When my roommates and I moved into our new apartment, there was a weird black stain on the tile in front of our toilet. We put a mediocre amount of effort into attempting to remove it, but to no avail. However, the man who came to clean my apartment naked got it off.
I originally discovered Ben* in the personals section on Craigslist. He moved to Montreal from Toronto, and studied Social Work at McGill. Mitchell,* another man from the personals section, moved to Montreal as a teenager. He now runs a moving business that frequently works in the Milton-Parc community.
Both men are exhibitionists.
I interviewed Ben in my home as one roommate did homework, and the other sat in his room and nervously smoked with a friend.
He came wearing sunglasses and sports clothes. He had trouble finding parking.
“I usually sit them down, undress; it’s usually a strip-tease kind of thing. And then, after that, it all depends on what they’re looking for…you know, sometimes they like to touch, sometimes they don’t.” On my recording I can hear the rustle of his clothing as he strips it away; piling his shirt, then his pants, neatly on a kitchen chair. He adjusts his testes, and then gets to work.
“If I were doing this for someone who was getting off on it, you’d have me on all fours [and] not with a mop.”
* * *
Mitchell and I sat across from one another at a café, corralled by three other tables full of people. He was more explicit with his recounts than Ben, but his voice got lost in the din, and nobody noticed us.
“I met this girl that lived in the next building over upstairs and we’d go to each other’s place and have a glass of wine, that sort of thing, until we watched a movie called The Story of O, It’s a 1970s, early 1980s movie about this woman who was dominated by this man.”
After the movie, Mitchell told her that he’d always had a fantasy about being dominated by a woman.
“So the next night I was there, and she told me to stand up and take my clothes off. And nervously I stood up in front of her on the other side of the coffee table and I took my clothes off, and she asked me to masturbate in front of her, and I did that, and through the rest of our get-togethers it started to progress.”
They moved through oral sex, rimming, and cock-and-balls-torture, into water sports, scat play, and humiliating scenarios in public.
“We opened something up inside each other.”
* * *
“I guess I was brought up pretty sheltered; I was pretty conservative,” Ben mused as he reached to get the grime behind the toilet. “After university even, and then I started experimenting, trying different things.”
It all started when a girl walked in on him mistakenly in the shower, and “[that was] kind of exciting, and I fantasized about that, then I would go on chat lines. That’s how it started.”
For Ben it’s about being exposed and vulnerable. He likes being naked around strangers because “it’s kind of an adventure. It’s never the same experience twice.”
“I’ve had people like I said, couples who[m] I entertain; I masturbate in front of them. It turns me on when I’m there for that. I’ve had men wanting me to be a slave, do different things in front of a woman. I’ve had women hiring me to be their toy, girls who have never seen a guy naked, never seen a guy masturbate, even never seen a penis before.”
Ben’s main scene is Craigslist. He gets a fair number of responses, but only ventures out maybe once a month. He’s been doing this for about ten years. And he’s never had any negative experiences.
“Most of the people I meet are male. About half are male, about 20 per cent are male/female couples. Almost nobody your age. Mostly older; in their thirties, forties.”
He doesn’t do windows. That’s pretty much it. “Organizing stuff, moving stuff. I had one lady who made me re-plaster her bathroom. [It took] two days. But it was a sexual thing too. It usually is, right? She’d watch me and get turned on and then we’d take breaks.”
Afterwhich he asked me, “You get a lot of naked people in your bathroom?”
* * *
Mitchell has had almost no responses to his online postings.
“I had one ad [up] that was exhibitionist only, and they were always young girls that responded, and I went to one, but she didn’t show up, which I understand. In the email she sent me she was really interested and she wanted to do this. I was supposed to go out into the woods somewhere in a park. She told me where to go, it was private, and it was near a road, but nobody could see us. I was supposed to take my clothes off and masturbate in front of her, but it never happened; she never showed up.”
“That was the only one. I’ve kind of backed off a bit, I think if I’m [going to] get a response I’ve got to go to a paid website; there’s more safety there,” Mitchell continues.
Mitchell has a girlfriend, and though he would never have intercourse with anyone else, he wants to fulfill his fantasies. “She knows about my fantasies, but they’re not of interest to her. And as far as she’s concerned, I’ve never lived out my fantasies. She only knows what interests me, that’s it. Like the domination, stuff like that. She doesn’t want to get into it; she’s more vanilla.”
Yet the exhibition, humiliation, and pain are not things that Mitchell is willing to throw vanilla sex away for. He characterizes sex with his girlfriend as romance, and his fantasies as playtime. And though he’s not ‘playing’ right now, he’s found other outlets. Like walking in the parks of Westmount naked at 4 a.m., or, when he was a trucker, driving nude.
“When I was on the road, sometimes early in tmorning I’d get the urge to stop, like if there [was] a little wooded area. So I’d pull over, strip down, and have a coffee and a cigarette. Just me in the woods. But around here, no, it’s disrespectful. If someone sees you who has no interest [in seeing you], you’re actually forcing them; you’re forcing yourself on the public. I’d rather find someone and do it indoors,” Mitchell explains.
For anyone with similar sexual inclinations that doesn’t know where to begin, Mitchell advises watching soft-core films and starting the conversation slowly. “If it doesn’t open up within six or seven get-togethers, I don’t think anything’s [going to] happen, but give it a couple meetings. If you meet someone, start off very slowly; don’t come right out with it. Stick with one partner.
“If you’re gonna be having [penetrative] sex, ‘cause you know the world today, water sports, let’s say, before you do something like that you[‘ve got to] make sure no diseases are involved, Hepatitis A and B for scat, you know.”
* * *
An older man at a table adjacent looked at us over the rim of his coffee, at which point Mitchell leaned in for more privacy, and said: “Actually you’re the first one I’ve ever told about this. Everybody has a fantasy, you, her; whether it’s a vanilla fantasy or something like mine or heavier, everybody’s got something they’re not telling.”
There are a lot of people in our society who would look to Mitchell and call him sick, or weird, for what he is doing. He only has one reply: “You know, no. I’m not weird, you’re not weird, these are sexual fantasies. Sex is the most powerful need that we have, whether it’s vanilla sex or wherever you want to go with it. If it makes you feel good, go for it.” *names have been changed