I’m having a hell of a time getting the real story of how the New York Jacks formed—their origin story; their Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider moment—and I will need that piece of modern mythology for my book.

I will get that story, or whatever version exists in the folk memory of the NY Jacks. In the meantime, in case anybody ever wants to know, here is a very truncated version of Rain City Jacks’ origin story…

I’ve fantasized about beating off with other males ever since I can remember learning that masturbation existed. In the 1970s, I read articles in Honcho and Mandate magazines about “JO clubs” where large numbers of men would convene to masturbate themselves and each other. Learning about their existence galvanized my imagination from that point on. I wanted this badly.

From college through my twenties, I continued only to fantasize about mutual JO and instead pursued the more mainstream gay sex repertoire of sucking, fucking and anonymous encounters in dangerous places. These behaviors were the cultural norm for many sexually active gay men like me.

Within days of moving to Chicago in 1990, I had found my first Jack Off club, Chicago Jacks, via a personal ad in the Weekly Reader. After jumping through a few convoluted hoops I found myself walking through a dark street in the just blooming Wicker Park neighborhood toward the home of Chicago Jacks. 

My experience there is documented elsewhere but the crucial elements are that I realized my fantasy for the first time and loved it, and the details of that club were etched sharply in my memory. The paper towels, lockers, little cups of lube, the flow of people from playmate to playmate, the newcomer on his knees being chastised by other members for violating the rules… All these aspects etched in my mind. On subsequent visits I began to recognize familiar faces and make friends. I loved that club.

And less than a year later, I met the man who would become my partner. We agreed with mutual enthusiasm to be sexually exclusive, mimicking the “monogamous” model and that was how it went for over nine years.

Shortly before our tenth anniversary, we decided to open our relationship (yes there was a lot more to it than simply making a decision, but I’ll save that for another time). So here I was, now in my early 40s and suddenly free to explore, but not interested in any new romantic relationships. I did not and do not need a replacement for my husband, so dating is out.

Likewise, I had no interest in risking my life or my husbands and part of our agreement was to always play safe and specifically save fucking for each other (all open relationships have their own rules).

So naturally, I found myself looking for a jack off club, precisely the kind of intense sexual play I was looking for, without romantic entanglements and virtually free of risk for STD. It also helped that it was my long-time personal kink, one that I had eschewed a decade before.

But here I was in Seattle, Washington, far from any JO club. 

Then one night, while cruising for JO buddies on the net, I encountered a Yahoo group, seattlejackers. I signed up in seconds and began contacting their leader to find out all I could about the group, if they actually did meet or just cammed and chatted and wished they could get up the nerve to do what they fantasized about…

Seattle Jackers was real. Their leader, “Max” (pseudonym) would get a hotel room and invite guys from the Yahoo up to masturbate together. It seemed perfect to me, although I didn’t much like the sneaking around required to convene in a hotel room, and something more disturbing showed up during my second gathering of the Jackers: oral sex…

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