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    AC Benus
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The Great Mirror of Same-Sex Love - Prose - 21. Sam Steward "Doing and Done"

**warning for some very naughty content ahead**

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Doing and Done

 

The body of a man is the most beautiful creation in the world. Nothing can compare with it. There is no sculptor since the beginning of time who has not praised it above the female form. And the body lying on the floor at my feet was perfect in its repose, flawless, trim and cleanly muscled as a theorem by Euclid. Resting, with legs spread a little wide and his arm back of his head, the side muscles running above his ribs looked like the two hands of a jealous lover clutching him from behind. The black curls of his armpit entranced me like the head of Medusa. His long, slim brown fingers repeated the perfection of his body in miniature, exquisitely carved in amber or topaz.

The thorazine had worked and he lay peacefully unconscious . . . sleeping, perhaps. I stood looking at him for a minute. Know thyself, old Thales said. I thought I had a fairly good idea. I had started as hetero and gone to homo, passing bi on the way. Right now, this instant, there was a compulsion in me to touch him – and I did. I went to one knee, and stroked the swelling rise of his chest with my fingertips. His flesh was warmly alive. To say it was like satin or velvet was foolish – it was just living and vibrant and smooth beneath my hand.

I pushed the hair gently away from his forehead, wondering why I found him so attractive. And then it came to me. Without the long hair, his body was an almost exact copy of Greg Wolfson's – the cop I'd lived with in San Francisco while I went through the incredible experience of being one of the city's finest. Hair color, body size – the width of his shoulders and chest, the firm muscles in his long legs, the chest hair – almost identical. He even had the cleft in his chin that gave Greg's face its square-jawed strength, so deep I wondered how he was ever able to shave into it . . .

Damn!

Greg was really the only person I had ever come close to loving. Most of my life had been spent in the cold practical business of the sale of my body, and the hustler's usual pretense of being trade – no more. But Greg had crept under the skin, had entered a little into the chilly vault where a heart had once been warm and affectionate. He had, in a sense, helped bring me back to life, and started the blood once more flowing through the shrunken veins. And then he'd disappeared – or I had. I wondered what had become of him.

I stretched myself out on the floor beside the guy, not head to head but leaning on one elbow beside him, and with my fingertip traced a small circle around the areola of one nipple. The brown circle rose in small chill-specks of reaction and the nipple itself hardened. He turned his face slightly and a faint moan came from him – of pleasure, I hoped. Leaning, I took the brown nipple between my lips, thudding it gently with my tongue against the roof of my mouth, and reaching across with my hand to the other nipple, twisting it gently between my fingers, feeling both of them harden between my lips, between my fingers. He moved his hips slowly. Out of the side of my eye I saw his cock grow slowly larger, lifting itself in small jerking movements from his thigh. Gradually the cleanly circumcised head turned darker, almost purple, as the blood churned in its secret passages, hardening the girders of the shaft and flooding the crown. What was happening to my own cock, confined severely within my tight-drawn chinos, made me uncomfortable. I reached down to my crotch and unzipped the fly to give myself more room. Unhampered by shorts, my cock sprang from the opening, and I felt I could breathe again.

With my tongue flattened I licked at his belly, feeling the roughness of the wide hairline that ran down from his navel, thickening as it approached his crotch. With my left hand I cupped his balls. They were firm and hot, already drawn tightly up to the base of his cock in anticipation.

I paused then, wondering just what the hell I was doing. I was a hustler, not a fruit. It was my cock and body that people rented, paid for – and here I was, doing to my unknown spaced-out companion the thing that had always been done for me. Of course, it wasn't the first time I'd sucked a cock – not by a long shot. But in the past the ones I'd sucked had always been attached to people I was sure I'd never see again, or to those who would keep quiet about it (having just as much to lose), or those who did not really matter. A top-grade hustler has to preserve his image and illusion at all costs.

But there was his cock, a few inches from my eyes, curved, bending left, a pearl slowly forming at the tiny slit. It was too much to resist, and his helplessness – or unawareness – made him all the more fascinating. I put out my tongue and gently licked the drop away, tasting the marine flavor. And then I opened my mouth wide and took the head of his cock inside. The rim of it was hot and soft, its shape like a small helmet touching the roof of my mouth and the top of my tongue at the same time. Using a slow sort of inchworm technique, I worked the rest of it into my mouth with a heavy lip pressure, down and down, until the head hit -- and passed through -- the red ring of membrane at the back of my throat. I forced my mouth farther, holding my breath, until the head touched the back wall of my throat, cutting off my air.

