Author's Note: This is something short set in 1870s New York and presented in the style of the bygone era.
It was colder than it should have been so Edgar and I rushed from the cab to the non-descript building on twenty-third street, west of Ninth Avenue. The building, though, was well-known and popular. It housed "The Stern Emporium" and within it were entertainments of circus performers and book readings and any number of things.
I did not know what entertainment Edgar and I would be witness to at ten o'clock on this Friday night. Nor did he. He was told by a mutual acquaintance that we would find something "educational and entertaining" at Mr. Stern's establishment and would not regret the trip.
Several other men were ahead of us at the door all dressed, as were we, formally. A young woman, a pretty blonde, took our money.
"You may take whatever seat you like, gentlemen," she said as she handed each of us a stub. "Enjoy" was added with a smile.
I had been here several times and was familiar with its layout. There was a medium-sized low stage surrounded by tiers of seats. Each of the four sides had about twenty seats and ten or twelve rows that rose steeply, with narrow stairs on either side. An aisle ran between each of the tiers.
The seats were about half occupied, the early-comers taking seats in the front, so Edgar and I were about mid-way up the row to our left when we entered and found seats towards the aisle. He pulled out his watch.
"Nine-fifty. Plenty of time," he said as I surveyed the crowd. I recognized three or four from Princeton and several more from the club and exchanged waves with them. As I looked, I noticed several "men" whose sex I was unsure of, with clean-shaven and smooth faces. I nudged Edgar.
"In a men-only event a woman must do what she must do," he shrugged.
A steady stream of men came in, filling up the seats, and several were left to stand on the steps or in the aisles. The doors to the foyer closed, and someone lowered the gaslights.
In the near darkness, a gentleman appeared in the center of the stage. A pair of lit chandeliers were lowered from the ceiling so we could see clearly.
"Gentlemen. And...well, gentlemen. Thank you for coming. I am Aaron Stern and if my plan has succeeded none of you quite know what to expect to see or hear this evening."
He rotated as he did his introduction, speaking to each of the tiers.
"As Mr. Barnum would say, this is how it should be. And I say, prepare to be thrilled."
There was a round of applause.
Suddenly a gaslight flared in one of the aisles. A moment later a man appeared beside the impresario. He was a tall man with a mane of blond hair and light skin. It draped over his shoulders, and it was his turn to rotate so we all could see him.
He did not appear large, just tall, towering many inches above Stern. Most noteworthy, though, was that he wore only a slight gold robe and was barefoot.
"Gentlemen. This is Stefan. He is from Stockholm, Sweden."
He gave a slight bow, again rotating for his audience, taking in our applause.
That done, a gaslight shone in another aisle, and a man came down it. He seemed about the same size as Stefan but his features were darker. Mediterranean. His hair was short and curly and he wore a dark mustache. He was clad in a similarly slight gold robe that set off his skin nicely.
"And this is Paolo, from Naples, Italy."
And Paolo repeated what the Swede did.
When he was done he and Stefan stood on either side of Stern. Then each removed his robe and handed it to their host, who walked off the stage. There was a universal gasp in the crowd. The two men stepped from each other, each facing in the opposite direction. Stefan faced Edgar and me.
I had seen naked men, but only in passing. Now a beautiful one posed before me. His chest was well-defined and his legs solid. I doubted that there was an ounce of fat on the man and if he had body hair I could not see it. More than anything, of course, was his penis. It was flaccid and did not appear bigger than my own. I had no way of assessing how it compared to other penises but though I was some distance from him—it—I felt I could see it. Its beauty fit perfectly with the body of the man of whom it was attached, to whom it was a part.
He and Paolo moved so they each faced the tier to the right of the first one. I had a glimpse of Stefan's back and ass. The latter was perfectly smooth. I could also see Paolo's rear and turned to study his body. In size it was very much like Stefan's. Except his skin was dark and hair was distributed liberally around his body.
As the Italian posed to the tier to the right, I became obsessed with what his penis looked like, and after admiring his ass and the muscles that defined his back, he walked to stand in front of us.
