“LITTLE GAY BOY”— Meeting his Father

little gay bpoy“Little Gay Boy”

Meeting his Father

Amos Lassen

little gay boy1

Director Antony Hickling’s “Little Gay Boy” is the story of a young gay boy from his birth until adolescence as he experiments with his sexuality and his own boundaries. It all begins with Maria, an overweight prostitute who is visited by an angel and then announces that she will have a child. Furthermore the angel tells her that the boy child will suffer before dying as a result of AIDS. Hickling has some kind of obsession with religious imagery as we see here.

little gay boy 2

Maria names her son JC and the film begins to focus on society’s underbelly that is both exploitive and homophobic. This continues until we reach the third part of the film when JC and his father meet.

little gay boy 3

The film mixes dance with performance pieces and song even as part of his multi-media approach. This is experimental film akin to the kinds of films that Derek Jarman produced and I find it difficult not to be reminded of his films.

little gay boy 4

This is a film that pushes boundaries and goes where few others will dare.

“Sex in the Pews: An Exposé on the Hidden Sex Culture in the Church” by Jonathan Sanders— Here It Is!!

sex in the pews

Sanders, Jonathan.”Sex in the Pews: An Exposé on the Hidden Sex Culture in the Church” , Amazon Digital Services, 2014.

Here It Is!!

Amos Lassen

Is anyone really surprised to hear about sex in church? I am sure most people suspect that is goes on but do not want to talk about it. Jonathan K. Sanders, a pastor and an author, however, is not afraid to say what he knows. This is an “exposé on the hidden sex culture in the church”. Sanders tells us about sex, adultery, child sex abuse, hidden agendas, the gay church agenda, marriage cover ups, and other indiscretions in the church that most pastors shy away from discussing”.  Sanders writes about what he calls pedophiles, molesters, adulterers, hoes, and freaks and says that they are all present in the church. After being a minister for 23 years and traveling nationally and internationally for 17 of those years, he says he has seen and heard it all.  It is somewhat embarrassing to read some of this (not for me, of course because I never did not think that this went on and as a freshman teacher years ago at an all boys boarding school run by the Christian Brothers, I saw a lot). I do not believe Sanders wrote this because of embarrassment or for entertainment; I think he wrote it to enlighten and empower us. Of course he ties it all God by saying that these stories are proof that “God’s power can turn a victim into a victor; How to apply the gift of discernment to shield you and yours from falling prey; and Spiritual points to help the believer not live bound because of his or her past”.

 Sanders keeps it “real and raw” so if you are offended easily this might not be the book for you. Sanders does not condemn—what hew claims to do is offer both validation to the hurting and an opportunity for restoration and mercy to the offenders. One reviewer naively said that Sanders wrote this book “to shed some light on an area that needs to be confronted in the Body of Christ” and I say, “Give me a break!!!!”. He wrote this book for the same reason that others write books—cash!! The same reviewer asks us to use it “as a tool for both small group and congregational Bible Study. I pray God use this book as a tool for confrontation, healing, and true deliverance in the lives of all who read it” and I am thinking to myself…..does he think we are all fools?

Other reviewers I read hail this as an eye opener. Now the thinking man knows that this goes on so whose eyes were closed? Can those people ever really have their eyes opened? And even if they could, they would insist that this is all lies and propaganda. Those very same people who have had children, did so because they believe that God put them here to populate the earth and not to enjoy sex. Furthermore this same reviewer stated, “I being one that grow up in church wasn’t shaken by the issues addressed however enjoyed the insightful expounding on the matter. I personally believe that if leaders for one are transparent in today’s time more individuals a would be delivered and set free rather than turned away by false self righteousness that they see. People are hurt and destroyed by leaders acting as if they have no fault and content condemning of others only to find out the leader has the same problem if not worst. For more understanding and exposure purchase the book and it will make the matter all the more clear”.

Another reviewer said “This book blew my mind! I literally finished it in one setting. It reveals so much of what is prevalent in the church today that others choose to keep secret. The thing I love about it is that although it exposes what goes on in the church it helps one to be healed from hurt that was encountered. I personally can say that I’ve experienced some of the things discussed in the book and by reading it I’m able to move pass what I allowed to bother me for so many years”. And I ask again—how can these people be so naïve?

And here is another, “We as Christians all over the world attend church often, and go in with issues and still come out with our same issues unresolved. I believe that God is using this tool to get believers set free and delivered, whether they attend a church service or not. This book reminds me of actually sitting in one of Pastor Sander’s services…you feel like your (sic) right there!!! I was very touched and moved deeply by this material; and it uncovered some of my own issues. Even though we are saved, our flesh is not, and we still have struggles in the flesh!! This book is a God send (sic), and if you want change and to be free, this book is a must have. I recommend it to Pastors so they can help themselves and others get delivered in their own congregations, and also to anyone who has and had issues, christians and non christians alike. (Notice there is no capital “C”). Let’s get free so we can be all that God has called us to be!”

Now I saw an interesting use of the verb “converse” here—“I like the language of the book it is as if he is conversating with you face to face”. I am not aware of the verb “conversate” and neither have I ever “conversated” with anyone face to face or back to back. “This book is honest and up front yet it is full of grace and noncondemning. The (sic) church has played naive long enough with chapters such as “marriages of convenience” ,”freaks in the church” With subcategories of topic ranging from can molesters be delivered all the way through reason why some individuals join certain churches. This book is an easy read that is a power packed as far as I am concerned it is the realest book that I have read on sex in church culture. This is a book is great for small group study. Every singles ministry should have a copy, married as well. I challenge you to read this book have your eyes opened and most of all have a dose of good ole truth”. Doesn’t this statement say that anyone can be a reviewer for Amazon? One just needs to be able to “conversate”.

How about this sentence?— “There are believers who are unaware or who choose to overlook the sexual culture plaguing the Body of Christ. I believe that anyone with half a brain knows that the church has been ramming its ideas of purity down its members’ throats for years. Then this person goes on to say, “The Church is like a rehab center, the sick come get better, go, get sick again and come back..”. Does that not mean that they have never been cured? Are they members of the Lindsay Lohan circle? “This book shines an open light on the church so that together we can expose the enemy… no so we can OVERCOME the enemy, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony”. (There is some interesting sentence construction here but I suppose that happens when people stop conversating).

I do not like to disrespect the clergy but when they have their heads so far up their backsides that they do not see what is going on around them then they need to know that although they make think of themselves as men and women of God, this does mean that they are beyond reproach. If this book is supposed to represent scholarship in some form than the church is in serious trouble. I am sorry but this is a joke of a book and does nothing for christianity (and yes, I wrote it with a small “c”).

“Smart Masturbation for Men” by David Sexguy Williamson— Non-abusive Self Abuse

smart masturbation

Williamson, David Sexguy. “SMART MASTURBATION FOR MEN: YOUR KAMA SUTRA FOR JERKING OFF LIKE A PRO, LASTING LONGER IN BED HANDJOB BLISS AND GREAT SEX (SEXINTELLIGENT HAPPINESS)”, illustrated by S.A.R.L., sexintelligentmen, 2013.

Non-abusive Self Abuse

Amos Lassen

There is quite obviously a book for everyone and there are books out that are about everything. I recently did a search for books about masturbation and I was stunned by the extensive list that came up. I always thought that you just kind of learned how to masturbate by yourself or from the neighbor and I certainly never thought that there would be books to tell you how to do it better. This book has something about everything regarding masturbation and I am sure that there is someone out there who needs this book.

The book tells you how you can have”

– EXPLOSIVE ORGASMS

– MIND-BLOWING PLEASURE YOU NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE

– YOUR LOVER GIVING YOU HAND JOBS LIKE NEVER BEFORE

– YOUR WHOLE BODY ON FIRE

– GETTING ON TOP OF YOUR SEX GAME, FEELING CONFIDENT AND SECURE

– A CARING, SMARTER AND MORE OPEN YOU

– EXUBERANCE AND HAPPINESS FOR EVERYONE AROUND

The author maintains that everyone can have great times masturbating but first they must learn “how to jerk off like a pro and get your new lease on a sex life that’s more intelligent, more thrilling and more fulfilling”. It is necessary “to hone your jacking skills for your own kicks and you’ll turn into a fantastic lover in the process. If you have a girlfriend or wife or a boyfriend or a husband, teach her/him and she’ll/he’ll give you the hand jobs of your wildest dreams! She’ll/he’ll also let you in on how she/he gets herself/himself off. And there is no shorter road to the most zestful sex ever. (who knew all of this about jacking off?).

The author says it all so well himself that I am just going to let him say it all.

“There’s hardly anything [aside from masturbation] that can provide a better daily boost to your physical and mental health than that. Great slow sex will give you unreal pleasure all the time.

“My workout sessions will have you throbbing and raging like fire. I’ll be coaching you on how to take charge of the one business you’ll never stop managing for the greatest possible return—your dick”.

“I’m just an e-book, so you’ll be perfectly comfortable as I put you through loads of sexual fitness drills that will have your love juices flowing like there’s no tomorrow! Soon you’ll be your own pleasure coach devising even more thrills. And don’t let anyone tell you that self-help is not useful for great sex”.

“Should you jerk off once a month or five times a day? That’s not really the question here. Why? It’s not an issue because quantity is never going to be a substitute for quality. More frequent masturbation is not necessarily better, but better masturbation skills will definitely and always give you more pleasure”.

“Start your pleasure training today with SMART MASTURBATION FOR MEN and you’ll know that you never made a better investment towards your sexual fulfillment”.

“Porn will always be there for instant gratification. But you’ll use it more intelligently. You’ll go beyond porn for the truly intense pleasure you and your lover will get from your unique sexuality. When you’re done with this book, you’ll be a lot more astute about your options of sexual satisfaction”.

“There is more, my friends. So much new pleasure in your sex life—by yourself and with your lover—will boost your capacity for enjoyment in general. You’ll go through something like a personal and spiritual transformation. You’ll be blessed with a secure source of happiness and then you’ll want everyone else around you to be happy as well”.

“And by the time you start spreading your exuberance to others, you’ll be a more caring, more open and smarter human being. Believe me—I’ve done serious research in teen sex education, adult sex therapy, cognitive and applied psychology—you’ll have better life skills and greater emotional intelligence”.

And this is very important: This is a RISK FREE PURCHASE. Get your refund for 7 days if not satisfied!

As it turns out, there are smart, more pleasurable ways of masturbating and author Williamson lets us know what they are. “Male masturbation is not exactly one of those highly revered topics on human sexuality. But make no mistake about it, this is a book that can deeply enhance the way men derive pleasure on their own. Interestingly, there is actually an ancient Tantric genital massage technique called “lingam massage”, and I believe Williamson’s techniques at least share with “lingam” some of the innovative self-pleasure principles he describes here”.

“And most importantly, all the techniques Williamson describes in this book are safe and deeply pleasurable–no need for kinky stuff that might put your health or life in jeopardy. Just sheer enhanced pleasure”.

“Overall, `Smart Masturbation for Men’ is a highly recommended book that can make your sex life (yes, that kind of sex with another person) better and more fulfilling. It helps you get in touch with your playful, uninhibited side and allows you to reach heights of pleasure you never thought possible. Note that this book works for both men and women. For men, the wealth of actionable information is amazing–they can “jerk off like a pro”, and even learn the “work out sessions” that will make your brain “coordinate” with your penis in new, previously unimagined awesome ways.”

I am quite sure that many of us do not know that there are so many different techniques for masturbating. We see here that there are 30 to 40 different masturbating techniques. Look at the names of a couple– “Finger Plucking with a Squeeze” and “Windshield Wipers Over your Balls” and this is serious stuff.

The main goal that the author has is simply to introduce new masturbation techniques to men everywhere as well as helping them to enjoy masturbation a LOT more, enjoy sex in general and get to know their bodies and better. More than just a book about how to masturbate, this will help any man to really explore their body and their sexuality. There are also chapters on the power of touch as well as massage and other erogenous parts of the male body. Williamson even goes into using tools, textures and even fabrics as part of the learning process as well as the most sensitive and erogenous parts that most men either ignore or never learn about to begin with.

This isn’t erotica or porn but an educational course in masturbation and how the penis functions. I never put much thought into masturbation but I’m smarter after reading this guide. For those intrigued about the male body more importantly about the penis, this is a treasure trove. 

“The Super Gay Book: Dating For Gay Girlfriends and Gay Boyfriends (Super Cute, Gay Boyfriend, Gay Girlfriend, Homosexual Relationship)” by Oliver Bird— How to Begin

the super gay book

Bird, Oliver. “The Super Gay Book: Dating For Gay Girlfriends and Gay Boyfriends (Super Cute, Gay Boyfriend, Gay Girlfriend, Homosexual Relationship)”, Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2014.

How to Begin 

Amos Lassen

Sometimes it is just hard to make the first move. If you are new to the gay dating scene and have no idea of how to begin or if you old and can’t remember how to date or if you are just jaded (like me) by the whole dating business, here is a book that helps you figure it all out. Oliver Bird gets into what the issues and problems are that can stand in your way to finding the perfect partner.

We get hints on where to look, how to approach someone and even how to “seal the deal”. There is advice on”

  • Where to find other gay people in your community
  • How to find out if someone you are interested in is gay
  • Fun date ideas
  • Extra things to make your date feel special
  • How to find the perfect super gay partner! 

This book is like the concordance to the Bible—it is full of ideas and tips for anyone who is already dating or is considering dating. It contains really practical and realistic tips. Here are some very helpful steps on meeting gays, finding the perfect partner and enhancing the dating process and making it easier and there are hints on how and what to find out if someone is gay and how and where to find this gay people in the community. 

“Why Gays are a Threat to Straight People” by Sassy Johns— Blank Pages

why gays are a threat

Johns, Sassy. “Why Gays are a Threat to Straight People”, CreateSpace, 2014.

Blank Pages

Amos Lassen

It took Sassy Johns a long time to research this book of one hundred blank pages. In those pages, there is a lot of information that is not written down anywhere. Here is all of “the available evidence to show why being gay is evil, why God hates gays, and why straight people should oppose gay marriage”. John even includes a section on all the known ways to ‘cure’ gayness. This is the definitive guide to all that is wrong about being gay. (Advisory: Contains 100 blank pages, because no actual evidence could be found as to why being gay is wrong).

This is a very clever idea and we can all hope that there will be more books with blank pages to show that many people have no idea of what they are talking about.

“The Thief Taker” by William Holden— Looking for a New Life

the thief taker

Holden, William. “The Thief Taker”, Bold Strokes Books 2014.

Looking for a New Life

Amos Lassen

Thomas Newton left London in hopes of finding a new life in Paris with Pierre Baptiste but almost as soon as he arrived, he realized that was not to be. People were speaking openly about Baptiste’s past as well as his present and he was arrested and even though on false charges, he was thrown into prison. Now Newton had to decide if he is to trust Baptiste who was helping him regain his freedom or let him sit in jail. There is an important issue regarding his freedom—it would mean that he would have to return to England.

Set in England of the 18th century, the story is based around The Society for the Reformation of Manners and the persecution it brought upon those who practiced sodomy. The beginning of the book is set in prison where Newton was sent.  There are some erotic sex scenes there but we are more concerned with Newton’s angst. But hen he manages to leave the prison once Baptiste was able to get him out and the two men went back to London together. They were anxious to find out who was responsible for Newton’s imprisonment. They soon find themselves up against the Society mentioned earlier and both men realize its power.

Holden creates quite a character in Newton in that we tend to sympathize with him even though we know that he has done some terrible things. By combining mystery, erotica and adventure, writer Holden gives us quite a read here. This is a well-written look at the past and the ways that sodomy was once punished. One note—this is the second book in a sequence and even though reading the first is not necessary, it helps with understanding what happens here.

“The HIV-Negative Gay Man: Developing Strategies for Survival and Emotional Well-Being” edited by Steven Ball— The Most Recent Information

the HIV negative gay man

Ball, Steven (editor). “The HIV-Negative Gay Man: Developing Strategies for Survival and Emotional Well-Being”, Routledge, 2014.

The Most Recent information

Amos Lassen

We read and hear so much about men who are HIV-Positive that those who have remained HIV-Negative do not seem important. However staying negative is something that we must also have a look at and this book contains some of the most recent information on the market today about remaining HIV-negative as well as a look at  the psychosocial and psychosexual needs of HIV-negative gay men. In fact, this is actually a way to stay and maintain a life of meaning in the face of HIV/AIDS.

The HIV-Negative Gay Man goes to the front lines of HIV prevention to help us understand the most beneficial and dependable ways of preserving the value of life and living it to the fullest.  These new and updated approaches radically reshape and make more human traditional HIV prevention efforts giving us many individual strategies for survival in a world in which the link between sex and survival has been changed forever. The following topics are discussed here: what peer groups can do when creating and experimenting with new identities and roles, how the HIV-negative gay man’s complex emotional reactions change, when group work needs to be short-term or long-term, why a sex life vocabulary needs to be built and  where Latino Men can learn critical thinking about internalized homophobia and transgression survival mechanisms

What we have here is  a result of the development of protease inhibitors and new drug therapies in HIV prevention. The road to survival is a long one but a road that can be traveled and enjoyed when and if the right strategies are used. This book, therefore,  is a “road map” for survival. We hear and learn from many brave professionals who are currently fighting on the front lines of HIV prevention and coming forward to share their own personal stories of survival.

The contributors point to HIV-negative men who feel guilty about seeing people die and “surviving the epidemic.” This fear, and sometimes obsession, is making some men think that by becoming positive, they will be able to stop worrying and enjoy life more and if we really thing about it we se how unsound this is. This kind of thought can result in the loss of lives. The contributors here state that HIV-negative men need the space to describe their trepidations. Until there is a cure, prevention is the key and counseling these men is a great prevention strategy.

I am not sure that this is book for everyone even though we get some good information. The personal narratives in the beginning are excellent but the what we see is for therapists to talk to other therapists.. It also seems pointed at specific populations.

