First Person Pleasure

Glad Day Book’s Naked Heart is an ambitious new literary festival. Organized around the participation of over 100 lgbtqf’s performers – yes, that is getting more & more unwieldy as more sub-communities insist on inclusivity – ‘f’ is for ‘fluid’ – I’m sure we’ll be adding ‘c’ eventually for cis-queers. Anyway events are bing held in the down core at the bookstore, cafes, bars & Buddies.


I got out to First Person Pleasure: Non-Fiction Sex Writing at Glad Day. Moderated by Jon Pressick the panel looked at writing non-fiction (as opposed to non-friction) sex. They addressed many issues from anonymity, form, transgressiveness & why. The ‘why’ was, for them, a way of gaining personal insight by writing about their experiences – a way also of putting themselves back into it.


Katie Sly spoke about the writing process as a way of reversing camera angles – when she’s having sex it can be like watching it happen to her, when she writes about it she experiences it more fully, when you read about it you watch it happen to her. I liked her piece ‘piss play is everything I imagined it would be’ – which elevated w.s. to a nearly sacred experience of intimacy.


Mike Miksche sees his reporting as a way to open a window into worlds that people are afraid to go in to. He strives to write about in a way that isn’t sensationalizing the subject but also doesn’t appear to be anti-sex either if his experiences haven;’t been pleasant. He is frustrated at time that the level of frankness he works on is often seen as ‘smut’ and not at literature. Another panelist remarked that there’s nothing wrong with smut.


Star spoke from a trans perspective, & as a former sex worker. Star’s writing began as a way of examining past trauma. As things were processed there was a inner demand to allow these realizations go public so could help others deal with the same issues. Star felt as much as it was a need to understand the self there was no attempt at being apologetic or even blaming. This is how it is. I survived it so can you.

Jon talked about the one issue that I saw a subtext to the event – that sex writing has to be somehow radical & way out there – a series he had written was dissed by readers for being too tame. It made me wonder if there’s no interest in the ordinary sex lives of people & how they deal with the same issues of acceptance. Most of the sex stuff I’ve written certainly comes from the ordinary perspective but there are some who find it too out there.


The Future of Sex

he kisses like he means it

like he needs it

as much as I do

there is no rush to get naked

but there is a need to

we mean to be bare with each other

the compulsion of the flesh

a subtext for our concerns

about each other’s activities

his work

family at xmas

driving conditions

my writing

our notions of love

not that we are talking

about being in love with each other

but what love means to people

I’d say to men

but it doesn’t really vary

from gender to gender

he’s seeing someone he likes

I’m living with the same man

for over thirty years

is this enough for either of us

or is this need for enough

a reflection of a cultural social paradigm

that says we have to seek a mate

for life

to make our lives fulfilled and satisfying

that we need to settle down

we’ll have someone

to look after us when we get too old

to look after ourselves

so we won’t end up lonely bitter old piles of bones

stranded in a corner of a geriatrics ward

with only our memories of great sex

to keep us warm

too feeble to appeal to anyone

to even reach for a dildo

because honey there ain’t no handbook

on gay geriatric sex

I’m pretty sure the will to live

is tied into the will to get it off

but because age is so disgusting

only dildos will be willing to do the job

he rolls to face me

erections touching

says lets worry about the future of sex

after the sex of the moment


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