Monday, August 09, 2004


So I'm reading the latest book, "Wake Up, Sir!" by one of my favorite authors Jonathan Ames, and in the book the character, a writer, looks up nose fetish in a book called the Psychopathia Sexualis. This book is a collection of case studies collected by a doctor in Vienna, Richard Krafft-Ebing who was Freud's superior. Unlike Freud, Dr. Krafft-Ebing didn't care to understand why people did what they did - he just collected the stories. And wrote them down in his book.

Jonathan Ames is a very funny guy and I have read everything he's written. He writes novels with characters, like the book I'm reading now, but he also writes books like "My Less Than Secret Life" which is a collection of essays written from his real life experiences and short stories that seem, at least to me, to be based on his real life. Those essays and stories were so funny that I often found myself moved to read them aloud. To total strangers. Who didn't necessarily think they were as funny as I did, but that could've been because I was laughing so hard I was pretty much incoherently gasping the words.

When I read his novels I often find myself wondering what he's lifted from his own experiences since I have some knowledge of his experiences and perspective from reading his other work.
In "Wake Up Sir!" the young writer, Alan Blair, meets a woman at an artist's colony where he is in residence and he is completely taken by her prominent proboscis. He's smitten in a sexual way which drives him to the library to look up "nose fetish" in the Psychopathia Sexualis. And he actually finds a couple cases in there.

As he goes through the book, the character reminisces about his adolescent days spent under the sheets with a flashlight and a copy of this book soaking up "the beautiful narratives." The "strange yearnings and acts" of the patients thrilling him. So I'm thinking that this is something that Mr. Ames probably did himself beause it would explain A LOT about where his attitudes about sex and sexuality come from. He's got pretty fluid boundaries which makes for great story telling, but also make me wonder.

I am always interested in the things that turn people on. I love listening to the stories of my more adventurous friends - the one's who attend swingers parties and try things like scarification as ritualized sexuality. I can't personally imagine actually attending those events mostly because I have a very sensitive nose and the thought of being in a room full of flying sexual fluids or burning flesh skeeves me out.

I remember going to Drake's on Melrose back in the 80s - where they had a room in the back with little booths where people could watch dirty movies and jerk off. The jerking off wasn't allowed, but it definitely was happening. I accidentally wandered back there and was curiously making my way down the center aisle looking in the cubicles to see what was doin, when I got a big whiff of lysol over cum, and realized my shoes were sticking to the floor. I turned and ran as the bile rose in my throat - not because I had a problem with the activity - it was the smell. I didn't want to throw up in the jerk off room and ruin someone's good time.

Although I'm sure that in the Psycopathia Sexualis there are case histories about people who really like all those smells. And I'm also sure that there are a lot of case histories about "deviant" sex that today we wouldn't consider so deviant. Well not most of us anyway. I think the religious right considers any type of sex that's not in the missionary position and only for the purpose of procreation deviant - but the religious right is, in my opinion, pretty much wrong about everything. I say if you've got two consenting adults who are both sane and in agreement pretty much anything goes.

And if it makes you laugh even better.

No comments: