Archive for the ‘Sexuality’ Category

Perry Brass: Blocked by the Impregnable Fortress of Facebook, or How Much Does Facebook Hate Books?

March 21, 2016


My Facebook page is “no longer available.” This means that my 2,200 Facebook friends will have to go someplace else to find out about my books, and what I am doing as a writer. I learned 2 weeks ago that I have been permanently “blocked” from Facebook. Why, frankly, I have no idea except that it must have to do with the books I write and publish that have been banned “forever” from being advertised on Facebook because of their titles and possibly their covers—namely, The Manly Art of Seduction and the follow-up book The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love. Both of these books are available on Amazon. The Manly Art of Seduction has gotten great reviews, was an Amazon bestseller in several categories, received a Gold Medal IPPY award and other awards, and is now available as an audio book on, and in Portuguese. It is currently being translated into Spanish.

Cover of the Manly Art of Seduction, by Perry Brass

The book banned on FaceBook

After I was told by the completely faceless “Facebook Team” that The Manly Art of Seduction violated Facebook’s usage code because of the word “Seduction” in it, and that I could never advertise this “product” on Facebook, I tried futilely to appeal their decision (since you have no idea where this decision comes from: you never actually deal with people with names). I explained that there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of books, movies, and TV programs with the word “Seduction” in it. It was ridiculous.

I was told that there was no appeal—this decision would stand forever. After I posted word about this on my Facebook pages, friends suggested that I could still put up information about the book on my page, and it would be a good idea to include the cover in my profile picture. I did. Nothing happened.

Still, hope springs eternal, and I figured that my follow-up book The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love which did not have the word “seduction” in its title would be permissible. It wasn’t. After I tried to “boost” a post about The Manly Pursuit (this is Facebookese for advertise the book) I was told, point blank, by the famous Facebook Team, that the word “desire” itself was not allowed in any advertisement of any product on Facebook, therefore advertising this book was also not permitted. In both situations, the books were categorized as banned products, like sex aids or enhancers, and advertising them was refused on Facebook.

This was done by people who hadn’t read or researched the books—like Salmon Rushdie’s horrifying fatwa. Or maybe by computer robots that set off an alarm, or in some backroom in India which decided it was not going to allow books of this sort into any country.


Being busy, as writers are, I did post word about these books (and other books of mine) on my Facebook page, and I’m sure it got onto the pages of my 2,200 Facebook pals. Then for the last month I didn’t even go on Facebook.

I was in Cuba for 10 days, from Feb 9 – 19, and when you are on that island, Facebook is off limits. At a hotel with Wifi in Havana, I tried to log into a friend’s post mentioning me, but got a message that Facebook and Cuba are not on good terms. Afterwards, I spent three days in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with friends, and during this time forgot about Facebook completely.

When I got back, I was too busy catching up after being away to pay attention to Facebook. I also came down with bronchitis (I’m still being treated for this), which put me away from Facebook and my pals there even longer. Then, about a week ago, after getting a slew of Facebook emails directing me to log onto the pages of friends sharing updates with me, I started hitting links that would send me directly into Mark Zuckerberg’s empire.

When I did, I got this message.

We removed the content that was posted

            Under this was a link to this message:

We restrict the display of nudity. Some descriptions of sexual acts may also be removed. These restrictions on the display of both nudity and sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless the content is posted for educational, humorous or satirical purposes.

We remove content that threatens or promotes sexual violence or exploitation. This includes solicitation of sexual material, any sexual content involving minors, threats to share intimate images and offers of sexual services. Where appropriate, we refer this content to law enforcement.

To learn more about the kinds of messages and posts that are allowed on Facebook, please review the Facebook Community Standards.


I couldn’t figure this out. Why were some of my 2,400 Facebook friends’ posts being removed so that I could not get to their links? After enough attempts with my friends, I tried my own page, and realized it was the opposite. I had now been completely blocked.

Totally, absolutely, blocked from Facebook.

As in, I cannot even get onto Facebook to protest being blocked.

I started Googling like mad what to do when you are blocked from Facebook, and learned a few things. Facebook has recently instituted a new policy that it can block anyone at any time without warning or notice. In addition, it is enforcing a new series of “global community standards,” meaning anyone in any country can now complain about your content. So if, in say, Timbuktu, someone is offended by your “content,” it can be blocked by the “Facebook Team.”

This has meant that if in, say, Australia, as recently happened, someone is “offended” by an image of middle-aged barechested Aboriginal women showing their painted nipples, this kind of image can be censored—and even blocked. I guess this means that my books and I no longer stand a chance.

Facebook also states that A), only they can remove the block, so it’s totally futile to appeal it. B) If, somehow, they do decide to remove the block on you and your page, they will do so in their own time with no communication with you.

And C) even better: The actual cause of the block will never be known to you.

Now this may not mean much to people who regard Facebook as ridiculous and a waste of time (something Facebook works to keep happening; or as Mark Zuckerberg has always maintained: “We want to keep you there”), but in reality it is at this moment the world’s largest social media organization. And, in our Brave New Post-bookstore World, for many people a major route to “discoverability” for books and other kinds of information.

