An Evangelical convention was both a wonderful place to get lost, and a terrible place to be looking for something. Everyone was perfectly helpful when Dixon asked for directions, helpfully explaining that Exhibition hall 2C077 was somewhere on the 2nd Floor, in C wing, and how to get there. The terrible thing was that they often wanted a look at his program to confirm that he’d read the room number correctly, and everyone gave him a certain kind of look when they read the title of the seminar: Young Men Against Deviance. Dixon wasn’t a terribly shy person, but there were only so many well-dressed adults one can approach about finding something Like That before a red-blooded man started to feel a little self-conscious.
Finally, he found the somewhat deserted corridor with a modest plaque and little group of people next to an organizer who was checking that everyone was signed up and ready to go. Dixon’s Young Conservatives club had paid the reduced Student fees for him to attend, and apparently this seminar was required of young men who took the discount. Judging by the people in line, there were a lot of them, and many shared his discomfort with standing next to a sign that included the word “Deviance.” There were a few women, too, mostly older ones who were clearly there to keep their sons or nephews in line before heading off to a prayer session or networking event. They all had the classic look of Church Ladies of the highest caliber, at least.
Thankfully the registrar was moving things pretty quickly. Dixon settled in line behind a burly young man with a ballcap tucked into the back pocket of his jeans; judging by the cowlick on his head, he was used to wearing it and had been hastily reprimanded by the severe woman escorting him. When they got the front, the guy gave his name as Beau, and his mother tried to strike up a conversation about the seminar with the registration guy.
“Well, I hope to learn a lot too! I need to make sure my son Beau here isn’t getting any devilish ideas at this seminar of yours.” The woman thrust her hand out for a stamp to get entry, but the registrar shook his head firmly.
“I’m sorry ma’am, it’s a mens-only event. There’s going to be some personal stories shared about deviance. One doesn’t want to offend the fairer sex. I can get the Reverend Michaelson to explain if you’d like, but I can’t hold up the line.” With that, he stamped Beau’s hand, looked him in the eye, and said, “Beau, go on in and take a free seat next to someone and introduce yourself, please.”
Beau, grinned, nodded and went in, casually waving goodbye to his mother. She stared, affronted, but then departed in a huff. As she passed, Dixon heard her muttering something about the pain of childbirth and the fairer sex. Dixon took the opportunity to keep the line moving and stepped up to the registrar.
“Dixon Welles, from the Young Conservatives club at the U.” he offered, peeking into the room. It was mostly full up, they should be starting soon. Now that he’d seen a few of the other guys, he was a little more comfortable. He’d been to plenty barnstorming sermons about remaining chaste in the face of temptation, and even if they hadn’t exactly stuck, he wasn’t going to be sitting with a bunch of queers who might try to hit on him.
“Ah, got you right here.” the registrar looked up from the list, smiled, then held out his hand. Dixon shrugged, then held out his wrist as the registrar carefully dabbed the unusually ornate bronze stamp in a tiny pad of ink.
“Whoa, that’s quite a stamp.” Like most young men looking for a higher calling in life, he had a taste for tasteful things. This was no cheap plastic stamp, repurposed for a morning before it went back to sitting on a dusty shelf. It was a six-inch cylinder, with rings of tiny etchings on it and a wooden handle that looked dark and expensive. The registrar looked at it curiously, then up at him with a sly smile.
“Yeah, the one the conference had just wouldn’t hold ink. I had this leftover from another thing a while ago and decided to use it instead.” the registrar delicately pressed the cool metal to Dixon’s wrist, and he felt a slight shiver as the ink caught. When the stamp pulled away, there was an intricate little design that read … OBEDIENT in bright red ink, with the O forming the edge of the circle then with each subsequent letter curling inwards in a spiral. “Don’t let that smudge.”
“Yessir.” Dixon blurted, still staring at it. He looked up at the registrar, whose smile had broadened to a grin.
“Go on in and take a free seat next to someone, and introduce yourself.” the registrant waved him in, and Dixon rushed inside, searching for a seat. He was obedient, after all. The thought seemed intrusive, like a shirt that was just a little too tight at the shoulders to be comfortable, or pants that pinched at a seam. By the time he sat down next to Beau and introduced himself, the discomfort with it slipped away. After another minute or so, a slender, mousy man in a buttoned shirt and slacks sat next to him, introducing himself as Eli.
All the other men were making small talk about anything other than the topic of the seminar they were there. A bunch of strangers stuck in a room together to talk about deviance? Not something anyone would want to own up to visiting, no matter how obligatory. Finally, the registrar closed the door, letting a loud click resonate through the room. The Reverend stepped up to the lectern, tapped the mic, and summoned their attention.
