Tag Archives: Book Club

Theater review: A Clockwork Orange

 

They come down the left aisle from the back of the theater. Four of them — “droogs” as they call themselves. Audience members have already been asked to turn off their phones, and I am glad I have mine off already, because these guys look dangerous. I would not want to get on their bad side. One of them is holding a club, another a chain. They are wearing black pants and tank tops and white suspenders — and they are hot and muscular and intimidating. When they get to the stage, it does not take long before they are fighting with a rival gang, then beating up a bunch of innocent citizens — robbing and raping and smashing things, as violent street thugs in a dystopian society tend to do.

It’s the Off Broadway production of “A Clockwork Orange” at New World Stages, based on the classic Anthony Burgess novel, and I am sitting in Row C with my friend Frank, a fellow homo and bondage freak, and we are totally into this.

Readers of the Metalbond site will be pleased to know that about a third of the play takes place in prison. There is simulated hands-behind-the-back restraint, and a chair tie (but no full-body casting). And for those who remember the cringe-worthy scenes from the 1971 Stanley Kubrick movie in which Malcolm McDowell’s eyes are held open with clips and he is forced to watch violent movies, in this staging it’s a muscular prison guard’s hands holding the eyes of Alex DeLarge — aka Prisoner 6655321 —open.

Guys into HOM/GOM (hand-over-mouth/glove-over-mouth) action will no doubt get excited in these scenes, as I did. But perhaps we’re going to need a new term — HOE (hands-over-eyes)? Or maybe we can call it “forced media consumption”? That’s a genuine kink, right?

As a night out with a bondage buddy who also happens to be a fan of the male physique, “A Clockwork Orange” is fucking awesome. The inventive staging, the music and the lighting, and the athletic choreography make it something to experience. It’s a cross between a dance routine and a high-intensity workout regimen. These guys are ripped. There’s lots of chest pumping and flexing. You can practically taste the testosterone in the air. It’s an all-male cast, but the characters they portray are both male and female, so anytime there is kissing or sex or simulated rape it is homoerotic, male-on-male action. Good thing the sophisticated West 50th Street audience members are comfortable in their sexuality. A closet case like Mike Pence would not be able to handle a show like this.

As a play, this was good enough to hold my attention, although I am really glad I read the book beforehand. Otherwise it would have been much harder to know what the heck was going on. Most of the actors play multiple roles, which can be confusing at times. The actors speak in slang called Nadsat, which takes a while to pick up on. These guys also speak in thick British accents, making it even harder to understand them.

As I learned reading the novel, “droog” is a friend. To “viddy” is to see. “Horrorshow” is an adjective that means good. A “britva” is a blade, “krovvy” is blood, and “millicents” are police officers. “Cancers” are cigarettes, and “yarbles” are testicles. A “mesto” is a place, and “moloko” is milk. The milk that they drink is spiked with hallucinogens and stimulants.

Alex is played by Jonno Davies, who is the handsomest, hunkiest member of the gang. He is tied to that chair because he’s being treated with the “Ludovico Technique,” which is going to make him physically sick if he even so much as thinks about committing violent acts. It’s also, unfortunately, going to turn him into a “clockwork orange” — an organic being who is more of a machine because his ability to choose between good and evil is taken from him by the State. A further complication is that the treatment also makes him sick listening to his favorite music — classical, especially Beethoven (or “Ludwig van,” as Alex affectionately calls that hunkiest, most accomplished of composers).

The show is one act without an intermission and it is maybe about 10 minutes too long. It gets a bit preachy in sections. Most of the music is fantastic, especially the modern remixes of the classical, but I could do without that Frankie Goes to Hollywood song, “Relax,” which is so overused I can’t even imagine what they were thinking including that. And I was not fond of the dream sequence toward the end, mostly because in that scene Alex is wearing a hospital gown! I like him better shirtless.

 

The show is playing a limited run through January 6. I want to go see it again. The official website is here. Their Twitter feed is here.

You can get the book on Amazon, or at any bookstore, or you can read the Spark Notes page, which explains all the themes and symbolism, by clicking here. The Spark Notes include a Nadsat glossary here — worth a glance if you intend to read the book or see the show.

There are also a whole bunch of videos floating around out there. One of the most interesting is the “jail scene” from the earlier London production:

 

There was also a segment on Spectrum Cable’s “On Stage” program of Oct 28, in which Jonno Davies talks about his workout routine:

David Stein: Writer, editor, activist and publisher

I learned with great sadness last night that David Stein, also known as slave david stein, has died. I do not know any of the details.

