Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Still Tight in East Lansing

When straight women's sex lives resemble gay men's, I'm always interested. Right now I'm reading The Sexual Life of Catherine M., an erotic memoir of a French woman who had a lot of sex—49 penises in a ten-year period which she could put a face to, but orders of magnitude greater for faceless phalluses (if I may be permitted the oxymoron)—and have just finished Toni Bentley's The Surrender, wherein a ballerina finds liberation, sexual and otherwise, by getting sodomized 298 times by "A Man". Unfortunately, it turns out, she was just dealing with daddy issues. All very reminiscent of Norman Mailer's all-time camp classic "The Time of Her Time" (a short story first published in his 1959 Advertisements for Myself).

The [!?] sexual revolution, it has been said, will have occurred when most straight men want to get pegged. On the basis of the latest episode of HBO's Girls (a younger and grittier Sex in the City) we're a ways off. Hannah is back in East Lansing from NYC, visiting her parents. She hooks up that night with Eric a cute pharmacist she knew in high school six years ago. They're under the blankets, near naked, making out:

HANNAH:  What's your favorite part?
ERIC:  Of what?
H:  Of fucking me?
E:  Don't know, I haven't done it yet.

[More making out, by which time Eric sheds the boxers he went down under the blankets with!]

ERICH:  What are you doing?
HANNAH:  Uhmm …
E:  Please don't put your finger in my asshole!
H:  You weren't telling me what it was that you wanted at all so I was just trying to guess what you wanted. You're allowed to just tell me what it is you want.
E (very patiently):  I just want to have … sex.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Benevento Head

                  always disponible, always open
to what the world had to offer, but always reserved,
  always sure—a little too sure—of his own innocence.

—and for more of which, the Louvre.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Moveable Feast

We have been meeting at the Tenleytown Branch Library but next week—May 16—we will meet at the American Foreign Service Association at 2101 E St NW (near the Foggy Bottom Metro on the Blue and Orange Lines).

We are an open and public group. That means our meetings are publicly posted and open to whoever shows up. To the best of my knowledge that makes us unique in the nation as a private (i.e. non-institutional) book club (gay or otherwise). We have met (if memory serves) at Cybercafe, Midi, Sparky's, Books-A-Million, Cleveland Park B.L., Capitol Hill Starbucks, and the Sumner School. We meet where the winds blow us and we find safe haven. We're always on the lookout for new places (Metro-accessible). Please keep your eyes peeled and clue us in on any potential venues!

Happy Birthday to Us!

This month BookmenDC (nee BoysnBooks) marks its 13th birthday as an organization. We started meeting in 1999, making us the D.C. area's oldest continuously-operating gay book group, and one of the longer-operating GLBT social organizations in the area. Definitely a milestone worth celebrating!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Brown Pudding

Allan Bennett's The Habit of Art, which we discussed a few months ago, occasioned this reflection by acclaimed novelist and critic Philip Hensher on their relationship (Auden & Britten's), ostensibly the play's central theme. Hensher's essay will be interesting to anyone interested in either Auden or Britten—more generally librettists and composers—as well as the play itself. Even the half-awake reader will discover why I have come across it so late (and yet still recommend it).

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sweet Tooth

Serena finds a new boy friend, Jeremy, who is "attentive and skillful, and could keep going for as long as I wanted, and beyond." Perplexingly, however, he never comes. This poses a secret for her … and us. Careers separate them and a few months later she receives "a tender, regretful letter to say that he had fallen in love with a violinist he'd hear playing a Bruch concerto one evening at the Usher Hall, a young German from Düsseldorf with an exquisite tone, especially in the slow movement. [Notice how this is spun out.] His name was Manfred." So much for Jeremy in Ian McEwen's extract in the April 30th issue of The New Yorker from his forthcoming novel Sweet Tooth (does anyone remember Yves Navarre?). It should have come as no surprise since the story is in the first-person—Serena's—but I was disappointed enough to put it down. Still keep thinking of Jeremy, however, and his "sharply angled pubic bone" which made intercourse so painful that he resorted to a folded towel to pad the SAPB with. Hmm, Manfred—I wonder if he had any problem with it.

Gay Nobel Laureates

And no, not asking after Dag Hammarskjöld or other worthies, rather Nobel Laureates in Literature. Came up last night when we wondered who the first GNLIL was—more sharply the first out GNLIL. This question obviously depends on what we mean by "gay" and "out". My candidates, in chronological order, after a brief flip-thru on my iPhone, were: Thomas Mann (1929), André Gide (1947), and Patrick White (1973). Enumerate and/or discuss!