Can Straight Men Turn Gay?
The question that is the title of this review is, of course, rhetorical. Most of us know “straight” men who enjoy gay sex and/or men who are gay for pay. Peters maintains that “Gay for Pay” is a psychological exploration of sexuality. It is also quite pornographic in which the main character’s sexuality is tested. The question seems to be whether sexuality is fixed or is it possible for a straight man to turn gay. Further we might ask that if the circumstances are right, can indeed a straight man become gay. Personally, I think the question is worded incorrectly and should be whether a straight man will turn gay but whether a straight man will have gay sex. Therefore we might ask if someone has gay sex, is he gay?
It turns out that this is a novel so we will not even come close to finding an answer. Not only is this a novel but it is a triple X novel. If you are offended by reading graphic gay sex scenes, then this book is definitely not for you. We meet George, a strikingly handsome straight male who examines his own sexual psychology as a psychology graduate tests him. George is forced to face his own homoerotic nature and his homosexual side. Everything gets mixed up in the novel and it is not about sex as much as it is about sexuality.
The novel is set in the 1960s, the age of hippies and free love. This was also the age of the sexual revolution when sexual definitions did not always hold true. When George is asked to participate in a psychological study for which he will be paid, he finds himself freely answering questions and then begins to explore his own sexuality and self-image. As we read of the tests he goes through, we get some very sexy writing. George was inexperienced when he began the study but something happens between him and the handsome graduate student. Since George was being paid to do what was asked of him, we do not know if it was the money or the enjoyment that kept him involved.
We get no conclusion simply because the author, Richard Peters, has titled this as volume one of a series and so there is more coming. I read on a blurb that “Richard Peters’ works, while containing explicit, gay, erotic porn descriptions never fail to move his readers emotionally”. I believe that someone is trying to say that there is some redeeming social value in the book. I call it smut and why it was even written or published I will never know. I see no intention here of finding how if someone can indeed be gay for pay and I do see the author’s intention of trying to pawn off smut to be a social commentary. It is actually listed in Amazon’s sexuality section and not in erotica where it belongs (if it even belongs anywhere).
I also understand that Peters has written many short stories and novels and his favorite themes deal with straight men being seduced by other straight men (Did I really use the word straight?) That is like saying Dolly Parton’s hair is hers because she bought it. Anyone can get published these days (especially if you form your own press like this man did). At least, we cannot be forced to read what he writes. There is porn, erotica and there is smut. This is trash. I found this quote: “Gay for Pay?” is a satisfying and stimulating read, on both the homoerotic and emotional levels, in a way that is rarely found in gay erotic fiction. Why would anyone want to find it is beyond me.