The ConversionA short story by Jonathan Mitchell
The renowned television evangelist, reverend Adam Sperbeck, preached vigorously from his figurative bully pulpit, often pounding the lectern in front of him for emphasis, trying especially hard to maintain eyecontact with his parishioners. His was a style of fire and brimstone, often the repoirtoire of choice of television evangelists.
"There are a multitude of persons and groups who maintain that homosexuality is not an aberration and in fact that it is okay to be gay. For example, the American Psychiatric Association has gone on record stating that homosexuality represents no behavior pathology, that it is not a psychiatric illness but rather an alternative life-style. Furthermore, the supreme court of the state of Hawaii has given the thumbs up for same sex marriages. These are just examples of the phenomenon that have given ammunition to the homosexual community for them to state their position, that they are not suffering from an aberration and in fact are not ill or are not sinners." The reverend paused for 5 seconds, picked up a glass of water on the lectern and swallowed quickly.
"What is more interesting, especially for our purposes today, is the fact that the homosexual community points to studies, done by psychologists, geneticists and others, pointing to so-called scientific evidence that homosexuality is an inborn disorder and that those who are gay have no choice in the matter of their sexual orientation. They claim that there is no way that these people could become, to use their vernacular, 'straight'. This gives them even further ammunition in their quest to legitimize the homosexual life-style by claiming that it is immutable to change and that therefore...."
Drake Dumas, not one of Sperbeck's regular parishioners, sat in the middle of the church, trying to concentrate on today's sermon but to no avail. He had a condition called Asperger's syndrome, a milder variant of the illness autism, and this often made it difficult for him to concentrate. It was also compounded by the fact that he could not quit thinking of Petra Hilson.
While he was trying to listen to Sperbeck's sermon, Petra kept entering his mind. 'Drake, you're important to me. I would not say that if I did not mean it.' Those words that Petra had said to him more than a year ago were still reverberating somewhere in his brain.
He thought of all the hope, empty hope, that Petra had given him when they first met, how she talked to him in that flirty tone of voice women usually reserve for potential boyfriends rather than their platonic friends. He had so much trouble with the opposite sex, so much shyness, compounded with rejection, that it had been with great trepidation that he had managed to exchange phone numbers with Petra and then somehow managed to call her for a date. He could still remember the brief ecstasy when she said yes. It had not been a fancy date, a movie, followed by some pizza and a discussion and interpretation of the movie. He once again thought of Petra's words that made his heart stand still. 'Next time we go out you can come to my neighborhood since I came to yours this time'. This had not been Drake's first date with a woman, but now he knew this would be his first date with a woman that would not be a last date with that same woman. He even seemed to think that Petra was a Wilt Chamberlain slam dunk. At the age of 47, Drake had never had a girlfriend and was still a virgin. Now it seemed as though the tide had turned in his favor. Before he had asked Petra out, he had poured out his heart to her about his Asperger's syndrome as well as his hopes and dreams and she had seemed unfazed. Had he finally met a woman who would overlook the fact that he was handicapped? he thought to himself. It had seemed that way.
He then remembered how his heart beat had practically dropped into his bowels, the way it would have on an elevator that was travelling too fast between floors, with Petra's revelation that she had a boyfriend who lived in Pleasantville more than 400 miles away the second time that they went out. Petra also explained to him that Bifford, the boyfriend, would be moving to their city within a few months. She still wanted her and Drake to remain friends and she hoped that he understood.
Drake, however, did not give up hope. He knew about long distance relationships and their lack of longevity, how they would lead to infidelity and often a complete demise. So, yes, he reluctantly agreed to be friends with Petra. They had gone on as friends until Drake one day, sat in his room, contemplating. Contemplating the meaning of life, what it meant, his general lack of popularity with the opposite sex and then more specifically the exact nature of his relationship with Petra and decided that there was no point in carrying on even his platonic relationship with her if Bifford was really the one in her heart then he would have to move on and stop calling Petra and going out with her even as a friend.
Often, due to his Asperger's, Drake lacked willpower. Somehow he found the willpower, though maybe it found him, and he went four months without calling Petra. He still thought of Petra, and he knew that either Bifford had moved from Pleasantville or Petra and Biff's relationship had come to an untimely demise.
