The Season of Thanksgiving, 1971.
Dear Gang and POGs:
Now that we are all adults, and all college graduates, it's time to reflect on the relationships among us. With a little inquiry I have determined that it will not be news to any of the readers of this letter to know that Tim and Charlie have explored intergenerational sex with some of the POGs, including my parents. Mom and Dad reported that their recent visit to Ann Arbor was wonderful because they were able to relate to Tim and Charlie without the generational barrier becoming an issue. They felt, and Tim and Charlie agreed, that the two couples had related in very much the same way that Tim and Charlie would have related to Phil and me. I don't really need to be more explicit, do I? This is, after all, going through the US Mail.
If that is the direction that this group, Gang and POGs, is going, then the distinction between Gang and POG is becoming meaningless. Is it time to stop worrying about exactly who is in the Gang, and simply having this group of wonderful people relate to each other lovingly?
The next question is up to each individual or couple: Are you, Gang or POG, ready for the distinctions to disappear? I mean for them to really disappear?
I don't know whether this conversation can be best continued in person, by phone, or by mail, but I do hope that it can continue. And just for the record, Phil and I are jealous of Tim and Charlie and are ready for new relationships.
P.S. This went to all members of the gang, excluding Tina and Merle who have already indicated that they aren't comfortable with sexual encounters outside of their marriage-a position which all of us respect, if we don't share. It also went to the parents of the original Gang, including Fred who, as Charlie's stepfather, is, along with Norman and Betsy, the only parent he has remaining.
Dear Franklin, et al.:
OK, Franklin, you have certainly opened Pandora's box! It has generated a lot of dinner conversation at the Tim'nCharlie household. We'd like to share some of our thoughts.
It goes without saying that Franklin's letter, which is really an invitation, is going to have to be responded to by each person or couple. We are not going to reach unanimity, and that really isn't important. What is important is that nobody feel pushed into something, or be subject to criticism for their response. Within our group, especially when both generations are included, are a lot of different expressions of sexual mores. Yet everybody seems to be able to accept everybody, along with their differences. We would hate to see that change in any way because of this new direction we are contemplating.
A key word for Charlie and me, as we discussed this, was comfort. There are things which we think are acceptable or moral, which we have no objection to other people doing, but which are outside of our comfort zone. We are sure that is true of everybody. We don't want to push people outside of their comfort zone.
With that said, Charlie and I wish to go on record as saying that all of you are within our comfort zone. Well, that's not true. There is no way this discussion is going to go forward without somebody mentioning the idea of incest. Just for the record, parent/child sex is outside our comfort zone.
We look forward to hearing how some of the rest of you, especially the POGs, respond to Franklin.
It is completely clear to me that you speak for your generation and perhaps a good portion of mine. I do want to thank you for your courage in writing and for including me. However, Tim already knows that I have chosen to draw a line that would preclude me from joining in your 'adventures.' I guess that means that I choose to remain a POG, and not be a Gang member. However, I consider it a high honor that you chose to include me with the other POGs.
cc: Tim and Charlie, with this P.S.
P.S. You guys certainly love pushing the envelope. Good for you. I don't think I'm ready, but who knows, your mother and I pushed it lot further than I expected to. But don't get your hopes up.
Be assured that I'm not in the least upset by Franklin's letter. I know you guys are a sexy lot. I've always known it. Enjoy. Just think of me as the old fuddy-duddy. Fred.
Betsy and I have talked long about Franklin's letter. We included Hal's folks, John and Hazel, in the conversation. We were surprised to learn that under the leadership of Tim, Charlie, Hal, and Sue, they had had their horizons expanded in the direction of Herb and Phyllis Johnson, Hal's coach. Well, let's just be honest and get it on the table: We had a wonderful night last week with John and Hazel, and a couple of nights later with John, Hazel, Herb and Phyllis. We are beginning to appreciate the Gang in new ways!
John and Hazel join with Betsy and me in agreeing that it is time to end the distinction between Gang and POG, and we report that Herb and Phyllis wish it to be known that if they are excluded they will haunt you forever, and will put a hex on the running, diving, gymnastics, and archery of all of the Gang.
However, we beg to disagree with Franklin in one regard. We think it is appropriate to be specific as to who is a member of the Gang and who isn't. Membership has been defined until now, and that should continue. I believe that the current count is 20. If you will have the good will to accept the application of the six of us, it now numbers 26. However, we should avoid the trap of defining the Gang in terms of sex. There is also a danger of defining it in terms of residence, i.e. Grand Forks. That would push Merle and Tina out of the Gang on two counts, and I am very sure that you don't want to do that.
