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Wednesday, April 04 2001
Volume 01 : Number 196

In this issue:

-Fellatio Course - Lesson 17
-Rimbaud and Verlaine
-Pronouncing Rimbaud and Verlaine (2)
-The two quotations in the Clubhouse Lobby
-A call from comic Rodney Lee
-Clubhouse News

From: "George of Boston"
Subject: Fellatio Course - Lesson 17 Conclusion


This is the final posting of the series of 17 "lessons" on fellatio. This final message does not tell you how to do it. It tells about a gay man earning cash by teaching women in Toronto, Canada how to be expert cocksuckers.

If you missed a portion of the series, don't worry. Every lesson is on-line in the Silverfoxes Club Digests, starting in Digest 179 and appearing in sequence after that.


Two Canadian instructors, one in L.A. and one in Toronto, teach mostly well-to-do, middle-aged women some intimate pleasure principles.

from The Globe and Mail, Toronto, Ontario
Saturday, April 1, 2000

Audrey adjusts the delicate scarf on her shoulder. "This doesn't come easily for me," she says shyly. A petite and precisely spoken woman in her early 30s, Audrey would not talk over the phone from her project manager's office in the provincial government -- "I don't share this with my colleagues." And before meeting this evening at a Bloor Street cafe, she insisted that her real name not be used. But the fact that she's here, talking to a journalist, is a good step for her, she thinks. A growth experience, like the whole momentous affair.

It's a simple story really. Woman meets man. Man likes oral sex. Woman pays stranger for lessons ....

Every couple of months in downtown Toronto, a new group of 16 women gather at Good For Her, a Harbord Street shop selling sex ware and books to a mainly female clientele. These women, representing a cross section of Toronto society from university students in their early 20's to well-bred matrons in their 40's and 50's, and even a few from points as far away as Sudbury, pay $20 each, enter a small room and, for the next few hours, take in everything they can from the Heads Up workshop, an event whose popularity has surprised even its organizers. The next sessions, April 7 and 8, have been sold out for some time, and Good For Her has two more scheduled for April 14 and 15. "It's a bit of a phenomenon," says Duncan MacLachlan, the man they come to see.

Audrey went for one essential reason. All her life she'd had inhibitions around the act of fellatio. "It grossed me out," she says. But then she began a relationship with an apparently limitless future with a man who was far more open around sex than she had ever been. Audrey, who's been educated in some of the finest schools, including the Sorbonne, knew that to be with this man she had to overcome her distaste. She smiles -- "My therapist told me that I was one of those people who get more comfortable with something if I know more about it." So Audrey set her black-wire spectacles firmly in place and went out to take perhaps her toughest class.

Good For Her isn't the only place giving good seminar these days. In living rooms as far flung as Hollywood, Vancouver, New York and occasionally Toronto, Lou Paget -- who discarded her first name, Linda, years ago -- has emerged as the new queen of the sex technicians, an elegant, soft-voiced purveyor of the surest ways to pleasure a partner. In fact the 40-something Paget, who was born and raised in Calgary, has written two fast-selling books on the subject, and in their March issues, both GQ magazine and Vanity Fair devoted short features to the sessions in which she shares her secrets, "girlfriend to girlfriend," with women who pay $145 (U.S.) a person.

On the day she's reached at her home in Beverly Hills, however, Paget is not happy, and Vanity Fair is going to hear about it. "I have a letter that I'm sending off to them," she says.

The magazine has raised Paget's ire by illustrating its story with a cartoonish drawing of a blonde bringing a peeled banana to her lips. "It just, in my mind, took it right back down to the lowest common denominator," she fumes. In the interests of providing her clients with all the necessary facts in her oral and manual demonstrations, you see, Paget uses a Doc Johnson Realistic dildo. Frankly, a banana couldn't stand the wear and tear.

Paget began conducting her intimate classes seven years ago, after leaving a marriage and seeking out the information that would keep her next relationship from being equally "ho-hum." Encouraged by a girlfriend to share what she'd learned, she has now taught countless women -- mostly 30 to 50, mostly well-to-do -- the intricate how-to's of the Ode to Brian, the Basketweave and the rest of her cutely named routines. (Men, for whom she wrote the just-released "How to Give Her Absolute Pleasure", can attend their own instructional sessions too, although for some reason -- perhaps the added expense of Paget's supply of faux female genitalia molded from the porn star Jenteal -- they have to pay $175 (U.S.) each. And, according to Paget, their mood is far more serious.)

Paget has no idea when she's going to be giving her next lessons in Canada -- "I'm so swamped right now," she says -- but in Toronto, given the choice, many women who want to know what to do when the issue of fellatio arises would seek out Duncan MacLachlan, a muscular, gay 40-year-old described by one of his female students as "a big ol' hunk."