Then, one day, after his four month hiatus from Petra, the phone rang unexpectedly and Drake picked it up on the first ring.
"Hi Drake, this is Petra, haven't talked to you in a long time."
"No, guess not," replied Drake, trying to maintain a cavalier attitude.
"Well the reason, I am calling is I have two passes to a new, just out movie and I thought you might like to join me."
"Wouldn't you rather go with Biff?" retorted Drake, not seeing any reason to conceal his resentment over the lost cause of Petra.
"Biff and I are not seeing each other any more," Petra said and pausing for half a second or a little more.
A twinge of ecstasy now came over Drake's brain. It had happened, just as he thought it might. The long distance relationship had failed. Bifford's 400 mile sojourn had not come to pass. Now, Petra wanted and needed a new boyfriend and he was available. Obviously, Drake had never heard what the playwright Bertolt Brecht had once said about the man who laughs has not been told the terrible news.
Petra concluded her approximately half second pause. "I want to go with you as a friend."
Drake's elation was replaced with the agony of unrequited love. He should have known it was too good to be true. He would tell where to stick her movie passes. Then Drake reconsidered. No, he had to play the game. He would remain platonic friends with Petra, and take this opportunity while there was no love interest in her life to try to get her to change his opinion of him. So what if he was not the richest or greatest looking guy in the world and on top of that had a neurobehavioral disability. She would spend time with him, she would see that his inner qualities could be attractive to her and she would agree to become his girlfriend. Drake had heard the saw about how great oaks could grow from little acorns. Drake found himself accepting Petra's offer.
They had gone to the movies, had a reasonably good time. Drake found a good play that was playing and he would buy some tickets and invite Petra, assuring her that it would be all right if they remained friends. Drake called Petra who told him that she was in the middle of something and could he call her back tomorrow. Drake said okay. He called Petra the very next day. She was not home, but he got her answering machine. He left a message asking her to call him back. It was then that he decided that this would be the test. He would wait and see if she called back. It had now been more than a year and she still had not called back. She had lost whatever interest she had ever had in Drake, platonic or otherwise. It had been a crushing blow and he had not been able to get over it, but was now seeking solace in what Karl Marx had once termed, 'the opiate of the people'.
The reverend continued with his sermon. "Let us discuss this first premise. That homosexuality is somehow okay and that homosexuals are not sinners and their behavior represents no aberration or pathology. I say that it is not normal, that it represents both pathology and sin. What proof is there of this, the advocates for those who claim they are just leading an alternative life-style will ask. Should they just accept damnation because the reverend Sperbeck says so? No, but there is another source and it is the bible, the word of God and Jesus Christ our lord and savior." The reverend Sperbeck picked up a bible that was on the lectern, turned to the appropriate page and started reading. "In the book of Leviticus chapter 18 verse 22 we read, 'A man should not lie with man as he does with woman, it is an abomination.' So, the book of our lord and savior says that these people are sinners, yet those who proclaim that the gay life is merely an alternative life-style will not accept the word of the holy trinity, our Lord our God, Jesus Christ, and the spirit which dwells on earth, the holy ghost." Again, the reverend Sperbeck, paused and drank from his glass, presumably for effect.
Again, Sperbeck continued with his sermon. "Now, that we have discussed the first premise that the advocates of the homosexual life-style have espoused let us discuss the second, that homosexuality is inborn, that once gay always gay and that homosexuality is a condition that is immutable to change and therefore inevitable in the person that is gay. Today, I will present to you proof of how wrong this assertion is. First I would like to call one of my parishioners, Thom Traylor up to the stage."
A man of about 35 came up to the stage and stood beside reverend Sperbeck. "Tell me, Thom," inquired Sperbeck, "are you gay or have you ever been gay?"
