Tariq raised a single slender eyebrow, his face a picture of amused bewilderment. "Really?" he said, sounding so surprised that Caden almost thought it was an act. "It's a total dealbreaker?" Caden wasn't exactly shocked by the response to the somewhat... emphatic... opinion he'd just stated; six months of dating in his new hometown had taught him the hard way that trying to find a boyfriend who hadn't fallen for Revolution's creepy new sex doll scam was just about impossible. Especially not in a city where they were the single largest employer.
Still, Tariq had been smart and funny and charming all evening... and his tight shirt outlined a set of abs that Caden couldn't stop sneaking glances at... so he decided to persevere even in the face of the early warning signs of another convert to the Cult of Boys(tm). "Absolutely," he replied, giving Tariq just enough of a smile to let him know that he wasn't upset at being asked while still making it totally clear that he wasn't joking even a little. "I used to put it in my profile, but I got too many 'replies' that were just people trying to convince me how great they were."
Tariq nodded sympathetically, and Caden couldn't help noticing that even his chin looked sexy. He wanted to run his pale fingers over the light brown skin, enjoying the feel of the other man's sharply chiseled features... but patience was a virtue. He sat on his hands instead and listened. "That couldn't have helped," Tariq said thoughtfully, favoring Caden with a dazzling smile. "Nothing makes you sick of something faster than a whole crowd of people who can't wait to tell you what you're missing."
Caden's smile broadened as a wave of gratitude washed through him. "Exactly!" he said, nodding in relief at the thought of someone who finally understood. "Like, I already think the whole thing is borderline fucking creepy. How do all these sex robot fetishists think that swarming me with freaking 'Join... Us...' is going to help?" He winced a little inside at his own comment--he'd probably just come on way too strong just now. Even if Tariq didn't have a Boy, he almost certainly had friends or exes or fuckbuddies who did. He might even have been to one of the 'borgies' that had become the latest sex party trend in San Francisco, although personally all Caden could picture when he saw that word was a bunch of pasty guys wearing smart glasses and nothing else.
Tariq didn't seem dismayed, though. He just patted Caden warmly on the arm and said, "Creepy like how?" Normally that would have been a red flag to Caden--he'd been on too many dates where what started as 'just a few questions' about his dislike for the Boys turned into an agonizingly lengthy debate about the validity of his feelings. But he was already beginning to feel like he could relax around Tariq and share his emotions without getting shut down by the usual techbro intellectual arrogance he found in his current dating pool, and he only hoped that Tariq felt the same spark that he did.
All of which meant that Caden was a little less guarded than usual in answering Tariq's question. "I guess it started with the name, you know?" he said, shifting position to get a little more comfortable. "Like, before I moved out to California, I lived a lot of my extremely closeted life in West Texas, and I heard a lot of people tell me what people like us were like. I'm a little sensitive to anything that suggests I might be attracted to boys by this point." He frowned a little, not really enjoying his walk down Memory Lane, but the warmth of Tariq's hands against his skin felt too good for him to stay unhappy for very long. It was so much nicer to focus on the pleasant things that were happening right now instead of his unpleasant past.
Caden shuddered, dismissing the memory. "And the ad campaigns are just so full of toxic masculinity, you know? They're all about these smug, douchey alpha male types, swaggering around and treating you the way they know you secretly want to be treated. It's just this absolutely unrestrained caveman bullshit, right down to that weird aroma they have that's like someone combined body odor with what teenage boys imagine Axe Body Spray makes them smell like. I'm not into that. I like someone who's, you know... strong and sensitive." He leaned flirtatiously into Tariq's touch, and was rewarded with a gentle squeeze that made his head practically swim with delight.
