Category Archives: GLBT non-fiction

“Milking the Moon: A Southerner’s Story of Life on This Planet” by Eugene Walter, edited by Katherine Clark— Who is Eugene Walter?

milking the moon

Walter, Eugene. “Milking the Moon: A Southerner’s Story of Life on This Planet” (edited by Katherine Clark), Crown, 2001.

Who is Eugene Walter?

Amos Lassen

Like so many others I had never heard of Eugene Walter before someone told me about this book (that was nominated for the National Book Award). I have since learned a great deal about him and what a pleasure it has been. “Eugene Walter [is] the best-known man you’ve never heard of, is an eyewitness history of the heart of the last century—enlivened with personal glimpses of luminaries from William Faulkner and Martha Graham to Judy Garland and Leontyne Price—and a pitch-perfect addition to the Southern literary tradition that has critics cheering”. Walter lived in Mobile, Alabama (where he was born and raised) until he came upon New York’s art scene in the late 1940s. He was them “a ubiquitous presence in Paris’s expatriate café society in the 1950s (where he was part of the Paris Review at its inception); and later, in 1960s Rome, participated in the golden age of Italian cinema. He was somehow everywhere, bringing with him a unique and contagious spirit, putting his inimitable stamp on the cultural life of the twentieth century”.

These anecdotes in this oral biography show Walter’s appreciation of people he likes, and although the narrative is stuffed with famous names from Truman Capote to Leontyne Price, the exuberant protagonist finds less celebrated folks just as fascinating. In Mobile in the 1920s, his front porch was the center of all social life, is just as detailed as his portraits of sojourns in more glamorous enclaves. He said, “I’m just a Southern boy let loose in the big world”.
Walter died in 1998. While he was alive he seemed always to be in pursuit of lively and provocative encounters with interesting people. His stories are wonderful and he was a man who never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Although his stories were based in truth, nothing he told was strictly true.

He surrounded himself with the creative, the artistic, and the beautiful in life, inhabiting the circles of greatness without creating the name for himself that many of his contemporaries did. The book

captures Eugene’s sense of wonder at the world around him, and it reads like a Who’s Who of modern literary life. This is a book that you will not soon forget.

“Stained Glass Windows: The Life and Death of Jimmy Zappalorti: The Hate Crime that Shocked a City and Changed the Law” by Robert Zappalorti— A Hate Crime

stained glass windows

Zappalorti, Robert. “Stained Glass Windows: The Life and Death of Jimmy Zappalorti: The Hate Crime that Shocked a City and Changed the Law” , Words Take Flight Books, 2014.

A Hate Crime

Amos Lassen

In January 1990, two Staten Island men, Michael Taylor and Philip Sarlo, brutally murdered Jimmy Zappalorti and why they did so is shocking. They did not do so for nor for revenge. They murdered Jimmy because he was gay and they hated gay people. Jimmy was beaten and stabbed. They threw his body in the Arthur Kill to hide the crime. But Jimmy was found and humanity rallied around the inhumanity of the murderer who had tried to silence Jimmy because he was gay. Instead they only succeeded in giving a voice to change. The murder brought about outrage among citizens, politicians and the LGBT community and this eventually lead to the signing on July 10, 2000, of The New York State Hate Crimes Bill – the first of its kind in the state.

Author Robert Zappalorti is Jimmy’s brother and he tells Jimmy’s story in his own voice. He had been Jimmy’s protector in life and champion after his death and he has continued to keep Jimmy’s legacy alive by maintaining the fight for LGBT rights. We become aware of several important themes as we read Jimmy’s story—-we get look at what hatred is and what it can do, we learn of expressions of forgiveness, family devotion and the struggles to achieve solidarity, the dedication and the way the police handled the case and coming out of a traumatic situation. This book is more than a recounting of the crime, it is a love story about a family that loves each other and the acceptance of a son who was different.

The Zappalorti family could have been any family and Jimmy could have been my brother or your son. The family is working class and the parents want the best for their children. Jimmy served in the navy in Vietnam and he suffered a nervous breakdown following a brutal attack. When he came home he had two worlds—one with his family in Staten Island and the other with his friends in Greenwich Village. Robert tells us of sorrow and joy of Jimmy’s life and how his family, friends, and neighbors accepted Jimmy for who he was. But there were two murderers living nearby who saw things differently. Nonetheless this is a story about family love, caring, respect, indulgence, and forgiveness. While the crime is about the murder of an innocent man, we see that we should remember Jimmy as “a son, a brother, a musician, a traveler, a stained glass artisan, and a lover of all”.

This a beautiful and inspiring story that we all should read. Jimmy’s death was not wasted but is rather a monument to those who love.

“Murder Most Queer: The Homicidal Homosexual in the American Theater” by Jordan Schildcrout— The Queer as Muderer

murder most queer

Schildcrout, Jordan. “Murder Most Queer: The Homicidal Homosexual in the American Theater” (Triangulations: Lesbian/Gay/Queer Theater/Drama/Performance), University of Michigan Press, 2014.

The Queer as Murderer

Amos Lassen

It is not something we think about on a daily business but the homosexual as villain has long been part of the cultural imagination and it has prospered on the theatre. We find him in many dramas but we now see that as the way society sees the LGBT community today has changed and so has the importance and significance of the controversial characters. This is especially true when gay men play these roles.

This new book examines the changing meanings of murderous LGBT characters in the American theater for the last century and now we see how “these representations wrestle with and ultimately subvert notions of queer villainy”.

Jordan Schildcrout works to show the forces that create the homophobic paradigm that imagines sexual and gender nonconformity as dangerous and destructive. We also see how theater artists–and for the most part LGBT theater artists–have rewritten and/or radically altered the significance of the homicidal homosexual. These   characters are far from being simple reiterations of a homophobic archetype and are complex and challenging characters that recreate “trenchant fantasies of empowerment, replacing the shame and stigma of the abject with the defiance and freedom of the outlaw, giving voice to rage and resistance”. These bold characters also explore the darker anxieties and fears that can affect queer lives and relationships. Rather than having them incarcerated or showing them as negative representations, the book looks at and analyzes the meanings in the murders that they commit and the confrontation of fears and desires that are part of the roles that they play.

“Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men” edited by Robyn Ochs and H. Sharif Williams— An Anthology

recognize

Ochs, Robyn and H. Sharif Williams, editors. “Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men”, Bisexual Resource Center, 2014.

An Anthology

Amos Lassen

This anthology contains short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, reflective essays, critical essays and visual art produced by cisgender and transgender bisexual, pansexual, polysexual and fluid queer men from the United States, Canada, Chile, India, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. There are seventy contributors who range in age from early twenties to mid-seventies. The writings here explore the themes of: identity, challenging labels, liminality, institutions, angst, anger and critique, bodies and embodiment, religion and spirituality, traveling and relationships. This is one of the first, if not the first anthology devoted to what bisexual men have to say and it is very welcome. Bi men don’t have the same kind of support and have to constantly prove themselves and their basic masculinity in ways that others do not have to do. We are very lucky to have these writings by men who have the courage to speak and tell their stories. The book has tremendous diversity and so there is something here for everyone. We learn what it is like to be a bi man and for that alone this book is worthwhile. This is both a powerful and painfully honest look at the real world of what it means to be a bisexual man. The writers here show us that they are resilient, positive and loving.

The nationalities, ethnicities, religions, gender identities and experiences given voice here are as varied as each author. This quite simply tells us that everyone’s bisexuality is unique to the individual, labels and being categorized are unnecessary and what we see here is that the sexual spectrum is very, very broad. While this book is not a call to action, it does, in a sense, call on bisexual men who stand up and be counted. This book is a blessing and it is an essential resource for those looking to have a life experience as a bisexual person. It is also a wonderful resource for those who still question male bisexuality.

“God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi” by John Safran— A True Crime Story

god'll cut you down

Safran, John. “God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi”, Riverhead, 2014.

A True Crime Story

Amos Lassen

Here is the story of an unlikely journalist, a murder case in Mississippi. In 2010, a notorious white supremacist named Richard Barrett was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 2010 by a young black man named Vincent McGee. The first thought that was held by many was that this murder was d a twist on old Deep South race crimes. But then new revelations and complications came to light and maybe, just maybe it was caused by a dispute over money rather than race—or, maybe it was over sex.

 Author John Safran , a young white Jewish Australian documentarian, had been in Mississippi interviewed Barrett for a film on race. When he learned of Barrett’s murder, he returned to find out what happened and became caught up in the twists and turns of the case. During his time in Mississippi, Safran got deeper and deeper into this gothic southern world, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murder. These included white separatist “frenemies”, black lawyers, police investigators, oddball neighbors, stunned families, even the killer himself. The more Safran talked with people, the less simple the crime and the people involved seemed to be. What he discovered in the end was how profoundly and indelibly complex the truth about someone’s lifeand deathcan be.

 Having been raised in the South, I can tell you that there are such deep roots in the South that cannot be shaken. Perhaps that is why I could so easily relate to this story. Had I been raised in Boston where I live now, I doubt that the book would have the same effect on me. Aside from being a journalist, Safran is a jokester. Like I said, he had interviewed Barrett once before and learned that this white supremacist had black blood and this is what opened doors for him. When he heard that Barrett had been murdered, he went back to Mississippi to investigate and get the story of what happened.

Barrett was not a born Southerner; he was in fact a transplant. His belief in racism didn’t originate in a family steeped in the South for generations. He was from New York and his racist views stemmed from the Vietnam War. He also lived in a mostly black neighborhood. There were also rumors that he was secretly gay.

In order to get a cohesive story, Safran had to dig and he uncovered a several scandalous tidbits. However when a writer puts himself into the non-fiction book, there is always a risk of being too cute or too self-involved and what they think can become more important than the subject.

 Richard Barrett was a Ku Klux Klan whose death by multiple stab wounds made for an interesting racial crime, only the author quickly finds out that no one in the white supremacist groups even liked Richard. In fact, Barrett frequently made more trouble for the groups than they wanted. Furthermore, most of the white supremacists found Barrett to be a little creepy and possibly homosexual. Even more puzzling is the fact that most of Barrett’s black neighbors did not know that he was a white supremacist until he died and they had always thought that he was polite.

 The book is an examination of Barrett and the killer whose story keeps changing and who keeps trying to get money out of the author. At this point, the disappointment of not having an easy murder with a neat motivation becomes the story since Vincent could be a hustler or he could be angry over money. The story keeps changing.

I really enjoyed the writing style of this book and Safran’s knowledge of race, nationality, and various religious backgrounds makes this book intriguing and mesmerizing. The story led me to ask questions:

Do we have a personality conflict here? Exactly what went wrong? Why would a White Supremacist have a Black Man working for him? Was there something more that the people didn’t know that was going on behind closed doors between the two? What exactly led to the murder? Was this White Supremacist really a racist? Some of these questions are answered and some are left for us to think about. What exactly led to all of this considering that all was well for a given time and then it turns into a tangled web of a mess; whereas this book itself becomes a real gripping cold blooded murder.

Safran tells us that he hoped the case would go a certain way, and accepts that things were very different than what he’d expected. He was able to look at racial tensions in America from the outside, and write in a way that is neither politically correct or politically charged. He is also annoying and self-adsorbed, albeit in an amusing way. Some of Safran’s methods are questionable, to say the least, but the book is well worth reading – in part, because of the author’s methods and sense of humor.

Here is what other critics are saying:

 “John Safran’s captivating inquiry into a murder in darkest Mississippi is by turns informative, frightening and hilarious. It is enlivened by a swarm of creepy locals and a torrent of astonishing details–such as hedge clippers put to surgical use in the performance of an official autopsy.”—John Berendt, bestselling author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

 “A hilarious and bizarre story that leads where you least expect it. John Safran has for years been one of my favorite journalists – forever pushing the boundaries, funny, startling, a hurricane.” —Jon Ronson, bestselling author of The Psychopath Test and Them

 “Safran’s book will make readers chuckle, fidget, and turn page after page wondering what will happen next as the author looks to find the truth about the murder of a white supremacist by a black man in the Deep South…. This true crime book will stick with readers. Safran does a great job of looking at the murder from multiple perspectives and brings in his own experience learning about the culture, which is in itself a character. For fans of true crime, Southern tales, and books similar to Capote’s [In Cold Blood] and John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”  —Library Journal, STARRED review

 “It’s not often that the retelling of a brutal murder is full of laughs but documentarian and debut author Safran is an entertaining writer… Weaving a tale that is simultaneously about race, failed systems, money, sex, family and simple rage, Safran truly did lose a year in Mississippi, and getting lost with him is a joy.”  —Kirkus, STARRED review

 “[T]his stranger-than-fiction true crime story finds Safran—a white, Jewish documentary filmmaker from Australia—relocating to Rankin County, Miss., to dig deep into the grisly stabbing murder of a 67-year-old white supremacist in April 2010… [A] bizarrely unsettling, yet often witty book that paints a disturbing picture of the deep South today.”  —Publishers Weekly

 “Funny and gripping and wonderfully weird.” —Louis Theroux, BBC journalist

New in December from BRUNO GMUNDER

New in December

ZACK
DEADLY CIRCUS OF DESIRE
Rome 108 AD: A teeming city of splendors and squalor, where millionaires enjoy everything money can buy, while the poor scrabble to survive, their only distractions brutal gladiatorial games and the races of the Circus Maximus. After a chance encounter the lives of two diverse young men intertwine. Streetwise Tullius Rufio and patrician Quintus Alba could not be more different, but events conspire to link them first in friendship, then in desire … Gladiators, chariot racers, and prostitutes clash in this erotic saga of Acient Rome, which turns from a circus of desire to youthful love between two engaging heroes.

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2014/978-3-86787-785-5

240 Pages, english
Softcover, 5 1/4 x 7 1/2 Inches
€ 14,99 / US$ 16,99 / £ 10,99
ISBN 978-3-86787-785-5

GENGOROH TAGAME
FISHERMAN’S LODGE
Gengoroh Tagame is one of the most famous manga artists in the world. He is already mentioned in the same breath as Tom of Finland. Art magazine 032c wrote: “Tom of Finland’s work looks like something out of Disney beside his illustrations.” Fans all over the world worship the masculine eroticism of his elaborate drawings. Following Endless Game and Gunji, Bruno Gmünder publishes his third volume in English in the Gay Manga series. Gay Manga series: Fisherman’sLodge, together with the short stories Confession and End Line.

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2014/978-3-86787-795-4

160 pages, black/white, English, explicit
Softcover with flaps, 6.75 x 9.5 inch
€ 19,99 / US$ 24,99 / £ 19,99
ISBN 978-3-86787-795-4

WINSTON GIESEKE
SLAVE BOYS
Being a slave boy means always having to say you’re sorry. Never making decisions or grappling between right and wrong. Because slave boys always know their place. And whether or not they’re tied down, they feel happily powerless. At times their humiliation is painful, but it always leads to enlightenment. Featuring off-the-cuff tales of men in cuffs—or slings, or collars—Slave Boys is a titillating erotic collection of slaves and masters.

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2014/978-3-86787-788-6

208 pages, english
Softcover, 5 1/4 x 7 1/2 Inches
€ 15,99 / US$ 17,99 / £ 11,99
ISBN 978-3-86787-788-6

Song
BIG IS BETTER 2
Following the huge success of Big is Better, exceptional talent Song releases a second volume in English. He was the comic discovery of the year 2013. His characters Sam, the tender muscle giant, and Pete, the well-endowed boy, are banished from the gay community and the world at large. They find love with one another because of their differences and go through some adventures. Genetically altered males, crazy scientists, terrorists — what is waiting ahead for them?

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2014/978-3-86787-769-5

160 pages, full colour, English, explicit
Softcover, 7 x 9.5 Inches
€ 19,99 / US$ 24,99 / £ 19,99
ISBN 978-3-86787-769-5

Takeshi Matsu
MORE AND MORE OF YOU
Gay manga at its best: Takeshi Matsu’s humorous and highly erotic stories enjoy popularity in Japan andworldwide. Bruno Gmünder publishes his works for the first time in English, making it available to a larger audience.

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2014/978-3-86787-793-0

160 pages, english, black/white, explicit
Softcover, 6.75 x 9.5 Inches
€ 19,99 / US$ 24,99 / £ 19,99
ISBN 978-3-86787-793-0

“My Thinning Years: Starving the Gay Within” by Jon Derek Croteau— Transformation

my thinning years

Croteau, Jon Derek. “My Thinning Years: Starving the Gay Within”, Hazelden, 2014.

Transformation

Amos Lassen

When he was a youngster, Jon Derek Croteau tried to be what his father expected of him. He denied his sexuality as a way to gain love and respect of the man who abused him and with this he developed a deep and internalized homophobia. He really just wanted to disappear. His self-denial resulted in “anorexia, bulimia, and obsessive running, which consumed him as an adolescent and young adult”.

 Jon did not face his sexual identity until his experience with Outward Bound and he continued to do so once he went to college and began to deal with years of repression and anger and his father’s control. This is Jon’s story and it is one of courage and the will to survive. It meant finding a new definition of family, one that was to include friends, relatives and others who supported him as he began to realize and understand who he was. This is a sensitive and sad story that is filled with “pain, alienation and rejection” but it is the story of triumph. Here is “a brutally honest tale of one man’s struggle to understand who he is in the midst of a world that cannot or will not understand.” We quickly see that life is very different for a gay person who comes of age in today’s culture than it is for his straight counterpart.

Jon developed forms of denial – eating disorders, obsessive exercising, and an intense homophobia. During the first part of the book where Jon writes of his childhood and the emotional and physical struggles and the pain he had to deal with caused my eyes to fill with tears more than once. However, when we reach the second part of the book we find hope and love and the tears that flowed this time were different. Jon’s strength and courage are amazing yet there is an intensity to the writing that is truly beautiful to read.

This is not a book just for gay teens accepting themselves , it is a book for the people who love them as well. Here is a book for the world that is quickly changing and for us to understand that love knows no gender or sexuality. Jon Croteau gives a voice to those who have been overlooked and silent for way too long and he does so beautifully. Now at almost forty years old, Jon can look back and write of his journey and we see what a wonderful young man he was and still is today.

 His memories of incidents from his youth will resonate with young people confronting the same situation and it is amazing that he has remained resilient and is able to give an occasional humorous look at his situation.

It will took courage, action, and speaking the truth out loud and hopefully others will follow the lead that Croteau took here. We can only hope that this book will have a part in making others see what many in the LGBT community have had to deal with and that we can all love and accept them as they are.

“Gender in Judaism and Islam: Common Lives, Uncommon Heritage” by Kashani-Sabet, Firoozeh and edited by Beth S. Wegner— So Alike and So Different

gender and islam and judaism

Kashani-Sabet, Firoozeh. “Gender in Judaism and Islam: Common Lives, Uncommon Heritage”, (edited by Beth S. Wenger), NYU Press, 2014.

So Alike and So Different

Amos Lassen

 There are many interrelated characteristics in Judaism and Islam—both are derived from Middle Eastern Cultures and both are text based. They also both traditionally and often exclude women yet we tend to spend time looking at the differences rather than the similarities. Both groups have seen resurgence in orthodoxy of late and both seem to have growing feminist movements that challenge traditions and religious structures. Here in America, both are minorities and each group’s religion is distinctive. Now we see that the time has come to look at the relationships between the two groups by exploring gender.

This volume brings together scholars from both Judaism and Islam and they look at a large variety of topics (see table of contents below) that include

gendered readings of texts, legal issues in marriage and divorce, ritual practices, and women’s literary expressions and historical experiences, along with feminist influences within the Muslim and Jewish communities and issues affecting Jewish and Muslim women in contemporary society. The book is divided into sections (see below) and the author and editor introduce each section.

 Attention is paid to the theoretical innovations that gender scholarship has brought to the study of Muslim and Jewish experiences. I think one of the things that make this book so special is that we do not look at Judaism and Islam as being at odds but rather we reconsider the connections between the two religions instead of them as opposites. We get insights into each of these cultures as well as comparative perspectives that deepen our understanding of both Islam and Judaism.

This is both a compelling and well-needed study that includes wonderful discussions of contemporary feminism as well as information about honor killings and crimes of passion. The articles contained are written by scholars yet in easy to read language and we move beyond stereotypes and politics.

We become aware of the commonalities and differences among Jewish and Muslim women along with gendered aspects of their religious and cultural experiences. This is a study that brings a dialogue to the fields of Islamic and Jewish Studies into a rich dialogue and because the emphasis is on shared histories and intersecting paths, we see new ways of understanding complexities in the lives of Muslims and Jews, both in the past and in the present.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction– Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet and Beth S. Wenger

Part I. Comparative Perspectives 13

  1.  Jewish and Muslim Feminist Theologies in Dialogue: Discourses of Difference— Susannah Heschel
  2.  Jewish and Islamic Legal Traditions: Diffusions of Law— Amira Sonbol

Part II. Limits of Biology:
Bodily Purity and Religiosity

  1. Scholarly versus Women’s Authority in the Islamic Law of Menstrual Purity— Marion Katz
  2. Gender Duality and Its Subversions in Rabbinic Law— Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert
  3. Gender and Reproductive Technologies in Shia Iran— Soraya Tremayne

Part III. Crimes of Passion:
Formative Texts and Traditions

  1.  Not a Man: Joseph and the Character of Masculinity in Judaism and Islam— Lori Lefkovitz
  2. Dishonorable Passions: Law and Virtue in Muslim Communities— Catherine Warrick
  3.  Legislating the Family: Gender, Jewish Law, and Rabbinical Courts in Mandate Palestine— Lisa Fishbayn Joffe

