Time to snuggle up on the cum couch and completely lose yourself in the pleasures of a seductive page-turner. This season, I'm gushing over three photo books, two fictional paperbacks, a couple works of non-fiction, and a favorite zine.
This book made me gay: A Woman Looks at Men’s Buns by Christie Jenkins, first printed in 1980 is a square format, black-and-white photo book featuring lots of ass — mostly clothed, but also some nudes. It was the kind of gift book women friends would pick up for each other at Spencer’s. Ms. Jenkins mixes knowns and unknowns quite effortlessly (she also did a calendar), which features the butts of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sonny Bono, Bjorn Borg, David Cassidy, Randy Gardner and The Dallas Cowboys, as well as various dudes from the less glamourous walks of life, like bartenders, builders, and exotic dancers.
I haven’t actually touched a copy of Alvin Baltrop: The Piers from Spanish publishing house TF Editores. But I’m expecting black and white photography of the sunbathers, trannies, hustlers, and homosexuals who frequented the dilapidated buildings from West 59th Street down to Tribeca in Manhattan during the seventies and eighties. Baltrop, who died in 2004, was a sailor who returned from Vietnam to document the scene. Glenn O’Brien wrote the foreword.
The book which I have most enjoyed in preparation for this book review feature is for sure College Dive Bar, 1 AM by Natty Soltesz from Go Deeper Press, which exceeds at being comical and a huge turn-on at the same time. The chapter titles are loaded too: ‘Bros Before Hos’ (I, II and III), ‘What She Said’, ‘Total Sausage Fest’ and ‘History of a Couch’ among others. As far as I know, Natty is the only author on the list to have his work adapted for pornography, by Joe Gage no less. Come back to BUTT this Friday to read one of Natty’s true encounters in Sex Reviews.
In 1985 Boyd McDonald, the guy who started Straight to Hell: Manhattan Review of Unnatural Acts, wrote a very queer book of film criticism called Cruising the Movies: A Sexual Guide to Oldies on TV. It’s been reprinted by Semiotext(e), with a new introduction by William E. Jones, and is both a book about gay film and a book about gay reviewing. McDonald could probably have reviewed a loaf of bread and engaged his readers. If it’s not already on the syllabus, it should be.
The now-classic Gay Semiotics: A Photographic Study of Visual Coding Among Homosexual Men has been republished by gallery Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles. I heard about the reprint from Conor Donlon who would occasionally have vintage copies in one of his excellent London shops, Donlon Books. Now everybody can get their hands on a facsimile of the original (or limited edition hardcover) which contains all twenty-four images of Fischer’s 1977 photographic series of the same name.
Author Gary Indiana’a memoir I Can Give You Anything But Love recounts key moments in his life, with every other chapter or so returning to Havana (where I imagined the author to be hiding out at this very moment). The man in his mid-sixties is a lesson to us all — turns out it’s never too late to be a total slut. Indiana delights in the anti-puritanism of the Communist island. Okay the food sounds bland, but the pingueros (one suitor described as ‘an encyclodedia of carnal knowledge’) seem to something out of a real life porn flick.
Morrissey’s first stab at fiction List of the Lost from Penguin Fiction won Literary Review’s twenty-third annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2015 for this scene: ‘At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.’
The latest issue of Little Joe is just what its dedicated fan base has been waiting for. Generous and girthy at two hundred and forty pages, printed with black and purple spot color inks on tactile, uncoated paper with soft cover, it’s an attractive package. This fifth issue features a good mix of subjects and contributors such as: Desiree Akhavan, Abdellah Taïa, Kenneth Anger — they even convinced Hollywood royalty Tab Hunter to recommend his favorite films in the well-designed Video Library feature. It comes with some adorable temporary tattoos drawn by Mike Kuchar, especially for lovers.