Anorak

Anorak | Telegraph Editor Peregrine Worsthorne’s Tale Of Gay Sex With A ‘Flagstaff’: Philip Hensher’s Bear Cheeks Might Blush

Telegraph Editor Peregrine Worsthorne’s Tale Of Gay Sex With A ‘Flagstaff’: Philip Hensher’s Bear Cheeks Might Blush

by | 24th, September 2011

DID any of you catch Sir Peregrine Worsthorne’s words on gay sex?  The former editor of the Sunday Telegraph has spotted Philip Hensher’s book. King Of Badgers is set in Hanworth, Devon, a place from where a child has gone missing and life goes on…

group of men who dub themselves “The Bears” meet for sex feasts complete with cocaine, and partygoers parade down the street in their kinkiest leather outfits. Much of the novel is given over to two contrasting parties: the staid happy hour at the home of retired newcomers Catherine and Alec and the boisterous Bear affair hosted by cheese shop owner “Gay Sam” and his lover, Harry, an actual noble whom the locals nickname “What-a-Waste.

Worsthorne gives full throat to a response in the Independent on Sunday:

“Of course I believe in free speech. But reading Hensher’s latest novel I was shocked by all the grisly detail. It’s completely unnecessary.”

The Spectator saw a gap and produced a piece called ‘Are explicit sex scenes OK? in whish witer and critic go head to head:

Hensher wrote:

Though it doesn’t make a point of obscenity, it does contain one scene in which a group of overweight gay men meet, as they regularly do, to havesex with each other. The scene has a pivotal function in the book, and some characters have their minds changed by it; others have their moral principles laid bare by it; for others, it has a terrible consequence.

And then Worsthorne dips his quill:

Contemporary gay novelists like Philip Hensher — one of the best — who quite brazenly portray the promiscuous and squalid side of homosexuality are taking a great risk. For underneath our surface of tolerance still lies, I believe, a deep-seated aversion to those practices which has been present in England since time began.

In my youth at school and university (Socrates and Alcibiades) and in the army I too had passionate friendships with other men. We wrote letters and poems to each other, kissed and embraced to the point of orgasm — at Stowe notoriously on a sofa with George Melly — and all went swimmingly until one day in Holland in the war a fellow officer, who tragically went on to have his balls shot off, on a camp bed broke the romantic rule by trying to put his flagstaff-size penis up my bum.

SAve it for the memoirs, Sir Peregrine…



Posted: 24th, September 2011 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink