Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

Bradley Manning: Who Wouldn’t Want To Be A Woman, Except to Be A Man?

August 26, 2013
Thetis Imploring Zeus, painting by Ingres

French classical painter Jean August Dominique Ingres presents Zeus as the ultimate Daddy.


I found the latest wrinkle in the Bradley Manning saga to be really dismaying: his revelation that he wants to “transition” into being a woman named Chelsea, or as we say, become transgendered. The Army is going to give him a huge amount of grief over it, but probably not as much as I would give him.

First of all, let me say that I definitely believe in the reality of transgenderism—that is there simply are people who are born into the wrong bodies, or at least the wrong mentality that went with their bodies. Strangely enough, the veracity of this seems more real to me regarding women who transition into manhood than men who transition into womanhood.

Why is that so?

Because I find the almost universally accepted expectation of femaleness still umpteen times more confining than the same expectation of maleness. Or, as one F to M trans person said: “I realized I was an ‘outie,’ while being female is an ‘innie.’” She—now he—wanted to push out of the female role, wanted to play with hammers and nails and not dolls, loathed what was the enforced passivity of the female role, and hated the obsessions of women: how they look, how they “feel,” and how they act. She didn’t want to “feel.” She just wanted to be, and not have to think about it, the way men, classically, are trained not to think about it.

Or maybe they just don’t.

Maybe it’s another byproduct of testosterone.

But the truth is, you see, I have always been a transgendered man. Inside me is a gorgeous spectacular woman who happens to have a male head on her. Maybe even two male heads: if you include the one down below my regular head. Since the time I was sixteen years old, after a suicide attempt at fifteen (pushed into it by my violent schizophrenic mother and her family in Savannah, GA, as well the kids at my high school who started a whispering campaign against me) I have realized this simple truth: in order to be the man I was going to be—flagrantly accepting and enjoying myself, as I was—I would have to turn into what I called a “spy” for myself.

I was the foreign country of pure queerness, sending out a mercenary into the “straight world,” who would report back to my own inner self—my very real inner self’—in order to promote and survive and in a hostile world.

The question is: who was that inner self, and how did he (or she) evolve enough to become the present me? It took me a long time to understand this, as I’m sure it’s taking Bradley Manning, another spy certainly, if there ever was one. But in the evolution I discovered that this gorgeous female inside me could become this amazing guy who would define “maleness” itself, under his very own rules.

“Maleness:” that is the thing now escaping us. And poor Bradley, it’s escaping you too.

I first began to understand maleness as I came out into the underground queer tribe of the mid-1960s, when you had to sneak into gay bars that were usually hidden inside seedy buildings, down dark streets where you could be bumped off for the wrong wink at the wrong time. But there was this spark between queer men that we passed on to each other, that emotionally nourished us because we didn’t have acceptance of any other sort yet: including self acceptance. We were truly underground. We were moles. We made James Bond look like chicken shit. You had to be tough as nails to survive or you died. Gay kids now who kill themselves: God, do I feel for you.

But I realized back then that if you got through adolescence, there was the reward of having all these brothers around you who could recognize you and keep you going. Now in our age of “gay networking” and the totally bland mainstreaming and corporatization of queer life (if it exists at all anymore)—when everyone is emotionally starved on a high-caffeine Starbucks level (and I hope you get what I mean when I say this)—that queer brotherhood which was so important to me is out in the cold and the dark.

It’s sad. I broke all the rules of manhood and made my own up. To me as a young queer, the male gender was rich, romantic, exciting, affectionate, powerful, and mobile. You could move with it any place. You could pee against any tree. You could become the tree. New York, as my own silver daddy Walt Whitman called it, was “the city of orgies.” It was a place where having balls was fun. Now men here are castrated by corporate life, desperate to get married because they cannot receive any kind of emotional support outside marriage, sports nuts because only Derek and A-Rod can give them the kind of homoerotic charge they’re too scared to find in real life, and so isolated that they are killing themselves at a faster rate than they are killing each other. They are also killing women, a fact which is really sad: 80% of all homicides against women are done by their boyfriends or a male they know. When cops see a female corpse, the first thing they say now is: “Where’s the boyfriend or husband?”

So, Bradley, I don’t blame you for wanting to become a woman. But why don’t you become a man first? My kind of man. Wild, impetuous, romantic, secretive, horny as all get-up for the juices of life. Liberate yourself, and then see if you need to take hormones to do that.

