This is an excerpt from the collection of short stories MILLENNIAL SEX: I’ve Never Done this Before. The book is available in erotic or educational (16+) editions, and explores themes of consent, desire and millennial sexuality through the experiences of six fictional narrators of different identities engaging in the sexual culture. This is Part I of Brett’s story.
Trigger Warning: Racialized Language, Racial Fetishization, Power Play
“FIT mature tech exec whiteboi seeks Dom BBC to put him in his place”
Brett sighed. He felt aroused and depressed, flipping through profile after profile, questioning his motives with each click. This really seemed to be about Jerry, he thought with each guy he looked at, about recreating what had happened with Jerry and giving it a different ending, one that didn’t make Brett feel like such a weak, useless piece of shit. Hadn’t he moved out to Palo Alto to get away from that? He felt dangerously close to recreating the scenario that had driven him out of DC, driven him out of politics altogether. He just didn’t have the stomach for it anymore; the endless games, the manipulation, the one-upmanship, but most of all, for seeing how Jerry used and disposed of everyone around him.
“My wife won’t put up with it any longer, Brett. She says it’s too big a risk, and I agree, with midterms coming up and the Republicans looking for anything they can use to take me down. We’re going to have to stop seeing one another like this.”
What got Brett wasn’t how casually Jerry had said this, lying in bed after a discreet lunch fuck at the Dupont Circle Hotel, but how little he saw Brett himself as a threat. After all, Brett knew people in the RNC, people who wouldn’t hesitate to sling some mud Jerry’s way come October… but Jerry couldn’t imagine Brett having even that power over him. Didn’t think he’d have the nerve to pull one over on Jerry, to out himself and take down Jerry’s entire career. Brett’s bosses, the DNC strategic development team, wouldn’t care, and suspected it anyway. Coming out would probably even get him invited to a few more banquets, depicted on a few more campaign materials, but he already felt like enough of a token as the only black man on the team.
Jerry’s conservative Indiana constituents would certainly care though, and being outed would lose him the election. Brett had thought about it for weeks, but in the end, had realized that he would be doing it vindictively, just to hurt Jerry, just to show him who was really boss. At the end of the day, he hadn’t wanted to hurt Jerry, and even his stupid wife and kids, like that.
This convinced him that he no longer had the stomach for politics, for DC, and shredded up the last bit of validation he felt from being Jerry’s down-low boyfriend, from being so close to power, from sucking its dick, taking it in his ass. Jerry had rarely sucked his dick, he now acknowledged, and had never taken him in the ass.
“I’m not that kind of guy, Brett!”
Jerry had laughed dismissively the first time Brett had suggested he reciprocate, and Brett had accepted that he was just a top at the time, but really, what kind of guy did he think Brett was? Someone who took what he could get, and had enough sense to be grateful for it. Four years they had been together, the second half of Jerry’s first term, and now the first half of his second, until Jerry… no, Jerry’s wife, fucking Eleanor… had used the midterms as the reason to end things.
“I can’t keep hiring boys in this town, it’s going to catch up with me,” he remembered Jerry saying soon after they had gotten together.
With a knot of self-loathing, Brett realized that maybe he had just been Jerry’s ‘boy’ this whole time. And he hadn’t even gotten paid for a job well done, for letting himself care, for letting himself support Jerry, being there for him, talking through the night about his job, colleagues, marriage, stress, stress, stress. Maybe Jerry felt he’d paid him what he was worth, with all the fancy hotel rooms, the meals, the bottles of champagne; trips to Martha’s Vineyard, to the Bahamas, to Rehoboth Beach, even to Jerry’s own fucking district. It had been a transaction. Validation for submission. Power for love. Fucking for being fucked.
At the end of the day, Jerry was a closet racist as well as a closet queer, Brett acknowledged. He had ignored the little comments, the small things that had suggested at Jerry’s outdated conception of race in America for years. Given him credit for his willingness to make an exception for Brett, to let himself get close to Brett. It had begun to get under his skin after that time in Rehoboth Beach, when Jerry had pushed him over the table, pulled his pants down, and fucked him with barely any warning or lubrication, and then, as he was about to come, grunted, “Yeah, take that, boy!”
That moment, and how it made Brett feel, had highlighted Jerry’s other daily insensitivities, but what had especially driven him crazy were Jerry’s small comments distancing Brett from his blackness, as though to excuse why someone like Jerry would be with him. “You’re such a hard worker, Brett. We need more young men like you,” Jerry would say whenever policy issues regarding race came up between them, the insinuation being that other young (black) men were not hard workers and there ought to be less of them.
