Category Archives: Frank Jackson

WC76 – Frank Talk

Holy and…
there is no other kind

By Frank Jackson

This is only an excerpt…

I’ve never been much of an ancestors guy. Remember when, back in the 80’s, Jon Lovitz impersonated presidential hopeful Michael Dukakis, saying, “My ancestors were short people—short, swarthy people”? That’s how I always felt. In my case, they were Eastern European shtetl-dwellers, but, like Dukakis’s progenitors, nothing to get too excited about.

Plus, because of the Holocaust and the transatlantic crossing, I know nothing about anyone more than two generations ahead of me. My parents, my grandparents—and thenfg a blank. I know that my maternal grandmother was one of ten children, and that they lived on a farm, and ate potatoes, and struggled. But not much more than that.

And I’ve always assumed that, because I’m a fag, my ancestors would be shocked to learn how their progeny has turned out. It’s one of those little homophobias that seems to stay with me; no matter how well things are going with my boyfriend (and at the moment they’re not going well), I know, or think I know, that they would have disapproved. We’re something new under the sun, we Gay families, and so, for me, that means a certain disconnect from all that’s gone before. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be Frank Jackson the IVth, or really feel that I’m following in my grandfather’s footsteps.

And yet, as I enter my forties, I’ve naturally found myself thinking more about ancestors, as “youth” (however prolonged by Gay culture, Propecia, and trips to the gym) gives way to “middle age.” I look more like my dad every day. I’m haunted by his failures, and even though I know I’m haunted by them, I still get stuck. And I wonder whether I’ll ever have children, whether I’ll be remembered or not. To think of one’s ancestors is necessarily to ponder one’s descendants.

During a recent ayahuasca ceremony, I had an encounter that gave me an even stronger intimation of ancestry and religion. Ayahuasca is an Amazonian shamanic medicine, made of two different plants, that creates powerful visionary experiences — what other cultures would call prophecy and revelation. Some of these experiences are big-wow visual theophanies, others are all about the heart, and others still are mostly about the body (physical, astral, energetic, etc.). Ayahuasca is not a drug, and definitely not for day trippers. In many ways, I’m still recovering from the work I did months ago and feel, frankly, scarred. But it opened new doors for me, in ways I do not pretend to understand.

This is just an excerpt from this issue of White Crane.   We are a reader-supported journaland need you to subscribe to keep this conversation going.  So to read more from this wonderful issue SUBSCRIBE to White Crane. Thanks!

Frank Jackson is an itinerant meta-theologian living in the arcadian wilds of New York State.  Frank Talk  is a semi-regular feature of White Crane.

WC75 – Frank Talk – Strangelove

Or How I Finally Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bears

By Frank Jackson

This is only an excerpt…

I think when you come out — and I think I’ve said this before — you should get a goddamn handbook. And somewhere in chapter two should be a play-by-play guide to the prostate and its pleasures. O, the rapture! O, the joy! And oh, shit, why didn’t anyone tell me about this? The first time I really experienced “the other orgasm,” it blew my mind way more than blowing my wad ever did. Jesus Christ and Mary as well, it was beautiful. The screaming, the gnashing, the gyrating, the whole damn lot of it — why had I not been told? I had always assumed (don’t laugh too loud at me here) that bottoms were just generous; they just liked to give their bodies for the pleasure of others. I know, I know, the ignorance of the young. But how was I supposed to know? I’m sure someone must’ve written “Frank Talk” for the 1990s (okay, maybe the 1980s), but I sure hadn’t read it.

And then I got angry at all those clueless, inconsiderate tops — some of them far more experienced than I, and thus, I thought, knowledgeable in the ways of men and their asses. What the hell was wrong with them? No fingering first? No finding the Sweet Spot? No waiting for a minute, then going slowly, then going faster, then going holy shit that’s fast oh my god yes do it please oh god yes, and then going slower again….?
So no wonder I wasn’t a bottom; I’d never been properly fucked. To think that I really thought it was just about generosity… I’m telling you, when word about the prostate gets out to the general public, we’re gonna have a whole lot more guys out at Fire Island. (Just what Fire Island needs: more bottoms!)

But for me, it took years. It took me a long time to like bottoming, and thus a long time to admit that I liked it more than topping (which I still do, and still enjoy, but not as much as getting fucked). And, surprise, surprise, as I grew to understand and accept myself, I stopped chasing after the twinks as much. 

Now, as my friends know, I still go for the Tadzios and Timberlakes of the world, and, for whatever reason, I still prefer them in my porn. But when I’m out cruising, I’ve come to like more… mature men. I wouldn’t say I’m into bears specifically – I’m not – but I’m sure not anti-. When I see a man, while of course part of me still looks for a certain physical ‘type,’ a bigger part of me tries to imagine him fucking my goddamn brains out. And that means looking beyond the boys.

I know, obviously, that bears are just as often bottoms as tops (more often, in my experience), and that sometimes the delicate twink turns out to be the piledriver in bed. But what I’m talking about is something deeper (pardon the pun) – energetic, even. It’s about accepting that sometimes what I want is a man to take me, not a boy to take me by the hand. I still think boys look better, aesthetically speaking, but fucking is not really about aesthetics, and as I’ve come to know myself more, I’ve come to desire properties other than body shape or smoothness. Not out of charity, or out of some bogus-enlightened equanimity among bodies, but out of my pure, selfish, holy desire to get fucked and fucked again.