The Gang is defined by love and relationships. It began with a special eight boys in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. It has grown from that. Each new member has first established a special relationship with one or more members of the Gang, and then with the entire Gang. Felix broke the generation barrier, not any of the parents. That you are now open to the idea that parents can be included in the very special relationship is a tribute to both generations. We, all six in whose name I write, are honored by the invitation. It is with extraordinary pride and pleasure that we accept. Pleasure because we know the joys that you have shared with each other and with us, and pride because, as parents and coach, we are pleased to take some credit for the fine young people that you have turned out to be.
Now, if the Gang is not going to be defined by sex, then I will also, on behalf of Betsy, John, Hazel, Herb, Phyllis and myself, suggest that Franklin's more specific invitation is accepted with anticipated joy.
While this opens a lot of doors, we realize that all of us have a lot of exploring to do before we find out what is on the other side of those doors. We'll explore together.
P.S. Hal and Sue, can you keep up with your folks?
New Year's 1972.
Postcard to the Gang:
Hal and Sue.
You certainly know that you can count us in. Whenever you collate all of your replies, put us in the "Yes" column. We speak for Ronnie and his family as well.
Frank and Adele
New Year's Day, 1972
Dear Franklin and the Gang,
I'll warn all of you, this is going to be a long letter; an essay really. I think of the poor teacher who, in two or three sentences, poses an essay question and then whose class produces forty or fifty pages of answers to read. Franklin, your four paragraph letter opened a similar door.
I know the original Gang knows my wife and me, but I don't think that all of the partners know us. I am Curtis and my wife is Melanie. Since the Gang seems to avoid last names if at all possible, in lieu of a last name, I'll note that Andy is our son. I'll also note that, according to the state of Michigan, that makes Amy our daughter-in-law. Spiritually, and if I may coin a term, Gangwise, that makes Jim and Kara our children-in-law as well. Just to round out the identifications, Jim's parents are Walter and Trudi, and they are going to figure in this letter/essay as well.
With that said, I am ready to begin. This will be in four parts.
Part I - Background
Melanie and I guessed that Andy was gay, or at least was sexually involved with Jim, before he told us. We thought we were ready whenever he made up his mind to tell us, but we were totally unprepared for the conversation as it worked out. First, Jim, Charlie and Tom were present. More importantly, we got to talking about oral sex, what Melanie and I do in bed, and a whole host of things that went beyond the "Mom and Dad, I think I'm gay," conversation that we had been anticipating. I guess that many or most of the Gang families have similar experiences under their belt. It's an amazing group.
Since then we have been staggered by the open relationship that has developed, first with Andy, then with Jim, then Charlie, Tom, and the rest of the Gang, and finally Amy and Kara. If you had asked Melanie or me in the spring before Andy's first summer at Camp White Elk how we would react to the idea of our son being a part of a four-way marriage, we would have just stared blankly and said, "You've got to be kidding."
So our journey has been enormous. It has also been exciting and stimulating. (Oops, sorry for the pun.) Franklin's letter seems to be an invitation to take the next leg of the journey.
I think in all of the above I speak for Melanie as well as me. However, this is me, Curtis, a man, speaking. I have a gay son. Well, I guess, considering his on-going relationships, I have a bi-sexual son. Let's just say gay, you know what I mean. That means that he does things with other men that I have no experience with. Because of the open relationship that we have been able to develop with Andy, and Jim, and the whole Gang, really, I know what gay men do, and specifically I know what Jim and Andy do. At first some of these things seemed pretty gross. But they were also remote, out of my experience. It did lead to Melanie and me exploring anal sex with each other, a new experience for which we owe the Gang a debt of thanks. Our horizons have been broadened. But I'll be blunt here-that seems to be OK within the Gang-I have never sucked a penis, or explored any of the possibilities of male-male sex, because I don't have a male partner.
Melanie just read that paragraph, and noted that since Amy and Kara have entered the family, she has had many of the same thoughts as regards lesbian sex.
Sure, I've contemplated sex with Tim and Charlie, and Franklin and Phil. But the prospect was remote, and it was more idle daydreaming and sexual fantasy than any form of hoped for reality. The idea of a sexual relationship with Walter and Trudi, the POGs living nearest to us, never entered my thinking.
At least that was true until Franklin's letter arrived. Out poured a lot of pent up thoughts. Melanie and I talked at length about all of the possibilities envisioned by the letter. Despite a lot of positive thoughts, neither of us were at all sure that we were ready to take the plunge. Melanie and I have been faithful to each other throughout our marriage, though we both had been sexually active in college before we met each other. So we were contemplating some pretty heavy shifts in our behavior patterns.
