The Journal Entries

Anar, Nenim 02, 00124

A Dearth of Irony

After spending far too long drying out my fur from a shower, I sat down with a cup of decaffeinated hot chocolate and began reviewing my email. The Embassy mailing lists were unsurprisingly quiet. Despite the usual upheavals in the world the introduction of the Feed the Stars program had put a serious dent in the most common cause of inter-tribal warfare in both Africa and Asia. When Humans have enough food they tend to be lazy. The industrious by nature put their energy into entertaining their neighbors rather than finding new ways of murdering them. I noticed a new fusion-powered water desalinization plant was being protested by "environmentalists" who decried the slight increase in local salt density, claiming it would kill fish.

People who hate their own species that much shouldn't be allowed to reproduce. It's a negative meme.

I moved on to the personal lists and found little of value there as well. The only thing I did see was a hint of an orgy on another list, so I traversed the links and found that it would be an all-male event of an extreme nature, the kind of thing that intrigued me like no other. I'd done a lot of kinky things since coming to Earth; regarded by the Terrans as a low-level "bureaucrat," whatever that was, I was permitted my peccadilloes. Fortunately, Terran intelligence agencies no longer thought that my having peccadilloes would give them any leverage. The truth was that Athena appreciated my diversions as part of the historical record as they let her look in on corners that rarely received documentation from the higher historians.

And, on the message board I spotted the name of someone I knew. I dashed off an email to him from my personal account, avoiding any hint that I wanted to discuss this particular matter with him. It was just an invitation to lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, I found an email from him agreeing to meet for lunch. It was a friendly email, the "Hi, haven't heard from you in a long time" type.

The cafe we chose was the little French place two blocks up from the Embassy, built into a sharp, triangular spot. Inside was painted a bright mustard color, the chairs and table supports black wrought iron, the tabletops glass. I supposed the colors would have been more appropriate in the summer when the sunlight would brighten everything but right now it looked dingy and tired. Much like the population of Washington in late January.

Josh was there, sitting an a table, yawning. "Good morning," I said.

He nodded. "Is it morning, T'Oma?" he said, glancing at his watch. "Three minutes left, I suppose." He stood up and offered his hand. I shook it. "It's good to see you again."

"And how is my favorite legal eagle?" I asked.

"Being a clerk for the City of Washington is no picnic," he said. "Do you have any idea how many completely ridiculous suits are filed every day? I get to see the pettiest of personal details from these people. Divorced couples who want to limit what the other parent lets the child watch on TV. I've even got one mother who's filed a protest against the father because he lets the child eat ice cream."

"What's wrong with that?" I asked.

"She's a vegan. She doesn't have a leg to stand on. The courts don't allow one parent to dictate the parenting style of the other. But he counter-sued on the grounds that her constant messages about the dangers of milk have made the child paranoid and destroyed the father-son relationship." He sighed. "I should stop talking about work. It depresses me."

"You should. Just repeat to yourself that this'll all be over in a millennium or two."

He grinned. "Do you really think so?"

Yeah, I really think so. I thought it would take much less time than that. But I didn't say so. Instead, I said, "Who knows? Do you really think we'll keep being as petty as we are now?"

"Dunno." Our lunches came, just sandwiches, nothing special. "So, what made you think of me?" he asked.

"I saw you on Red Right."

He nearly choked on his sandwich. "You what? No, don't say that again. I got it the first time." He downed his entire glass of water, rose and walked to the elegant little tray where a pitcher with ice waited, came back. "You read that?"

"I'm not just your ordinary alien homosexual, you know," I said. "I keep track of these things. Especially since you all air them so publicly."

Josh stroked his chin. "I might have to find a new hobby."

"Oh, come on. Ever since Andrew Sullivan we've known privacy is dead. Only the Pentagon keeps acting like its personal nasty habits can be successfully kept under wraps. There are cameras everywhere, Josh. The only question is, who's in charge of them?"

"Oma, you scare me."

"On Pendor, there is no privacy of the kind you imagine. The AIs know absolutely everything, but they have a value standard that includes gossip only when they think it furthers their purpose."

"And what is their purpose?" Josh asked.

"Ask Shardik. He might know."

"He MIGHT know?" Josh asked. "Do you have any idea how ominous that sounds?"

I nodded. Pendorians lived with it. It was remarkable how rarely the AIs intervened even in moments of personal violence. What they guaranteed, though, was that the aggressor in any such moment was portrayed in the worst possible light, and somehow the notion of notoriety, of power, never came through. I never ceased to be amazed at how differently these things happened on Earth. The idea that someone would give in to weakness and descend into personal violence, and that this could be portrayed positively, was about the only thing about Earth I thought could not be fixed with a sufficient application of bread and circuses. Mostly because that's what they wanted from their circus!

"So, what were you doing looking at RR?" he asked.

"I wanted to know if I could go to the party on Friday."

"You want to go to the party?" he asked. "I- I suppose. I don't see why not."

"Can you tell me about it? What goes on there?"

"Well, you won't be asked to do anything you don't want to do, of course, and there's really no pressure. The place is called Open Arms, it's a little bed and breakfast down in Virgina, about an hour's drive. It's actually quite nice. They have a hot tub and, well, the basement is well appointed. Naturally, you have to bring your own party favors."

"'Party favors?'" I asked. "You mean, like drugs?"

"Well, no. I mean like Crisco. And it's nice to bring something the host can use-- gloves, paper towels. And yeah, there's sometimes some drugs there. Pot, beer, poppers. We don't allow tweakers."

"I'm going to sound like a parrot again. 'Tweakers'?"

"People on methamphetamine."

"Is it common that people show up like that?"

Josh nodded. "It used to be. Before the cure, it happened a lot with the more self-destructive types. On meth, people think they're indestructible. With AIDS, they thought they could afford to fuck themselves up because they didn't have much time left anyway. They can take and do anything." He changed his voice. "'But Bob, that's both hands up to the elbow!' 'Goddammit, gimme more!'"

I laughed. Josh's ability to do different voices should have gotten him a job doing commercials, or cartoons, but he wanted to go into law. I suppose I couldn't fault him for his decision. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. And a Pendorian? We have our own needs.

"So, who do I call to get in?" I asked.

"I'll call the guy who runs the place. His name's Bill. I'm sure he'd let you in. If nothing else, the novelty of having a Felinzi in the place will certainly get the party moving."

I grinned. "Who's gonna try and suck my dick?"

He smiled back. "All of 'em."

I did indeed get an email with the time, address, and some introductory material. The actual act wasn't that foreign to me; I'd tried with a lover some years back. Maybe it was him, maybe I wasn't equipped for it, but we never did get anywhere and it left me feeling sore and unsatisfied. I was amused to see that my presence was announced on the Red Right mailing list, with a flurry of followups signaling that they'd all treat me "right."

I checked out an unmarked car for the night from the motor pool and made my way out to the freeway, headed south. I hit traffic, some accident on the interchange, and ended up getting to the place a half-hour late. Part of that was my miscalculating the length of the trip in the first place.

The address led me to a lovely three-story house with wood fronting painted a calming blue. The front yard was tiny but as lovingly manicured as a stereotype would allow. A sign on the front door said, "Entrance in rear." The double entendre' brought my first smile of the evening.

I walked around to the back. A raised platform held a small but comfortable-looking hexagonal hot tub bubbling away noisily, and through sliding glass doors I could see shapes moving about in the dim light. I walked in to find four men sitting in what looked like a small living room. There were two couches along the walls, and opposite them was a wide television screen on which some rather aggressive pornography was playing to the rapt attention of a few.

The image was crystal clear; the release in 2006 of do-it-yourself smart video restoration software, not to mention the cure for HIV, had led to a major resurgence of interest in 1970-era pornography, especially since you could insert yourself over any actor of approximately the same build. The video on-screen had the look of some mid-90's work, but I could see that the restorer had identified the condoms as unwanted and edited them away. The super-buff performers wore leather harnesses of the kind popular with the kinkier crowd.

Not like the actual group here. The mix was very appealing, the buff mixing with the out-of-shape freely. Four men was a small sample to go on, but if they were representative the middle age was somewhere in the late 30's to early 40's. And they were all still wearing some clothes.

That was when one noticed me. "Oh, my god." He looked me up and down and I could see the calculations going on behind his eyes. I've gotten that with every Terran lover so far. "You must be Oma. Hi, I'm Bill." A tall, thin man in his mid-40's with a pot belly and eyes the color of moonlit sky held out his hand.

I shook it warmly, and said, "Yeah, that's me. Josh here, yet?"

"Nope. He'll show up. He's on the list."

The other four men were also eying me warily now, not sure of what to make of me. I let it slide. Nobody expects a black-furred alien in their midsts here on Earth. We're still something of a rarity. I reached for my wallet. "Twenty bucks to cover costs, right?"

