A guide to LGBTQ sport
While things are still fairly unpredictable wherever you are in the world and whatever you’re into, we’ve still got our eye on some of the major queer sporting events that are planned for the months ahead.
Get your lycra ready and start shaping your training plan around these milestones:
TIP is an annual multi-sport tournament held in Paris. In 2020, it was cancelled due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Organisers have announced that the dates for the 2021 event will be 21-24 May. There’s quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding this event, as it’s not clear what exactly will be possible – we’re keeping an eye on it.
A multi-sport tournament that includes open water swimming, badminton, beach volleyball, cycling, running and football. This is happening at the same time as World Pride, so it’s a super-gay time to be in Copenhagen.
An annual multi-sport event in Spain’s beach-side party city.
The 2020 event had to be cancelled, but the dates for 2021 have been confirmed and look possible.
This is an annual queer Masters swimming event hosted by London’s LGBTQ swimming club, Out To Swim.
It wasn’t possible to hold the event in 2020. Dates for 2021 have not yet been announced.
Held at Les Arcs resort in the French Alps, this is a great way to queer up the slopes.
Both their 2020 and 2021 events were disrupted by Covid-19, but we’re expecting them to be back in the game for 2022.
It was planned to hold the Bingham Cup in Ottawa in 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to that. Organisers have put everything on ice and confirmed that Ottawa will host the Bingham Cup in August 2022.
Held every four years, the next edition of the Gay Games will be in Hong Kong in 2022.
As things currently stand, it’s expected that the Gay Games will go ahead as planned in Hong Kong in November of 2022.
A multi-sport tournament that includes open water swimming, badminton, beach volleyball, cycling, running and football.
Rugby clubs from across Europe will be converging on Birmingham in the UK for a major tournament. Local club, the Birmingham Bulls are hosts. This was originally planned for 2021 but had to be postponed due to ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic.
Challenging homophobia in sport
The German Sport University of Cologne recently conducted some research into homophobia in sport.
More than 5,500 LGBTQ people from across Europe were surveyed.
- 90% of respondents consider homophobia and particularly transphobia in sport a current problem.
- 20% refrain from participating in a sport of interest due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
- 16% of respondents who are currently active in any sports have had at least one negative personal experience in the last 12 months that was related to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- 46% of trans people who are currently active in any sports have had at least one negative personal experience in the last 12 months that was related to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Turning a queer eye on the sports experience
The Male Gaze: Strikers & Defenders is a collection of short films from NQV Media – exploring the erotic tension of boys and balls.
Four films are included in this thought-provoking collection, giving us stories from France, Germany, and the UK.
This isn’t just about steamy locker-room scenes to fuel your fap fantasies – although, Play It Like A Man delivers a solid slice of that. These are carefully crafted explorations of how our experiences shapes us, how we figure out our sexuality, and how we navigate the complexities of our queer existence.
For me, the stand-out in this collection is Through The Fields, directed by Camille Melvil and Fabien Cavacas. The quiet determination of 17-year-old Théo, the conflicted love and support of his older brother, and the growing realisation that what lies ahead isn’t going to be easy but there’s no other way. It’s an impressive film that enables you to really connect with its characters.
This is a collection of short films worth checking out. You don’t have to be into sports to enjoy these stories – the balls are just a loose theme that connects these boys. The experiences that these stories explore may not be your stories, but it’s always powerful to see the lives of queer people on screen. It’s always powerful to see queer people living their lives in all their messy glory.
Theo yearns to express his true feelings to classmate Linus. It seems there is nobody around him to understand his predicament. That is, until Mr. Kruger, seen by most as merely an odd old teacher, appears to be the one who understands Theo.
It’s summertime in the countryside. Loris and Thomas are fifteen years old. They spend their days playing football and escape boredom by carrying out pranks. When they steal their teacher’s mobile phone, they discover photos of young naked footballers in the shower. Loris seems to be the main subject of this voyeurism. Thrust headlong into an adult desire they cannot comprehend, they decide to go and visit his house.
In the aggressive and often hostile world of youth grass roots football Adam faces an ultimatum from the team captain when they discover Adam’s best friend Tom is gay.
Lucas is 22. He plays soccer with his local club, lives with his parents, and doesn’t seem in any hurry to live a more independent life. His 17-year-old brother Théo is in his second last year of high school. He is attracted to boys, and has only confided in his brother. Théo’s difference from others forces him to live a secret life, and one evening, spurred on by his need for affection and despite his brother’s warnings, he decides to meet up with Harry, a man he has met on the internet.