Part II - Preliminary Round
As Melanie and I talked, we wondered where we would go from here. We decided that a place to start would be talking with Walter and Trudi. Starting with the time the boys admitted that they were having sex together, we have been in fairly close contact with Jim's parents. The announcement of the planned four-way marriage brought us even closer together, as we struggled with the implications of that relationship, for the boys, the girls, and the parents. We decided that now was a good time for another chat with Walter and Trudi. I called them up. They came over to Alma one evening during the week after Thanksgiving.
They had, of course, gotten Franklin's letter, and it had gotten them thinking, just as it had us, and we suspect every other recipient. Melanie opened the conversation at dinner. "Look, the one lesson we should have learned from the boys, and from Charlie, is to talk truth and not beat around the bush. Franklin's letter has opened a new door. Certainly you two have talked about it, and so have Curtis and I. Since you two were the closest, we thought continuing the conversation with you made sense."
Walter and Trudi confessed to similar feelings as Melanie and me, in that they wondered what it would be like to experience same-sex sexual relations. But they were a long way away from being ready for sex with anyone else but each other.
I said, "Look, we didn't invite you to try to persuade you to do something you aren't ready for. We simply thought that a couple of extra voices might enhance the conversation, bring in new ideas, and help us all move forward in trying to think of how we were going to respond to Franklin's letter."
That seemed to get things moving, and the conversation turned very graphic. "I can't believe that Andy sucks Jim and then swallows it."
"The girls do the same thing-to the boys."
"Well, I suck Curtis-it's fun-but I can't imagine swallowing it."
"Walter and I haven't really explored oral sex."
"It really never occurred to us."
"Curtis had a truly enlightened house mother at his fraternity house. She was able to be blunt with the boys in ways other adults never were. Her mantra was 'You can have an orgasm without intercourse, and nobody gets pregnant.' If you had to ask how, you got a very specific lecture about the wonders of fingers and tongues in a girl's vagina and on a boy's penis."
"What about anal sex?"
"We've tried it since the boys introduced the idea to us."
"Do they have anal sex with the girls?"
"Yes, I think so. Wait, I know so, I remember Kara saying she liked it, but in the long run preferred regular intercourse."
"Have you really talked that frankly with them?"
"Yes, we have. They're willing, if we are able to accept what we hear."
"We were pretty open with Jim before the marriage, but we haven't reached that stage with the girls."
We learned a lot. Getting that kind of stuff out on the table really opened up the conversation. It allowed us to move forward and talk about what we thought were morally acceptable sexual relations. The more we talked, the more we had to admit that the kids seemed to be right: if it didn't hurt anyone, and all the participants were willing, not even a little bit coerced, then who was to say it was wrong?
At that point Melanie posed what was really the question of the night, "OK, then should the four of us have sex tonight? And, if not, why not?"
Wow. Talk about silence. I couldn't believe that I had heard that from Melanie's mouth. I think that Walter and Trudi were equally stunned.
"If not, why not?" repeated Melanie.
"I don't think I'm ready," said Trudi.
Melanie immediately responded, "Under the kids' rules, and the way we have spoken here, that's it. No deal. If someone isn't ready, then pushing forward and urging sex is unacceptable."
A light came on in my head. "That's really it! Everybody has to be ready, and accept everyone else where they are. Sex with the four of us would be fine, if, and only if, we were all ready. Despite the conversation we have had, despite the influence of our kids, despite Franklin's letter, at least one of us isn't ready. The Gang is unique because all of them respect that rule, but all of them are ready. No pushing, just acceptance."
The others strongly affirmed their respect for Trudi's position. It appeared that that ended discussion of our having sex, though not conversation about the general subject raised in Franklin's letter.
But Trudi said, "You know, that takes a tremendous weight off my shoulder. I was fearful of where we were going and wasn't ready. But I was almost afraid to say it. But I said it. And the response was total respect for who I am and where I am. In that respect, this little group of four mirrors the Gang. We have learned from our kids in a truly unique way. And because of the respect that you three have shown me, I'm ready."
To say the least, that changed the playing field. Walter said, "Are you sure?"
Trudi responded, "Curtis, please explain to Walter that questions like that are not acceptable in the Gang. Members of the Gang are careful about what they say, and expect people to accept the truth of what they say and the care with which it is said."
Walter said, "Sorry. You're completely right. I guess I was just trying to deflect away from the fact that your statement puts it in my court, along with Curtis and Melanie."
"I think I'm ready."
Trudi said, "We'll take that as a, 'Yes,' until you tell us otherwise."
Melanie looked at me and said, "Well, Curtis, I'm not sure that we expected this evening to turn out this way. Are we ready?"