Unlike Paget, MacLachlan is able to articulate both the giving and receiving sides of oral sex. Says Carmen, another workshop participant, with a grin, "I respected his credentials." Perhaps most important to his students -- and certainly to the four interviewed on condition of anonymity for this story -- is the fact that when MacLachlan first came out as a gay man, he had to warm up to giving fellatio. "I absolutely hated it," he admits.

Near the beginning of each session, MacLachlan shares the stark truth of his early repulsion, and the women in the room give a palpable sigh of relief. "A lot of women don't enjoy it either," he says."But there's a process involved here of learning to love it. And that's part of what I share."

Not that there aren't bizarre moments. To add some levity, MacLachlan, who sometimes sports the shaved-head-black-T-shirt-and-army-boot look of many in the downtown gay crowd, has been known in sessions to strap a glittering blue dildo in a red leather harness over his pants. "I look like a fool," he admits with glee. Some of the more tender sensibilities in the room can find that disconcerting. But they haven't seen anything yet.

In the middle of each workshop, after the early introductions and discussion, the women are paired up. Then each in turn is asked to place a flavoured condom over two or three fingers and insert them into her partner's mouth. It's at this point that the blood rushes from the faces of the most anxious participants. "The room," remembers one student, "just froze."

Many participants later describe the finger exercise as the most powerful moment of the workshop. Janice, a bisexual woman in her late 20s, interpreted MacLachlan's intent this way: "Duncan wanted us to figure out how we could pleasure ourselves with something in our mouth, rather than trying to pleasure the other person."

Like the rest of the women interviewed, Janice praised MacLachlan's approach, though she was less enamored of the "ooh, icky-poo" attitude toward fellatio she detected from some participants in her class. And the older woman with the penis earrings, in her view, was too gung-ho by half.

MacLachlan's challenge is to accommodate these various levels of comfort as he works participants toward the idea of fellatio as playful lovemaking, "rather than some kind of chore. " While some of the women are trying to overcome fears, he knows from the evaluations he receives that many of them are there to learn secrets of technique. He has them write their questions out anonymously and addresses them throughout the class. MacLachlan generally uses a dildo to help illustrate his arsenal of tips, and has participants practice with their own condom-sheathed dildos if there's time, but he'll also point, professor-like, to a large diagram on a board, and refer to the book of anatomy that he passes about the room.

But once the how of oral sex has been addressed, the question of why, for each woman, remains. Is she doing it because she wants to, or because she wants to please the man she loves? Or do some women undertake oral sex as a kind of negotiating tactic?

It's the latter impression that Janice left with. "So many women were talking about fellatio like it was a currency with their boyfriend," she remembers. As if they were saying, "Well, if he takes out the garbage, I guess I can give him head."

Face facts, says Lou Paget. "For some women, and some men, that's a dynamic in their relationship. " She confirms the exchange quoted in Vanity Fair -- when one seminar participant asked how big a ring she'd get for a certain act, Paget responded, "Quite honestly, fairly large."

The secrets of sex have certainly generated currency for Paget. Her books are fast sellers on the Amazon. com list and the income from that, her seminars and now articles written for the likes of Playboy has reached a "good six figures. " Even so, she concedes, there has been a downside to giving all this sexual advice. "I get judged," she says. "This is not an easy thing to do as a single woman. I don't have the protection of a relationship to back behind. And it takes a lot of heart and a lot of courage to do this, knowing that you're going to have that kind of judgment."

In this area, if no other, Paget has something in common with Audrey, the nervous woman who, for the sake of a promising future with her boyfriend, confronted her fears at the workshop. Now, two months after that three-hour session, she's asked how it affected her relationship.

Her eyes grow large, and she says quietly, "It destroyed it. " After the session, things between them changed dramatically. "I was actually all excited and wanted to try things out. " But he, Audrey discovered, had his own performance difficulties, and her new enthusiasm just made things worse. Two weeks after she told him about the Heads Up session, the relationship was over. Sipping her tea now she says, "I don't know how ready men are to hear this sort of thing. " Could it be, part of her wonders, that sometimes a woman's better off just keeping her mouth shut?

If you wish to take the course again,
click here to return to Digest 179 (March 2001).

George of Boston (Boston Bill)
From: "Ben Boxer"
Subject: Rimbaud and Verlaine

Born in 1854, Arthur Rimbaud was the son of an army captain and a local farmer's daughter. When Rimbaud was six, his father left and he and his siblings were raised by their mother. He was a remarkable student and showed a precocious talent, writing poetry as early as age eight. His first poem was published when he was just sixteen.

The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian (German) War in July 1870 ended his formal education. He ran away to Paris, where he was arrested for traveling without a ticket, and returned to Douai, where he joined the national guard. Two months later, he disappeared again, wandering throughout France and Belgium in the wake of the invading armies.

