The continued assault on public sexuality and LGBT life in the United States manifests not only as individualized physical violence against trans, gender-nonconforming, and visibly queer people, but also as a slowly encroaching front that waves the banners of respectability politics and parents rights. Educational events for children hosted by drag performers have been inundated with hate and threats. At least 14 states have introduced bills that remove drag performers from public life, using obscenity laws to claim that they are preserving children’s innocence. The most prominent newspaper in the country regularly runs features and op-eds that launder fascistic talking points on trans peoples’ right to exist. Lawmakers and pundits alike advocate to exclude trans children from participation in leisure and sport. These coordinated attacks on trans and gender non-confirming peoples’ right to reproduce their everyday existences are coupled with a decades-long assault on public manifestations of sexuality and an ongoing campaign for infantile citizenship which balks and sneers at the very possibility of a society with a public culture, let alone a public culture of erotics.
Some of the impulse to combat this violent assault on trans and gay life calcifies as an insistence that LGBT people live lives that are virtually indistinguishable from those of their straight counterparts; Lisa Duggan dubbed this homonormativity. But a homonormative ethos comes at the cost of eliminating or excluding many of the materially constitutive features of LGBT life that transform identity into community, and squashes the social formations that give way to new methods of survival and flourishing under oppression; put simply, homonormativity destroys the radical possibilities of LGBT life. Many of the most important figures in LGBT survival and liberation have been, crassly (and lovingly), freaks.
The editors and contributors of Make the Golf Course a Public Sex Forest, excerpted below, understand the centrality of erotics to the creation of a better tomorrow; and they know where to start. “[T]he city maintains jogging paths for joggers, bocce courts for bocce players, family beaches for families, roads for drivers, and, yes, golf courses for golfers. Why not sex beaches for perverts?” Lyn Correlle and jimmy cooper ask in their introductory essay.
Taking the public works project to find a new purpose for the Hiawatha golf course in Minneapolis as their impetus, the collection features twenty-seven contributions that imagine the possibilities of replacing the golf course with a sex forest. Contributions span poetry, theory, smut, and fiction, and many are cross-genre. Eschewing a politics that facilitates LGBT life through small-scale initiatives and public-private partnerships like “pilot” projects tied to political campaign cycles or microgrant artistic programs to carve out aesthetic space, MTGCAPSF swings for the fences. “Abuse and violence,” they note, “thrive in privacy”––their project imagines a world where privacy and dignity can be maintained through respect, reciprocity, and freedom, not through constant paranoiac retreat from the public and surveillance technologies. It imagines civic space that encourages all willing adults to explore their environment, their relationship to others and nature. It is a wildly fun, singular book, an exciting new work from the Midwest, and a compelling pro-sexuality independent project.
- Anna Aguiar KosickiBEAVERS AT LAKE HIAWATHA
Hiawatha Golf Course in Minneapolis is bordered by Longfellow Avenue to the west, Minnehaha Parkway to the south, 43rd Street to the north, and Lake Hiawatha to the east. I often walk from Minnehaha Creek to the lake, where I veer left until I can’t go any further without ending up on the golf course. Beavers live at Lake Hiawatha. Though I have never seen them, I am obsessed with spotting one. Until recently they were trapped and killed at the lake. Like any municipal animal control tactic, beaver murder is an attempt to control the natural order in service of human comfort and property. Beavers fell trees and re-route waterways, dramatically restructuring the environment to their advantage. They are not popular with golfers. Beavers may sense this contempt, but they are compelled by more powerful imperatives to carry on with their allogeneic activity.
On my walks, I scan the water for beavers. I’d be satisfied with spotting a single beaver paddling, or a few beavers lugging sticks through the water to the dam. I would be utterly changed, however, by seeing a pair of oily-furred, lumbering beavers fuck at the lake. The ritual would likely begin on the golf course grounds, since the female beaver, in heat for only half a day annually, must leave a special pile of post-ovulation shit on a mound for the male beaver to sniff before he pursues her. I imagine trailing the pair down the shoreline to a secluded cove, where the male beaver would glide through the water behind the female, the stormwater runoff, floating trash, and wetland reeds adding to her intoxicating scent. They would fuck for maybe 3 seconds at a time, gentle and methodical. Finally, they would disappear underwater, emerging elsewhere along the muddy banks to gently groom each others’ thick fur.
- Sophie DurbinAN EROTIC HORROR
Nothing turns me on more than a mass-trespass.
Nothing turns me on less than golf.
I hate golf. The word sounds like a fist.
Let me lovingly fist your earth hole
and apply pressure to the earth’s sphincter
so the ground swallows and sucks
through its vortex
the boring patriarchal pimple
until there appears a
graveyard of golf,
its soil replenished by an army of slugs.
Thick, juicy bodies gyrating and gliding and squelching and melting over
inside and through holes once wasted on pitiful pursuits of club-swinging colonialists.
This is a call to lube up,
fuse together and make viscous haste
entwined in sticky embraces to the
salacious promise of a succulent new dawn
where writhing, grinding, rhythmically contracting comrades
make mucus among the soft slides of our bodies
Flirt among the fungi,
fecundate among the foliage,
salivate along the slime trails towards rivers of hermaphroditic dreams…
We revive from the ruins of a violent history—
in our hundreds of thousands,
we moisten hearts and genitals with our mucus-song.
- Ash Marks
This excerpt is from Make the Golf Course Into a Public Sex Forest, edited by Lyn Corelle and jimmy cooper. If you'd like more information on the project, or want to purchase a physical copy, you can do so here.