"I'm like Walter. I think so. But I guess the question now arises, 'Ready for what?'"
Melanie said, "Well, your fucking Trudi and me fucking Walter certainly wouldn't add a lot of variety to our lives. Sure, I'd like to fuck Walter; he's cute and I am sure it would be fun. But we started out this evening with all of us talking about the mysteries of same-sex physical sex. That's where this ought to be heading. Are we ready?"
That brought a lot of introspection. I spoke first. "Yes. I've never had a penis in my mouth and I'd like that experience."
Walter said, "Well, I have a dick. You're welcome to it."
At this point we realized that we still had food on our plates and dessert in the kitchen. We finished eating in relative silence, and then Melanie and I cleared the table. I went back to the dining room and asked, "OK, which do we eat first, dessert or each other?"
Trudi said, "If you can talk like that, you are clearly qualified for Gang membership. I'll be sure to tell Franklin."
"You didn't answer the question."
"Let's to the bedroom. Dessert can follow."
Well, talk is cheap. Once in the bedroom, we quickly found that action is a lot more difficult. We all just stood there, near the foot of the queen size bed, and stared at each other and the bed. Finally, Trudi found the solution. "Look, undressing is as much a sexual act as fucking. I'm going to undress Curtis. Then, Melanie, you undress Walter. We'll have fun and get them nice and hard. Then we watch them do their thing." Then she continued, "And, gentlemen, let's get it on the table right now. If you are really going to experience anything like what the boys experience, you are going to suck those things till they explode, and you're going to eat it all, except for the last bit which you share with each other as you kiss, and then share with us. Right?"
Walter responded, "All I can say at this point is, I'll try. I'm not sure about swallowing Curtis' semen. I know the boys do, and it's made me think about it, but thinking about it, and doing it are two different things."
I said, "I think I am in Walter's boat."
Trudi immediately said, "We don't go beyond comfort zones. We'll see where that is before long. And wherever it is, it's OK."
With that she started unbuttoning my shirt, then sat me down on the side of the bed and untied my shoes, slipping them off, followed by my sox.
I did. She unbuckled my belt and then seemed to debate what to do. She pulled the belt out and dropped in on the floor. Then she unhooked my waist, unzipped my fly and slid my pants down to my ankles. I stepped out. Without delay she pulled down my boxers. I was half hard, but that changed very quickly as she took my dick in her hand and squeezed. "OK, Melanie, it's Walter's turn."
Walter was quickly in the same state that I was. We were gently pushed onto the bed, and I found myself handling another man's penis for the first time in my life. I fondled his balls, tickled them, and then rubbed his dick. He said, "I'm pretty hot. If you are going to use your tongue, you'd better do it."
I did. If this was the first dick I had touched, you can be damn sure it was the first one in my mouth. I wasn't exactly sure what to do, but guessed that moving up and down was the way to go. It also seemed clear, the first time Walter said, "Ouch," that I had better keep my teeth behind my lips! He came in my mouth; I can hardly believe that. It slipped out the end of his penis without my really feeling it. It didn't have much taste either. His arching back is what really triggered my awareness of his orgasm. My first inclination was to spit it out, but I was able to set that thought aside and think a little. It didn't taste bad. I swallowed a little. A little slimy, hard to swallow. I let his now softening dick slip out and I moved up his body to kiss him. He let me, and I am sure that he tasted himself, but didn't take any amount in. Melanie leaned down and urged me to kiss her, and I did. She did accept some, and right after so did Trudi.
Walter was lying on the bed, and we were all sort of leaning over and on him. He said, "God, I don't believe that. I said I was ready, I guess I was. But that was quite an experience. I think it was more powerful than when I lost my virginity on a Lake Michigan beach."
Trudi, no fool, said, "Walter, I'll bet you'd like to wait a while before you take on Curtis. Why don't Melanie and I experiment a little."
"Thanks, I think I would. Curtis, do you mind?"
"I think it would be fun to watch the ladies."
Getting ladies undressed is more complicated, and they each choose to remove their own clothes. I'd been in college when I last saw a woman other than Melanie naked, and I'll admit it stirred me a little. They lay on the bed and kissed each other for a long while, exploring with both tongues and hands. Slowly they wiggled so that they could tongue each other at the same time; the boys call it 69. They were on their sides and seemed to have a wonderful time, but both had a hard time figuring out what to do with the bottom arm. They both had orgasms before they really solved the arm problem! Then they went back to kissing, and soon to kissing us, paired as husbands and wives. We lay there a while and soon Walter turned to me and said, "Ready?"
"Yes." I lay on my back.