"Yep." He took the money, put it in a small lockbox. "Ed, record Oma as attending." The little laptop computer on the table blinked softly and recorded the transaction. "Don't worry. It'll get wiped tomorrow. It's just the guest list." I nodded. "Here, let me show you around. Now, the rest of the place is off limits. It's just this room, the outside, and the downstairs. Let me show you downstairs."

He led me through a narrow doorway and down a flight of creaky wooden stairs. We reached a carpeted room, almost square except for what looked like a closet built into one corner. "Through there is the bathroom. The shower has two hoses, one for the head, one for the shot."

"'Shot?'" I asked. "Sorry, I'm a bit slow on some of the terminology."

"New guy, eh? I assume you did clean out, though?"

I nodded. Rather than find some way of asking the staff doc for help, I had decided to go ahead and do it the old-fashioned way, with an enema bottle. The process had been unpleasant and uncomfortable in a very personal way, but I had managed to get through it. I understand that some people enjoy the process. Some of the sensations had been interesting, but certainly nothing I would have referred to as 'erotic.'

"Good." He pushed open a sliding door and showed me the shower. He held up what looked like skinny dildo on the end of a hose hanging from a diverter. "Showershot. Instant enema gear."

"Isn't it dangerous using wall-pressure?"

"You don't go deep with it," he said. "It's just for cleaning out the bottom part." He laughed at his own joke. "If you're going to go deep, you need to do other things. But you're new. If you're clean, I'm sure you'll do fine. If you do use it, it's polite to fill the holder there from that bottle and put it back for the next person." He gestured toward a bottle labeled 'bleach.'

"Now, the rest of the room is where the real play happens." There were four stations, three slings and what looked like an examination table, all set in a row. At the end of the row, the nook created by the jut of the bathroom was filled with a small bed. "You're one of the first ones here. Usually things don't pick up until about ten."

"I was afraid I was going to be late."

"Not running on gay time, are you?" I held my tongue. There are some stereotypes I don't like. That's one of them.

I heard footsteps upstairs and the sound of the sliding glass door was unmistakable. "I have more guests," Bill said. "Take a look around." There were speakers hung in the corners and the music playing sounded like trance as done by an orchestra. The floor was covered in cheap, flat carpeting that looked like it could be pulled up without much effort.

There was one oddity to the room that caught my eye. Not in a way that really interested me, but it was worth noting. I walked back upstairs and dug into my duffel, pulling out a beer from the softpack sports cooler I had borrowed from someone at the embassy. "Hey, Bill," I said, "What's with all the straight porn?"

"More than half our business is straight," he said. "There are a lot more of them than there are of us. They like this sort of thing, too, you know." A small percentage of a large group and a larger percentage of a small group. I shrugged. It made sense.

I had to deal with a number of shocked looks from people who were finally beginning to show up. Josh finally did, and I hugged him as he came through the door. We made small talk but it wasn't long before loud and manly groans began wafting up from the basement. "Shall we go look?" he asked.

Downstairs, the middle sling was in use. The sling was made of leather straps sewn together with cross-straps, suspended from the rafters by steel chains, forming a platform off the ground at just the right height to fuck someone lying in it. A heavyset man in his early 40's lay in the sling, his legs high in the air, knees hooked over the chains. His partner, a thinner guy and even older, was working four fingers into his butt. The volume of Crisco in use was amazing. I noticed that each sling had a small table for the top to keep his Crisco and spare gloves, a stool for him to sit on, and a roll of paper towels overhead, suspended from the ceiling with a stretch cord like the kind used for securing cargo to the roof of an automobile. A smaller, higher table lay near the bottom's head, where he kept only a small brown bottle of amyl nitrite, a popular drug that relaxed the smooth muscles of the body, making penetration easier.

At events like this, there are two kinds of voyeurs; those who gawk and those who contribute. The former make you uncomfortable, as if you were some kind of freak and they couldn't believe they were watching you do these strange things; the latter turn you on, appreciating you for what you're showing them. I hoped I was the latter; I felt like the latter. Despite the obsession with hard bodies that came through in pornography, watching these two gentle men do their thing gave me a hard-on.

Josh pressed up behind me, reached down and fondled my cock. "You're liking this."

"Yeah," I said slowly, surprised at how much I was liking this. I wanted to contribute. I wanted to participate.

Heavy footsteps on the stairs told me that more were coming down, and soon the basement was filling with men. I made my way over to the bed in the nook to watch.

