37 posts categorized "BOOK REVIEW"

Mar 26 2014
Paging Gracefully Comments (0)

EthelMerman300RGB-691x1024I don't have a lot of time to read, but I'm interested in two current books. First up is Tony Cointreau's memoir with a title that I doubt has been used before: Ethel Merman, Mother Teresa...and Me (Prospecta Press, $24.95). As I've dipped into it, I've been intrigued by Cointreau's troubled but colorful childhood, his career as a singer and his extensive contact with Mother Teresa. His work with Mother Teresa revolved around caring for people with AIDS, a syndrome too many gay men these days seem too eager to want to forget ever existed, let alone still exists.

My old pal Owen Keehnen has cooked up a hilarious novel in Young Digby Swank (Wilde City, $14.99), a comic, Catholic Catcher in the Rye filled with Keehnen's trademark wit and his gift for observation. YoungDigbySwank_cvr-210x330-190x300An area is described as being like what the Garden of Eden was "before Adam and Eve ruined it for everyone," and Digby's desire for teen heartthrobs is summed up thusly:

"Whenever Digby bought the latest issue of Tiger Beat, he'd wait until he was the sole customer near the checkout at the drugstore, and then rush to the counter. Mr. Lister would always clear his throat and say, "Well, um" and adjust his glasses."

What gay kid didn't go through that?

 
Feb 14 2014
X Marks The Spot Comments (0)

Maripol

My pal Jason and I braved an over-capacity crowd at Bookmarc, the chic, Marc Jacobs-branded Village bookstore on Bleecker, to support photographer and artist Maripol as she publishes her latest book, Maripola X (Le Livre, $90, 600 numbered copies). Little did I know, it would become a sitting!

Downtown types were packed in that place like roe in a mama salmon, but we did eventually get up to see Maripol, who was spending time with each well-wisher. Maripol, recall, was the architext of Maripol-Matthew-RettenmundMadonna's "Material Girl" look, a great friend of the icon's and a stylist who crafted looks for the Like a Virgin album cover and more. On top of that, she's French. In spite of being a Downtown designer, a Madonna associate and fucking French (just kidding, French people, mwah!), she's warm and cuddly and impish, a complete delight. And this night was no exception.

Maripol surprised me by grabbing my camera and shooting a picture of together, then blew me away by grabbing her Polaroid and snapping this shot of me, which she promptly signed.

The book is delicious, an erotic collection of writings and positively lush Polaroids from the '70s and '80s, including (but not limited to) several classics of Madonna. It's a must-own for anyone interested in photography or that era, and a well worth the price.

 
Jan 25 2014
Got Me Covered Comments (0)

Young-and-Horny-Matthew-Rettenmund-gay-erotic-short-stories-LGBT-sex

Boy-CultureTime for a reminder that my collection of erotic short stories (all from the '90s) is yours for 99 cents. I would also be grateful for reviews—I received one good one and then a comically phony bad one from a disturbed person who initially wrote me to rave about it and is going through some issues. Thanks for the 250 or so I've already moved!

I'm looking to release Blind Items: A (Love) Story and some fresh stuff next. Here was the original cover of Blind Items, which I loved almost as much as the one for Boy Culture (pictured at right):

Blind-Items

 
Jan 17 2014
Art-On Comments (0)

DryRun-1

If you're a fan of gay erotic art, check out Capolavoro Di Uomo: Masterpiece of Man, a $69.95 hardcover coffee table book showcasing nearly four dozen artists whose subjects are rather cocky. Every possible style and every body type of man is explored, along with bios of each artist so you can get to know them as intimately as the nude bodies of the dudes they're painting and drawing.

It was fun recognizing some artists from my days at the porn publisher I worked for. But the highlight for each of you will be different—and you'll likely see some art you can't stand, too.  But that's part of the fun, figuring out which images impress you, which make you roll your eyes...and which give you a raging appreciation for art.