Walter played with my nipples, then moved down to my genitals. He was clearly nervous and hesitant, but moved forward. Finally he kissed the end of my penis and took the end in his mouth. His tongue played with the end of my penis for a long while, and I debated with myself whether I should tell him that I would never come if he didn't move down the shaft a little, or just let him play. Before I made up my mind to speak, he did move down and copied the up and down motion that I had used. Oh, God. What a feeling! As a straight man (I think) I'll have to admit to the gay kids in the Gang that that really felt good. It's different from a vagina, and I can understand why some people prefer it. As I thought that, I realized that I had had this done to me before, by Melanie. But this was a man doing it. It was different. And I think better. Did I just write that? Oh, Hell. Make of that what you will. When Melanie read it she just smiled and said, "Curtis, sex with you is going to be a challenge."
Trudi said, "Let's eat dessert naked. Would the dining room be private, Melanie? Are there windows facing the street?"
"The windows face a closed back yard. Yes, let's stay naked."
As we sat around the table I realized that both Melanie and Trudi had really nice breasts. Trudi noticed me looking and said, "It's not fair. When we sit at a table you guys don't show anything. Stand up."
We did, and Trudi got up, came over to me, and shoved my dick into her bowl of ice cream! Then she sucked it clean. "Trudi!" I said.
"That was fun," was her response. And that seemed to end the sex for the evening. We finished dessert, headed upstairs and dressed in the bedroom together. They headed home to Flint, with a lot of thinking to do about the evening and its implications for the future.
Part III - The Main Event
Melanie and I were left with our own thoughts. I'll have to admit that central among them were, "God, that was fun," and "Are we gay?" The question put us off for a while, until we decided that we were only talking about a label. We are who we are, and we enjoy what we enjoy. Back to thought number one, "God, that was fun," and remember that the question that followed is irrelevant.
A couple of days later Melanie said, "Look, we need to deal with the questions of 'Where do we go from here?' and 'How do we answer Franklin?'"
"Yes. Have any thoughts, on either? I suspect that you do."
"Yes. Let's spend Christmas with the kids. And let's invite Walter and Trudi to go with us."
"It's a long way. Are you thinking of flying or driving."
"It's a two day drive. With four drivers it won't be hard, and driving will be a lot cheaper than flying-and we'll have a car to use there."
She did, and the trip was set up. We'd drive out to arrive on Christmas Eve, and come back the two days after New Year's. The new Interstate Highway system would make the drive fairly easy-we'd go a few extra miles but go via Chicago to get Interstate almost the whole way.
When we called Andy and company, his response was, "Sure, we'd love to have you. Is this a family gathering, are the girls parents invited? Or is this in some way related to Franklin's letter?"
You don't fool Andy. Clearly the girls' parents, who didn't even know that the kids were in a four-way marriage, wouldn't be ready for Franklin's letter. I responded to Andy, "I think this is just for the eight of us."
We had all day of the first day of the trip to contemplate sleeping arrangements for the overnight stay, which would be somewhere around Minneapolis. Andy had suggested that we could stay with either Tim's folks or Hal's. Hal would probably be there. We declined, because we didn't see how the subject of Franklin's letter would not come up, thus the purpose of our trip, and we simply weren't ready to talk beyond the family yet. That was, after all, the purpose of the trip. Having decided to use a motel, we agreed that we'd get a double room, "to save money." Right.
A king size bed or two doubles? We spent most of the way from Chicago to Madison debating that. We decided that four of the Gang would opt for a king size, so we did. Then we spent from Madison to Minneapolis alternately being proud of ourselves, surprised at ourselves, and debating changing our plans. Pride and surprise prevailed over change.
We checked into the room, and then headed for dinner, and then back to the room. There were only two chairs in the room, so the men lay on the bed and the women took the chairs. "Now what?" asked Walter.
"'Now what?' indeed," said Trudi. "It's pretty simple. I usually sleep with Walter, so that's out. Walter and Curtis were paired last time, so that's out. Melanie and I were paired last time, so that's out. That puts me with you, Curtis, and Walter with you, Melanie."
We all nodded. I got up my nerve and asked, "Are we going to fuck?"
Walter laughed and said, "I guess you've heard Tim's 'dick, cunt, and fuck' story."
No, I hadn't. Walter had, and he told it.
I said, "I always liked Tim and thought he was smart. I had just concluded that if we couldn't deal with the word fuck, we'd probably have a hard time dealing with the act."
Trudi said, "When we were in college, if you had sex it meant fucking. Neither Walter nor I had an enlightened house mother. The kids are getting smarter today. They realize that you can have an orgasm without fucking. We weren't that smart. But now that we are beyond the childbearing stage, we certainly aren't virgins, and we have all had sex with more than one partner before we were married, is there any reason that we aren't fucking tonight?"
