Monday, August 25, 2008

(Bad) Portrait of a Hustler: American Gigolo

Ever since the great humanistic film critic Manny Farber died last week at the ripe old age of 91, writer/director (and former film critic and Kael acolyte) Paul Schrader, who so eloquently has been making the tribute rounds to Farber, has been on my mind. I’ve always been a fan of Schrader’s writing – as much for his fearless risk taking as for his Travis Bickle triumphs. “American Gigolo,” his very-1980 follow-up to Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” in which Richard Gere’s rent boy to rich older women Julian Kaye falls for Lauren Hutton’s senator’s wife Michelle Stratton while simultaneously finding himself a suspect in the murder of a “rough trick,” is typical Schrader, forever probing overlapping lurid worlds with the attention of an obsessive pathologist. Even with mediocre acting, earnest dialogue sometimes bordering on the heavy-handed, and predictable hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold asides, “American Gigolo” is still a fine slice of celluloid cheese, containing camerawork both sleek and fluid and that sexy sing-along anthem (“Call Me”!) complete with Debbie Harry’s French coos. Incidentally, I’ve always been a fan of male prostitutes as well. So why is it that I’ve never been a fan of this flick?

To find out the answer visit Spout.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Neurotic Libertine: Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Polyamory

Queen of Bad Sex Catherine Breillat could learn a thing or two from Woody Allen. Not only is his latest celluloid psychotherapy session “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” a phenomenal work of intellectual porn, but it also happens to contain one of the sexiest, most hysterical and poignant portrayals of polyamory to come along in a long, long time. Allen actually gets that those of us who choose to live outside of hetero monogamy are not voracious sex addicts lacking in morality – on the contrary, we simply abide by a different set of desires and ethics than that of the mainstream.

To read the rest of my rave review visit Spout.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Miss Mae West and Me

One of my earliest movie related memories – from the time I was six or seven – was of parading around the house, hips swishing and purring in my finest Mae West mimicry, “Why don’t ya come up and see me sometime?” I barely remember actually watching the B&W “My Little Chickadee” on the tube, so mesmerized was I by the platinum blonde goddess, a creature clad in ultra-femme garb but projecting an aggressively male body language and distinctly unfeminine voice – like no one I had ever seen on the screen. Years later I would realize it was my first encounter with a woman like me.

Everything I ever needed to know about being a gay male in a female body I learned from Miss West. My most personal Spout column to date.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back in The Swing

After being temporarily laid off from my hostess gig at Erick’s swing parties in midtown I returned to find not much had changed in the past few months. Though the hostess turnover had inevitably produced a few new girls, Star was still monopolizing men; and save for the two black leather padded swings and the long spanking bench Erick had installed on the second floor, all else, including the curtained off beds and massage tables and scent of incense in the lounge, remained the same.

Well, except for the new “bowling for porno” playing on the TV. The big butts had been replaced with a “gangbang in a bowling alley” themed fuck flick complete with extra long shots of, well, actual bowling. As hard balls sailed smoothly down lanes, crashing into phallic pins, and close ups of guys sticking fingers inside dark holes appeared on the screen, I began to wonder if bowling was some newfangled fetish I’d somehow missed. Admittedly I’d never been a fan of bowling, but then I never knew it was an erotic sport.

Technically Erick’s party this night was S&M themed, hence my being brought back into the perverted fold, but I didn’t have time to make an equipment stop at Pandora’s beforehand so I had to borrow a leather paddle from one of the stripper hostesses (who knew strippers carried paddles?!) when the submissive chick and her co-worker kink buddy arrived. They were both newbies so I gently bent the chubby nervous woman over the padded bench on the second floor and gave a quick art of spanking demo. Then I suggested they head over to Paddles (after checking with nipple torture Johnny as to which night was the most happening) to mingle with real lifestyle players.