"No, replied Thom, "I am not gay. In fact I would say that I am as straight as Errol Flynn. However, it was not always that way. I realized that I was gay when I was a teenager. I was always afraid to play sports. I enjoyed cooking a lot. I was concerned for many years, but then I got involved with the gay community and I was told by them that it was all right to be gay and there was no reason for me to worry about what anyone thought. They pointed out to me that closets were for clothes. I was even openly gay for a number of years. But deep down, I knew that something was amiss. That somehow I was not normal, in spite of finding a clique of friends who were telling me that I was normal and that it was perfectly alright to be gay. Then one day I was watching t.v. and between surfing channels I heard an eloquent preacher preach the words 'homosexuality', I did a double take and stayed at that channel. This man stands before you, the reverend Sperbeck," said Thom, pointing his palm in the direction of the reverend who stood smiling with seemingly an expression of pride on his face. Thom continued. "This man was so articulate and his arguments so compelling, I then knew that what I was doing was abnormal. I went to one of his sermons for the first time, just as many of you have done today. I went through his program and was converted from gay to straight. Since then, I have accepted the lord Jesus Christ as my savior and have turned my life around. I no longer lust after men as I did in the past, but am only sexually interested in women."
The reverend Sperbeck interjected at this point. "I think you are leaving a few things out, Thom, like what you do for a living and what your plans are now about how to change the way you make a living, about your sexual history, boyfriends, girlfriends, that sort of thing."
"Oh yes, replied Thom. "Up until recently I made my living as an interior decorator." Thom paused for a bit and then resumed. "But then I realithed what a thilly profession that wath for a man," Thom let his right wrist go limp in an exaggeratedly mocking fashion. "Now, with the wise counsel of the reverend Sperbeck, I am taking a hiatus from regular work, and am eking out a meager living working with him in the church, doing work for the church, cleaning, clerical and what not and I am studying to be a carpenter, a much more appropriate occupation for a man."
At this point a number of Sperbeck's regular parishioners started applauding Thom's speech very loudly. Thom waited for them to finish their applause before resuming the rest of his speech.
Drake, who at this point had started paying a little bit more attention to what was going on in the sermon grimaced. He worked as a medical transcriptionist, a profession that was predominantly female, and he somehow resented the implications of what society thought of a person of his gender making their living in this fashion. He would often spend time relaxing and trying to forget his troubles by surfing the internet. Whenever he would log onto a web site involving medical transcription or look at a newsgroup involving medical transcription, he always somehow managed to be greeted with the words 'queer male medical transcriptionist'. It was really monotonous and tiresome, but then it had given him the inspiration for his purpose of attending Sperbeck's sermon today.
After the applause died down, Thom continued with his speech. "Also, the reverend asked about my sexual history. Yes, when I was gay I had about three or four different boyfriends. When one of them died of AIDS some years ago, I thanked God that I had always used a condom and never raw-dogged with him. Also, it made me question the legitimacy of the homosexual life-style before I found out about the reverend Sperbeck and his marvelous program. But, getting back to the original point, Dr. Sperbeck's program has not only enabled me to convert from being gay to straight but it has also enabled me to find a wonderful girlfriend, stand up and take a bow, Teri."
A well-dressed, reasonably attractive woman stood up in the back of the church and waved to the other parishioners, smiling.
Thom summed up his speech. "Well, I think that I present proof at how wrong the advocates of the gay life-style are. There is no question that it is possible to go from being gay to straight." Thom walked off the stage, followed by even more applause from the enthusiastic audience.
Sperbeck then continued. "Now, there are three more people that I would like to call to the stage, will Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Roman and daughter please come to the stage."
A man and a woman then approached the stage. The woman was holding an approximately four month old infant in her arms. She then deftly partially unbuttoned her shirt, allowing the nipple of her right breast to protrude and started breast feeding the baby.
"Now, Cliff, don't you have a few words you would like to say to all of these lovely parishioners today?" said Sperbeck.
