by Michael Wynne
Paperback, 72 pages (Kiss & Tell Press, 2011)
A first-hand account of what goes on in London’s saunas and sex clubs, and on phone-sex chat-lines. Generous and intimate details, as well as a no holds barred exploration of promiscuity, The Confessions of a Sex Addict, Part 1 is also the story of artists in London. Of the authors journey to become a writer, as well as his lesbian painter friend, McKenzie, and Zaid, the kathak dancer, all of them trying to make a living while making art. Covering the first six months of 2010, the book is also a chronicle of a year in which an earthquake devastated Haiti, floods wrecked large parts of Pakistan, and Eyjafjallajàkull erupted. Never before has a single writer elaborated on the steamy, anonymous goings-on of gay men in subterranean London with such psychological and physical honesty.
“It is a gay sex memoir that miraculously manages to go beyond sensationalist arousal… As much as it is a book about sex – abundant and mostly anonymous – it’s equally about relationships and the ways gay men relate to each other (however brief the timescale)… It’s not what you’d expect from this ‘type’ of book, and is all the more refreshing for it.” (Gay Times, London, 2012)
Certainly there is nothing sanitised, much less deodorised, about this narrative, but there is real tenderness and sensitivity, giving the lie to the tired cliché of emptiness and dissatisfaction supposedly inherent in the lives of aficionados (or addicts) of casual gay sex. It is this aspect of the book which one finds so utterly upbeat, positive and life-affirming, even where one may squirm in some discomfort at the detailing of particular sexual predilections and fetishes. There is little obvious angst here either, much less guilt, and it is all the better for that – spare us that pseudo-psychological, post-Freudian trope, we cry – and Wynne obliges us by doing so. (Tim Bennett-Goodman, Polari Magazine, November 2011)
“wonderfully frank and self- effacing fuck stories… make for addictive reading for even the prurient queer lit lover.” (advocate.com, March 2012)
All prices include postage.