His penis seemed much the same size as Stefan's. But thicker. It was also not as flaccid as had Stefan's been when he displayed himself to us. It was not hard, much as I realized I willed it to be, but slightly droopy. It sloped out from a thick gathering of pubic hair, but not enough to completely hide his testicles. I found myself strangely aroused by the sight.
With a bow, he turned to the final tier as Stefan did the same.
Edgar leaned over.
"Have you ever seen anything like this?"
Something caught in my throat, but I managed to say I never had.
He looked to my crotch. "Are you as excited about them as I am?"
I could see a bulge in his tight trousers and nodded.
Our attentions returned to the stage when we realized that Stern had returned and the two men joined him in the center of the stage, and a spontaneous burst of applause rang through the emporium, some men even whistling.
"Gentlemen. Gentlemen," Stern said until the hall was silent again.
"Stefan and Paulo will now answer your questions."
When someone across the way stood and began, Stern put a hand up.
"You misunderstand. They will answer your questions, your many questions, wordlessly."
He stepped from the stage, and his two "guests" stepped to one another. They were parallel to where we sat. I could see that Stefan's penis was far from flaccid and it seemed to grow as he approached the Italian, whose own penis was hard and erect.
Though it was inevitable, the room was shocked and a gasp rose from it when the two men reached one another and kissed. A hard, hard kiss of the sort I never before witnessed between two people let alone two men. I had, of course, seen the play kissing between prostitutes at one of the brothels on seventeenth street before adjourning to a bed with the whore of my choice.
This was not play kissing. It was two men, their penises now rock hard, diving into each other's mouths, alternating whose tongue danced in whose mouth.
The initial gasp settled into complete silence, and all that could be heard was the moaning from these two gods. My own penis was rock hard and almost uncomfortable but I resisted doing anything about it at first. I saw that Edgar was running his hand along his trousers over his bulge. I stole a glance to my other side, and the men there were doing the same.
Free of restraint, I felt a jolt when my hand came into contact with my own bulge over my pants, my eyes fixed on the men before me.
Suddenly they separated. Paolo began kissing down Stefan's chest, lowering himself as his tongue drew a path between his breasts. Stefan's hands were atop his lover's head. They did not seem to push. They merely were there to be part of what the Italian was doing. And that was lugubriously drifting his tongue down, occasionally replaced by his lips.
As he reached the navel, Paola's right hand lifted. Stefan separated his feet to allow access, and Paola's hand found the testicles that hung before him, playing with them like he was preparing to roll dice in a casino game.
I did not have long to watch that. Paola's mouth was at Stefan's penis and I could see that he held it with his left hand. He ran his tongue down the shaft slowly, again alternating his tongue with his lips. He looked up at Stefan but Stefan did not see him. His eyes were shut and his lips slightly open. From where we sat I could see that he was rocking slightly back and forth.
Paola's eyes returned down and he pulled his head back. He actually admired the other man's penis, held in his left hand while his right played with the testicles. I may have made out a smile—I was too far distant to be sure—but there was no doubt about his completely engulfing the penis in one motion.
Stefan's hands were now at the back of the other's head, which was pistoning up and down on the penis, the right hand never wavering from its toying with the Swede's testicles.
There was movement throughout the crowd, and silence no more, though no words were being uttered. Many men to my side had abandoned decorum and were openly rubbing their penises, having released them from their sartorial restraints. When I saw that Edgar was doing the same, I followed. I ran my hand slowly up and down as I kept my eyes on the stage, with an occasional glance at my friend's penis.
I noticed that several small hand towels were beneath the seat in front of me, and I lifted the topmost one and placed it across my left thigh as drops began to emerge from me. The room had the sound I heard during several brothel gatherings, albeit without any female noises.
On stage, Stefan pushed Paola from him, and it did not appear that he had exploded. Instead, he lifted his lover to his feet. The two separated slightly so each could caress the other's penis while they stared at each other. Suddenly Edgar's hand was on mine, which was on my penis. It was a little awkward, as we were both righthanded, but I pulled mine off so he could grasp my penis and I put my left hand on his. We did not look at one another but synchronized our slow up-and-down motions as we kept our conscious attention on the stage.
A stagehand of some sort came out. He carried a mattress. It was not thick. It was more of a mat from a gymnasium. The two men moved to the side, not releasing their grips, and the mattress was placed in the center of the stage.
