To write about the early Seventies in San Francisco I’ve had to go back to a time when we changed the sexual landscape of America. The first to arrive were the sexually adventurous like me who put play ahead of job and sometimes love because San Francisco had no rules and the establishment had no idea what was going on. Like my mother for whom homosexuality simply didn’t exist in real life,to them we were harmless men who salvaged real estate and partied in dresses or full leather.
We re-imagined masculinity and brought sexuality out of the closet. Our churches were the baths; our rituals sucking, fucking and fisting. By exploring ancient religious practices and drugs we found ways of connecting man to man unlike anything in recorded history. (Something like it may have existed but records of its existence have been destroyed.)
Some of our “leaders” who like to enumerate the number of men they lost do those men a great disservice. What was lost was the dearest of men many of whom were sexual artists trained in a tradition of generosity and graciousness. In those years I was not “having sex;” we were allowing each other to grow into our sexuality with dignity. Today when I go through profiles online what I miss are those artists, like seeing reports of a plane with an orchestra of virtuosos that crashed into the face of a mountain