Tariq nodded affirmatively, encouraging Caden to continue. "I mean, I didn't hate them, not right away. I thought they were kind of gross and douchey and totally not for me, but I was just, not my kink and nobody's forcing me to buy one, right?" Caden hoped he wasn't dominating the conversation--he just felt so comfortable around Tariq that the words simply tumbled out of him one after another in the sheer joy of talking to someone who seemed to enjoy listening to him. He was almost drunk on conviviality, far more than the two glasses of chablis he'd had back at the wine bar could explain. He was slim, yes, but he wasn't a total lightweight.
Surprisingly, it took Caden a moment to get his thoughts back on track. Tariq's hands must be distracting him more than he realized. He didn't normally think about taking things back to the bedroom on a first date, but.... "Um, so right, so I was going to be all 'live and let live'," he continued, pushing away the momentary preoccupation that had taken hold of him. "But then I dipped my toe into the dating scene, and it was just, wow. Every guy and their brother had a Boy, and all of them wanted to show it off to me. It was like I couldn't cross the threshold of a man's apartment without hearing, 'Would you like to give my Boy(tm) a try?' It was just fucking exhausting."
Caden's eyes widened. "Um, not that I'm not open-minded," he said hurriedly, his mind still half on that 'bedroom' idea that had distracted him a few moments earlier. "It's just that when I do express a limit, I want it to be respected, and even after I started telling guys that no matter how out they were, the Boy needed to stay in the closet, I still had dates trying to sneak their sex robot into things. Literally, in one case. We were making out on the couch and suddenly I felt those weird buzzing hands of theirs rubbing my back." Caden shuddered at the memory.
"I never even had time to get used to the idea, because they were all just so fucking obsessive about it! They were like those people who hand out religious literature on campus or something, always push push push the second they got an opening. It got so bad that the second I got a whiff of that funky man-scent the Boys used, I turned around and walked right back out the door without another word." Thankfully, Tariq's apartment smelled like it had been freshly scrubbed that same afternoon.
"And every time I even fucking mentioned it on social media, I pretty much had to clear my calendar for the rest of the day to argue with dipshits who shilled non-stop for every product Revolution ever made. It was like they'd been adopted as the mascot of financially comfortable gay men in STEM and I was the only guy who hadn't gotten the memo, y'know? Just nonstop mansplaining about how good they are in bed and how magic their fingers are and how they know every sexual technique ever invented and how their ass tastes like freshly-baked cookies and... God. Fucking god." Caden rolled his eyes at the memory. "I was just, 'Look, I don't care how good they are in bed, I can't fucking stand them!'"
Bed. Bedroom. Why did that keep coming up in Caden's brain? Yes, he was considering breaking his 'no sex on the first date' rule, or at least seriously bending it, but there was something vaguely obsessive about the way his mind kept returning to that word. It was seriously distracting, to the point where Caden sat there staring vacantly into space for a full five seconds before he finally recovered his train of thought. "So, um, yeah. That's pretty much it. I thought the robots were creepy the second I saw them, and I thought the fans of the robots were even worse. I actually started a Facebook group about it, 'Wouldn't You Rather Have a Man Than a Boy?' It's got seventy-five members."
Tariq chuckled. "I know, I saw it. I thought about joining, but I tend to keep my social media profile pretty clean. You never know who's going to go combing through your feed, you know?" Caden nodded absently--he'd thought about checking out his prospective date's history, but it felt a little weird to be vetting his potential boyfriends like a nosy employer doing a background check. Nothing was creepier than someone who knew things about you that you didn't tell them because... because they looked you up... online... Caden blinked, his mental circuitry momentarily crossing a few wires as he tried to focus on several things all at once.
Bed. "It was very informative, though. I was really interested to read about what all those other men did when they were pushing their Boys(tm) onto you." Bedroom. "Walking them right up to you, telling them to sneak up on you from behind, getting them to flood the room with aerosolized lubricant to pacify you." Caden was thinking about going to the bedroom with Tariq. "All those crude, forceful methods, and all they did was make you wary and put you on your guard." Caden was thinking about going to the bedroom with Tariq, but... but... but wasn't he sitting on Tariq's bed right now?
