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There was a film a few years ago entitled "Maurice". I thot it good about
showing a man coming to terms with his "affliction" during Victorian England.
I have "Maurice" in my collection. It has been one of my favorite films since it came out in 1987 as the first of the elegant, beautiful Merchant-Ivory film collaborations. They have filmed several of E. M. Forster's books.
Forster knew he was homosexual by the age of 21 (in 1900). But while a gay lifestyle was then acceptable in some quarters, Forster did not feel he could openly declare his sexuality, or act on it freely. The three trials of Oscar Wilde during the prior decade had ruined Wilde and sent him to prison. Forster's tension remained until he tried to release it in a way that would reaffirm him as a writer. After the success of his novel "Howard's End" ( to become another Merchant-Ivory film 90 years later) in 1910, he feared his creativity had dried up.
Yet in 1913, the idea for a novel about homosexual love came to him in a moment of revelation. That seemed to show a way out of his barren time, and he wrote "Maurice" enthusiastically and at great speed. When it was done in 1914, however, Forster saw that it could not appear "until my death or England's," and it remained unpublished until after he died.
Forster passed in 1970; "Maurice" was published for the first time in 1971. Even then there were critics who qualified their comments about its excellence with such catty remarks as, "It would have been better for the body of his work had he not written on a homosexual theme." Homophobes never say die, unless the death is ours.
Set in pre-World War I England, the film concerns the coming of age of two young men who meet at Cambridge University and fall in love. Maurice and Clive struggle with their hearts within the confines of a rigid society’s moral hypocrisy. Clive eventually succumbs to a traditional life after witnessing the social banishment and imprisonment endured by another gay friend. But Maurice struggles with his sexual desires and chooses a more difficult, but honest, way of life. When a young gamekeeper returns his affections, Maurice experiences his first real happiness.
I am fond of the film "Maurice" for several reasons. Among them is the fact that, when young, I was of a physical type similar to the actor in the role, James Wilby, and was involved in two love affairs that parallel in many ways his relationships with Clive (Hugh Grant) and with Scudder (Rupert Graves). Even more striking is that the two actors who assayed the roles could have been replaced by the young men in my life without skipping a beat, their looks were so similar to Grant's and Graves'.
In the first instance, like Maurice, I was at college and was immensely attracted to a fraternity brother of the Hugh-Grant type. My interest in him was not particularly sexual, but after awhile we became so close intellectually and admired each other so much that my perception of his feelings toward me changed. The way he looked at me said it all. He was in love. I was flattered. He invited me to spend a weekend at his home.
I knew that his father occupied a high position, but I was still surprised by the opulence of his family mansion. I was, to tell the truth, intimidated by it, but everyone in the family was so charming and seemed to like me so much that I soon relaxed.
On the first night we slept together in his room, he came to lie beside me on one of the twin beds and held my hand while we talked in the dark. I was hard as a stone, but nothing happened. In the morning, I awoke to find his leg stretched across me and his arm thrown over my chest. That was it.
His father was a golfer, and so was he. I never liked playing the game although my father was a golfer and had special little clubs made for me when I was six. Somehow, the game never "took." Still, I loved to walk the links and enjoyed the social occasions. Afterward, we swam at the golf club, then went home and changed and joined the rest of the family at the country club's Saturday night dance.
By the time we got home that evening, we were exhausted and fell into bed. Again, together, but this time he wrapped up with me while we whispered in the dark, and he nibbled at my ear and was saying some very sweet things. Again, I was hard as a stone. I was not sure how far to go. He was a fraternity brother. I was class president and a scholarship student. He was a basketball star. His dad was a powerful man, and I was a guest in the home. There was a lot to lose if the wrong moves were made, so I did nothing, and we slept.
Weekending together became a regular thing: the country club, tennis, golfing, swimming, dinner, the Saturday night dance. I wore his clothes, a pair of his swim trunks, one of his white dinner jackets, cummerbund and bow tie, etc. They even supplied me with me a toothbrush and a comb. (I still have the teeth, but not the hair!) I never had to bring a thing. I became another son. Thus did the stakes get higher in the "love" game.
I had become infatuated with him. He was beside himself with love. Something had to happen, and it did. One night I left myself go and clasped him in my arms and pressed my hard-on against him and kissed him on the lips. He froze.
"Oh, my God," he said. "Oh, God, God, God!"
It was too late for me. I was already cumming in my pajamas---his pajamas, that is.
He sat up and swung his legs off the bed and buried his face in his hands, elbows on his knees. "I was afraid of this," he murmured. "Now you think I'm queer. I'm not. I can't be. I'm getting married next summer. I love her. I can't be queer. I love you, too, but it's not the same. Oh, God, please tell me you don't think I'm queer!"
He had turned back to me on that line and gazed at me intently through the semi-darkness. The question was in his eyes.
I answered it for him. "We're not queer. We just love each other as friends. I got a little out of control, that's all. I won't let it happen again."
He chucked me manfully under the chin and crawled in with me again. We slept like babies.
Our standard order of procedure after getting up each Saturday and Sunday and Monday morning was for him to mess up the bed we had not slept in, so the maid would not know. Actually, we slept in the two beds alternately to show the wrinkling of the sheets. Meanwhile, I would go to the wall which was a sliding glass door to the outside and draw the drapes and, if the weather were sunny and warm, open the door.
One of the most amazing things about life, to me, is that often there are forces which may be working in our favor which remain unknown, unseen, until they descend upon us and change things in the most unexpected manner.
My friend's house was built on split levels in a very exclusive suburb of the city where the homes had lots of space for front yards and back gardens. His room, in which we slept, gave on to a garden of its own, completely enclosed by shrubbery and fencing except for a wooden door in the tall fence at the rear which led to an alley where service vehicles parked while in attendance at the mansions on the block.
On Saturdays when I opened the drapes in the morning, I noticed the gate was often ajar, sometimes even standing open. My friend informed me when asked that it meant the gardening service was on the premises. They came weekly on Saturdays, even in winter, to prune and cut and seed and landscape in the six separate gardens (one for each bedroom) of the house and the beautiful grounds out front. There were several in the crew.
The one I saw most often in "our" garden was a dark-eyed young guy in a straw hat who looked away shyly whenever I caught his eye. He never spoke, even when I broadcast a cheerful, "Good morning!" Still, a sixth sense told me he was watching me each time I turned away.
In the warm nights and days of spring, we often left the draperies, and the glass door, open. I did not give it a thought until one Saturday I awoke in bed with my friend, our arms wrapped around each other, on top of the covers, our pajamas in disarray, with my eyes facing the door over his shoulder. The gardener was there, at the window, hedge-cropping shears in his hands, staring at us, his face expressionless. My friend, still asleep, chose that moment to shift position so that I lay mostly exposed---with my stiff prick sticking out of my fly!
The gardener, usually so shy, looked from my face to my dick and back again, with the merest trace of a devilish smile. In a panic, I sprang out of bed and marched over to the door to draw the drapes, my cock a few inches ahead of me all the way. The door was open. I could hear him say softly: "Don't worry. I understand. You are a beautiful man. I don't tell no one."
No shyness now. He was all big black eyes and staring me down. Embarrassed as hell, I couldn't help but return his smile. "Nothing wrong with you, either," I said, and stepped outside, closing the drapes behind me. It was a bold move, but my favorite philosophy then, as in the present, was, "Now is the only time." I held my hard dick in my hand and gave it a little shake.
His hand was on it in a flash. He let out a little sigh. Hanging on to my penis, he tugged me into some tall bushes at the side and leaned me against the wall, lowered my pajama pants, got down on his knees and blew me.
Already primed by proximity to my friend's body in bed, I could feel the juices rising as soon as the tip of my tool hit the roof of his mouth. I was hot. His tongue enfolded me while his head pumped me like a piston. He knew exactly what he was doing, and when the first spurt shot down his throat, his hands slipped around from my hips to my ass, and he pulled me so close his nose was dribbling in my pubes as he tried to breathe, but he wouldn't let me go until the last drop was sucked out, and he fell back on his heels.
He wouldn't let me do him. "Next time," he whispered, tears of ecstasy and strain running down his cheeks. He stuck his hand into his pants and brought it out with gobs of cum on his fingertips. "I came already," he grinned, wiping the messy hand on the grass.