There’s more to LGBTQ sports clubs than just the sexual tension in the showers
You probably haven’t heard of IGLA. It’s the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics association.
What IGLA does is it coordinates an annual championship for the world’s LGBTQ aquatics clubs. The annual championship features professionally run and highly competitive events in all the aquatic disciplines - swimming, water polo, diving, open water swimming, and synchronised swimming.
Each year, the annual championships are held in a different city - in recent years the host cities have been Cleveland, Stockholm, Edmonton, Miami, Paris, New York City, and Melbourne. The 2021 championships were planned to be held in Salt Lake City, however they’ve been cancelled due to ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic.
Hundreds of people take part and compete in the annual IGLA championship.
If you’re not part of the LGBTQ sports world, you may not realise that all around the globe there are community-based aquatics clubs where queer people are training and competing. The annual IGLA championships are an opportunity for everyone to come together and go for gold.
Of course, the annual IGLA championships are not the only opportunity for the members of these LGBTQ aquatics clubs to compete - water polo teams play in local leagues, swimmers and divers enter masters events on a regular basis, and most countries welcome men who want to compete in synchro meets.
What makes the annual IGLA championships a bit special is that they’re one of the few occasions where LGBTQ athletes get to compete and socialise with other LGBTQ athletes. It’s a queer competition. Pretty much everyone there is queer. If you’re there, everyone will assume that you’re queer. The officials will be queer. Everyone competing will be queer. The people handing out the medals will be queer. It’s totally queer.
That may sound a bit separatist or unnecessary. Why does it have to be queer?
Minority Threat Syndrome
In most respects, the queerness of the event doesn’t make any difference whatsoever. The quality of competition and the level of performance is no less than any other competition that these athletes might enter. When you play sport, you want to do your best – sexuality doesn’t come into it. What makes queer sporting events like the IGLA championship important is linked to a phenomenon described as Minority Threat Syndrome.
At the mainstream competitions and events that LGBTQ athletes participate in, they’re always and inevitably a minority. Whatever country you go to, or whatever culture you’re part of, LGBTQ people will always only ever be a small minority of the population.
Being part of a minority, in any situation, brings with it a constant subliminal level of stress. Research has shown that this often presents as high blood-pressure or anxiety, building up over time and contributing to both mental and physical health issues.
To be at an international-level competition, doing the sport that you love, where pretty much everyone there is somewhere under the broad LGBTQ umbrella, is incredibly liberating.
You still swim the same. The rules and regulations are still the same. But what’s different is that you don’t have to second-guess or edit yourself. It’s hard to explain the sensation, but it makes perfect sense when you hear elite-level LGBTQ athletes talk about how their performances have improved once they feel confident about being open about their sexuality.
If you’re at an event where everyone is queer, where you have that in common with everyone that is there, where you are no longer a minority, then you can relax, you can just be you. That’s incredibly empowering.
LGBTQ people in sport
A lot of LGBTQ people opt out of sport at an early age. Locker-rooms and straight sports clubs can be fairly intimidating places when you’re trying to figure out who you are.
The health benefits of participation in sport are fairly obvious, but mental health outcomes are particularly important for LGBTQ people - who, for a range of complex reasons, seem to be more at risk of mental health challenges. We know that participation in sport will mean longer and happier lives for queer people.
There is a perception that the only reason that people would join a queer sports club would be for a bit of action in the showers and a chance to explore those locker-room fantasies. However, talk to anyone in an LGBTQ sports team and you’ll quickly realise that this is completely wrong. Instead of sexual tension in the showers after training, most people are too tired to think of anything apart from cleaning up and heading to the pub for a beer and some food.
LGBTQ sports clubs matter. They help keep us fit. They help us get back into sport, and back into participation in physical activity. LGBTQ sports clubs help us meet other people, they help our social life, they help our self-esteem. LGBTQ sports clubs also give us the opportunity to participate in events such as IGLA’s annual championships - one of the few moments in our lives when we no longer feel like a minority.
The history of IGLA – a timeline
- 1982 – the world’s first gay swim team was formed in Los Angeles. The squad began holding dedicated training and coaching sessions in preparation for the first Gay Games that were being organised for that year.
- 1982 – The Gay Games in San Francisco. There were 125 swimmers competing at the first Gay Games. Most competitors were from Los Angeles and San Francisco, but there were also representatives from across the United States and Canada. At the Gay Games, swimmers exchanged contact details and informal network of LGBTQ swimmers emerged.
