Kaiser's Pack - Next Gen

by Bensiamin

Chapter 9

The weather continued to warm with occasional light rains, so the grass and weeds continued to grow! Both boys did their yard work chores on Saturday, and Jerrod picked Roger up about three o'clock in the afternoon so they could take Kaiser for a walk at Oaks Bottom Park. They did the entire loop to give him a workout, knowing he'd be home alone most of the evening, even though they'd arranged with their neighbor to drop over about nine o'clock and let him out in the back yard for a pee break.

They took a nap together, and Kaiser curled up on his bed. After cleaning up, they left about six thirty for the evening. Jackson knew of a local restaurant a block away from the Aladdin, which meant they only had to find parking once. The meal was good, and they were in their seats in the theater by seven forty-five. David had prepped them that jazz may not be their cup of musical tea. "I'm just saying, set your expectations. If they play some old classics with a beat, you'll dig it. The more recent contemporary jazz compositions, like Miles Davis, you'll probably find slow and meditative. Go with the flow and focus on the musicians, how they play, the sounds they can make together." The boys smiled and nodded.

The band came on a few minutes before eight and did a final tune up while the audience settled down. Then Dr. Yanowitz stepped up to the main microphone and welcomed everyone. "We're honored to be here. We're a local jazz band and think we're pretty good, but we don't play live that often, so to have the Aladdin invite us is a big deal and great compliment!"

The audience applauded, and Yanowitz went on. "Tonight's show will have a wide range of jazz styles for you, since the genre has such a huge range. We'll do some old classics, some more contemporary material, and in the second half we'll do some fun stuff as well. Is everyone okay with that approach?"

The audience applauded again, and that secured their commitment to the band's performance. They played well together and were clearly talented and seasoned musicians. They played a number of classics that included Mack the Knife , the Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie arrangement of It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing (even though David thought the lead singer was straining to try and sound like Armstrong), then they moved on to Horace Silver's arrangement of Song For My Father. David was impressed with the range of early jazz songs, and especially liked that they closed the first set with In The Mood , the Glenn Miller classic. That set a nice upbeat vibe to end with.

They got up and walked outside to stretch their legs during intermission, then bought four glasses of wine on the way back in and settled down for the second half.

Yanowitz introduced the second set as starting off at a slower pace with a few of the classic contemporary jazz compositions. They included John Coltrane's Giant Steps followed by Flamenco Sketches by Miles Davis from the Kind of Blue album. Their trumpet player was very good, and the Miles Davis feel was definitely in the room. After that they took a minute to recover and reset themselves, and then Yanowitz stepped back up to the microphone.

"Many of you know I'm a doctor, and some of my patients know I play sax in this band, but I will tell you that it's very few of my patients who come to hear me play. That's okay, because most of my patients are children, and they're not into jazz… yet!"

The audience laughed, enjoying the personal story.

"But, I recently had a patient who's a teenager with a very scary condition that fortunately was treatable and he will outgrow it."

Jerrod reached over and took Roger's hand and squeezed it hard.

"I'm telling you this story for a reason. The second time this patient was in my office he asked about a poster on the wall. You good folks won't know this, but I have an autographed poster from Sting's Bring On The Night tour, and it was signed by Branford Marsalis. He played tenor sax for Sting's band then, just like I do here. Except, of course that Branford is an exceptionally gifted musician and I'm just a hack!"

The audience laughed again, getting into the story.

"I met Branford because Johnny T, our bass player, is from New Orleans and he introduced us. At any rate, this patient and I got talking and he thought it was pretty unusual that a doctor played in a band. And even more unusual that he had an autographed posted by a famous sax player on his wall. And that's true, it is. So, I told him the story and we talked a little bit about Sting's jazz phase and Branford's amazing playing. And that's why we're dedicating this next song to my patient, Roger, who's in the audience tonight. It's Sting's song Moon Over Bourbon Street , and I hope I can even approach Branford's playing abilities."

Roger was stunned, his eyes wide, even as Jerrod squeezed his hand again. The band then launched into a terrific rendition of Sting's classic jazz song.

Listen to the YouTube video of Moon Over Bourbon Street by Sting's Bring on the Night band with Branford Marsalis on tenor saxophone


The crowd went wild, and that included Roger and Jerrod . Yanowitz then stepped back to the mic after he'd caught his breath and said, "Glad you like that song. You're a great audience. Now, we're going to have a little fun. You know, jazz is a wonderful and sophisticated music genre, but most people either don't know about it or haven't been exposed enough to appreciate it. Some interesting things happened a few years ago. You'll remember that we have a President who plays saxophone. Bill Clinton made history when he played sax on the Arsenio Hall talk show during his first campaign, so we're going to play a band arrangement of the old Elvis song he played that night, called Heartbreak Hotel. Some of you may be old enough to remember it. We're going to follow that with another jazz song he made famous by playing it at the White House on the 40 th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, and that one's called Nobody Loves Me. Here we go!"

The audience loved both songs with their contemporary relevance, and then after they'd calmed down, Yanowitz came back to the mic and thanked them for their appreciation. He said, we're going to close the show tonight with another classic. It's the song I think is most representative of American jazz, and that's Dave Brubeck's Take Five ."

The audience roared, and the band took off. They played it well, and the applause at the end filled the auditorium, and was followed by a standing ovation.

Roger asked if they could hang around in the lobby for a few minutes to see if Yanowitz came out, and after a while he did. He was looking around for his patient, spotted him and came right over. "How's my favorite patient?"

"Pretty great now, I have to say."

Yanowitz smiled. "Good. And what did you think?"

Roger's eyes gleamed and he smiled back. "You're not bad for a doc! And thanks so much for the dedication. That was really special."

Yanowitz laughed out loud. "I guess that means I'll get a passing grade. You're welcome for the dedication, and thanks for being here. You, too, Jerrod. Now tell me, who are these gentlemen accompanying you tonight?"

They introduced David and Jackson, and all chatted about the performance for a few minutes before they broke up and said goodbye. On the drive home David was lauding Yanowitz's playing ability. "You understand he requited himself well playing Branford Marsalis' part in the Sting song, but then he did it again in the Brubeck song. Brubeck composed it, and he played sax himself, so it's not what you'd call a beginner's piece."

Roger simply said, "I loved it," and snuggled up next to Jerrod.

After they'd walked Kaiser down the block and said goodnight to David and Jackson, Jerrod was in bed and watched Roger walk into their bedroom naked. He grinned widely, held his arms out to his soulmate, and as he caught Roger falling into his arms he said softly, "Want to Take Five ?"

They slept a little later than usual the next morning, but Jackson took Kaiser out and David had breakfast ready when they sauntered into the kitchen. They made it to the hospital a few minutes early and Suzanne and Rufus were still in the dog training room. They chatted for a minute, Jerrod gave her their application for the summer dog therapy position, and both teams then headed up to their assigned floors to see patients.

David picked Matt up before noon and they stopped for a quick lunch, then headed to the house in Sellwood. Jackson was shopping and running some errands. The plan was that after Matt and David had their session, Jackson would take Matt for another cruise in the Challenger.

They settled down at the kitchen table with a coffee apiece and David smiled as he said, "Now, turning to the matter at hand, I have to tell you how impressed I am with the approach you're taking."

Matt was caught off guard. "Really? My approach? I don't know what you mean."

"Well, Jerrod filled me in on your conversations since we met last Sunday, and the extent to which you shared with him and Roger… and even Nate, what we discussed. I am complimenting you on your transparency."

"Oh, that. I mean, I'm not making light of it, but I guess Jerrod and Roger have convinced me that the best approach is the one you guys use in this house, namely, no secrets. So, I pretty much told them everything, about how you helped me understand my homophobia was compensating for an adult man abusing me, and how I finally got it about being emotionally numb and how the Pink Floyd song was the trigger. Is that what you mean?"

"Precisely. For most people subjects like those are challenging enough, or painful enough, that they choose not to talk about them. Even with their family or close friends. You are doing the opposite, and it's not only commendable, it's very healthy, in terms of resolving all this stuff and putting it behind you."

Matt smiled, slightly embarrassed, and said, "Thanks. I told you I realized how much better it feels to be happy and be loved. So, if transparency, if that's what it's called, is part of the deal, then that's what I'm doing."

"Now, tell me where physical confrontation with your former football teammates fits into the picture."

"I should have figured they'd tell you about that, too. Well, it started out with harassment, you know, taunts about how I must be gay 'cause I'm hanging out with two gay guys. They're so stupid, those football dudes! I wasn't going to let that stupid stuff get to me. Then it turned into them making gross personal remarks about Jerrod and Roger. That was it for me. I'm not just going to stand there and let them trash my best friends."

"I understand that, especially if those guys are that lacking in comprehension and understanding. You know you just described Jerrod and Roger as your best friends, don't you?"

"I do, 'cause they are. I've hung around with a bunch of different guys in high school, but I've never had close friends like this. Guys that are so honest and care about me and, and… do all this stuff to help me. It's not just bullshitting and hanging out doing dumb stuff, you know?"

Matt paused, David waited, and then he went on, "When we got together on Tuesday, when I told them about our last session and what I was figuring out, at the end, I tried to tell them that I loved them, and I couldn't get it out. They knew what was going on and told me it was okay, then they both told me they're my friends and love me. That was major."

"Were you finally able to express how you were feeling?"

"Yeah, then I was able to tell them I loved them, too. I'd never said that to a guy before."

"Have you said it to anyone before, except your mom, or maybe your brother?"

Matt suddenly felt defensive. "Well, no. I mean, I've told my mom. And Jerrod told me a couple of weeks ago I probably needed to tell them both again. He was right that I hadn't done it in a long time… I mean so long my Mom acted surprised. But guess what? It felt good, and Jerrod was right."

"It was good advice," David said, "and you were right to take it and act on it. That means you're moving out of that defensive shell that goes along with being emotionally numb. Meaning you're both feeling things and starting to express how you're feeling to other people. That's a lot of how humans really relate."

