BOOK REVIEW: Myra Breckinridge & Myron

There are so many things to say about this book. One must keep in mind that it was written in 1968, and some of the views of sexuality are interesting. It’s hard to write a complete review of the book without giving away the entire premise. However, I would like to comment on one passage I found quite fascinating and relevant to today’s arguments about sexuality.

In one chapter Myra and Rusty are disucssing sexuality: heterosexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality. Myra asks Rusty why he thinks that the latter two are wrong. He responds with some of the same tired arguments you hear today from the religious right: “It’s not natural” he says, because “two men or two women cannot make a baby.” Then, what Myra says next, I think, is brilliant. Myra asks, and I paraphrase, “So every time you and your girlfriend Mary-Ann have sex, you are trying to make a baby?” I love this question. Heterosexuals of the religious right today want to make us think that “sex for pleasure” is naughty and sinful. However, the belief that heterosexuals are trying to make a baby every time they have sex is ludicrous. How many of them are using birth control? Of course, most of the time, they are simply having sex for pleasure. But since homosexuals cannot “make a baby,” then their sex is always for pleasure and thus must always be wrong, goes the thinking. How convenient to vilify gays for having “sex for pleasure.” A bit hypocritical, huh?

William Gautreaux