Returning to the lounge I found that another one of Erick’s personal trainer friends had shown up. I watched curiously as he darted about the room grabbing used plastic cups and emptying trash bins like a coked up maid, wearing a red baseball cap pulled low over his eyes and a loose fitting, white knit shirt that teasingly hinted at steel muscles. Erick caught my eye. “He’s not a paying customer,” he ribbed. I introduced myself just to be cordial then plopped down on the couch to chat with an extremely laidback black guy who surprised me by saying he worked as a trader at Deutsche Bank. As the vibe in the room settled into high school basement party Erick decided it was time for some fun and sex games.

“All the guys line up on the couch!” Erick ordered and as they tentatively did all us hostesses makeshift blindfolded them with Glad trash bags in order to play “Whose mouth is that on my dick?” with a tall, light-skinned black hostess with the comic timing of a bitchy drag queen serving as emcee. After passing out condoms she and Star took part in the first round followed by a game of “Whose titty is that in my mouth?” (she and Star again) and the non-mandatory, extra bonus round of “Whose pussy is that in my mouth?” (Star). The Deutsche Bank trader won but, unfortunately, we’d forgotten to specify a prize. I suggested giving him Star.

After the sex games I finally got a chance to chat with Erick’s delicate but fiercely stylish queen friend, asked if he was a designer. He replied that yes, he was “in fashion.” I became excited as “Daddy Cool” came on over the second floor speakers then frustrated as I blanked out on Boney M. “Damn! Which group is this?” I asked impatiently. The queen shrugged. “You know, the lead singer’s all pimped out, they’re from Berlin,” I prodded. “Kraftwerk?” he guessed. “Does this sound like Kraftwerk?” I sighed and started to ascend the stairs to the lounge but was stopped by the bodybuilder. “Did you just return from vacation?” he asked, referring to my tan. “Nope, just a day at Jones Beach,” I replied from halfway up the flight. We talked briefly and I learned he was thirty-six years old, Puerto Rican and Italian, worked for David Barton’s gym – and couldn’t stand Gio because he’s “arrogant” (wasn’t that part of the personal trainer/hustler job description?)

The conversation seemed innocent enough so I was a bit startled when as I was leaving at the end of the night I again passed him on the stairs. “Can I get your number?” he wondered. “Sure, why not,” I shrugged and gave it to him. He asked to see what I look like so I flirtatiously lifted up my postage stamp print, summer mini-dress and did a silly little whirl around. “Wow, you have a great body,” he nodded then added that he already knew I had great legs. “We’re definitely going to get together, come over to my apartment in Queens, just take a cab and I’ll pay for it,” he enthused the words spilling out of his mouth. I smiled amused and told him I had to get up early. “No, not tonight but soon,” he replied. I just kept walking down the stairs as he sighed, “Now I’ve got a hardon,” and left him all hot and bothered. As I exited onto the litter strewn street I realized his voice reminded me of Javier Bardem’s in Woody Allen’s latest “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which I’d just seen at a press screening two days before. David’s voice had that same ring – the romance-language tinged accent on English the sound of seduction itself.

After sleeping a good seven hours I awoke the next morning to find a text message on my cell delivered at 1:47 a.m. “Good night. I cant wait 2 fuck u.” I made a mental note to call my swing party "cougar” friend Jude to ask about the latest stud. I couldn’t remember his name.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Notes On A Sex "Scandal"

In celebration of my latest hero Max Mosley, son of Britain’s prewar fascist leader and head of Formula One racing, who refused to passively be set up in a “Nazi orgy” sting operation by the shameful “The News of the World,” who bravely took his invasion of privacy battle to court where he proudly invoked his inalienable S&M right to be spanked – and won! – I say, here’s to you, my fellow perv. And the next time you’re in the States the caning’s on the house (of domination. But feel free to tip a portion of that 120 grand in damages awarded).

So with that case now out of the way, let’s revisit Michael Caton Jones’ 1989 take on the Profumo affair that brought down the Conservative Party in the early 60s, the original British, S&M sex Scandal at Spout.