"I'm figuring that out, and changing how I'm acting. I like Eric and Kim a lot, too. Who knows, before too long maybe I'll tell them I love them both, too."

"That would be very cool, if you mean it."

"I do. They were there for me, too, and I'm not as close to them as Jerrod and Roger, but they're really good guys. They always treat me like I'm one of their best friends, too."

"Kind of nice, isn't it? To have really good friends like that, ones you know care about you, that you share values with, and you can trust and depend on."

"Oh yeah. It's like living a whole new life or something."

David paused, smiling broadly, then said, "Can I ask you something else personal that relates to this and what we've talked about before?"

Matt nodded, without a look of concern on his face.

"Have you ever loved a girl or been close enough to a girl to tell her you loved her?"

Matt was quiet, then he swallowed and said, "No. I mean, I've had a few dates and stuff, but never gone steady or even dated a lot. I told you that before."

"Why do you think that is?"

"Well, we started talking about it last Sunday. It's kind of like not having any real close guy friends, isn't it? I mean the emotionally numb bit, being closed down and stuff like that."

"Would you like to date regularly or have a girl friend?"

"Yeah, like everyone else, but it just hasn't happened."

"Any thoughts on why it hasn't?"

"If you mean 'have I ever thought about why it hasn't happened?' then the answer is no. If you mean whether I'm starting to figure out why it hasn't happened, then, yes, it's starting."

"Want to tell me about it?"

"Well, it's kind of the same thing, isn't it? If I've been emotionally numb and closed down so no girl's gonna want to be with me, and I'm basically behaving like I don't want to be with any of them? Is that what you mean?"

"Pretty much, and good on you to be able to summarize it so simply. There's another element in there I'd like you to think about. Last Sunday we talked about how your bullying gay kids was a defensive reaction to having been abused by a man. To prove to yourself you're not gay. Do you think there's anything sexual about why you've been so distant with girls?"

Matt looked confused. Finally, he said, "I don't get it. I mean, I don't understand what you're saying."

David smiled soothingly again and said, "I'm just asking if you've been doing any thinking about how you feel about sex. I don't just mean the feeling when you get off either! You know that I mean getting into a relationship with a girl usually starts out with physical and emotional attraction. If all goes well, it develops into a more intense and permanent relationship. We talked last Sunday about eventually getting married and having a family, remember?"

Matt nodded.

"So, having a family requires having sex, does it not?"

"Well, yeah. I still don't understand where you're going with this."

"I'm trying to understand whether something is preventing you from getting close to girls, if you want to marry and have a family eventually, those are the dynamics, and it requires reciprocal physical and emotional attraction."

"I never thought about it. I mean, why would I? I guess I just… oh, I get it! You're asking me how I could have this kind of future dream about marriage and family and kids and be totally disconnected now with the things that make that happen. Is that it?"

"Pretty much. You've got to be able to be open, to share feelings to build that emotional bond, don't you think?"

Matt nodded.

"You've also got to have sex to produce kids, right?"

Matt nodded again.

"So, what I'm trying to understand is if you've got some kind of hang up about sex, and if that's what has been part of what kept you from relationships with girls. Or, if it's pretty much all been because of being emotionally numb and not sharing feelings with other people."

Matt was quiet, his forehead furrowed as he concentrated. Finally, he looked up and said, "You know, David, I don't know. I can't tell you. Maybe that's how screwed up I am."

David reached across the table and took Matt's hand. "This isn't about you being screwed up. All this stuff happened to you as the result of trauma, and it builds in layers over time. In terms of where you are now, it's about unpacking the layers and seeing if there's a problem there or not. Maybe I should take another approach."

He paused, and when Matt looked up and smiled wanly, he continued. "Okay, I'm going to start at the other end of the issue. The subject is sex. However, sex doesn't exist in a vacuum. It exists within family dynamics and tribal practice and cultural norms and religious beliefs. My impression is that your family wasn't religious and didn't attend church… well, maybe Christmas and Easter. Is that right?"

"Pretty much. We'd go once in a while, but it always felt uncomfortable because we didn't go often. It was mainly Mom, wanting me and Nate to get some religious teaching or whatever. I don't think Dad believed in it."

"That's not uncommon, especially in Oregon, which has a pretty high percentage of non-believers compared to other states. So, that means you don't have this solid religious foundation about sex to deal with. Still, here's the point. Think back to America's founding and the Mayflower. Do you remember who the people on the Mayflower were?"

Matt shook his head.

"They were Pilgrims, and along with the Puritans, they were fleeing religious persecution in England. They were ultra-conservatives, and that's where the term puritanical come from. If you had to read The Scarlet Letter in English Lit then you know what I mean. In terms of religion, it means that theologically they were Calvinists, but they had a very constrained view of sex. It was basically dirty, almost perverted, essentially just something couples did to have children. It certainly wasn't something meant for pleasure. Along with that ethic of sex came the underpinnings for some other things that are uniquely American, like individual liberties, and self-reliance, equal opportunity, economic competition and free markets, a jaundiced view of authority and hierarchy… all of which became part of what we now call representative government and the American way. The point is that it wasn't all bad. However, there was this one area that was bad, and it pretty much stuck in American culture from the beginning, and that was their view of sex. Now, if you fast forward to recent times, it's come back with a vengeance from the conservative Christian churches blocking women's rights, fighting against abortion, and resisting gay rights. Do you know what that is basically all about?"