“Settle down, boys.” Everyone did, the room falling quiet with eerie speed. Dixon was surprised - he’d been in plenty of crowded classrooms, meeting halls, and the like - but didn’t mind. He was just being obedient, after all. Everyone else was too, which made it easier, but he felt a slight pinch at the back of his mind, like a paperclip stuck on the nape of his neck. “I’m going to start this session, but most of it is going to be headed by the gentleman who marked you in. You’re to listen to him and obey him, and only him, while you’re here.”
With that, the clerk stepped up to the stage, and whispered something in the reverend’s ear. The pastor’s face went a little slack, like he was focusing on something, then he smiled, waved at them all, and walked off stage to the corner, where he picked up a pair of headphones, put them on, and went into the corner … and just stood there.
This, finally, was enough for Dixon to be alarmed. Why on Earth would the Reverend turn it over to someone else, and then go stand in the corner? He wanted to stand up and demand answers, but … he couldn’t. He’d been told to sit down, and settle down, and he was obedient.
“This is weird, isn’t it?” Dixon whispered to Beau and Eli. For a second he was mortified that he’d spoken at all - he’d been told to settle down, and he was obedient - but then the others joined him in quiet, respectful chatter.
“It’s kinda fucked up, yah.” Beau whispered back over a deep-fried Southern accent. “Who is this guy?”
“What’s up with the Reverend?” Eli tried to peer past the guys ahead of them to get a better look, but just like the rest he was firmly seated and wasn’t going to get up. They’d been told to settled down, after all. “I… can’t stand up, can I? Can you guys?”
“I feel like I have to … Obey.” Dixon answered, thickly. He hadn’t … always been obedient, right? But he was now, he was sure of that. The strange pinching at the back of his neck intensified, then eased. He just had to follow instructions, be obedient, and he’d be fine. “Whoa, that feels weird.”
Up at the lectern, the registrar cleared his throat to get their attention.
“I know you have questions, but you will be patient for the next ten minutes and avoid talking to each other.” Dixon felt that a new grip on his mind, like something didn’t fit right, but then all his concerns seemed to slide off to rest somewhere in the back of his mind, where he didn’t have to worry about them, at least for the next ten minutes. He didn’t know why, exactly, but that grip on his mind held him like a kitten clamped firmly in its mother’s mouth. Patience for ten minutes.
“I know you thought you were coming here to learn about …. deviance, and presumably a few things about making life terrible for people who have different lifestyles than you do.” A bunch of people shifted around uncomfortably at the censure in his tone. Dixon even felt himself flushing a little with discomfort. The guy sounded like all those feminists and queers who protested and held sit-ins on campus in the Free Speech zones, with a tone dripping in haughty derision. How dare this guy judge them for not wanting deviants in their midst? After all, that’s why they were here in the first place, right?
“Instead, I want you to think hard about your own history, behavior, and feelings. Consider this to be part of an … extended exercise and meditation. Please think about behaviors you consider sinful, or that you’re ashamed of - things you don’t want to admit to your mother or …” he looked over at the Reverend, who was still standing quietly in the corner, wearing headphones. "… or your clergy. Think about sex. Deviance. Drugs. Loose women - or men. Fantasies, wet dreams, daydreams, and temptations. Let them come to mind and form them up in your head like the list of things you’d want St. Peter to not have in his book for you at the Pearly Gates.“
Dixon found himself uncomfortably shuffling through his worst memories. There was that time he’d whupped his cousin for playing with his older sister’s makeup. And … well, he’d fornicated, even before going to college, but in the libertine environment of a secular college his clean-cut and put-together demeanor was a real chick magnet for girls looking to get their MRS on their way out the door. He’d strung them along and played them against each other, and never brought one home to his parents. And … the sin of Onan, too, more than a few times, always ashamed of himself as he cleaned up his mess after. Once his roommate had come home early and burst in on him, and in the shock and surprise he’d … creamed all over himself at the thought of his friend watching.
Looking up, he realized everyone was thinking about things like that, shifting uncomfortably in their chairs and giving each other curious, blushing looks. The registrar beamed at them, surveying the little hall carefully before he resumed.
“Very good, boys. Now, ignore my order from before about sitting down, and stand up in place.” The last two words froze a number of young men who had turned to make a break for the door. “None of you will consider leaving this room, or communicating with anyone outside of this room about what proceeds here. You will not hurt me, and you will not resist me while you are in this room, or until I tell you otherwise. Do not feel panic or alarm in this room because of anything I do, or anything I tell you to do.”
