Archive for the ‘Michael Lucas’ Category

Perry Brass: That Rock and That Hard Place Finally Meet at the LGBT Center

February 25, 2011

It began fairly innocently enough: a group called Siege Busters, composed of a few people (I gather) ardently against the Israeli blockade of Hamas-led Gaza, wanted to have a party (or program) at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on West 13th Street and they wanted to call it “Anti-Israeli Apartheid Week.” Siege Busters had actually met at the Center before, and the person in the Center office responsible for booking rooms, in the Center’s long-standing tradition of inclusiveness (which it actually has, despite some posturing by Center critics to the contrary) booked the room.
News of the meeting/party was put up on the Center’s website, and from there all heck broke loose. Several well-placed and well-heeled supporters of the Center, which it needs, because, after all, the Center is in New York and not Nebraska, went into a screaming fit. They organized a phone blitz on the Center’s staff, threatening the new E.D. of the Center, Glenda Testone, and other staff members that if this offense to Israel were allowed to take place, they would “reconsider” all of their past support for the Center and cut off every penny to it in the future. Primary among them was porn-star entrepeneur Michael Lucas, who ran an email blast to his several thousand nearest-and-dearest asking them to “Boycott the LGBT Center,” stating of course that Israel is America’s only democratic ally in the Middle East (no lie) and that only in Israel are gays and lesbians given any real chance for personal freedom and freedom from injury and possible death, as they are in the rest of the Arab-Moslem world. (Again, no lie: you can slice this and dice it as many ways as you wish, but it is the unfortunate truth.)
At this point, all this protest (or threatening) rose to a truly high-pitched, full-blast alarm Code Blue level, and the amount of support, in pure dollars, that the Center was threatened with losing was too considerable to wiggle around. Since it cost the New York LGBT Center somewhere in the vicinity of $75,000 a day just to keep its doors open (we are talking about a large facility, open every day of the year, in the most expensive real estate in North America, with a staff of 70) and we are in an extremely tough economic environment when state support for social service organizations is iffy to say the least (and the Center is very much a social services organization, doing vitally necessary social services to everyone in our community from the very young to the very old), this threat could not be taken casually.
The Center caved, and Michael Lucas immediately sent out another email crowing and glowing about it, even though Lucas was simply one of the more front mouthpieces for the group that threatened the Center. Lucas by the way has had a very contentious history with the Center, even though his level of celebrity is something that the Center in the past has courted. This has given Lucas even more narcissistic fuel (and as a matter of disclosure, several years ago I did invite Michael to be on a panel with me at the Center, discussing pornography as an art form, an invitation which he initially accepted and then very much publicly rejected, because he was having a very well publicized feud with Out Professionals, another Center constituent), abetted by the fact that his partner, Richard Wenger, was president of the Center board for several years and during his tenure was responsible, with the former E.D. of the Center, Richard Burns, for bringing in another generation of Center supporters, who could be described as younger, wealthier, and much more directed toward their own agenda and generation. In other words, if you found yourself outside of their scope, don’t apply.

When I got Michael Lucas’s email about boycotting the Center, my first thought was to send out another email (that would definitely not reach Lucas’s thousands) asking everyone to support it. The Center, despite its limitations on resources, is the only open organization of its sort in New York. No other organization even comes close to its openness: dealing with its staff has been a phenomenon of openness compared to any other cultural/ethnic/religious/political organization in the city. Not only is it incredibly financially reasonable to deal with—in other words, try going to the 92nd Street Y and tell their staff what you want to do and wait for them to explain money to you; but planning a meeting or event there is simplicity itself. Again, try going to a Catholic church, or any synagogue or church for that matter, or a local YMCA, or even a New York city school or library, with your needs and see what the reaction is.
Sure, I know the Archdiocese is exceptionally open to queer meetings, but the point is basically all you have to do is just walk in to the Center office, state what your purpose is, find a free date on their calendar, put down a deposit that could barely get three people into Starbucks, and you’re in.
Also, and extremely important, the Center is the only place of its sort in New York that you can simply walk into: no membership cards, no one at the door asking you what your mission or problem is, no ID is requested, nothing. So you have this motley crew of street people and Upper East Siders, the extremely hip and the extremely ragged, all brushing elbows with each other, with no regard to any previous element of categorization except for the fact that you agree to treat other users of the Center with respect and moderately human sensitivity.
(Both of these qualifications have never been easy to find in New York, but they are found most of the time at the Center.)
So the Center has found itself in the worst bind it has been in since the great NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) controversy in 1989, when Allen Ginsberg wanted to perform there as a NAMBLA supporter, and was banned from doing so by the Center—and later NAMBLA became the first gay group ever to be totally banned from its facility.
This has given NAMBLA supporters a lot of fuel for their own feelings of being aggrieved, and it always brings up that old ghost in the closet of being the only group, historically, that has been categorically excluded from the Center. However, since the Center now has a large parents constituent and parents of all stripes (gay and straight) trust their kids to go to Center events, the specter of a bunch of “dirty old men” lurking around in raincoats stalking young innocents always comes up with a lot of big red neon around it.
This same specter is true for Siege Busters waving the flag of Israeli apartheidism: what Israel has done to its Palestinian neighbors and even citizens is not humane, but the Palestinians have been adamant in their refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist. So, in both instances, you can go round and round with these ideas and still end up with nothing.
My own feeling was that Siege Buster should have been given a forum to talk about their side of the issue (or problem), without fanning fires using a term like “Israeli Apartheid.” Some of my friends, who are totally pro-Palestinian, ardently believe that the UJA (United Jewish Appeal) should be forced to register in the U.S. as a “terrorist organization” because it supports Israel. This to me seems like insanity, but I’m sure they will scream loud enough about it, just as Israel’s supporters will.
All of this only makes me want to support the Center as the one place that should and could allow a backdrop for this discussion. I frankly hate the “I’m going to take my bat and ball and leave the playground” attitude of people attacking the Center, even though there have been times when I’ve felt exactly the same way. But, after a little reconsideration I have come back to it, and realized what a stake we all have in it, or should have if we gave it any thought.