This is just an excerpt from this issue of White Crane.   We are a reader-supported journaland need you to subscribe to keep this conversation going.  So to read more from this wonderful issue SUBSCRIBE to White Crane. Thanks!

Frank Jackson is an itinerant meta-theologian living in the arcadian wilds of New York State.  Frank Talk  is a semi-regular feature of White Crane.

WC71 – Frank Talk – Does the Religious Right Just Need to Get Laid?


Does the Religious Right Just Need to Get Laid?
By Frank Jackson

Riding home on the subway, after great, liberating, and joyous sex at the West Side Club (that’s the bathhouses, indeed, the nefarious bathhouses), I was reflecting on how little it takes to keep a man happy. Sometimes cliches are true — you know the one about how all that uptight guy or gal really needs is to get their brains fucked out? Well, sometimes it’s misogyny, and sometimes homophobia, but sometimes — at least for me — it’s just plain true. I worry a lot about a lot of things — my job, the planet’s climate, whatever — but right now, I could care less.

I mean, I still care about global warming, and I’ll still recycle. But you know; it’s not got quite the urgency.

Most of gay spirituality, when you look at it, is about “spirituality” instead of religion. The difference is sometimes hard to pin down, but I think it’s a lot like the difference between fucking and not fucking. Spirituality gives you the juice, whether you’re chanting or meditating or having sex. Religion gives you the rules.

This is why so many charismatic religious leaders turn out to be sex offenders (and perhaps vice versa): because the juice of religion is so close to the juice of sex that I’m not really sure what the difference is anymore. And it’s not just the ecstasy of orgasm or shamanic trance; it’s also the afterglow. That peaceful state in which you can finally reflect, calmly, over what you want in your life and what’s important to you. Reflect — as in, not panic or fret or endlessly plan. That peaceful state can come in a lot of ways. Meditation is one of them. Really good sex is another.

What is it about Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, Rick Santorum, Ted Haggard and the rest of the Christian Right nuts that makes them seem so obviously, painfully gay? It could be the stereotypically effeminate features — none of them looks like they shave much, and they all have these boyish good looks that resemble nothing so much as a pedophile’s fantasy of an altar boy. But I don’t think it’s the girly-man thing. I think it’s how repressed they all look.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? People who don’t get fucked enough look exactly like those scary pictures of people who masturbate too much: wan and wasted. What was it Bilbo Baggins said? — like butter spread too thinly over a piece of bread. Jim McGreevey had that look sometimes, before he came out. Now he just looks hot.

And let’s take it to the next level. It’s not just that these guys need to get fucked physically (at least Haggard was getting some); they need to get fucked metaphysically also. Their whole religious outlook is one of chaste celibacy. No drugs, no sex, no pleasure, no profanity, no loud music, no long hair. What are the pleasures? Missionary sex with your wife while the kids snore downstairs? I mean, it’s nice, but everybody in the gay world knows that when your sex life is just “nice,” you need to get out more. And your partner does too.

But all they want is nice. They want nice lawns, nice houses, nice manners. Sometimes I think as though it’s impossible for people to believe the same bullshit they believed when I was fifteen and rebelled against it. But a lot of people are still at that first square. Pre-Holden Caulfield. Pre-Elvis, for Christ’s sake.

When I get fucked like I did tonight, I see things really clearly. I see how wonderful and God-given sexual energy truly is, and how obvious it is that God, who presumably designed the prostate gland and placed it so close to the anal wall, really does love us fags. I see how important it is for me personally to be “versatile,” both in the sense of top/bottom and also in the sense of playing with different people’s energies, and enjoying everything from romantic lovemaking with my boyfriend to rough sex at the baths. God bless variety.

And I see how completely wrong traditional anti-gay morality is — but without that irritating righteous indignation that one hears so often in our community; more with a sense of condescension. Of course, when I think of the violence that these idiots perpetrate, I do get angry again. But from a purely ideological, intellectual perspective — they’re just dumb.

I wonder how much religion is directly opposed to spirituality. It’s like, it’s in on the game — it knows that there is real, live, hot juice in the center of a spiritual life. It knows this. But then, instead of saying “look, people, drink from the secret well!” it builds a wall around the well so high that no light gets in, and no water gets out. Religion does to Spirit what museums do to precious jewels: locks it away so securely that no one gets to enjoy it. Unlike some of my White Crane colleagues, I do think religion does a good job at warning of the dangers of indulgence. And who knows, maybe it’s true that just like people get addicted to sex, they can get addicted to the rush of anything else, be it spirituality or drugs or music or whatever kind of pleasure really gets us juiced. And maybe it’s also true that the dangers outweigh the pleasures.

But for me at least, I know my limits. I’ve had unhealthy relationships to sex and drugs before; I know what it’s like. And I know that in moderation, both are just dandy. More than that; they’re enlightening. God blesses the orgasm, and the orgasm blesses God.

This is just an excerpt from this issue of White Crane.   We are a reader-supported journal and need you to subscribe to keep this conversation going.  So to read more from this wonderful issue SUBSCRIBE to White Crane. Thanks!