Frankie Fey

by Rigby Taylor

Chapter 18


Frankie returned to academia physically refreshed, all assignments up to date, head a ferment of plans to force the Rationalist University to be rational when it came to gender. To this end he visited Lydia Ivanovna and informed her of his strategy. She laughed, and promised to play the spy and inform the administrators of the forthcoming insurrection, firmly suggesting to the authorities that they not make fools of themselves by jumping the gun and prohibiting anything, but remain aloof until they saw how the student body reacted, and until the young revolutionary invited them to adjudicate.

'Do you think they'll give me time to sway the multitudes?'

She smiled again. 'I can be very persuasive.'

After lectures, Frankie cornered as many male students as he could, plying them with his ideas and asking their opinion about the gender-free regime. To his surprise, most of them listened eagerly and agreed to attend a male-student-only meeting to be held the following day directly after lectures. Frankie chose the Garden Lounge for its relatively small size. Better to have a few people looking like a crowd than lots looking lost in a vast amphitheatre. He needn't have worried. The place was jammed with standing room only. A large group of staunch feminists, infuriated by their exclusion, demanded entry but were physically forced out, and the doors locked. Two male staff members had been allowed to remain on condition they didn't speak.

Frankie entertained his audience with quiet good humour and logic, ending with six proposals that he hoped would grab the attention of the University Administration and trigger a genuine debate about reform. So persuasive was he that when asked to do so, every male in the room stood and repeated in unison the words on the whiteboard.

'I will demonstrate that males and females are physically different by swimming naked during lunch hour all this week!'

'I will dress as casually as females showing bare shoulders and arms, lots of leg and whatever else I feel like!'

'I will demand an interview with a male counsellor, and throw a wobbly when I can't get an appointment!'

'I will spend time in the rooms of other males, partying, laughing making sexist jokes, bursting in on female rooms and joining in their gossip!'

'Between lectures I will sit in groups with other men and make comments about passing girls!'

'I will challenge females to wrestling matches, sprinting races, tree climbing, archery—whatever activity I enjoy, and call them out if they refuse or fail to prove themselves equal!'

When the cheering died down Frankie spoke seriously. 'Remember, guys, our purpose is to stir the place up, not to damage anything or start a war. We must be enthusiastic but peaceful; determined but do no harm; offend but not be offensive. We must be real men who are proud to be male. Our purpose is to make the feminists of both genders think about the consequences of denying our differences, not to force a gut reaction that bans us. Next week, we will hold a public debate with the Administration, during which those supporting the status quo must defend their rules.'

Clapping and cheering.

'One last thing. Do not go back to your rooms alone or you'll start to have second thoughts and chicken out. Spend the night with at least one other man; the more the merrier, and keep each other's courage up. I will be at the pool at the beginning of lunch, naked, to prove to you it isn't a joke; so don't wimp out or that'll be the last time I'll take an interest in male welfare in this place.'

Suddenly serious, they promised not to let him down, and then spent the evening wandering around in groups, annoying every female they passed and keeping other inhabitants awake till late.

Only Frankie was alone. Apparently no one thought he needed support. He didn't, but would have liked company. At least Lydia had proved herself; not a peep had been heard from any staff member. He shook his head and smiled ruefully. Did he really want to go out on a limb protecting the rights of the other students? Not desperately, but it was fun. He wouldn't do it otherwise. If officialdom stayed away from the pool at lunchtime tomorrow, that would indicate he had a strong chance of winning. And then came a knock at the door.

It was one of the lecturers who had attended the afternoon meeting; Mr. Saampa, Frankie's favourite lecturer in the Drama course. A slight young man in his late twenties, intense and lean with short dark hair, a neatly manicured black beard and black-framed spectacles. Dressed in jeans and an abbreviated tank top that exposed a flat belly and attractive navel. He smiled tentatively.

'Are you alone?'


'I want to tell you that this afternoon you inspired me to stop trying to be what I imagined females and other males thought I should be, and finally be… myself!' He blurted the last word loudly as if in defiance.

'Thank you. And I see from your new mode of dress, that yourself is very attractive.'

'Thank you. Yourself is even more so.'

Frankie smiled sweetly but said nothing. He wanted Mr. Saampa to say what he came for without either prompting or assistance.