"No. Should I know?"

"Setting aside the 'men are in control' part, it's that sex is essentially bad, and it has created this culture of shame. Even if you're not religious, it's a theme that runs through our culture. Unless you grow up in a free love commune, you pretty much grow up not talking about sex, knowing it's something powerful inside you, but being told it's kind of bad and something to be ashamed of. So, here's the point: that negative view of sex shapes the general understanding of sex in our culture . Was that your experience?"

"Yeah, pretty much. We never talk about it at home. I had the sex talk with Dad, but I could tell he was embarrassed and wanted to get it over with."

"Can I ask you a couple of questions about that?"

Matt nodded his head. "Did he tell you that as your body developed, this is brought about by hormones, and they also cause sex drive? Meaning you'll be curious about your body, about sex?"

Matt shook his head again.

"Now, don't be embarrassed, but did he tell you that as the process unfolds, you'll start to explore your penis and testicles and that eventually, like all boys, start to masturbate?"

"I don't remember, but probably not clearly like that."

David grinned, "Okay, the next two are hypothetical questions. Did he tell you that after you started masturbating, you'd likely do it with other boys? Did he show you how?"

"God, no!"

"Wouldn't that be the natural thing for a father who loves his son and knows this is a natural process and that the son will be curious? He taught you how to throw a baseball and swing at a bat."

"Yeah, but that was different, that was baseball and… oh, I think I see what you mean. It's like the subject you can't talk about 'cause of the shame and embarrassment, right?"

"Right, so the hush-hush approach, the direct and indirect messages about it's only for certain times with certain people for certain purposes creates this culture of shame. When I was in high school, I got the skin on the bottom of my penis caught in the zipper of a pair of shorts, and ended up with a kind of long red bruise."

"Ouch!" Matt winced. "I bet that hurt."

"It did, for a while, but what hurt the most was that it was still there after a couple of days and I was so embarrassed I could barely muster the strength to talk to my dad about it. I stuttered and stammered and then he said 'show me,' and I did and he basically said it was no big deal and to put some antibiotic ointment on it, and then he laughed."

Matt's eyes widened in disbelief.

"I don't think he was laughing at me. I think he just thought it was a humorous situation. But he laughed in front of me, and it felt like he was laughing at me… about my penis, about something related to sex. You get the connection?"

Matt nodded, looking sympathetic.

"So, here's what I'm asking you to think about. Start with the notion of shame about sex as the foundation or the background, recognizing that for people in most religions and in many cultures the feeling can be so intense that it essentially causes self-loathing. Now think about the general shame that most people carry with them about sex, and the internal tension and anxiety that it causes because sex is so fundamental to your own being. Are you with me?"

Matt looked stricken. Finally, he said, "You mean I'm afraid of it, that I'm ashamed of sex?"

"I'm asking you to think about it and ask yourself whether or not it's part of what's going on with you, because it is the way the vast majority of Americans view sex. Is it a hang up that you now realize you may have?"

David paused and Matt remained silent, so he continued, "Now, on top of that layer, here's something else. In psychology there's a concept known as projection, which means taking the negative energy that we subject ourselves to and redirecting it toward someone else. It's the mechanism behind scapegoating. And it works because it brings temporary relief to conflicted people and the vast majority don't realize they're doing it. So, when it comes to sex, who do you suppose those negative, mainly hidden, shame-filled, neurotic and painful feelings get re-directed towards?"

Matt looked blank. "I don't know what you mean," he said.

"Think of it this way. There's something that we are ashamed of or dislike, or even hate, in ourselves. The fact is, that it's a huge relief to hate that something in someone else instead. So, since we're talking about sex as that 'thing,' what group of people are available with a different form of sexuality compared to the majority."

Matt now looked pained, and said, "I don't think I want to know.

"I know you're with me on this, and the fact is, at least in my view, this is the underlying cause and driver of most, if not all of homophobia. For most people, it's easy to have a negative view of homosexuals because by projecting the negative feelings onto gay people they don't have to address the negative feelings they have about sex themselves. In your case there's another dimension that gets layered on top of those two, and that is the fact that you were sexually abused. So, I'm also asking you to think about the sexual abuse that happened to you and ask yourself what all that could mean?"

"Okay, I can do that. I don't know where it'll go, but I'll think about it."

"Can I tell you something personal?"

Matt smiled wryly and said, "You already did, about getting your cock caught in your zipper, didn't you? So, yeah, go ahead."

"I happen to know that you are now of the opinion that David Ayers, the dude with the psychology degree who's a Dean of Students isn't just a great guy, but knows all this stuff, and must totally have his shit together."

Matt looked at him with a surprised expression. "Why would you think that?"

"Just because I'm older and have more experience… and more importantly, I've been fortunate enough to be able to work through most of this stuff in my own life."