(One last request: I hope I have got all the names right here of the constituent organizations I have mentioned; it’s sometimes hard to keep them straight without a program. Second disclosure: Michael Lucas also contributed a blurb to my previous novel Carnal Sacraments, which I was tickled pink to get: being a writer and publicity whore myself, I’ll do anything to get my egregiously worthy books into the hands of readers, an attitude that I’m sure Mr. Lucas and I completely share. Thank you, Michael.)

Perry Brass has published 15 books including erotic classics like Mirage, Angel Lust, Warlock, The Substance of God, and Carnal Sacraments, as well as How to Survive Your Own Gay Life. As an activist, he joined the Gay Liberation Front in 1969, right after Stonewall, becoming an editor of Come Out!, the world’s first gay liberation newspaper. In 1973, he helped start the Gay Men’s Health Project Clinic, the first clinic for gay men on the East Coast, strongly advocating the use of condoms a decade before the onslaught of HIV. His newest book is The Manly Art of Seduction, How to Meet, Talk To, and Become Intimate with Anyone which is a guide to leaving passivity and getting what you want—nicely. He can be reached through his website,

2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 5 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 6 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 22 posts. There were 4 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 592kb.

The busiest day of the year was November 29th with 96 views. The most popular post that day was 37 Ways To Be Seductive With A Man, .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for how to be seductive, how to be seductive to a man, seductive talk, how to be seductive to my boyfriend, and being seductive.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


37 Ways To Be Seductive With A Man, May 2007
9 comments and 1 Like on,


Tea Room Sex, A Blast from the Old Past? December 2007


The Manly Art of Seduction Gets Banned on FaceBook January 2010


Discovering Manhood and the Work of Branden Charles Wallace March 2010


Malachy McCourt and I discuss aging . . . and fawking. March 2010

Michael Lucas Likes Me

January 20, 2008

Hello Perry,

Here’s my quote:

“Smart, sexy, and suspenseful-everything you could want in a great novel.”

Best regards,
Michael Lucas
CEO, Lucas Entertainment

I met Michael Lucas the way most people from serial killers to future saints meet: through MySpace.
Actually, I had met him at New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual Services Center, sometime in the misty past, through Michael’s partner who for a long time was president of the Center’s board. So, I met Richard his partner, and then Michael, but being pretty green to the ways of celebrity and fame, had no idea who Michael was then, that is he seemed like a pretty regular person to me, rather than a media mogul, porn superstar, fascinating piece of human architecture, etc. (which is usually the way he’s presented). In fact, he seemed like just a nice Jewish boy, like lots of them I had grown up with, which is another of Michael’s personas.
But, we met through MySpace, and I proposed friendship immediately, which, gratefully, he accepted. And of course being a writer, on the lowest link of the fame feeder chain (Gore Vidal’s hoary joke about the Polish movie star: “She moved from Warsaw to Hollywood and the first thing she did was fuck the writer . . . so what’s the punch line? That is the punch line, stupid!”), I offered to send him a copy of new book Carnal Sacraments, A Historical Novel of the Future, because, of course I wanted him to option it for one of his movies . . .
(No, I’m not that stupid, I sent it to him because I figured he’s a regular smart guy making it this time in the guise of a porn star, so he’d like the book: as the Jews say, ehmiss: meaning honest.)
So he sent me a real address to mail the book to; I did, and of course I wanted some kind of gushing blurb from him. (I mean, I’m not that dumb: writers are notoriously pious about their motivations, after all, we’re supposed to be the guardians of the First Amendment; but even writers who mythically screw Polish movie stars aren’t that dumb.)
So we did a little dance around that: he was too busy being Michael Lucas (whom some people still call by his natal Russian name, Andre), putting out new movies, opening up supermarkets and community libraries, going on talk shows, getting his picture on the cover of normally boring Genre magazine, while I plugged away at getting some word from the porn mogul/superstar model (“Most beautiful man in the world”) /business man-entrepreneur, etc.
And finally, of course, this did happen: which only goes to show you something that I’m sure Michael would agree with 100%: if you want something ask for it. And don’t be afraid of doing it. I also began to understand that Andre was actually reading my book. I could tell that, and since English is not his first language, it took him a while to do it. Good, Michael. Ehmiss.
So now, here it is: Michael Lucas does like me. What a weird thrill that is, that the auteur of Gigolo and La Dolce Vita (New York style) does like me . . . exactly like Sally Fields gushed at the Academy Awards. For this I can only say, Thank you, Michael.
Or Andre.