FURRY FRIDAY ~~ I Like Big Beards and I Tell No Lies!

So I admit that I like big beards (and I tell no lies). I wish that each week when I have voting that the guy who almost always wins isn’t the guy with the real trim beard, looks 21, and has no tattoos. Not that I don’t like those guys, I do. But the big beards, that are getting very popular and very cool with top fashion models, gets me every time. So this week? All I present is big beards. I guess this time the post is for me!

HUGS
BG “Ben” Thomas

A

B

C

D

E

F

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite!

FURRY FRIDAY ~~ Shirtless Style

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer…. *sigh* I love summer and hot weather and I really dislike winter and cold weather. And one of the things I especially dislike are all those winter clothes covering up those wonderful bodies. Thank God for summer and shirtless days. Today, that is what I celebrate. What do you think?

A

B

C

D

E

F

FURRY FRIDAY ~~ Midwest Men’s Festival Style

So last Friday I was at Midwest Men’s Festival with extremely iffy Internet access and so…no Furry Friday. I could have gone ahead and done it a week ahead of time but then I was thought I might not have access at all and then it would have been posted here and no one would have known about it. Therefor to make up for it, I thought I would present some Faeries, some real ones, for you this post. There are some beautiful men here of all types and ages. No poll though. I think they are all perfect and no need for a favorite!

Namaste,
BG “Ben” Thomas
MARK

TIGER LILY

TOM

MARKUS

DOMMIE DEAREST

JAMES

KELPIE

LEADFOOT

…and of course, me!
GENTLE BEN

Midwest Men’s Festival 2017 at LoveBytes


Hey, all! I am over at LoveBytes today. Check it out…!

Midwest Men’s Festival 2017


So, I am home from this year’s enchanting Midwest Men’s Festival with a sore butt and I had a wonderful time….

My long-term readers will know that each year I head off to an event called Midwest Men’s Festival. Begun in 1982, it is attended primarily by gay men, many of whom are involved in earth-centered spirituality, men of varied cultural or ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, or spiritual beliefs are invited and encouraged to attend. Interestingly enough, at the same time Trump announced that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military, we changed our mission statement saying people who identify as male are welcome.

And that is just part of what Men’s Festival is about. We are a group of men come together once a year in love and magick and wonder. We decorate of camp sites like nothing most people have ever seen and we have a amazing time. We dare to see the world in beauty, balance and delight.

Ever see that episode of Queer as Folk called Stand Up for Ourselves where Emmett and Michael go to camp? By the end of the episode, they’ve picked their faerie names (Michael chooses Dumpling and Emmet sees his is Clear Day) and Emmet says that faeries have the ability to create beauty out of ugliness and joy out of pain. Well that’s a lot what Men’s Festival is all about.

And this year was a good Men’s Festival. It was hot and I ran around in sarongs the whole time and the food—all vegetarian—was good, sometimes really good, and there was lots of catching up to do and new friendships made. I drank far less than in years past and that was good. I didn’t need it! It was a year of not doing things as well as doing things, and that is pretty important too. Knowing when and when not. When to leave things be and when to go for them.

This year was a little more laid back than usual. A number of people, for various reasons, got there a little later than they usually do and had to leave a little earlier—business, death in the family, a honeymoon Alaskan cruise, and more—but as usual everything was as it should have been. No MMF is like any other.

It was still good and I got in a lot of the relaxation that I so desperately needed. Not much writing! I slept in late almost every day, sometimes almost noon! And there is no real tan this year because I burned the first day and then peeled like a snake, but I look good. I got lots of real quality time with my husband (I still thrill using that word after three years of legal weddome) which we needed.

MMF is a symbol of why I feel so blessed to be gay. I was pushed out a lot of my life, cast out really. And with this family of men I have found a place that is so wondrous and fantastic and beautiful it is hard to describe. A family of man.

I decided to write about it a few years ago. In a novel called Summer Lover. I was very pleased to find out that men who go to MMF—when trying to figure out how to explain what Festival is like or about—tell possible newcomers to read my novel. Wow…. Now that is a compliment.

My last day of Festival it rained all day. Made it hard to pack. Made me happy I had a cabin instead of a tent. Although I did slip in the moss at the bottom of the steps leading from the cabin down to the car. Landed hard on my butt and it hurts as I sit here and write this.

But in the end—no pun intended—it’s a good thing. It reminds me that there is good and bad. And I can look back and think about what didn’t happen…or I can reflect on all the good that did.

For instance, I was best man at a lovely queer wedding. A legal one. It was wonderful and I was so honored to be a part of it. The guy I was best man for had am open back tux with tails that drug the floor. Because we’re Faeries, and that’s what we do. We make the world beautiful.

I no longer am mad that I am left out and people like Trump hate me. I revel in it. And I am so happy I have found a family of people—not just gay, but everything else under the rainbow—who like me just the way I am.

That’s pretty wonderful.

I’m holding out my hand. Join me on the other side of the rainbow!