Peradamsplash3

Also of note is drag queen Linda Simpson's first-ever book, Pages ($20, Peradam). The book is a slim, perhaps even svelte volume of images she shot of her trans friend Page in the '80s, '90s and early '00s. It's an offshoot of her "photographic time capsule" The Drag Explosion, but it truly stands alone, from its arresting cover to its final image, another snap of a serene Page with her Mona Lisa smile.

 
Dec 02 2013
Boy Culture Turns 8: My 100 Favorite Posts! Comments (0)

BoyCultureBlogYou need a little (Boy) Culture!

StripperIt blows my mind to realize that Boy Culture is now eight years old. I can still remember the joy I felt when I figured out how to post, how to upload an image and how to embed a video. I remember every time a post blew up, bringing in hits and new viewers. I remember the longtime commenters, the trolls, the spam and the never-ending (and validating!) pitches and free tickets and photographers' snaps of half- or all-naked male models. 

RuPaul-Drag-RaceShooting for my blog has never been a drag.

Cone-boyI've used Boy Culture to express myself, to help express others and to connect to people internationally.

I've also used it to show off my humor (both high and low), to flaunt my obsessions, to reality-test my sexual diversions and perversions, to laud the art I love, to lash out against the enemies of gay people and to broadcast my admiration for Madonna.

I want to thank you all for having read this blog over the years. It's a very hard thing to maintain, and it will not be maintained forever. But each time I get some positive (or even just meaningful) feedback, each time my posts are shared on social media, each time something I've written elicits a response, it keeps me going that much longer.

Madonna-stepmother-Joan-MDNAMadonna's stepmother was not impressed.

Thank you. Please enjoy my 100 favorite posts, please let me know if you're reading any old ones for the first time and are liking them and, most of all, please share this entire post far and wide to help get my work out there.

**2008 first one 6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54fdddbfd8833-800wiMy first "Guydar" post from 2008.

As always, you can find me on Facebook (personal and blog), Twitter, Instagram and YouTube (plus, here are my YouTube greatest hits). 

ALL ORANGE TITLES ARE HOTLINKS.

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#100

TOTALLY RANDOM LISTS (2011—2013)

I've gotten way into lists. Way. You'll find more of my lists higher up on, uh, this particular list. But the ones that are just completely random go here because I worked my ass off on them, because I love them and because—judging from Quantcast data—you like 'em, too.

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DuranMy favorite Duran Duran member.

POP QUIZ: VIDEOS THAT KILLED (2011)

Totally awesome '80s! Take this visual quiz to see how many classic music videos you can ID.

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Brando-DeanI wish sex tapes had existed in the '50s.

UNDER THE GAYDAR: 10 PEOPLE YOU MAY OR MAY NOT REALIZE WERE OR ARE QUEER (2012)

I got lots of feedback on this, mainly because nobody realized Nell Carter was with a woman at the time of her death.

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DazzlerI would've chipped in to get this one made.

WOULDA COULDA SHOULDA: 5 INCREDIBLE MOVIES THAT NEVER HAPPENED (2013)

I'm shamless for including Leda & Swan, a movie that was a bomb without ever even being made.

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Lizabeth-ScottGreat Scott!

IN & OUT: 25 STARS' FIRST & LAST PERFORMANCES IN FILM & ON TV (2013)

Being obsessed with nostalgia and with movies, this was fun—but so very taxing—to compile. I loved the randomness of it.

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PSBI hate that music has been sleeveless for 20 years.

20 7" SINGLE SLEEVES FROM THE '80S THAT BELONG IN A GALLERY (2013)

Just 20 from my massive collection of 45s. I got rid of my 12" records, but I've kept these guys because they're just too much a part of my childhood.

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Amanda-BlakeAmanda Blake's marriage was a mystery, with both spouses dying of AIDS.

GAY MARRIAGE: CELEBRITIES WHO MARRIED LGBT SPOUSES (2013)

It might've been more efficient to make a list of famous straight people who managed to marry other full-on heteros.

