Gay Tango in Argentina

Mendoza Rafting - gay tango

Gay Tango may not be at the top of the list for most tourists to visit Argentina but when I learned that the seductive dance was first practiced and perfected by men dancing together in the streets of Buenos Aires, it was reason enough for me to go.

I can speak-sing out the praises of Argentina with the best of them but unlike Madge my love doesn’t stop in Buenos Aires.  Exploring outside the ‘Paris of South America’ has proved very fruitful, like my trip to Mendoza.  (As a disclaimer I’d like to mention that no sensuous meal, breathtaking view or exhilarating experience described in this article will rival the pure bliss of simply men-watching in Argentina.)

Unfortunately I did not arrive and simply stumble into men dancing the gay tango on every corner under a street lamp as I would have hoped.  I had to go searching for a partner to practice with and find out if the gay tango was a myth or real!

gay tango

First things first – I met a tall, dark and devastatingly handsome guy and we hit it off immediately with so much to say to each other we couldn’t express it.  Marcello spoke no English and I managed to croak out, “no hablo español.” 

Armed with the fanciful ideas of all the innuendo we would be serving each other if our tongues permitted we took off on bicycles for an afternoon of wine tasting.  Two of the main industries of Mendoza are olive oil production and wine making.  Greater Mendoza is the largest wine producing area in Latin America and one of nine cities worldwide named the Great Capitals of Wine, providing honeymooners, I mean interlopers like Marcello and I hundreds of wineries in the region to explore. 

Our day didn’t end getting drunk but it certainly started that way.  Marcello suggested detox was in order and he knew just the spot – Cacheuta Hot Water Spring Spa.  The spa has a beautifully appointed view of the surrounding riverbed canyon and the mud from its banks has healing properties for the skin.  What are two dudes to do?  We slathered each other up of course like dirty little piggies and then sun baked on lounge chairs until we were hard as clay pots.  Marcello coaxed me with his midnight eyes to lift my palms to the sun and receive its energy, “like the ancients.”  It felt amazing to bask in the heat of my new Latin lover.  Sun power.  Man Power.  I’ll take both please. 

Dining out is a major part of Mendoza’s nightlife and I do mean nightlife.  No one breaks bread before ten pm.  Los Chocos proved to be the most unique experience.  It’s a gay-owned and operated restaurant serving a gourmet eight course dinner in a private home similar to the Paladares in Havana, Cuba. 

Special local Mendoza cuisine was complemented with perfect Malbec wines, wonderful company and amazingly creative food with mouthwatering flavors.  After dinner a leisurely stroll, perhaps some refreshingly cool crema helada –ice cream- and a visit to a local gay bar will be the perfect end to a fun-filled day.  Either Queen or La Reserva Pub – the major LGBT bars in town – located in the heart of downtown Mendoza will be open and waiting to entertain you until dawn, or perhaps even later. 

Join Marcello and me on a zip line over a canyon and some white water rafting in this video.

No visit to Mendoza would be complete without my elusive Gay Tango.  Marcello pulled me into his arms and I began to understand why South Americans think Argentines are stuck up… it’s easy for a cock to crow when there’s so much to be proud of. 

Want to learn more about the history of gay tango?  Well, wouldn’t you know, I made a little video for you!

Okay, you guessed it.  Although Marcello was an awesome sport and willing to practice the gay tango with me, he is actually… straight.  Yeah, I can’t help but get along with straight dudes and have the occasional bromance.  You can explore more bromance stories in Forces, the October 13th story in Shadowlands, and Mulligans.

If you like to read about my Travel adventures, click on the Travel tags for more posts!

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October 31st – a Shadowlands story

October 31st - Charlie David books

It’s October 31st, Trick or Treat!  No tricks for my friends, just treats!  I wanted to share a story from my book Shadowlands. This story is dedicated to one of the guys in this story whose favorite holiday happens to be Halloween. 