"Yes, indeed I do," replied Cliff. "Years ago, I realized that I was a homosexual. I had nothing against women, it was just that I was only sexually attracted to men. I wore a lot of jewelry and had effeminate clothes and mannerisms. I went to cosmetology school and became a hair stylist and beautician. I was the only man in my class, the other 24 students were women. I often walked around with my right wrist limp, talking in lisps, and I had an affinity for wearing lots of jewelry. When I went to the beach, I would like to wear the bottom piece of a woman's two piece bathing suit. I cut my hair very short and I sported a moustache and I talked in a swishy type of gay accent. I was not happy being gay, but I could not seem to help my attraction towards men. I was taunted in the street, figuratively and literally bashed. Obnoxious kids would often ridicule me and spit on me when they saw me. I hated being gay. I wished I could go straight, but I mistakenly believed that my homosexuality could not be changed, that this was my destiny. Then came a turning point in my life. I saw the reverend Sperbeck give one of his sermons on t.v. He said that through our lord and savior Jesus Christ that everything was possible, that if I wanted to become straight and not be gay anymore that it could be done, so I came here and saw him. Since then I have become straight. I found myself being attracted to women and no longer having any erotic feelings towards men.
Cliff paused for a bit and then continued his homily. "I decided that being a beautician was not a good profession for me, I left the beauty shop where I worked and got a clerical job with the local phone company in our city. There were opportunities for advancement, and I became a lineman. Now, that seems a more appropriate occupation for a man than being a beautician or an interior decorator."
Again, Drake grimaced just a tad, wondering why Cliff had not mentioned medical transcription on his list for inappropriate occupations for a man.
"But," continued Cliff, the best news of all is that I have been able to get married. No, not in one of those quirky, nonlegal gay marriages that you hear so much about in the media but a real, honest-to-god, legal heterosexual marriage." Cliff extended his left hand with a wedding ring on it and pointed to the ring for emphasis. "I now present to you Katherine my wife of two and a half years now." Katherine stood up, took a short bow before the parishioners who applauded a bit.
"Of course, that is not the only news," Cliff continued. "We have also managed to bring a new human being into this world, Jennifer, our daughter." Katherine held out the couple's baby and the parishioners once again applauded. Cliff left the stage.
The reverend Sperbeck continued his sermon. "Now, if it had not been for our program that converts gays to straights, this lovely little four month old baby, Jennifer, would have never been brought into this world. I think we have discussed now the two points that those who condone the gay life-style have made...."
Sperbeck went on with his sermon and then at the conclusion told the parishioners who were gay and wanted to become straight that they could come and talk to him after the sermon for the details of his program which could convert gays to straights. For those who did not want to wait in the long line, they could see Rose, the church's secretary, who would make an appointment with them for an initial counseling session with the reverend Sperbeck.
Drake started checking out the parishioners. Some of them looked just like ordinary Christians going to a Sunday service. Some others were notably different. He saw some effeminate looking men, some of them wearing shocking pink leisure suits with lots of jewelry. Others were dressed in regular clothes but had the stereotypical limp wrists. He noticed some very unfeminine women also, some of them with very short hair and biker-type leather jackets. A few of them were rather hirsute for women. Others looked just like the average Joe or Josephine in the street, but Drake figured they were probably gay and unhappy about it and, for that reason, had sought out counseling from reverend Sperbeck, whose sermons they had seen on the religious t.v. shows that had appeared on Sunday, or, like himself, had seen the documentary about Sperbeck and his assertions that gays could be converted into straights on the television show Your 15 Minutes of Fame. This was one of the most highly rated shows on television and had now given the reverend Sperbeck and his followers a considerable amount of exposure.
Drake took his place at the end of the line for seeing Sperbeck's secretary and making an appointment to get his counseling. After about a seven minute wait, it was Drake's turn.
"Name, please," said the middle aged secretary in a perfunctory tone of voice.
"Drake Dumas," replied Drake.
"You are gay and want to become straight?" queried the secretary. "That is the reason you want to see the reverend?"
"Yea, that's it," said Drake, deciding to wait until he actually got to talk to Sperbeck himself to tell the truth.
"Where did you hear about us?" asked the secretary.
"I saw the Your 15 Minutes of Fame documentary about your program.
"Yes, a lot of people saw that so, the reverend now has a longer waiting list, the earliest he can see you is in two weeks."
"TWO WEEKS!" exclaimed Drake. "I need to see him tomorrow. I flew all the way across the country for this and took time off from my work to do it."
"I'm sorry, but that is the earliest that he can see you," she said, just as curtly as ever.
Drake could tell that it was absolutely futile to argue the point, so he acquiesced and agreed to the two week wait to see the reverend, though it would mean having to take the trip all over again.