My unknown unknown moaned and moved. His hands slid slowly down his body to my head, and lost themselves in my hair. And then I began to suck, head rising and falling, tongue fluttering over the head of the cock at the withdrawal moment. I turned my head sidewise and edged my tongue into the slit of his cockhead, and slid it around and around the helmet-edge. The pressure of his hands increased at the back of my skull. He pushed with considerable force until his pubic hair was rough against my face.

“Oh man . . . man . . . ” he moaned. “Oh . . . ”

What visions fled through his head, or how high he still was, I had no way of knowing. Or caring. This was what I wanted, right at this moment. I increased the speed of the rise and fall, taking his cock to the vets root, faster and faster, marveling as always at the strange sensation of hard-soft that I felt inside it. My hand clutched his balls more tightly, pressing up against le petit pont, the little bridge between his balls and asshole.

He pushed harder against lily head and began to move his hips up and down, each upward movement thrusting his cockhead against the back of throat. I felt him raise his knees and bend them, so that his feet, flat against the carpet, gave him more leverage. My eyes were watering but I did not stop. His crotch grew slick with his and his sweating and the little saliva trickling down, and his movements increased in speed. His breathing was deep and fast.

The moment was at hand. Suddenly his body arched upward into the great drawn bow of orgasm, and his hands forced my head tight against his groin while his cock spurted again and again. There was no place for his gyzym to go but down, almost choking me with the hot bursts flooding my mouth and throat. I swallowed it.

“Oh . . . man,” he whispered. “That . . . was . . . wonderful.”

And then came the “little death,” the tension flowing out of his muscles as he relaxed. I kept his cock in my mouth, making small, gentle movements. As it softened, slowly, ever so slowly, I drew it out. He exhaled a great sigh and put his hand under his head, against the grey carpet. He opened his eyes and smiled.

I slapped him on the belly. “And now, man,” I said, “lie still. I'm gonna get you an oshiburi hot towel.”

“What's that?"

“You'll see."

I got up from the floor and went to the bathroom, and turned on the hot water. Some of his pearly moistness was still wet around my lips. I wiped it off with the back of my hand and looked at it, and then licked it off. I opened the bottle of leather cologne and shook a lot of it on a hot, wet washcloth. I went back into the living room and swabbed the cloth gently over his nipples. Then I opened it and spread it over his cock, massaging it gently, feeling it still full and heavy. I looked down at his handsome face.

“You like it?” I asked.

“Best . . . ” he said dreamily. His bass voice seemed to come from a deep well. His eyes were deep and dark and friendly. He took hold of my biceps through the leather jacket and his grip was surprisingly strong. “Thanks a lot,” he said.

“I don't do it often,” I said. “Mostly, it's the other way around. I get done.”

He raised up on one elbow and looked at me. “Why'd you do it for me?”

I shook my head. “Dunno,” I said. The reason was fairly clear to me, but it wasn't the time to say it. Somehow I felt that this dude might not approve of hustling. “Maybe because . . . I wanted to,” I said. “Or maybe because you're handsome or reminded me of somebody. Maybe you've got that mysterious X quality, that sex appeal.”

He grinned. “Somebody told me that once before,” he said, without any boasting in the statement.

“He was right.”

Then his whole mood seemed to change. He looked around at the bookcases and hi-fi, the grey drapes covering one whole wall, the few pieces of statuary. “Nice pad you got here,” he said.

“It'll do,” I said.

He yawned and stretched his arms above his head, his muscles flickering and dancing over his well-made body. “I’m clear down now,” he said. He looked around. “Where's my clothes?”

I pointed to them on the sofa, where I'd folded them into a neat pile.

“You sure helped me out, pal,” he said.

I shrugged. “No more than anyone would do. I was just there first.”

“I oughtn't to take that goddamned stuff,” he muttered.

“You runnin' from something?” I asked.

He looked at me. He drew up his knees, crossed his hands down around his calves, and lowered his head. “l really don't know,” he said, basso vibrato. “I guess . . . well, maybe it's just this whole fucked-up messy job of living.”

“What do you do?” I asked. “What's your line of work?”

He shook his head. “I haven't got any.”

“A good-lookin' stud like you?” I said. “You could do almost anything. How about hustlin'?”

“You mean men and women? For money?”

"Either or both," I said. ' 'Yeah, for bread.'

He shook his head again, slowly. “I . . . couldn't,” he said. “I guess I'm too . . . straight. Puritan. 'Moral'?” The last had a question behind it.

“A puritan who smokes dope?” I said in disbelief. “Impossible, man.”