During these weeks of freedom, hunger and danger, he wrote several poems that displayed his unique vision, one that celebrated the intense joys of life and liberty. He was soon brought back home by the police, escaped again to Paris, and finally returned on foot, in March of 1871, a completely changed character.

He repudiated much of his early work as false, refused to work and spent his days drinking in cafes, in determined revolt against every convention. He delved into the occult, magic and alchemy and formulated his new aesthetic doctrine, expressed in two letters which came to be known as "Lettres du voyant."

In these letters, Rimbaud expressed his belief that a poet must "make himself a seer by a long, prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses." By shedding the restraints of the "personal," the poet would become the instrument for the voice of the eternal.

In late August of 1871, at the advice of a friend, Rimbaud sent copies of some new poetry to an older poet, Paul Verlaine, who was taken aback by the brilliance of the work. Verlaine summoned him to Paris. Thus, as if ordained by destiny, these two titans came face to face.

Verlaine, a married man, was smitten by Rimbaud's rough yet angelic beauty. Rimbaud, a prodigy tortured by his father's desertion of the family and desperately in thrall to his poet demons, believed he had found his future in Verlaine. They fell in love. What happened after that is the subject of a film which is, in my estimation of it, Leonardo DiCaprio's best: 1995's "Total Eclipse," in which he plays Rimbaud.

The film pulls no punches. There is nothing ambivalent about its representation of the passionate relationship between Rimbaud and Verlaine. Verlaine's obsessive love for the younger man and Rimbaud's neurotic abuse of Verlaine, both sexual and emotional, is shown with unremitting honesty. There are poignant scenes of tenderness as well as moments of rough gay sex. Gay fans of DiCaprio will love the expression on his angelic face when he cums in Verlaine's ass.

It's a film worth seeing and is available in video.

The poet Rimbaud was brutal and violent, dirty and crude, but he could be tender and affectionate when he chose to be. Verlaine's wife despised him, of course, and accused him of having lice in his hair. Verlaine retorted that Rimbaud kept them there "to throw on priests." All of Verlaine's friends hated the boy, one of them calling him "the little blond alleycat." Even the Parisian newspapers picked up on the "odd couple," speaking of the younger as "Mademoiselle Rimbaud" when the two attended the premiere of a friend's play.

When Verlaine's wife drove Rimbaud away (he was living with them), Verlaine freaked out and tried to strangle her and roughed up their new baby. The wife's family spirited her and the baby away. Verlaine did not seem to care. Rimbaud had become his life. They moved in together and were inseparable for a time, "joined at the hip," but it wore off and Verlaine's bourgeois nature sent him back to his wife. Enraged, Rimbaud went back home to the country.

Realizing his mistake, Verlaine wrote numerous letters to Rimbaud begging him to return to Paris, but Rimbaud replied each time with "Shit! Shit! Shit!" ("Merde! Merde! Merde!"). Eventually though, he could no longer stand to be apart. He went back to Verlaine and thus began again:
"The happiness of bleeding in the arms of a friend.
The need to cry a long while upon his breast,
The need to talk to him, low and with few words,
The dream of drifting together, endlessly."

Verlaine's wife was made miserable by the men's reunion, and after more violence and more separations, she left Verlaine for good. The two poet lovers continued along their rocky path. Rimbaud left again, but rushed back when Verlaine fell ill and nearly died. He recovered, and they went to Belgium. For a time they lived in peace, but brawling got the better of them. Verlaine threatened to shoot himself, went out and bought a revolver, came back, and shot Rimbaud instead -- in the hand. Rimbaud had him arrested, and Verlaine went to prison for two years.

When he got out, saying he wanted to see his "beautiful, radiant sin" (Rimbaud), he rushed to Germany, where Rimbaud had taken refuge in Stuttgart. Rimbaud wrote to a friend: "Verlaine showed up the other day with a rosary in his paws. Three hours later we had abjured his god and had made the 98 wounds of Our Lord bleed again." The meeting did not augur well for their future together, and soon after, Rimbaud repudiated his past and bid farewell to poetry and the passions of his youth. He became a gun runner and died miserably of cancer in Marseilles at the age of 38.

Meanwhile, Verlaine went to London and fell in love with a schoolboy, took him as a lover and almost adopted him, but the boy fell ill of typhoid and died. Verlaine wrote: "Six years it lasted, then the angel flew away. Since then I have wandered alone, wild, as though drunk!" Not quite. He ascended to stardom, was nearly elected to the prestigious French Academy, and was dubbed "Prince of Poets" by his peers. He outlived Rimbaud by a mere four years.

Their affair had been the epitome of both ugliness and beauty, sometimes one and sometimes the other. They loved passionately, yes, but always with a tinge of rage and were intrinsically selfish, inward-looking and cruel, each as much to himself as to each other and to those around them. For all that, they were poets, remembered as great by the world, and treasured by some for having been rather peculiar in their sexual orientation, like us.