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Mark-MessierThe infamous Gary Coleman/Mark Messier two-shot seen 'round the world.

ODD COUPLES: 19 UNUSUAL CELEBRITY PAIRS (2013)

This post encapsulates my outlook on pop culture and my desire to twist it and play with it...except in this case, its participants are already doing the dirty work.

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Lake-GenevaHaunted House: The family home that haunted Jane and Bill's final years.

#99

A FIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (2007)

My late mentor's husband struggles to give away his family home.

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#98

POLITICS (2005—2013)

I'm a political person and I blog about it a lot. Some of the entries stand up over time, but many are so of the moment it was hard to pull the ones I like best.

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Kevin-James-Adam-SandlerWhere Kevin James goes, (unintentional!!!) homophobia follows.

TRUNZO IS DUNZO (2007)

Star Magazine implying gay people aren't quite right? Not normal! This took off on several blogs and GLAAD got an apology from Trunzo over it. Some people think it's being "oversensitive," but Jesus...how much clearer is "Man to man" with a huge "NOT" (NORMAL) stamped over it?

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John-McCainIf McCain calls, I'm not here. 

NEW YORK TO McCAIN: DROP DEAD! (2008)

The time I saw John McCain and showed him exactly how I felt. 

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54fdcda278833-800wiThe Clintons practice some black magic 

WHITE MISCHIEF (2008)

When Bill and Hillary decided to use race in the race for the White House.

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Jason-WetheringtonCrist for the mill 

FLORIDA'S GOVERNOR ENGAYGED: DOES THIS COUNT AS "GAY MARRIAGE?" (2008)

Charlie Crist is gay. Really, really gay.

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Hillary-Clinton-guysThere's always 2016... 

HOW DO I LOVE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE GAYS... (2008)

The gay affair with Hillary Clinton.

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6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e554e2e7d28834Hail, Mary, full of disgrace

 SARAH PALIN = SPIRO AGNEW + HARRIET MIERS (2008)

Aw, she'll never last...

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Whoopi-Goldberg-Prop-8Whoopi-tee-doo & Kate, too! 

THE MARRYING KIND (2008)

That fabulously spontaneous anti-Prop 8 march in NYC.

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Barack-Obama"Fierce advocate" was once a taunt, and is now just true.

WITH US OR AGAINST US (2009)

A post from when the Obama Administration was considered almost openly hostile toward gay-rights advocates. I believe he's turned that impression around.

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OBAMA-DADTA good sign

IT GOT BETTER (2010)

The one where President Obama happily signed DADT out of existence.

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Sophie-B-HawkinsAs she lays her career down to sleep...

DAMN, I WISH SHE WOULDN'T DO THISI (2011)

Sopie B. Hawkins GOesProud. I wish she'd GOHome.

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Merv-Griffin-Tombstone_6I live for death!

#97

OBITUARIES (2009—2012)

I tend to write about almost every celebrity death I hear about, specializing in anyone from the Golden Era. These are two that really blew me away. You, too?

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Farrah-FawcettVery hazardous duties

AND JILL CAME TUMBLING AFTER (2009)

The death of Farrah Fawcett, a woman whose nips decorated my walls before I realized I had no use for them.

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Elizabeth-taylor-bathing-suitEnd credits

REFLECTIONS IN A VIOLET EYE: ELIZABETH TAYLOR DIES AT 79 (2011)

The biggest living star fades out. It's still hard to believe she isn't around anymore.

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Donna-SummerShe worked hard for the money.

LAST DANCE: DONNA SUMMER DIES AT 63 (2012)

I'd spent a long time hating Donna over her alleged anti-gay comments, but that rumor isn't the whole story on her life.

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Barbara-KentGood egg

MAKES SAD FACE, MOVES LIPS, TYPE APPEARS ON PANEL: "THE END" (2012)

I was surprised when no major news services noted the death of the last person to have starred in a silent film as an adult, Barbara Kent.