The pace of the mutual stimulation that Edgar and I were enjoying slowed dramatically and the room once again fell into silence. The two men leaned into one another and exchanged a long, deep kiss, without releasing their holds until Stefan stood back.
He then lowered himself to the mattress and got on all fours. Again we were fortunate to be at an angle that we could see all that was important to be seen. The stagehand hurried back. He carried a can. He put his fingers in, and there was some type of white lubricant. Paola stepped back to allow the stagehand access to Stefan, which he used to run those fingers up and down the ass crack. When the fingers entered Stefan's anus, another collective gasp echoed in the room, everyone watching those fingers work in and out of the Swede.
When he finished, the stagehand turned to Paola. Paola had been bouncing his erect penis in his hand while the lubricant was applied to Stefan, but he let go to allow the stagehand to lubricate his penis. Satisfied that his work was done, the stagehand wiped his hand on a towel and took the can with him as he left.
Paola lowered himself to his knee. He tapped Stefan's right thigh, and Stefan spread his legs more. I could not see his penis but assumed it remained as solid as did Paola's.
I saw pictures. I found them interesting and at times I found them exciting. Now I watched as one man moved his penis to the anus of another. Paola grasped Stefan's upper thighs and leaned closer and closer. Stefan lifted his right hand, his body now balanced just on his left, and reached between his thighs. I could see him grab the Italian's penis and pull it closer. He ran it up and down his ass crack until he felt it at his hole.
In the quiet we could hear a "please" from the Swede, the first word either man spoke, and Paola pushed. Stefan released his grip and restored it so he was secure as the head of the Italian's penis entered him. Again, not a sound in the room as Paola put himself deeper and deeper into the other man.
He stopped. We could not quite see, but I believe he had completely impaled Stefan.
"Yes." It was again Stefan, a signal to begin their passion. Paola moved in and out, his speed picking up and the sound of his testicles smacking against the other's ass shot through the hall. The noise was like a starting gun and Edgar and I and I assume everyone else watching had resumed their mutual pleasuring and the grunting took on the air of a joint prayer inside a church, rising and rising with a crescendo sounding from random "pews." If there were any female voices, they were lost in the mania.
My eyes were still full of the two lovers on the stage. Faster and faster. Stefan lowered his upper body and was on his elbows as well as his knees. His quiet words had become a ceaseless moaning of words I took to be in Swedish but that needed no translation.
I was nearer and nearer, but I was determined to wait. When I saw Paola's body stiffen—at which point a collective silence resumed among the spectators—I knew I would soon find release at the hand of my friend and he in mine.
Paola screamed his release and while the sound echoed his was joined by dozens of others, including mine and including Edgar's.
I was never touched by a man nor had I ever touched one. It seemed, though, the most natural thing in the world. Paola pulled out of Stefan, and the stagehand returned to clean the two men. Paola's penis lost its erection slowly, but Stefan's remained. The two were sitting beside each other on the mattress, and Paola ran his hand down to Stefan's penis. But the stagehand moved it away. He lowered himself to the mattress and placed his mouth on Stefan's penis and began to move up and down on it.
We in the audience were spent and watched the denouement of the show. While the stagehand was fellating him, Stefan leaned over to again kiss his lover until he pulled away—it did not take long—and erupted in the stagehand's mouth, without a drop appearing to be wasted.
The stagehand hurried away, and Stern took his place, carrying the two gold robes.
"Gentlemen. This concludes our exhibition."
The lovers each put his robe on and left through separate aisles, leaving Stern alone.
"I hope that you have enjoyed yourselves, and from personal observation I am confident that you have. I fear that my friends will only be here until Wednesday next."
He bowed and left and the gaslights for the house came up one after the other.
Edgar and I managed to place the hand towels in such a manner that there was little evidence of what we did. He and I and others throughout the room awkwardly cleaned ourselves and redressed and each in turn silently left the hall, past the smiling blonde we saw on the way in.
There was a line for cabs on the sidewalk and it would take some time since it was after eleven. So, cold as it was Edgar and I elected to walk, as did many of the others. And we never spoke of it again.