Publisher’s note: This column may not be for everyone. Reader discretion is advised.
Well, if any of you kids want to learn how to give a good BJ, don’t bother checking the library at Hart High School.
Likewise, if you’re curious about the ins and outs of “bumming” and want to know EXACTLY where to lick a woman to make her squeal with delight, the Hart High School library will no longer be of help to you.
The book is gone.
Like many of the kids who would read the book, I was curious about “This Book Is Gay,” by Juno Dawson. But for me, my curiosity was not so much about the lessons in the book — which primarily focuses on acceptance and sexual identity.
I’m 56 years old. I’m kind of past the “exploration” stage.
No, my curiosity was geared more toward the question, “WHY did they remove the book from the library?”
As a First Amendment advocate, it’s the kind of phrase that catches my attention, in a bad way. In general, I’m opposed to “banning” books. When I heard a book had been eliminated from the Hart High School library, I wanted to know the reason.
So, I bought a copy.
“This Book Is Gay” is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle form. I went with the Kindle version, just $6.99, instantly delivered to my computer. Super convenient.
As you might surmise from the title, it’s about understanding and acceptance of what it means — and doesn’t mean — to be gay.
For most of the book, I was thinking, “So far, so good. What was all the fuss about?” It speaks to young people who are still in the self-discovery stage and seeks to make them comfortable with those discoveries. Nothing wrong with that.
But then, in Chapter 9, “The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex,” it took a seriously NSFW turn. (That’s “Not Safe for Work.”)
As in, I can’t even quote a lot of it in this column and stay employed. And the illustrations? If I can’t print them in The Signal, do they belong in a school library?
If you’ve ever wondered about ladies’ or lads’ private parts, and what they look like up close, and what things you can do to them to make them feel good, well, this book is for you.
At least, Chapter 9.
It’s not so much “sex education” as it is “GOOD sex” education, with an emphasis, of course, on gay sex. It goes beyond the clinical-style things you might remember from eighth-grade health class — like, “here’s how babies are made,” “curious things that are happening to your body right now” and “here’s how to avoid catching gonorrhea.“
“This Book Is Gay” is not “science-y.”
Rather, the book ventures into the FUN side of sex and how to maximize the pleasure. (And, a lot of it is applicable regardless of whether you are gay, straight, or otherwise…)
It contains advice like, “WATCH THE TEETH” and “get away from the volcano before it erupts.”
And, helpful tips on everything from lube to, ahem, “devices,” to the proper way to prep one’s parts for back-door sex (so much for spontaneity…) and the proper amount of attention to pay to that female body part that, as Jerry Seinfeld taught us, rhymes with “Dolores.”
Look, let’s not be naive. Kids are going to learn what they want to learn about sex.
If they want information on… well, anything… they’ve got the same internet you and I do. If they want this book, they can get this book.
But should it be in a public school library?
That’s where I think a line is crossed in “This Book Is Gay.” It’s not about the fact that it’s intended for an LGBTQ audience. The same explicit material, were it aimed at heterosexual kids, would be just as inappropriate for a school library. There should be SOME sense of decorum in the choices made about what’s available on a public school campus.
After all, you can’t just log on to a school computer and bring up Pornhub, right?
For those kids who really want to read “This Book Is Gay,” that’s easy. Amazon. Just $6.99 for the Kindle edition. You can read it on your phone. Share it with your friends.
And remember: Watch the teeth.
Tim Whyte is editor of The Signal.