DATE by Tom Leighton

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When a gay man turns fifty, is sex play-time over? Is it time for the burka? And, if he’s still single, is it time to give up all hope of love? Traditional attitudes haven’t been very positive. But times are changing. And perhaps already changed.

Richard, a grizzled New Yorker and newly single, has dared to rejoin the “wonderful world of gay sex,” with a little help from an old friend. He finds his best gambit in the sauna in Amsterdam. A puff or two of a joint and he’s the hot stud he was back in seventies New York. But will it work? Or is it all a pipe dream?

Sex proves to be no problem in the end. What he wants is love and romance again, a new lease on life with a new relationship. Richard wants to fall in love, settle down again in cozy security and play house. Sounds like Richard is deluded.

Along comes René, a tall blond Dutch guy in his early thirties. The sex not only works, but it seems to break the porno barrier and enter the realm of love. Richard feels it in his bones, but are his bones, his gut knowledge, still in working order? His best friend tries to save him from himself by playing matchmaker. Richard, too, has his doubts, people around him don’t hide theirs, and once back in New York he slides into the same old torpor.

Then comes an e-mail, and the dream is off and running again.

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, New York and Paris. Richard and René fly from perch to perch, meet and circle each other. The life around them clutches at them, bedazzles them, seeks to distract them from their instincts. Richard relives his Fire Island days as René experiences this historic gay summer resort with fresh eyes. René has grown disillusioned with his Paris dream, the city he chose for work in pursuit of a romantic vision to the tune of Piaf. Richard had Parisian student days and his own take on the City of Light. As the two perceptions meet and blend, love may or may not flourish.

Only DATE will tell.

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