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Hey, Everybody:

Once again it's column time, and once again I didn't take my Viagra. But I've decided to take it now as I sit down to write this week's column, because the suspense is killing me. What effect will this little blue pill have on me? I simply must know!

OK. I just put a small blue pill on my tongue. Now I'm washing it down with some Dr Pepper. On to your letters:

Hey, Faggot:

I am a gay man in his early 60s who tries to remain as healthy and pleasant looking as possible. I exercise, dye my hair at the temples, keep clean, and take good care of myself. I am not bad looking. I dress in jeans and jackets and avoid conservative-looking clothing. I am also a well-traveled, well-educated man of European descent. But due to the unavoidable reality of ageism in the gay community, I feel lonesome and neglected.

I am attracted to men in their 30s and 40s, especially well-muscled, hirsute types. Do you have any suggestions on how I can break free of this isolation without having to join--prematurely I feel--the organization for elderly gay men: SAGE [Seniors Active in a Gay Environment]?

--Still Alive

Hey, SA:

Has it ever occurred to you, thou of European descent, that you're not just a victim of ageism but a perp as well? Consider this: Gay men in their 30s and 40s generally prefer to sleep with other gay men in their 30s and 40s. This strikes you as discriminatory: you believe that ageism prevents younger gay men from finding you attractive.

(You're supposed to take Viagra an hour before you have sex. So why am I feeling all light-headed 15 minutes after taking the pill? And my face is flushed. But no boner. When I get one, you'll be the first to know.)

So, SA, like most gay men in their 30s and 40s, you're attracted to men in their 30s and 40s (but only guys with muscular, hairy bodies). Which means, I guess, that you're not attracted to men in their 60s. Doesn't that make you as guilty of ageism as those 30- and 40-year-olds who won't sleep with you?

(It's been about 30 minutes. I feel funny but not particularly horny--mostly I feel like I just ate ten pounds of M&M's, drank ten cups of coffee, snorted ten bottles of poppers, then ran around in circles until I fell down--not an entirely pleasant sensation. The only thing throbbing around here is the head on my shoulders. Sorry, Pfizer.)

Surely I speak for the whole gay universe when I say that all of us--old, young, fat, skinny, cute, ugly, hairy, smooth--are sick of listening to those few but noisy hypocritical old/fat/ugly gay men who aren't attracted to other old/fat/ugly gay men complain that the gay community is guilty of ageism/sizeism/looksism because the young/thin/cute guys they (and everyone else) are attracted to won't sleep with them. It would be easier to address ageism, sizeism, and looksism in the gay community if most of the men complaining about them weren't also guilty of these sins.

Hey, Faggot:

You must see some weird shit with a job like yours. What's the most disgusting kink mag or zine you've ever seen?

--BS

Hey, BS:

Cigar Aficionado.

(Well, ladies and gentlemen, without being too graphic, I have to admit that, er, um, Viagra works. Everything's throbbin' now. Sitting here trying to work--Jesus, it's like I'm 14 years old again, sitting in Latin class at my first high school, Quigley Preparatory Seminary North. It was hard to concentrate back then, and it's gettin' hard to concentrate now...)

Hey, Faggot:

I'm a lesbian with a crush on my best friend. I've known her for almost four years. We are always mistaken for a couple. She isn't a shy woman: I hear all about the women whose bones she intends to jump. I also know that I am not her type, as I am neither thin nor blond enough.

I've been dating, encouraging friends to set me up, etc. However, the more women I meet the more convinced I am that no one comes close to her. I've spoken to a few other friends about my obsession. They think that any move I make will weaken or end our friendship.

As I see it, I have two options: I can dye my hair and make a move or I can give up. Can anything positive come from this? If I do make a move, how should I play it?

--Obsessed Brunette

Hey, OB:

How should you play it? Cool, of course. It's time to make your move, OB, and I'd suggest you make it a verbal one. Tell her you're attracted to her, tell her the real reason you've spent so much time with her over the last four years, and finally, tell her you don't want to be mistaken for her girlfriend anymore. You want to be her girlfriend.

Your other friends are right: odds are pretty good that by telling her what's up you'll lose her friendship. But so what? It's not her friendship you want. If you can't be her girlfriend, the sooner you stop hanging around with her day and night the sooner you'll get over her. And hey, even with the odds against you, there's still a chance she'll say, "Come here, baby, I was into you all along too."

(OK. My nose is stuffed up, my ears are bright red, my hands are shaking, and I have a headache. And a boner. I'm having an asthma attack too, but I'm not sure it's related to the Viagra. About the only thing I'm not doing right now is seeing blue spots, which along with headaches are supposedly the only Viagra side effects.

My boyfriend was just here. Pillar of virtue, he refused to have sex with me in the office bathroom. Not even in the name of science. "Are you horny because you're horny, or are you horny because you took that pill?" he demanded to know. I couldn't give him a satisfactory answer. "Anyway, I hate it when you write about me in your stupid column, so why should I have sex with you when I know you're going to write about it?" He has a point, I guess.

My final report: Despite rumors of Viagra sex parties in the usual-suspect sex-party cities--New York; San Francisco; Halifax, Nova Scotia--I don't think this pill has much of a future on the recreational drug market. Most folks into recreationals are young, and most young guys can get boners all on their own. Why should they subject themselves to the considerable side effects of Pfizer's little blue blast? Of course, for guys who need the pill, this drug is nicer than the next best alternative: injecting drugs directly into the penis. But for the most part, once the novelty has worn off I don't think that folks who don't need this drug are going to be popping it for fun. I know I won't.)

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.

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