Tell Everyone About ‘Don’t Tell Anyone,’ literary smut by Shakira Andrea Sison and Ian Rosales Casocot

‘Don’t Tell Anyone literary smut‘ was supposed to be an erotica anthology featuring both straight and gay stories. But because the stories submitted by the straight writers weren’t bastos enough, the book project ended up being a gay collection written by gay persons, Ian Rosales Casocot and Shakira Andrea Sison. In short, the gays won because gays follow rules. If they are tasked to write erotica, they write ones with unflinching smuttiness.

‘all my broken i love yous’ begins with ‘how to melt stone,’ which I presume is an accurate depiction of lesbian courtship and climaxes. It starts out coyly, telling a certain ‘you’ how to act around a Drakkar Noir-wearing lesbian lover. It’s short and sweet, and for a moment, I thought the stories would all be this saccharine.

It’s only a matter of time, though, before “bare crotches,” “proud clits,” and “shiny thighs” begin to take center stage. You’d be foolish to expect a moment of rest from really hot lovemaking because from the second story, ‘short,’ onwards, it’s all steamy sexing with only a few pillow talks in between.

By the third and fourth story, I needed a reprieve so I jumped into the Casocot side, ‘all the loves of my life.’ And I was rewarded with stories that are sexy but also have characters who communicate. In fact, I recommend switching from the lesbian side to the gay side to avoid fatigue. Whereas Sison’s stories are truly erotic, they sometimes get to be too much.

That said, it helps that:

-the writing is superb; you won’t get lost mapping the geography of Laurie, Lana, Teresa or any of the ladies’ bodies because Shaki is an expert navigator and she makes sure you don’t get lost. But I couldn’t help but giggle at the many colorful ways in which vaginas were described, which include ‘my half’ (or something), ‘mound,’ and more. I realize these are standard descriptions of the female organ but they sometimes elicit laughter instead of something else.

-lesbian sex is rarely described in any piece of art, unless you seek it out. If you’re reading this because you’re curious or because you need to know, consider your curiosity satiated (although it’s really not in my place to say whether or not this is accurate).

-the characters, when they get a chance to speak, are articulate. They’re very horny but also very smart. In “The Teachers,” professors Lena and Carla discuss the finer points of lesbian sexuality and attraction, which intelligently raises misconceptions and confusion about the way lesbians perceive attraction amongst themselves.

Reading the lesbian stories first, gay ones second also works. The women in the lesbian side are, I feel, too serious and intense, and only pause briefly to catch their breath, smoke, or negotiate with pervy campus security guards who catch them humping.

Casocot’s stories, on the other hand, are quite conservative, and the characters are easier to remember. For example, you can tell the boys from ‘the boys from Rizal Street’ apart: Samuel is the douche with the huge d, Tobias is the cold top, and Joseph is the map enthusiast who says things like, “But sometimes even a fake map is a good measure of the real borders we believe our lives to be contained in. Their (they’re ?) renderings of our imagined places—and for that, they’re beautiful.” He gives the narrator named ‘Ian’ a hard-on.

This is why I love this story: I love that the author doesn’t even care that his name is Ian and his story’s protagonist is also named Ian. Some works of fiction are very thinly veiled personal anecdotes and to me that’s okay as long as they’re good stories.

‘the thank you girl’ is a lighthearted and engaging romp about two guys who met on Grindr and found themselves in too deep talking about an acronym you may or may not have heard of, OGT, which stands for Obviously Gay Trait. Their chat inevitably leads to a necessary Miss Universe strip game. I see a movie on the horizon starring two heartthrobs, preferably ones with great comic timing.

‘Don’t Tell Anyone’ is a breath of fresh air. I had to look up ‘smut’ because I thought the gay side was not sexy enough. It turned out I’ve equated smut with porn. Smut is, per Urban Dictionary, a work of fiction that includes one or more sexually explicit scenes, with a thin plot and lots of romance. And because Ian and Shakira follow rules, they’ve created really good smut. ‘Don’t Tell Anyone’ is an exhilarating (the lez side, especially) good time that titillates, tickles, and educates.


