To celebrate National Masturbation Month HuffPo have posted a version of an essay of mine collected in Sex Terror on how ‘self-abuse’ came out of the cubicle, tissue stuck to its shoe:
You see, wanking is a normal form of human sexual behavior, and intercourse is the deviation. Most men, even those in long-term relationships — sorry, especially those in long-term relationships — have orgasmed alone more times than they have done with others. After all, we peak sexually long before anyone will go out with us.
And if God hadn’t wanted us to wank, would he have put our hands at crotch level? (Of course, maybe he just wanted to make things really difficult for us.) As any anthropologist will tell you, when Homo erectus stood up, the first thing he reached for was his tool.
In his full-frontal follow-up to his widely acclaimed It’s a Queer World, Mark Simpson dispenses with the monkey business of sexuality and gets to grips with the organ grinder itself: SEX.
Subjecting our saucy new god to his sacrilegious satire, Simpson sins against every contemporary commandment about doing the nasty: It must be hot. It must be frequent. It must wake the neighbours. And it must be Who You Are.
Simpson argues that we all put far too much faith in sex these days, and that in actual fact sex is messy, confusing, frustrating, and ultimately disappointing.
Especially if you’re having it with him.
Along the way he gets worked up with Alexis Arquette over Stephen Baldwin’s bubble-butt, gets intimate with Dana International, Aiden Shaw and Bruce LaBruce, and – very gingerly – confronts Henry Rollins with those ‘gay’ rumours.
Praise for Sex Terror:
“MARVELLOUS… open Simpson’s book at any point, as many times as you want, and you’ll find the sort of gem-like sentences that Zadie Smith would give her white teeth for.”
- Suzi Feay, Independent on Sunday
“A chainsaw cock of wit… blisteringly, endearingly honest… insightful and valuable. VERYFUNNYINDEED.”
- Dermod Moore, The Hot Press
“Setting common sexual sense on its ear, Simpson’s Swiftian proposals strike at an emotion dear to us: sexual desire. His anarchic mission is to free sex from sermonizing, convention, egoism, and cultural bias. But unlike Foucault, his deconstructing weapon is built of ribald humour and potshots at pretension. Simpson’s essays produce rancour and HILARIOUSLAUGHTER, DISBELIEFANDDELIGHT. Some call him wonderful, and some call him outrageous, but I call him A TRUEORIGINAL and YOUSHOULDN’T MISSTHISBOOK.”
– Bruce Benderson, author of Pretending to Say No and User
“BRILLIANT… With surgical precision Mark Simpson peels away the layers of modern masculine culture, leaving few iconic figures un-scarred. This book is certain to provoke and likely to offend; we would expect nothing less from one of the most important voyeurs of contemporary life.”
– Bob Mould, Musician and Songwriter
“When the culture of sex breathes its final breath, Mark Simpson will be there to deliver the eulogy with great zeal. And what a GLORIOUSLYSARDONICANDINSIGHTFUL farewell it will be!”
– Glenn Belverio, Dutch magazine
“One of those books that bounces up and down on your knee yelling ‘read me, read me…. Brutal honesty and razor wit — a perfect feast. QUOTABLEGENIUS.”
“BLOODYGOOD… every outrageous insight is just that – an insight into the modern condition that often makes you laugh out loud and, if you are not entirely beyond hope, think. Simply some of the best writing on modern culture around.”
- Brian Dempsey, Gay Scotland
“One of England’s MOSTELOQUENTANDSARDONIC commentators.”
– Bay Windows
“Mark Simpson won’t be every reader’s cup of tea, but those who enjoy a biter blend of DARKHUMOURANDKEENSOCIALOBSERVATION will want to drink deeply.”
– Washington Blade
“…never fails to amuse, bemuse, stun and stir… a writer at his peak, a SHAMELESSSUMPTUOUSSERVINGOFSOCIALSATIRE you’ll be digesting long after you put the book down”