I was joined by an incredibly cute young man no older than thirty, barrel-chested and belly to match, body covered in fine, blond hair, mustache, hair trimmed to less than inch all-over. Without saying a word he began fondling my cock. "Never had a Pendorian here before."

"I'm just like you. With fur, mind you."

"And a tail."

"It's a hot tail tonight," I joked.

"Can I suck you?"

"If you like," I said, smiling. Josh was right. And, oh Fah! was his mouth soft. I couldn't believe how good he was at giving head. He dropped down onto my dick and I could feel the soft burr of his mustache prickling the fell of my hide right above my cock. He was deep throating me and instantly I felt close to coming. I knew it wasn't a real rise, just the intensity of such powerful sucking so fast.

I luxuriated in the feel of his lips and tongue on my cock, but eventually I had to tell him to stop. "I'm gonna come, and it's early yet." His face dropped, but he smiled and nodded at me. We leaned against the back wall to watch as the room filled up. For the first time I looked down the length of the room. All three slings and the examination table were in use. "Look," my recent partner said as his hands caressed the fur of my chest. "It's like a kindergarten."

I knew what the word meant and, looking down the row, I realized just how right he was. Everything was in order and everyone was following the rules. It was organized just like a kindergarten. It even had cubbyholes along the wall for shed clothing. The only difference was that this was the kinkiest kindergarten I had ever seen.

I grinned. A perfect analogy.

I rose and went back upstairs. More people had shown up; I was a center of polite attention. I liked it that way. They were quietly interested in me, but I wondered if my difference would keep them away from me.

I needn't have worried. A handsome man walked by me, his hand brushing my cock. He paused for a second. "I hope you don't mind," he said as he casually fondled me.

"Oh, of course. I come here for this kind of harassment." I grinned to let him know I was joking. He said, "Would you like to play downstairs?"

"I would," I agreed. "But... I'm new at this."

"I figured you would be," he said.

"Don't figure on that," I said. "Let me grab my stuff."

He nodded. I joined him down stairs with my bag over my shoulder. He indicated an empty sling. As I was getting into it, the man in the sling next to mine started shouting, "Oh, god, Oh god!" I looked to see his partner with half an arm buried in his ass. The top, a tall, thin guy with a gnarled nose and an angelic smile, said, "That's it, man, you're in the house of the Lord now."

That got a few chuckles. I undressed, folded my clothes and placed them on top of my duffel. I took out the few "party favors" I had brought for myself and hopped into the sling. The tinkling of the chains overhead was more amusing than threatening. My cute partner with the busy hands slipped newspaper onto the floor under our play area, and then a towel under my butt. I looked up and realized that the scene was complete; above me, overhead, was a mirror, pushed down so that I could see exactly what was going on between my legs.

"Hmm," my partner said. "What's your name?"


"I'm Greg. I know how much of a pain it is to get Crisco out of towels. What's it like with fur?"

"I'm going to find out." He chuckled as I threw my legs out over the chains. My ass was completely exposed, up in the air, easy for him to see. My tail draped down onto the floor. I felt oddly small, compressed into that tiny space, the sling only slightly more than a meter long and not even a meter wide. I had been turned into a fuck object, my legs lifted out of the way.

Greg started by kissing my balls. In the mirror, his head obscured my vision but I could feel exactly what was going on. He coaxed my cock out of its short sheath and licked the tip playfully before sliding back down over my testicles. His tongue tickled playfully along that little stretch of skin between balls and ass, and I waited, anticipating the touch of his tongue on my hole. When it came, I knew I was in the right place. Up until now I had been a bit hesitant about this whole event, but now my asshole was telling me that I had brought it to the place where it would get what it wanted. What I wanted.

"Oh, fuck," I groaned. "Good."

"It'll get better," he said, his voice muffled by my furred asscheeks. "This will be fun. I get to give the alien the anal probe this time."

I had heard similar jokes several times in the past years, but this time it had an effect, and I laughed hard along with him.

He stood up and started to pull a glove over his hand, then stopped. "I forgot to ask. Glove or no glove? Got any allergies? Anything to tell me?"

My head was reeling from the attention already, but I managed to pull myself together. "No allergies. You decide on the gloves. The only thing you need to know is that I'm a bit of a neurotic about mess; I'll probably try to get up and help you clean the second we're done."

"No, you won't," he said. "I won't let you."

"Just letting you know."