Gays of our lives

exile in guyville

Dave White, author of Exile in Guyville: How a Punk Rock Redneck Faggot Texan Moved to West Hollywood and Refused to be Shiny and Happy, is the kind of gay who thinks he’s a special kind of gay, who thinks that by frequently silently judging gays he despises, which he claims he would hate too had they been straight, he’s exempt from being the kind of gay other gays would also find despicable. Except that the world he lives in (Los Angeles) and the world in general has no shortage of haters and haterades. We each and everyone of us fill the world’s quota of someone’s hate. And this is true even or especially within “The Gay Community” (“Gay Community”, to me, will always and forever evoke an image of a subdivision filled with gays with really excellent gardens and exclusively non-tacky decors, with the exception of only a very few tacky, unaware gays who will of course be treated as anomalies by their super classy gay neighbors).

In DW’s community there are these types of gays:

1. Entitlement queens

2. Disco faggot douchebags (‘I’m not saying that house music is the internationally recognized sound-signifier of the faggot douchebag, but there’s a very specific type of faggot douchebag who only listens to house music, and so as a genre it’s a little guilty by association’)

3. Gays who kick your car

4. Dress-all-stupid queens

5. Gay bears

6. Gays who are like the gays in Will & Grace

7. Crystal meth queens

There are so many, but in other worlds there are these other types of gays:

1. Big word gays – gays that use multisyllabic nonsense because it makes them feel like they are wise gays.

2. Spiteful gays

3. Gays who hate Anne Hathaway

4. Gays who hate the Catholic Church

And there are many more. Feel free to create your own list.

Dave White is a film critic whose boyfriend is MSNBC’s Alonso Duralde who I like because in his review of Precious, he praises Mariah. As he should! Because of an all-consuming, mad love for his lover, Dave tries to overcome all odds and transfers to Los Angeles, leaving his beloved Texas. Among LA’s great barriers to Dave’s achievement of happiness and contentment are the aforementioned entitlement queens, reckless drivers, shouty neighborhood gays, and rude bookstore clerks. Such are his LA life’s difficulties that you can’t help but think, ‘You are so brave, Dave.’ In between battling these great obstacles, he goes from one temp job to another because he will not suffer the oppressiveness of a permanent job.

Clearly, he’s a bit of an entitlement queen himself. His real problem is that instead of 14 hours of couch-surfing and snacking, he gets only 12.

Actually, Dave White is a fun person who is not a typical gay. He calls gays faggots, which is a slur, and you get the feeling he gets away with it every time he uses it with/to his boyfriend and friends. He’s ruthless with the gays — you know how when someone who’s also a flaming homosexual refers to his fellow gays in a hissy, spiteful way because he feels like it? He’s like that with gays he dislikes and to chubbies and bimbos, too, because he’s fair. With seemingly little regard for human feelings, he talks about them in his diaries scathingly and hilariously, whether they’re directly harming him as to warrant the hissiness or they’re just existing near him. He doesn’t care for euphemisms. He will call a fat person a fattie and he’ll tell funny anecdotes about them abandonedly. In short, Dave White is a precise, funny and beautiful describer of people.

My favorite chapter is ‘Motherfucker’ because it contains one of the most breathtaking paragraphs I’ve ever read in a memoir:

‘Yes, I watch crotches. I’m a faggot. I was put on this earth to do a whole lot of that and I don’t want to shirk my responsibility to humanity… I have a soft spot for sex workers.’

Dave White is real.

If Queens Burroughs and Sedaris could kindly step aside, please. There’s a new queen in my community.