The authors are mostly from AIDS epicenters like NYC and SF. Most of them worked in AIDS organizations for years, especially in the first decade of the epidemic. At a time, when statistics say a huge number of gay men don’t know they are positive and many don’t know any person with full blown AIDS, the concerns expressed in this book cannot possibly be deemed widespread. Thus, only a certain type of reader would enjoy or relate to this book.

“Manhood Acts: Gender and the Practices of Domination” by Michael Schwalbe— Manhood and Domination

manhood acts

Schwalbe, Michael. “Manhood Acts: Gender and the Practices of Domination”, Paradigm Publishers, 2014.

Manhood and Domination

Amos Lassen

There are definite practices used by men to keep women and other men in unequal categories, to claim identities and men and to compete for status as men. The study of men and masculinity seems to have come to a full stop because the feminist roots are no longer there and we live in a world where it is possible to have multiple masculinities. One of the first concepts to die was that of the gay man being a sissy. Now straight men are running to the gym to build up their bodies just as gay men have done for so long. Notice also how the straight world has begun to copy the gay world in so many ways.

Michael Schwalbe tries to reclaim radical feminism’s ideas that gender is a field of domination and not just a field of play. Manhood is therefore basically about exerting and resisting control. He also “examines the intersection of capitalism and manhood, showing how manhood and economic exploitation are co-emergent and mutually sustaining”. Schwalbe reaches the conclusion that doing away with gender, as a means of oppression, needs more than transgressive self-presentation. To end the damage caused by manhood acts and by competition for manhood status, it will be necessary to end the exploitive economic relationships that necessitate manhood itself”. We see here a sociological analysis of masculinity and manhood. Using critical gender theory Schwalbe deconstructs masculinity and its destructive outcomes. He takes issue with the current focus in men s studies on multiple masculinities and argues, “masculinity, as part of the hierarchical gender order, is based on domination of women and less-valued men”. He then calls for what radical; feminists have wanted— a call for a gender-free society.

 This is a brave and compelling theory of manhood in all its manifestations, from relations between women and men to the dynamics of global capitalism. Schwalbe presents an indispensable guide both to understanding patriarchy in its present form and how to envision change that is meaningful. He does this with great clarity that will cause many men to step back and recognize something of themselves. If this makes us uncomfortable, it is because he has deeply analyzed the situation and makes it clear that the future is dependent upon “transcending

the pathological values of patriarchy”.  By linking masculinity to other forms of domination, we see that attention to gender is a matter of survival and not of identity politics.

“Fairyland” by Summer Locke Elliott— The Life of Seaton Daly

fairyland

Elliott, Summer Locke. “Fairyland”, (Text Classics), Text Publishing, 2013.

The Life of Seaton Daly

Amos Lassen

“Fairyland” is Elliott Summer Locke’s last book and his most autobiographical. It is heavily based on his own coming to terms with his homosexuality as an aspiring writer. He lived in Sydney, Australia at a time (1930s-40s) when the atmosphere of the town was repressed, especially in the inner city where he lived. Seaton Daly was lonely and depressed and dreamt of coming to the United States. This is an intimate look at a lifelong search for love and it is affecting and sometimes harrowing. This is Locke’s coming-out novel and was published for the first time in 1990. Locke died a year later. This new edition contains an introduction by Australian gay scholar, Dennis Altman.

The novel is about growing up gay in Sydney, on the eve of WW II is this Elliott’s ninth novel that is at times tender and at other times filled with satire. Seaton Daly is the son of an aloof mother who idolized his dead hero father and he is orphaned at a young age. After being seduced by another schoolboy, Seaton moves from unsuccessful affair to unsuccessful affair. The novel focuses on the men for whom Seaton yearns: “Byron the narcissistic actor; baby-faced Milly Dick in a pink apron, offering to share his horsey wife; the authoritarian Captain Smollett and the nameless tough guy who lures gays only to brutalize them.

Seaton created a juvenile radio program series called “Fairyfish”. He was able to come to America as a playwright— we see him as “a character fixed at a level of naive sensitivity in a gay world delineated as treacherous and transient”.

Seaton observes life passively and he allows others to use and manipulate him. We share no sympathy for him since he is a product of his own making. Elliott’s last novel was also his most courageous in that he freed himself of explorations on his troubled childhood and expressed himself as a gay adult, sketching a variety of obstacles that realization led to. As he stumbles through various sexual encounters, which lead to no love whatsoever, Daly’s optimism is gradually grated away. “Critics and reviewers often misconstrue where this well-trodden gay pathway leads, for Seaton’s destination is awkward, it is sudden, but, in its time and place, is devastatingly credible”. The writing is wonderful and the story is a reflection of other times.