He grinned and finished pulling the glove on. I watched in the mirror as he took a small glob of Crisco from the can and pressed it to my asshole. The feel of cool grease made me feel more relaxed, which I thought was weird, but I accepted it. He took more grease onto his gloved hand and slid one finger easily into my butt. I lay back and let his invasion happen, let myself be opened by this hot-looking man.

Two fingers were easy, and then he began with three. Things began to get interesting. Three fingers was a lot, as far as I was concerned, and watching him turn his hand and pry my hole with that greasy paw of his was turning me on, but in peculiar ways. I wasn't getting hard from it, but I was really enjoying the things he was doing to my asshole.

He was incredibly patient. I was already hungry for more, but he rocked his hand back and forth slowly, sloshing grease around in my ass, letting my hole open up more. Then, when I wasn't looking, there were four fingers. "You haven't taken a hit," he said, gesturing at the small, brown bottle of amyl at my head.

"I'm saving it until I need it," I said.

He nodded. "You've got a great asshole," he said, pushing in gently with all four fingers. Deep inside my butthole I felt his finger curl up.

"Ow," I said softly.

"Not a prostate player, huh?" he asked.

"No," I agreed. "I guess not."

"I'll be careful, then." He kept up with the rocking motion deeper into my ass; his hand was in all the way to the thumb, which he kept pointed up and away from my hole. I leaned back in the sling and let the feel of his hand on my asshole go through me. I couldn't believe we'd gotten this far. How long had I been here? How much could I take?

He was using both hands now, spreading my asshole open with three fingers of each hand. But that was nothing compared to getting over the hump of his thumb, the widest part of the hand. He showed me the tower configuration of six fingers and then his fist and I realized that I was a long way from taking it all.

Or maybe not. His hands were incredibly gentle, wonderfully talented, as he opened me up further and further. I watched with amazement as he folded his thumb along the length of his left hand in a straight, goose-neck style, and then pressed inwards. "Take a hit," he said, gesturing with his other hand toward the amyl.

I did as he suggested, the rough, ugly smell of the amyl filling my sinuses and a second later the effect hitting me hard. I got dizzy and my body felt light. In the mirror I watched a miracle happen as his hand slipped into my asshole. Greg's hand was buried deep in my guts now. Amazingly, I felt no pain, and I knew that wasn't because of the amyl because it doesn't cover up pain, which is another reason why it's popular. It also wears off in about thirty seconds.

"You've got an asshole just like mine. Tight on the outside, but a lot of room once you get in," my buddy said as he slowly turned his fist inside my guts.

"Oh, fuck!" I cried out. I felt so good! But I was also starting to feel sore at the opening. "Maybe that's enough."

"Okay. I wouldn't ask much more from a virgin anyway." He slowly took his hand out, so slowly I ached, but I wasn't sure if I wanted him to stay or go. Past the thumb his hand slipped out easily and my body shook with a strange ecstasy. I lay there, tears in my eyes, and looked up in the mirror again. He was just touching my hole with his fingers. "What do you want?"

"I... I don't know," I said. I was still trying to figure out what had just happened. "I..."

"I'll just stay here," Greg said, "and touch you until you figure out what you want." His fingertips danced at my hole, one or two fingers sliding in now and then, teasing me. My butthole hungrily announced that it wanted more, and I conveyed its request. "More."

"More?" he asked.

"More," I said. He slipped three fingers in, then four. He went only slightly quicker than the first time, and when the time came for his thumb I took another hit of the amyl, and in he slipped. "What do you want?" he said.

I began stroking my cock. It grew to full hardness as he began rocking me back and forth in the sling, using my asshole's grip on his wrist to pull me to him before letting go. It felt so fucking good. In the mirror, I could see us both attached by butt and wrist. "That's it, little kitty, tell me what you want."

"I want... I want to bust a nut with your hand inside me!" I said, letting the words out that I had wanted to say all night. A second later my wants became needs, and then truth as I screamed out loud, coming so hard I felt semen hit me on the muzzle. "Oh, fuck! Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!"

"I'm hearing some happy sounds!" said the man with the voice of an evangelist. "Let me hear it some more! Hallelujah!"

But I had no more. I was drained. "Out," I begged. "Enough."

"I'm gonna go slow," Greg said. "Can't rush this."

I nodded, reluctant to take a hit of the amyl to get him out. Peristaltic pressure in my gut was already pushing Greg's hand away; the sex was over and I could no longer ignore the things I had done to my anatomy. I pushed, and Greg's hand slipped out easily. He examined the glove carefully, and then smiled. "See? Nothing wrong with you at all. No mess, no blood"

"Oh, good," I sighed, sagging back into the sling. "Fuck. But I am a mess."