I also discovered through Google (using a backdoor into Facebook) that the site also has a new “Unpermitted Link” engine. Using a product’s link, you can do a search for products not allowed on Facebook, and they will (graciously) remove these links off your Facebook page. The only problem is that when I tried to do this with Amazon links for my books, I got this:

We removed the content that was posted

 (Meaning: I cannot get into Facebook to unblock myself—in any way. So, go back to Square One, dope.)

Check . . . and mate.

There is a longstanding history of homophobia involved with this—I have seen straight (i.e., heterosexual) “dating” books openly advertised on Facebook that guarantee success with the opposite sex (usually meaning women), and that are plainly exploitative. I have seen countless ads for men’s underwear and women’s “scanties” that make anything I’ve posted (as well as my book covers) look like stuff from the Daughters of the American Revolution. But we are dealing here with permissible products and my books are not in that category.

I also know that Facebook has a history of harassing gay men and their sites, a good example being the Australian magazine DNA which has received numerous warnings simply for showing on their covers barechested guys in Speedos. Many of my friends have also received warnings from Facebook regarding pictures they have posted showing stuff like an uncovered fanny or two. One of them showed photos of a pool party with a guy in all fun being thrown in and losing his suit—so we saw a little bit of skin from the rear. He was warned severely by Facebook for doing this.

The interesting thing is that I have never received any kind of warning. Not once. So this makes me feel that this action might have been pre-emptive. Rather than go through any kind of dialogue with me (something corporations like Facebook hate, thus their huge walls of protection), they simply blocked me before I could do anything.

I have also heard that it could be that my Facebook page was hacked—in effect unallowable stuff (usually “porn”) could have appeared on my page when I was in Cuba and unable to do anything about it. However, I was given no warning of this (see above about No Warning) so if my page was hacked, and then blocked, I’m now in even worse shape with Facebook.

In other words, I’ve been hacked, I’ve had no warning about it from Facebook, and I’ll have to figure out how to be unhacked as well.

A new wrinkle: every time I have tried to access any Facebook page—even for “guidance” from Facebook on these “issues”—I have been told that I have to log in with my password. When I have tried it, my password has been rejected, and I’ve been told I have to change the password. They have allowed me to change the password, and using the new password to see if there is any change in the block, I am told that a new password must be used every time I try to log in. Then I am directed to the same message:

We removed the content that was posted.

            What this means for other Facebook users, especially writers, is clear to me: You can have what you do censored at any moment. This will be done to protect any “innocents” who might stumble on your page, and the judgment to do this will be done by people you will never see in countries where America’s more open culture and freedoms are anathema.

I feel bad about this, because people all over the globe have come to me through Facebook as I am an openly gay writer in the US. Some of them have read my books on Kindle or other media, and I am gratified for this. I am not a “pornographer,” although my work is sexually frank—but certainly not any more frank than any number of other commercially available books. The covers of my books often feature barechested men, but then so do thousands of book covers, especially of women’s romance books.

The real problem here is simply homophobia on a corporate level, censorship of course, and people applying “community standards” that have no place in an open society. This is really shameful.

There is something else to understand here, and it is very important.

Facebook is not a free service. It is a huge, multi-national corporation making billions of dollars off advertising, and the reason it can charge this kind of money is because of the content you provide if you are a Facebook member. (In fact, they can use this content in any way they wish.) You are using your time to provide this valuable content and your attention. Facebook is selling that attention to advertisers. (I repeat, as Zuckerberg says: “We’re going to keep you on the site.”)

In this vein, strangely, and completely contradictory, Facebook still sends me regular requests to get back onto their site, to update my pages, to “see what your friends are doing,” to “visit your page,” even as I am being completely blocked. They WANT you back to create more content—to boost more ad revenue—on their “free” site.

Therefore the argument that as a “free” social networking service they have the right to do what they did to me is spurious. I am providing them with the content they need, and the attention they want, as every member is, and for them to do what they did—to “pull the plug” with no warning or explanation, because they have to power to do so—is reprehensible. It is something you’d expect from a corporate monopoly and dictatorship. It is really disgusting, and I think people should understand that.

If you are a Facebook member, please feel free to post the link to this piece on your page. And remember, not only is Big Brother and his little friends watching you and judging you, but at any moment he can do to you what he did to me.

Long time poet, playwright, author and activist Perry Brass has published 19 books, and is the author of the bestseller The Manly Art of Seduction, How to Meet, Talk to, and Become Intimate with Anyone, King of Angels, a gay, Southern Jewish coming-of-age novel set in Savannah, GA. His newest book is The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love, Your Guide to Life, Happiness, and Emotional and Sexual Fulfillment In a Closed-Down World. The Manly Art of Seduction is now available as an audio book through, and in Portuguese. You can reach him through his site, or here.


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.)

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

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

March 23, 2010


Malachy McCourt and Perry Brass at Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble

Malachy McCourt and Perry Brass at Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble

Last night, Monday, March 22, 2010, I took part in an event at the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble called—of all things—”Nifty After Fifty,” sponsored by the Greater New York Independent Publishers Association and produced by Francine Trevens. Fantastic evening. We got about 175 people there, mostly eager to hear Malachy McCourt, our guest of honor, talk in his sweet-and-salty Irish-tweed spun voice about the simple things of life that usually aren’t. He compared same-sex marriage to Adam and Eve—an idea that would make many Fundamentalists croak. Because . . . when Adam “lay” with Eve, she had all of his DNA in him (who else’s?) . . . so “he was just about fawking himself, right—now how different is that from same-sex love and marriage?” Malachy talked about “fawking” pretty often. “Fawking,” the Irish version of carnal knowledge, always sounds so much more picturesque than the American reference to it which sounds . . . OK, vulgar. There were also scenes from a few short plays that deal with getting older and hating it (let’s be honest: you don’t have a choice in this, but you can make the most of it) from Francine’s new collection of plays, Short Plays Long to Remember. “Short Plays” contains “Bar None,” my one-act about the Mattachine Society, an early gay rights group, opening the bars in New York to gay men in 1966: something most have long forgotten.

Prior to this, a bar owner in NYC could have his license revoked simply for serving booze to anyone who even appeared queer. Of course this law was rarely enforced because so many bar-keeps routinely paid off the cops, which in turn kept the Mafia happily in the bar business.

Other readers on the program were Norman Beim, Kat George, Francine L. Trevens, Andrea Troy, Marni K.Connellyand Kay Williams.

Norman is a playwright and Kay was an actress before becoming an author (not that you can’t do both) so they read from two of Norman’s plays wonderfully. And Malachy read from “The Rocking Horse” by Daniel P. Quinn—I think you could hear Malachy McCourt read the Yellow Pages and get a kick out of it.

There was also a song, or two, from singer/lyricist Michael Colby and pianist Annie Lebeaux on a sparkly new hybrid Yamaha piano (does this mean it’s also a car?). 

As my part of the evening, I gave a talk entitled “The Erotic Life After 50.” It was actually more about The Manly Art of Seduction, but, hey, shameless self-promotion is something that gets most authors either on the bestseller list or somewhere in author hell where the company is Shakespeare and Voltaire. Why complain?

So, if you didn’t make it to B & N on a really crummy, rainy but fun night, here’s what I said.

If 30 years ago someone had told me that at 62, I’d be publishing a book called The Manly Art of Seduction, How to Meet, Talk to, and Become Intimate with Anyone, I would have said . . . of course, what else would I be doing at 62?

I came from a generation where seduction—that is, real seduction, not the TV Jell-O version of it—was a way of life. And I grew up in the Deep South where we not only depended upon the kindness of strangers, we invited it whenever we could find it.

The truth is seduction has been a wonderful part of my life, but it took me a while to figure out how it works, and how I can explain it to others so it will work for you, too. We live in what I call the “culture of rejection,” and often older people feel the sting of this. We’re overlooked, we feel rejected, and sometimes it feels that even attempting to initiate any kind of action is futile. This leads many of us into erotic shutdown: we feel that we are either too old or too “smart” to be seductive or allow ourselves be seduced.

This is sad, because the loveliness of your own inner self, which has no actual age, is being denied. Much of the Manly Art of Seduction is about being open to this authentic self inside you, and letting it open you to the seductiveness of the world—and of yourself. In other words, the seductive you is waiting to come out, and it—or you—will be successful at seduction, once you connect with it.

First, some definitions: Seduction—that’s simple: an invitation to intimacy.

Intimacy: a real closeness energized with the deeper aspects of yourself, and of someone else.

The Manly Art of Seduction gets you in contact with this deeper self through mind exercises and actual experiences. You will use this contact to give you the confidence to achieve closeness and go as far with it as you want to, or circumstances allow you to.

The world is not perfect—and neither are you—so you may strike out sometimes. But—and this is very important, so stay awake—as you become better at the Manly Art, you will find more men attractive and also attracted to you. Therefore, as you become more open to the inner beauty of yourself, a lot of other men will become attractive as well, and many of them, as you follow the techniques of The Manly Art of Seduction, will start to approach you now.

The Manly Art, using scenarios and exercises, explains how to approach men, speak to them, what’s really happening in a seductive conversation, and how to touch men physically and emotionally, becoming more intimate with them, negotiating possibilities. It also shows you how to keep rejection fears away, and maneuver a relationship into warmer and more satisfying waters.

Realistically, I tell you don’t expect clear weather all the time—there are some horses in fact who don’t want to be led to any kind of water. And I’ll tell you how to dive out of a situation just as I’ll tell you how to enter it. But there is one lesson I want you to keep no matter what: as you get closer to the real you that our relentless commercialism works so hard to keep you isolated from, you’ll learn not to reject yourself. So you’ll never beat up on yourself, feel hurt inside, and walk away.

This is at the core of the Manly Art. Now how you go from your inner self to your outer one, and then from you to him, or her, or her to her, or . . . well — seduction is universal — is laid out clearly with questions after most chapters for you to answer. So that the book also becomes a journal for your progress in Seduction.