 

David was an author and publisher of BDSM-themed books, both fiction and nonfiction. His most popular works included “Carried Away: An SM Romance,” an erotic novel; and “Ask the Man Who Owns Him: The Real Lives of Gay Masters and Slaves,” a non-fiction book in which a number of real-life Master/slave couples share their stories. David self-published his books — along with many more by other authors — via his publishing company, Perfectbound Press. His fiction and non-fiction writing was also published in Drummer, DungeonMaster, Mach and many other gay underground magazines back in the day.

David was one of the founders of GMSMA (Gay Male S/M Activists), which was a New York City-based organization of gay men dedicated to “safe, sane, consensual s/m.” As an officer of GMSMA and longtime volunteer and editor of NewsLink, the organization’s newsletter, David helped educate countless others on safety and technique. He wrote a column on safety for Bound & Gagged magazine, called “Bond+Aid.” Over the years he was a volunteer, speaker and presenter at many leather and SM events, including numerous International MAsT (Masters and Slaves Together) weekends, the Leather Leadership Conference, the Master/slave Conference, South Plains Leatherfest, and Leather Pride Night.

He was also an active on many online discussion groups over the years, including FetLife.

His most recent project was “Our Lives, Our History: Consensual Master/slave Relationships From Ancient Times to the 21st Century,” a non-fiction anthology edited by Peter Tupper, which he published under Perfectbound Press. His books are also available on Amazon.

According to his profile on FetLife, David was in service to Sir Brian. He is also survived by many former Masters and fellow slaves, as well as countless friends. He will be greatly missed.

Meet author Pablo Greene at IML!

Each year at IML the Leather Archives hosts recently published kink authors at its table in the vendor mart. Good news for guys who are into superheroes, bondage and fetish gear — “How To Kill a Superhero” author Pablo Greene will be participating on Friday and Saturday! You can stop by and meet this guy in person.

PabloGreene

 

 

Leather Archives IML page here.

Official ‘How To Kill a Superhero’ site here

Metalbond Q&A with Pablo Greene here

Sample chapters of the books here

 

david stein’s ‘Carried Away: An SM Romance’ is out in a revised second edition

Steamy leathersex is only the beginning when a cocky, jaded bottom and a once-burned Master come together for some no-strings bondage and SM. After their scene is over, a deeper hunger awakens, and they begin playing for much higher stakes, moving despite themselves toward a dynamic of Owner and owned. Set in New York City back in 1992, when gay leather and SM had emerged from the closet and seedy underground to become almost chic, only to be nearly destroyed by the ravages of the AIDS epidemic, Carried Away recreates a milieu as notable for the compassion gay men showed for their brothers as for the sensual excesses that anti-gay critics harped on.

01_Carried Away 2nd ed front cover

This epic novel by longtime gay writer and activist david stein is replete with ferocious SM action, hard-core sex, and fiendishly restrictive bondage — which he describes so well, you won’t need photos to recreate it (assuming you have the right gear, a good space, and a willing partner!). But Carried Away is not only about SM, bondage, and sex, wonderful as all these are. More fundamentally, it is a love story — a romance, if you will — between two 30something gay men who are roughly equal in intelligence, ability, and character, but opposite in temperament and erotic preference.

Terry Andrews is a successful architect and all-around topman with a passion for bondage and the means to indulge it. Matt Stone manages a large bookstore, but he lives for the times when he can surrender control to a man he likes and admires. When they happen to be cruising at the Spike, the heaviest leather bar in Manhattan, on the same slow week night, neither is looking for a new partner, just some hot action. They get that, and much more, from each other — without intending to, they forge a deeper connection. Matt realizes that he needs to belong to someone, not simply let himself be played with and then released. For his part, Terry needs to own what he loves, and once he falls for Matt, enslaving him is the only option!

For this new second edition, the author has carefully polished all of the quarter million words of the text without changing anything that made the novel so beloved by the thousands of readers — both men and women! — of the original 2002 Daedalus edition, now out of print. With both its eros and its romance stemming from the same deep roots in human emotion, Carried Away is one of the most admired BDSM novels of all time, and this new edition fully delivers on the promise of Thom Magister’s hot new cover art and of the intriguing new “Foreword” by Laura Antoniou, best-selling author of The Marketplace and its sequels as well as the hilarious crime novel spoof The Killer Wore Leather.

Carried Away 2nd ed back cover

 

The original edition came out back in 2002 and was launched at IML that year.

This revised second edition is available NOW at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

For even more information about this book — plus the many other titles from david stein — click for Perfectbound Press.