7 min read

everything I took from a dead gay guy's mansion

The Velvet Room.

Avery is an estate sale aficionado – they’ve got years of experience and lurk on all the right pages and facebook groups. I tried to get into it once, subscribed to all the listservs, but stopped paying attention to it. It was a lot of reading. I’ve practically made a career on doing homework – I love reading Wikipedia for fun – but I just couldn’t make this particular version of reading the internet stick. Anyway, the point is that I figured that if anything good came up, Avery would tell me. 

My plan worked because something good did come up to the surface and Avery did tell me about it. This was an estate with ostensibly fortuitous vibes. The house was a single family 7 bedroom, 3.5 bath up in Roger’s Park. The real eye catcher was a “velvet room” exclusively for 18+ customers. “Anyone who looks under 25 WILL be carded!” As a horny freak and self proclaimed a sex writer, I feel obligated to go. 

It’s the first week of January in Chicago and climate change means it’s a delightful 36 degrees and the air is filled with gentle flurries like a snow globe. Avery beats me to the estate by 5 minutes and when I catch up she tells me that hot people are scurrying away from the mansion with sexy pieces of furniture. It’s only been an hour and people are already making away with stuff!? Estate sale people are scary. 

When we get in there, the energy is manic. A couple dozen people are scurrying around right by the front door and our vectors for moving in feel limited. It seems we’re the newest couple of vultures to an already ravenous flock. We head directly up the stairs and into the velvet room. A polite bird-ish looking lady is perched against the back wall with a receipt book. She greets us with the chaste earnesty of an old candy shop attendant. 

Stocks for playing.

An older man is in the closet admiring hangers of leather uniforms, the kind that Tom of Finland would love. Shiny pants, police hats, jackets, harnesses, float in the closet like invisible men all lined up and ready to get to work. I head directly to the bookshelf populated with all sorts of dildos, each one a minimum of 7 inches long. I expect no less for a man who had enough BDSM paraphernalia to fill a room to the brim. I go directly for the robot masturbators, uncapping them to see what the damage is. I’m not above using a pre-loved silicone pussy sleeve. I mean, dish soap exists right? 

I’m counting the strange brown spots on robot silicone sucker toy number two when the attendant says “there’s a totally new and unused one on the shelf below!” Really?! I say and see that it’s true. It’s $16 she says. I say: yoink!

Avery is admiring a rubber fox mask and I notice that one corner of the room houses a cage, the kind of cage you trap a man in, or perhaps a man who wants to pretend to be a dog. I think it’s pretty savvy that the people running this estate sale didn’t put the cage in the room marked Pet Supplies down the hall. 

I leave my sex toy haul with the attendant and get handed a duplicate receipt that documents my claim. I have to leave my nasty little toys in the secret velvet room and return for them later. Avery and I run down to the basement which is several layers deep, spiraling into itself. We keep crossing through thresholds, doorways, finding new gigantic vacuous sections of the basement full of stuff. Another dude walks by us and says this place never ends! 

Avery and basement haul

I uncover a couple of skateboards, a box of rare playing cards, Avery finds boxes of PS2 games and generic DVDs that seem to exist inside the house of everyone older than 35. Hanging on an old wardrobe is a green velvet conductor’s coat - complete with the long tails and everything plus a dress shirt with a ruffled collar. What kind of shenanigans did this gay guy get up to, exactly? 

Behind a box of junk-junk, not yummy junk, Avery uncovers a chair made of rope on a chain and lifts it up to see how it would hang - it’s beautiful! A Cool Person I saw walking around in another part of the house happens to be digging through this same room of the basement and I turn and say There’s no way I could put this up in my apartment… but maybe YOU can! I’m drawn to the cool person in the way that I am drawn towards brown Asians in general and also because they clearly have great style and amazing hair. Later I discover they’re Filipino. That’s what that magnetic feeling was! Anyway, they say Yeah…I could have that in my house… and I convince them to take the chair so it can go to a loving home. 

This house is full of lots of cool art weirdo stuff. The ground floor is clearing up now that all the eager beavers who came right when it opened have made out with their treasures and I can see all the goodies still left behind. Lots of large art objects, a 4 foot tall “Frankenstein Robot” with a tesla coil shooting waves of electricity inside it’s transparent body, a pony from a mechanical carousel, a bunch of tiny sculptures made of steel wire, gears, bike chains, a display box full of primate skulls showcasing the evolution towards homosapien life. The dining table is this long black scenario with pointed black chairs. This guy must have had some witchy orgies up in here, or at the very least a coven meeting or two.


Everyone here is kind of obsessed with whoever this man was - I’d like to call this feeling love, admiration, affection, rather than morbid curiosity. I’m definitely more feeling love than fascination. Some guy leaves with his jockstrap collection and a tiny framed poster for Polyester signed by John Waters. Cool Filipino Person buys the carousel pony in the living room. We’re all glowing.

Here’s what I make it out with:

  • $6 gigantic metal trash can (with the foot pedal!)
  • $30 folding paper room divider
  • $18 bread machine
  • $2 stainless steel sauce pot
  • $2 square 4-inch cast iron skillet
  • $1 whisk
  • $1 cheese grater
  • $16 Robo-Blowjob Machine
  • $1 Tom of Finland magnet depicting the moment before a blowjob

I call a Lyft XL and I’m vibrating with dopamine all the way home. Like, seriously, I’m coursing with dopamine. It occurs to me that maybe I should feel a little sad for the guy who died – Avery tried gossiping with the attendants who were either cagey or busy but she did find out that he died suddenly. Avery says, “it’s like a mountain burial. He’s giving his body back to the ecosystem, and we benefit from it.” I guess it is nice that a bunch of queer people, us included, get to haul away some of his stuff and use it in our life. Vultures are a part of the ecosystem, too, right?

At home, my haul laid out before me, I’m shaking with dopamine - or maybe adrenaline? I’m feeling hyper. I’m texting all my friends and family at a rapid rate, telling everyone how much fun I had, how excited I am. I’m so glad I didn’t buy a trash can until now! I’m so glad I went to that! 

I take the sex toy out and turn it on and stick my finger in. It starts vibrating, making a kerchunk, hisss sound. It’s like a steampunk machine. It squeezes on my finger, hard, and pulls. I’m instantly horny of course. But I don’t really have time to play with it right now, Avery’s coming over for dinner (we’re gonna eat bread from the bread machine!)

Avery guarding my haul.


The next day, Tony comes over. I tell him about the gay guy’s estate sale and show him the blowjob machine. I try the same trick on him that I did on myself, tell him to put his finger in while I turn it on. It makes him instantly horny, too. We play with it for a while, taking turns with it, playing with or against the rhythm of the vibrating machine. Stroke with the suction and it’s like getting deep throated by this endless tunnel. Stroke against the suction and it’s like a vacuum attempting to milk the cum out of our dicks. Whatever is making this silicone sleeve pull and suck is making a sound like a big mechanical metronome, setting the pace for all of our movements, keeping time. We play like this for a while, and eventually finish - although admittedly, we have to make that happen on our own. The robot is more for an endless gooning session rather than getting you over the finish line. I keep the robot going while we both stroke it out – I think we both like the sound it’s making. 

Dinner is a variation of the Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken Bread Salad, translated like four times from its original 20 page incoherent recipe. I made croutons out of bread machine bread baked yesterday and all in all it’s pretty passably good. Not as good as the way Ben makes it, who I got the recipe from, but good. 

I wonder if the dead gay guy’s spirit was watching over us, maybe his ghost was lingering in the machines. If so, I’m glad. Grateful to have such a horny spirit give me his blessing.

There's bread under there. Gay guy ghost bread.