One of my main goals is to open seduction up to everyone, especially people who feel left out, who often end up spending the night alone and feel self conscious about themselves because they are either too shy or have some aspect of themselves that they feel ashamed of. So I have a chapter on disability and seduction, as well as on weight and how we deal with that in a society obsessed with youthful slimness. I also included chapters on seduction across race lines and class lines, which sometimes feel like an even tougher barrier. And also issues like erectile dysfunction, penis size, seduction and married men, straight men, threesomes, and seduction within a relationship where sex has either become stalemated or nonexistent.

Since one of the keys to successful seduction is making yourself available, I have a chapter on seduction over dinner at your place, even if you can’t cook and your home looks like a gang of Neanderthals just left it, or what do you do when you go to his place and he’s acting like romance is just not on the menu. Turning cold potatoes into a hotter dish is at the meat of the Manly Art, but the most important thing is knowing that you are at the center of it and can bring someone else into it and love every moment of it.

If you’re intrigued about the Manly Art of Seduction, I’m co-leading a workshop on it with Jerry Kajpust on April 29, and will be happy to talk with you more about the workshop, too

PS. I want to thank Bart Greenberg from the Lincoln Center B & N’s Community Relations staff for making this event possible. Bart is the friend of many communities, and a great pal to have in the book world.

Discovering Manhood and the Work of Branden Charles Wallace

March 10, 2010

Image of two men from "The Comfort of Men" series by Branden Wallace

(Note: the following is the text of a piece I read at a panel discussion on Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at the LGBT Community Center in New York on the work of the painter Branden Charles Wallace, as part of the Center’s Second Tuesday Cultural Program. The other panelists were Philip F. Clark, who blogs about art @ BlogSpot; Peter Drake, Dean of Academic Affairs at the New York Academy of Art; Bruce Donnelly, filmmaker working on a documentary about The Comfort of Men; and Jerry Kajpust, M.A., co-leader of the Manly Art of Seduction Workshops, staff member at the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation.)

Discovering Manhood and the Work of Branden Charles Wallace


            I first saw Branden’s paintings at an Erotic Art Fair at the Center at least a year ago. I thought of all the artists in the room, his work stood out. What attracted me was the sense of casual male power in it, especially in his paintings of men wrestling or playing rugby. They had that feeling of a suppressed, muscular strength that at any moment would unleash itself and bring the viewer along with it. I think it is that sense of a casual even diffident power that so often attracts us to men and the world of men, this secret world in which male intimacy, strength, and vulnerability mix and sometimes collide. Branden and I started talking, and he revealed he was a fan of John Singer Sargeant; of course this too excited me. Sargeant may be the greatest American painter who ever lived—or is certainly in a narrow field of greatest American painters—he was hugely classical, constantly fresh, and also queer as the proverbial 3-dollar bill: something art historians have tried to hide for years. Many are no longer hiding it. But I thought Branden had some of Sargeant’s freshness and that luscious, sexually-energized power waiting to embrace you and invite you into its more private, beautiful regions.      

            Later, I learned that Branden had experience working with the military as an Army contractor; I’d also had 3 years of a similar experience as an “Air Force wife,” when, living with my ex-partner, an Airman, got to experience that paradoxically tender and hard environment of the military—suppressive, disciplined, aggressively egalitarian, at once. The “Comfort of Men” series reminded me of that; in the environment of war, men allow feelings to come out, from heroism and almost bottomless love to extremes of grief that they suppress in everyday life. I felt Branden wanted to take these feelings, which are allowed, even nurtured in a gay environment, and expose them to a larger, more menacing world.

            In a contemporary America, any male efforts toward other men are either identified as gay (and trivialized as such); or desperately try to sneak out of the gay category, often through compulsive commercialism. In other words: if it really sells, it can’t be all queer since selling is what real men do to put food on the table.

            This is sad to me, not because the “normal” man has contracted himself to fit into a narrower range, but because the gay environment itself has become so much bigger, so heroic, that the TV sitcom stereotype that tries to explain us to the world only comes out more moronic—and even teenagers are seeing that.

            How did American men end up where they are now: totally gelded as far as deeper feelings are concerned? Gelded, depressed, alone, often suicidal? If you look back at men from earlier times, the letters they wrote, the pictures they exchanged, and grasp the male tenderness involved, it makes one wonder how did we get to this point?

           Sam Staggs, who made a name for himself in gay porno writing as “Phil Andros,” wrote about gay life in the 1930s, when he was a friend of Gertrude Stein’s: “We existed under the protective umbrella of American sexual naiveté.” In other words, there were fewer categories because sex itself was so forbidden that it was hardly talked about.

            Several things changed this. One was the increasing popularization of Freudian jargon, so millions of people were bandying around terms without ever reading Freud.

            But a pattern of acute, dangerously popular homophobia emerged in the early 1960’s due to two figures. One was Jack Kennedy and his circle which tried to bring a razorish preppy butchness to American culture in order to hide Jack’s own queer fears and tendencies: There were many rumors floating about Senator Kennedy and he knew it. Kennedy loved sexual attention, and probably never cared that much where it came from, although his father Joseph Kennedy did. So this attitude of arrogant sexual defensiveness, with Joe McCarthy’s bigotry behind it, hardened to concrete.

