Sunday, June 29, 2014

You take Viagra, I sniff chlorine...


For some reason, Sunday mornings draw me to a certain artist. Usually when I feature the work of Richard Rothstein, I encourage you check out his site amstel89 to see more of his spectacular images of Manhattan and the men who inhabit it. Often, the man in focus is the incredible Rob Eco the city's own urban Tarzan. If those weren't enough reasons, let me give you just one more.  Although the visuals continue to inspire, this week I was struck by Richard's writing, and his story Jewish Boy Soup.


'My first orgasm and my first defining moment of self-awareness as a homosexual occurred at the age of 11 in the winter of 1960. The YMHA (Young Men's Hebrew Association) was the site of this momentous incident when I chose to become gay.'


'The "how to swim" lecture off in the distance became a slushy blur of background sounds. My senses focused on the rich aroma of chlorine (which still arouses me), sweet and sour boy body odors, warm, moist air, assorted tufts of dark curly hair--A Whitman's Sampler of beckoning appendages. Curvy mounds. Napes of necks. Bending, stretching. Teasing. Laughing. Bullying. Domination. Submission. I found myself slipping into some kind of hormonal stupor.'

2 comments:

DavidAsset said...

I regret Richard's use of the phrase "chose to become gay". No one has a choice in connection with determining one's sexuality. Unfortunately, Right Wingnuts will point to sources such as this to validate their claim taht being gay is a life-style choice. It isn't.

TyeBriggs said...

I understand your point completely Dave but I believe Richard was being ironic.

The 'turn of phrase' describes to me the choice to accept who he was born to be and not a choice to decide sexual preference.

We don't chose to be gay of course, but we do choose whether to accept and share that facet of our life. I think the swimming pool helped welcome that acceptance.