Matt grinned. "That's why you seem so hip, right?"

"Pretty much. Emphasis on seem! Now, here's the point. No example is the same as your situation because there's always a difference in circumstance or in degree. But, when I showed up in Newberg in 1976, I was in a similar place as you are. I hadn't been sexually abused, but I'd had an experience with an older guy that hurt me. So, I was kind of emotionally numb, too. I grew up in a pretty religious family, and there was definitely this whole culture of shame around sex. You know I'm gay, and I've told you before that when I met Jackson, he knew he was gay, and I was clueless. Clueless, but also having to break through this whole mindset of shame about sex. And I don't just mean about sex as the act, I mean about sexuality, as in 'how could I be gay' if I don't even know it. You follow?"

"Yeah. It's hard to believe about you, but okay, I'll take your word for it." He grinned.

"So I'm developing this relationship with this seventeen year-old kid, and he wants to get it on, and he's talking about sex! It blew my mind. I was so shaped by shame and the understanding that it was bad, and you didn't talk about it, that for a while I literally couldn't even talk with him about it."

"I bet that frustrated him if he was a horny kid who wanted to get it on!"

"It did, but he was patient. What I'm getting at is just this. If that seventeen year-old kid in the too-tight cutoffs and green tank top hadn't showed up that day and rung my bell, and then been patient and understanding, where do you think I'd be today?"

"Unhappy, and still screwed up."

"You're right. All I'm saying is that I was lucky that something that dramatic happened to help me break through. It may not happen that way for you. You may not be struck by Cupid's arrow. So, you have to sort this stuff through on your own, so you get it resolved and are ready when that right person comes along."

"You mean like Gary was when Lois came along?"

"How do you know about that?"

"Jackson told me. He told me about Gary's dad and how after he got thrown in jail and then their mom died, that all three of you lived together. And then how you got Gary convinced to go to community college and it turned his life around and so he was ready when Lois came into his life. See, I'm paying attention. And, and… this is important. I know what you're doing for me, and… and I can't tell you how much it means. I mean, no one has ever cared like you guys do."

"Thank you. You understand what I'm saying and where I'm coming from. You can do this if you just do a little introspection."

Matt was quiet, fidgeting, and then looked at David and said, "Okay, introspection. Meaning I think about it. But where do I start? What do I do?"

"You're not telling me that you already don't do something, do you?"

"What? Oh, you mean what I do… like do I have pervy thoughts and jack off?" He was blushing and had a hard time looking David in the eye.

"Yes, exactly. You see what's happening. As long as we're talking about this conceptually you can engage no problem. But, when it gets down to the practical level about you, about Matt Harris and what you do sexually, suddenly the shame and embarrassment kicks in and you have difficulty talking about it. I don't expect you to talk about your sex life with me if you don't want to, but can I ask you a couple of questions?"

Matt rolled his eyes. "This is going to be really embarrassing, isn't it?"

David laughed. "Not necessarily. First, I think we can establish that you masturbate, like all other red-blooded boys, right?"

Matt nodded but remained silent.

"How do you feel about that?"

"Well, that it feels good, but… I don't think that's what you're asking, is it?"

"No. We both know that ejaculating feels tremendous. What I'm asking is how you feel about the subject of masturbation? And you did notice that just a couple of minutes ago you described the accompanying thoughts as 'pervy,' didn't you?"

Matt winced and then said, "I do it 'cause it feels good, but I guess deep down I think it's not good or something, like everyone else."

"Now we're getting somewhere. You're connecting the dots about your own life and practice. There should be no shame associated with it. You've already figured out that masturbating doesn't make hair grow in the palm of your hands, right? It's part of your bodily function, it feels good, and it's healthy. What's not to like?"


"Yes, seriously. You'd be amazed, even talking to LGB kids who are out, how many of them have this deep-seated belief that not just sex is bad, but gay sex is terribly bad, and that means they're a bad person, and are ashamed of themselves. Until they can get past that it's pretty hard to be in a healthy relationship!"

"That makes sense."

"Okay, we've covered enough for today. Jackson's supposed to be back any minute to pick you up for your muscle car cruise and you probably need to use the bathroom to unload that cup of coffee."

Matt grinned and as he stood up, said, "Thanks, David. I mean it. This helps a lot."

"Keep thinking about it. And don't be afraid to talk about it with people you trust. I'm probably too old for you to feel comfortable talking to, but maybe you can with Jackson. You certainly can with Jerrod and Roger and Nate."

They heard Jackson pull into the driveway in the Durango and moments later he appeared at the back door with grocery bags. David said he'd put the groceries away so they could get on their way, and five minutes later they were heading east on Tacoma Street for McLoughlin Boulevard. That gave Matt time to settle into and revel in the sound of the big engine in the Challenger and enjoy the aura of being in a muscle car again.

When they were in the traffic flow through the green traffic lights heading north, Jackson asked, "Did you and David have a good session?"

Matt was relaxed in the passenger seat and simply said, "Yeah, it was really good. He helped me see some more stuff I've got going on and then we talked about what I can do and stuff." He paused, and then said softly, "Can I ask you something? Something personal?"