            The other influence was the emergence of the Playboy philosophy, bringing “red-blooded”-American-male heterosexuality out of the closet, and nailing everything else into it. Hugh Hefner was a publishing revolutionary; he knew American men wanted to do a lot more than tiptoe through the tulips. Before Playboy, the stereotype of homosexuality was that it existed because women, put off-limits by Victorian repression, were not available. In this environment of virgin womanhood, homosexuality “swished” in. Also, homosexuality was abetted by the fear of pregnancy, so basically homoeroticism had no reason to exist except as an outlet for desperate, horny men.

            Marshal McLuan, the Media-Maven of the Sixties, declared that with the advent of birth control, women would become “the bomb” of sexuality, constantly exploding, and homosexuality would totally disappear.

            In truth Marshal McLuan has disappeared, but not homosexuality. Still, the Playboy Philosophy and Kennedyism changed the environment in the early 60s. Gay men were no longer sinners and sickos: they were losers. The Playboy brand of Reddi-Whip supermarket sex had become so pushed down America’s throat, that it would remain there until feminism exposed the fact that Playboy was exactly that: for boys. The Playboy image and philosophy would not let men grow up and become actualized people.

            So, where does this leave us?

            My feeling is that currently, gay men are authentically discovering, even inventing the male gender: that is, manhood as something distinct, the way that feminists did for womanhood. Until recently, men were still considered the colorless, odorless, unobtrusive background against which a feminine element could be identified and used. This led men to a negligible position: they could not strive for self-identity and recognition, because that was feminine. They could feel nothing but fatherhood, regular-guyness, sportsmanship, patriotism, and their own willingness to die if necessary for a cause that often they could not define.

            The old male virtues of vigor, self-fulfillment, and sexual attractiveness were in constant question. If you look at pictures from the Renaissance down the emergence of bourgeois culture you see images of fantastic male power and excitement. With the emergence of bourgeois and then consumerist culture, men are deadened to the point of oblivion.

            My favorite example of this is Gerald Critch in D. H. Lawrence’s 1913 novel Women in Love, who can only show feelings that are violent and brutal, and who finally kills himself after he is sexually rejected by a woman. His friend Rupert Birkin who openly adores him, says, “He should have loved me more.” But Gerald cannot. What this has meant in contemporary culture is that gay men are often now in the role of saving other men, of being habitually open to the needs of men and valiant about it. I talk about the male need for valor in my book The Manly Art of Seduction, and it is by pushing valor to include an admission of the beauty of men, something our own society can only merchandize but can’t really honor, that gay men are not only discovering and inventing the gender of manhood, we are saving it.

For more information about Branden Wallace, go to:

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.


Friday, Sept. 7, 2007: The most important phone call of my life

September 10, 2007

Perry Brass, author of Carnal Sacraments and other books. I got what may be the most important phone call of my life today: from my urologist, Dr. Hashmat who practices in Brooklyn. He told me that the prostate biopsy that he did a week ago last Monday came back “normal.”

“You’re normal,” he said. “I know you must be anxious to hear this.”

I felt like someone had handed my life back to me. This huge weight had been hanging over my head and I’d been trying desperately not to feel it, pretty much living in denial, trying to go about my business as if nothing were happening. Twice, the first week after the biopsy was done, I’d woken up about 2 a.m., jolted from anxiety. I got up, walked into another room, sat down on the couch, and tried to keep from going out of my head. I kept telling myself how fortunate I’d been. I’d been able to live my life almost exactly the way I’d wanted to live it–had done what I had set out to do–been able to write books, poetry, songs, plays, articles for God-knows-how-many magazines. I’d given a number of people pleaure in their lives–I was very fortunate. But even more fortunate, I’ve been loved, really loved by some wonderful men and women. My partner Hugh, my closest friend Robert, my sister, our friend Susan, my wonderful best friends Jeff Campbell and Marc Collins, who is are longer alive, only two of the terrible victims of AIDS; there are others, but that is what is important in the long run, being loved, being able to feel it and know it.

I was so lucky. By sheer fortune, I found a doctor who started to see that my PSA level was rising: it was 4.2.–7 is prostate cancer–so she sent me to see Dr. Hashmat, an excellent urologist, and he looked seriously at me and decided that we needed to do this biopsy. We did it in his office. It was painful: I can’t lie about that. Even with a large dose of anesthetic, it felt like this rattle snake was running up my ass and biting me in there. He took 7 samples from various sites on the organ, and then told me to wait until the anesthesia wore off. I was dizzy and a bit nauseated. Robert came to Brooklyn to accompany me back to Manhattan, and then the Bronx. Hashmat had warned me that I would see some blood in my urine, my stool, and my semen. But I wasn’t prepared for how much blood would appear the first time I urinated. It was scary, and it continued for the first day or so. My groin felt terrible, like I’d been kicked in it; but I did not want to feel that, all I wanted to do was not be worried about it. Just try to . . . be someplace where I would not have to think about that word cancer at all.

