I’ve had the pleasure of touring gay erotica master Gengoroh Tagame through Toronto and New York City with the help of many friends this past week. I won’t name everyone (I’m slightly lazy, totally inconsiderate), but on our way to New York, Chip Kidd did a MAJOR last-minute favor for us in housing Tagame, after we discovered his original reservation at La Maison de Flea Bag International was not much more than a slave cot surrounded by plywood and latticed fencing for a ceiling. Without exaggeration, the first thing I thought when I saw his room was “comfort women station.” For a second I thought maybe this might work to Tagame’s advantage: it being feasibly the perfect setting for a hard core BDSM storyline. But no. A thousand times no.
Long story short, we moved Tagame into Chip’s place and Chip moved himself into his partner Sandy’s place.
So come Wednesday, Tagame and I were scheduled for a Skype video interview with BUTT Magazine. I went over to Chip’s with my laptop, and soon enough we were hooked up on speakerphone face-to-face with Zac Bayly.
Zac started with questions about New York and Tokyo, but swiftly moved into Tagame’s sex life (with the artist’s permission, of course). I mean, what good is BUTT if it doesn’t talk about butt, amiright?
How much of your work is based on real life?
What is the freakiest thing you’ve done?
[I won’t steal Zac’s thunder by belaboring the answers but I promise… you won’t want to miss this interview, so stay tuned over at buttmagazine.com.]
For now, just use your imagination. And bear in mind, I am uttering everything Tagame says in English, in the first person, for transcription. In other words, Tagame would answer at length in Japanese but what you end up hearing is me saying, “I am Gengoroh Tagame and I am a gay erotic artist.”
In the middle of Tagame’s barding, Chip’s door unlocks and opens itself. A diminutive middle-aged woman walks in. It’s Esther the housekeeper.
Esther: Hi, I’m here to clean the apartment. Is that OK?
Anne: Oh yeah totally. We’re in the middle of an interview though so if you wouldn’t mind just avoiding the vacuum for now?
Esther: Chip’s not here?
Anne: (Realizing of course that she has no idea who we are) Yes sorry, I should’ve explained that first. He’s staying here for the week (motioning to Tagame).
Esther smiles and goes to the kitchen sink for supplies. Tagame and I promptly turn our attention back to the screen and continue our interview. That is, I dive as if in media res back into the dialogue and translate what Tagame just said into English, in the first person, and it went a little something like this:
The first time I saw fist-fucking I thought wow how beautiful and how fucked up… (Again: see the rest of this at BUTT online!)
I went on in minute detail channeling a Tagamian voice. One anecdote involved duct tape and an old leather belt… and pre-cum. Such extreme details of sexual activity would make even the heartiest Dom perk up but the rest of us…
I heard something drop. A bottle of window cleaner. Or something. Esther. The housekeeper…
For five intense seconds we were all silent, and then Esther left the room. I do sincerely hope she has a bad ear or a good sense of humor. Chip: I apologize if you have to find a new housekeeper. Esther: God bless you.