R. Jeanette Martin
A recent late-night walk through a city park taught me that while it may be family-friendly during the day, it can be a dangerously appealing kind of friendly once the sun sets.
I'm sitting across from my date over drinks at Kalendar. The desire to lean forward and kiss him pops repeatedly into my martini-massaged head. I've never been big on public displays of affection, so when we're discussing what to do next, I half-jokingly ask, "Is there a secluded park nearby we can go to?"
It's not long before we're walking in Trinity Bellwoods.
There's a seductive quality to the air tonight (mixed with the faint scent of pot), and as far as public spaces go, this is relatively private. An intentional break from conversation allows us a softly sizzling midnight kiss before we realize we're standing under one of the park's bright lights.
We wander further to a bench that is blissfully in the dark, where my date carefully slides his hand up the leg of my shorts - I'm so glad I'm not wearing jeans - and presses it against my cock. Self-conscious, I'm on high (and increasingly hard) alert, and the arrival of a convoy of dog walkers quickly spoils the mood. Again, the need to relocate is mandatory.
Opportunity welcomes us in the form of several steps surrounded by sheltering trees, giving the out-of-sight, out-of-find illusion of a secret tunnel. We slip into the steamy shadows of mutual exploration, my date keeping an eye open for any intruders at the top of the stairs while I focus on the bottom. Anticipation of being caught is equally frightening and arousing.
Later, heading home, I fantasize about cruising a park for sex. As a gay man, finding anonymous late-night action is as easy as a walk in the park. But I'm reluctant to try it, like its indoor equivalent, a bathhouse - not because I'd dislike it, but because I'd probably like it too much.