Two young and sweet boys know how to show a beautiful sex performance. Watch these naked twinks kiss on the bed, suck each other’s dicks and have a sensual sex.
Anonymous, we appreciate your opinion on this video!
Beautiful Gay Couples Photographed Around The World By Braden Summers
Love knows no boundaries – not age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender. In his “All Love Is Equal” photo series, New York-based photographer Braden Summers set out to drive this point home by taking beautiful photos of lesbian and gay couples around the world.
Summers, who identifies himself as gay, traveled to France, India, Lebanon, Brazil, South Africa, the U.S., and the U.K. to take photographs for his Kickstarter-funded portrait photography project (which has raised over $23K). It took Summers about six weeks to create these dramatic and romantic scenes depicting only gay people couples. He mentioned that models were used to underscore the images’ impression of a perfect romance.
“A large driving force behind creating this series was actually less about affecting the gay community directly, and more about giving the general population a way to relate to gay imagery which is devoid of sex, victimization, or banality – themes that might usually prevent some folks from connecting,” Summers explains. “When thinking of iconic romance, ask yourself if any imagery comes to mind that is not showing heterosexual couples? Probably not. I would like to use this work as a platform to discuss why that is and how to change it.”
Hopefully, Summers’ beautiful photos will serve to put a more intimate and human face on an issue that has angry and passionate supporters on both sides of the fence in countries around the world. Given the long struggle of the LGBT community and the events in Russia over the past year, Summers’ work should remind us that we should strive for equal rights and should love our neighbor, regardless of whether or not we agree with them.
As a gay man, Summers was tired of the LGBT community being represented as either hyper-sexualized or victimized. So he set out to create beautiful and simply romantic pictures of only cute couples.
Kickstarter helped him raise over $23K and travel to France, India, Lebanon, Brazil, South Africa, and the U.K.
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These 12 Gay Poems Explore Queer Love (and Raunchy Lust)
From poetry tackling the complexities of affection to pieces about fellatio (yes, seriously), this look at some of our favorite gay poems will inspire you to give into that springtime lust — and then write about it afterward.
Some of the below gay poems are from writers you’ve likely heard of — Allen Ginsberg, Arthur Rimbaud, Walt Whitman, James Baldwin — while others may introduce you to a new favorite writer or two.
Romantic Pictures Of Gay Couples Around The Globe Challenge Public Representation Of LGBT Community
New York-based photographer and visual artist Braden Summers travelled around the globe to create a beautiful photo series representing romantic scenes exclusively with gay couples. The photographs in the Kickstarter-funded “All Love Is Equal” project show a non-stereotypical representation of gay couples in iconic romantic scenes that were shot in 6 weeks and in six different countries: the UK, France, India, Lebanon, Brazil and the U.S.
“When thinking of iconic romance, ask yourself if any imagery (paintings, photographs, film-stills) comes to mind that is not showing heterosexual couples? Probably not,” points out Summers, who identifies himself as gay.
“A large driving force behind creating this series was actually less about affecting the gay community directly, and more about giving the general population a way to relate to gay imagery which is devoid of sex, victimization, or banality – themes that might usually prevent some folks from connecting,” writes Summers. “The photographs are not documentations, they are dreamy illustrations of what open expressions of love in different cultures *could* look like in the future, more accepting time.”
Ethnically appropriate models were used in most of the cases only to assure the safety of real LGBTQ members. Summers is eager to continue the project, travelling around the globe to expand our understanding of the beauty and diversity of love.
100 Years of Photographs of Gay Men in Love
A beautiful group of photographs that spans a century (1850–1950) is part of a new book that offers a visual glimpse of what life may have been like for those men, who went against the law to find love in one another’s arms. In Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s–1950s, hundreds of images tell the story of love and affection between men, with some clearly in love and others hinting at more than just friendship. The collection belongs to Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell, a married couple who has accumulated over 2,800 photographs of “men in love” during the course of two decades. While the majority of the images hail from the United States and are of predominantly white men, there are images from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Japan, Latvia, and the United Kingdom among the cache.
What do images of men in love during a time when it was illegal tell us? What are we looking for in the faces of these people who dared to challenge the mores of their time to seek solace together? Flipping through the book, it wasn’t that I felt that I learned a great deal about being LGBTQ, but what gave me comfort was the feeling that we’re not going anywhere. Seeing ourselves in the past is as much about being certain of our present and, dare I say, our future. When we see them as connected, we feel more whole, and that’s what love is about for many of us anyway.