"Only the kind of mess we like around here. All kinds of white stuff. You stay right where you are," my hot buddy said. "Just stay right there." I remembered my promise to him and nodded. I would stay right here while he cleaned up. He pulled down a huge wad of paper towels and cleaned off as much Crisco as he could, folded the towel protecting the sling over my groin, and gathered up the newspapers. He offered me a paper towel to wipe up the come on my chest and belly. "I need a shower."

"That's what it's there for," Greg said. He offered me his arms and I allowed him to pull me up into a sitting position, then stood up into his embrace. His body was so comforting; the whole thing had been, really, and his hug just made me feel so happy. He tried kissing me, and we managed something around my muzzle.

"Now, this is a story to tell my kids," he said. "I had sex with an alien."

"You have kids?" I said.

"Yeah, and they know I'm gay. I don't think they'd want to know all the details. I'll just tell them we met at a party and I spent a lot of time with you exchanging... pleasantries."

I laughed. "You're sweet," I said, kissing him again. "I need to go wash."

"Then go shower," he said.

I grabbed soap from my duffel, went into the shower, and mistakenly turned the power on high. The "showershot" thing was on, and it began snaking around the bathroom out of control, giving me a noseful of water before I managed to turn it off. "Damn," I swore.

"You okay in there, Oma?"

"Fine!" I sang. I found the valve to turn the shower proper on and was soon washing myself down with a soap made in Hungary. It was one of the few soaps that the Embassy people said was appropriate for grease on Pendorian fur that wasn't a "pet soap," which was usually too harsh and smelled awful. Even so, it wasn't enough to actually get all of the grease out, and I had the impression that I'd feel slippery back there for days.

I dried off as well as I could with towels and walked back up the stairs, taking a seat on the empty couch. The porn was still going, still with the same theme, but over on the couch two guys were sucking each other off, each with his head in the other's crotch. I watched for a while, enjoying the sight, completely ignoring the fact that neither of these men were the buff gods on film but they were real and they were enjoying themselves. One of them paused to light a hand-rolled cigarette and I learned what marijuana smelled like. At least, I assume that's what it was, if they were going by the party rules.

Eventually, though, after another beer I wandered back down to watch some more. I admit it, I was hooked. I didn't think I had enough in me to do this again this night, and I wanted someone to be by my side if I was asked to top, but I wanted to bottom again, soon. I wanted to get my ass plowed. And I wanted to fuck somebody. Anybody.

There was a handsome guy with muscles clearly earned from hours in the gym lying face-down on the bed, looking away from the rest of the party. There was a large mirror on the back wall of the nook and he was watching all of us in it. I looked down on his proffered, hard-bodied ass and wondered if I could have it. It was a surprising moment of avarice. I had already come and yet I wanted more of something, anything, some way of getting into another man before the night was over. I crawled onto the bed, crawled over him.

"What... ?" he said, surprised, then looked up. "You're..."

"Molesting you," I said with a smile, kissing his shoulder. He relaxed. "May I?"

"I would love it if you would," he said. "Something to remember."

"Mmm," I agreed, my cock getting hard between the cheeks of his ass. "I admit I was attracted to your hot-looking ass."

"That's why I put it there, for the world to see," he said.

I pressed my cock against his asshole. "We're going to need some grease."

"Right there," he gestured. I followed where he pointed with my eyes and used the indicated bottle. I squirted some of the clear liquid between his cheeks and pressed my cock into him. "Yeahhh," was all he said as I slipped into his hot butt.

I lay on top of this complete stranger, my cock buried deep in his ass, and kissed his shoulders and neck as we fucked. In the mirror, I could see him looking up at me, a face full of disbelief, pleasure, and surprise as I slowly made use of his warm, willing hole. I smiled at him. "How are you taking it?" I asked.

"I didn't expect to get fucked by an alien while here," he said. "But I'll take it."

"Good," I whispered into his ear. "Because I've already come once. This could take a while."

He put his head down in crossed arms and closed his eyes. He wasn't completely passive, but I didn't mind either way. It didn't matter to me at this point. If he was willing, I was horny. The groans of men and the smell of sweat and poppers filled the air as my cock found a home in his asshole.