"Then let's fuck. The next question is more frank. Are we going to turn out the light and each couple do their own thing, or leave the light on and watch?"
I said, "Hell, if we're going half way, we might was well go whole hog. We'll watch you two, and then you watch us. Then we all fall asleep together in a big heap."
"With one bed, that's about the only way to fall asleep."
OK, I'll admit it. We weren't very creative: we were all missionaries. However, a new partner and being watched certainly spiced things up. We didn't need a creative position to make this one Hell of a night. Enough said?
This was the first time we had visited the kids since they moved to Grand Forks. They had a nice house, and had very creatively made it conform to their special needs. Each half of the duplex, which the strange people in that part of the world call a double bungalow had three bedrooms upstairs. They had cut a door between the two master bedrooms with a king bed in one and a queen in the other. They could sleep two by two or four together. They admitted that every now and then they slept three and one, either because someone was sick or somebody got home very late and the three were asleep.
The first floor presented more problems. They felt the need to present a two couple image to the world, and that meant that each couple would have to be able to entertain guests separately. They felt they had to keep the two houses separate on the first floor. The kitchens backed up to each other and they did cut another door. Unless they had guests separately, they always ate together. And when they had guests, they usually had the host couple invite the other so that all four were part of the evening. However, they had to keep remembering who was the host!
It isn't completely satisfactory. Well, it's a form of the closet. But they have concluded, and I think correctly, that the world isn't ready for a four way marriage, and they had better keep that in the bosom of the family-and the Gang. So Andy and Amy live at 717 Arbor Drive and Jim and Kara live at 719. They always go in the correct door. When alone, they settle on one side or the other for the evening, and sleep without thought of 717 or 719.
The basement offered them the opportunity to be a little more creative. The 717 basement has become a game room and laundry. The like to play games together, and have a wonderful collection of board games. They particularly like Go, the Japanese board game with white and black counters. They are trying to learn Japanese chess, or Shogi. But that's another story. The basement at 719 is a large storage area. Looking there you know that Jim and Andy just have to be at least a little bit gay! When we were there it was neat as a pin and incredibly well organized. Everything was in neat boxes, carefully labeled as to contents and owner. Andy's stuff had brown labels and Jim's blue. Amy's had pink and Kara's a pastel green. Joint stuff had white labels. Nothing was labeled for a pair, like "Jim and Kara" or "Andy and Amy." It was quite clear that they were determined that this was a four way adventure, and pairing was not part of the deal-at least among themselves. The one problem with the basement is the fact that the block walls separating the two basements make cutting a door very difficult, and they haven't done it.
On the second floor, each side has a guest room, and Melanie and I were settled into the 717 guest room, and Walter and Trudi into 719. Andy said, as he carried our suitcases upstairs, "We don't know what's coming this week, but we'll settle you in like this until we decide on something else." As I watched Andy playing host to his parents for the first time, I realized that my boy had grown into a man; not just a man but a mature, handsome, wonderful man. A man that I would gladly think of as my contemporary, not my dependent. I almost cried for joy at the thought. As we got to the room Andy looked at me and said, "Is there something wrong, Dad?"
"No, Andy, there is something very, very right." If he didn't understand me then, perhaps after reading this he will.
That evening at dinner Jim said, "Look, we four have talked, and we have a proposal to make. This is Christmas Eve; tomorrow we have a grand Christmas dinner prepared. Billy, Sara, Billy's parents, as well as Fred, and Felix will be joining us. Let's leave all thoughts about Franklin's letter until Boxing Day. Agreed?"
"Boxing Day?" asked Melanie.
Trudi said, "He's just showing off his arcane collection of trivial information. Boxing Day is British-the day after Christmas. Servants get the day off and open their gifts, that is, their boxes. But Jim doesn't have servants and never did!"
Christmas was a delight, except for one downer: Felix looked awful. He was very tired and hardly moved from his chair. But he still insisted he was the Gang's dirty old man, and felt comfortable enough around us that he goosed Billy a couple of times without embarrassment. He grabbed at his front once, too. Billy just grinned and said, "Felix, you are a dirty old man."
As soon as we all had gathered at the table, which had to be put in one of the living rooms to hold all fourteen of us, Jim asked for quiet and offered a truly wonderful prayer: "Dear God. You have blessed this group with material things far beyond our needs. Let us remember to share in every way we can. You have blessed these special people, and the special forms of love that exist among them, with friends, parents, companions, lovers, and partners that give and receive unconditional love to each other. We ask for one thing: a world that will accept our unconditional love and return it equally unconditionally. Until that time, thank you for creating this special place, where this special Gang can love one another unconditionally. Thank you. And Amen."