Shadowlands miniseries is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

October 31st Shadowlands


A movie flickered on the big plasma screen but neither of the men paid attention.  I call them men because they are in their late twenties though by all approximations they are still boys.  There are four others like them – living like a pack of wolves in a house with four bedrooms.  One lives in the garage.  Their own private Pleasure Island where they can smoke and drink and play poker and video games all day if they want and most days they do.

But tonight it’s just the two of them.  The best friends.  All the other boys have gone out.  A night on the town to howl at the moon and chase their own tail until it leads them back home again. 

 The house groans as the October wind blows against it and branches from the avocado tree tickle its roof.  It’s his favourite month; October that is and the one on the left.  The one wearing the sweat pants, cut into shorts just above the knee.  His legs are muscular, tan and smooth.  He likes to keep them that way although the other secretly wishes he’d let the hair grow – on his legs, his chest, face…

The other has a lot of secrets.

The one on the left is also wearing a tank top.  He’s proud of his muscular arms and this is no secret although he currently has them hidden, wrapped up in a blanket.  It’s October.  His favorite month and even though this is Los Angeles there’s a slight chill in the air. 

The one on the right is watching.  One eye on the TV and the other on his friend.  He’s in love.  This is another one of his secrets.  He also doesn’t like horror movies.  Secret number three.  He pretends to because they watch together.  In the dark and alone.

The one on the left has a girlfriend.  The one on the right wants to hate her but can’t.  In fact he loves her too.  Just in a different way.

Tonight is not special.  It’s like a hundred others they have spent together.  Sometimes she comes by the house and they will be lying on one of their beds shirtless.  Just home from a run.  She is his girlfriend and she has suspicions but those are her secret.

But they only lay together.  Not touching.  Just talking.  They talk for hours.

They love each other but in different ways.  That is their shared secret.

“If only you were a chick…” the one on the left has said with a laugh and not just once.

“If only you would try it…” the other would respond also laughing but it was a practiced trick to mask the pain.

If only.  If only.  A life punctuated with a conditioned statement.

And so they sit side by side.  Two grown men who are still boys.  One wants to touch the other.  That’s his secret.  The other longs to be touched.  That’s his secret.

It’s the hundredth night in a litany of others which have played out much the same.  Neither has the courage to take the first step.  Neither wants to upset the perfectly imperfect balance of what they have.  It’s love.  It’s fear.  It’s an unholy union that may never be realized. 

The one on the left doesn’t understand his thoughts or why he can’t concentrate on the TV.  He just wants a blowjob but hates himself for even thinking about his friend in that way.  He thinks it would offend him.  That he’d suddenly want more than he’d be able to give.  He dreams of a middle ground – a place where they both get what they want and need from the other but he imagines it can’t exist.

And so he does nothing.  He does nothing because he loves him.

The other only wants to touch his friend.  He only wants to be close and close and closer.  He only wants to make him happy.  He’s smart enough to know he will never be, can never be enough for him.  But he yearns to be more than what he is.  He wants to show his devotion and show it is distinct and special from the other boys.  But he hates himself for wanting something from his friend that he cannot offer.

He dreams of a middle ground – a place where they both get what they want and need from the other but he imagines it can’t exist.

It does.  But it’s a secret they may never know.

And so the one on the right does nothing.  He hugs a pillow a little tighter to his chest and does nothing because he loves him.

Is not one of the most powerful things to so love someone with all your heart and yet have the knowledge you will never have an opportunity to be intimate.  Like an iron in a fire always burning, always present is this love, unable to be extinguished or at the same time be of any use.

The one on the left slipped one hand under his t-shirt and casually pulled it up while carefully gauging his friends reaction.  He let the blanket fall off his shoulders onto the couch letting the one on the right get an unobstructed view of his tan stomach.  He let his hand rest there while he adjusted the bulge in his sweat pants to a no more comfortable but definitely more obvious position.

The one on the right was sweating.

Drip.  Drip.

He could feel the small beads gathering under his arms and his heart was screaming through his t-shirt.  He began to worry anxiously if the one on the left would be able to hear it pounding right through the pillow that he hugged to his chest.  He wanted to stop this stupid movie and stop this stupid dance that they both knew the steps to all too well.