The book, Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s-1950s (5 Continents Editions), is available online.
Hot Legs (Short Gay Film)
Short Film produced by Underdog Productions (Pty) Ltd in 1995.
Note: This film contains some male nudity, contains material of a gay nature, and may be disturbing to younger viewers. It also contains some fast flash shots.
Written & Directed by Luiz DeBarossProduced by: Marc Schwinges
Starring:Tim: David DucasDave: Gerrie BarnardTim Jnr: Glen FineDave Jnr: Leon WeedKid One: Miguel BarrosKid Tow: Marcus MuddPoliceman One: Carlo GoertzPoliceman Two: Criag KellyMother: Mariana CarrilloSon: Sipho Khuzwago Moyo
Director of Photography: Peter PohorskyProduction Manager: Brendan RiceProduction Assistant: David HeckerFocus Puller: Greg PoissonGrip: Tony Slater
Sound: Jeremy HattinghSound: Ian MillerBoom Operator: Sean Kelly
Senior Make-up Artist: Adrienne CohenMake-Up Artist: Ionka Nel
Runners: Wayne Fick, Paul Hanrahan, Hal Couzens, Bronwyn Vermeulen, Oliver Galloway.
Post Production Advisor: Hal CouzensNon-Liner Editor: Llewelyn Roderick
Executive Producers: Marc Schwinges, Catherine Bester & Charlotte Bauer
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All Hail the Beautiful, Black Gay Love on Pose
Before Patrik Ian Polk’s beloved series Noah’s Arc and Lee Daniels’ groundbreaking episodic Empire, television’s only representations of queer Black men were not only inaccurate but absurdly farcical, oversexualizing these characters and using them solely for comic relief. Today, Ryan Murphy and Steven Canals’ FX drama Pose holistically centers the narratives of queer Black men like never before. With sweet, young couple Damon and Ricky played by actors Ryan Jamaal Swain and Dyllón Burnside, audiences get to see sincere, well-rounded portrayals of Black gay love on screen.
On Pose, Damon (Swain) and Ricky (Burnside) are young Black men searching for their place in the world in 1980s New York, at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Damon is a young queer dancer estranged from his biological family for his sexuality and feminine attributes, and Ricky is a young man who lives on the streets of NYC, hungry for love and security. In the face of racism and homophobia, the two find each other and develop a tender and mutually supportive relationship.
“We haven’t seen a lot of Black, queer love stories between young men,” Burnside tells me on the set of a photoshoot in Bushwick. “We had Moonlight and Noah’s Arc, but beyond that, we haven’t had a lot of different representations — something that showcases Black queer love in a positive light.”
Swain adds, “[Pose], aside from having the most transgender actors scripted on American television, is about unity and it’s about family. That speaks to the brevity and the weight of what it means to be American and be in the human race.”
“[My character Damon] is such a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed young individual coming into this new space not knowing anyone or anything,” Swain continues. “From learning how to vogue, dealing with aspirations as a modern dancer, and on top of that, juggling love and internalized homophobia that he’s had to unpack coming from Allentown, Pennsylvania to New York — it was a crash course.” Swain studied dance while coming of age, but he stopped dance training in high school to pursue acting. Pose marks his first major acting job, and he believes this show reaches a universal audience.
“I hope Pose is teaching Hollywood that portraying queer people, Black and brown people, and trans people can all be done we can sell,” Florida-raised Burnside says. The actor’s past credits include a leading role in the original Broadway cast of Holler if Ya Hear Me.
“[As Pose is] a period piece, we find universality in specificity. We’ve never seen these women and these queer individuals celebrated in a light that’s primetime,” Swain tells me. “We’ve had instances with movies and TV shows, but it was never saturated in the complexity of what it means… Right now, we need that more than ever — especially with the political climate. They’re trying to segregate us, but really and truly, our differences are our superpowers.”
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Got wisdom to pour?
So we’re donating for him to travel the world, basically. I’ll save my money so I can visit those places.
In general French citizens are thinner. They structure their meals in a way that its healthier, therefore they weigh less. They dont have American fatty foods either…But I get your point, these people are flawless, totally staged.
In general Americans are healthier , because we don’t smoke like french’s do
WRONG! More people in the US die from such smoking and alcohol related disease.
Actually, life expectancy in France is 81.64 years vs. the US at 78.64. France also ranks #1 in healthcare, while the US ranks #37. Disgraceful.
and guess you had the worst economy and who is paying for that “free” healthcare…
I beg to differ. Europe has far better food and exercise habits. They actually walk to places and don’t have to have SUVs because it’s the only size vehicle a USA rump will fit in..
Their food isn’t filled with all kinds of inedible nonsense and they understand the concept of moderation. You don’t find fast food joints on every corner because they don’t want them, and they’re usually boycotted.
Weren’t the comments supposed to be about the art showed here and not weighing French against the Americans ??!!!
Don’t have American fatty food? You might want to revise your position. Recent data shows that half of all sandwiches sold in France were burgers in 2013 (it was 1 in 10 back in 2003). Also, 70% of all restaurants in France have a burger on their menu and in the places that do it happens to be the best selling item… things are changing and fast.
Gawd we all know America is taking over the world via the method of making us all sat-fat, sweaty, burger lovers. McDonalds was heralded as a savior to the poor in British news. The assumed fact that 70% of french restaurants have a burger on the menu, (probably to appease tourists) doesn’t really mean anything… its rate of consumption does, and we allll know who gets top points for consumer culture 😉 (Though really if we all just stuck together and stopped this nitpicking for things none of us can control and instead discussed what we can effect, we’d all do well.)
It’s not to appease the tourists. Burgers have past entrecôtes as the most sold item in restaurants. My generation grew up when McDonalds started to open across the country. it’s now part of our culture as well. I was just trying to dispel the “French myth” when it comes to food as people seem blind to the changes in culture and habits.
Unbelievable. Shouldn’t we be discussing these pictures instead of the virtues of French cuisine vs American ?!
What do you want to talk about? That those picture show people of the same sex loving each other? Shouldn’t the artist or LGBT associations rejoice that people actually are beyond that? Or is it a bad thing because now some of them are going to need to find a new occupation? 🙂
As an Italian, I really beg you to reconsider your idea of “healthy food”.
(Just joking. I LOVE French dishes. I just find it hard to say that all that butter and sauces and dips etc etc are healthy).
No one wants to see us yet. 🙁 Give THAT another 50 years or more.
Where are all the fat, Asian GLBTs? You need to include them in your discussion. “No day but today”.
The same place straight people are in advert and pics…
on the scrap heap with the ‘heteros’ that aren’t 00 either
Yes, given the photos presented one would wonder if they were in fact all just models anyway. Not many obviously mixed race couples..
All models. Fake fake fake. Felt like an advertisement for pads or toothpaste.
I could say the same thing about pictures of straight couples. Got news for ya. No one wants to see two tons of “fun” struttin’ their stuff. It’s disgusting. Even fat people think it’s disgusting
This all looked staged: perfect makeup, attire, pose, etc. – It would be more meaningful if captured raw.
It’s just impossible to get real pictures of homosexuals marrying at the Hindu tradition…. hilarious
This would be much more useful if every person in it didn’t scream super model. Amazingly beautiful photos and people, but not realistic.
You say that because perhaps you are fat. Not everyone is obese and ugly. Some people actually do look like fashion models walking around.
the thought crossed my mind briefly as well, but then also that it probably wouldn’t occur to me if were paired as heterosexuals, as we’re so used to seeing that in ads without pondering whether they would REALLY be a couple or if they’re too pretty to make it feel “real”.
Not just you but a couple different people had mentioned it would have been better if they weren’t super models. Are “super models” not people, do they not exist along side us “normal” people? I don’t understand how all the people featured in this is not normal people just because they are attractive.
Why on earth would you complain that these people are to pretty and that it’s staged? Haven’t we already have enough; ‘bra-less-in-tanktop, birckenstock wearing lezzies’ and ‘gay couple with colourfull scarf and funky glasses holding a poodle’, photoshoots. Haven’t seen a lot of pictures from gay couples that are this beautiful and glamorous. Great job!
It’s not like the only options we have for media portrayals of LGBT people are “tired stereotypes” and “supermodels”. How about “average-looking people”?
When do you EVER see “average-looking people” in something artsy like this?
Wow. Wish some of you would just enjoy the message and beauty being presented rather than picking it apart. Sorry his idea was not good enough for you. Perhaps you should create your own series rather than judging that of someone who is trying to make a difference.