The two weeks passed quickly and Drake now found himself back at his motel room in the city where the reverend helped in performing the conversions. He was now ready to take a taxi to the church and see the reverend. After a quick ride to the church he found himself reverend Sperbeck's office and shaking hands with the reverend himself.
"It is nice to meet you, Mr. Dumas," said the reverend in a pleasant tone of voice. "It is always a great pleasure to meet a homosexual who realizes the errors of their ways and wants to change. Drake does not seem like a very masculine name. After we do the conversion you might want to change it to Pete or Butch or something like that. Hey, maybe to Duke. That might give you a rugged, macho John Wayne type image."
Drake finally managed to get a word in edgewise. "You don't understand, reverend I'm not...."
Sperbeck interrupted Drake again. "Are you working now, what do you do for a living?"
"Yes, I am a medical transcriptionist," said Drake.
"And pray what might that be?" asked Sperbeck.
"I type up hospital reports from physicians' spoken dictation," replied Drake. For example if you are being evaluated by a doctor for some reason, I type the patient's history and the results of their physical examinations and laboratory tests. Or if you need to have surgery for some reason, a description of the operation, or any other medical records that hospitals keep."
"I see," said Sperbeck. "Sounds sort of like what a secretary does. Not many men do that type of work do they?" asked Sperbeck.
"Well, there are other men who do medical transcription besides me, but we are definitely in a distinct minority."
"Yes, this is something very common among homosexual men. They often seem to shun the more manly type jobs. I see from looking at the 3x5 card that my secretary filled out on you that you were at the sermon a couple of weeks ago when you made the appointment where Thom and Cliff spoke. You saw how Thom was an interior decorator and is now studying to be a carpenter, and Cliff, what a guy, he went from being a woman's hairstylist to being a telephone company lineman. If they can do it you can do it too. Why, once we perform the conversion you'll probably want to quit doing transcription. You might want to become a plumber or an auto mechanic or something like that. Now, you won't see very many women working in those professions, at least not heterosexual women," said Sperbeck with a smile.
"Well, reverend Sperbeck, there is something you just don't understand, I'm not....."
Again, Sperbeck interrupted. "Have you been tested for HIV. Many people seek out our program because they are worried if they don't abandon the gay life-style that they will contract AIDS. Of course, if you are already HIV positive, there is nothing that we can do about that.
"No, said Drake, "I haven't been tested for HIV. I'm not sexually active so I don't feel that there is any need to be tested."
Sperbeck looked at Drake and smiled. "Ahhh, that is so nice to hear. A gay man who realizes the errors of his ways and has chosen to be celibate rather than engage in sinful activities. But, yes, I am sure we can convert you to being straight and you will be dating women in no time."
"Well, Drake said, "there is something that I have been trying to tell you but that you have not let me tell you, I am not gay I am straight."
Sperbeck had a surprised look on his face, but this time it was Drake's turn to carry the conversation.
"I have come to you not because I am a gay person who wants to become straight but I am a straight person who wants to become gay," said Drake flatly and without hesitation.
Sperbeck had an expression on his face suggesting that he could not believe his ears.
"Now, why in the world would you want something like that?" inquired Sperbeck. "You know that I could not do that. Don't you remember my sermon a couple of weeks ago where I quoted from the book of Leviticus?"
"Well, reverend, I think I have you on a technicality. The book of Leviticus states that it is an abomination for a man to lie with man as he would with women. It says nothing about just being a homosexual as long as the homosexual remains celibate. I have been celibate as a heterosexual all my life. If I became a homosexual, then being celibate would not matter as much because then I would not have to feel so badly about being so unpopular with the opposite sex."
"Your argument about the interpretation of chapter 18 verse 22 of Leviticus is very interesting," said Sperbeck. "I have to admit I can't dispute it. The bible does seem to only say that the act of homosexuality and having sex with a man as you would with a woman is a sin, but nothing about a man actually having erotic feelings towards another man. But, you still have not answered my question, now why in the world would anyone who is a heterosexual want to be converted to a homosexual."
"Well, I have explained to you how I am very unpopular with women and I am always celibate. There is a reason for it. It may not be obvious at first blush, but I am handicapped; I have Asperger's syndrome."
"What in the world is that?" asked the reverend.
"Have you heard of autism?"
The reverend nodded.
"Well, Asperger's is sort of similar to autism in a lot of respects, but a milder condition than full blown autism is. It has impaired my ability to relate to people and made it impossible for me to approach and relate to women the way a normal man can. As a consequence of this, I am 47 years old and have never had a girlfriend."
"That's incredible," said Sperbeck in a tone of voice that suggested absolute amazement. "That must be really rough."
Drake nodded knowingly. "Yes that is why I want to be a homosexual. I am absolutely fed up with this awful stuff." "Have you gone out and tried to meet women? Is there anyone at work you are interested in?"
"I do medical transcription out of my home," said Drake. "I am an absolute hermit and recluse and almost never see anyone." Drake winced a bit. "There was one exception though and that was the straw that broke the camel's back."
Drake then told Sperbeck the story about how he met Petra and how much she had raised his hopes and then how the roof and ceiling had caved in on him from the time he first met Petra until the time his association with Petra was over and he never saw her again.
Drake could not tell for sure, but it seemed from the look on Sperbeck's face that he was somewhat moved and compelled by Drake's story.
"There is one more question that I have to ask you, Drake," said the reverend. "If you have not done so already are you willing to accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior?"
Drake hesitated before answering the question. "I am not sure about that, reverend. I have never been religious and have always been sort of agnostic. Never really willing to take anything on faith, and cynical about most things. However, I would consider converting to Christianity if it were the only way that I could become a homosexual as I am getting rather desperate now. But, is it really necessary for someone who undergoes the conversion, either from being gay to straight or vice-versa to become a Christian and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior?"
"It would certainly be helpful," replied Sperbeck, but I suppose it is not absolutely mandatory and we do try to help the secular populace as well as those who are Christians. Your request is quite unusual and normally we do the conversions just one way, only gay to straight and never straight to gay, but given your unusual circumstances, I think we can go ahead and do it, without your accepting the lord Jesus Christ as your savior right off the bat, but who knows, maybe eventually you will come around and accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. Of course, there is one condition under which I will do this and it is that you have to give me your word that if the conversion is successful and you become gay that you will not have any intimate contact with men after the conversion is performed. And you have to remember, that if you go back on your word to me, the lord will know it and, believe me, I know you are an agnostic, but there really is a God and someday when your time on earth is over, there will be a day of reckoning and he will judge you on that day and believe me you would not like the consequences if you did not keep your word to me."
"Yes, I give you my word," said Drake. I will not have anal sex, engage in mutual masturbation or kiss on either the lips or the cheek with another man, or in fact engage in any kind of intimate contact with another man. Besides, just as my Asperger's syndrome impairs my ability to relate to women as a straight, I believe it would probably impair my ability to relate to men just as much if I become gay."
"Okay," said Sperbeck. "Good enough. We will get the ball rolling. Occupationally you are off to a good start because I am pretty sure that medical transcription is a profession in which most of the few males that work in it are gay, so we don't have to worry about trying you to get into another occupation." "Do you like to watch sports on TV?" asked Sperbeck.
"No, I don't," replied Drake.
"Good, that means we are already off in the right direction.
"Since you said that you are straight are there any particular type of women that you are interested in? Perhaps you could give me an example of someone we might have both heard of, like a celebrity that you have a strong interest in."
"Well," replied Drake, I have always liked Heather Locklear a lot and I enjoyed her acting on Melrose Place.
"Okay, that is good to know. Have you read any pornographic magazines or seen any porno films?"
"Yes on both counts," replied Drake. "However, I have always preferred things softer like Playboy magazine. Also, if it is helpful for you to know this, reverend, I also occasionally like to go to topless dance places as well as strip joints for some of my kicks."
"Okay, sounds like you are very strongly heterosexual in your sexual orientation, but I think we can modify that. Now, you are going to have to give me about three days to prepare now that I have some of the relevant data about you in order to get the specifics that we need when you undergo the Ludovico procedure."
"The what?" queried Drake.
"Obviously, you have never read the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess."