"Pretty much anything, you know that."

"Okay, I was just checking. David was trying to help me figure out if I'm hung up about sex and my sexuality and stuff. You know, why I don't date and haven't had a girlfriend. Like that. So, he asked if I jacked off, which I do, and what I thought about and stuff like that."

"Those are pretty standard questions."

"Okay, then he asked me to keep thinking about that stuff and if it could be part of why I don't date, and then he said something about gay kids that really hit me since I'm going to GSA and now know a bunch of LGB kids. He said in talking to gay kids how many of them have this deep-seated belief that sex is bad and gay sex is even worse, and that means they're a bad people, and are ashamed of themselves."

"That happens a lot, and it's an area David is especially concerned with and has done a lot of work in. I'll tell you that it's not limited to gay kids. If you grow up with a negative view of sex, and the reality is that pretty much everyone has sex, even if it's only with yourself, then you're at risk of having a bad view of yourself. Do you see how those two things connect? Is that what you're struggling with?"

"Kind of, I guess."

"Okay, let's look at that standard question that David asked you. What do you think about when you jack off?

"Well, I mean… I don't know what I think about?"

"Wait. You're trying to tell me you only think about getting your rocks off?"

"Well, sometimes that's all. You know, when I'm horny and just want to get it done."

"What about the other times?"

"I think about…I don't know… I guess I think about…" he paused and was concentrating, then he said, "I guess I think about tits and… and… this is embarrassing!"

"It shouldn't be. You think about tits. Fine. You're a tits man. You know there's tits men and ass men, don't you?"

"No, I didn't, but if you say so."

"I do, and you are. So, we've established that you're a tits man. Do you think about kissing them, sucking them, rubbing your face between them, what?"

"God, Jackson, really!"

"Yeah, really! If you're trying to sort this stuff out, then you have to be able to talk about it. So, which is it?"

"I guess it's kissing them."

"Great! That makes you a healthy young straight man. Then what?"

"What do you mean?"

"Matt, if you're jacking off, you're going to cum, right? That's the equivalent of making love with someone, so are you saying you're going to cum just from kissing some girl's tits?"

"I guess not."

"God, I hope not. So, then what?"

"Well, I guess I want to get it on with her."

"That's what I used to say to David back when I was your age. It's pretty non-specific. Let's be more specific. Where do your thoughts go then? Is it that you want to have sexual intercourse, or in the vernacular, you want to fuck? Is that right?"

Matt was staring straight ahead out the windshield of the Challenger. He was blushing. "Yeah, I guess so."

"Matt, you only guess you want to fuck this girl, whoever she is, or you really want to fuck her, and when you get to the point in your mind that you can imagine it and connect it to what you right hand is doing to your cock, is that when you cum? Is that it?"

"Yes. But why am I so embarrassed about it?"

That's what you've got to figure out, and you may never figure out what specific event made you embarrassed and ashamed about it, beyond the fact that you know you had those embarrassing sexual events with your coach. Still, you've got to let go of that shit. Accept sex is natural and normal and you can talk about it. Do you talk to your brother about it?"

"No, he's just a kid."

"Matt, he was a kid, now he's a young man. Just younger than you are by two years. He's sexually aware, I happen to know he jacks off and he's getting help right now."

"What? Oh, no secrets, right?"

"Right. So, you're this great big brother in that you coach him playing ball, you watch out for him, you even carry him to piss and wipe his butt, but you can't talk about sex with him?"

"When he was telling me and Jerrod and Roger about how his cast hangs down over his cock and it even hurts to get a hard on let alone jack off, I got embarrassed. And then Jerrod and Roger started talking about jacking off and how to, and Roger said he'd help Nate, I got so embarrassed I had to leave." He paused again, and after a little while said, "Pretty pathetic, isn't it?"

"Pathetic is the wrong word. Maybe hung up is better. But you've got to decide, do you want to not be hung up?"

"Well, yeah!"

"Then start by talking about it. Let's try this again. Tell me what you think about when you jack off."

Matt swallowed hard and then said, "Usually it's one of the cheerleaders. And she's got blonde hair and she's slowly taking off her clothes and then I can kiss her tits and then she's taking off my clothes and she's all over me, and we're kissing and hugging and finally I can get it on with her.

"Finally, you can do what?"

"Jackson, you are hard core."

"You need to be able to say it."

"Finally, I kiss her tits, and I can lick her, and she can suck me, and then I can fuck her. Is that what you want to hear me say?" He said it hard, like he was spitting out a mouth full of stones.

"Yeah, in fact. I think what you just did is called a breakthrough. Now, you know what you need is practice. You need to talk to Nate and Jerrod and Roger because they love you and will help you. I'm not telling you to be kinky or pervy, but just practice a little to break this hang up. Most of us start out with shame and embarrassment. We all jack off. We all have sexual dreams. It's called being human."

"You have them, too?"

"Absolutely. But I'll tell you that mine aren't about cheerleaders."

"I can guess! Has Nate told you he thinks he's bi?"