Jim continued, "I know that all of you know each other, but I want to make it clear that everyone here is well aware that Andy, Amy, Kara and I are a foursome. Within this group there are no secrets and no condemnations."
Dinner was superb!
We were delighted to see how at ease Billy and his family were around our four kids. They were truly accepting. That night Amy told us that not only were they accepting, but that Billy and Sara sometimes joined them for the night, and invited them over to Charlie and Tim's, where they lived with Felix, for dinner, and sometimes for the night. Felix always joined them for dinner, but never afterwards.
Boxing Day came and we opened our minds instead of our boxes. It was time to talk. We had, it turned out, surprisingly little to talk about. The four kids were totally open to intergenerational sex. If we hadn't suggested that we all get together, they were simply going to write to Franklin and say, "It's OK with us. We'll join in whenever the opportunity arises and we're in the mood-which is likely to be pretty regularly." They had, however, put off writing to Franklin until our visit was completed.
Walter raised an interesting question. "Look, kids. I can see the four of us, all about age fifty, being really excited about having sex with a bunch of really beautiful and handsome kids just barely past being teenagers. But are you kids going to have that kind of interest in our generation?"
Kara answered, clearly speaking for a conversation that the kids had had. "We really don't know. Jim and Andy have had sex with Felix, and really enjoyed it. He was fun. It also surprised them. That was a long time ago, before Felix met Sam'l. They have felt an attraction for some older people, including some of the parents of the Gang. It think that is true of all of us. But we think that's beside the point. We're willing, in principle, to have intergenerational sex. How that works out between any two specific people is uncertain. We'll just have to see."
Amy put in, "But the thing we keep butting our heads against is the incest thing. It really impacts this group, because there are four of us. We've talked about it, thinking that perhaps the question might come up on this visit. We didn't, and don't, know if you are going to suggest intergenerational sex in this group. Who might pair with whom? We are all pretty uncomfortable with the idea of any sex across generations with the eight of us. Curtis is Kara's father-in-law to us, even if not so to the state of North Dakota. And that's true for all of our pairs. It isn't a question of morality, but of comfort. And we don't think the comfort is there."
I said, "There's that word comfort again. It seems to be a key to relationships among the Gang. I think that we can all affirm that we, at least most of us, are uncomfortable with in-law sex, and that rules out anything in this group. Anybody disagree?" Nobody did.
Andy said, "That was easy. Why are you all here?"
"It may have been easy for your four to reach that point, but you can believe it wasn't easy for the four of us," said Trudi.
The subject got changed, and we talked about many things: their lives in Grand Forks, the plans for others to move to Grand Forks, Billy's diving, sex with Billy and Sara, Felix's obviously declining health, and more.
Somebody raised an interesting issue. When I wrote this I tried to put a name to the person who raised the questions of "watching," but none of us would admit to it, nor could anyone say who mentioned it first. But "watching" became a major discussion issue. If we were comfortable talking with each other about sex, and what we did when we had sex, and with whom we had sex, were we willing to let the people that we talked to about sex watch us doing the things we talked about? Could anyone justify drawing some kind of a line between talking and watching? We could easily draw a line between talking and doing, or between watching and doing. But nobody could come up with a good reason to separate talking from watching.
Kara asked, "OK, the Gang's rule is comfort. Would we be uncomfortable watching or being watched? Why?"
Jim said, "We have to watch the word uncomfortable. The first time I had sex with Andy, I think I was uncomfortable, at least to start. I know I was the first time I had sex with Kara and Amy. The more uncomfortable I got, the harder I got, and the harder I got, the more I wanted the sex that made me uncomfortable. So, sure I would be uncomfortable having Walter watch me fuck his daughter. But it wouldn't be the kind of discomfort that I would feel if I were to fuck Melanie. Am I making sense?"
Walter said, "Yes, I think you are. I look at the question slightly differently. We have talked about sex to understand each other and each other's life styles. We have learned from that sharing. From time to time that sharing has also been arousing. I'll admit, it's kind of fun to think about you four having sex; it can make me hard. But that isn't the main point of the talking. Would we be watching to be aroused, or to increase our understanding?"
Amy said, "I don't think that there is any question that both elements would be present. So? If we try it, and find that it does violate our comfort levels, we can stop, or simply never do it again."
Jim said, "There is a logistical issue here. We don't really have an amphitheater upstairs."