It actually didn't take long. I was delighted by the rush of pleasure as I came inside him, a soft gasp in his ear, a whispered "thank you," a roll in the bed, a hug. He relaxed and released me, heading for the shower as I wiped my cock off with yet another paper towel.

I sat on the bed and let the dizziness subside for a minute or two, watching as more men shouted out their pleasures in the slings and tables.

I glanced up. "Is that really the time?" I asked an older, heavyset guy as he joined me on the bed. More hands groping for more cocks, more asses; his was short, but amazingly fat, and he appreciated my strokes. It seemed that I was the flavor of the night and as many men as possible were trying to get their hands on me. I didn't mind, but I was tired.

"That's really the time," he said. It was already two hours past midnight and unlike most Terrans I don't have much interest in weekends. I like what I do. I even do it on Saturday. But maybe not tomorrow.

But there was no denying that this fuzzy bear of a man wanted one more climax. I began stroking his cock with my hand as he stroked my back and butt. I gently pried his hand free of my ass; he was probing me with rough fingers and I was more than a little tender back there right now. He didn't resist as I took him over the edge, sending lines of thick, ropy come onto his belly.

He lay on the bed, gasping, and I kissed his cheek. He said, "Thank you."

"You're welcome," I whispered, kissing him gently.

I rose and recovered my clothing, then walked upstairs, duffel over one shoulder. I dressed quietly. "You leaving already?" Josh asked.

Josh! "I didn't see you downstairs at all tonight," I said.

"Ah, I've been upstairs." He placed a hand on his stomach. "My system isn't going to let me play tonight."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I said. "But you could have come down and topped. I was looking forward to seeing you in action."

He shrugged, a pretty smile on his pretty face. "Sorry. I came down once, but you were attached to someone else." I wondered what that meant, but let it pass. "Anyway, talk to you later?"

"I'm free all next week. Drop me a line when you have the time."

"I'll do that," he agreed. I thanked the host, made my way out to my car and drove back to D.C.

Josh did invite me to lunch later that week. We met at a pizza place closer to his office this time, a by-the-slice place that had wonderful hand-made pies. He watched with amazement as I put down three slices and a tall lemonade while he ate only a salad.

"Are you watching your weight?" I asked.

All the time," he said with a sigh. "It's relentless, the gay pursuit."

"It can't be that bad. I really appreciated Friday night. All those guys of different bodies and ages, and there didn't seem to be that much competition."

"It's a different space, I'll agree to that. What did you think of the play?"

"It was okay. Great. I'll go back. I have to admit that I was really amazed by one thing." Josh looked at me expectantly. "One of the participants said that it was like a kindergarten. Ever heard of the kindergarten organization principle?" Josh shook his head. "It's a way of laying out office space. It says that you're not going to use a file cabinet you don't like looking at, and you're not going to use a closet you have to work to get into. So you organize your space like a kindergarten, with containers close to the spaces where their contents are used, and make them attractive so people will use them.

"That place was laid out perfectly like that. I am really impressed with the skill of the host. Everything was in easy reach for any act, and everyone had enough room to do his thing.

"But more than that, it was like a kindergarten in another way. Everyone there was earnest. Everyone there was interested in having fun. There was no holding back, no irony, no attempt to think deeply and consider all the alternatives. I don't think I heard a word of real sarcasm or discouragement in the whole place. If you couldn't do it, nobody cared, and you just moved on to the next fun thing." I shook my head. "Places like that don't exist in my world, usually. Even the religious people I know have a post-modern take on it, looking at their own belief with irony, knowing that belief itself is a dead end with no resolution. The only people I know who live in wide-eyed wonder are astronomers-- and handballers." I laughed. "Now there's a pair of peoples who would probably prefer to not be associated."

I looked at him and realized that my speech had not gone over well. "Something wrong with what I said?"

He shook his head. "Not about what you said. I just think that the wide-eyed wonder itself is going to disappear."

"What? Why?"

"Think about it," he said. "Part of the reason for that earnestness is the danger we're playing with. Everyone is open and honest because the alternative is, well, better not to think about. One out of every two thousand fistfucks results in a trip to the hospital, usually with inexperienced players. This Friday your life was in the hands of another.

"Except, for you, it really wasn't, was it?" He pointed at me. "What would it take to kill you, T'Oma? I don't think it could be done from your asshole, could it?"

I took a drink of water. I thought about it. "No," I agreed. "Probably not."