"He's hinted at it. Can you deal with that? Can you accept that your brother might be kissing another boy his age, might be sucking another boy's cock and getting his sucked, too?"


"Welcome to the real world where sex happens. Acceptance isn't just some theoretical thing. It's also very practical. Whether you've thought about it or not, David and I suck each other's cocks and fuck each other. Do you think any less of us knowing that?


"Roger and Jerrod do, too. Do you think any less of them?"


"Eric and Kim do, too. Do you think any less of them?"


"That's good, because I want you to know that I don't think any less of you now that I know you want to suck a cheerleader's tits and then fuck her."

"Geez, Jackson!"

"Geez is right. You've got to be able to get it out there if you're going to get over it. Now, we're out here at this junction on Highway 26 where we're going to turn around. Do you want to drive back?"

Matt looked at Jackson in disbelief. "Are you serious?"

"Yeah, I am. You know how to drive. I trust you. It's your turn to drive till we get back into town, then we'll change over again. Are you up for it?"

"Do bears shit in the woods?"

Matt drove cautiously at first, but as he got comfortable with the feel of the car he relaxed and got up to the speed limit. He was still in the right of the two lanes, and ten minutes in they began to approach a loaded logging truck.

Jackson said, "Why don't you take this opportunity to feel how it accelerates? It's a four lane highway, but there's very little traffic to worry about, and as long as the left lane is clear you can change lanes and punch it."


"Yes, just be thinking ahead. When you hit the accelerator, it's not going to jump out of your hands, but it will be a major surge. More than your Dad's Volvo ever had. Make sure the lane is clear, signal to change lanes so the truck driver knows you're going around, firm grip on the steering wheel, and don't mash the accelerator till you're settled in the passing lane."

Matt nodded, followed the suggestions, and then floored it. The Challenger surged ahead, and to Matt it felt like it leapt forward. As he passed the truck he started to let up on the accelerator, and Jackson said, "Keep going. It'll do the engine good!"

Matt winced, then smiled and kept going. They surged again, and suddenly the truck appeared in the rearview mirror. They heard the driver hit his air horn three times.

"Is that guy pissed?"

"No way! He's telling you he appreciates you showing him what this baby can do. She's got years and miles on her, you know, but when she was new with this engine, she'd go 0 to 60 in under six seconds and could turn do the quarter mile in 14.3 seconds."

After a couple of minutes Jackson said, "You better dial it back to the speed limit. We're getting closer to the city and your mom would have my ass if you got a speeding ticket." He grinned and Matt grinned back.

"This is so cool. I can't get over that your dad gave you this car."

"I still can't either, and it's been over twenty years."

"Where do you want to take over?"

"When we get to the Damascus city limits, find a gas station to pull into. We'll get something to drink and switch."

Matt pulled up in front of the mini-mart part of the station and as they walked in the door two teenage girls were coming out. The first one looked at Matt, smiled widely and said, "That's a wild car. Wish you lived around here so you could take me for a ride."

Matt momentarily didn't know what to say, but he felt Jackson poke him in the back. "Me, too," he finally got out. "I bet for someone like you my brother would let me borrow his car!"

They'd passed each other, and Matt heard the girl laugh with appreciation in her voice and then say, "Come back any time!"

As they stood at the cooler selecting drinks, Jackson said, "There you go man, you're on your way!"

Jackson dropped Matt off at home, and after going inside he said hi to his mom in the kitchen. She was curious how the session went, and he told her well, that David had helped him understand himself some more, but wasn't quite ready to go into all the details. He also told her Jackson let him drive the Challenger part way home.

She was impressed and said, "That's something. He must trust you and have a lot of confidence in you as a person."

Matt felt a rush of emotion and found himself swallowing, and then said softly, "He does. He and David have helped me understand I'm okay and a pretty good person."

Laurie beamed and said back to him, "Can I get a hug from one of the two pretty good persons in my life?"

As she released him, she said, "You better go see Nate. He's been asking where you are since lunch time. He's going to be unbelievably envious when you tell him you got to drive that car. Go easy on him, okay? Also, now that you're back, I've got to go out for a couple of hours. A friend from work asked me to go to a craft show with her, but I'll be back between five and five thirty to make dinner. And there's fresh baked cookies in the jar for when Jerrod and Roger get here, and drinks in the fridge."

Matt had finished telling Nate about the car drive and how Jackson had let him take the wheel when he heard the front doorbell. He told Nate to hold on and let Kaiser and the boys in. They'd worked since lunch, so we're up for a couple of cookies, and a yell down the hall to Nate confirmed he was too.

They went back to Nate's room with a plate of cookies and drinks and a treat for Kaiser, and Matt said, "I was just telling Nate that Jackson let me drive the Challenger for a while on Highway 26 on the way back. That was wild."

Jerrod grinned. "It is a rush, that's for sure. I've only driven it a couple of times, but it has way more power than the Cherokee." He glanced at Nate. "So, how envious are you?"

"Somewhere up near totally, like pegging the needle! I'm so sick of being in this cast and stuck here."