Wow. Wish some of you would just enjoy the message and beauty being presented rather than picking it apart. Sorry his idea was not good enough for you. Perhaps you should create your own series rather than judging that of someone who is trying to make a difference.
the only difference this makes is that it sets us back 30 years. why does the photographer feel the need to ‘normalise’ us into a heterosexual, christian way of living and behaving? its not art, its propaganda
I love the Hindis and the (?) Masai showing us a Christian way of living! You’re hilarious.
I don’t think it’s trying to normalize so much as present an alternative view of what is normal – and maybe this sounds naiive but to see that love isn’t bound by social norms. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
Just because these images dont represent your debaucherous lifestyle doesnt make them wrong.
While I agree, I would avoid saying “Debaucherous” it feels… Judgy.
Guys, you’re missing the point. The point isn’t realism–it’s reframing traditional, iconic photos of love with gay relationships instead of straight ones. There are tons of professional photoshoots/pin ups that use models for straight ads. If you want candid, raw photos of gay relationships, go like any LGBT page on Facebook.
I, for one, intensely enjoy this. I actually teared up a little.
Exactly! This is beautiful! It perfectly fulfilled the purpose the artist had in mind.
yes, i must have missed the point. i’m shaking i’m so upset. watching this video made me feel that love is so much farther away and inaccessible to those of us that aren’t the “ideal” like the models. reframing is great, but why not take the opportunity to reframe…all of it?
I don’t think they all look like models at all! Many very ordinary looking. It’s the scenes around them, and some of them with their clothes that looks stunning.
I think being upset to the point of shaking, is an overreaction and a projection of your own wishes onto anothers vision.. He’s reframing iconic scenes of romance, that includes Models, exotic locations, and fashion forward appearances. If it was candid, and ordinary, it wouldn’t be a recreation of iconic images with the added gay element.
So should super models be excluded from expressing love for each other. I am a fat at times non confident person (BTW my profile photo is by a professional photographer from 2009) I feel that the opportunity for a love-of-my-life relationship is over. I am 57 and single but I am still touched by the beauty of seeing two people expressing affection and regard for each other. Can’t we be happy for our brothers and sisters when they find love even if they have good looks. After all looks are not forever.
Like most art, different people respond in different ways, which speaks more about the viewer than the art itself.
Still – too much perfection – hair all done up, make up perfect, teeth, clothes … pfff an advertisement.
“Ethnically appropriate models were used in most of the cases only to assure the safety of real LGBTQ members.”
Right, because if they had used real homosexual couples the poor bastards would probably end up dead.
This is a fantastic photo series, thanks for bringing attention to this!
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By Maria Popova
What is love? This question haunts the human psyche perhaps more persistently than any other. It has occupied our collective imaginationtaunted philosopherstantalized artists. So mystified by love were the Ancient Greeks that they itemized six types of it. But nothing defines it with more exquisite expressiveness than the love letter. At its best, it makes the personal universal, then personal again — a writer from another era or another culture captures the all-consuming complexity of love with more richness and color and dimension than we ourselves could, making us feel at once less alone and more whole in our understanding of love and of ourselves.
As we turn the leaf on a new chapter of modern history that embraces a more inclusive definition of love — both culturally and, at last, politically — here is a celebration of the human heart’s highest capacity through history’s most beautiful and timelessly bewitching LGBTQ love letters.
1. Danez Smith, “The 17-Year-Old & the Gay Bar”
Smith is a black, queer, poz poet from St. Paul, Minnesota, and he embraces his identity in his work. This poem specifically recalls a feeling we’ve all had — our first time inside a gay bar.
5. Dennis Cooper, “After School, Street Football, Eighth Grade”
You definitely won’t have read any of Dennis Cooper’s work in your high school lit class. Known for his punk, DIY aesthetic, Cooper’s work of gay poems are highly graphic and raw. How many poets can get away with talking about kissing sweaty armpits and still sound so damn cool?
12. W.H. Auden, “The Platonic Blow”
W.H. Auden is one of the greatest queer writers in modern literature, and while the below is not his best work, it is a poem about gay sex. (Rather graphic gay sex, at that.) The stanzas below are among his tamest. Other lines include, “‘Shall I rim you?’ I whispered. He shifted his limbs in assent. / Turned on his side and opened his legs, let me pass.”
MARGARET MEAD AND RUTH BENEDICT
Margaret Mead endures as the world’s best-known and most influential cultural anthropologist, who not only popularized anthropology itself but also laid the foundation for the sexual revolution of the 1960s with her studies of attitudes towards sex. In addition to broadening cultural conventions through her work, she also embodied the revolution in her personal life. Married three times to men, she dearly loved her third husband, the renowned British anthropologist Gregory Bateson, with whom she had a daughter. But the most intense and enduring relationship of her life was with a woman — the anthropologist and folklorist Ruth Benedict, Mead’s mentor at Columbia university, fourteen years her senior. The two shared a bond of uncommon magnitude and passion, which stretched across a quarter century until the end of Benedict’s life.
Margaret’s love letters to Ruth, posthumously gathered in To Cherish the Life of the World: Selected Letters of Margaret Meadpublic library) — which also gave us Mead’s prescient position on homosexuality — are a thing of absolute, soul-stirring beauty, on par with such famed epistolary romances as those between Frida Kahlo and Diego RiveraGeorgia O’Keeffe and Alfred StieglitzHenry Miller and Anaïs NinJean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
In August of 1925, 24-year-old Mead sailed to Samoa, beginning the journey that would produce her enormously influential treatise Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilisation. (Mead, who believed that “one can love several people and that demonstrative affection has its place in different types of relationship,” was married at the time to her first husband and they had an unconventional arrangement that both allowed her to do field work away from him for extended periods of time and accommodated her feelings for Ruth.) On her fourth day at sea, she writes Benedict with equal parts devotion and urgency:
. . . The mail which I got just before leaving Honolulu and in my steamer mail could not have been better chosen. Five letters from you — and, oh, I hope you may often feel me near you as you did — resting so softly and sweetly in your arms. Whenever I am weary and sick with longing for you I can always go back and recapture that afternoon out at Bedford Hills this spring, when your kisses were rained down on my face, and that memory ends always in peace, beloved.
Ruth, I was never more earthborn in my life — and yet never more conscious of the strength your love gives me. You have convinced me of the one thing in life which made living worthwhile.
You have no greater gift, darling. And every memory of your face, every cadence of your voice is joy whereon I shall feed hungrily in these coming months.
[I wonder] whether I could manage to go on living, to want to go on living if you did not care.
Does Honolulu need your phantom presence? Oh, my darling — without it, I could not live here at all. Your lips bring blessings — my beloved.
In December of that year, Mead was offered a position as assistant curator at the American Museum of Natural History, where she would go on to spend the rest of her career. She excitedly accepted, in large part so that she could at last be closer to Benedict, and moved to New York with her husband, Luther Cressman, firmly believing that the two relationships would neither harm nor contradict one another. As soon as the decision was made, she wrote to Benedict on January 7, 1926:
Your trust in my decision has been my mainstay, darling, otherwise I just couldn’t have managed. And all this love which you have poured out to me is very bread and wine to my direct need. Always, always I am coming back to you.
Four days later, Mead sends Benedict a poignant letter, reflecting on her two relationships and how love crystallizes of its own volition:
In one way this solitary existence is particularly revealing — in the way I can twist and change in my attitudes towards people with absolutely no stimulus at all except such as springs from within me. I’ll awaken some morning just loving you frightfully much in some quite new way and I may not have sufficiently rubbed the sleep from my eyes to have even looked at your picture. It gives me a strange, almost uncanny feeling of autonomy. And it is true that we have had this loveliness “near” together for I never feel you too far away to whisper to, and your dear hair is always just slipping through my fingers. . . .
When I do good work it is always always for you … and the thought of you now makes me a little unbearably happy.
Five weeks later, in mid-February, Mead and Benedict begin planning a three-week getaway together, which proves, thanks to their husbands’ schedules, to be more complicated than the two originally thought. Exasperated over all the planning, Margaret writes Ruth:
I’ll be so blinded by looking at you, I think now it won’t matter — but the lovely thing about our love is that it will. We aren’t like those lovers of Edward’s “now they are sleeping cheek to cheek” etc. who forgot all the things their love had taught them to love —
By mid-March, Mead is once again firmly rooted in her love for Benedict:
I feel immensely freed and sustained, the dark months of doubt washed away, and that I can look you gladly in the eyes as you take me in your arms. My beloved! My beautiful one. I thank God you do not try to fence me off, but trust me to take life as it comes and make something of it. With that trust of yours I can do anything — and come out with something precious saved.
