The following guest post was written by BJ Sheppard in character as Liam Adams, the lovable MC in The Rainbow Connection
The Rainbow Connection Blog Tour Posts Part IV: There’s no such thing as a straight man; just a man who hasn’t met me!
Okay, so if I’m honest, this next one is actually one of my favorite tropes. I have lost many an hour trapped within the pages of the perfect story of the burly straight man who finds love with another dude. What’s not to love? But this one, especially, takes place within fiction, and very rarely pokes its head outside of the pages to exist in real life.
We’ve all read the stories, right? It’s typically college boys who are roommates. One usually bullies the other until one night, when the jock (let’s call him Talbot) sees his nerdy roommate (Timmy) in a different light. Drunk from a particularly homo-erotic frat-bake, Talbot comes back to the dorm wasted, and as he strips himself from his Abercrombie straight jacket of a t-shirt, he spies Timmy watching him as he disrobes. He pretends not to notice the boy glaring at him, pulling his tight jeans over his ham-like thighs, bending over fully so Timmy gets a good glimpse of his Adonis’s ass, displayed perfectly in a tight jock (because normal people wear jock straps recreationally). Timmy gasps, and that’s when Talbot turns to meet his eyes, slowly sliding the jock down to reveal a shaft of perfect flesh that dangles between his knees; the perfect, anatomically-correct replica of a horse’s dick, swaying in the moonlight. Without words, Timmy pulls back the covers, his boxers tented in desire, as he climbs from the bed, sinks to his knees, and like a snake, dislocates his jaw and takes all twelve of Talbot’s quivering inches down his throat.
“No girl has ever sucked me this good,” Talbot pants, as Timmy takes him again, all the way to the root.
Now hold the fuck up. I get this is fiction, but if this were a real life situation, things would play out a lot differently. Let me explain.
For starters, I’d like to invoke the spirit of Dr. Kinsey and suggest that maybe the big, muscular jock wasn’t such a straight arrow to begin with. M/M romance has a nasty habit of omitting the possibility of bisexuality when it comes to our protagonists, like the sheer thought of it might diminish the burgeoning relationship between our two MCs. It won’t, it doesn’t and it’s far more likely that big old Talbot is not only bi, but has had a few near misses with the boys from the frat/baseball team/that guy he met on grindr (as everyone and their mom has grindr these days). After wandering back into the double room he shares with the inevitably nerd-like Timmy (who in real life would likely be studying some form of art course), and reeking of beer and cheap hooker perfume from his night of heterosexual overcompensation, Talbot would take one look at the boy catching a cheeky glimpse of his “straight” roommate, walk over, whip out his perfectly average sized penis with the terrifying left bend and demand that the kid suck it. Timmy, wiping sleep from his eyes, would cock an eyebrow at the modestly sized appendage, shrug one shoulder and push his face into the bigger guy’s groin. He would wince, pull his lips from around Talbot’s dick and ask “Did you even shower today? Your balls smell like rotten cafeteria food!”
Mindful of neither his personal hygiene nor the olfactory assault he is administering to his sleepy roommate, Talbot would simply continue roughly tonsil-bashing his roommate, his unwashed jeans around his ankles, swaying drunkenly as the boy between his knees equally gags on the rough motions and tries to support the bumbling oaf who is threatening to trip over his denim ankle cuffs. Bored of the foreplay, Talbot would pick Timmy up, chuck him back on his bed on all fours, facing away, and pull down his boxers, carelessly jabbing at Timmy’s hole with his spit-slicked dick. Timmy will have to lube him up and have a full on argument about safe sex, knowing that the closeted clusterfuck trying to smash in his back doors is probably only midway through sharing his particular brand of Chlamydia with the college cheerleaders. With that sorted, Talbot will roughly enter his roommate, fuck him for a minute and a half despite the fact that Timmy is screaming in pain from the lack of warm up, and Talbot would muffle his groan as he blows his load into the condom. He will pull out, rip off his rubber, toss it in the trash and, without looking the boy in the eye, grab a towel and head for the door.
“If you tell anyone about this, I’ll fucking kill you,” he will mumble, stumbling into the hallway towards the communal shower.
