Vancouver
3 min

Booty calls across the great divide

Getting West End guys to come to the Eastside is like asking them to sneak across the border by nigh

On a sultry July afternoon I was roaming the plant nursery owned by a hunky gardener on Victoria Dr and 2nd Ave, looking for a hot red poker to prettify my sweetheart’s patch, when I overheard a 30-something woman telling her friend that it’s impossible to date girls from other parts of town.

“They have this thing about coming to the Eastside, you know? Like it is dangerous or something,” she said, caressing the hunky gardener’s ferns.

A week later, while sitting at Café Flore in San Francisco’s Castro neighbourhood, I heard a similar complaint from a local there. He said he wished the Castro was less precious so real men would come back.

Is it really that hard to hook up across borders? Getting some or getting none might be linked to gentrification.

Activists say that the more expensive the housing, the more poverty, drugs and despair we see. I add to this list: the less busy we get, if you know what I mean.

Trying to get guys to come to Vancouver’s Eastside was hard work before I got hitched (I will simply not admit to anything after). It was like asking them to sneak across the border by night!

“That is soooo far,” they would whine (the same type who moans, “oh, that is too big!” before sitting right down on it).

Or they would lie and promise to arrive in 30 minutes, making you rush around decorating the place into a sex den, butching yourself up into something leathery —only to leave you hanging, holding the enema. (Aging is good, I don’t miss those chores).

The rare times that a guy decides to hop this ostensible wall, it takes him so long that you get sleepy and cold feet, unless you booty bump yourself into a frenzy and now you are fearing this might be a thief and serial killer, not the mid-20s gym-built rugged Irish truck driver he said he was online.

Maybe the guy biked it and he’ll arrive numbnuts with a $29 ticket for not wearing a helmet. Or he was stopped by wannabe cops in the SkyTrain, was barked at unreasonably, and fined $175 because we’re too classy a city to have turning stalls.

Worse! He took the 20 Victoria bus and the hallucinatory Noah’s arch ambiance made him doubt and go soft.

No matter how the suitors make it across a border, they will always come a bit undone.

Maybe that’s the way we like them. By the time his chariot pauses at your low gate, you are not kneeling upon your mat, as Emily D would have put it. You have stomach cramps, he is as ugly as fear itself, and you end up with a mercy fuck and a long-distance relationship with a guy in the West End.

If your frog-to-prince owns a car, honey, you may have climbed up the social ladder. He might bring his own poppers, but don’t be surprised if he is ignorant of Eastside streets and how to get here.

He’ll inquire nervously about safety and parking as if the rest of the city were an oasis from felony.

If the guy lives in the east, you both feel like you are having sex with a cousin from the barrio —nothing wrong with jumping the fence for a cup of sugar, but you’ll see him later, with his lover, his dog, at Value Village or at the welfare office.

In Vancouver as well as San Francisco, denizens make great efforts at being aloof with each other. Vancouver is a small town with a great backyard where we can still take the license of pretending we are strangers. In big crammed cities, people have got to live with each other. We’ll get there.

In the meantime, we have much to offer in the Eastside: inner-city toughness, great morning-after inexpensive breakfasts, tolerance for the weird in us, and sleazy intercourse for political causes (that happens at the upper echelons too, I reckon —only the sandwiched classes are chaste).

If or when St Paul’s Hospital moves to the Eastside, we’ll have health care for the pilgrims of the viaduct, a short ambulance ride if something gets stuck or someone passes out. Health care for frequent users in the east and beyond is far from optimal; fortunately the Compassion Club is on our side of the tracks.

Let’s be frank, the well-to-do queens are moving east, gentrifying; isn’t this what we do in our charming tyrannical kind of way? Make the unsightly invisible with our queer eye and pave the way for the middle classes to come and pitch their Pottery Barn tents? This is the lesson I have learned visiting The Castro since the 1980s.

Why not go to the West End if one is so urgently horny, you might wonder.

Fair enough; commercial sex venues and frequented pick-up places are there. However, the fact that we are Eastside queens doesn’t mean we’re pushovers. Surely, there is a power play in who gets to “entertain.”

Besides, engaging in some whacky scene in a West End studio pales to fantasizing for an hour in a rickety old dungeon in the Eastside that you have been kidnapped by seedy, dark terrorists of creeds offensive to your virtuous, monogamous and civilized manners.

They will chain you into depravity and make you worship them for, like, always. An hour later, the drugs ease off.

Next time you try to get a booty call across the border, realize that they will eventually colonize it here and you might get priced out of the block, and be thankful for what you get today.