Rainbow Reads :: April 26
This month’s Rainbow Reads features three hot new selections of erotica, two for the boys and one for the ladies. Also featured is the similarly saucy debut novel about a gay man running with the New York gay running club, and an "Occupy" handbook that will teach you how to stay and fight.
"The Dirty Boys’ Club: The Soap Opera Murders" (Simon Sheppard)
Imagine a porn film with a sustained plot, and you’ll have a good idea of Simon Sheppard’s new offering. Building on the 88 episodes of "The Dirty Boys’ Club" he wrote for Marcus Cook in 2003, Sheppard writes of the exploits of three gay hustlers: redheaded Bobby, longhaired blond Adam, and Southern brunette Will. After the boys are hired to be high-end hustlers in San Francisco, they are drawn into the seedy world of rich older men, retired soap opera stars, and closeted Oscar-winning actors. They start out with a lusty goodbye bash for Trey, a gay Marine who is short, but well endowed. When they ask, he tells, and he soon joins the boys as a hustler. The book features naughty sex scenes every few pages, with the boys involved in every imaginable pairing with everyone from rich cocksucker Carter Berenson, to a suburban son and his kinky father, to a stinky bike messenger named, predictably, Crash. Sheppard does a good job with both the erotica and the plot development, which finds Bobby discovering that closeted actor Ben Keyser has killed soap opera star Lance Clarke’s boyfriend Michel, who is trying to blackmail him with S/M footage of him with his boyfriend Butch, who he also knocks off. Sheppard also does a fine job placing the novel in the gay world, with frequent references to events like the Folsom Street Fair, Bill O’Reilly, Jerry Falwell’s critique of the Teletubbies, the marriage equality movement, and Mountain Dew Code Red. By the end, Trey saves Bobby, who has been tied to a chair by the murderous Keyser. "The Dirty Boys’ Club" is a perfect read for those who like their erotica super dirty, and with a bit of a story line and the occasional joke on the side. (Lethe Press)
"Say Please" (edited by Sinclair Sexsmith)
Editor Sinclair Sexsmith presents a collection of 23 stories of lesbian BDSM covering everything from whips and chains to water sports, domination and submission, Daddy play, topping, and gender play. As Sinclair notes in her introduction, "the stories explore the depth and breadth of experiences that this kinky queer world has to offer." In Wendi Kali’s "First Ride," a femme hops on the back of her butch’s motorcycle and finds herself chained to it in a clearing, with her fantasies of a hard ride coming true. Rachel Kramer Bussel finds a slap in the face to be tantalizing in her look at a couple’s side-alley hookup, and Gigi Frost goes "Mad Men" with her submissive spanking scene in "Housewife." Tough Jake Six gets her comeuppance by a butch daddy in "Call Me Sir: A Smutty Pulp Fiction Tale," and a sex worker finds her partner is her next client in Amelia Thornton’s "All of Me." In Vie La Guerre’s "Taking Direction," a femme who hits on Latina butch Angel in a nightclub finds her own butch partner teaming up with the woman to share her joint -- and her femme. Sassafras Lowry (an EDGE contributor) drops "Black Hanky," a hot tale of a flagging butch who forgoes a room full of femmes to bring home a butch boi bottom, who takes it like a man and earns the right to her own black flag. Dusty Horn’s "Spanking Booth" chronicles a charity drive kink tent, where a feisty femme gets her come-uppance over the lap of a dirty butch, who beats poor Beth with her own belt. Kiki de Lovely’s "Cruelest Kind" is a sadistic back-alley rape fantasy between a butch and her femme, culminating in bondage and anal sex. And Elaine Miller goes hi-tech in "Going the Distance," when a butch sends her girl a willing young boi to play with, while she watches via webcam. "Say Please" is a stunning collection of lesbian BDSM erotica that may not meet everyone’s tastes, but will certainly satisfy those lovers of kink.