Dixon felt his shock and dismay melt away, leaving only a strange unease. Sure, he didn’t want to be here, but he couldn’t leave or do anything about it now. He felt his mind reaching idly for the frantic plans and ideas that had suddenly died off in his head as the clerk had spoken, like scratching on the plexiglass of a terrarium. The registrar looked around at the group of men, now standing in front of their chairs with various looks of confusion or simple dumb surprise at each other. The look on Eli’s face was dumbfounded, and next to him Beau’s eyes were wide with confusion and his chest was heaving in deep breaths.
“Now, remember the things I asked you to think about, and think of a time in the next 24 hours when you will be free for one hour or more to visit me privately here in the hotel. When I tell you I am done speaking for now, you will form an orderly line, come up to the front area here. There’s a book where you will write your name, phone number, the time or times that you are free, and a short description of a few words summarizing the things you were ashamed of when I asked you to remember them.” Once more, the clerk surveyed the room, then took a contented sigh before resuming. “You are not to remark on anything you see, hear, or do while you’re in here, and can comment that it was tedious but not too boring, or similar sentiments, if it discourages interest in what occurred. I am done speaking for now.”
With that, everyone shuffled in to the aisles in an orderly line. Dixon found himself fishing his phone out to check his calendar and confirm the rest of his schedule. Even with the texting app right there, he found no interest whatsoever in telling someone to come rescue him or help them - the disobedience of it felt suddenly alien and terrifying, even though some lonely voice in the back of his brain reminded him that he’d been disobedient before, in the past, and it had even felt good. Like the time he’d been grounded, but snuck out his window to run in the moonlight, just to get away and be free, for an hour. Or the time he’d made love to Bessy Simpson in a meadow, among the grass and sunshine, even though their parents had expected them both to wait for marriage. But somehow, those memories weren’t right; they were like specimens trapped in amber, things that had happened to someone else, even though he knew he’d been there and remembered every vivid detail.
Standing behind Beau’s broad shoulders he felt himself becoming content with that disconnect. He was being obedient, so anything he did in obeying was right. Anything he believed, in the course of obeying, would make sense eventually, because he was Obedient. When the other man leaned forward to write out his details in the book, Dixon made eye contact with the registrar, who had settled down on the edge of the stage, lounging with his back against the lectern. He gave a saucy smirk as Beau put the pen down and moved back to his seat.
Picking up the pen, he leaned down to write out his confessions. He found the line right below Beau’s, and even as he wrote out ’Fornication, adultery, masturbation, exhibition," he couldn’t help but read Beau’s entry in shaky script: ‘nudism, impure thoughts, and onanism.’ He felt betrayed, shocked, even though he knew his own transgressions were probably worse. But to be obedient, he wouldn’t react to what he’d seen. Surely … well, Beau and Eli and all the rest had been given the same orders, and everyone was obedient. They wouldn’t react either, but he felt something mortifying rising in his chest all the same.
When he got back to their seats, Beau gave him a guilty, hangdog look with haunted eyes. When Eli returned, Dixon understood: Eli had seen what he’d written, just as he’d read Beau’s entry. As the seats filled up again, the registrar drew himself back up onto the stage and fiddled with the microphone.
“Very good boys, well done.” the man said, spinning an ornate pen with one hand. It reminded Dixon of the stamp at the entrance book - all dark wood and bright metal, intricate and arcane. “Now, however doing that made you feel, you’re going to become aroused now.”
Panic rose for a second, then subsided as he remembered the earlier order not to panic. His pants were uncomfortably tight, and a frantic glimpse at Beau and Eli showed they were surprised and tensed up too. Very tensed up - just as he could feel his own cock firming up, he could see the other two were filling their pants.
“Now, you may feel uncomfortable about this, but you’re going to obey as if you were aroused naturally.” the clerk continued, almost bored. “Remove your clothes, including your underwear, and pile it up on your chair. If you want to look at the other men here as they get undressed, you will do so with appreciation, instead of shame or judgement, and if you find other men looking at you, you’ll enjoy the attention.”
Dixon immediately reached for his belt and started stripping off. Next to him Beau was well ahead, and the memory of the word ‘nudism’ in an untidy scrawl leapt to mind as the burly young man slipped off his button-up in a fluid movement and kicked off his shoes. He found himself admiring Beau’s bulky form, wide shoulders framing muscles that flexed easily under a layer of padding. It was clear why he enjoyed being naked; he looked good without clothes. Dixon started a bit, surprised at the thought, but as he pulled his own pants down he remembered that appreciating the other man’s body was part and parcel of obeying the instructions they’d all been given.