My father had died of colon-rectal cancer at the age of 42. I was 11 when he died, and never was told what he had died of. Back then, in 1958, in the Deep South, you never mentioned words like “colon,” “rectal,” and “cancer” to kids, as if there was something obscene in the Southern mind about all of that: it was too involved with the real body, and everybody knew where that could lead: to the truth itself, something no one could venture into when I was growing up.
The truth was absolutely shameful, so you stayed as far away from it as possible.
We’re still staying away from the truth about so much, but I am grateful for the candor and frankness people now have about things like prostate cancer.
I joked to a friend that I never knew what the word “prostate” meant until I was about 36. Prostate was a part of that nether region that was not supposed to be broached in polite company. I knew that there was a pleasurable aspect to it–ask anyone who’s into anal sex–but exactly what the prostate does, and often what it leads to–anyway, I had little idea.
I do now. And I’m deliriously grateful that I’ve dodged this particular, scary bullet, to put it mildly. I’ve now got the rest of my life before me . . . but then, in truth we all do.

In Love with Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

May 21, 2007

I have a terrible confession to make. For years and years I have been hopelessly in love with Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. I cannot even remember when it started, way before I knew anything about him—perhaps it was the first time my mother took me to the ballet in Savannah, Georgia, when American Ballet Theatre would hit town on one its yearly pilgrimages through the South, or the remains of the Ballets Russe would make a similar stop. The program was almost always the same—in fact, in a recent, wonderful talk the filmmaker Wakefield Poole did at the Donnell Library in New York, he explained it. Before he became a “pornographer” as he proudly calls himself, making the groundbreaking Boys in the Sand, with Casey Donovan, he was a young ballet dancer, touring with the always-touring Ballets Russe de Monte Carlo. “We always did the same ballets, to save scenery and costumes. There was ‘Graduation Ball,’ ‘Gaite’ [for ‘Gaite Parisian’] and the third act of Swan Lake.”

He went on to explain:

“The third act of Swan Lake made me know I was a dancer. All I did was stand there and move my arms a bit, but just seeing all those dancers in white with the blue light around them made me know that I was doing something very special and wonderful.”

Well, that did it for me, too. Just being this child in the audience (I think I was maybe eight or nine), and seeing this absolute magic floating on the stage—I was hit. I was smeared. I was . . . I was absolutely intoxicated with ballet and Tchaikovsky. I wanted to live inside it, and him. That feeling continued in my life, decade after decade, and I still have it. I cry my eyes out at the last act of Swan Lake—it has nothing to do with the story, but the fact that he is watching it, too. I’m sure of it. This handsome Russian man with all of his imaginative power, delight and wit is watching every single performance of it. I’m sure of it. I felt that way before I knew anything about him, when he was only some strange name most people can not spell, and his life seemed so remote as to be untouchable.

There are, I am sure, two Tchaikovkys: one is the popular composer who wrote all those engaging, marvelous ditties from The Nutcracker Suite and Sleeping Beauty, and lots of other music that seems almost destined to be lampooned, ridiculed, by a lot of highbrow critics, and even labeled as throw-away. But the really smart people will have nothing to do with that. The genius choreographer George Ballanchine said that Peter Ilyich was the world’s greatest composer for ballet, and if anyone knows, Ballanchine should. Yes, the smart people know that even under some of the sillier things he wrote, there was this brooding intensity; but under the other things—Tatiana’s fantastic letter scene from the opera Eugene Onegin, for instance; the Little Russian Symphony, among so many others—an emotional storm is unleashed and working. You are completely inside him and beside yourself. He has found the perfect expression of everything he could not express.

Then there are other things, like the wistful waltzes in Swan Lake, that seem so simple as to be simple-minded, but which truly haunt you. You realize inside them is the sadness of men who can never have what they want. And that was Tchaikovsky’s own sadness. He was gay—to use one of our many names for this—at a time when being that way was hell. It was knowing you were what was unnamable; it was knowing you were never going to be able to go, freely, inside that deep romantic heart of yourself and bring back the gold of your own feelings and lay it openly, kindly, at the feet of another man.

This was peculiar, too, in the fact that Tchaikovsky was so Russian and so loathed by so many of Russia’s other composers, because they felt that his never-descreet-enough homosexuality in their closed but gossipy society was an insult to a country trying hard to re-identify itself only a few decades before the Revolution exploded it. For two hundred years, Russia’s upper class had been under the dominance of French and English culture. It was impossible to be among the elite and not speak and write fluent French and adequate English—then Victorianism, from both sides of the English Channel, was considered the arbiter of the high taste. There were still the wild, hyper-religious masses of Mother Russia, but the enlightened upper classes rejected them as boorish for French or English refinement.

Countering this was an attempt at a “real” Russian music and culture based on folk tales and songs, coming from Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov, Alexander Borodin, and Modest Mussorgsky. They wanted a hairy-chested, back-to-the-people, two-fisted Russianism, and Peter Ilyich’s very existence represented a spit in the face to that. He was too “light”; a pansy with gossip swirling around him. He was drawn to younger men—sometimes servants, sometimes men of his own class—and as much as he tried, through a disasterous false marriage, to hide it, this attraction dogged him.

