The 70th and 65th Anniversaries of Two Books by Dr. Alfred Kinsey. Who Here Read Them and What Do You Say?

They excited and/or upset people everywhere, but decades passed before I read even paragraphs from either.

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In ‘48 I was a prudish (= envious of others’ happiness but jerking off at least daily) 12th grader in a Catholic school. In ‘53 I was a less prudish Catholic but in college studying engineering and too busy to read even parts of either. Dammit.

In ‘80, with a six-year marriage in my resume, I became a part time sex educator at San Francisco Sex Education ( www.sfsi.org ) with many other ex-Catholics) saying I was remedying 12 years in Catholic schools.

I may finally, from curiosity, read the Kinsey books.

According to Gary Lachman, Alfred Kinsey was an associate of Kenneth Anger, notorious author of Hollywood Babylon and underground experimental filmmaker. In his entertaining chronicle of the dark side of the Aquarian Age, Turn off Your Mind, Lachman notes:

  • Anger for his part was impressed by the doctor’s 5,000 plus collection of porno films and agreed to help catalogue them. But along with homosexuality and trashy erotica, Kinsey and Anger shared another interest: the sex life of Aleister Crowley

 

I’m now reading a Kinsey bio ( Alfred C. Kinsey: A Life ) and according to it Kinsey was so fiercely independent that he all but refused to associate with anyone.

It being an ebook, searches on “crowley” and on “Crowley” found zero hits. A chapter titled Up Against the Wall refers frequently to Kenneth Anger but I have yet to read it.

The bio says Kinsey tried to collect far more than the US Post Office would allow into the country.

Kinsey’s relations with the Mattachine Society is interesting.

Per Lachman,

  • The sexologist Alfred Kinsey had gained a reputation in the erotic underworld by working in seedy hotel rooms in Time Square, where he measured male hustlers' genitals, and interviewed them about their sex lives. An obsessed collector, Kinsey hoarded a wide assortment of items -- stamps, records, flowers -- but his claim to fame was as a researcher in human sexuality. In 1947 Kinsey approached Anger about purchasing a print of Fireworks, which he wanted to include in his exhaustive Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.
  • . . . Intensely interested in Crowley's accounts of his sexual magic, in Anger Kinsey found a knowledgeable enthusiast. In 1955 the doctor invited Anger to accompany him on a pilgrimage to Crowley's Abbey of Thelema, in Cefalu, Sicily, a filthy, ramshackle house, where in the early twenties Crowley tried to live out his philosophy with two mistresses, his infant daughter and some devotees.

(Lachman doesn't mention the goat.)

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