"Well, I did see the Kubrick film adaptation," said Drake. "I guess you mean I have to go through that brainwashing thing, where you give me some noxious stimuli to counter heterosexual urges."
"Yeah, something like that," said Sperbeck in a rather enigmatic tone of voice.
A few days later, Drake found himself sitting in a dentist's chair with some wires attached to his eyelids to prevent them from closing. Sperbeck's secretary dabbed some liquid into his eyes. It was something Sperbeck had apparently stolen right out of the book and film A Clockwork Orange. In front of Drake was a television and a VCR. Sperbeck inserted a video into the VCR and started it. Drake immediately recognized the theme and beginning of the television show Melrose Place. Sperbeck then took the remote control to the VCR and fast forwarded the tape. Then he stopped it at a scene which was showing Heather Locklear portraying the advertising executive Amanda Woodward and wearing an extremely short skirt. Sperbeck paused the video.
"Okay, here's the drill," said Sperbeck. "I want you to drop your pants and start jacking off."
"I beg your pardon," said Drake.
"I don't think you have a hearing problem," said Sperbeck. "Just do what I told you to do if you want to become gay. Then when you feel like you are about to come try your best to delay the ejaculation and let me know you are about to come. It will only be necessary to delay the ejaculation for about a second. Then try your best to come and let it all out of your dick so to speak."
"Ok, got you," said Drake.
Sperbeck then started the tape and Drake masturbated, fantasizing about what it would be like to have sex with Heather Locklear. He had a little trouble masturbating in front of Sperbeck and his secretary but then he was finally able to do it and felt like he was ready to come.
"Ok," said Drake, "I think I am about to come, I think I can hold it in for about a second."
Sperbeck pushed a button on the VCR remote control and said, "okay, let her rip."
At the instant that Drake was slowing down his strokes of his penis in order to come the image of Melrose Place was changed to an image of Ricky Martin singing.
"Okay, good job," said Sperbeck. "Now we will wait until tomorrow for another jack off session." Sperbeck then produced a purse and tossed it lightly to Drake who caught it. "Now, I want you to put this around your left shoulder and get up."
Drake put the purse over his left shoulder.
"Now," said Sperbeck, I want you to do what I do."
Sperbeck got a purse of his own and put it over his left shoulder and held his right wrist as limp as he could and said, "Oh, I have been thuch a thilly boy," in the most effeminate accent that he could muster. Drake tried his best to repeat what Sperbeck did.
"No, not quite, you have to do it with more emphasis, like this.." Again, Sperbeck walked the effeminate walk and said, "oh, deary, clothets are for clothes."
Drake then tried to emulate what Sperbeck had just done.
"Yes, much better," said Sperbeck. "Well, I think that is enough for today. You can come back tomorrow when you are fresh for another jack off session.
The next day, Drake was again seated in the dentist's chair and had the wires on his eyelids to force him to keep his eyes open. Sperbeck's secretary again dabbed the liquid on his eyes since he was not being allowed to blink. Drake was shown another, more evocative scene from Melrose Place where Heather Locklear was making out on the couch with the character Jake Hansen portrayed by Grant Show. This was one of the more erotic scenes from the show and it got Drake very excited and he started masturbating very vigorously. In today's session, Sperbeck had changed the plan slightly and now Drake could just masturbate all out and he did not have to pay attention to when he would come. Sperbeck's secretary observed Drake slowing down his masturbatory strokes and then injected him with a substance that made him nauseous. He was still feeling very nauseous as he ejaculated. Then, after this current session, he again went through some exercises with Sperbeck in which he emulated effeminate behavior.
That night Drake sat in his hotel room not feeling any more homosexual than the day he had first set foot in the reverend Sperbeck's town. He had been such a failure with women, not to mention just about everything else in his life, that becoming a homosexual seemed the perfect denouement to this miserable and wretched existence with his great disappointment in how his relationship with Petra had turned out being the last straw.