“Kind of a shitty movie huh?” The one on the left mumbled through a yawn as he crooked one arm behind his head.

 “S’alright.  Not great,” the one on the right agreed.

  “Should we shut it off?”

 “We could.  You getting tired?” The one on the right asked as he reached for the remote. 

 “Nah.  Let’s just do something else.”

“Well I haven’t had a foot massage today,” the one on the right joked and dared to kick his friend in the shin. “Shouldn’t I get a reward for chasing you around the UCLA track three times a week?”

“Your reward is fitness and getting to watch my ass for twenty laps.”

“Well usually that’s only fifteen laps, you’re nearly lapping me on the last five.”

“That’s my reward,” the one on the left grinned a silly crooked smile.

The one on the right dropped his jaw ready to pose a question.  A question about the definition of his friend’s reward.  But the sentence hung on his tongue like a sky diver afraid to leap and never took flight. 

The one on the left swung his feet up onto the couch and adjusted the blanket behind him into a makeshift pillow.  “But since you brought it up, shouldn’t the winner get a massage first?  I promise the day you win, I’ll happily return the favor.” 

“You’ve heard of Tanya Harding right?  I’m not above that.”  The one on the right laughed and grabbed his friend’s foot and rested it on his thigh.  The boys who were men caught each other’s eye and then looked away quickly.  This was a new level of intimacy and neither knew exactly how to behave.

The one on the right rubbed his hands firmly over his friend’s foot, pressing his thumbs into the meaty flesh of his heel and toes.  It was just his foot but there was something incredibly exciting about touching him this way.  The one on the left let a small groan of approval escape his lips as he slid down further into the couch, pushing his feet right into the lap of his friend and resting his powerful legs on top of the other boy. 

The one on the right felt himself stiffen in his basketball shorts and push up precariously close to the elastic waistband.  His eyes danced over his friend’s contented face and he thought, ‘This is enough.  This is all I need.  Just to be able to make him happy.’

He arched and flexed the tan foot in his hands and then pushed them up and under the muscular calf, applying careful pressure as he went.

“Okay I may be an asshole but I’m not completely selfish,” the one on the left opened one eye and winked. “Give me your foot.  It’s a mutual reward.”

The one on the right felt like his shaking insides would betray him as he lifted his foot into the hands of his friend. 

Rough hands.  Rough hands handling him gently.

“Are you kidding me?  Have you ever walked a day in your life?  Your feet are like…really soft,” the one on the left guffawed and then started laughing.  “So what do we call this?”

            The one on the right looked up cautiously.  “What do we call what?

            “This.  What’s happening here.”

            “Um… I think it’s called a foot massage.”

            “You know what I mean.  You okay with it?”

            “Yeah.  Are you?”

            “Yeah, I think so.”

            The men who were feeling more and more like boys handled each other’s feet for the next few minutes in silence, each lost in his own thoughts.

            And questions.

                                                And hopes.

                                                                                    And fears.

            “You know…” the one on the left started and then stopped, lifting his friends leg gently to massage his calf. 



            “Seriously what?  I need to know what you’re thinking.”

            “I don’t think I can talk about it,” the one on the left said as he rested his friend’s leg across his lap and let the foot fall on his chest where he could get a more convenient grip.

            Suddenly the one on the right didn’t need to hear what his friend was thinking.  He already knew.  It was obvious.  He could feel it pressed against the back of his leg.  Without a word he looked at his friend.  And his friend looked back at him.

            The avocado tree creaked against the house and shadows danced in the corners of the room.  The one on the left had taken a chance.  He hoped his friend would understand and accept it for exactly what it was. 

            No more.

                                    And no less.

            The one on the right pressed his leg down into the evidence of his friend’s arousal just to be sure.  Now was no time to make a mistake.  He took the left foot of his friend and placed it casually between his legs as he took the right foot up in his hands. 

            The one on the left wrapped his arms around the leg of the other and pressed his hips up against him.  He pushed his left foot gently into his buddy’s crotch and felt him straining against the mesh basketball shorts.  He stroked the bottom of his foot up and down along the length of his friend’s shaft, surprising himself at how much he was enjoying this kinky session.