Perry Brass has published 16 books including bestselling The Manly Art of Seduction which starts off with the assumption that “men are not supposed to be seductive.” Which of course is all the fun of being it. And, King of Angels, a gay Southern Jewish coming-of-age novel set in his native Savannah, in 1963, the year of J.F.K’s assassination, a date whose 50th anniversary we are celebrating this year. King of Angels was a finalist for a 2013 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT fiction. You can learn more about him at his website,

More Odd Numbers: 23 More Ways to be Seductive with a Man

May 6, 2011
The Manly Art of Seduction, the new book by Perry Brass

"The Manly Art of Seduction, How to Meet, Talk to, and Become Intimate with Anyone" by Perry Brass

OK, I know that I came up with “37 Ways to be Seductive with a Man,” and it seems that just 37 is not going to be enough. So here are 23 more. Since a lot of women have written to me about the previous “37 Ways to be Seductive with a Man” post, I have specifically tailored these ideas for women to use. But I hope that my gay readers will try them just as seriously.

 1)            Say his name in a way that is deliciously suggestive. Most men either rarely hear their names spoken at all or even fear hearing it (after all, at work why say someone’s name who’s there unless it’s either to dress him down or make him feel on the spot). But make him feel like his name is a magic incantation, or a password to something wonderful. Example: “Christopher . . . guess what I’d like to do?”

2)            Call him and tell him you’ve missed him. Don’t email him: emails are so business. Don’t text him. Texts are so teenage. But actually call him, and make sure he knows that you mean it, and you mean business too—but in a really great way.

3)             Learn a lesson from dog trainers: Make him feel that you are a reward for everything he does. In other words, never let him associate you with punishment. Good dog trainers know this in spades. So, if you’ve had a bitch of a day, make sure there’s real space between the bitch and him.

4)            Remember something about him and repeat it. It can be his mother’s name, that he’s allergic to shellfish, that he likes having his feet tickled or his nipples slightly pinched, that he hates oatmeal and loves hamburgers. The important thing is that you remembered it. Write it down after you see him, if you need to. In fact, make a list of these things and refer to them. Ask him about his mom: “How’s Elizabeth doing?” or “How about just burgers tonight?”

5)            Tell him what you want: This is especially wonderful in the sex department. A lot of men are too shy to ask you if there’s something that you really like to happen. So tell him what you’d like him to do, as in: “I love having my back kissed.” “I love having my ass played with.” “I love having my ears nibbled.” “I love to get laid outdoors.” “I love watching you do things naked.”

6)            Ask him what he’d like. But not in a demanding way. Don’t make him feel that if he’s too shy to let out what really turns him on, then he’s a loser. Just repeat the request at some point later, but in a softer and more reassuring way.

7)            Feed him something that he’d really like. Especially out of your hand. There is something about feeding a man that makes him feel incredibly taken care of. So many times now food is confused with either stress (as in the idea of the “Business Power Breakfast”—really, who wants these twits around you at breakfast? Yuk!), or with relieving stress, as in guys who slug down a dinner at Bennigans and a beer after an awful day at the office. So, give him a chocolate-covered strawberry directly from your fingers, or your navel. One of my favorite ways to eat ice cream is slathered on his sex organs. It gives him a tingly shiver, and me too. And nothing adds to the flavor of ice cream like a man’s cock.

 8)            Ask him how much he would like to submit to you. Men who are assertive and commanding all day, who have to be Masters of the Universe at work, find that being completely submissive sexually is . . . well, fantastic. It gives all that hard-working testosterone some time off. A little B & D can go a long way, and he’ll either love the chance to experience it, or just say that he’s not interested—at the moment.

 9)             Ask him how much he would like you to submit to him. (But with boundaries around it!) You’re giving him a huge amount of license doing this, but as with a license to drive, you do have to obey the rules. So tell him that you are in for a little slavery, but in a nice way. (As in No Hard Hitting, No Marks, Nothing Mean and Disgusting.)

 10)             One day when he arrives at your place, give him a moment to breathe, and then suddenly be all over him. He’s sitting, and you’re now on his lap, kissing him, holding him, and making him feel that you are the very atmosphere he’s hot and bothered for. So many guys feel that sex has to be this cat-and-mouse game that takes too long and is too complicated. Make him feel that you aren’t playing games with him.