As the summer comes, Mead finds herself as in love with Benedict as when they first met six years prior, writing in a letter dated August 26, 1926:
I am very happy and an enormous number of cobwebs seem to have been blown away in Paris. I was so miserable that last day, I came nearer doubting than ever before the essentially impregnable character of our affection for each other. And now I feel at peace with the whole world. You may think it is tempting the gods to say so, but I take all this as high guarantee of what I’ve always temperamentally doubted — the permanence of passion — and the mere turn of your head, a chance inflection of your voice have just as much power to make the day over now as they did four years ago. And so just as you give me zest for growing older rather than dread, so also you give me a faith I never thought to win in the lastingness of passion.
In September of 1928, as Mead travels by train to marry her second husband after her first marriage crumbled, another bittersweet letter to Ruth leaves us speculating about what might have been different had the legal luxuries of modern love been a reality in Mead’s day, making it possible for her and Ruth to marry and formalize their steadfast union under the law:
I’ve slept mostly today trying to get rid of this cold and not to look at the country which I saw first from your arms.
Mostly, I think I’m a fool to marry anyone. I’ll probably just make a man and myself unhappy. Right now most of my daydreams are concerned with not getting married at all. I wonder if wanting to marry isn’t just another identification with you, and a false one. For I couldn’t have taken you away from Stanley and you could take me away from [Reo] — there’s no blinking that.
Beside the strength and permanence and all enduring feeling which I have for you, everything else is shifting sand. Do you mind terribly when I say these things? You mustn’t mind — ever — anything in the most perfect gift God has given me. The center of my life is a beautiful walled place, if the edges are a little weedy and ragged — well, it’s the center which counts — My sweetheart, my beautiful, my lovely one.
By 1933, despite the liberal arrangements of her marriage, Mead felt that it forcibly squeezed out of her the love she had for Benedict. In a letter to Ruth from April 9, she reflects on those dynamics and gasps at the relief of choosing to break free of those constraints and being once again free to love fully:
Having laid aside so much of myself, in response to what I mistakenly believed was the necessity of my marriage I had no room for emotional development. … Ah, my darling, it is so good to really be all myself to love you again. . . . The moon is full and the lake lies still and lovely — this place is like Heaven — and I am in love with life. Goodnight, darling.
Over the years that followed, both Margaret and Ruth explored the boundaries of their other relationships, through more marriages and domestic partnerships, but their love for each other only continued to grow. In 1938, Mead captured it beautifully by writing of “the permanence of [their] companionship.” Mead and her last husband, Gregory Bateson, named Benedict the guardian of their daughter. The two women shared their singular bond until Benedict’s sudden death from a heart attack in 1948. In one of her final letters, Mead wrote:
Always I love you and realize what a desert life might have been without you.
ALLEN GINSBERG AND PETER ORLOVSKY
From the wonderful 1998 anthology My Dear Boy: Gay Love Letters Through the Centuriespublic library) — a diverse collection of missives covering the universalities of romantic love, from longing and infatuation to jealousy and rejection to tenderness and loyalty — comes the correspondence of Beat Generation godfather Allen Ginsberg and the poet Peter Orlovsky. The two had met in San Francisco in 1954, embarking upon what Ginsberg called their “marriage” — a lifelong relationship that went through many phases, endured multiple challenges, but ultimately lasted until Ginsberg’s death in 1997.
Their letters, filled with typos, missing punctuation, and the grammatical oddities typical of writing propelled by bursts of intense emotion rather than literary precision, are absolutely beautiful.
In a letter from January 20, 1958, Ginsberg writes to Orlovsky from Paris, recounting a visit with his close friend and fellow beatnik, William S. Burroughs, another icon of literature’s gay subculture:
O Heart O Love everything is suddenly turned to gold! Don’t be afraid don’t worry the most astounding beautiful thing has happened here! I don’t know where to begin but the most important. When Bill [ed: William S. Burroughs] came I, we, thought it was the same old Bill mad, but something had happened to Bill in the meantime since we last saw him . . . . but last night finally Bill and I sat down facing each other across the kitchen table and looked eye to eye and talked, and I confessed all my doubt and misery — and in front of my eyes he turned into an Angel!
What happened to him in Tangiers this last few months? It seems he stopped writing and sat on his bed all afternoons thinking and meditating alone & stopped drinking — and finally dawned on his consciousness, slowly and repeatedly, every day, for several months — awareness of “a benevolent sentient (feeling) center to the whole Creation” — he had apparently, in his own way, what I have been so hung up in myself and you, a vision of big peaceful Lovebrain. . . .
