There is a close up of Michael Fassbender's face toward the end of Steve McQueen's film Shame that says it all. He is reaching the orgasmic climax after his ideal sex scenario, a taboo busting marathon with two beautiful sexual adventurers. His face should be open with waves of bliss, instead it is contorted with grief and pain. I had high hopes for this film. They were delivered. It isn't flawless. Sometimes the style overwhelms the subject: too many long, ponderous shots that don't really drive the narrative because it's a 'mood' piece. No, my hopes were that this film [...]

Madonna, Gaga And Kusama

Interpreting the cultural memes... An item on today's flippant media - South Korea has banned under 18's from Lady Gaga's concert. Which triggered one of those superficial 'shock/horror' discussions with non-expert experts about sexualisation. And I mean non-expert experts because these people really don't know what they're talking about. It's the superficial media turning to members of the superficial media to engage in a self-indulgent discussion. They said nothing new - and nothing interesting. In a way I don't mind that there is an age restriction on Gaga's concerts, or Madonna's. Although 18 is probably too old. 16 seems reasonable. [...]

The Museum Of Erotic Art

I had my reservations about visiting the Museum of Erotic Art in Paris, mainly because of where it is - close to the Moulin Rouge and surrounded by porn shops. Guilt by association might suggest it would be tacky, seedy even. It was a pleasant surprise. The museum grew from a private collection. What I hoped was that it was a reasonably comprehensive collection from around the world. It was. The lower levels are dedicated to the erotic art from cultures around the world, Africa, South America, etc, with particular attention paid to India, China and Japan. The upper floors [...]

Orchids; My Intersex Adventure

Bravo to the ABC for showing this documentary: Orchids: my intersex adventure. Phoebe Hart and her sister, Bonnie were born with AIS (androgen insensitivity syndrome). They are genetically male (XY) but failed to develop male sexual characteristics. If there is one drawback to the program it's that Phoebe decided to gloss over the physiological detail. Whilst I can understand why I think it's important that the public know exactly what intersex means. From their description they had Complete AIS (CAIS). This means that they looked externally genitally female. However, boys (girls) with CAIS have underdeveloped labia minora and clitoris and [...]

Fuck For Forest

I hadn't heard of Fuck for Forest. Very European (it originated in Norway and expanded to Berlin). And very much an extension of that continent's tradition of sexual radicalism; from the theories of Otto Gross and Wilhelm Reich in 30's Berlin, to the neo-Reichian flowering of the 60's and 70's. This is the new generation of the sex-positive counterculture. I've consistently made the point that the Anglophone reaction to nudity and sexuality seems unable to escape Puritanism. I just can't see the likes of people like Gail Dines or Melinda Tankard Reist having much currency outside the Anglosphere. Seems Europe [...]

The Anthropology Of Sex: Virginity

In discussing sexuality one must always be wary of 'assumed norms'. A good example of this is the discussion around the physiology of the hymen, even its name assumes certain values because it is named after the Greek god of marriage, Hymenaeus or Hymen. Thus the name links the hymen to the act of marriage, yet the anthropological evidence suggests this is a minority view amongst cultures. Indeed, the 'assumed norm' even invades scientific explanations on the purpose of the hymen. Some have speculated that it is designed to protect the young girl's vagina from infection whilst also being [...]

Breakfast Cereal And Masturbation

I take the view that moral conservatives are deeply confused. We gloss over the degenerate history of their crazy attitude to sex and pleasure. There is no better example than some of the people responsible for breakfast cereal. Curious? Dr John Harvey Kellogg invented (with his brother) Corn Flakes. He was also a Seventh-day Adventist, the religious group that went on to establish the Sanitarium cereal company. Both Kellogg and the founder of the Adventists, Ellen White, had dark and crazy ideas about sex. Following the Christian teaching on sex they believed that sex was only for procreation and that [...]

Hida Viloria And Jazz

Two great videos on Intersexuality and Transgender. The woman at the centre of the story, Hida Viloria, could be Boi (if she were Korean). Her biography says she is intellectually gifted, which fits another of my concerns perfectly!   And Jazz is simply inspiring.


One of the characters in my novel Wild Child is the brilliant Korean violinist Boi. Boi is Intersex and androgynous. I made her Korean because, despite its deeply conservative culture, it seems to have a fascination with androgyny and gender ambiguity. One of its more famous singers/models is Harisu. She was born male and underwent gender assignment surgery.

Pilgrimage To Readings

It's getting to be a tradition. Around every six months (my birthday and Xmas) I go into Carlton and buy up big at Readings, perhaps the best bookshop in Melbourne and something of a Melbourne cultural landmark. This trip I bought: Sex at Dawn: the Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jeth√°. You'll be hearing much more about this gem. For now I'll leave you with this quote from Alan Dixson at the beginning of chapter 21, The Pervert's Lament, in light of my previous post on paedophilia. Paraphilias are not universally present in human societies, [...]