I remember the moment perfectly. It was two weeks and six days ago, and I was out with my friend Luciano at the neighborhood bar where everybody seems to know my name. That’s when I saw him for the first time. Our eyes locked as he passed by. He smiled, turned around, approached. We spent the next hour or so talking about everything and nothing before finally exchanging phone numbers. “So cute,” I said to Luciano as we left the bar to make our way elsewhere. There was just one little problem: He was straight.
Now before I continue, let’s get something straight (pun intended): Enrique Iglesias aside, it’s never been my thing to fall for straight guys. And Enrique caught me totally off guard when I first met him at a Teen People photo shoot at the Delano Hotel in Miami. He has this way of making you feel as if you’re the only person in the room, and the several times I saw him (like above, backstage at a concert in New York City), his certain charm was in full force. But generally, I don’t do the straight and narrow. Part of what attracts me to someone is his attraction to me. Call it high self-esteem or extreme narcissism, but I am what I am.
That didn’t stop me from sending my new acquaintance a text message the next day. Last night, after two weeks and five days of our trying to arrange a second meeting, he sent me a text message saying that he would be at the Alamo, a sports bar in BA’s Recoleta barrio, at 11. See you at midnight, I responded.
I showered, primped and went out to dinner with Luciano and Andrew. Afterwards, I dragged them along to my “date.” As soon as we walked in, I wanted to turn around and go home. The place was crowded with boisterous twenty- and thirtysomethings, shouting, pushing, shoving, groping, grabbing, spilling their drinks in every direction. I wasn’t even sure I remembered what this guy looked like.
After five minutes of should I stay or should I go, Luciano spotted him. We ordered drinks and found a spot off to the side of the crowd and spent the next hour or so chit chatting, me in Spanish, he in English. So far so good. Then someone suggested that we check out the scene upstairs. I sensed something strange and unusual was about to happen, and I was right. As soon as we were upstairs, a table full of girls pounced on me. “What’s your name? “Where are you from?” “¡Que lindo sos!” “Will you kiss my friend?”
Wow, I thought, I’m definitely not in Kansas anymore. I’m accustomed to aggressive porteñas, but I had never encountered anything like this. These girls would not take no for an answer. If our genders has been reversed, they probably would have been tossed out of the bar for sexual harassment. But when the tables are turned, and the girls are on the prowl, they always get a free pass. Imagine a guy using one of Samantha’s Sex and the City come-ons. No matter how good-looking he was, he’d probably be labelled a filthy pig, get slapped or have a drink thrown in his face, and end the night jerking off solo.
I found the relentlessness of this gaggle of girls alarming and intimidating. Women in the United States, raised on The Rules, don’t behave like this — at least none of the ones I’ve encountered. Even guys in BA, as aggressive as they often are, know when to quit. I always figured that the porteñas must sense that I’m gay, otherwise they wouldn’t be so forward. But I’ve been told that this is the modus operandi for many of them whenever a decent-looking and obviously foreign guy enters the room.
For one of the few times in my life, I felt a twinge of regret — with perhaps a dash of guilt — for being gay because these girls were smoking hot. But you know, I am what I am. I grabbed my straight friend around the waist, pulled him close, and announced, “Sorry, I’m gay. Meet my boyfriend.” We smiled and gazed lovingly into each others’ eyes, as my friends observed, amused. Undeterred, the girls wanted confirmation.
“Kiss!” one of them demanded.
My straight friend and I looked at each other, shrugged, and did as we were told.
Once more we did as we were told.
Finally convinced, the girls still wanted a piece of my action.
“Will you please kiss my friend? She really likes you!”
“Sorry, but my boyfriend is very jealous.” I couldn’t speak for my “boyfriend,” but I was a little bit in heaven.
After a few more rounds of this, I knew it was time to go. On the way out of the bar, I gave one of the girls a peck on the cheek, but my heart — and my lips — belonged to my “boyfriend.” We left each other with a promise to meet up again soon, maybe next time at a gay bar. Earlier, he had told me that he wants me to take him to one, because, as he puts it, he’s “liberal.”
Who knows where this story is headed? Do straight boys kiss gay boys when there is not an Oscar or Emmy at stake. My friends think not, especially not in the middle of a straight sports bar. I’m not so sure. While living in BA, I’ve been impressed by how the sexuality of Argentine guys seems to be far more fluid than that of guys in the United States. But like Kelly Clarkson does not hook up, I do not chase straight boys. Or maybe…
To be continued…