"What happens if you take that risk, of death or lifelong disablement, away from the fisters? Even the stupidest tweaker thinks that he's going to survive this time, he's not that self-destructive. Death is always a long way away. That's why they do it. That's why humans behave the way they do. They don't really believe that death is going to come for them, at least not today. But handballers, they know they're playing with really dangerous shit.

"But you're going to take all that away from them. The risk will be minimized. 'Cuisinart your intestine? No problem. Lie in this bed and tomorrow you'll have a new one.'" He sighed.

I understood what he was saying, and it did hurt, in a way, to know that this community that I had been introduce to was already on its last legs, already heading toward oblivion. All the human truths were heading that way. I knew that I would live to see a day when the universe was completely subjective, completely arbitrary, completely without any truth whatsoever.

"On the way back from the party," I began, "I was thinking. What happened there was that I found a way to dump large amounts of certain neurotransmitters into my brain, ones associated with acts both good for me and bad for me, and my brain, swamped with these chemicals, reported to the conscious me something equivalent to ecstasy. And I realized that I could have that sensation any time I wanted to, with Pendorian technology. I could record it on a Brace-Reynolds headset and play it back, completely, as if I had been there the first time. I could look at it with the proprioception monitors turned off, look at it with dispassion, see what it would do to me, or I could relive the event in full and complete fidelity.

"And I wondered what it would mean if I could give that to a stranger. What would they think of it? What would I think of it if you had given a tape to me."

"And what did you come up with?" he asked.

I shrugged. "Nothing. I don't think there's a term for it. I don't think you and I can talk about it without actually doing it, and even then, we'd have to make stuff up. We'd be something other than the people we are now." I could see on his face that he was having a hard time making sense of that. "I mean, think about it. Speech itself must be an evolutionary advantage of some kind, but its purpose is to convey survival-oriented data. Sure, we've managed to get past that, but not by much. Think about how hard poetry is to write-- and even harder to read! But what if we could get all the way past that? Would we still be the kind of people we are now? Would you and I, here, be able to understand people like that?"

Josh thought for a moment. "You mean, what will it be like for me when I can turn on a switch and think... whatever I want?"

"Something like that. Josh, think about it. What have you got after a handballing event? You've got a memory of how special it was and a desire to do it again, right?" I didn't look to see if he agreed. "So, what if you could have the memory, have the conviction that it was special, and make that desire go away when it was inconvenient, like, at work, or while making love in your own bedroom. Think, Josh, of what kind of world it will be when you can fiddle with the knobs of your own sexual desire, even your orientation, directly."

"You want that?" he asked, amazed. "Think about the potential for abuse, the government ordering gay people to..."

"Screw governments," I growled. "They've come to understand that harming innocent gay men and women is non-optimal, to use the terminology of my department. Governments see people in one of three roles: economic, defensive, and reproductive. Defense is winding down thanks to automation, reproduction is winding down thanks to a combination of affluence and overpopulation anyway, and being gay doesn't interfere with one's economic role'. Only tradition gets in the way of governments choosing optimal paths, and we know what happens to those whose choose tradition in the face of those who choose optimization. Optimize or die."

I took a drink of water. "It's not a matter of me wanting it, Josh. It's going to happen. The brain is an electrochemical thing; it can be influenced. Right now you humans do it by soaking your brains in big doses of chemicals such as alcohol and Prozac and the like. But very soon you'll be able to both read out, and write back, the reported and subjective meaning of fiddling with every neuron, every dendrite, every connection. The question will be, then, what happens to those with that, and those without. On Pendor, that will be in the hands of every private citizen. We have traditions, too, and I don't see this catching on, even if fully mature, for another millennium. We move too slowly. But Humanity will be making its own choices in the meantime."

We fell silent. Neither of us could think of what to say next. Lunch moved on in silence. When facing the next big question, quiet always feels like the right way to digest the answer.

I leaned back in my chair, letting the power of what we had been discussing fade into the background. It does that, with us evolutionary products. If we can't actually do anything about a given situation, we adjust to our reality to make it feel tolerable. Anthropologists call that accommodation. The things that would stress us under other conditions become minor, maybe even familiar, after a while. That's what Josh and I were both doing with the notion that our favored cultures were doomed to extinction; since we couldn't do anything about it, we were accommodating that thought, taking its power away from it.

An evolutionary gift. A survival trait. "Hey," Josh said. "Since I didn't get to see much of you Friday night, you wanna go see a movie? The Versailles Theater is doing 'coming out movies, 1978-2008.'"

"And afterward? Make use of our passions while we still have them?"

"That would be nice, too," he agreed.