I woke up this morning with great bliss of freedom & joy in my heart, Bill’s saved, I’m saved, you’re saved, we’re all saved, everything has been all rapturous ever since — I only feel sad that perhaps you left as worried when we waved goodby and kissed so awkwardly — I wish I could have that over to say goodby to you happier & without the worries and doubts I had that dusty dusk when you left… — Bill is changed nature, I even feel much changed, great clouds rolled away, as I feel when you and I were in rapport, well, our rapport has remained in me, with me, rather than losing it, I’m feeling to everyone, something of the same as between us.
A couple of weeks later, in early February, Orlovsky sends a letter to Ginsberg from New York, in which he writes with beautiful prescience:
…dont worry dear Allen things are going ok — we’ll change the world yet to our dessire — even if we got to die — but OH the world’s got 25 rainbows on my window sill. . . .
As soon as he receives the letter the day after Valentine’s Day, Ginsberg writes back, quoting Shakespeare like only a love-struck poet would:
I have been running around with mad mean poets & world-eaters here & was longing for kind words from heaven which you wrote, came as fresh as a summer breeze & “when I think on thee dear friend / all loses are restored & sorrows end,” came over & over in my mind — it’s the end of a Shakespeare Sonnet — he must have been happy in love too. I had never realized that before. . . .
Write me soon baby, I’ll write you big long poem I feel as if you were god that I pray to —
In another letter sent nine days later, Ginsberg writes:
I’m making it all right here, but I miss you, your arms & nakedness & holding each other — life seems emptier without you, the soulwarmth isn’t around. . . .
Citing another conversation he had had with Burroughs, he goes on to presage the enormous leap for the dignity and equality of love that we’ve only just seen more than half a century after Ginsberg wrote this:
Bill thinks new American generation will be hip & will slowly change things — laws & attitudes, he has hope there — for some redemption of America, finding its soul. . . . — you have to love all life, not just parts, to make the eternal scene, that’s what I think since we’ve made it, more & more I see it isn’t just between us, it’s feeling that can [be] extended to everything. Tho I long for the actual sunlight contact between us I miss you like a home. Shine back honey & think of me.
Goodbye Mr. tender as everswept with warm rainlove from your Allen
OSCAR WILDE AND SIR ALFRED “BOSIE” DOUGLAS
historic progress on the dignity and equality of human love, it’s hard to forget the enormous indignities to which the lovers of yore have been subjected across the 4,000-year history of persecuting desire. Among modernity’s most tragic victims of our shameful past is Oscar Wilde, who was imprisoned multiple times for his “crime” of homosexuality, driven into bankruptcy and exile, and finally succumbed to an untimely death. But Wilde’s most “sinful” quality — his enormous capacity for passionate, profound love — was also one of the most poetic gifts of his life.
In June of 1891, Wilde met Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, a 21-year-old Oxford undergraduate and talented poet, who would come to be the author’s own Dorian Gray — his literary muse, his evil genius, his restless lover. It was during the course of their affair that Wilde wrote Salomé and the four great plays which to this day endure as the cornerstones of his legacy. Their correspondence, collected public library), makes for an infinitely inspired addition to the most beautiful love letters exchanged between history’s greatest creative and intellectual power couples.
Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those red rose-leaf lips of yours should be made no less for the madness of music and song than for the madness of kissing. Your slim gilt soul walks between passion and poetry. I know Hyacinthus, whom Apollo loved so madly, was you in Greek days.
Why are you alone in London, and when do you go to Salisbury? Do go there to cool your hands in the grey twilight of Gothic things, and come here whenever you like. It is a lovely place and lacks only you; but go to Salisbury first.
In early March of 1893, Wilde channels love’s exasperating sense of urgency:
Dearest of All Boys — Your letter was delightful — red and yellow wine to me — but I am sad and out of sorts — Bosie — you must not make scenes with me — they kill me — they wreck the loveliness of life — I cannot see you, so Greek and gracious, distorted with passion; I cannot listen to your curved lips saying hideous things to me — don’t do it — you break my heart — I’d sooner be rented* all day, than have you bitter, unjust, and horrid — horrid.