Still, he found himself a bit surprised when he caught Eli openly ogling him. After their eyes met Dixon flicked his eyes down to break eye contact to find himself appreciating a lean, surprisingly hairy chest leading directly to a cock that was fully erect, foreskin retracted, and trickling precum like a leaky faucet. There was apprehension, but then … a sliver of enjoyment from Eli’s attention. After all, he’d been told to appreciate that attention, and he was obedient.
After a moment of shuffling around and getting clothes piled up, the clerk and the preacher were the only ones wearing clothes. The preacher was still standing in the corner, and the registrar was openly ogling the room full of naked men. Once he’d satisfied himself that everyone had followed instructions, the clerk snapped his fingers for their attention again - a lot of eyes had wandered, and Dixon found his own were among them. God, what the other Young Conservatives would have said if they’d seen him now, buck naked and staring appreciatively at the wall of masculine flesh around him.
“Now, step out of the chairs here and arrange yourselves shoulder to shoulder. Yes, like that, very good, and make a loop so you’re all next to two other people.” Dixon watched as the clerk puppeteered them into a simple circle all around the room. He found himself comfortably pressed between Beau’s muscular shoulder and the slightly coarse run of Eli’s dark forearm hair. They shared a few nervous looks, only occasionally peeking down to leer at each others’ still-firm erections. Looking up was both better and worse - a wall of naked men, at all stages of arousal, jockeying into position. Better, because they were far away, and he couldn’t make out details - and worse, because he found himself wanting to appreciate those details. Once they were all lined up, the registrar stepped back up to the podium and got their attention again. “Excellent. Very obedient, men.”
A little shiver of pleasure rippled through every naked man’s body at the word, and the clerk smiled as he watched it happen. Some gasped, others just trembled, and next to him Beau seemed to flex his entire body at once, like a spring suddenly put under pressure.
“Now, take your right hand and gently put it on the penis of the man next to you.” Like it was being pulled by an invisible string, Dixon felt his hand come to rest on the root of Beau’s cock just as a firm warmth wrapped around his own penis. “Now, I want you each to make the man to your right cum. Once you’ve cum, you can clean yourself and your mess up, put on your clothes, and leave. When you leave, you’ll be unable to discuss what happened here unless you’re with me or one of the other people you recognize as being naked right now. You won’t be able to discuss or record your impressions with anyone who isn’t here.”
The room had a number of halfhearted pumps going on, but it was clear that everyone was a bit shy even if their cocks weren’t. After a second, the registrar seemed to figure it out then added: “You can’t leave until you cum. The longer it takes you to cum, the more men you’ll have to help get off - because once they’re done, the circle will just get smaller.”
With that, Dixon felt the warm tension on his cock take a different tenor - Eli’s grasp growing more sure, more confident as his wrist began to pump back and forth and his thumb circled the folds and tip of his penis. Dixon tried to replicate it for Beau, but it was clear Eli was operating on a different level entirely. Next to him Beau gasped, eyes wide and staring down at Dixon’s hand as it rolled up and down spreading precum liberally along his entire girth.
To his surprise, he felt a red-hot hand gripping his ass, and he looked down to see Beau ’s free hand clenching at him like a man on the verge of collapse. “Fuck. Dude, fuck.” Beau whispered. His hand squeezed the muscles of Dixon’s ass, and it made blood rush all over the place. He could feel his nipples firming up for some reason. Fuck, he’d never live this down. This was the first time he’d ever touched another man’s cock; been touched by other men - two other men - he was straight, but he was obedient, and he’d been told to enjoy this. And God help him, he was enjoying it, and … maybe not just because he was obedient to the instructions. He’d never be able to look another member of the Young Conservatives Club in the eye. But if he didn’t cum - if he didn’t help Beau cum - if they didn’t cum they’d … fuck! He was obedient, he’d make it happen. And he couldn’t deny the admiration for the other man’s raw physicality next to him.
“I know, right?” He whispered back, the smooth, sensuous roll of Eli’s hand yanking him out of his reverie. The slender guy was rolling his hand up and down in smooth, confident loops that polished the knob of his cock then stroked down in even, tantalizing thrusts that left his balls churning. “And Eli, man.”
“I just … damnit.” Eli interjected, fruitlessly thrusting his hips in the air. The guy on his left was awkwardly groping at the wiry man’s crotch without much of an idea of how to stroke a cock to completion. Judging by how he was staring at his own cock like it was an alien suddenly grafted to his crotch, Eli was in for a long ride before he got off. “I gotta nut, man, I gotta.”