- 1986 – the second Gay Games in San Francisco. There were over 400 swimmers competing at this event. It was seen as such a success that competitors didn’t want to wait a further four years before getting together again. San Diego’s gay swim team offered to host an LGBTQ swim-meet in 1987.
- 1987 – San Diego. About 120 swimmers competed in the San Diego swim-meet. It was called the West Coast Gay Swim League Championships.
- 1988 – San Diego. The second West Coast Gay Swim League Championships was held, adding water polo to the event.
- 1989 – Vancouver hosted the Gay Swim League Championships, in preparation for the Gay Games that would be held in that city in 1990. The name IGLA was adopted to reflect that the championships had grown beyond the West Coast.
The ongoing issue of homophobia in sport
A major survey of over 5,000 LGBTQ people across Europe provides us with unique insights into the experience of queer sportspeople.
The survey includes data from respondents across all 28 countries of the EU. The average age of respondents is 27.
The key findings of the report are:
Homophobia is still an issue.
Almost 90% consider homophobia and particularly transphobia in sport a current problem.
Homophobia prevents participation
20% refrain from participating in a sport of interest due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This is most frequently the case for trans people (54%) and refers predominantly to football/soccer, dancing, swimming, and boxing.
Homophobia prevents authentic participation
One third of respondents who are active in sports have not revealed their sexual orientation or gender identity respectively to anybody in the sporting environment. This percentage is higher in Italy (41%) and Hungary (45%).
LGBTQ people experience homophobia in sport
16% of respondents who are currently active in any sports have had at least one negative personal experience in the last 12 months that was related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The share is higher among trans people – especially among trans women (46%).
Homophobia comes in many forms
Of those with negative experiences, verbal insults (82%) and structural discrimination (i.e. unequal opportunities) (75%) are the most common forms of homo-/transphobic incidents that were indicated. Verbal threats (44%), e-bullying (40%), physically “crossing the line” (i.e. being shoved and/or pushed) (36%) and physical violence (20%) are also common experiences.
Help is not always available to LGBTQ sportspeople
More than a third of respondents do not know an organisation or individual to contact in instances of being discriminated against in a sports context.
How to tackle homophobia in sport
The three actions that respondents reported would be most helpful to tackle homo-/transphobic discrimination in the field of sport are (a) famous sports stars coming out, (b) high profile anti-homophobia/transphobia campaigns and (c) diversity training.
The power of queer sports
When I was growing up, I wasn’t a huge fan of sports. I was tall but skinny, and not very coordinated. Phys.Ed classes at school usually involved being picked last for teams and endless bullying for being gay.
Unsurprisingly, this is a relatively common experience for queer guys – sports clubs can be fairly unforgiving environments, and somehow seem to expose and amplify any confidence or identity issues that we may be grappling with.
While queer guys often knock it out of the park in terms of looking after their body and going to the gym – we’re about twice as likely to go to the gym than straight men – the participation level of queer guys in sport is significantly lower than that of our straight counterparts.
Does that matter? As long as we’re looking good who cares if we’re not playing sport?
I discussed this with Dr Qazi Ramen, assistant professor in cognitive biology at London’s Queen Mary University. According to Ramen, just focusing on the physical health benefits of sport is missing the bigger picture – that mental health is actually the big danger zone for queer guys.
“Let’s look at some facts…” says Ramen. “Scientific research is showing us that gay men are something like two to three times more likely to suffer from the entire range of psychiatric problems – including depression, anxiety, panic, substance abuse, and suicide.”
But can playing sport have a positive impact on our mental health? I spoke to some of the sporty guys that I know to get their perspective. They came up with three compelling reasons why gay sport is the way forward.
The physical benefits of playing sport and exercising are well documented and fairly self-evident. Giving your body a good workout occasionally is not only good for your physical health, but the adrenaline and endorphins released as part of physical exercise have also been shown to have a positive impact on mental health as well.
Claus Kruse, who’s now an accomplished swimmer, took up sport to get his fitness and self-esteem back on track.
“I wanted to get off my fat ass – I was becoming addicted to bad TV and was feeling lonely…” explains Kruse. “I joined a gay sports club as I didn’t want to have to deal with some of the personal questions about your sexuality that you seem to get with straight clubs.”
Rory Desch, a footballer, stumbled across his club by accident.