"Hey, man, if all goes well you could be out in another week or two. The surgeon said six to eight weeks, and even eight weeks would only mean three more to go. Then you get to go for a ride in the Challenger. I don't think we could fit you in with that cast unless we stowed your ass in the trunk."

They all laughed at the thought, and Jerrod looked at Matt and said, "Did you have another good session with David?"

He saw an unusual expression flash across his friend's face that ended in resolve, and Matt then said, "Yes. With David and then with Jackson, too. We talked a lot about me being hung up about sex and stuff. You know ashamed and embarrassed and that I've got to get over it."


He looked at Jerrod, then Roger and finally Nate, and said, "I've never said anything like this to you guys or anyone else, but I know I can trust you guys. They both made me talk about why I've got the hang ups and what I've got to do to get past it."

Nate was concerned for his brother and said, "Okay, but what does it mean, 'what you've got to do to get past it?' I don't get that?"

Matt looked at Jerrod and Roger, "You guys know better than me." He looked back at Nate and added, "It means I need to talk about it instead of hiding it. Is that okay with you?"

Nate nodded.

Matt went on, "You won't believe it, but they made me talk about what I think about when I jack off… like what I specifically think about. At first, I couldn't do it, it was like I was in denial or something. But finally, they got me to realize that we're all raised to be ashamed about sex, and then for me on top of it is the shame from being abused. You know, how believing sex is bad or dirty screws up your thinking. They told me I needed to be able to talk about it with you guys 'cause you're my friends, and I can trust you."

Nate just said, "Wow!" Roger, however, who was sitting on the foot of the bed near Matt took his hand and said, "It is really important. I never thought so, I mean like I just ignored it all, till I got together with Jerrod, and then we both figured out we had stuff like that to work through."

"Roger's parents were more open and accepting than mine," Jerrod added, "so I had more hang ups than he did. I meant it when I told you guys how hard it was to fess up to having to suck off a senior when I was in that fraternity. The whole point was to make the pledges feel like slaves, but it also makes you feel dirty and pretty embarrassed, and then of course, you can't tell anybody. But you can talk to Roger and me about anything… except the specifics of how we have sex." He looked at his boyfriend and said, "Right?"

Roger nodded and looked at Nate. "Are you in, too? This is the Pack helping each other out. Jerrod and I have been helping you out, now it's our turn to help Matt."

Nate said, "I understand, and I'm in." Then his eyes glinted, and his smile turned just a little mischievous and he looked at his brother and said, "Maybe part of working through your sex problem is helping me jack off."

Matt didn't flinch. He didn't blush and he didn't look away. He kept looking at his little brother and then softly said, "I've already thought of that, and probably so. I know some of the things I said about not touching your junk and cleaning up your own cum and stuff probably hurt. I'm sorry about that. I will if you want me to."

They were all silent and looked at each other, pondering what they'd all just said to each other. Roger finally said, "I've got an idea that will make it easier for everyone, even though I've never done it myself with other guys. But this is the Pack, and we're doing this to help each other, and it'll feel good. Let's all get naked and jack each other off. You said your mom will be gone for a couple of hours."

He glanced at Jerrod with eyes wide, asking if it was okay, and received a smile and nod in return.

Matt's eyes widened at that suggestion, and he heard Nate momentarily gasp and the gasp turn into a chuckle. Then Nate said, "I like that idea!"

He looked at his big brother and said, "It'd kinda help you ease into it, right? We're all being transparent about things. I'm in, and it's easy for me."

With that, he threw back the sheet and they could see he was already starting to plump. Then he said to his brother, "Are you in, Matt?"

Matt nodded, not saying anything, but a wry smile playing on his face.

"Cool!" Nate was exuberant. "Okay, you guys, who's going first?"

Roger replied, "It was my idea, so I will." He stood up and told Kaiser to get down off the bed, then unbuttoned his shirt and tossed it on Nate's desk chair. As he undid the belt on his pants and pulled his fly down, Jerrod started undressing and he could see Matt doing the same. He kicked off his shoes and dropped his pants and briefs and was standing beside Nate's bed naked except for his socks. He watched Jerrod finish undressing, and then glanced at Matt who had just dropped his pants and boxers.

Matt was nicely hung, his cock probably the same length as Roger and Jerrod's and nestled in a bush of dark brown pubes. Jerrod's distinct impression was that it would be larger in diameter, probably a hand full.

Nate was somewhat wide-eyed, and Roger innocently said, "This isn't fair, I'm the only one who's uncut! Now, how are we going to do this?"

"Easy," Nate said, "I've got to stay in bed, so I'll move over to the side and you guys kind of sit in a circle on the bed. Everyone's right-handed, so we jack off the guy to the right."

Roger grinned at Nate, "Glad to see someone's in charge!"

Jerrod had been watching Matt's reaction, knowing he wasn't gay, but worrying he could over-react. Instead, what he saw was a look of acceptance on his face, and the fact was that Matt was half-hard now, as were the rest of them. He realized that they were all simply having the human reaction to sexual stimulation, and that this could be both pleasurable for all of them and truly help Matt.

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead