Sunday, January 28, 2007

Twilight Reading
or The Trouble with Swap is Where to Stop

It's difficult to imagine a time when pornography was not readily available at a click and that you actually had to walk into a store and purchase it. And not just buy it but then go home and read it! But those were the good old days. In the dusty land of ephemera, there is nothing so exciting as finding a good gay porn novel from the 60s and 70s. A while back I was at a 'fabulous' garage sale where an older gay man was selling off his collection of porn books. I'd struck gold because having lived through the days of having to read their porn and graduated to videos, these books held little nostalgia for him. He gave them to me for a quarter a piece.
The fascinating thing about these books is that despite their tawdry covers promising 'twilight sex' their stories are usually pretty sweet; mostly having someone coming to terms with their attraction and love for some man.
Granted there's a ton of graphic sex; but they are pretty much your standard "Brokeback Mountain" meets the football team, the army, the rich employer, the movie star, etc...

When ever I see a gay pulp fiction novel I'm reminded of a party I went to several years ago; The host had just gotten a box of these books. His landlord, Sterling, was a gay man in his 80s, who owned a greystone in Lincoln Park; he had taken ill and was in a nursing home. My friend had taken over the responsibility of cleaning up the house for it to be sold. In the basement of the house he found boxes and boxes of pornography dating back to the 40s. The majority of it was ruined in a flood and was just rotting, but he managed to save several of the novels.

At the party David Kodeski and his partner Edward started to read aloud from one of the books. Then someone else began reading, and then another person until there were about 12 people standing in the kitchen shouting gay porn scenes. "Tommy's body melted, turned to scalding, oozing fluidity..." Massaging the cheeks of Don's buttocks..." "They pumped together in contrapuntal madness..." "Fitted together, they became a thing of motion; a whirring mechanism composed of blood, flesh and steel-like muscles..." "I sent my titillating tongue and lips to do his bidding..." Louder and louder until everyone was screaming these lines at the top of their lungs... This was at about 2 in the morning! The fact that the police weren't called was a miracle.


Graeme said...

The covers alone are priceless! :-)

David said...

My dad had straight ones and I used to love them.