3 min

A bear’s natural habitat at Blow Buddies

Never disturb the wildlife

Blow Buddies in San Francisco was the place to go if sex in dark places was what you are looking for. Credit: Mike Miksche

“Should I get naked?” I asked the guy at coat check. I was at Blow Buddies in San Francisco, and it was just after 8:30pm on a Monday night.

“I think you should,” he said smiling and giving me a once over with his eyes. After some banter, I learned that most men inside weren’t actually naked. Not that I was one to conform, but I decided to just check my shirt, promising to check more if I needed to. As I took my ticket, a daddy bear came up from behind and asked for a beer. They don’t serve booze at Blow Buddies, but you can bring some in off the street and check it with your jacket. I wished that I had done the same.

When the daddy bear reached across me to grab his can, his forearm flexed so thick that I wanted to touch him, just to make sure that he was real. He made a joke about some guy from the club then looked over at me and smiled. Perhaps it was an inside joke — I didn’t really understand why it was funny — but I saw something in his eyes, a spark, that made me feel like he was someone I wanted to get to know.

I followed him into the main room of the club, admiring his stocky frame. His worn-out baseball cap completed the daddy bear image — it was almost definitely a calculated look.

The main room had a large slurp ramp in a square shape along the perimeter, with a pit in the middle. Men were cruising the glory holes up above, and the rest were down below, ready for a feeding. I quickly lost the daddy bear in the crowd, so I stood against the back wall and watched men circle round and round, chasing, wanting, craving.

Off the main room was a maze of booths and glory holes stretching from one hallway to another. At one point, as I wandered, I found myself back in a hall that I’d already been through, but I couldn’t remember how I had got there, so I just kept wandering, hoping I would run into that daddy bear.

The halls were relatively quiet — most of the men were back in the main room. I went upstairs, across a mezzanine and past vacant play areas. It was lonely. I finally found myself in a small side room with a sling. A guy was getting fucked while four others stood in a loose circle, jerking off. I watched for a bit too, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that daddy bear. What was first a mild curiosity was now becoming a relentless hunt. I went back to the main room.

I found him standing half-inside one of the booths along the outside of the slurp ramp. He had his arm up, supporting himself with the top of the door frame. A cock came through the glory hole inside the booth; the daddy beer turned his cap backwards and closed the curtain. A few minutes later the curtains opened again and he took a sip of his beer with his arm up, waiting for more. Such a unique animal, I thought.

I was about to approach him when another cock came through. He closed the curtain again. I found it fascinating that he would indiscriminately suck any cock from the glory hole and did so with dignity. From where I was standing, I could see whose cock he was sucking, but he could only see the cock itself. I admired how my daddy bear had no fear that the person on the other end wasn’t appealing to him. That’s so beside the point though, especially in a place like Blow Buddies.

One of the men who had put his cock through the hole for the daddy bear came down from the ramp and tried to join him in the booth. The daddy bear laughed, took a hearty sip of his beer, then said, “Nice try.” Come on, his laugh seemed to say. You know the rules.

It made me wonder about who the daddy bear was: maybe he had a boyfriend back home so he just wanted to suck cock; or maybe he was one of these people that didn’t need affection beyond a warm dick in his mouth. The gentleman he rejected took his place again up on the ramp and put his cock through the hole that led to the daddy bear’s booth. Across went the curtain.

I watched all of this from afar — I decided not to approach the daddy bear that night, but instead, left him to be who he was. 

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