The following day, Drake again underwent the Ludovico procedure. This time, instead of receiving an injection of a drug that would make him nauseous, some electrodes were pasted to his left arm in order to deliver a series of electric shocks just at the time that he would ejaculate, while his right arm was left free so that he could use it to masturbate. Just as he was set to ejaculate, Sperbeck's secretary delivered a series of electric shocks and smiled as Drake yelped in pain, ignoring his yells and protests. Again, after the masturbation session and Ludovico procedure were completed, Sperbeck went through some exercises with Drake in which he practiced being effeminate and talking in a swishy gay accent.
"Oh, I'm thuch a thilly thwish," said Drake, repeating after Sperbeck and responding to his prompting.
The next day, Drake was told to masturbate without any stimulating photos or videos, and then some footage of Marky Mark without his shirt on were shown while he was masturbating and he could not turn away because his head was being held in a contraption and his eyelids were forced open with the clamps that had been used before as Sperbeck's secretary dipped water into his eyes. Then videos of Ricky Martin and Marky Mark were superimposed upon each other and then out of the blue Ricky Martin and Marky Mark were replaced by another steamy scene from Melrose Place with Heather Locklear. At the point at which Drake was about to ejaculate, Sperbeck's secretary injected him with medication that made him nauseous and gave him a series of electric shocks to the left arm.
After this session of the Ludovico procedure the reverend Sperbeck approached Drake with two magazines, one was the latest issue of Playboy, the other was some small circulation male homosexual porno rag entitled Beefcake and had a centerfold with a nude male. Sperbeck turned to the centerfold page in Beefcake. Likewise, he did the same with the Playboy.
"Now, said Sperbeck to Drake, "tell me does this get you off at all?" he said, pointing to the centerfold in the issue of Beefcake.
"No, not at all," replied Drake.
"Hey!" said Sperbeck in a rather stern tone of voice, "I thought I told you not to talk like a regular heterosexual, if you want the conversion to work you have to talk in an effeminate swishy gay accent."
"Now, how about this one?" inquired Sperbeck, pointing to the Playboy centerfold.
"Yes, I like her," replied Drake, still not making an effort to do an effeminate accent.
"I'm sorry," said Drake, "but I think I had better go home, because your treatment is just not working. I no longer think it is possible to change someone's sexual orientation either from gay to straight or from straight to gay in spite of your church's claims."
"Please," said Sperbeck, "there is one last thing I think that I could try that might convert you." Sperbeck dropped his pants and pulled out his penis. "Suck my cock," he said in a crass tone of voice, holding up his member with his left hand and pointing to it with his right.
"Huh?" exclaimed Drake. "I was not aware that men of the cloth used such crass slang expressions to denote portions of the human anatomy."
"Well, I am not like other reverends," said Sperbeck. "I only went into television evangelism because it is so lucrative and I could not make nearly as good a living as I could doing anything else. I use ploys like converting people from gay to straight in order to get publicity and sponsorship and money. All organized religion works that way, it's a complete scam. Actually, I don't even believe in God. It is like Nietzsche said God is dead. Or maybe like Voltaire said that if there had never been a God then man would have had to invent one. But, don't worry, if you ever tell anybody any of this, my secretary and I will deny it, no one would ever believe you. In fact I am a closet homosexual which is one reason why I was hoping that in this one case the conversion could work. Just as you have been frustrated by not being able to have sex with women due to your Asperger's syndrome, I have been frustrated with not being able to have sex with men because I have had to remain in the closet in order to keep my television show going. Now, you want help start sucking." Again, Sperbeck pointed to his penis.
"I think I better get outta here," said Drake, reaching for the door.
Sperbeck blocked the door. "Come on, you know you want it. You will never be able to do it with a woman, but doing it with a man, right here and now, you'll love it and then you won't ever know the difference."
Drake gulped and stepped backwards away from the door a little bit. Sperbeck then ran towards Drake holding his hands out in order to try to grab him in a bearhug but Drake managed to dodge the reverend and step to the side and then hold his foot out tripping the reverend who fell flat on his face. Drake ran opened the door and bolted out, running as fast as his legs could carry him. As he was running, he thought of all of the failure he had had in his life, the failure that he had had with women and then his failure with Petra. Drake slowed down a little bit and said to himself, "well back to the drawing board," and then picked up his speed.The End
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|Copyright 2002, Jonathan Mitchell - All Rights Reserved.|