“It's that narrow background,” he said. “Kansas, right in the bible belt.”

“Bodies are made to be used. There's pleasure in 'em. From 'em. An old idea.”

“Yeah, I've heard. Pretty wise. Didn't Socrates say, 'Know thyself'?”

“Nope,” I said. “Thales of Miletus. Greek. Like me.”

“I wondered,” he said.

“Except he said it was a hard thing to accomplish.”

“Do you know yourself?” he asked.

That rocked me about as much as my question about what he was running from, but I tried not to show it. “I'm not sure, man,” I said.

He smiled. “Well, then,” he said.

That made me a little defensive. “Well, I'm makin' a living,” I said.

“What do you do?”

I avoided the truth. “l work in the City,” I said. “San Francisco. Nights.”

He shrugged, the muscles of his broad, smooth back doing a fascinating interplay. Damn, he was good-looking! I felt a little jealous. His hair was straight and long, mine short and curly – both the same shade. The definition of his muscles was marked, and so was my own. I felt a kind of rivalry, deep within – a competition. I'm sure he didn't. He seemed very calm and quiet, and a broad and easy complacency lay on his untroubled forehead.

“Where do you live?” I asked.

He lifted his shoulders. “Anywhere there’s a mattress,” he said, very bass.

I tsked. “No work, no pad,” I said. “How do you live?”

He smiled. “No one ever really starves,” he said. “Friends help.”

“Are you ever going to work?”

“Oh sure,” he said. “I'm lookin' for a job right now.”

“You ever had one?”

“Yeah,” he said. “I was a security guard once, a patrol company. It didn't last long. All my friends got too scared of me.” Man, that voice!

“You can make new ones,” I said. “Me, I was a cop once in San Francisco.”

He looked shocked and disturbed. “Fuzz?” he said. “Why'd you give it up?”

The whole black episode came back to me and I squirmed mentally. “Oh, a lot of reasons,” I said. “For one thing, I got a better job in Chicago . . . ”

Suddenly I saw myself again in a cop's uniform, standing in front of a full-length mirror, trousers creased, coat pressed, all spit and polish, admiring myself like a dark-clad Narcissus. Boots black and shining, cap on the bridge of my nose . . . tough with studied gestures . . . with a symbol of authority flaming around me, cock as ready and easily out as my nightstick. It was about the only fantasy I had left.

I shook my head and was suddenly back in Berkeley, three years later, sitting on the floor of my pad beside a good-looking naked young man who stared at me quizzically. “Where you been, man?” he asked. “You were miles away.”

“In distance, yeah, and years in time,” I said, getting to my feet. He rose along with me, standing easily with the loose-jointed pose of the young. “How old are you?” I asked.

“Twenty-five,” he said. “How about you?”

I let out a deep breath. “At least a thousand,” I said. “But according to your calendar, twenty-eight, the far end of the rotting twenties.”

He laughed and put an arm around my shoulders. “Just the way I like 'em, man,” he said.

Somehow that display of affection embarrassed me, although at the same time I liked it, thinking of Greg again, possibly. My unknown's face was very close to mine. I felt myself tensing instinctively. And suddenly his lips were on mine, parted, his tongue sliding against my tight-clenched teeth. I had one hand against his belly and was aware that I was pushing him back.

He gave way and drew his head a little off from mine, looking puzzled. “Why, man?" he asked gently.

I lowered my head and shook it slowly. “I – really . . . don't know,” I said. “I guess that in my world you just don't kiss.”

He laughed. “Wow, man, you're a wonder! Here you are – you give me a blowjob and then you're afraid of a kiss. You're all tied up in little blue French knots. I think you're afraid of affection,” he said. “Of . . . love. You think it's a weakness. You feel you've gotta pretend you're not queer.” He took his arm from my shoulder and cocked his head sidewise. “You know what?” he said. “You oughta be more natural. You really are afraid of love, and that means just one thing . . . ”

“Yeah, I know,” I said irritably. “I'm unsure of myself. Insecure. Really . . . mixed up.”

“Well," he said, very basso, “I'm sure as hell gonna have one little try at unmixing you.” He stepped closer and put both arms around me. This time I did not pull away. He slid one hand up to the back of my head and kissed me again. I opened my mouth. His warm, wet tongue entered between my lips, ran sidewise back and forth between lips and teeth – and then, with our mouths pressed tightly together, I felt the suction he was creating, drawing my own tongue deep into the hot, dark cavern of his mouth, clamping tightly against it with his lips – sucking on it, now firm, now soft and compelling – and fighting a duel with his own tongue, over and under, engaging and releasing.