They wrote at least one poem together. Scholars think the first eight lines were written by Verlaine, the last six by Rimbaud:

"Sonnet to the Ass-Hole"

"Dark and wrinkled like a deep pink,
It breathes, humbly nestled among the moss
Still wet with love that follows the gentle
Descent of the white buttocks to the edge of its border.

"Filaments like tears of milk
Have wept under the cruel wind pushing them back
Over small clots of reddish marl,
And there lose themselves where the slope called them.

"In my dream my mouth was often placed on its opening;
My soul, jealous of the physical coitus,
Made of it its fawny rear-bottle and its nest of sobs.

"It is the fainting olive and the cajoling flute,
The tube from which the heavenly praline descends,
A feminine Canaan enclosed in moisture."

That they loved each other savagely, wildly, when they loved, there can be no doubt, nor is there doubt that Verlaine worshipped Rimbaud from the beginning. He wrote of his lover: "Your voice trumpets in my soul, Your eyes are flaming in my heart, The world calls it infamy, But what do I care, my vanquisher?" And later in the same poem: "I await you like the Messiah, Come, cast yourself into my arms;"

They shared a belief that homosexual love is a rite reserved for superior men: "...pure souls in the long Struggle to free the body from nature's Breathing prison." Verlaine speaks of two men "dropping into the cool waves of sheets" and "reaming the dark halo of ecstasy" and "filling in the vase with flowers of fire." Gay men are "these proud exiles of pleasure."

Hetroid sex is "Poor pathetic banal love, dull spirited, thick with normality, stale breathing and dragging About a lead appetite....." but two men "Complete the supreme action...make courageous play," then ache "with warm fatigue."

Verlaine and Rimbaud saw themselves, and us, gay men, as heroic. And so, by Jove, we are.
From: "Ben Boxer"
Subject: Pronouncing Rimbaud and Verlaine

The names are French.

You can approximate the sounds like this:

Ar-tour Ram-bo (Arthur Rimbaud)
Pole Vair-len (Paul Verlaine)

No heavy stress on any syllable; the French swallow the "R" so don't worry about that.
From: "Keith - Line One"
Subject: Re: Pronouncing Rimbaud and Verlaine

I had to offer a word on the mentionings of Rimbaud as you so rightly say, pronounced Rambo.

A few years ago, Manchester United had a very good looking, moody French soccer player who was something of a hero.

He often tried to paint a picture of French mystique and once he made some comment like "Ze seagulls only follow the trawler, because zey know the fish will be thrown back into the sea."

Also, when asked who was his mentor, he said in his moody French accent "Rimbaud" and shortly after, the fans started bombarding him with Sylvester Stallone posters and videos. Think about it and yes it is a true story.


From: "Ben Boxer"
Subject: The two quotations in the Clubhouse Lobby

The two quotations at the head and the foot of the Clubhouse Lobby are from personalities with whom you may not be familiar.

The late John Barrymore (aka "The Great Profile"; died age 60 in 1942) was the most famous "matinee idol" in America for fifty years on stage, screen and radio. His sister Ethel and brother Lionel were equally famous stars who graduated from leading to character roles in their long careers. Their parents and grandparents were also great stars of the American theater. John's daughter Diana was a lovely film and stage star who died young of acute alcoholism, a family disease of the Barrymores. (I interviewed her a week before she died.) The family name is carried on today by Drew Barrymore, John's granddaughter (and Diana Barrymore's niece). There have been Barrymores and Drews (also a family name) in American entertainment for perhaps 150 years.

The quotation at the foot of the page is from Jeanne Moreau, one of the sexiest, most beautiful and intelligent French actors of the 20th, and now the 21st, centuries. Her love affairs are legion, and she still appears in starring roles in international films at age 73. She even played Drew Barrymore's great-great-great granddaughter in a recent film, 1998's "Ever After"!

There have been gay and lesbian rumors about John Barrymore and Jeanne Moreau.
From: "Ben Boxer"
Subject: A call from comic Rodney Lee

Would Alex Baldwin, Rosie O'Donnell, Cher, Phil Donahue, David Geffen, Martin Sheen, Barbra Streisand and all other liberals who previously announced they would leave the country if George Bush was elected President, please report to Florida for the sailing of the Good Ship Lollipop, which has been commissioned to take you to your new home.

Please pack for at least four years. Your captain is to be Bill Clinton and your cruise director will be Al Gore, Joe Lieberman will be your purser, Monica Lewinsky will be your recreation director and your spiritual advisor will be Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Your primary job, while self-exiled, will be to pound sand until such time as you gain a grasp on reality...

End of silverfoxesclub-digest V1 #196