City of Night

RechyJohn Rechy’s highly autobiographical first novel, City of Night, might also be considered the first openly revealing novel to explore what we now consider LBGT life in America.

It’s interesting to recall the controversy that this book caused back in the ’60s and to recognize that today we even have gay marriage. Let’s take off our hats to the late Barney Rossit who almost single-handedly used the alternative voice of Grove Press to bring us such exciting and thought provoking literature.

I found that you cant always tell a score by his age or appearance: There are the young and the goodlooking ones—the ones about whom you wonder why they prefer to pay someone (who will most likely at least not indicate desiring them back) when there exists—much, much vaster than the hustling world—the world of unpaid, mutually desiring males —the easy pickups. . . . But often the scores are near-middle-aged or older men. And they are mostly uneffeminate. And so you learn to identify them by their method of approaching you (a means of identification which becomes instinctively surer and easier as you hang around longer). They will make one of the standard oriented remarks; they will offer a cigarette, a cup of coffee, a drink in a bar: anything to give them time in which to decide whether to trust you during those interludes in which there is always a suggestion of violence (although, for some, I would learn later, this is one of the proclaimed appeals—that steady hint of violence); time in which to find out if you’ll fit their particular sexfantasy.

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Thoughts about body hair

A while back I posted a few thoughts on what apparently is a contemporary urge to manscape male body hair (see). Two things have recently reminded me of our civilization’s strange responses to common body hair.

Pubic HairFirst, I was sharing a few moments of intimacy with a lovely young woman who was balder than my three year old niece, showing all her naughty bits without even a hint of hirsute camouflage. I’m not sure I even liked this modern look but I expect it’s more hygienic. When asked, my friend indicated she would never stop shaving closely … never-ever. Being the introspective type, I began to think back to those days of yesteryear when pubic hair was a badge of maturity. Men and women, or more accurately, boys and girls, couldn’t wait until the first signs of furry decoration began to adorn their precious genitals.

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