MeNo: A 58-Year-Old Gay Cuban Man Talks Weinstein, Rapp, Spacey…And Him | by Ernesto Villa, as told to Nitram Nosirrag

Since I was so little I could fit under the couch in my mother’s living room, I was attracted to, and got aroused by, men–grown up men–without knowing what sex was. When I was younger than 14, I already knew who I was and what I wanted–and at 15 had my first real sexual experience–with a 32-year-old man, because I forced the situation. I was not seduced, or molested, or raped, or abused–completely the opposite. If all gay men were as honest as I am being now they might tell you a similar story. I am not sure how it is with lesbians but in my experience most–if not all–gay men are early bloomers, even when they struggle with their sexuality and/or stay in the closet. We all have crushes with teachers, singers, actors, older sister’s boyfriends—most of these older males.

I am now an older man myself–living openly in a small town with my long-time partner. I’m hesitant to admit that I’m also an immigrant because there are some people here who, in their ignorance, compare homosexuality with bestiality and consider all gay men pedophiles. When they hear I came from abroad, from a 3rd World country, they may not take what I say seriously, or they may say: no wonder he defends these guys, he probably grew up fucking chickens and armadillos in the jungle.

Yes, I am direct, honest and–to some–even shameless because I’m not afraid to talk about my gay sexual life or my early start as a gay child. I was a precocious kid in many ways, especially sexually. While other teenagers were still playing kid’s games, or drinking, or smoking, or taking drugs, I was enjoying the pleasures of sex, also learning about arts, literature, opera, ballet, watching good films and enjoying the pleasures of sex again and again in between. Because I always dated older men, I was surrounded with interesting and smart people, lovers and friends of lovers. This contributed to a decent general education, despite of the fact that I never attended college. In Cuba (where I am from) people are not as uptight and prejudiced about sex like many are here.

My mother was born in the ’30s and my grandmother married her off at the age of 12 to an older man to guarantee her future, as was the tradition at that time. At 12, my mother was already a fully developed woman. When I was 15 and my mother found out I was gay and dating a 32-year-old man she did not make an issue of it. She was upset about the fact I was gay but not that I was dating an older man. She neither blamed the man for corrupting me nor called him a pedophile, much less pressed charges, not at all. For somebody to be called a pedophile in Cuba, they need to molest a real child. But at 15, although I was legally not an adult yet, I was not a child. In Cuba, we are not as hypocritical as some are here. Also, in Cuba, at 16 you are legally an adult, old enough to serve in the military. In my generation a lot of my friends liked to date older guys. Some of my gay friends here say that older people always manipulate younger people. In my experience, that is not true. If it is true, I was really fortunate. I was always loved, spoiled and pampered by all my lovers, especially in my younger years.

I believe the reason my friends here think this way is because they’ve been indoctrinated to think this way all their lives. One who thinks this way had a sexual relationship with another kid a few years older than he. Although he did not reject the encounters—in fact, quite the opposite, he enjoyed them—he still believes he was used, which I find hypocritical.

I don’t have to tell you that I am stubborn, opinionated and I usually speak my mind. When somebody told me once that I was a cocky motherfucker, I just laughed in his face and said: Yes I am! Although with age I have learned to control my impulses, sometimes–when I see injustice and ignorance–my Cuban blood starts boiling and I lose control and run my big mouth, even if at times I shouldn’t. I currently work in a factory, a dirty job to pay the bills, nothing fancy. As a friend of mine says: Nothing gay related!

I left Cuba in 1995 when I was 34; I will be 58 this year. My partner and I have been together for 15 years and I couldn’t have custom-ordered a man better for me than him. I do not have many friends because most people are not interested in the subjects that interest me. They find my taste too weird, too passionate. I love foreign and independent films. I am open minded and liberal and outspoken. My partner and I do not socialize much. We are simply an old gay couple living in a small town in America.

