Today’s Gallery: Abs Appreciation
Well, hello to 2016! I’m changing the style here a little bit – focus on the pictures a little more, and disperse the news/comment/general whiffle in between the pictures. We’ll see how that works.
Today’s ‘general whiffle’ concerns seeing in the New Year in Chad’s gym. Kids at a High School thing supervised by other parents, so we could all go to support Chad’s event, and that included six of our ‘safe gay coven’, two being in Australia and the other two at an event of their own in Lexington KY.
The last sixty seconds before 2016 meant one press-up per second in unison – about 45 of us altogether. May sound silly, but you know what we’re like. And that was after everyone had spend two-three hours on their own fitness routines and whatnot beforehand. Then the plastic cups of wine were handed out.
After that – party time. Everyone was invited to ‘oil up’ for a general wrestle mayhem, after which the groups split up and the six of us were free to do our own special things. Which means enjoying each other’s love and friendship in our gay ways (as you do – well, as we do anyway!), both giving and receiving. You know how it is. Chad’s is a very gay-friendly gym but, at times like these, it is surprising how involved some of the straight guys get, too.
Any, perhaps that’s enough of the ‘naughty bits’. If you want more of that stuff, please turn to the books mentioned here and later (you can click on the titles for more information). Loving the Boy, for example. There’s actually something more important to write here…
A lot of oil to clean up – and the rest. And Dave and I happened to be on this week’s cleaning rota so, after showering off the oil, we set to with mops and buckets. And then Chad reappeared. By now it was about 4am. Just the six of us were left – the others being Gary and Zach (the latter returned from CA for the occasion), Dave’s brother Pete and his partner Ivo. We’re all very long-standing members of Chad’s amazing gym (lots more detail in The Power of Love ), and he wanted to confide in us.
We trooped up to his penthouse flat which overlooks the gym. More drinks offered and accepted. Then the bombshell.
Chad set up the place 20 years ago whilst living on some sort of apparently private income (as he still does: Yes, there are fees to help pay for and maintain all the equipment, but the level of ‘subsidy’ is very obvious when you think about it). It has been his personal project throughout, he has maintained an exclusive membership chosen by himself, and this has meant that everyone is free to ‘let their hair down’ in whatever ways they choose. He has, for example, encouraged naked training. He’s gay too – appreciates see the muscles at work…
…as I think we all do that come here!
And he has had enough.
He’s approaching 40, and says he wants to go off and see some more of the world. He has hardly ever left Tennessee, let alone the USA: he did once show up in Scotland – see Against All Odds – to support us in a troubled time, but otherwise he’s a person who likes his own company, supervising his gym creation, working out at dead of night and keeping his own hours, and his own counsel.
He told us that he would need to pull some of his investment out of the venture, so what to do? He can’t contemplate selling the place as a ‘going concern’ to some fitness chain – he has a fierce loyalty to ‘his’ boys and the small number of girls who count as ‘honorary boys’ – he’d like to hand things on to someone equally committed to keeping this very special venture working. The obvious source for such a person – or group of people – would be from his existing membership. Keep things exclusive, which we all appreciate.
There is income also from his second smaller hall – Man.Power.2 as it is known, which is available to other groups and the public for their assorted sporting ventures. On the other hand, the building, which is tucked discreetly into a small industrial zone and likes to maintain a very low profile, would have serious commercial value. Zach and Gary live there also in the second apartment – and it was fairly obviously that Chad was clutching at the possibility that these existing residents might be willing to take up the challenge.
That’s all very well, but they (and the other four of us) have jobs already and also we tend to drift off on circus tours from time to time (although as written here before, that is losing its appeal!). And we’re not sure about the responsibility. Maintaining the exclusivity – and maintaining the condoning of very personal interactions between consenting members within the building – raises many issues. And there is a tradition which Chad insists be maintained, and which gives grave concern to some of us. This is the southern USA and in some families where the local history back a long way, there remains strong resistance to the integration of coloured folks. And Chad is one of them. In 2016, the three Brits amongst us certainly have issues with that, coming from a country which has been built upon immigration from many cultures.
Many things to brood over here…
We’re not sworn to secrecy, or I wouldn’t write this here. But I do wonder whether, with the occasional history of bad community relations (outwardly gay-friendly institutions are not welcome in the Bible Belt!), expanding our own facilities for our own benefit isn’t a better option (for our group anyway) than involving ourselves in a potentially snag-ridden adventure. We shall see.
A few more abs for today, then!