Towards the end of August out of the blue and as a complete surprise, I received an e-mail from the daughter of a great man who died fairly young in his fifties. Victoria Bernstein, daughter of the late Victor "Vic" Bernstein, saw my postings on the Original Banana Cup [OBC] on the Usenet group alt.support.jock-strap, which came into existence about 1995/96 as a place for guys to discuss jockstraps and athletic cups. The Original Banana Cup came on the market about that time and it made a great splash.
I had wanted to reply promptly to Victoria's note but Hotmail began to give me so many difficulties because of the Microsoft upgrades as to be unusable. Late yesterday morning, I opened a new Gmail account for general correspondence. My e-mail to Victoria yesterday was perhaps first one from my new Gmail account.
I have entitled this blog entry "An e-mail and some great men." During the last few years during the culture wars here in the USA we have heard the importance of families. Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists and the Roman Catholic Church say that the family is the corner stone of civilization. Such people say that such families can come only from the union of one man and one woman. As an "aging" gay man, I believe that families can be configured as a union of two men or two women. In our day, all this is controversial and serves as a major ingredient for the fierce culture wars of our time.
When I was growing up in the 1950's and 60's, the traditional family unit was a given. This was years before the Gay Rights Movement. The first man of influence in my life was my dad. He was a man who lived an active life, not only as a breadwinner, but also as a devoted husband and father. He was active also in church activities and town affairs. The Congregational Church was the center of my parents' life. My dad rooted for the St Louis Cardinals. For many years, he was a Little League umpire in my hometown. As a little boy, I remember seeing him wearing his navy blue umpire uniform a couple evenings a week in the summertime after supper. I also remember seeing his umpire's chest guard and leg guards. But at age eleven when I began to experience pubescent changes in my body, especially my genitals, I encountered a very important part of his uniform. That was his Johnson & Johnson men's large athletic supporter drying above the bathtub at home as I was taking a bath before bed one night. My penis and scrotum beginning to enlarge. I was beginning to sprout my first pubic hairs. And I began to get my first insistent erections which felt so good. One night before bedtime, I even tried on my dad's jockstrap first time. It was a very unusual garment. But I figured out to wear the jock in such a way for the jock pouch to contain my penis and testicles. My dad's jock pouch was absolutely HUGE, and I was mystified at how my ass was naked, bare-assed to the elements!
At age 12 or so, I entered seventh grade. This was early September 1963. In those years, high school consisted of grades seven through twelve. The school gym was an architectural wonder and like my dad's jock was HUGE. We had PE three times a week for six years. Boys and girls had their separate locker rooms, showers, and gym coaches. Most public schools in recent decades have done away with communal showers. Coach Knox, our seventh grade coach, was an older man in his 60's, but in such good shape that he seemed to be a man in his 40's or 50's. He was a kind man too. At our first gym class, he said that the school could supply us with T-shirts, gym shorts, and white socks, but we had to purchase our own sneakers and athletic supporters. So after school that day, I want to the drugstore on our town green. I asked a pharmacist there if they sold athletic supporters. He said yes and brought a Johnson & Johnson Coach jockstrap in boy's large. On the box was a drawing of a buck naked guy in nothing but a jockstrap. I instantly popped a boner in my white chinos. My erection was so delicious that I felt it oozing precum! It felt so good! I rushed home and went hurried to my bedroom. I stripped naked and slipped on my jock for the first time. The poro-knit jock pouch held my throbbing cock firmly in the twelve o'clock position. I just loved who the jock pouch held my ballsack and how it caressing my throbbing glans oozing precum!
That one experience was a sexual awakening for me.So in the weeks and months afterward, I would try to recreate those delicious feelings by caressing my penis and kneading my oozing glans. By instinct, I learned the masturbatory grip, and six months later in April 1964, experienced my very first orgasm and ejaculation of semen! It was the jockstrap that started me in this sexual development and this was the origin of my jock and cup fetish fueling my masturbation sessions!
During those years, my parents subscribed to Sears and Montgomery-Ward mail order catalogs from which you could order jocks and cups. I realized then that I had to keep my incipient jock and cup fetish to myself. Mothers are very perceptive of their children's development. My mother saw this development in me and didn't approve. There was a toy and hobby store next door to the drugstore that sold the entire line of BIKE no. 10 jocks, swimmer jocks, and jocks and cups for contact sports. It pained me to refrain for purchasing any these items. Finally I broke down I purchased a couple Bauer & Black Pro Cup units from our town drugstore in tenth grade. The box in which this jock and cup came in was larger and pictured a brawny athlete wearing this quintessentially male item. It featured a traditional flat cup with ten ventilation holes and a thick rubber gasket. I loved the feel of this jock and cup, but discovered I could not wear this combo for long periods of time.
When I went off to college in early September 1968 things got a little easier for me as regards my fetish. But I was busy with my studies and making do with little to go out purchasing more jock and cups. So too throughout the years until early June 1986 when I got my own place to live before explore my fetish in all its fullness. I have written at length about much of this in earlier posts in this blog. 1986 was a watershed year for me when it came to athletic cups. I discovered the BIKE CUP which was a large contoured cup with a thick polyethylene gasket. And then came the Original Banana Cup in the early to mid 1990's.
And here is where Victoria Bernstein's e-mail comes in. She has invited me to ask particulars about her late father's invention of the Original Banana Cup. Vic Bernstein umpired baseball much of his life. He wore traditional flat cups which didn't fit him well. He also probably noticed that many baseball players didn't wear cups too. So he invented the OBC, a contoured cup which athletes and umpires all loved until it ceased production about year 2004. I composed my e-mail to Victoria in a respectful sort of way because it was addressed to a lady. But I told her that quite a few guys such as myself wish the OBC could be manufactured again.
Since the 1980's and 90's, both jocks and cups have evolved in some wonderful ways. One can still purchase traditional jockstraps and also fashion jockstraps. One can get hard cups, soft cups, and flex cups these days. I enjoy very much I enjoy the All-Star Shock Jock Cup combo which delivers both protection and comfort to the athlete.
Finally there is MLB great, Mark Littell's invention called the NuttyBuddy Cup. He had a similar experience with jocks and cups as a baseball player and coach with cups as Vic Bernstein's. I have written written much about the NuttyBuddy Cup here on this blog and elsewhere. All I can say that I feel so goood in my NuttyBuddy right now, kegeling away as a long, gradual foreplay for my Aneros Maximus session tonight!