In 1891 he sailed to New York to open Carnegie Hall. He was one of the world’s most famous composers, and I keep wondering, would he have been happier in New York, if that could have been possible? New York was known to be a more open city than most of Europe. It had a fairly accessible underground gay culture. But it was impossible for him to stay. He came back to Petersburg, and died there, in 1893, of cholera—and the question has always been, did he willingly drink a glass of water that was contaminated with it? Did Peter Ilyich kill himself in this almost untraceable way, or was he forced to kill himself, as the only way to keep gossip about him (and possible blackmail) from emerging, in the way that it broke out and destroyed Oscar Wilde?

This question has been asked over and over again; Ken Russell in his way- over-the-top Tchaikovsky movie starring an unbearably handsome young Richard Chamberlain, The Music Lovers, gives us the idea that he was forced to do it. This was so, even though his brother Modest, who was also his manager, was known to be “queer as the proverbial goose,” but able to stay in the background.

What brought me back to Tchaikovsky was reading the Rev. Mel White talking about his own “engagement” with of all people the loathsome Jerry Falwell, who I’m sure would have forced poor Peter Ilyich to drink that water at the drop of . . . anyway, it was so terrible reading Mel White talk about himself in these words:

“After I put myself through exorcism, electric-shock therapy, then slitting my wrists, and going to the hospital, my wife finally said, ‘You know, you really have a life of your own. I like gay people, but I just didn’t want you to be one.’ Eventually I met and fell in love with Gary Nixon, and as soon as I realized that my sexuality was a gift from God and got over my fear and guilt, I wrote Stranger at the Gate, in which I told the leaders of the religions right that they are doing terrible damage and they must stop.”

Unfortunately, Peter Ilyich did not get that chance. But every time I go to the ballet and see Swan Lake or Ballanchine’s Serenade, or at Christmas, when I hear the NutcrackerCarnal Sacraments, I think of him, and imagine this handsome man sitting next to me, reaching for my hand.

Of the Dead Speak Only Good: Jerry Falwell is dead.

May 16, 2007

Falwell was an infuriating character, and I think a lot of the anger that is coming out now from the gay and/or progressive community is a logical extension of that. He had an amazing, homogenous stupidity: there were very few surprises that came out of him. It’s not like he had a good side, an endearing, kind, warm, charitable side. If he did, then these sides were certainly kept out of the “public discourse,” and the most that can be said of him is that he gave a face and distinctively repugnant voice to what a lot of close-minded Americans were thinking—that they had the answers, and the answers were simple, stupid, and usually what they had, too, had been taught by their families and parents.

But I think that there is another facet to the anger that is coming from Falwell’s death: that he actually instilled fear into the minds of a lot of gay men and women. That under that chubby, down-home, Ya’ll comeexterior was a really vicious man, and he could get away with that viciousness in ways that someone like the current Pope, Benedict XVI, can not. Pope Benedict is too transparently rigid, cold, and uningratiating. People may love him because he’s the Pope, but he’s not fooling anyone when he rails against homosexuality, birth control, freedom of choice, and all the other ills of “secularism.” But Falwell, whom one progessive said should go straight to Heaven, where he’ll be found lying between Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, could come off on TV as the cuddly uncle, the country uncle who told it like it was: and that was scary. That was worse than the skinny man in a dress leading the flock. This country is filled with anti-Catholic people who would still swallow every word Falwell said; they’d never believe the Pope, but they would “Amen” with Falwell all the way to the Inquisition.

37 Ways To Be Seductive With A Man,

May 1, 2007

Warlock, a Novel of SeductionThirty Seven Ways to be Seductive with a Man—For Men and Women

One of my prime feelings lately is that too many gay men have lost the talent of being seductive. A generation or two ago, it seemed to go with the territory. Maybe too many of us had seen too many old movies and knew the moves that the stars of old used, to keep them stars—but seduction I feel has become a lost art, but one which a little practice we can bring back again.

So to reacquaint you with it, I offer 37 ways to be seductive. You might find more at my website,, but these 37 are good ways to begin.

1) Repeat his name after you hear it. Then say, “I like your name.” Even if you don’t and his name is Jerky McSmirk, say it. Then smile a bit, but make sure he does not feel that you are laughing at him.

2) Ask him what he does with his time that is important to him. Almost every man loves to talk about his work, and even if he doesn’t he will have something that he likes to do with his time and is waiting for someone to ask.

3) Keep his hand in yours for more than moment, but not long enough to embarrass him if he is embarrassed by public displays of affection.

4) Touch him behind the ear or neck. Very gently.

5) Get close enough to him that he can smell your breath, and make sure that your breath is worth smelling.

6) Tell you like . . . the way he smells, his skin feels, his eyes look—something completely personal.

7) Invite him to sit down with you.

8) Invite him to stand up, go to the bar, go outside for a breath of air; anything, just invite him to do it, so he knows you are including him in your plans.

