About the author

Nicky, age 13-14 (see more below)

I am an academic of a certain age, a professor, scholar, and director of a university library in the north-east of the United States.  I had an unusual upbringing and early life, and liked it, and am glad that it happened the way it did.  If you wish, please comment and respond to this blog, and if it seems right we can correspond on e-mail more easily.  Please use the contact form.

I have added several galleries of selected photographs at the bottom of this page.  I placed them there to protect the more easily offended. I had many other experiences as a boy, adolescent, and teenager.  More images are viewable, with much more context, in my blog Les Fils Du Calamus, passworded (and in English).  Please contact me if you wish to inquire about it.

By faith I am a so-called “liberal” Anglo-Catholic Christian and steadfast member of the Episcopal Church.  I believe that the winds of the spirit have brought forth new acts in our time: full participation by women, and full recognition and participation by gay and lesbian clergy and lay persons. I hold an inclusive, incarnational faith that comprehends bodies, minds, and spirits. Politically I am a small-s socialist barely within the left side of the “big tent” of the Democratic party.  In literature I am a classicist but I will read and enjoy almost anything so long as it is intelligently written.  As a scholar I am an historian of Christianity and specialize in the history of worship and Carolingian era.  Personally I am a father and in a long-term committed relationship, and a life-long Chicago Cubs (baseball) fan.  As an INFP (Myers-Briggs) I have acquired many social skills but group interaction costs me a lot of energy.

Blessed by my Scottish and Anglo-Saxon ancestors with a strong constitution, I am healthy and vigorous and I have long loved to row, to bicycle, and to swim. Although I no longer compete, I enjoy life around the competitors at my rowing club.  As a tall person, I am careful with my back and knees (stretches, stretches, more stretches).  I enjoy the company of young people (a good thing, since I work with so many).  I know my boundaries.  I am a member of that generation which saw too many of its most talented members die far too soon.  An enduring legacy of that era (for me) is how happy I am to be here, and I still wish they were here now.  (Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine et lux perpetua luceat eis.)

I was a varsity swimmer in junior and senior high school, age 11-18.  In those days we swam (practiced and competed) nude; I wrote more about that publicly in replies on Frank Senn’s blog.  So I was used to being nude in social situations, as well as a great deal at home.

As a teenager and undergraduate I modeled nude for photographers and artists. My uncle introduced me to them and sometimes participated in the sessions. Fortunately I was not hurt by these experiences.  They were unfailingly kind but firmly directive and as a compliant boy I fully met their wishes as it was expected of a boy at that time. I would undress as they directed; I even liked it.  In such a session basically a dominant photographer directs a submissive boy to open himself up however the photographer wants, and at his pleasure. I willing submitted and did what I was told to do —I liked that, and really did not have a choice anyway. The man held power and as a boy I put out for him.  My uncle supported me, and knew everything that was going on.  That certainly is not how I want intimate relationships to go now.

At the same ages I modeled for a number of classes at a local college of art (—and yes the feared and happy event occured often —I was 14-20— but rather than embarassment I felt a deeper personal connection with the artists, and no one ever spoke disapprovingly).  The experience of shedding my clothes in front of artists or a camera —and my penis behaving however it might— taught me a reserve of self-assurance and self-acceptance that has served me quietly and well ever since.   I never possessed any copies of the sketches —and any I might have had I lost long ago.  Posing for an art class felt very different than posing for a single artist or photograph, male or female.  I had to get used to be unapologetically exposed in front of multiple adults, both men and women, and girls my age.  They were always kind and simply smiled when I became erect.  I learned early that being nude is much more than simply not having clothes on.  I also sat for individual sessions with amateur artists who were society ladies, and they enjoyed working with me in every way also.  I suppose I was a sort of boy toy.

I became “Nicky” when the pictures were published by RMX and Lyric and then repeated all over.  I still come across them on vintage gay tumblr blogs.  My uncle and I chose the name “Nicky” because I liked the character of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby.

I would have been gay anyway without all of this –this was the how it happened, not the why.  (The why is: God created me. I am who I am. Period.) Another interested point of view is expressed by worldman1969 in this and other extensive posts.

This first gallery is some early photographs from Detroit, with some other normally-clothed photographs –I was certainly not nude all the time (although almost all the time at home), and I presented a fairly normal public persona at school.

