It began in 2008, when Jason went to get his hair cut at Bumble and Bumble. The stylist’s assistant was cute, and Jason asked if the cute assistant could wash his hair. The assistant, who was Benny (he’d quit Starbucks), agreed, and the two exchanged numbers. That night, Benny went over on the pretext of meeting Jason’s dogs and wound up spending the night. He woke up the next morning to find Jason’s boyfriend, Adrian, shirtless in the kitchen cooking eggs. Jason had already left for work. Adrian, who is almost satanically good-looking, was polite to the stranger on his couch. Benny was intimidated by Adrian and didn’t know what to do, so he ate a plate of eggs and went home.
At that point, Jason, who is 40 and from a conservative southern background, and Adrian, 32 and from a non-ritzy L.A. neighborhood, had been together for nine years. They had property and savings together, as well as a permissive sexual relationship. Benny’s affiliations were precisely the opposite. He was squatting in an abandoned building, had no clear ambitions, no career, and no serious relationships, past or present. He was unmoored—and, being 21 years old, happily so.
A week after their first date, Benny and Jason hung out again, and this time Adrian joined in. “I’ve had three-ways where there are limbs everywhere and it’s really awkward,” Benny remembers. “You come out of it like, ‘God, that was stressful.’ But not with them.” A sexual relationship began, and continued, and although none of the men can isolate a specific moment when the couple turned into a throuple, there was a point, they all agree, at which everyone became sufficiently in love with each other to give it a name.