Namasté,
BG “Ben” Thomas

PS: Find the actual LoveBytes post by clicking RIGHT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


SUMMER LOVER
Book Two of the Seasons of Love Series

Scott Aberdeen doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or God. Or love—at least, he knows no one will ever love him. After all, he has carried a torch for his best friend Sloan for a decade, hoping his feelings will be returned one day. But when Sloan finds springtime love with another man, Scott’s fantasies are crushed and his skepticism confirmed.

Cedar Carrington, raised by rock star parents, leads a free-spirited, nomadic life, never staying in one place for long. Due to a dark past he refuses to share or even think about, he is willing to let men into his bed for sex, but never for the night.

When Scott finds himself camping in the middle of nowhere with over a hundred men who all believe in love—and faeries and a magickal gay brotherhood—he’s pretty sure he’s in the wrong place. And when Cedar connects with cynical, critical Scott, he wonders how he could be falling in for this man of all men. But hearts and lives have been transformed at the Heartland Men’s Festival before, and it might be just the place where two very different men can release their pain and find true love at last.

Buy Links:
Dreamspinner!!
Amazon
Amazon UK
B&N

One Day Until Midwest Men’s Festival!

Except it’s not.

1) Because it doesn’t really start until Tuesday, we just usually set up on Sunday and l go ahead and start my vacation early.

2) And they let me leave way early from work! At 7:30 in the morning. Went home with my short list and ready to head to camp before it gets too blazing hot!

HUZZAH!

It’s time to go to Festival!!!
BG “Ben” Thomas

PS: And to shamelessly promote myself one more time…. For those of you who wonder what my festival is like…it is sort of like my book Summer Lover except I don’t do the mushrooms! Not in a long, long, long time! LOL! Peace out!


SUMMER LOVER
Book Two of the Seasons of Love Series

Scott Aberdeen doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or God. Or love—at least, he knows no one will ever love him. After all, he has carried a torch for his best friend Sloan for a decade, hoping his feelings will be returned one day. But when Sloan finds springtime love with another man, Scott’s fantasies are crushed and his skepticism confirmed.

Cedar Carrington, raised by rock star parents, leads a free-spirited, nomadic life, never staying in one place for long. Due to a dark past he refuses to share or even think about, he is willing to let men into his bed for sex, but never for the night.

When Scott finds himself camping in the middle of nowhere with over a hundred men who all believe in love—and faeries and a magickal gay brotherhood—he’s pretty sure he’s in the wrong place. And when Cedar connects with cynical, critical Scott, he wonders how he could be falling in for this man of all men. But hearts and lives have been transformed at the Heartland Men’s Festival before, and it might be just the place where two very different men can release their pain and find true love at last.

Buy Links:
Dreamspinner!!
Amazon
Amazon UK
B&N

Two Days Until Midwest Men’s Festival

So, it’s just two days until I head to Midwest Men’s Festival. And in fact, the event doesn’t truly begin until Tuesday, but for years R and I have set up our “camp” early. We sell sarongs at MMF, it’s the only time we ever “vend.” Turns out in weather as hot as July you really don’t want to wear much of anything and there aren’t too many actual naturists in the group of men who attend each year. Sarongs are ideal. They hind your privates and keeps you free. After discovering a sarong, I never understood why anyone would hate skirts and prefer pants. No way. Nuh-uh.

Anyway, to set up all the clothes lines and everything so that they are displayed in a nice place and be seen, you have to get there before the throng or those good spaces might be claimed already. So years ago we started going early and setting up and then going home. It’s a little over an hour drive each way. But then it occurred to me. We were set up. We had to pay for those extra days. I didn’t work Sunday and Monday in those days. Why shouldn’t I go ahead and stay? It gave me some private time and I also got to see everyone arrive. It was wonderful.

And in time, more and more men did the same thing. This year fully half the registered attendees are arriving by the first day! This is a ten-day event. A lot of faeries can’t come to the whole thing and only do a long weekend.

This year I am working a different schedule. I have to work Sunday and Monday and Tuesday, plus the next week early days as well. I didn’t have enough vacation accrued. So…I am working Sunday, and as soon as they will let me go…I am outta there and on my way to Camp Gaea Sanctuary. I also know that a number of men who show up on Sunday each year *aren’t* this year. And while that is a little sad, I am also kind of excited. It’s going to be like those years where I was one of the very first on the land.

And it will allow me some alone time. I can walk a woodland path…all by myself. I can go to the sacred places—just me and…nature. I can commune. I can go for a swim. I can get up that first morning and sit on the porch of our cabin and write.

This last year has been rough with a lot of stuff going on. But I have also grown and become a more fully realized self. I have been growing happier and happier and more fulfilled. And I need some magick time.

This is going to be an amazing festival. And I can’t wait!

Namaste,
BG “Ben” Thomas

Three Days Until Midwest Men’s Festival

I was laying in bed this morning wondering if l should get up and gather stuff for Festival or go back to sleep. Stressful couple of weeks. Gosh l can’t wait to be wearing anything but a sarong, hanging out with my faerie brothers, skinny dipping, staying up way way late talking and drinking cocktails, telling cock tales. And getting up when l feel like it. Bird song. Lovely paths through the woods. Cairns. True communing with nature. Quality time with my lover/husband. Wow….