I am not subjected to the humiliation of any . . . (ahem) accidents.

Nope, we didn't meet in a chat room. I find those places kinda tedious and I always wind up five minutes into the deal with either a devotee-type (which badly creeps me out) or some SM guy in Cleveland who insists on calling me "Sir." Fine. Well, I try to show everybody a good time, and if these cyber-leeches attach themselves to me I might as well do the mannerly thing and get them off . . . "NEVER call me sir, shit-brain! This Soldier works for a livin'!" and that generally devolves quickly into some cyber-kink that, I suspect, is not only illegal pretty much everywhere, but actually felonious in many places. But, do they care about me, those sniveling pig-bottoms? All I ever get is strings of "omygawd! yeah, yrade owwooww" (typos intended), then something like, "Uuuuughh!!" or some similarly generic-orgasm sound, and then they're gone. But what about Me? I need some closure here. Hell, I just slipped down the fiber-optics to make some guy toss a wad of spooge, and what do I get out of it? I'll tell ya, nothin' worth a damn.

So anyhow, I have had the pleasure for some time of emailing this guy. I was immediately impressed because he had a really big . . . vocabulary. Ya'll think I'm joking, but I'm not. I swear I can't remember when someone seduced me (and I use the word "seduced" in its highest ethical sense). Boy, was it ever fun. Really, really fun. I would dash to my computer every time it made the little "Ping" sound that meant I had mail.

After a while we started calling one another. It was like being a teenager again. You remember, those phone calls that lasted a couple of hours. And you called four or five times a day. Even if you just got the machine it would be something like, "Hi . . . I guess you're out . . . sorry I missed you. I wish I was there so we could be doing whatever it is you're doing together . . . well, bye. I'll call back later." And we would. The phone bills were ridiculous. Entirely over the top.

Naturally we had swapped some pictures. Shots of ourselves. He asked for pictures of the inside of my condo. I asked for a good shot with his friends. This guy's pictures were generally enlarged, so the definition was really bad. I got a couple that were good head shots and showed a wonderful, laughing face—he had described himself as being the kind if guy who could have fun at a funeral—and this fine and laughing face was wholly credible. The other shots, though, were of poor quality and taken just like every single picture taken of me, with a goofy expression on the ol' face.

I described myself as getting softer around the middle than I liked, he described himself as having thinning hair and a little bit of a belly. Nothing tight was ever worn on his body. A khakis and polo shirt kinda guy. And ya know, whatever doubts I had about his looks from the mostly poor quality of the pictures he sent, when we were on the phone it didn't matter at all. He told me he loved the sound of my voice. He had to say that a lot because I always have thought I sound like Opie from the "Andy Griffith Show." I know that I sure did like the sound of his voice. We told each other about our days, or in my case stories about my family or the broad variety of people I hang out with.

After a while we got around to talking about sex . . . I mean we are fags after all. He told me he got hard just listening to me, even when we weren't talking about anything overtly sexual. Early on in our email correspondence we had addressed the paraplegic thaing. My worry about intimacy. I'm kinda rusty, and I was real worried about how well things would work out, what problems we would have. He assured me that he had already been through about the worst of it with a couple of other 'plegics and he was okay with it all.

Soon there were plans for him to come here to visit me. I was really excited that not only did he want to make the effort to come to visit, but he seemed genuinely eager. I had to get the house in order! I mean, Ruby makes this place look like a passel of two-year-olds jacked up on a couple of double espressos and some seriously frosted flakes have been on a rampage through everything. I wanted it to look pretty for my guest. Then, just in case things clicked real well, as I was pretty well assured they would from our phone calls, I bought a bunch of high-end bedclothes, just to show that I was willing to meet him half-way.

Early on in our emailing, this guy had mentioned how he had been in very close contact with another guy who had kind of led him on and then treated him in a very shabby way. I was determined that no matter what happened, I wouldn't treat this man in a shabby fashion.

While we were talking on the phone, he asked me some questions that I had to think on really hard and answer back later. Actually, the first one was when we were emailing, and he asked if he had any chance at all of a relationship with me. I had to think about that pretty hard, because I had just kind of gotten to the point where I was comfortable with me and Ruby, together and alone. Life being pretty easy (and if Ruby was unhappy she was going to have to learn to type to let me know what she was unhappy with). Obviously, from what I've already written my answer, after due consideration, was yes . . . there was a chance. Again, on the phone he asked me if I would consider moving into a house with a yard, supposing we should just fall hard for each other and this beautiful, long-distance relationship would play out over time, and we would find ourselves ready to co-habitate. I had to think a while on that. I'm pretty pleased with my condo, but in the end I said that I would, for a lover who was true-blue and all that, move to a house with a yard.

The hardest thing this wonderful, sexy and seductive man asked me was if I would be willing to relocate for a partner. Now, that's a really big one, since about the only reason I live in the middle of the milo belt is because this is where my mother lives. It's her home, and as long as she has her wits she will not be coerced into moving away. God/dess-whatever knows I've tried. With her pacemaker she is effectively immortal so we're lookin' at a good long stretch of time here to fret over the woman.

As chance would have it, this question was posed right about in the middle of a span of a few weeks during which my mother's brother, his wife, and her aunt all took that nice long dirt nap. So . . . I said that under very strict circumstances I would relocate, but that would entail a great deal of compromise. I wouldn't just pack up and move away from what I pretty much consider one of my responsibilities just so that my mate could have my company in the morning (when I'm never my best) so that he could keep his same old job and just have to drive a little farther to work . . . Like if we figured family into the matter, made some kind of geographical compromise, not too far off from people and places that were important to us both, and set up housekeeping in this yet-to-be-determined place, but yes, under the right set of circumstances I would move for love, if it showed up.

So, the day of his arrival is upon me. I really am trying to get away from my decades-old habit of just T-shirts and jeans. I worked out what I thought was a workable compromise. My good white Levis that are just a little too short, compensated by the dark sneaks that I rarely wear because of Ruby's fetish for untying shoelaces, and a black ribbed T-shirt hybrid, like a dance-club T. I thought it worked okay.

So here I am. Ruby is of course waiting with me. Trying to look cool. Trying to catch my reflection in the glass so that I can get a little pose thaing goin' on. I'm not even sure I'll recognize this guy from his pictures, but I figure that me and Ruby are the only two hounds waiting. In the end my nerves finally caved in and I had to turn away from the deplaning passengers and pick up some magazine left lying around. I think I was holding it upside-down.

Someone put their hand on my shoulder and spoke my name . . . in that voice. I had prepared myself for a possible Quasimodo, and I was pretty much okay with that, I thought. Slowly, I turned around and . . .

He was beautiful, just like the laughing pictures.

© 2001 R.C. Hampton

This is the first of two parts. Read the November BENT for the conclusion.



R.C. Hampton,
former bi-ped, tells us he's been a hustler, a dancer, a dirt-bag street-creep, an entrepreneur at least a couple of times, and a soldier—and around here we believe everything he says. He's written for BENT before.We hope he keeps at it.


BENT: A Journal of CripGay Voices/September 2001