Don’t get me wrong, I am for women’s rights, I am 100% for abortion rights. And though I’m not a woman, I would be devastated if they ever reversed Roe v. Wade. But I have been uncomfortable with this MeToo and Time’s Up frenzy from the beginning. I have talked about this with my partner and he shares my opinion. A friend from Michigan agreed with me to a certain extent but everybody else I’ve discussed the subject with–although they have not come out and said it—probably thinks that I am a heartless motherfucker.

When the Weinstein scandal broke, I said to my partner: maybe this guy is an asshole but all these women are full of shit. Making an indecent proposal is not rape and asking for sex in exchange for a job, although not nice or kosher, is not rape either. Yes, the man is ugly but he has power and money. He cannot attract women with his looks—but, still, he has the money and the power to do the trick. These women who slept with him for a job, they were not obligated to do it. They could have gone and worked somewhere else, even in a factory. But they choose to stay in show business. If Weinstein had been a good-looking man, like Brad Pitt, he would not be in the situation he is now. He would have screwed everybody in Hollywood–men and women–and nobody would have complained. If, instead of asking for a fuck, Weinstein had asked Rose McGowan, one of his most vicious attackers, to be Mrs. Weinstein, I bet she would have said yes with blinking eyes and Weinstein would not be where he is now. McGowan did not want to sleep with producer Weinstein because he’s old and ugly. She had no problem, however, sleeping with director Robert Rodriguez who was young and good looking and wrote a part for her in his film Grindhouse. My guess is that Rodriguez didn’t have to chase after McGowan a whole lot to sleep with her. I do not blame her for sleeping with Rodriguez at all. But being vicious to Weinstein (for wanting what Rodriguez got) is not right.

The same with Louis CK. I understand that it is not a usual thing for men to go around flashing their dicks at women. But, the way I see it, Louie CK’s only crime was not being good looking. If he had been somebody like Henry Cavill, he wouldn’t even have had to ask women if he could show them his penis. Even if he did, before he even finished the question, the women would have been pulling it out themselves.

That’s right–women watch porn, talk about sex and let’s not forget what they do when they gather for a bachelorette party! My ex before my current partner was Cuban, too, and one time he had group of Cuban friends in town and was quite the social butterfly. While their husbands were working, the wives would gather with the gay man to gossip and talk about sex. In fact, my ex was always telling stories to these ladies about he and I having sex. One day, these ladies surrounded me and asked me to pull down my pants down to see my dick. They wouldn’t leave me in peace until I agreed. When I got my dick out, they were all having fun and giggling. This is how the world goes ‘round.

A stolen kiss used to be a very romantic thing. Now it’s a very risky move that can ruin your life and end your career. I was watching a Hallmark movie a few days ago where the guy steals a kiss from the girl and although the situation was romantic, instead of enjoying it, the first thing that came to my mind was: oh boy, you are lucky that you are in a Hallmark movie otherwise #Me Too would get your ass!

So when a see a man–gay or straight–crying that he is a victim of sexual assault for being groped–I think of Terry Crews, a 6′ 3″, extremely muscular man who looks like the “Colossus of Rhodes”whining like a little, defenseless girl who has been robbed of her virginity, just because a gay executive from Hollywood supposedly groped him. It makes me nauseous. 

So—no, I do not think actor Anthony Rapp, whose MeToo helped bring down Kevin Spacey, is the exception–quite the opposite. At the age of 14, Rapp was already traversing the streets of New York City by himself—something I, at 58, would be afraid of doing by myself.

If Mr. Rapp was a straight man, I could understand he might be traumatized by what happened forty years ago at Spacey’s apartment. But as Rapp is gay, I do not understand a reason for such a trauma. If Spacey had drugged him and had sex with him while he was unconscious or had forced him when Rapp had rejected him, I would also understand the reason for such a trauma. But this was not the case.

What I see is a clear case of jealousy and opportunism. Everybody knows that, in this country, it is almost easier to destroy a man’s life by accusing him of sexual assault than accusing him of murder, especially if the man is gay and it involves a minor. Many in this country introduce their kids to firearms and take them to the shooting range at an early age, but when it comes to sex…Anyway, you see it in the case of the 18 year old in Nantucket—the young man’s mother and the media still insist on calling him a child, a boy, when 18-year-olds are sent to wars to kill–and get killed–every day.