It had come to a head after the police shooting of that kid in Ferguson last year, and the media frenzy that had ensued. Brett and Jerry had been together in a hotel room, each doing some paperwork after Brett had blown Jerry, with the news on in the background. They were both drawn to the “Breaking News” alerts, the disturbing footage of riot cops and people packed in the streets. Brett had felt claustrophobic, his chest tightening, seeing all those people, nearly all black people, so filled with righteous anger, with contempt for a system that saw them as nothing better than cattle to be herded and kept off the streets, when they were trying to enact a cathartic group mourning that would give some semblance of closure to yet another irreconcilable racial tragedy in America.
“Don’t get so worked up,” Jerry had said, totally misreading the situation as Brett had begun to pace anxiously. “You’re nothing like those people. You’re a good one, Brett! You’ve worked hard to get where you are, unlike these looters and thugs.”
“Those people are someone’s constituents,” Brett had hissed.
Jerry had replied, “Yeah, I have too many like that myself.”
His eyes had returned to his phone, checking his messages, but his comments had burned themselves into Brett’s mind, his gut. They had only gotten together once after that, sexually, and Brett had hated it, unsure why he was going through with it except out of habit, because Jerry expected him to.
Jerry had taken over his body, his mind, and ending it was probably the best thing that could have happened for Brett, but feeling rejected by Jerry after all that seemed to also invalidate all the intimacy, the companionship they had shared, and had spiraled Brett into what seemed like a depression, drinking alone, listening to the angsty neo-soul stylings of Amy Winehouse whenever he could on his earbuds; finally realizing how much he hated his job, hated DC.
So when the DNC had also used the midterms as the reason for letting Brett go, saying they didn’t need to keep around the whole staff for the “final lap,” Brett had seen it as his excuse to make a change. A big change. A change of occupation and a change of coast. He had seen enough of how things worked out East; he was ready to go see how things could change out West. When he heard of the position directing Development for a major immigration policy think tank & advocacy nonprofit in Silicon Valley through the grapevine, he leapt at it, asked for the contact, flew out for the final round of interviews.
It had been his first time in California, and as his plane landed at the San Francisco airport, he decided that there would be no more lies here, didn’t need to be any lies here. He would come out, from the beginning; at his job, to his friends, and on the scene. He wouldn’t be ruled by shame and silence, guilt and complicity anymore. He was a new, free Brett.
He had sailed through the interview process, told by both principal interviewers separately that they loved him, and needed more “people like him,” around the office. He didn’t think they meant a solutions-driven problem solver with a proven track record, but instead suspected they were referring to people who were gay or black; or better, both. Brett was used to being patted on the back for being “a good one,” with his suits and ties and UPenn class ring, but it was insidiously depressing to think that maybe what his colleagues saw in him was a black man — a gay black man — with a good attitude who would, in return for their benevolence, pat them on the back as “good ones.” At any rate, he had gotten the job, terminated the lease on his brownstone in DC, and moved out to Palo Alto that month.
He hadn’t called Jerry to tell him he was leaving town. Jerry had asked him not to contact him, and even though Brett knew he would want to make an exception for this news, he withheld it. Jerry would notice his absence eventually and would ask around and find out he was gone. Maybe then he would regret tossing Brett out like the morning garbage.
So now here he was, two months later, settled into a nice enough little house in San Mateo. He was another Bay Area commuter, another San Francisco gay, another Silicon Valley up-and-comer. He felt like he was wearing a disguise; biking to work on nice days, wearing brighter colors, growing a beard. It seemed too pleasant to be true, too sharp a contrast to conservative dark suits and daily shaves, early mornings and brusque meetings, daily deadlines and clenched jaws. Politics.
At his new company, he was also working for a mission, on a campaign, but now his work involved bringing his “personal story” to the office to “shape the collective narrative.”
A campaign staffer had once told him, “Unless you’re the candidate, no one gives a fuck about your personal story. Just do your job.”
Brett’s new boss was fond of saying, “You’re more than your job. You are your passion.”
The move had been a success in giving him latitude to think of himself and his life in a whole new way, but paradoxically, it had only seemed to compound his internal “Jerry issues,” as his new friend Brenda referred to them.
Brett had found a lot of success meeting women in the Bay Area, and although he had only known his college classmate Megan when he arrived in town, he had rapidly formed a small clique of close female friends between his colleagues and Megan’s friends who reminded him of the snappy, independent women he had been close with in DC. What he hadn’t been able to find was a date, or any guy he was remotely interested in dating who didn’t remind him of Jerry.