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Nov 25 2012
Need To Know Comments (1)

Matthias-Schoenaerts-shirtessThat shirt is the pits

Widget boy cultureMatthias Schoenaerts heads up a spread for Vogue.

Widget boy cultureYasser Arafat to be exhumed, tested for poison. Yasser-Arafat

Widget boy cultureAl Jazeera: Radioactive polonium detected on Arafat's belongings.

Widget boy cultureMuslim radio station fined for pushing "torture" for gays.

Widget boy cultureTRAITORS: Texans flirt with secession.

Widget boy cultureTRAITOR: Gay Tory sez LGBT people don't want marriage equality.

Widget boy cultureAmnesty International against "Kill the Gays" bill, says being gay a "choice."

Widget boy cultureParenting and being gay no longer mutually exclusive.

Widget boy culturePrison-sex crackdown.

Widget boy cultureWhat if names were farts?

Widget boy cultureFinally, a time-traveling cops Web series.

Widget boy cultureScratch That: Meet two men who own 50 tons of 78 records.

Sistine-chapel-records_optMust be some kinda record!

 
May 28 2012
The Greatish Pretender Comments (1)

SafariScreenSnapz001

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: *** out of ****

I'm working on a memoir, so I thought I'd give Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny "The Bloggess" Lawson a try and wasn't sure what I'd gotten myself into at first. The housewife/mom/blogger/taxidermy fan suffers from a variety of unfun maladies (OCD, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety disorder, depression), yet manages to frame them all in ways that are fun to read about. Still, for the longest time while I read this, I felt increasingly anxious myself; her breathless tone and relentless pursuit of the laugh were almost overwhelming.

Then I warmed up to it and kinda loved it. She's just plain hilarious, and the episodic structure (it reads like a bunch of harvested blog posts) really suits her personality. (Personalities?) By the time I was reading her take on acupuncture, I was laughing myself to tears. I'd grown fonder of her Republican husband, ill-fated pooch, bewilderingly bizarre parents and of Jenny herself—the humor was far more affecting once I felt more attached to the subject and to the people to whom she feels most attached.

I'd recommend you read this. Like totally. I'm not kidding. Read it or I'll stab you with a chicken.

 
Mar 05 2012
Was It Good For You? Comments (11)

Madonna sexAfter Sex, Madonna was dead to many former fans

My pal Piotr has launched a Facebook page in honor of the 20th anniversary of Madonna's Sex book, which more than any other thing she's done creatively is a work that separates one part of her career from another. Was it good for you? Or was it like when the trick of your dreams shows up looking nothing like his picture? Or maybe it was both from page to page? Regardless, Sex changed how people perceived Madonna.

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Feb 26 2012
I Don't Vant To Be Alone: A Review Of Full Service By Scotty Bowers & Lionel Friedberg Comments (21)

PreviewScreenSnapz001Bowers then and today at 88 [right courtesy of People (March 5, 2012)]

For years, Hollywood insiders have known about Scotty Bowers, an ex-Marine and close confidante of Gore Vidal's who was said to have provided free and/or paid sex to some of the industry's biggest names. Over the years, Bowers has apparently been an anonymous source for film bios, but only in a limited way; he had said he would never tell his full story for fear of hurting people.

Scotty-Bowers-Full-ServiceX300Don't judge it by its hideous cover

As he approaches his eighty-ninth birthday and with most of the people he helped achieve orgasm dead and buried, he's changed his mind and collaborated with Lionel Friedberg on a tell-all that would make Shelley Winters blush—Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars (Grove Press, $25). It came out on Valentine's Day, but there's very little romance involved. Instead, the resourceful Bowers, who supported himself as a bartender and handyman all through the years he was tricking and dry-pimping, handily serves up hardcore sex with a cheerful lack of shame and not a little humor.

I say "dry-pimping" because, as Bowers stresses several times throughout the book, while he took money for sex countless times throughout his life, he never got paid for arranging what sounds like it could be tens of thousands of liaisons for men and women of all sexual persuasions. He's either the coolest dude ever or the stupidest; imagine the fortune he could have made considering so many of his clients were millionaires or better?