 11)            On the other hand, don’t do this too often. Allow him a time to be all over you: it’s his turn now to be aggressive. However, if for some reason, he can’t, don’t get huffy about it and demanding, but—let him know that a little aggression on his part would be very welcome.

 12)            Get him naked, lying facedown on your lap. That’s it: like a little boy submitting to be spanked. But, don’t spank him, at least not a lot. Guys love this. They revert to kidhood again. Play with his spine, his butt, the backs of his legs (very sensual places), his neck, and the backs of his ears. Caress his hair. He’ll come back for more.

 13)            Experience times when he’s completely naked and you’re clothed, or half clothed. Make him feel that he’s now a plaything: guys go crazy for this. Most of the time, it’s outside the Male Role to be the plaything. And all men fantasize about being it. They do.

 14)            Try making love with your clothes on, or at most of them on. Clothes can be very sensual, and provide a kind of erotic friction that turns up the heat—the Victorians were famous for this, having a good lay while still in half corsets, and those long knickers that men wore. If things get too hot, take something off, like your shoes and socks.

 15)            Stop making love for a while and have a snack. Something light, and sexy in its own right, like slices of melon with prosciutto. The juicy, salty, sweetness of food like this can be very stimulating.

 16)            Don’t rule out talking dirty, but don’t ever let it get vulgar. In other words, say something like “I’d really like it if you sucked my (tit, cock, ass, etc.)” but don’t say something like “Suck my tit! Suck my cock!” unless you really want to get into turbulent waters. It may be such a turn-off to some men that they never come back. A lot of men who live and die for porn don’t want it taken outside of their imagination, so remember that.

 17)            On the other hand, ask him if he’d like to share his favorite porn scenes with you. Ask, but don’t demand. Everyman has a “secret world,” and if he wants to let you in, great. But don’t barge in. At a certain point, he may open up to you about it.

 18)            Tell him you want to take a shower together, if you haven’t done it before. Water and soap are . . . well, water and soap. You can provide everything in between. Also, in the shower, play a few games, like spitting water on him. Directly at him, but not in his eyes. Also, showers are perfect places for “water sports,” if you are into them. But, if you have to ask what “water sports” are, then maybe you’re not ready for this.

 19)            Tell him how nice he smells. And if he doesn’t smell that way, make sure he does smell that way by rewarding him for smelling nice. This may mean getting into the shower, or giving him some cologne that you want him to wear. (Nothing overwhelming, just some nice light male fragrance with a hint of lemon or vetiver in it.) Also, many men have a smell that is simply their smell, and it can drive you nuts—especially a crotch, underarm smell, or fresh summer perspiration odor. So let him know it.

 20)            When you’re out, buy him a drink first. And always offer to pay for something—no matter who he is or how rich he is, it makes a man feel very good that you are offering to pay for something, even if the invitation has come from him.

 21)            When you’re at a bar, make him feel that you are taking care of him, like, for instance, pass him the peanuts or whatever is out there for nibbles. Then nibble a bit on him, too. There’s something about sticking your tongue in a man’s ear at a noisy bar that drives any man more nuts than the peanuts. It adds a refreshing ocean sound to an abrasive environment. Hell, the peanuts can wait.

 22)            When the two of you go out alone, never order something he hates: that way he can taste everything on your plate. If he’s one of those of tight-assed types who can’t bear to eat anything off someone else’s plate, cut off a piece of something and put it on his, saying, “I’d really like for you to taste this.” It shows that you want to share with him, and this in itself is very conducive to intimacy.

 23)             But don’t force the issue if he refuses. In fact, don’t force any issue with him unless you feel so strongly about it that you’re ready to renegotiate the relationship. What you want to feel is that you can enjoy everything you can with him, and don’t worry about the other parts. That’s what your other friends are for. One of the worst mistakes people make with their sexual/romantic partners is wanting them to be casual friends. They aren’t; when they do become this, then most of the heat goes out of the relationship and the question is: do you really want that?

The perfect way to be seductive with a man is to read The Manly Art of Seduction, available as a very popular Kindle book, also available on Nook, Smashwords, Diesel Books, Apple Ipod, and other formats. Or, you can read it in plain old black-and-white print through Amazon, many lgbt bookstores, and independent bookstores throughout America—ask for it. You can read more about famous gay author Perry Brass at his website,, where he is also always available to answer questions (decent ones: don’t ask him if he’s as hot as his books. He embarrasses easily.)

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,