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Sexually Speaking: Collected Sex Writings

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Gore Vidal: Sexually Speaking presents the author’s often provocative and always engaging thoughts on sexuality. Here, fourteen essays and three rare, vintage interviews published over the past four decades tackle hot-button topics such as gay American founding fathers, sex and the Catholic church, gay bashing and the U.S. Congress, and bedding Jack Kerouac. “Vidal’s erudi ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published April 23rd 2001 by Cleis Press (first published 1999)
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  151 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rarely can an author create something that tempers itself in contrast to the current times. Re-reading these observations from the greatest American essayist of the 20th century brings a fresh candor to the over-sexualization of the West, the over-feminization of the homosexualists, and the debates surrounding identity that rage today. With the current rush to identify and approve or scorn of absolutely every "type" according to the PC Pollyannas, discussions on the absurdity of labeling is refr ...more
Oliver Bateman
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
those of you who know vidal know the drill:

1) the essays are composed as if they were 'elegant conversations' w/ a witty old uncle, and the interviews are actually so.

2) no matter the topic, vidal says the same shit over and over again, b/c he assumes correctly that most people are forgetful (he'd probably say ignorant, dull, vulgar, etc.) and need incessant reminding of the most basic ideas. they are:
a) there are no homosexual people, only homosexual acts (larry kramer debates this w/ him in t
Chelsey Cosh
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gore Vidal is easily one of the best essayists in the world. Here, he writes about human sexuality in its many forms, but he veers toward homosexuality as he himself expresses homosexual behaviour (but don't dare call him a gay man -- he would have to disagree with that on principle). This collection, i>Sexually Speaking features his many essays, some about sex and some not, in addition to three interviews, two of which were for homocentric magazines, like The Fag Rag and The Gay Sunshine. He ...more
Clayton Greiman
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't find the book engaging for a reason Mr. Vidal would appreciate. The tome's musings on sexuality, sex as politics, and moral policing have become antiquated. Gay marriage has been validated by The United States Supreme Court. Yes, there will always be intolerance, but a watershed victory has been achieved for the gay rights movement.

Many of Mr. Vidals' essays were written in the 1960s and they are historical chronicles of a struggle but (to me) uninteresting ones. More than writ
gLawrence Baumgartner
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glbt
I love Gore and almost everything he has written. The people he has known and his contention that gay and straight do not exist; that sex is descriptive not a lifestyle.I've got to agree with him in many ways. The interviews are dated but thoroughly enjoyable and his take on Eleanor Roosevelt, Tennessee Williams, Christopher Isherwood and others are just plain enjoyable. As I said, it's dated and maybe a bit out of step with the ways things have evolved, it's refreshing that Gore never embraced ...more
Amy Rutherford
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Individual pieces are 4 or 5 star worthy, but as a collection, some themes become repetitive. Recommend reading one piece at a time with a good break before the next one.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
This book of essays loosely arranged around the theme of sexuality regroups a series of texts dating roughly from the early 60s to about the early 90s.
The common thread throughout the volume is the question of identity within society, and whether the parameters chosen by some to define themselves in comparison to others are valid ones. Is one to be defined by one’s sexual preference, or by one’s personality and accomplishments, or one’s common experience of life with the rest of humanity?
Aaron Gallardo
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mordaz, furioso, exagerado, cínico, inteligente. Un puñado de adjetivos con los que simpatizo. El tema principal es la homosexualidad. Gore dice que no existe: apenas es un adjetivo, que la media (y los misma comunidad 'gay', he de decir) se ha empecinado en volver un sustantivo. Y le doy la razón. Critica la doble moral y los sinsentidos judeocristianos. Y le doy la razón. Habla del sometimiento de la mujer como fruto -entre otras cosas- de la ideología capitalista y su exaltación de la familia ...more
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Gore Vidal's essays are some of my favorite examples of his writing, and Sexually Speaking is certainlly among his most charged and powerful collections. Some of the writing will seem dated now, but many of the issues he takes on, particularly with regard to homosexuality, still haven't advanced much. My favorite of the lot is the essay "Sex is Politics," impressive for its rhetoric and for the tensions Vidal pulls to the surface of our cultural pool. I don't know what we'll do for intelligent c ...more
Luis Cardenas
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muchos de los ensayos son una constante repetición de que el sexo es política, y de que no hay una etiqueta por los actos sexuales de las personas porque todos son actos fisiologicamente permitidos para el disfrute del placer siempre y cuando las personas estén dispuestas física y psicologicamente aptos para ellos. El sexo es política porque el estado no debe inmiscuirse en lo que hacen las personas en las puertas de su casa. Y mucho menos obligarlos a creer en convencionalismos sociales que sol ...more
Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
must-read for any homo
Christoper Johnsen
Mar 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another great collection of Vidal's musings.
Mike Moskos
Mar 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book
The sections of this book which were previously published book reviews/author summaries get a little tiresome, but the interviews at the end are classic Vidal.
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Polemical and provocative
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Eugene Luther Gore Vidal was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. He was also known for his patrician manner, Transatlantic accent, and witty aphorisms. Vidal came from a distinguished political lineage; his grandfather was the senator Thomas Gore, and he later became a relation (through marriage) to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Vidal ran for political office twi
“Actually, there is no such thing as a homosexual person, any more than there is such a thing as a heterosexual person. The words are adjectives describing sexual acts, not people. The sexual acts are entirely normal; if they were not, no one would perform them.” 93 likes
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