The lecturer swallowed, looked at his feet, then straight into Frankie's eyes. 'Are you so different from others that you don't need a companion to bolster your resolve?'

Frankie laughed. 'My resolve is in no danger of collapsing, thank you. But a companion would be pleasant… if it was someone I could be myself with.'

'You could be yourself with me.'

'You reckon? Well, its worth a try.' He stood to one side as an invitation for Mr. Saampa to brush past. Their fingers touched briefly. They walked to the window and stood side by side, arms just touching, gazing silently down at the gardens below.

'My name's Laurent.'

'I know, I checked the staff list.'


'Because you're one of the few lecturers I like.'

'And you're one of the few students I'd ever want to see outside class.'

'We're a mutual admiration society.' Frankie turned his head and smiled to show he wasn't being sarcastic.

'Are you just being polite, or are you pleased I'm here?'

'I'm pleased, especially as just before you knocked I was feeling nervous and insecure at spending the whole night alone… by myself…' Frankie's eyes grew wide and his cheerful manner dissolved into a soulful sigh and a somewhat melodramatic sagging onto the nearest chair.

Laurent's expression reflected almost overpowering empathy as he knelt beside the student. 'Frankie! There's no way my conscience would let me desert a young man so delicate… so highly-strung.'

'That's very kind.' Frankie dragged the back of his hand theatrically across his brow. 'Oh Laurent…forgive me but… I feel faint and… so… so tired.'

'This is clearly an urgent case! Allow me.' Laurent tore off his host's garments, tossing them aside before doing the same with his own. 'A massage is required to restore life to these manly limbs.'

'A massage… my kingdom for a massage!'

And so they fell into bed where massage became frottage and then all the other things that two healthy and fit young men love doing to each other before sleeping, then waking and doing it all again.

'I'll check the coast is clear before leaving,' Laurent said in the morning.

'Do you have to?'

'No. I would like every female in the place to know I had sex with the sexiest man on campus, then they'll stop pestering me to do it with them. But! And it's an important but. This place is not homo-friendly. You like Lydia, but did you know she is one of the loudest voices in the staff room against gay acceptance?'

Frankie frowned. 'I had no idea. You think we ought to keep it secret?'

'If you want to pass your exams and I want to keep my job, yes. Two students would be bad enough, but a student and his lecturer?' He shook his head in resignation. 'No one will make a fuss if we act like good friends in public, but they don't want to have their noses rubbed in it, as they like to say.'

A sense of excitement prevailed during morning lectures, in which significant numbers of male students wore flimsy running shorts, tank tops, Lycra wrestling singlets, sandals, even shirtless; whatever they fancied would make them look sexy or amusing or at least interesting and different from usual. It was a novel experience for youths who had been brainwashed into the belief that real men conformed to strict dress codes and took pains to conceal the very existence of their genitals.

No lecturer commented, and most other students thought it wonderful. Only a few angry and/or shocked female students protested; quickly silenced by scornful jeers from newly liberated males and genuinely delighted females.

The minute the lunch bell rang, over a hundred young men descended to the recreation pool where Frankie was bouncing on the springboard in his birthday suit, watched by the naked cherubs holding a large fish spouting water from it's mouth. The students clapped and cheered as he dived in, then tossed their own clothes onto the grass and followed him, shouting in delight, chasing each other, dunking, diving and splashing like innocent seals—revelling in the freedom and sensuous pleasure of swimming naked after a lifetime of being forced to swim in knee-length shorts that clung, chafed, filled with water, and made swimming well nigh impossible if not dangerous, and certainly not a pleasure.

Meanwhile, dozens of bikini-clad female students arrived to stare in confused alarm at such a puerile display; refusing invitations to enter the water for fear of getting their hair wet, being thrust under, or otherwise treated in an unladylike manner. When two male security guards arrived to check on the noise, they were grabbed, stripped and thrown in to join the fun.

To their chagrin, the girls, whose charms were so carefully displayed in next to nothing on the grassy banks, discovered the sexy, active, and happy young men, all with penises only a third the size they'd expected after excursions into internet porn sites, were no longer interested in them. More than one of the young women entertained the traitorous thought that it might not be so bad after all to be ravished by one or two – or even three of such cheerful young satyrs.