Andy said, "It's really simple. Tonight the four kids will share the two master bedrooms, sleeping either two by two or all four, as they would decide regardless of the other generation. The parents get the two guest rooms. All doors are left open. We kick the thermostat up five degrees so we don't need covers, and we let anybody wander where they want. Tomorrow night the parents get the master bedrooms, and the kids will take the guest rooms. We'll keep trading till New Year's Eve. What you haven't seen by then you either didn't want to see, or nobody felt like doing. If anybody finds the activity outside their comfort zone they close the door, and everybody will respect closed doors."
What a week!
Part IV - Conclusion
Written by Jim
I was hit pretty hard by the events of the week, and I asked if I might get the chance to sum things up. Curtis, and everyone, agreed. They have also read this, and decided that they agree with the conclusions. So I am speaking for all eight of us.
First, I need to affirm our general conclusions that were contained in Curtis' story: Intergeneration sex is within our comfort zone. We are, in fact, eager. Geography and schedules are going to make it difficult for some of the Gang to participate in the short term, but we think that we are moving to a new plateau for the Gang, and we are eager. Sex, active sex between children and children-in-law and parents and parents-in-law, is outside the comfort zone for us. Finally, we understand that some members of the Gang, and we now include the POGs in that group, may not share those conclusions. We still welcome them in the Gang and will respect their feelings. We think it would be good if everybody let everybody know where they stand, so when we are together, unwanted invitations will not be extended.
But the issue of the week for us was watching across the generations, involving parents and in-laws. As Curtis said, "It was quite a week." It started to come home to me when my parents walked in and watched me fuck Amy. I was on my back and Amy was straddling me. She wasn't really aware that my folks were behind her, but I was. I wasn't sure I was ever going to come, but I finally let myself go, and had a spectacular orgasm. Then I found myself watching my father and Andy's father try 69 for the first time. It was kind of funny, but strange as well. Things really got strange when I watched Dad fuck Mom.
Why were those events so mind boggling? Well, they were. And it makes it clear that we do have a truly special relationship with our parents. We can talk, watch, share, whatever, but the special relationship between father and son, and mother and son, rises above all. After the week of watching, it was very clear to all of us that intergenerational sex within this group was never going to happen. And while the watching was interesting, and certainly a learning experience-particularly bringing a self-understanding-and erotic in its own way, I don't think any of us are interested in having it happen again. Maybe if some time the Gang has some sort of grand orgy we'll end up seeing our parents perform in some setting, but that really doesn't interest me. But I wouldn't trade the week for anything. I have new respect for my parents, Andy's parents, and the special relationship that exists, or at least should exist, between parents and children.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being the special people you are.
This is Curtis, again. Our essay is complete. Franklin, you asked for it; you got it.
With much love,
on behalf of Jim, Andy, Kara, Amy, Trudi, Walter, Melanie and Curtis.
Edwards Air Force Base, California
Gee, getting your mail while I am way out here in California makes both Nancy and me homesick. But at least I'm not in Viet Nam. Being the deputy budget officer on the base is interesting, and seems destined to keep me out of harm's way.
The letters I've been getting since the first one from Franklin have certainly been interesting reading. My Mom and Dad called Nancy and me on the telephone a couple of evenings ago-right after they got Curtis' essay. It blew their minds. But they remembered that Charlie's first trip to Detroit blew their minds as well, but restored me in a way that nobody else had been able to. They are open to having their minds blown. At the same time, they asked Nancy and me to share with you all that, while they refuse to be shocked or offended by what they read or what they know is going on, they are not yet up to sharing actively. I assured them that I knew you all would respect that.
As for Nancy and me, we can only extend our regrets that it looks like we are going to have to wait a couple of years till I am out of the Air Force before we can join in. But we are there in spirit.
P.S. to Charlie: Enclosed with this letter is the complete correspondence file that I have gotten since the letter from Franklin. I don't want to lose those letters; they are a wonderful expression of who the Gang is. But for precisely that reason, I can't have them in my quarters on an Air Force Base. This is the up tight military, and to the extent that I am part of the Gang, in spirit or in physical deed, it is completely in the closet out here. I am sure you understand. Please save the letters for me.
Love to you all,
Tom and Nancy.
I need to report on a telephone call that I got from Felix. He was very upset about my letter. Obviously he was not upset at the idea of intergenerational sex; of that he completely approved. He was upset that Billy and Sara were left out. In his words, "Billy understands that the Gang centers on the camp experience, and so has accepted that his relationship is with Tim and Charlie, but not with the Gang. But if you are expanding, you need to include Billy."
I thanked Felix and assured him that he was correct. We would attend to that at once.
He's right. How do we proceed?
Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]
* Some browsers may require a right click instead