Los Angeles will gay anybody up. In the two months since I moved here, I've bought a yellow convertible Mini Cooper, a pair of Guess jeans and started using one of those fitness balls as my desk chair. This is a town so gay that Republicans don't even run for mayor.
So when ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson told Time magazine, in a story about the preponderance of gay TV show creators, that "if being gay makes you that talented, I'm going gay," I had to give it some serious thought.
I've got a sitcom pilot being shot at ABC, and if I can just ratchet the gay up, maybe McPherson will start talking to me at casting meetings.
I'm already halfway to gay anyway. I've been suspicious of myself for a while. I don't know if it's because when I was little all my friends were girls, or because I had a sticker collection, or because I love musicals, or because of my glass animal collection, or because I had an Easy-Bake oven, or because I'm into tea, or because I like to see movies Benicio Del Toro is in. But it's probably one of those things.
So to test if I was up for full-on Rage, L.A. gaydom, I got a massage. From a guy.
If I got excited any time in the 90 minutes, I would always know I had some gay in me. Perhaps enough to follow "Desperate Housewives" on Sunday nights.
I usually avoid massages because I get uncomfortable when strangers touch me. This Thai massage was going to be a key moment in my life. And the embarrassing thing is that I don't even know his name. He was Thai, in his early 20s, with kind eyes and a quiet smile.
I stood there uncomfortably smiling until my new friend told me to take off my shirt. I liked his directness. I kept on my shorts and underwear, as we both seemed to want. These are the kind of compromises two guys make before an hour and a half of rubbing.
Fully concentrating on not enjoying myself, I lay down on my stomach, wondering just who I was fooling with this experiment.
The parts when he did things designed to hurt me were OK, like when he twisted my leg up or pushed down with all his weight on my shoulders. But there wasn't enough of that. I kept hoping he'd start beating my back with a palm frond or a stick, but then I realized that wanting that only made me '70s gay.
There were a lot of really uncomfortable moments. At one point, I was laying on my back while he crawled over me on hands and knees, headfirst to my feet, in order to knead my thighs. There are actual gay sex positions that are less gay than this.
In order to make the experience less uncomfortable, I used the same technique I use when I get my hair cut by a guy -- I kept up a constant manly dialogue. Not knowing anything about Thai sports other than what I gleaned from kickboxing movies, I stuck to the topic of massage. This worked best at the times when he'd ask if he was pushing too hard. Trying to sound up to the challenge, I kept going with, "Oh yeah. It's great."
As you can see, there's really no way to sound straight when another guy is leaning over you, rubbing your back.
Unfortunately, my masseur never asked me the classic tailor question about which way I dress. He worked up my inner thigh really high, which made me stress out and tighten my muscles. Unfortunately, this just made him think that my upper thigh was a particularly tense area and spend more time massaging up there, which just made me tense up even tighter, which increased his time there. It was its own little vicious circle of gayness.
Yet for 90 minutes, I never got the least bit excited. Whether this means I'm not gay, or just that I don't have an Asian fetish, I'm not sure.
But there's no way I'm taking my chances testing this again. I'm going to have to accept that maybe I'm not that creative, and hope McPherson shoves my show on after "According to Jim."