I enjoyed it, really enjoyed it. It occurred to me that this was only about the third time I had ever seriously kissed a man. I knew that I liked it because I grew acutely aware of my own cock, hard and tense, forcing itself straight up and touching the barrier of my belt. He felt it too, against his groin. He released my lips and laughed, and put one hand to my crotch, squeezing me gently.

“Where's the bed?” he asked, lips close to my ear.

I moved my hand in the direction of the bedroom, and he led me to it.

He began to undress me slowly, slipping the leather jacket off my shoulders, unbuckling my belt, rolling down my chinos, removing my boots and T-shirt. I did not help him. I felt almost like a woman. Up to this point I had always been the male, the aggressor, even though in a curious way I had been passive, letting my “clients” do all the active work of sex. But one thing had always been mine to do – undressing myself. This passivity – weakness, whatever it was – was very odd to me.

Gently, firmly, he pushed me back on the bed, lifting my legs and swinging them around so that I lay full length on it. And then he started in.

The shock of contact – ever-old, ever-new – made me gasp. Men had worked on me, thousands of mouths had explored all my body – and yet there was always something exciting and unfamiliar about a new mouth on me. This guy's tongue actually seemed electric. Where it passed over my body it created small tinglings as if a current went from it through my flesh.

He began at my feet, licking the soles and ankles and up over the arches, and then taking my toes into his mouth – at first separately and then three or four together. Gradually he made his way upward, first on one leg and then the other. The pores all over my body rose in a delicious shivering. He skirted my cock and balls, and with much saliva and a wide, flat tongue he licked my belly until it was smooth and slick, and I could feel the exciting rasp of his beard-mark through the slipperiness on my skin. Then, like a panther springing, he leaped up to my nipples, first to one and then the other, drawing into his mouth so much of the skin surrounding them that I felt like a woman with breasts. He straddled me, his own cock erect again, and pushed my arms up and back, burying his face in the tangle of the left armpit and then the right, and licking, always licking, sometimes slow and sometimes fast.

I was really aroused, in body as well as brain. With my clients it had usually been a question of simple friction – their mouths on my cock, or it encased somewhere – and that was enough to make me come, cold and unmoved but nonetheless reacting to the sliding pull of mouthflesh around my prick, pretending with all the thrashing and moaning to enjoy their work. Now it was different. I felt my heart pounding and my breathing short and fast. My head turned from side to side in an exquisite agony, and behind my tight-clenched eyelids there slipped a fantasy – I saw Greg astride me, doing what he wanted, using me . . . and deep within my groin, extending clear to my toes and fingertips, I felt the old familiar fire-flowers beginning to unfold, the soft flutterings of feathers .

Damn, was I going to come without ever feeling his mouth on my cock?

He sensed that I might and quickly left my armpit, lowering his head (his long hair gently caressing, almost tickling, my groin and belly) and taking my cock into his mouth all at once, deeply, firming his lips like a hot ring at its base. I was alone on an island in the hot sun, my cock buried in the burning sand (yet how strangely wet and slippery) and someone - a black-clothed Greg? – was astride me. No, not right . . . This other one, this stranger, hair gently caressing my pubic area, had filled his head with pure heat, his mouth like the inner core of a tiny sun, and the flesh of it did not seem to touch my cock at all save where I felt the tip-end of it at the back of his throat – and I came, blinded, panting, mouth squared in the aching ecstatic agony of the orgasm, pumping my gyzym again and again into the flaming core of the sun of his mouth . . . The sky fell, the earth quaked, and lightning flashed behind the tight-pressed curtains of my eyelids.

Then I was there on the bed again, my right leg quivering uncontrollably, my hands hard against the back of his head. He stopped the movements of his skilled tongue save for a delicate little drift of butterflies over the head of my cock, a gentle pressure of the tiny smooth cobble-stones of his teeth along the sides.

He lifted his head, and in the gloom I saw him smiling. “Enjoy?” he asked.

“Oh ... nnh . . . ” I could think of nothing to say. It was one of the rare times when sex had not been mechanical with me, when my whole being had flamed with the inexpressible rapture of the orgasm.

He lay down beside me and put one arm across my chest, his lips softly nibbling at my shoulder. “You see how it can be?” he said. “You're really a sensualist. A hedonist. You really like it.”

“When it's done . . . properly,” I said. I turned my head. “You're a sensualist too, even with all that bull about your bible-belt background.”