Timmy will be left in bed with his ass sticky and sore from the lackluster sexual encounter, wondering why the big idiot couldn’t shower before they had their underwhelming faux-fuck.
I don’t personally understand why we love these stories so much, but I, for one, cannot get enough of the way authors manage to rose-tint the above ordeal into something beautiful and tender. This is why we need fiction. To make our fantasies come to life because, nine out of ten times, life will take your fantasy and throw it out onto the quad and into a pile of dog shit and some drunken sorority girls wine cooler vomit pile. Fiction gives us one of the most unlikely things that will ever happen, and warms us from our head to our toes with wishful thinking and epic love-story description that, in no way ever, will ever come to pass. Fiction is the real life we all wish was real.
As a gay man, I suspect other gay men might like these stories like I do as a way of boosting our self esteem. It allows us to pretend that in all the world, there could be some big hearted, donkey-dicked frat boy that would find us so irresistible they could not keep their hands to themselves; that we are so special, that out of all the boys on the planet, this straight god chose us to be with. We become the protagonist, and we believe anything is possible. Then we finish the book, adjust our eyes to the real world, and sigh as reality sets in.
Women (I’m guessing here, since I am particularly vaginally challenged) are far more open to this type of story, which makes the offering from female writers so much more epic and heartfelt. Female sexuality seems more fluid; like to address another woman as sexually appealing, or see two men together as something beautiful and intimate were much less stigmatic than men might often suggest. If you were to ever catch a straight guy admiring another male specimen, then the first thing his male buddies would think was that this dude was a homo, and that he wanted to fuck them too, despite the fact that they look like Gorbachev and Queen Victoria’s physically stunted lovechild, and have a fashion sense that is one flannel shirt away from creating an Indigo Girls cover band.
Fiction lets us forget, for just a while, that the world is nothing like it is in the stories we read. And you know what? That’s what it’s good for. So give me a fantastic, unlikely, implausible story, where everyone is perfect, the sex creates fireworks and everyone gets their HEA, and I’m one happy camper. M/M Romance. Creating the impossible in the world of our minds, where anything could happen.
If I were to take a meat cleaver to the brain and infuse my cerebrospinal fluid with strychnine, then attach my eyes to car batteries and gargle with gravel, still it would not be enough to emulate how bad I was feeling that morning. Turns out a gallon of ice cream and the trifecta of mismatched wines in the three for $10 bargain at 7-11 was not the greatest of ideas. In fact, I would claim it to be somewhere near the bottom of the list, as every jerky movement of the elevator threatened to set me to vomiting again, after only having stopped briefly an hour before. With my work shirt fastened like a noose and my Bono-esque indoor shade wearing antics, I zombie walked from the sliding doors and down the corridor, passing Lourdes’s office for fear the pitch of her voice would have my head explode like a rotten grape.
Safely tucked inside my office, I bolted the door (by lying down in front of it) and groaned loudly, like by groaning I could exorcise the demon of my classily acquired wine hangover and liberate myself from the tyranny of my own sorry state of being.
In amidst the multitude of phallus related e-mails from Marie, I clicked on one from Lourdes, bile rising in my throat at the thought of having to expend a single second more writing about the topic that had essentially ended my social life. As the window blared to life, all the tension left my body, sinking from every nerve, tendon and extraneous piece of sinew as I read the in depth analysis of my previous days effort.
Not what we discussed. But it does read better than a who’s-who of dick dives.
P.S Don’t fuck around with the brief again or I’ll castrate you. You might be my favorite employee and wine companion, but if I have to read another of your therapy sessions in this magazine, I’m likely to take us both down in a murder-suicide that will rock the ages.
Even through my impending aneurism, I still managed to laugh.
In the twilight of my most painful working day ever, with little to do but swallow ineffective painkillers and gradually rehydrate to the point of drowning, I began to look back over what had happened with Manny. If I ignored the fumble with that muscle bound shower rapist, then everything was fixable. Surely he would understand if he just heard me out, right? Or not, I guess. At that point I was singing in the clowns, knowing that boys like me don’t get our happy ever afters’, when Lourdes sauntered into my office, for some unbeknownst reason wearing a kimono, and dragging behind her the man of my dreams/the biggest fuck up of my adult life. Manny seemed to be struggling in the tiny woman’s grasp, something that made me reassess the sheer terror that resided in the booze-addled editor (*note to self: tread carefully with that one). When she had dumped the much larger man down in front of me, she smiled as if she were Santa Claus, and she was bringing the best present ever in the form of a pissed of mailman.