Tumblr_kvpl1fCWyq1qzlyyao1_400If you don't believe Katharine Hepburn loved the ladies, this book isn't for you. However, points off for misspelling her name in chapter five.

You might have read something about this book already—likely something dismissive as to its veracity, as to the probability that Bowers really and truly could have set up Katharine Hepburn with over 150 women—but the book has more to offer than just Scotty's Hollywood hijinks. One aspect of the memoir that is left out of most of the coverage is that Bowers, born into poverty in Illinois, has been turning tricks since his pre-teens. His stories of life as a shoe shine boy willing to polish the knobs of various priests and businessmen are just as compelling as his later tales of cornholing people you grew up thinking of as untouchable icons.

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Nov 06 2011
Boy Culture Turns 6: My Favorite Posts Comments (13)

IMG_7536Prove it!

As of midnight last night, it was exactly six years since my first post. It's been a tough thing to keep up with a dayjob and outside activities, and just when I think I might walk away, a valuable connection or interesting opportunity or a kind word comes my way. Thank you all for reading me.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef014e89143e3e970d-400wiOf whom are you more jealous?

Here are my favorite 100+ posts out of nearly 11,000. Please take some time to read (or re-read!) a couple and tweet or Facebook any you like.

xoxo Matt

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54ff027a28833-800wiThe pocket pool championships were intense this year


BOY CULTURE


PreviewScreenSnapz001Boy-crazy

FROM BOY TO MAN: BC B.C. (2007): The entire history of my novell and novel Boy Culture as well as the movie version; might be my ultimate post.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f5599878833-800wiJonathon Trent & Derek Magyar make an Allan Brocka sandwich

BOY ON FILM (2006): An account of the NYC launch party for Boy Culture as it played the TriBeCa Film Fest.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f7f18238834-800wiI was left "Reeling" by the experience

FRIENDS AND "FAMILY" (2006): The movie version of Boy Culture hits Chicago.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f5ebead8833-800wiNo one would've mistaken me for Taylor Lautner

RAPT PUPIL (2006): The final night of Outfest with Boy Culture; I was fat but on the other hand got to meet Bryan Singer.

 

MY ART

 

PreviewScreenSnapz001Construction worker (shot this week) vs. James Dean

GUYDAR (since at least January 17, 2008) & ENDS OF THE WORLD (since at least January 13, 2008): Attractive men of the world—I got your backs. Your fronts, too.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef0120a5347f59970c-400wi11i-i-i (phone)


Img_0330Not totally built

6a00d8341c2ca253ef0120a58f680c970bUnaltered iPhone image that still blows me away

"Your pictures suck" (2008): An art critic attacks me, but not without sustaining some hits in return.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e551ff08528834-800wiLet's call it a draw

DRAWN TOGETHER (2008): How my desire to draw related to my secret desire. One of my absolute favorite posts.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01156faa215c970cThe shirtless one

LOST ANGELES (2009): My favorite photographic travelogue of L.A.

Img_0986_1Even then, New Yorkers feared 9/11 was the beginning of the end

ART IMITATES LIFE (2006): My 9/11 and my distaste for grief tourism.


ME


6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f435c1a8834-800wiDeath of the party—Jeff in high school, already halfway through his life

BURNING MAN (2007): Tribute to my late high school friend and first romance.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef014e862b4a41970d-400wiSigned, sealed (eventually) delivered

LOST BOY FOUND (2011): There is a book in here somewhere.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01538f1f464a970b-400wiBe Italian

CIAO HOUNDS: OUR TRIP TO ITALY (2011): Finally got José to Europe.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f10b4de8833-800wiDeath becomes here

ILLINOIS DEATH TRIP (2007): Ruminations on death while revisiting a past home, and the past.

Zehnders Life is short...and meaningful

PASSING BY (2008): Mourning the loss of a person I only met once.

Lots more...

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