Part IV. Cultural Depictions of Jewish and Muslim Women 237

  1.  A Literary Perspective: Domestic Violence, the “Woman Question,” and the “Arab Question” in Early Zionism— Andrea Siegel
  2. An Autobiographical Perspective: Schools, Jails, and Cemeteries in Shoshanna Levy’s Life Story— Orit Bashkin
  3.  An Artistic Perspective: The Women of Bahram Beizai’s Cinema—Hamid Dabashi

Afterword: Common Ground, Contested Terrain—Joan W. Scott

Glossary 349

About the Contributors 351

Index 355

“Nights at Rizzoli” by Felice Picano— How It Was

nights at rizzoli

Picano, Felice. “Nights at Rizzoli”, OR Books, 2014.

How It Was

Amos Lassen

If anyone can tell us how it was once for gay writers, it is Felice Picano. Picano is one of the people responsible for getting our literature accepted and respected. He was one of the original members of the Violet Quill s he knew who was who and what was going on. Picano also worked at Rizzoli books and with this memoir he takes us back to New York when Rizzoli was a place where gay men met alongside intellectuals, celebrities, artists and assorted hangers-on. This was before Stonewall and Picano had yet become the writer we love. Rizzoli was a bookstore that catered to the who’s who of New York and Picano tells us of meeting them first there and then seeing them at night in the less beautiful places. I have long been a Picano fan and have reviewed almost of his books and have noticed how he shares his talent with so many different publishers. I am just amazed at the accuracy of his memory and in awe of his storytelling.

Rizzoli at 712 Fifth Avenue was a very special place. You could see Salvador Dalí, Jerome Robbins, Jackie Onassis. Gregory Peck, Mick Jagger, S. J. Perelman, I. M. Pei, Philip Johnson, Josephine Baker, John Lennon and many more. These were people for whom New York City was the center of the world—but this was in the 1970’s (before Amazon) when people actually shopped for books (much as I still do today at Brookline Booksmith and Calamus in Boston. People mingled and talked back then and you could meet anyone at Rizzoli. My first trip to New York as a young adult included a stop there. Those that worked at Rizzoli were also special people—they had a sense of sophistication and were only too glad to help a customer. (Remember those when salespeople really sold?).

Let’s go back to 1971 when Picano was trying to get a break as a writer and when a friend helped him to get a part-time job at Rizzoli. We see here that that job changed his life forever because it allowed him to meet some of the most important people in the cultural life of New York City. He learned so much there that he really did not know fear. When work was over for the day (here comes the juicy part), Picano would leave the world of taste and elegance and left that world behind as he roamed the city visiting the gay clubs and bars as well as the piers and he tells us about it.

I must say that physically and visually this is one of Picano’s most beautiful books. Aside from the wonderful written memories that he shares with us are also five beautiful photographs.

“Nine-to-Five Fantasies: Tales of Sex on the Job” edited by Alison Tyler— Pleasurable Business

nine-to-five

Tyler, Alison (editor). “Nine-to-Five Fantasies: Tales of Sex on the Job”, Cleis Press, 2014.

Pleasurable Business

Amos Lassen

In this new anthology edited by Alison Tyler we get a new way to look at work and get to read some very steamy stories about sex on the job. We have eighteen stories by Sommer Marsden, Kate Pearce, Delilah Night, Sophia Valenti, Heidi Champa, Sasha White, A.M. Hartnett, Andrea Dale, Laila Blake, Tilly Hunter, Elisa Sharone, Giselle Renard, Crystal Jordan, Devin Phillips, Cora Zane, Jeremy Edwards, Kathryn O’Holloran and the editor Alison Tyler.

The settings vary—the water cooler, the office and the stockrooms and the props always seem to be available— rulers a good spanking, shipping tape is great for bondage, and we see that sometimes the office has a very tempting lure.

Even with the rules that are usually broken, work can be a great place for sex. The stories exclude no job and they build up fantasies. (In addition to the fantasies about construction workers, cowboys, and mechanics that have always existed we can also add “bookbinders, IT guys, and even an ice cream man”.

Most of the stories are about quickies just as the stories are “quickies” themselves. What really makes these stories exciting is that they take place where they are not supposed to. What takes place for many is considered forbidden (making the stories all the more salacious and therefore all the more fun to read).