"Cruising: Gay Erotic Stories" (Shane Allison)
Editor Shane Allison, a self-confessed fanatic of sordid bathroom hook-ups, presents a collection of 17 erotic stories of public sex and kink in exotic locations. The wild scenarios presented take place in corner stories and city parks, boathouses and the backs of big-rig trucks. In Bob Vickery’s "School Queer," young Pete sucks off every Baptist boy in town at the local boathouse. When big man on campus Bill begins asking Pete to describe his best friend Nick’s penis while sucking him off, Pete knows this jock has the queer lust. One night, Bill ends up bringing Nick along, and Pete sucks them both off at the same time. In Jeff Mann’s twisted tale, "Keeper," an older bear picks up a younger cub at a truck stop diner, only to pull a gun on him, hijack his truck, and rob him. Foregoing the shallow grave he has dug for the unfortunate trucker, the older bear decides to keep the earnest young man as his captive, a fate that the boy welcomes. An acid-fueled hook-up with a married man in a children’s amusement park is the stuff in Jonathan Asche’s "The Tuggle Muggs Magic Cave Ride." Rob Rosen finds his cure for "The Small-Town Blues" when a late-night cruising session reveals a well-hung Indian convenience store clerk beating off to some porn magazines. Threatening to share his secret, the man insists the clerk meet him for a late-night tryst at a public park, where they encounter Lester, a man who can suck his own dick. The resulting scene ends up being anything but boring. In Mark Wildyr’s "Bully," young Toby has a thing for homophobic bully and Vikings star quarterback Rex Lundgren. He channels his lust into sucking off a stranger at the La Palacio Hotel glory hole, only to discover when Rex calls him for a late-night tryst in the field house, that Rex was the stranger. Turned on and humiliated, Toby drags his mousy friend Rory to the glory hole and recreates the scene, with him in the role of Rex, exhilarated from the high of being the bully. Shaun Levin’s "Three Weeks in the Cemetery" is almost romantic, with a sad painter spending time in London’s Abney Park Cemetery, painting and sucking off men like studley Henrik, Denmark’s number one rock star. In Donald Peebles’ "New York’s Phynest," black queen Jesse Foster is innocently dancing to Janet Jackson’s "Feedback" at the Columbus Circle D line when strapping Officer Williams approaches him. When his cohort, Afro-Dominican Officer Martinez interrupts their flirtation, Jesse gets on the train. But he returns, discovering he has lost his pink iPod shuffle, and finds himself kidnapped at gunpoint. He is taken to Central Park, where his kidnappers, Williams and Martinez, double-team Jesse, to his delight. In Aaron Travis’ "Jonah and the Whale," a young hustler takes all comers in a porn arcade, until his thick-dicked Daddy makes him a one-man kind of guy, saying, "This time, the boy swallows the whale." And Gerard Wozek finds, "Francoise at the Toilette" in a Paris he knows not for the Mona Lisa or Le Sacre Coeur, but for the random hook-up spots at various Metro stations and under bridges. He fancies he has made a connection with handsome Francoise, whom he meets Thursdays at 4 p.m. at the Metro station, only to follow the man and discover that Francoise has his own route to cover. This hot collection of rough trade tales are perfect for gay men of all ilk, especially bears, voyeurs, exhibitionists, and those who love their kink extra kinky.
"The Miles" (Robert Lennon)
Former Front Runners president Robert Lennon drop his debut novel, "The Miles," an insider look at LGBT running clubs that draws comparisons to Patricia Nell Warren’s "The Front Runner." Lennon’s novel is the compelling story of Liam Walker, a gay New Yorker who joins LGBT running club The Fast Trackers to meet people and get in shape. After beating annoying club member Gene at his first race, Liam gets more involved in the club, and discovers the incestuous web contained therein. Club president Gary is an older man who fawns over Liam and younger runners and is a pillar in a storm, until his rich partner Malcolm commits suicide. Club members like sexy Zane, Marvin, and Ben vie for handsome Liam’s attention, but his cursed good looks and the potential for something better to come along keep him from making a commitment. The book also looks at anorexia among gay men, as seen through the character of Riser, a runner who is a bit too committed to his own personal best. As Liam intensifies his training regimen to compete against the Urban Bobcats and closeted gay Frenchman Didier Vallois, his priorities are challenged. Through it all, Liam must try to keep safe the friendship he has with loyal buddy Monroe, a pudgy fashionista who values afternoons at the "B-Cubed" of Bergdorf, Barneys, and Bloomingdale’s over early morning runs through Central Park. Lennon gives an honest portrayal of the lives and motivations of gay urban men, and peppers "The Miles" with enough references to New York hotspots like Splash, the Townhouse, The Time Warner Center, and the Coney Island Boardwalk to root it in reality. "The Miles" is a perfect read for members of Front Runners, or any gay man searching for his oasis in an urban landscape. (Kensington Publishing)
"The Occupy Handbook" (Edited by Janet Byrne)
The social justice/activism movement got a much-needed shot in the arm last year with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The ragtag bunch of revolutionaries who occupied downtown New York’s Zuccotti Park inspired similar actions throughout the country, and around the world. When the NYPD broke down the encampment last winter, many people hoped it would signal the end of the OWS movement. But, as planned protests on Wall Street indicate, the 99% have more up their sleeves. "The Occupy Handbook" looks at the historical roots of this movement, the links between income inequality and the economic crisis, what the protestors learned through their actions, and the power the movement has to effect real change. The book includes essays by economists Paul Krugman, Robert Shiller, Robert B. Reich, Paul Volcker, and Jeffrey D. Sachs. Editor Janet Byrne commissioned all of the essays for the book in a matter of just a few months. The handbook is broken down into three sections: How we got here, where we are now, and solutions. The book opens with a humorous essay from Michael Lewis, a mock memo from "The Strategy Committee" to those in the 1%, suggesting they quit American society altogether. The book is blessed with a top-notch roster of writers, including Gillian Tett, managing editor of "The Financial Times," John Cassidy of "The New Yorker," and feminist author Barbara Ehrenreich, who writes on "The Making of the 99 Percent and the Collapse of the Middle Class." Nora Lustig, Alejandra Mizala, and G. Eduardo Silva compare the OWS movement to their successful Chilean student movement in "Basta YA! Chilean Students Say ’Enough’." The book is chock full of essays on social justice movements and the Occupy Wall Street phenom, but sometimes reads unevenly. Some pieces are brief and make a single point, while others, such as "Taxing High Earnings" by economists Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez, delve deeper and read like an academic treatise. Overall, "The Occupy Handbook" does a good job of condensing the myriad issues around OWS and presenting them in a handy guide for scholars, activists, and those occupiers who are now just getting their tents out of mothballs in preparation for a long, hot summer. (Hachette Book Group)