First Time(s) 2: Roger and Steve

"Where do you want to go?"

I looked at Greg, my best friend. We'd already hit three bars, all of which were dead, dead, dead.

"NOT the Garter," I said, referring to Pensacola's infamous drag bar.

"You know, it's NOT like they can turn you gay," he pointed out.

I shrugged.

"We'll go to the beach," he said.

So there we were at the bar on top of the Holiday Inn Pensacola Beach, listening to canned disco and watching scantily clad girls flirt with airbrushed guys in too tight jeans.

And Steve, Greg's friend and manager of the bar, kept buying me gin and tonics.

"I mean, really," I said, "I can pay."

"Don't be silly," he replied, "it's my bar."

It occurred to me that Steve just MIGHT have an ulterior motive.

Not that I minded much, he was a cutie, maybe 5'8, maybe 135 lbs., silky blond hair, nice blue eyes, cute little mustache. Nice and lithe and lean, like a dancer maybe.

At 21, I was two (and a half!) inches taller and after three years in the weight room a solid 185 lbs. My delts and pecs filled my red izod polo shirt quite nicely, the banded sleeves pulling tight against my 16 inch biceps (and, yeah, I did about 10 sets of push ups before going out that evening so they were nice and pumped.)

"OK," Greg said finally, "enough of this. It's time to go home, or to the Garter, you pick."

I looked at him.

I looked at Steve.

"Ya know," I said, "I think I'm staying."

Greg laughed his inimitable laugh, a wild cackle that hit just about every note on the scale. Distinctly audible, even over the canned disco, earning him the usual "what the hell was THAT?!" looks.

"OK, babe, but it's a long taxi ride..."

Steve chimed in.

"Oh, don't worry, I'll give him a ride..."

Greg whispered in my here.

"That's for damn sure. It's a long damn ride he's got..."

So there we were back in Steve's apartment on the beach. Tasteful shag carpeting, expensive tape deck, SONY television.

"Glass of wine?" he asked.

I shook my head. I'd had quite enough by then.

"Ya know..."

He came over, put his hands on my hips.

"It's your first time, isn't it?"

I nodded.

"We'll have fun," he said, and helped me pull off my shirt.

"Ooh! Me likey! Nothing sexier than fur on muscle and you have plenty of both, young man!"

I blushed, then started pulling on his shirt.

"From what I've heard," I pointed out, "YOU are the big man around here."

He pulled it out.

"Holy Fuck!"

He was already hard as a rock, a good (I learned later) 9 inches long and 6 inches around.

"I hope you don't think you're putting that up in me," I laughed.

And he laughed, too.

"Well, maybe someday, but not tonight. We'll have practice. I have JUST the place for yours, though."

Boy, did he ever!

* * *

A year later I graduated and Steve got his big transfer, Huntington Beach, California. I went with him, not having a clue what I wanted to do. By that time I was up to 200 lbs. and I didn't seem to be slowing down.

I landed a job working in a new health club, made the pilgrimage to Mecca (Gold's in Venice), scored my first 'roids, gained 50 lbs. the first year I did him, entered my first contest and came in second, made it on a magazine cover.

Steve was delighted with his big, bodybuilder boyfriend and missed no opportunity to fuck my lights out. Of course, it quickly became obvious that he was fucking everyone else's lights out, too, a source of some tension, until I finally said, "oh, what the hell."

After three years, it was clear we were more roommates than lovers, different schedules, different sets of friends, different lifestyles really. Great friends, yes, and awesome fuck buddies but eventually we'd go days at a time without seeing each other. When he took his first vacation without me, I realized we weren't going to retire to Sunnyside Acres together in about 50 years.

"I have news," he announced one evening when we were both home. I wondered what the bottle of champagne was for!


"I've been offered my dream job -- sales manager at the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan!"

"Woo hoo, get out! That's mega cool, babe, I bet living in Manhattan is awesome...!"

He sighed.

"Well, yes, I expect it is but Roger..."

This is it, I thought.

"I really don't see you living in Manhattan, ya know? You're totally into this Southern California lifestyle. I don't know that you'd fit through doors in New York!"

I looked at him, totally serious for once.

"You know I'll go with you if you want me, too..."

He had the good grace to squirm delicately.

"Don't make this any harder, darling..."

So that was that...

* * *

Truth is, the next 10 years were awesome. Despite all our fucking around, neither Steve (I kept up with him from afar) showed any signs of having contracted that vile disease. It was awful to lose friends, and we both did, and somehow we kept pouring ourselves back into work and career and new relationships (yes, I am the man who broke up Bob Paris and Rod Jackson, what a mess that was!)

The gains kept coming, so did the contests, so did the magazine covers. Creaming Dorian Yates six years in a row was fun and every year Steve sent me a huge congratulations card.

One day I was in O'Hare walking from one gate to the next when I heard:

"Oh My God, Roger, is that you?!" followed by Greg's distinctive trilling. I couldn't believe it. I hadn't seen him for 10 years, wrapped him up in a big bear hug, and then...

"Well, hey, hey, the gang's all here!"

It was Steve.

Big, BUILT Steve!

"Jeez, man, you look like a brick shithouse," I exclaimed.

He had the decency to blush.

"Oh get over it, Mr. Olympia. I'm exactly 200 lbs., not an ounce more."

I picked him up and twirled him around.

"Which makes you what, 70 lbs. heavier than the were the last time I saw you?!"

He giggled and I knew it was true.

We headed for the United lounge and sat their drinking gin and tonics, just like the First Time. Soon enough it was time to catch our flights. I wrapped my enormous arms around their necks while an awestruck fan took our pix.

"I've missed you," I whispered in Steve's ear, then louder: "I've missed both of you!"

In first class on my flight back to Los Angeles, I was seated next to a middle aged man, beefy but well kept, obviously in good shape, quite attractive for a man in his late 40s / early 50s. I doze for a bit, then woke up and as I did so, he turned to me and said.

"So, do you compete?"

A small smile flitted across my face. Another first time, perhaps?

"Why, yes," I answered, "yes, I do...."