“At the time I was fitness mad, but it was mainly centred around the gym…” says Desch. “I wanted to do something that would be outdoors. I saw an ad for a gay football club that trained near where I lived and decided to give it a try. The team were surprisingly welcoming – mixed abilities but the stronger players were very supportive and helpful, giving me much needed direction.”
David Forrest, a diver, reports that he joined a gay club primarily to keep fit.
“I’d always been part of straight clubs previously, and I wanted to try something different…” says Forrest. “The gay club was a lot more fun, I instantly felt more comfortable.”
2. Meet People
The benefits of joining a sports club extend beyond the physical. Clubs and teams can help to provide valuable social interaction, opening up new networks and contacts with people from different walks of life but with common interests.
Niall Caverly, a rugby player, joined a gay sports club on moving to London.
“I’d never played rugby when growing up…” explains Caverly. “Out of fear of being the gay kid on the team, I’d mostly stuck with individual sports. But, having moved to a new city, I didn’t really know many people – joining a sports club seemed like a good option. The Kings Cross Steelers take beginner rugby players, so it was a great way to learn and be open and feel included.”
Claus Kruse has definitely seen the social benefits of joining a sports club.
“I’ve met a whole new crowd of guys and girls…” confirms Kruse. “It also helped me realise that the hunky guy on the swim team that I never had the guts to talk to on a night out has exactly the same insecurities as me.”
David Maher, a runner, was also looking to join a sports group for the social perspective.
“I felt that I’d be able to find like-minded people in a gay club…” says Maher. “I hadn’t really had any exposure to team or club sports before and I thought that I’d feel more comfortable participating in a gay club.”
Rory Desch deliberately joined a gay sports club to meet more gay guys.
“Having previously struggled to make many gay friends, I thought it would be an opportunity to meet other gay men and interact socially with them – if only when training or playing games…” explains Desch. “I also thought that they might be more sympathetic to my lack of football skills – and they were – helping me to improve. All of a sudden I had this extended network of friends and acquaintances. I hadn’t appreciated the social opportunities I could experience by being a member of a team – after-game socials, nights out, and tournaments both home and abroad. For the first time in my gay life, I felt that I fitted in.”
There is a common misconception that gay sports clubs aren’t really about sport at all but are just an excuse for everyone to have sex with each other. While this is probably not true, opportunities to meet guys for sex are likely to increase if you’re out and about, being active and meeting new people – this builds your confidence and helps motivates you to stay active and focused.
Pascal Anson, a swimmer, says that he joined a gay sports club for the sex, but instead he got “sport, sex, and drama!” Anson has gone on to travel the world to compete in gay swimming tournaments, and has also established a gay swimming club in Brighton.
For Louis Chaidron, a water polo player, a boost to his sex life was a welcome benefit from playing sport.
“Your sex appeal just explodes when you say you’re in a water polo team…” confirms Chaidron. “That’s not the only reason that I play water polo, but it’s definitely one of the positive aspects of the sport!”
“Having ‘rugby player’ written on your online profile is a great way to break the ice…” adds Niall Caverly. “Often people will ask you about the club even just out of curiosity rather than hitting on you, or just as a way to start chatting.”
Challenging prejudice and abuse through sport
While we are slowly seeing a growing number of LGBTQ athletes at elite levels of sport, research continues to demonstrate that there are a number of factors that may contribute to the exclusion of LGBTQ people at all levels of sporting activity.
Stonewall, the UK charity for LGBTQ equality, reports that 68% of young LGBTQ people don’t like team sports, and LGBTQ people are far less likely than their straight counterparts to take part in team sports or sports-related activity.
The Rainbow Laces campaign is an annual campaign designed to encourage the sporting world to demonstrate their support for LGBTQ equality and inclusion. All levels of sport are encouraged to participate – national teams, elite clubs, governing bodies, amateur athletes, local clubs, and fan groups.
I caught up with Kirsty Clarke, Director of Sport at Stonewall for an update on the campaign.
Why are allies important when it comes to inclusivity in sport?
Sports can bring people together like nothing else. Unfortunately, it’s also often somewhere lesbian, gay, bi and trans people feel excluded. Both on and off the pitch, everyone can help make sport more welcoming for LGBT people. Being an ally simply means being a good teammate and standing up for LGBT equality. Anyone can do this by wearing Rainbow Laces or calling out anti-LGBT chants and insults at live events or online.
Our Rainbow Laces campaign is about how everyone can come together to support LGBT people, whether as fans or players. The more players, fans, clubs and organisations that stand up for equality in sport, the sooner we kick discrimination out of all sports, at every level.