            The one on the right pulled the foot in his hand up to his mouth and wrapped his lips around his friend’s toes.  He’d never imagined doing anything like this before but now that he found himself here it was quite possibly the most erotic experience in his life.  He pushed his hips forward against the foot of his friend.  The threat of how much pain he could cause him with the mildest of kicks excited him further.  He was at his mercy and he liked it.

            The one on the left was happy.  So was the one on the right.

            It was nothing like any night they had ever imagined having together. 

            And yet.  It was perfect.

            The shadows danced.  The house creaked.  The men acted like boys as they waited for the other wolves to chase their tails home.

October 31st Shadowlands

If you enjoyed October 31st, consider picking up my book, Shadowlands.  It’s available on Amazon, Chapters-Indigo, Dreamspinner Press or by asking at your favourite bookstore. 

Love books?  Me too!  Let’s connect on GoodReads. 

You can also learn more about the new Shadowlands TV series here.

The short story October 31st explores a bromance between a straight guy and a gay guy.  This dynamic is also explored in our short film FORCES.  You can watch it here.

Shadowlands miniseries is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

Please follow and share our stories.

Bromance in ‘Forces’, a short film

Forces - bromance

Forces is a short film that captures the intense bromance between a straight military guy and a gay football player.  Friends since childhood, the boundaries of their relationship are forged and tested.

A Powerful & Beautiful Bromance

I like to champion exceptional new talent and director Dominic Poliquin is just that.  He’s masterfully created a short film that captures the combustible friction of a lifelong bromance between straight and gay best friends on the banks of a creek where their backyards meet.



Forces won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film at its premiere at the Image+Nation Film Festival in Montreal, Canada.  Forces is currently on the festival circuit.  It will be released in September 2017 on digital platforms and with select broadcast partners.

Forces 2


Forces - LAUREL_jury_2016

‘‘This film perfects the short narrative form
and it is obvious in every moment
and in every shot that it was lovely crafted.’’


Roisín NicOireachtaigh,
Member of Jury,
Image + Nation 2016


Forces 3


Dominic Poliquin directs this captivating short film which crackles with emotional turbulence and sexual tension.  Actors Nicola Tomassini and Benoit Gauvin effortlessly capture the sacred balance in a bromance.

 Forces - Director Dominic Poliquin

Forces Director Statement – Dominic Poliquin

Tell us about your new project FORCES and what message you would like to communicate to young filmmakers and to the LGBTQ community.


Where to start? I am generally bored and tired of seeing Queer characters dying at the end of Oscar winning movies.  I could list endless films like Philadelphia, Boys Don’t Cry, Brokeback Mountain, Milk, The Hours and even Black Swan, in which both male and female LGBTQ characters meet disastrous endings, almost like a ‘formula to kill off the queer’ to pass a message to the world.


I am not saying they are not great films, but the all too familiar ‘let’s kill them off” recipe has become a self identification problem for those who don’t fit into what society calls the norm.


In FORCES, we follows the life of two young men: a straight soldier that is being deployed to Afghanistan who is overly sensitive and his openly gay childhood friend who recently got kicked off his football team, not for his sexual orientation, but rather for excessive violent behavior.


My goal for my short was to avoid some clichés and stereotypes. The straight character in my film is a bit like the damsel in distress and the gay character gets to play the part of the savior.


My approach to film making is to not make a big deal about the sexuality of my gay characters. Masculinity and friendship are the main themes at play. The spheres of sports and the military are two iconic institutions that I wanted to explore because they heavily influence male culture, education and up-bringing.


Even if some ‘out ’ athletes like Brian Sims and Gareth Thomas were important inspirational figures for me, I also used my over ten years of experience working at the military base of Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu where I’ve befriended several straight military, as research, much like an artist doing field work studies for his Masters in film production.


Overall the message I want viewers and future filmmakers to take away from FORCES, is that sensitivity in men is strength, a force to be reckoned with and it is certainly not a weakness.


Did you know?  There’s also a special friendship between college age best friends in Mulligans.


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