Let’s talk about Amazon. Com–things you don’t but should
For those of you who do not know, I was one of the top 40 reviewers of Amazon when I left in December. This is significant in that I was the only person in the top 100 that reviewed GLBT books and movies but, of course, not everyone was happy with that and I am no longer posting on Amazon. I think it is very important for us to know that Amazon DOES NOT care if we do business there or not so I urge you to take your business elsewhere and support out independent GLBT business like the local bookstores and TLA.com.
I have recently learned some interesting facts about Amazon that I want to share. Since Amazon is so large and powerful they are not policed by any of the net protectors such as net nanny, etc. This simply means that Amazon can see what it wants and there are no stops top anyone seeing whatever on their site. Did you know that Amazon also sells porn and sex toys and those pages are open to all?
Small children can buy porn on Amazon-check out these links:
These items are in Amazon’s inventory and are available for immediate shipment to whoever orders them, regardless of age. Additionally the film below is so offensive that other companies have refused to carry it yet even a small child can buy it. There’s a scene where a woman is abducted, raped and a coke bottle is forced into her vagina – among many other rape short films – it’s a collection of short films about rape.
Let’s have a look at Amazon’s sex toy store which they call their Sexual Wellness Store. Maybe I am naïve but I did not know that butt plugs, vibrators, handcuffs, sexual furniture, etc. have anything to do with sexual wellness. Let’s call a dog a dog and not give it a fancy name. How about an 11 year old ordering a butt plug?
Amazon is the largest sex toy retailer in the US. Does that shock you? Imagine the joy that a 9-year old girl can get from reading all about dildos. Look what you can buy at Amazon.com without an age check.
all of the reviews that are here plus many more can be found at
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HvH, “Gone to the Movies”, Bruno Gmunder, 2008.
How Could I Have Missed These Flicks?
It has been said that they don’t make movies like they used to and they obviously do not make movie posters like the ones in “Gone to the Movies”, a parody of movie posters. HvH has taken classic movie posters and redesigned them so that they are extremely homoerotic.
This is a wonderful collection of drawings that is great dun. HvH changes the names of films and stars to give us a whole new way of looking at Hollywood. I found it very hard to pick a favorite as each is so ingenious. I do, however, lean toward “Cockapatra” starring Lickbeth Gaylor, Dick Burbon and Sex Garrison presented by 69th Century-Foxy. And of course there is “Bareback Mountain” starring Hot Leader, Jack Gimmeall, Mark Thatstheway and Michael Willing and “Gigantic”—“the cruise lines that gave new meaning to cruising…” with a cast led by Jamie Wood and Sucking Smiths (will Amazon post this?).
It’s all tongue in cheek and all great fun. I thought I recognized HvH’s work but it wasn’t until I read the introduction by Eric Arvin that I realized that I had actually read about the author on Eric’s website and realized that he had done the covers of Eric’s books. Like Arvin says “there is intimacy in his (HvH’s) art, even at its most epic…he inspires us…he entertains us, he makes us think”. The artist’s work is filled with passionate color and skillful use of shadow and his eroticism is in no way cheap or offensive. He is touching and unique and I look forward to seeing more from him.
Lee, Donovan. “Getting Past Almost: Expanded Edition”, Writers Club Press, 2002.
An Erotic Treasure
Being from New Orleans, I gravitate toward books about the city and I don’t know how I could have missed this one. The author sent me a copy yesterday and I immediately sat down and read it and I was impressed. It is quite, to say the least, erotic. I often have wondered about books that have so much sex but this one is special—it has a great story as well. The sex is very hot but the plot of the book is so good that even though you are reading some of the hottest fiction I have ever read, there is that wonderful storyline that makes it all that much better.
From what I have read the book has been published twice. Donovan Lee, the author and also the name of the main character, decided that after it succeeded in its initial publication to pull it back and add some of what he had previously cut as well as add some new material. All in all, it is a wonderful read.
I do have the feeling that I have spoken to the author and I wonder if it is who I think it is. At any rate, let me write about the book.
As the narrator, Donovan Lee, tells a friend of his about his gay sexual experiences we are let into the life of a young man discovering and experimenting with his sexuality. He relates to a high school friend some of his escapades and another friend happened to see something he should not have causing some trouble for the two friends. Young Donovan is ostracized and as soon as he graduates from the high school in the small town in Louisiana where he lives, he heads for New Orleans in search of love and happiness. What he finds is sex, sex and more sex and ultimately falls in love with his dream man. However his happiness is threatened and this threat could ruin his happiness. What Donovan does learn is to accept himself and all those changes that come with living.
To tell you anymore would ruin a good read and I would not want to do that. This is one of those books that you will read and remember for a long time and not just because of the sex but because we learn about self acceptance and being ourselves. I tell you that is one book that you will enjoy from cover to cover.
Johnson, Toby. “Getting Life in Perspective: A Fantastical Romance”, Lethe Press, 1991, updated 2008.
I must admit that before I read “Getting Life in Perspective” that I had no idea of what a fantastical romance was. I now understand that it is a novel that suggests “attitudes toward important issues” that are personal to the reader. This novel is a gay spiritual romance that is entertaining, fulfills emotionally and is somewhat erotic. The characters are both identifiable and likeable who have the same kinds of problems that all of us do and the book is educational as it talks about spiritual traditions that engender good attitudes toward love and sex. life and death, being human and toward issues of importance.
In the words of Toby Johnson, a fantastical romance is “about getting life in perspective”.
The two characters in the novel, Rick and Hubert, tell the story of gay life and relationships in the way it may have been at the end of the 19th century as the world was preparing to enter the 1900’s. The story is myth but it is steeped in history as it brings together a strong spiritual message and youthful romance and a bit of the other worldly,
Emotionally the book tugs at the heartstrings and it made me long for those days of childlike innocence and think about the meaning of love. Not many books do that and not many novels can cause the reader to open his perspective and cause him to remember. Toby Johnson has written an incredible look at gay life and thereby gives a wonderful reading experience.
Derfner, Joel. “Gay Haiku”, Broadway Books, 2005.
Sweet and Sassy
Joel Derfner is my new hero. After reading his new book, “Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever”, I made my own quest to find his first book, “Gay Haiku”. It sounded like it would be great selection of short jokes but it is so much more than that. Yes, it is funny but it is also insightful and biting. It is a description of the crazy and maddening world of gay dating and it is very easy to relate to the haikus that he gives us. In seventeen syllables he catches each moment perfectly something that authors have written full books about and not managed to get.
The Haiku poem has long been part of the Japanese literary tradition. Usually a haiku expresses peace and contemplation as well as spiritual enlightenment with a balance of rhythm and rhyme. Rather than write about the changing of the seasons or the miracles of nature, Derfner writes haiku about the changing of boyfriends and the miracle of shopping. (How can one not love that?). Included are 110 irreverent and witty haiku poems and each is fresh and original. Topics of the poems include decorating, dating, shopping culture and politics, family and, of course, sex.
“Gay Haiku” is terrific and is a laugh a line. It will probably give you an impetus to write haiku of your own.