Does it make it easier having a broadcast partner such as Sky Sports?
Sky Sports helps us reach an audience in a way that we couldn’t do alone. The Sky Sports team are super engaged – they don’t just promote the campaign’s messages, they live them in all their work. They are passionate about having everyone who watches Sky Sports and cares about sport to celebrate equality and make sport everyone’s game.
What does success look like in terms of the Rainbow Laces campaign?
We know people care about promoting LGBT equality in sport, but now we want to see people step up and create that change. Wearing Rainbow Laces is one way to do this.
We also want to see more people calling out derogatory chants and insults, either on the pitch or in the stands. When we all play our part, we can make every LGBT person feel welcome and that’s what Rainbow Laces is all about.
How queer sports clubs have changed the world for gay men like me
I was a tall, skinny kid – a bit too uncoordinated to be much good at sports. It was also pretty obvious to everyone that I was gay, which seemed to result in me being picked last for teams, as well as the normal sort of merciless teasing that schoolchildren dish out to anyone that seems slightly different.
Over the years, I limited my physical activity to a bit of swimming and working out in the gym – building muscles to try and look better naked, rather than for any practical purposes.
It wasn’t until I moved to London that I encountered the world of gay sports.
I was looking for a way to meet people and make friends. After a fair bit of fruitless Googling, I stumbled upon a directory of gay sports clubs, emailed one that I thought I’d be okay at (water polo – actually much harder than I imagined), and within days I was pulling on my swim-briefs and nervously signing up for a beginners’ session.
It sounds hyperbolic to say that joining a gay sports club has changed my life, but it’s true. Not only have I made great friends, improved my social life, and sharpened up my fitness, but I’ve grown in confidence, and discovered a love of sport.
Perhaps what isn’t surprising that my experience is not unique. Around the world, LGBTQ people are establishing teams and clubs, increasing participation in sports and physical exercise, and delivering significant health and social benefits for a community that often seems defined by poor health outcomes and discrimination.
There’s two key events that have acted as catalysts for the organisation and creation of the gay and lesbian sports movement.
In the mid-1970s in San Francisco, the Frontrunners running club was established by Jack Baker, Gardner Pond, and Bud Budlong. Named after a Patricia Nell Warren novel – The Front Runner – about a gay track coach, the concept of a gay running club quickly spread across the US and then the world. There’s now over 100 clubs worldwide who all belong to the International Frontrunners organisation. The novel feels a little dated these days, but for many years it was a powerful and moving force for helping gay men understand that it was okay to be themselves.
In 1982 in San Francisco, Dr Tom Waddell organised the first Gay Games. When you look at the history of some of the oldest gay and lesbian sports clubs, it’s clear that the experience of participating in a large, multi-sport event that also celebrated being gay or lesbian, had a huge impact on the people who took part – they came home and started working towards the next one. Held every four years, the Gay Games now attracts around 10,000 participants, and is one of the world’s largest sporting and cultural events.
The Gay Games were designed to “bring a global community together in friendship, to experience participation, and to dispel the prevailing attitudes in sport regarding ageism, sexism and racism.”
It’s difficult to get a handle on exactly how many LGBTQ sports clubs there now are around the world, but a little bit of desktop research demonstrates that since the 1980s, clubs have been established in every conceivable sport, and the numbers are continuing to grow.
Like any community-based activity, establishing an LGBTQ sports club is hard work – it takes an enormous amount of energy, and requires a number of passionate people to give the club focus and momentum.
Making a club sustainable beyond that initial core group of people is equally challenging, and it’s not uncommon for clubs to have a short lifespan if they’ve been unable to build a strong membership-base or the infrastructure required for future growth.
Washington DC’s Capital Splats racquetball club was established in 2010, and has a membership of 90 players. Captain Mark Storey confirms that a lot of focus has been on trying to formalise the club:
“We now have elected officers with division of responsibilities, whereas in the first year, the club’s activities were mostly organised and funded by me with the help of a couple of others.”
The Rainbow Squash club in Amsterdam has 25 members, and was established in 1997 in preparation for the Gay Games that were held in that city the following year.
Chairman Graham Rhind sees the biggest challenge for the club as being maintaining a critical mass of members:
“Interest in playing sport with other gays and lesbians fluctuates, and squash is a niche sport. Finding younger people wanting to play is a challenge for us.”
For Gavin Mears of the Sydney Rangers Football Club, challenges also include changing the perception of the LGBT community:
“A lot of people still think we just kick and giggle before having an orgy in the locker-room, but we’re playing in Sydney’s toughest district competition and proving to everyone that a bunch of poofs can play football well and seriously.”