“Liam, you smell like the floor of a college bar,” she hissed, as I sniffed at my underarm, the hints of au de sauvignon tickling my nose hair and threatening to recommence the onslaught of my vomitty ways. Though he wasn’t looking at me, it was impossible to miss the slight smile as it escaped his mouth, try as he might to contain it. “If you’re going to become a lush, well you know I’ll be there every step of the way, but try to salvage some kind of dignity before you drag us all down.” I frowned at the woman, wishing looks could kill as she turned her attention to Manny. “And as for you Mr. Collins,” she chided, completely oblivious of the fact that his surname was Jacobs; “if you want to stay in my impeccable graces, then you will sit down and listen to what the boy has to say.”
Both of us feeling like we had just been put on probation seemed to satisfy the old dragon, as she nodded her head once, closing the door behind her as she swept away in a storm of well-meaning arrogance and Channel No.5. Manny sat down in the seat across from my own as I shyly sunk down into the leather of the chair, hoping upon hope, that now would be the moment the earth would open up and swallow me whole. I gave it a second, then two, and when it seemed like the earth’s appetite was not for skinny white boys, Manny opened his mouth.
Living a care-free party life-style, junior journalist and gay lifestyle reporter, Liam Adams thought he had it all; the money, the job, the endless supply of men in his bed. But when his work causes him to question the very foundation of the life he has built for himself, Liam finds certain areas are glaringly lacking. All it takes is one assignment to unravel the very fabric of his promiscuous antics, compounded by the arrival of a long-forgotten tryst. With the rusty screech of the mailroom guy’s trolley wheels, Liam lands head-first in the arms of something bigger; something more.
As the romance burgeons between Liam and the Mail-Manny of his dreams, each article he writes proves to uncover something new and never realized about himself, namely that all the one-night-stands in the world could never give him what he truly wants; love. In a slapstick commentary through the eyes of the world’s most hypersensitive journalist, watch as Liam’s story unfolds in the most ridiculous of fashions, leading him straight into the arms of love, via The Rainbow Connection.
BJ Sheppard Bio:
It’s always difficult to write about yourself, especially when, like me, you have no idea what you’re doing most of the time. I have always loved to write, from a very early age with some rather extravagant dinosaur fairytales to more recently when I found my writers voice and finally put it to good use. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to write a book, and since finding a genre I am comfortable in, the ideas have been pouring out of me. I hope it never stops.
In my spare time I like to hang out with my friends, write and record music and read all the books I can lay my hands on. I currently live in the south of England, but from here on out, who knows what will happen. Each day is its own.
These books are hopefully the first of many, and while there are readers enjoying my work, then there will always be new things for me to say. If you want to know any more, please feel free to contact me at any of the links below. Thank you for reading.
My name is BJ Sheppard and all at once I found myself an author. Such a strange sensation to actually feel you deserve the thing you had aspired to for many years. After all, all it took was computer access and an inner world that reads like a Sheryl Crow song to pound the keys and translate my crazy ideas onto the page. I feel like I could have business cards printed. Maybe wear a black roll neck and perch my glasses on the tip of my nose. I could drink whisky and smoke a cigar and do all those really stereotypical things I imagine all writers do. Perhaps I could get laid a little more? This is not the end. Nor the beginning. Hell, it isn’t even about me. My boys write themselves; I really don’t have that much say in the matter. As long as my characters need a voice, I have two chubby typing fingers and a need to please— watch this space: there is more to come.
7/29/14 Rhys Ford
7/30/14 Prism Book Alliance
7/31/14 Love Bytes Reviews
7/31/14 Hearts on Fire Reviews
8/1/14 Boy Meets Boy Reviews
8/2/14 MMGood Book Reviews
8/3/14 The Novel Approach Reviews
The Rainbow Connections Volume I Buy Links:
Leave a comment for BJ by 8/03/14 for a random chance to win a copy of the Rainbow Connection, Volume 1! CLOSED! Congratulations Trix!