“I know, I know.” Dixon whined, feeling Beau shuddering in ecstasy next to him. The bulky Southerner was flushed in the chest and breathing in shuddering breaths, his left hand clenched hard on Dixon’s ass. “I … fuuuuuck.”
Beau groaned, his thighs trembling, and Dixon felt a pulse of heat and wetness against his palm as the other man clenched at his ass like a man holding on for dear life. The sound of his stroke pumping Beau’s cock became soppy, slick; the warmth was cum. Some part of him was disgusted, but the rest of him felt like a superhero; somehow able to bring this huge man to the edge of his self-control and then push him beyond, and the evidence of it was all over his hand for all to see. Eli groaned next to him, and a glance confirmed he was panting with obvious lust at the sight of Beau cumming into Dixon’s hand. Some distant part of him felt like he should be angry or mad at Eli, but the feeling on the man’s hand on his cock and the need to be obedient to the instructions kicked it away mercilessly.
Beau wasn’t the first man to pop off, apparently, but he was the slowest to get dressed. He stumbled once or twice while cleaning himself off, staring back at Dixon from time to time with a confused but thoughtful look on his face. By the time he’d got dressed and left, Eli’s steady crank on Dixon’s shaft was becoming a slow, sensuous massage along the blunt head of his cock, with fingers trailing bush and balls in long, easy loops. Dixon realized he was enjoying it; more than that, Eli obviously was too. His own cock was being handled by a more experienced hand now, a tanned Latino guy who was looking at them both with admiration as a short, muscular guy next to him furiously cranked at him. But Eli’s eyes were fixed on Dixon’s root, only occasionally - and almost, fearfully - flicking up to track Dixon’s admiration at the ripples of pleasure running through his body.
Another cock made its way into his own right hand, but all Dixon could do was revel in the feeling of Eli’s firm, gentle pump along his cock, rippling up along the corona of his head then sliding down to cup at his balls before returning back up. He could practically feel the other man’s gaze on him, the adoration of it, like being hefted on a pedestal for worshippers to praise. For just a second, he imagined Eli before him on his knees, reaching up, mouth open and -
With that, he felt his balls roil up and surge, and somewhere far away he felt himself choking down a roar through clenched teeth. The flush of cum through his balls felt like a dam bursting, and even as every muscle in his body slowly eased up, the aftershocks of Eli’s slicked, expert hand on his cock was sending aftershocks through him like waves hitting a beach. Finally the ecstasy of it edged towards pain and he reluctantly took his hand and put it on Eli’s wrist. With a long, slow breath he lifted it off, stepping past - but not before he turned back to look at Eli, who was staring at his ass with open fascination and hunger.
Whatever the strange clerk had done to them, Eli had surrendered to it completely, and Dixon couldn’t blame him - no woman he’d ever fucked had driven him to the heights Beau and Eli had taken him to today, and even as his stomach roiled and his heart clenched with anxiety, he couldn’t deny how freeing it felt to have experienced that with them. They’d all cummed together - the acrid-bleach smell was sifting into the air with the more familiar scents of sweat and men. And they’d all seen each other naked, all shared this … obedience. It felt like how he’d imagine a frat rush to end, with a found brotherhood bound together by something they’d never be able to talk about again, even though it had made them all closer, in an instant.
He awkwardly wiped the cum and sweat off himself using his undershirt, letting it grow damp with his own cum and the residue of Beau’s as he felt his body cool and ease from the exertions it had fought for in their grand circlejerk. He held the rag in his hand, staring at it for a solid minute before he realized he was stark naked in front of a bunch of other men, and that he could now leave freely.
He haphazardly and hastily dressed himself, rushing for the door, but found himself stopping as he reached it - he couldn’t give any impression of what had really happened here, and he was obedient to that order. So he took a second to straighten up, tuck in his shirt, settle his belt, and lace his shoes properly. He even helped another guy settle his collar around his tie before exchanging tense nods and slipping out the door.
Dixon drifted up to his hotel room, totally indifferent to the convention around him as he numbly wandered towards the little suite the stipend had paid for. He could take transit back to his dorm room, get away, leave - but he knew he wouldn’t. The gnawing reality of the pleasure he’d felt and how wrong it should have felt was eating him alive, he sat on the bed and stared at himself in the mirror until he let out a strangled scream and stood up to pace.
The ping of his cell phone brought him out of his reverie - a text message. Trembling, he unlocked the phone and stared at the message there:
“Dixon, come to room 1301 tonight at 7pm. Make excuses if anyone asks why you have plans. Be Obedient to me, like I ordered this afternoon. - Adam.”