Society here in general is so eager to determine—i.e. put an age limit on–when is the right age to start having sex. But sexual desire does not take orders from physical age—it is an instinct, a nature’s call that can come at any time. Although not consciously knowing what I was doing, at a very young age I was already heeding nature’s call.  

To my eyes, Anthony Rapp believed accusing Spacey would put him in the spotlight as a victim of sexual abuse and that it might give his mediocre career a boost along the way. It bothers me that Rapp said Spacey lifted him as a groom lifts a bride–instead of saying that Spacey lifted him as actor Ed Harris lifted him in the play he was appearing in at the time on Broadway. There’s picture of the play where Rapp is in Ed Harris arms with a happy face and Rapp’s arms are wrapped around Ed Harris’s neck. I believe Rapp intentionally used the words bride and groom because he wanted to imply SEX—because he set out to do damage.

In short, I do not believe Anthony Rapp was the innocent kid he’s portrayed himself to be at the time Spacey came onto him. Rapp may fool himself—there are many ignorant, and some homophobic, people out there who can’t hear the words underage without believing it’s a synonym for innocence. But—and I say this matter-of-factly not maliciously—Rapp doesn’t fool me.

(I do feel maliciously towards those gay celebrities–especially those gay, male celebrities–who did not waste a single second getting on Twitter and throwing dirt on Spacey–they should know better!)

Recently I lost a friend because he could not understand why I defend Spacey. He is my age, gay and a college professor. It is hard for me to accept when gay men are prejudiced or uptight and act like the Roman mob. Especially people like him that have more education. He and I had had disagreements in the past because of his disapproval of my early blooming and my relationships with older men. We’d come back to talking again when the subject of Spacey’s recent Nantucket court case came up and I voiced my disgust with how Spacey was being treated.

“It’s disappointing to hear you defend a criminal sexual offender by viciously attacking the victim…” my friend wrote.

I responded “Hell, the fucking president has been accused several times of sexual assault and nothing happened. But when it comes to a faggot–even if the alleged incident involved two adults and it took place in a public establishment–which means that it could have not gone that far if it really happened–then everybody wants to crucify the faggot or bury him alive.”

My friend shot back “I can’t believe you would blame the victim and not the predator…Kevin Spacey is just another sexual assaulting man of privilege. He should be treated as such…You sound exactly like a Republican rape apologist–a heterosexual man who blames women and men (very young and very old) for being attacked by sexually predatory men…Very distorted and disturbing thinking…It’s thinking like yours that allows rapes and assaults to go unpunished…”

Suffice it to say that the relationship with my friend did not survive this exchange. 

When I was around 12, there was a group of kids from the neighborhood always wrestling, which was my favorite form of play. I often had to hide my erections from my friends. One day while wrestling with my favorite friend, I ejaculated for the first time. I did not know what it was, I just knew that was the best sensation ever and that I was wet. From that moment on, I was always encouraging wrestling among my friends.

The summer of 1976–when I was 15 and home from boarding school–I was hanging out in a popular plaza when I met the guy who would become my first real sexual experience–a man of 32. As I said before, he did not kidnap me, or rape me, or abuse me—nothing like that. It happened because I saw him and liked him, we exchanged gazes and smiles, and I approached him–shook his hand while introducing myself–and we started talking. I created the conditions and made it happen because I wanted it to happen.

The first time we had sex everything was going perfectly. But, at the end, he asked me if I was enjoying myself and I said Oh yes, why? And he answered: Because you are not pleasuring yourself.

What do you mean? I asked. I was so used to ejaculating without touching myself in the middle of the wrestling that when I was actually having sex, my orgasm was not happening.

Well, let me tell you–when I did learn about self-pleasuring—that day at 15 with the 32-year-old man–the pleasure I experienced was TRIPLE and I would seek out older, more experienced partners—and benefit from both sexual and life experiences with them–for many happy years after that.

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