Caden almost looked down then. He very nearly glanced at Tariq's hands to see just where they were caressing his pale, sensitized skin and what they were doing that kept sending surges of warm, drifting pleasure through his body. Instinct made him attempt to look around, hoping that the sight of the bedroom would help him reconstruct the exact chain of events that led him to wind up there in the first place. But his eyes simply refused to move. They were locked onto Tariq's smiling face, his deep brown eyes, and... no. They weren't. They were looking right past all that.
Caden only saw Tariq in his peripheral vision. His gaze remained firmly fixed on the far wall, and the floor-length mirror that hung next to the dresser. He couldn't stop looking away from that mirror and the view it reflected. It was nothing particularly interesting, just the half-open door to the closet behind them... but as Caden slowly began to pay attention to the way his eyes were utterly captivated by the darkness behind that door, he began to notice the two faint, flickering lights that floated at head height in the shadows.
"We really need to thank you," Tariq purred, his voice a hoarse growl of smoldering lust as his fingers roamed over Caden's naked body. Caden wondered briefly where his clothes had gone, but the thought disappeared in a puff of arousal almost before it could form. "You did such a good job of detailing all the possible mistakes we could make that you practically trained us in the methods of capturing you. No tell-tale musk. No obvious signs of a Boy(tm)'s presence. No verbalizing our loyalties until we were sure that you'd been fully exposed to the visual displays. They've been running on low power, but that just meant you needed a little bit more time to sink into the pretty lights, didn't you?"
Caden nodded. He didn't really know why he was nodding, but it seemed like the right thing to do when Tariq asked him a question. The relaxed, convivial feeling that had earlier loosened his tongue so readily now left him far too drowsy to speak. Nothing could break its grip, not even when the closet door swung open to reveal a dark gray Boy watching him with softly glowing eyes. Not even when it stepped forward, its approach visible to Caden only in the mirror, and reached around behind him to play with his nipples. Not even Tariq's voice, murmuring, "That's right. All you want to do now is be a good boy for your Boy(tm). No more silly posts scaring people away from the wonderful pleasure waiting for them, isn't that right?" Another nod. Caden didn't know how to stop anymore.
The lights in the Boy's eyes brightened, flickering and pulsing until Caden went limp in the strong embrace of those sculpted muscles. Caden's cock throbbed in Tariq's hand, drooling precum onto the other man's fingers as they stroked firmly but carefully. As they loosened every single one of Caden's thoughts so that they could vanish into the drowsy brilliance that captured his gaze. They lowered him into a supine position, and Caden's whole body melted into the mattress as he opened himself up deeper and deeper to the pleasure that they poured into him. He didn't want to think anymore. It seemed like a foolish desire, eagerly abandoned in favor of the bliss of surrender to Tariq's Boy(tm).
"And when we're all done and you've got a Boy(tm) of your own," Tariq said, punctuating every pause with a kiss on Caden's stiff cock, "you can help us find all of your friends in that Facebook group of yours, can't you? It's not their fault that they hate Boys(tm). They just don't understand what they're missing out on yet. They don't understand how much they want to stop thinking and obey." Caden saw the Boy(tm)'s shaft out of the corner of his eye, long and hard and perfectly sculpted to turn him on. It dripped with musk, and Caden took a deep breath as he finally realized just how wonderful that scent truly was.
"But you do." Tariq's other hand cupped Caden's balls, gently caressing them until the helpless young man drifted into a plateau of pleasure that only awaited permission to orgasm to become total. "You know that you're a good boy now like me, only thinking the thoughts you're allowed to think. Serving our Masters. Floating in a sea of perfect, mindless bliss under the control of your Boy(tm). It's all you want, all you can even remember wanting. Isn't that right, good boy?"
Caden tried to answer. But his mouth was suddenly, blissfully far too full to talk, and he had to settle for a groan of arousal in response. But somehow, he knew that the Boy(tm) whose cock was fucking his face understood exactly what he meant.