Picture it: The early 21st Century; Newtown – downtown Johannesburg; Friday night and the launch of a new(ish) bar. In attendance; a couple of hundred chic twenty-somethings (think TV, advertising, design) plus at least one gay guy (that would be me) and his lesbian gal. We were out for a party in the straight world, acutely aware that it has its own rules and that we are but mere visitors to its gates. Or so I thought.

But something was amiss. Why was there more sexual tension between me and the apparently heterosexual guys at the bar – dancing with their model-type girlfriends – than at the average gay club? Whatever was going on? Was I too drunk to think straight (ahem)? Suffering from narcissistic delusions? Nope. I was pretty damn sure that I was being given the eye by a number of appealing straight boys, right over their girlfriends’ shoulders.

My luscious lesbian companion reported a similar phenomenon. The girls too were breaking down the barriers between our sexual realms. I was admittedly puzzled, but not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I guzzled another beer and headed back to dance with a posse of hetero-hotties.

I had always dismissed the conservative fringe’s paranoia about homosexuals influencing the minds of weak heterosexuals as simply being homophobic hysteria-mongering. Now I’m not so sure. To be honest I think this gay thing may be catching. And I’m all for it!

Back at the bar, things had taken a turn for the more interesting. I found myself snogging a perfectly straight (married!) guy AND two girls in the newly refurbished loos. Tongues were flying from mouth to mouth in a smooching orgy of such impressive proportions that it would have left Typhoid Mary grinning with glee. Talk about urban renewal!

Yes, drunk I might have been, but I’d like to report for the purposes of scientific investigation that that boys and girls taste pretty much the same. No discernable difference. But while kissing the girls was great fun, kissing the guy was something more. It was hot. “Yes”, I breathed a sigh of relief, “I’m still bent”.

Now I won’t boast that things went any further. At some point a hint of panic set in among us. Plus, I felt a determined need to forcefully re-affirm that I was indeed gay to one of the girls who was groping me a little too frantically. And, after all, the cute guy had a wife to get home to.

As a further interesting experiment my lesbian comrade and I took a hop to the Heartlands down the road to compare the flirting temperature. Upon entering the Euro-trance-pop filled ambience of the brassy corner bar, we knew that we’d made a terrible mistake. Here the boys were simply too easy. And I’ve always preferred a challenge.

We hurtled right back to the straight world; a few more hours of inebriated fun and the inevitable road to Hangoverville. But what of all this same-sex lusting that appears to be rampant among Joburg’s party people? Is it on the rise? Stay tuned for further observations.

Did I regret kissing a married man. Nope, not at all. A kiss is just a kiss, as the saying goes. And I’d like to think that it’s something he’ll think back on with fondness and a wicked grin when he’s old, bald and unable to restrain his bladder.

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