“Yeah, I guess I am,” he said in his deep voice. “But do you see why I couldn't ever do it for money? Cold . . . no love . . . ”

I hated that damned word, and grew tense when he said it, even caught up as I was in relaxed enjoyment. He yawned and sat up in bed.

“Well,” he said, “time to go. I hate to screw and scram.”

I have never made hair-trigger decisions, and usually not said things I have regretted a moment later. But somehow—well, I thought I saw him vanishing, and thinking of Greg again, I suddenly said, “Would you like to stay with me a coupla days until you get settled or find a job?”

His black eyes sparkled. “Sure, man,” he said. “But you don't know me.”

“I’ll take a chance,” I said. “Trust the old intuition.” Crazy for sure. A stiff cock wears blinders.

“But,” I said.

“Yes . . . what?”

“If it means that there's going to be any . . . ” That damned word! I started again. “If it means that either of that is going to . . . if we're likely to have . . . to fall . . . "

“ . . . in love?” he said, amused.

“Yeah, damnit!” I growled. “If there's any chance of that, then it's no go.”

“No chance,” he said, still smiling, “not when you've made such a prejudgment against it. It'd be okay to have sex occasionally, wouldn't it? You said so yourself that's what bodies are for. No, the kind of love I'm interested in is wider. Takes in everything, not just two people.”

I considered that for a moment, thinking of St. Francis and Wordsworth's pantheism and Shelley's universal love, and saw what he meant. Then I said, “Okay, man, if that's what's in your mind, you're welcome to stay here for a while.”

“ . . . until I can find something to do,” he added.

“Yeah,” I said absently, still wondering if I had been foolish. “We'll see how it works out. But I hope you'll stop leaning on dope or anything like it.”

He sighed. “I'll try,” he said, and then asked, “even grass?”

I shook a negative at him. “Nah, that's all right.”

“Well, we all need a crutch of some kind. Maybe you can be mine temporarily.”

“Sure,” I said. “And you can be mine.” Then I thought of something. “By the way,” I said, “what's your name?”

He laughed. “Larry Johnson,” he said. “What's yours?”

“Phil Andros,” I said. And then I laughed too. “You think after all this we oughta shake hands?”

—Sam Steward[i]

1972

 

 

 

 

 

 


[i] “Doing and Done” Sam Steward [under pseudonym Phil Andros, the name of the title character], chapter 2 of the novel Renegade Hustler (San Diego 1972) – later reprinted under the title Shuttlecock

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Copyright © 2021 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

The genre of Gay Fiction is rather artistically tight compared to other areas of prose. This can be attributed, in my opinion, to the style of one writer who appeared just at the moment young LGBT people rioted to end oppression at the Stonewall Inn. Sam Steward’s work – whose Phil Andros novels began to appear in 1966 – exerted direct and tremendous influence on the famous members of the Violet Quill, who organized right after Stonewall to advance getting published in a hostile, straight-enforcing business field. Steward’s remarkably clean aesthetic, and his balance of satire, humor, seriousness, emotional development, and sex shaped the nascent work of Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, Felicie Picano, Christopher Cox, Michael Grumley and George Whitmore, and through them, the generations of Gay writers who have followed, even if these writers have never heard of Sam Steward.

BTW, I would recommend Justin Spring’s 2010 biography and study of Steward’s work to anybody (“Secret Historian”). It is amazingly well composed and reveals just how much Steward material exists waiting to be published, like his translation from the French of Querelle by Jean Ganet.    

Edited by AC Benus
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Thanks for both this exquisite passage,  and for your illuminating comments on it. I, for one, now have a deeper understanding of what I may have read.  

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I don’t think I can adequately express how much I am getting out of both the poetry and prose! I find myself pondering your comments, following your links and then wandering around in new, exciting, uncharted (for me) territory. I look forward to each and every new posting. 

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3 hours ago, Parker Owens said:

Thanks for both this exquisite passage,  and for your illuminating comments on it. I, for one, now have a deeper understanding of what I may have read.  

Thanks, Parker. I hope you found some passages to be truly beautiful, as I do. And this chapter opening by comparing a beautiful, naked male form to a theorem by Euclid should have tickled you! :yes:

 

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2 hours ago, 84Mags said:

I don’t think I can adequately express how much I am getting out of both the poetry and prose! I find myself pondering your comments, following your links and then wandering around in new, exciting, uncharted (for me) territory. I look forward to each and every new posting. 

Thank you, 84Mags! This is "perfect" feedback and encouragement, as it's exactly what I could wish a reader to do: check things out for themselves. The entries I post here are usually just the tip of their particular iceberg :)

Thanks again, and happy reading

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