9) Ask him how he feels. And repeat the question often. In most of “normal” life, no one cares how men feel. It is considered uncool to ask. Don’t be afraid of being uncool. Cool is for kids. Warm is for men.

10) Ask him to taste what you are drinking. And then smile.

11) Offer to buy him a drink. Or, if not a drink, then something else. Don’t offer this to reciprocate for something he has already done; make it a freewill offering. If it is simply tit-for-tat (whatever the hell that means), it loses a lot of its seductive power and even your tit may start to pale compared to his tat.

12) If you offer him a business card (and people do nowadays), write something on the back of it that is personal, even if it’s just your signature and “call.”

13) Touch his hair or forehead lightly with your fingers and smile while you’re doing this.

14) Sophia Loren was once asked who was the most seductive man she had ever met. “Cary Grant. We met on a plane. What struck me immediately was how he smelled, with a very subtle citrus cologne, and how nice his manners were. So many men use bad manners to seduce, and that’s bad.”
Learn something from that.

15) Wherever you are, find an excuse to invite him outside for a moment. Then enjoy the fact that the two of you are breathing the same air without a lot of other people breathing it.

16) Invite him to your—whatever. Apartment, palatial estate in Hoboken, hotel room, or even the curb where your car is parked, or the curb next to the subway entrance. But make sure he knows this invitation comes from you personally.

17) Ask him out for something. If he asks if this is a “date,” say, “No, but I just thought we’d get to know each other and have fun.”

18) There is nothing so seductive as a man who knows when to laugh at the right time. Never laugh at him, unless of course the whole situation at some point becomes so absurd that even while laughing at him, you are really laughing at yourself.

19) At some point make sure that your cheek is close to his. You can do this by getting close enough to him to whisper into his ear. There is something tingling and nice about having someone whisper into your ear anyway, but having your cheek next to his cheek means that you are inviting intimacy, something that most men find appealing, even if they are not capable of doing it themselves.

20) When he shows up at your apartment, tell him how much nicer he looks without a lot of people around him.

21) Don’t expect him to sit next to you his first time in your “space”; allow him to have some other alternative seating. And don’t take offense if he does not sit with you. He may be too shy to plump down next to you when he hardly knows you.

22) But this should not keep you from approaching him and smiling.

23) Always offer a man something to eat. It may be light, but it should have some texture to it. If he’s nervous at your first meeting, having something like celery or carrots around for munchies can be good. Don’t just offer him a drink. Although “liquor is quicker,” it often makes men feel out of control.

24) Sex and intimacy are great appetite suppressants, which is probably the reason why so many people are over-weight now: they don’t get enough of either. So if things heat up, dinner can wait.

25) Admire something he’s wearing, then tell him, smiling, how much better he might look without it.

26) Don’t jump all over him. Let him have a moment to enjoy the intimacy of physical closeness with you. Sexual dysfunction is now on the rise, and part of that may be that people expect too much to happen too fast, in an already stressful work-driven culture. So no matter what “deed” happens, enjoy the fact that he is there enjoying you.

27) Ask him, “Is there anything we can do that would make you more comfortable?” If he hesitates, then tell him what would you more comfortable.

28) Try taking off your shoes, and then his.

29) Massage his shoulders. Most men carry huge tension in them. Use a light touch, and don’t try to do anything unexpected that would surprise or bother him.

30) Point out something around the apartment or space that interests you, and talk about it in a way that can bring him into the picture. (“Do you have anything like that? What do you usually show your friends?”)

31) Turn the music to something that is soft, no matter what your taste in sound is. Never make either of you talk over the music, and if the news is on turn it off.

32) Bring out some pictures to look at it. And invite him to sit closer to you.

33) When you are sitting closer, have at least one part of your body (an elbow, knee, hand, or shoulder) touch his.

34) If you offer him something to eat, give him a moment to try it without being all over him. Seduction requires a moment for him to enjoy being near you without you being aggressive about it. So, draw away from him for a moment while he eats. Or drinks.

35) If you feel that he is withdrawing from you (and sometimes this happens from nerves or self-consciousness), then take a breather. Don’t get into his face, but back off a bit, and then come back with (in a nice, non-threatening way): “What’s your day been like?” Get him to talk. Again, most men are never asked about their feelings or themselves unless it has to do with work and is done in a threatening or threatening way. (My most loathed question is, “How’z-it goin’?” Instead of “How are you feeling?” It’s OK for street morons to reduce each other to that; you don’t have to.)

So the fact that you are not asking in a threatening or challenging way is wonderful.

36) Touch his shoulders gently. And then work your way up to his ear or face: gently. Kiss him, but not on the lips. Now start to touch his chest, and unbutton a button or two. After unbuttoning a few buttons, stop, kiss him, then begin unbuttoning or removing more.

37) Tell him you did not expect him to look so good with his clothes off. And then say, “I really like your shoulders (or chest, or neck, or arms, or . . . ). Most men love having their bodies complimented. And, if he does have a great body, and it’s obvious that he’s spent a lot of time on it, tell him, “You should keep your clothes off all the time.” In other words, you are not so foolishly “cool” and self-involved that you are going to ignore something that means a lot to him.