There were a plethora of powerful, suit wearing older gay men swarming through Silicon Valley, and Brett was disgusted that this was now what aroused and intrigued him. It was clearly transference… Or was this just his new type? Had being with Jerry so long changed something inside of him, permanently oriented him to the validation of old white dick?
One thing was different though… Brett’s fantasies of getting together with these men didn’t end with him pleasing the master figure. They ended with the white man on his knees, either taking Brett in his mouth or ass.
Wasn’t that what he wanted to do to Jerry, though? To… make him take Brett like that, to take Brett seriously, to respect his power? Even to punish him? It wasn’t right to take that out on some other guy… unless the other guy wanted it, wanted to submit as Brett had, to work out his own issues with him so they could both move on.
But how could he tell what a guy was into just by picking him up in a bar, asking him on a date?
In DC, before Jerry, he had met nice guys, attractive guys; mostly black guys at the subset of DC bars that catered to that crowd, but he had been just looking to have a good time then, not to act out some weird fantasy.
Still hoping he could meet a nice guy, a normal guy, a guy he could relate to, he had asked Marco, a little Latino twink from his office, if there were any bars around where he could meet “guys more like himself.”
Marco hadn’t seemed to get the insinuation that he was looking for black guys, but instead said, “Sweetie, it’s San Francisco! Every bar is a gay bar, except the gay bars. That’s where the straight girls go to get away from the straight guys. What you’re looking for is online now.”
And so Brett had turned to Grindr.
“Welcome to the meatgrinder, honey!” Marco had responded when Brett told him he’d made a profile and was looking for advice on how to use the app from someone with more experience. “I call it grocery shopping. It’s a different cut every night of the week!”
“I… I think I just want to meet one guy. Maybe like an ongoing thing, you know?” Brett had said, jarred by the insinuation.
“You say that now…” Marco trailed off, a wistful look on his face.
Brett had left his profile mostly blank. He uploaded pictures of himself shirtless, working out, in a suit, and had added the relevant measurements, and the carefully constructed phrase, “Professional looking to release a little steam.” It sounded cheesy, but after seeing some of the other profiles, he thought keeping it simple and vague would serve his purposes and allow him to check out other guys in the meantime without deterring the guys he was looking for. Then he started to get the messages.
“I < 3 ==== black guys”
“Need black cock now”
“White boi needs black daddy”
“You got that BBC I’m looking for?”
“Want a thug in my ass”
After a couple weeks on Grindr, Brett felt like maybe his concerns had been misplaced. Far from being an outlier, it seemed lots and lots of gay guys were looking to act out racial fetishization, and it forced Brett to question his motives. On one hand, maybe this was normal in this day and age; to look online to find custom mail order dick. But if he was put off by the white guys’ messages and their clear objectification of black sexuality, he was more dismayed to see his own aims echoed graphically in the far less numerous black guys’ profile descriptions.
“I’m gonna make u my little slave boi”
“Thug here to tear up your asspussy”
“Dom BBC hard for a little white bitch”
The idea of all these guys meeting up; acting this out, fucking each other day in and day out, made Brett feel queasy… but still aroused. He stayed off the app for a few days, somehow dissuaged by realizing how easy it would be to get a hotel room, message one of these guys, and act out this scene.
He had thought Grindr would be a little more like online dating, but realizing how much it was about casual sex, like anonymous digital cruising, made him question whether that’s what he was looking for. What if he got addicted to it, became like Marco, like the guys posting, demanding a new partner to act out iterations of this obsessive fantasy over and over, never able to escape Jerry’s mental hold on him until he slept with the wrong manslut one day and got HIV?
He thought about deleting the app. He felt like an alcoholic with a full bottle, afraid to open it, afraid of what it would do to him, what he would be able to justify doing with it. Brett’s father had been a drinker, relapsing again and again, and Brett was well acquainted with the idea of a slippery slope, of not going where it’s wet, not looking for trouble.
A week went by, and then, on Friday afternoon, realizing that he wanted more from his weekend than sangria night and a movie with the girls, he opened the app again and saw the profile.
“FIT mature tech exec whiteboi seeks Dom BBC to put him in his place”
Millennial Sex is available on Amazon (erotic version & educational version) and on our website. You can learn more about Millennial Sex by visiting our tumblr and you can get a free copy and support Phoenix Moment in our journey towards freedom and quest to imagine and create a better future by becoming a patron on our Patreon page.