Thursday, January 16, 2014

Let Me Ascertain You: Sex Variants 1941

Do you consider yourself a “Sex Variant?” Don’t know what that is?

Well, dig out the skeletons from your closet and join us for the next Let Me Ascertain You. Joe’s Pub is having us back on Monday Feb 3 at 9:30 pm for a stimulating look into America’s secret sexual past. Get your tickets HERE!

Ever heard of Havelock Ellis? Magnus Hirschfeld? … no? How about Alfred Kinsey? They are the forefathers of a global sexual liberation movement started in the late 19th century toward the acceptance of people who identify as something outside the norm: Sex Variants.

Another less known (perhaps less liberated) pioneer in the field of sex research is Dr. George W. Henry of Cornell University. In 1935, he teamed up with the Committee for the Study of Sex Variants to publish the subject of next month's LMAY cabaret. "Sex Variants: A Study of Homosexual Patterns" hosts 80 interviews with volunteers who ran the risk of losing their jobs, blackmail, or arrest. We hear everything from the early childhood exploration of the body to orgies. Sometimes funny, often shocking, these stories illuminate the myriad of ways that humans have always explored and expressed the most animal of our instincts.

Here’s a little bit of what we’re talking about...

Nathan T’s personal sex history:
“Since puberty I've had a vague sex interest in dogs. For more than ten years I used to get them to lick my penis. I still feel vaguely sexy about dogs I like… If I saw anybody having sex with a dog I would think it rather nice.”

Rowena K on her endurance: 
“Sex averages four or five hours. We just stop and wait and keep feeling good all the time. It takes her that long. In five or ten minutes I have an orgasm but I continue feeling good. I can have ten to fifteen orgasms and still feel good.

Henry divided the subjects of his study into three groups: Homosexual, Bisexual or Narcissistic. He was determined to make progress on the treatment and prevention of “sexual maladjustment,” so he evaluated the family history, psychology and physiology of the subjects hoping to find a pattern, maybe even a cause. And there are graphic physical examinations too and diagrams to prove it.

Yes: in the book, you can see a gay vagina compared to a ‘normal’ vagina; there’s a cross-section showing how a dildo works; you can witness studies of dozens of labial folds and areola.
Myrtle K: “My clitoris enlarges when I get steamed up...My clitoris natural is two inches long. Enlarged it’s three inches and the thickness of a little finger. I think it’s grown half an inch in the past year. I’ll have to get a jock strap if it gets much more.” 
Salvatore N: “I often ask myself whether I am really a homosexual or merely a person who performs homosexual acts through association. I never want to have an affair with another homosexual. Taking the penis in my mouth does not satisfy me. Homosexual practices disgust me. Men who speak with an effeminate voice, who refer to each other as “she” or who make feminine gestures, are repugnant to me." 
Join us on Monday, February 3rd at 9:30pm at Joe's Pub as we transform these graphic first-person accounts into a provocative, pansexual cabaret of monologues and songs about first times, dreamy fantasies and excessive fetishes. 
The evening will feature original songs written from material in the book from these exciting 8 composers:

Tim Acito, César Alvarez, Maggie-Kate Coleman and Erato A. Kremmyda,  Michael Friedman, Andrea Grody, Grace McClean, Jill Sobule, and Max Vernon.

Pictures and quotes from: Henry, George W. Sex Variants: A Study of Homosexual Patterns. New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc, Medical Book Department of Harper & Brothers, 1941. Print. 

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