I must see you soon — you are the divine thing I want — the thing of grace and genius — but but I don’t know how to do it — Shall I come to Salisbury — ? There are many difficulties — my bill here is £49 for a week! I have also got a new sitting-room over the Thames — but you, why are you not here, my dear, my wonderful boy — ? I fear I must leave; no money, no credit, and a heart of lead —
Their affair was intense, bustling with dramatic tempestuousness, but underpinning it was a profound and genuine love. In a letter from late December of 1893, after a recent rift, Wilde writes to Douglas:
Thanks for your letter. I am overwhelmed by the wings of vulture creditors, and out of sorts, but I am happy in the knowledge that we are friends again, and that our love has passed through the shadow and the light of estrangement and sorrow and come out rose-crowned as of old. Let us always be infinitely dear to each other, as indeed we have been always.
I think of you daily, and am always devotedly yours.
I hope the cigarettes arrived all right. I lunched with Gladys de Grey, Reggie and Aleck York there. They want me to go to Paris with them on Thursday: they say one wears flannels and straw hats and dines in the Bois, but, of course, I have no money, as usual, and can’t go. Besides, I want to see you. It is really absurd. I can’t live without you. You are so dear, so wonderful. I think of you all day long, and miss your grace, your boyish beauty, the bright sword-play of your wit, the delicate fancy of your genius, so surprising always in its sudden swallow-flights towards north and south, towards sun and moon — and, above all, yourself. The only thing that consoles me is what Sybil of Mortimer Street (whom mortals call Mrs. Robinson) said to me*. If I could disbelieve her I would, but I can’t, and I know that early in January you and I will go away together for a long voyage, and that your lovely life goes always hand in hand with mine. My dear wonderful boy, I hope you are brilliant and happy.
I went to Bertie, today I wrote at home, then went and sat with my mother. Death and Love seem to walk on either hand as I go through life: they are the only things I think of, their wings shadow me.
London is a desert without your dainty feet… Write me a line and take all my love — now and for ever.
Always, and with devotion — but I have no words for how I love you.
In 1895, at the height of his literary success, with his masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest drawing continuous acclaim across the stages of London, Wilde had Douglas’s father, the Marquess of Queensberry, prosecuted for libel. But the evidence unearthed during the trial led to Wilde’s own arrest on charges of “gross indecency” with members of the same sex. Two more trials followed, after which he was sentenced for two years of “hard labor” in prison. On April 29 of that year, having hit emotional and psychological rock-bottom, his reputation ruined and his health deteriorating, Wilde wrote to Douglas on the eve of the final trial:
This is to assure you of my immortal, my eternal love for you. Tomorrow all will be over. If prison and dishonour be my destiny, think that my love for you and this idea, this still more divine belief, that you love me in return will sustain me in my unhappiness and will make me capable, I hope, of bearing my grief most patiently. Since the hope, nay rather the certainty, of meeting you again in some world is the goal and the encouragement of my present life, ah! I must continue to live in this world because of that.
Another letter, written on August 31, 1897, shortly after Wilde’s release from prison, reads:
I got your telegram half an hour ago, and just send a line to say that I feel that my only hope of again doing beautiful work in art is being with you. It was not so in the old days, but now it is different, and you can really recreate in me that energy and sense of joyous power on which art depends. Everyone is furious with me for going back to you, but they don’t understand us. I feel that it is only with you that I can do anything at all. Do remake my ruined life for me, and then our friendship and love will have a different meaning to the world.
I wish that when we met at Rouen we had not parted at all. There are such wide abysses now of space and land between us. But we love each other. Goodnight, dear. Ever yours,
But perhaps the most eloquent articulation of their relationship comes from a letter Wilde wrote to Leonard Smithers — a Sheffield solicitor with a side business of printing erotica, who became the only publisher interested in Wilde’s books in his post-prison years — on October 1, 1897:
How can you keep on asking is Lord Alfred Douglas in Naples? You know quite well he is — we are together. He understands me and my art, and loves both. I hope never to be separated from him. He is a most delicate and exquisite poet, besides — far the finest of all the young poets in England. You have got to publish his next volume; it is full of lovely lyrics, flute-music and moon-music, and sonnets in ivory and gold. He is witty, graceful, lovely to look at, lovable to be with. He has also ruined my life, so I can’t help loving him — it is the only thing to do.
More of their exquisite correspondence appears in , but that one sentence alone — “He understands me and my art, and loves both.” — is an immeasurably beautiful addition to history’s most profound definitions of love, a sublime manifestation of the highest hope one creative soul can have for a union with another.