Shit-brown Morgue & Other Hilarious Boner-killers

The Pink Morgue and Other Homoerotic Stories of Mysteries and Suspense’s greatest crime is not that it’s laughable. It’s that it’s so corny and unerotic and so full of deceptions and lies starting with the ‘Homoerotic’ and the ‘Suspense’ in the title. The author and publisher, Jack Sagrado, is per the book itself, the country’s premier writer of homoerotic stories of mystery and suspense. Okay.

People should approach this not as serious literature but as a kind of pornography, which might exactly be the author’s intent. The good news is that trashy things can be enjoyable too. I don’t know if drinking games are done in celebration of awful books such as this but in case anybody ever needed one, get this and you’re all set. Drinking game’s rule could be: take a shot every time a participant opens a random page containing corny, stilted dialogue. This game will be fun but also hazardous to all as extreme drunkenness is sure to be had.

I checked the publisher Redbridge Books Publishing on the web and found ample evidence of grand ambition, it’s heartbreaking. Its Facebook page indicates its dedication to ‘publishing high quality original books for and by the Filipino gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ).’ It also aims to be ‘the premier GLBTQ publishing company in the Philippines, in Asia, and the world by pursuing the highest standards of book design and production…’ Tall pronouncements such as these make it all the more confusing that its premier book is of substandard quality. All efforts seem obviously to have gone to looking for the perfect pair of man-tits with which to slap on its admittedly fine-looking cover.

Despite this, I humbly highly recommend this book to fans of trash. This is not sarcasm, just an honest to God, straight-faced recommendation. Be warned though that what you’re experiencing is not a ‘haunting passage to the deepest, darkest recesses of human consciousness’. Instead, there will be lots of ‘brief and small chortles’, conversations that sound like DOMs speaking to store-bought whores, plenty of corniness, and some of the most painful, unfunny usages of Gay Lingo ever.

My favourite things in it:

The gays are called Dr Angelo Sanvictores, Juan Carlos Quintero, Lester Dantes, Andy Angeles, Jr, while the rest are either an Aling Babang or Mang Bruno

Aling Babang saying things like ‘inundated’

‘Oh Ric, I thought my feelings were wrong and will go unreciprocated. I even tried to forget you but I never succeeded. I couldn’t stop loving you.’

‘I wanted to kiss you that time, Ric. I wanted to touch you. But I wasn’t sure if you were feeling the same way too…’

‘Lintek naman, how’s that fair?’

Paolo Montresor, Fortunato Fermin in a story called Club Amontillado

Mang Bruno: You just go ahead and cut this body whatever you want. I mean, it’s not as if this stupid thing here will ever complain… And I wouldn’t really care if you butcher this body like an animal. I mean, with some bodies, perhaps, I’d mind. But this fellow here is a worthless piece of crap.

‘His tongue was begging entrance to my mouth.’

‘His briefs landed on top of the television set and hung there like an oversized moth.’

‘Rolly then went near the body, and seeing Vida dead, he picked up a big shard of broken glass and began partitioning her face like a small bilao of biko.’

‘Some people wear masks to conceal their true identities or hide their real emotions. Some to live out certain childhood fantasies… I wear one for the same reason. Among others.’

‘His car followed mine, and after a short drive, we reached the exclusive and high-class condominium building where I live.’

‘The interaction in the parking lot however fleeting was to my chagrin, vividly captured in those snapshots I was holding in my hands’

Understand that this is not an act of superiority-demonstration. This is merely a sharing of found joys.

You wouldn’t think that a group announcing itself as a Premier-something would be so deficient in taste and structure, but this book venture managed to be immodest, ridiculous and mockable all at the same time. In short, us, its target market, have just been given a gift. Congrats and thanks, but please stop saying things like ‘deepest, darkest recesses’ because we will be more than glad to wade through your shallow, superficial publications. We all know that ‘deepest, darkest recesses’ sounds nice and mysterious but assigned to the wrong product, it’s deceitful and stupid. And try not to lord it over with the premiership.