My first dual shoot with Richard “Doc” Thompson, aka Allen Andrew Parsons, and Richard Model Exclusive was the summer I turned 14. Wayne Parker was the boy that Doc assigned to keep the younger boys in line –but since not so many were around Doc’s houses in Miami or Merritt Island, Wayne and I were pretty much to ourselves. This suited both of us fine. He was a great top, loving and definitely in charge; we were a great pair could go for hours.  The first time I met him I went totally hard on the spot, which certainly got things off to a great start. I don’t know what happened to him afterwards.

My first solo series with RMX was in a bedroom, which I really enjoyed, the first day on the bed and the next day on the floor. Wayne was in the background and after the shoots Doc liked to watch us fuck.  We both loved Doc’s houses, where we could always be nude and always available. Doc Thompson shot some of the photographs, with another photographer who doubled as a light man.

At the RMX houses there were always other boys with whom I did a lot, both sexually and otherwise. When I returned during part of the summer when I was 14-15, I modeled again for several solo shots, as well as paired with other boys –Ted, Gary, George, and Bruce in particular.  They all got me going as you can see (especially Ted, who was insatiable and a year younger than I).  I was almost always bottom except for Ted and Gary. I also began to be more active with the older men who came to the house, and I enjoyed being sexually available. I had done this already at the Lyric house in California (see more below).  I have few photographs of these men, but the ones here can give you the idea –I recognize both the men and the boys.

I met Gary the first summer and more the second summer, when I met several others boys. As you can see in the photographs by the stairway, I had grown about two inches, but remained thin and smooth with a swimmer’s body.  I had a tan line around my abdomen because when I ran outside with the cross country boys (shirts off), I had to remain minimally clothed.  (A sacrifice for sport!)

I also got to know and love Fred more in 1968 than the previous year, although he was certainly present and we certainly had sex. Fred’s story was quite different from mine: he was from a pretty rough small town in central Florida and had been forced to leave when it was discovered he might like boys –his family disowned him.  He found Doc Thompson, and managed to get through high school and community college during those years, as well as learning a lot about photography and developing film. Fred and I fit together beautifully and he was shy, intense, highly sexed, and always ready to go with me.

In 1968 I also got to know John Schriver and Don –I never knew Don’s last name.  Both of them were older boys who gravitated to me because I was a skilled and welcoming bottom.  Doc claimed in print that John was a Kennedy relation (a big deal in the 1960s) because of his classic, chiseled Kennedy looks and body –of course he was not a real Shriver, since that family spelled the name without the “c.” Both John and Don would fuck me quite openly where other boys could watch us –and we were the favorites of a number of men, who liked to watch and touch us but not actually get involved in our sex.

How did Doc Thompson and his friends keep track of his boys, produce and publish so many photos?  First, Doc and company worked all the time.  He also deputized and trained his boys to work on the photos at every stage: capture, development, trimming, placing on pages.  I will say that a number of boys learned useful skills doing this, and a couple (such as Fred) actually worked later as photographers or assistants based on the knowledge they gained with Doc.  Doc was self-motivated and self-interested of course, but not exclusively so.  He was a chameleon personality that could weave great fantasies about his identity, and his persuasive abilities were well employed in his line of work.  Neither my uncle or I really knew him very well –and were not surprised when much of what we thought we thought was the case turned out to be fantasies.

The following large gallery shows a number of boys in both candid and posed shots, as well as photographs that some boys sent in to Doc, hoping to become RMX boys (but they could not get away from home for some reason).  While Doc certainly had boys up to their 20s, he preferred younger, prepubescent to mid-teens, and he treated us all beautifully.  If we did not do what he asked, we were asked to leave –fair enough, because Doc was paying for everything when we were there.  I usually stayed at the house; sometimes in a hotel or motel room nearby with my uncle so that I could get some rest because I was very popular sexually.

Like other men in similar operations, Doc ran a quiet service that brought men and boys together, either in the house or as call-boys elsewhere.  This is more controversial, and my comments don’t imply approval now (legally) –but what happened here is the case.  Men hired boys either directly for sex, or to watch boys have sex together.  Ine one case below, a boy and his uncle worked this way.  (I never, ever worked sexually with my uncle, and never had sex with him.) . Several photographs below show men who wanted to be photographed with me –a trophy boy or trophy fuck.

