Back in the 1980s, when the Conservative Government of Margaret Thatcher banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality, gays were still semi-criminal – as well as immoral, ridiculous, disgusting, diseased and after your kids.
The UK’s ban on homosexual propaganda failed – spectacularly. Gays have been promoted more rapidly and giddily than almost any persecuted, despised group in history. In just a generation or so UK gays have achieved legal equality, civil rights and even respectability. Today they are gay married by the Tory PM, David Cameron, no less. Homosexuality has joined the golf club.
But, asks Mark Simpson in this provocative Kindle essay, maybe gay people are a victim of their own success. Perhaps the biggest problem that gay people face in the UK and much of the West today is no longer overt homophobia, but rather the rapid falling off of it. At least for their survival as a distinct group with their own identity, culture, clubs, hankie semaphore and sensibility.
‘The Gays’ have been shaped and defined by their long struggle against prejudice. But what’s left of gayness when the homophobia stops?
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. VERY FUNNY INDEED.”
– 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 HILARIOUS LAUGHTER, DISBELIEF AND DELIGHT. Some call him wonderful, and some call him outrageous, but I call him A TRUE ORIGINAL and YOU SHOULDN’T MISS THIS BOOK.”
– 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 GLORIOUSLY SARDONIC AND INSIGHTFUL 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. QUOTABLE GENIUS.”
“BLOODY GOOD… 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 MOST ELOQUENT AND SARDONIC commentators.”
– Bay Windows
“Mark Simpson won’t be every reader’s cup of tea, but those who enjoy a biter blend of DARK HUMOUR AND KEEN SOCIAL OBSERVATION will want to drink deeply.”
– Washington Blade
“…never fails to amuse, bemuse, stun and stir… a writer at his peak, a SHAMELESS SUMPTUOUS SERVING OF SOCIAL SATIRE you’ll be digesting long after you put the book down”
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