There were plenty of "next times" on Saturdays after that---and my sleeping friend never knew. He did get married the next summer, and the gardener got a job closer to the campus and found himself a bright little room where I stayed with him two or three nights a week for awhile.
Thus ended my "Maurice."
Ben, what an absolutely fabulous story. It was like reading a wonderful novel. So tender, so sweet, so real, so earthy......It brought tears to my eyes. It also took me back years upon years to when I too was that young in body and so scared and yet so excited as I discovered life. I was taken back to that first man with whom I fell in love, then transported forward to the last man who gave me that feeling. I am also wrenched forward to the real world with life rich with its dichotomies, quandaries and paradoxes. Ah Ben, how delightful to wander back to those times before we made our choices in life and still had it all in front of us.
Thank you for a pleasant Sunday diversion!
Boys if you are in the Dark ages and have not seen this film, you must!!
Silverfoxes who enjoy a young Hugh Grant, run don't walk to your video
For anyone else, this is a beautiful story that I used to come out to my
folks, as it shows how beautiful it is for men to be in love!!!!!!
The film Maurice and another smaller film, Andre's Mother both came into my life at about the same time - I suppose one of the TV channels was showing a series of gay films.
Andre's Mother was primarily two characters - played by Sada Thompson and Richard Thomas (yes, it was difficult to not think "John-Boy Walton" all through the film!).
Though some of the acting was forgettable, I always enjoyed the film and remember sharing it with so many friends, gay and straight.
Perhaps it is time to dig both off my video shelf and renew acquaintances.
Thanks Ben for the story of "Maurice".
Collards are green,
to have a sweet thang like you.
Yore hair is like cornsilk
You move like the bass,
Yo're as satisfy'n as okry
You have some'a yore teeth
On special occasions,
Still them fellers at
Like a good roll of duct tape
Yo're as cute as a junebug
Cut from the best cloth
When you hold me real tight
Yore complexion, it's perfection,
Me "n" you's like a moon pie
Some men, they buy chocolate
Some men git roses
Some men buy fine diamond
But for this man, honey,
I got you a gift,
Joe aka AtomicPunk.
Ben Boxer comments: Tomorrow is May Day, a spring festival celebrating the return of flowers after a barren wintertime. A traditional May Day festivity is dancing around a maypole, but I prefer the more macho sport of sitting on a flagpole. A flagpole makes a nice maypole. You have one in your crotch. Invite someone to sit on it tomorrow. If he has enough spring in his ass, you May (really enjoy the) Day!
(Items from Gay.com UK dated today, April 30, 2001)
2) The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed it is paying for members of the armed forces to undergo sex change treatment. The MoD is funding hormone therapy and counselling for up to four people, believed to be male soldiers, who are changing their sex. The Ministry said the treatments were only allowed if there was a "clinical need"and were offered under the grounds of equality. The MOD claims soldiers are no longer forced to leave the army when they want to change sex and cross-dressing is now allowed. Since new guidelines were introduced last year soldiers looking to change sex are assessed by psychologists and are allowed to continue to serve if they are deemed able to - although they may have to be moved to a less physically demanding job.
3) "Billy Elliot" took a top award at the annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards. The British film was named outstanding film in wide release by GLAD, which is the gay equivalent of the Oscars. (Actor Gary Elliott, right, played Billy's Dad.) "The Broken Hearts Club" took the award for outstanding film in limited release. On the television side, the American version of Channel 4's "Queer As Folk" was named outstanding drama series, and "Will And Grace" won for outstanding comedy series. The GLAAD Media Awards are presented each year to programmes and films that fairly and accurately portray the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.
4) A former male prostitute and stripper
Georgina Beyer, who became New Zealand's
first transsexual politician, is to retire from
politics next year after just one term. Beyer
worked in the sex industry in Wellington and
Sydney, Australia before undergoing a sex
change operation to become a woman. She later
entered politics and was elected to parliament in
1999 from a traditionally conservative rural
district. Beyer said she is leaving politics to
promote gay rights in New Zealand and spend
more time developing links with her Maori
End of silverfoxesclub-digest V1 #223/4