Finally, I really did love several boys both at Doc Thompson’s (RMX) house, and at the Lyric house in Hollywood.  I never knew Geary at Doc’s –he and I never overlapped (We were each there only a number of weeks a year.) I met Geary at Mayfield (a pseudonymous name for a real school) in Western Massachusetts, during a post-senior-year before I went to Old Nassau (ahem!), where he and I put together that we were both RMX boys.   I also truly loved Tim and Bob (or Bobby), though I spent much less time with them.  They were both boys, like Geary and I, who were from monied circumstances but did not fit in with the usual frat-boy set.  It was a privilege to know and love them.

The Lyric House was quite different, and more complicated. I was at the Lyric house for a few weeks each year from 1966 to 1970.  It was a complex place and I wrote about it in my biographical blog (Les Fils du Calamus).  So I was there before the famous Peter Glawson, but I did meet Terry Stuart, Junior, Sean Patrick (David Archer), Hoss, and many others there.  My uncle was very wary about Billy and Guy taking many photographs of me, because my uncle knew that he could not control their distribution so well.  (We were both charmed and misled by Doc Thompson, above –a different case!)

Nevertheless, there are a few photographs of me from that time that I have since located on the ‘net.

I also came to know a number of boys that I will comment on here:

Guy Strait, or the D.O.M. (Dirty Old Man, with other meanings intended) began to photograph boys in San Francisco in the early 1960s, where he met Billy Byars Jr. before Billy leased his Hollywood (Lyric) house.  At some point it is impossible to distinguish which man shot which photograph, but these are typical Guy Strait-D.O.M. poses, and he excelled as casual-looking shots out of doors, a craft he taught to Billy.  These boys were usually in San Francisco and these photographs advertised their availability; sometimes Guy’s studio on Russ Street in (what is now called) SoMA was a de facto meeting place for boys and men, who would then go elsewhere, mostly to the hotels with hourly rates in the Market area.

Billy Byars Jr. rented a house high above Hollywood on towards the end of Mulholland Drive in 1966, and moved his boys with him.  He collected there an extraordinary collection of boys without or without the knowledge and approval of the parents (if parents were involved in any way). Some boys were sons of prominent financial or political families, others were cast-offs, some had tricked on the streets.  Terry Stuart, Peter and Maxey Glawson, and a couple of others moved from Texas.  The pool was the centerpiece: boys did not have to be nude except in the pool, and the custom was to remain nude for the rest of the day unless a boy was going out or was taken out by a man.  I loved the pool, and it was a happy, carefree place punctuated by frequent sex with boys and men.

The Lyric boys ran from ages 10-20, with most between 12 and 17, with a few ages 8-9.  Shocking as it may seem now, many lived there with the knowledge and approval of their parents, who may or may not have known all else that was going on.

I knew several of the Lyric stars, and with others my stay there never overlapped (I was there only several weeks a year).  From 1967 to 1970 I knew directly:

  • Billy Marshall, who was raised by nudist parents outside Berkeley, California, who knew Billy Byars Jr. well and were happy that their son would be well cared for and sexually active;
  • Peter Glawson, called Peter Koch in his earliest years with Lyric, who came from Texas with Billy and Terry Stuart, and was later joined by his younger brother Maxey; their parents somehow were not present or involved and Billy Byars Jr. was their foster father;
  • Timmy Good, a boy from San Francisco who was lent to Billy Byars Jr. by his mother, first as a 13-14 year old and then later  at ages 16 and 18; Timmy took over some of the dark room work from Mike Jackson, a boy who lived with Guy Strait after his family visited San Francisco;
  • Terry Stuart, possibly an out-of-wedlock child of a ranch hand on the Byars’ ranch in Tyler, Texas, who came to San Francisco will Billy at age 13 or 14 and stayed at the Lyric house through his early 20s, and who managed the boys for Billy, and who was Billy’s exclusive boy;
  • Junior, from a very well-to-do family in San Francisco, happy that their wayward son was cared for by someone they knew, all aware what kind of relationship Billy Byars Jr. and Guy Strait had with Junior; I knew Junior only in 1967 and 1968.

There were many other boys at the Lyric house.  I did not overlap with most of them.  One of the purposes of their photographs was to signal their sexual availability for men who knew Billy, or who knew how to gain entré to that circle of friends.  The first photograph below shows a typical man with a boy whom he has either taken else where or will play with in a relatively private bedroom at the Lyric house.  When boys were shown with erections, lying on a bed, or otherwise in very vulnerable, open positions, the purpose was to present them to a potential man in the most attractive way possible.  It worked often too.  Billy and Guy never accepted money for placing boys with men, but they did accept gifts, and the boys did well also.

A significant number of boys were Latino, since in Los Angeles they had particularly desirable status.