Finding the right facilities for clubs to play their sport appears to also be a problem around the world, with few cities set up with the type of infrastructure required for today’s intensive training.
Mark Storey of Washington DC’s Splats racquetball club, confirms that access to facilities is their biggest challenge:
“Our biggest challenge is finding facilities to play in, since most racquetball courts in DC are part of local gyms that require membership, and it’s difficult to get them to agree to let us host a league that is open to non-members of their gym.”
Access to facilities is also an issue for the Toronto Triggerfish water polo club, as vice-president James Mullen explains:
“There’s only one pool in Toronto that is deep enough for us to play matches, and as our membership continues to grow, this is further impacting our player-to-pool ratio.”
The Triggerfish club was formed in 2001, and now has nearly 90 members. The club is continuing to see quarterly growth through effective promotion and recruitment in the Toronto community.
However not all community-based sports clubs are growing. The UK’s Sport and Recreation Alliance recently conducted a survey of 1,942 UK sports clubs across 40 different sports.
This research included, but was not exclusively focused on LGBTQ sports clubs, and indicated that around a quarter of the clubs surveyed are running at a loss, and a further 25% are just managing to break even.
Questions about the future of gay and lesbian sports clubs goes wider than just the pure economics of attracting a sustainable number of members. There is a wider question of what is the purpose of the club. Sports clubs in any community have always been much more than just a place to play sport.
As James Mullen of the Toronto Triggerfish water polo club explains:
“In addition to being a water polo club, the team is really a very large group of tightly-knit friends. For most of us, our teammates also constitute a large portion of our social life.”
But for the Fins Aquatics Club in Philadelphia, established in 1988 and now with 125 members, the purpose is less clear.
President Jan Elsasser is contemplating how much longer there will be a need in Philadelphia for an LGBTQ swimming club:
“Younger LGBT individuals are more comfortable than older generations in integrated environments, and don’t necessarily need a safe place to be out and proud. While our membership is growing, that growth is being driven mainly by straight women who like our city centre location.”
Perhaps the most compelling testimony about the value of gay and lesbian sports clubs comes from the stories of the people involved. Out To Swim, an aquatics club with over 400 members in London, produced a video as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations.
The video, below, tells the story of former Olympic swimmer Peter Prijdekker who vividly brings to life why events such as the Gay Games and why LGBTQ sports clubs generally continue to play such an important and positive role for people around the world.
This is why queer sports clubs have changed the world for gay men like me
Erotic gay fiction about men and sport
At school, when I was growing up in Australia, I played football. This was Australian Rules Football — a winter sport, a bit like rugby but more like Gaelic football.
I started playing football as a way of trying to fit in with the other kids. I wasn’t completely terrible at it, I was tall for my age so that was in my favour, but I wasn’t particularly good at it either.
But I liked being part of a team, I liked the overwhelming masculinity of the football club, I liked hanging out in the changing rooms, sharing the communal showers with other guys, trying to discretely observe the older guys who would play the matches after us.
After moving to London, I joined a water polo team. It was a gay water polo team. I’d never played water polo before, I wasn’t even particularly good at swimming, but I was looking for some sort of team sport so I decided to give it a try.
I wasn’t any good at water polo, but I enjoyed being part of the team. The training, the matches, the tournaments, the changing rooms.
Some of those experiences and fantasies have found their way into the erotic gay fiction that I’ve written about a college water polo team.
It’s called Play Hard.
Here’s a taste:
“These boys are complaining that you got a bit too rough with them in the pool in that last game…” explained the captain. “A bit hands-on?”
“Um… I wasn’t actually complaining…” chipped in Mikey.
“Oh?” smiled the Captain. “You liked the attention? Look at what you were grabbing onto, Ludkik — look at the size of this kid’s cock. You had hold of this monster and you still couldn’t stop him swimming off you?”
“That is a fucking big dick…” Ludkik agreed, grinning at his captain. “But, in my defence, it was covered up in a really tight pair of swim-briefs — I couldn’t really get a proper grip. If we’d been playing in the nude I would have grabbed it like this…”
Ludkik demonstrated his technique by reaching forward and wrapping his hand firmly around the thick shaft of Mikey’s cock.
“Oh fuck…” moaned Mikey, instantly feeling his cock harden at the Colombian’s touch.
“Wow…” admired Dean. “That is pretty aggressive play…”