During the week that followed, nude bathing continued and enough of the young men did as they had promised at the meeting to create doubt about the status quo in both staff and students alike. Dozens of young men demanded an interview with a male counsellor and became hysterical when refused appointments. Visiting other male students in their rooms suddenly felt totally natural and no one could recall why they'd not done it before. Some tried sitting in groups with other men and making audible comments about passing girls, but discovered it gave no pleasure; it wasn't something men wanted to do - their natural urge was to please, not annoy. No girls accepted invitations to compete with male opponents when they realised they had to prove their claim to be the equal of men in all things, and they'd not be given any concessions because of their gender.

With Laurent's assistance, Frankie turned a drama rehearsal room into a temporary men-only lounge that was full every night with card players, a pool table, darts and loud noise and laughter. On the last night, they had a dance. They danced with each other, and that too was a hoot. More fun than they could remember.

'Why the fuck can't we have fun like this when there are girls around?' someone asked.

The answer was provided by a scrawny albino with mauve-tinted glasses whose sensitive eyes and skin precluded outdoor sporting activities and even indoor ones requiring normal eyesight. Stuart was reputed to be a genius and was universally liked for his bottomless good humour and wit.

'I've never had a girlfriend and don't want one,' he said with a smile. 'I'm one of those not so rare people who have little or no sexual libido. That frees me to watch and learn and I've come to the conclusion that I'm the luckiest man in the place. In case you hadn't realised, the point of Frankie's campaign is to remind us of the differences between males and females, some of which make it impossible for sexually mature men to behave like this when girls are present. In mixed company males are biologically wired to spend their time trying to attract a female for sex – and the sort of fun you've been having would make females dismiss you as frivolous and unsuitable husband material. The situation for females is as bad. Instincts compel them to spend virtually all their free time preparing for, and actively trying to attract a male. In other words, both sexes are too busy obeying their evolutionary mating instincts to have time for horseplay and irrelevant fun.'

'You make us sound like animals,' someone called.

'You are, and just like all higher animals, attracting and keeping a mate is a very serious business from an evolutionary point of view. Once we reach breeding age, instincts drive males to display, and females to snare the best male they can attract into sex and marriage. It's the nature of females to lure, and the nature of males to allow themselves to be lured and ultimately consumed, like so many spiders. You have my sincere sympathy.'

General laughter.

'But Frankie's not like that.'

Stuart glanced at Frankie for permission. Frankie nodded with a resigned shrug and grin.

'That's because Frankie wants a male companion, not a female, so there's none of the flirting and teasing, the saying yes and then refusing, having to buy presents and treat the other like a princess. Between men, relationships are straightforward—friendship with extras. There's no pretence, so there's no entrapment. Each understands the other, knows what pleases and what doesn't. It's a mating of equals. If I had a libido I'd prefer to be same-sex-oriented, that's for sure!

'Is there no hope for us sexy heterosexuals, oh sage?'

'I suggest you forget females until you are a hundred percent certain you want to burden yourself with a wife and children. Until then, take your friends to bed when you feel like sex. Unless you're madly in love, sex is essentially an individual sport, so who you do it with makes little difference as long as they're physically attractive and healthy. You'll save yourselves the irritation of not understanding why your partner acts the way she does, of always being in the wrong, of never pleasing, of never being quite good enough… a thousand things that make men crazy and want to beat sense into their girlfriends' heads. You'll avoid all the time and money wasted on the rituals of courtship, and not have holes pricked in your condoms.'

Howls of laughter.

'Yes, it would be funny to find the girl you've been screwing is carrying your child, wouldn't it? Loosen your prejudices, men. Be adventurous and invite your friend to your room tonight to have fun. I guarantee it'll be more relaxing and entertaining and equally as pleasurable with fewer difficulties than with your girlfriends. Hands up those who'll give it a go?'

Frankie had retired to a corner to sit in amused silence, delighted to have such excellent, if unorthodox support. He was much more relieved than he'd expected not to be a lone voice in the wilderness.

After the ribald roar of rejection died down, a few bold hands appeared in semi jest. Then a chorus of 'Go on, wimp.' 'I dare you.' 'Come on, be a man.' 'What're you afraid of?' And then a surprising number of bravely inquisitive souls declared that in the interests of science, and out of curiosity, they'd test the theory and report on the morrow—if they felt like it.

No one reported on their experience the following morning, but more young men than expected maintained a smug silence that suggested they'd taken Stuart's advice and not been dismayed by the experience.

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