Michael Thomsen (China & Madagascar 2002-05) lives in New York but is from Fresno, California, went to UCLA and the Peace Corps, and writes about sex.
His new book is Levitate The Primate: Hand Jobs, internet Dating, and Other issues for Men. The book jacket says it is a love story, “told in the margins of a new philosophy of 21st Century sexuality.” Each essay recounts bad sex, shambolic internet dates, moral infirmness, handjobs, blowjobs, an HIV scare, an STD, and a hope-filled cross-country move that ended in shambles. The collection is (more from the promotional material) “an epistolary memento of struggling with identity, circumstance, gender constraints, and time itself–all bound by a stubborn animal faith in love as an act of insupportable ascendency, a kind of levitation, longed-for by creatures never meant to leave the ground.”
According to Adam Wilson (Flatscreen):
Michael Thomsen writes about sex like someone who’s actually had it. That is, the sex in this book isn’t like the sex in movies, or porno movies, or 99% of books about sex — it’s real: funny, confusing, gross, thrilling, and occasionally beautiful. You could say the same about the book. Thomsen writes with wit, intelligence, and impressive candor about things most people are too embarrassed to discuss. The end product is a book that everyone — virgins and experts alike — will find engrossing, illuminating, and absolutely hilarious.
In a blog posting on the Zero Publishing site, Michael himself writes about his book:
In revising the essays — whose subjects include a range of embarrassing admissions-the most unexpectedly painful discovery came from the one instance where someone else speaks about their own experience with me. After having seen my description of our night out together, a woman I briefly dated, called H, wrote to tell me how upset she was at having seen herself characterized in my own rhetorical perambulations. So I asked her to write her own version of the night and I included that account alongside my own. I had been afraid this would lead to a long string of personal insults about all my various weaknesses and vulnerabilities by way of evening the score. Instead, she wrote a perfectly sweet and impossibly optimistic account of our time together and what I seemed like to her. Reading both side by side was like reading observations from separate planes of reality that never finally intersected.”
Michael’s writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Slate, The Daily Beast, ABC World News, n+1, Bookforum, The Believer, Billboard, Kill Screen, The New Inquiry, and The Millions. He’s written about videogames, sex, animal health, drones, economics, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, music, books, male lactation, poetry, poverty, transgendered marriage, Four Loko, LSD, and Posthumanism.
Levitate The Primate is out this month, and he will be reading at McNally Jackson Book store (in New York, of course) on August 28,2012. (52 Prince Street between Lafayette & Mulberry.)
The bookstore website says: Join the critics of The New Inquiry and some special guests reading from Mike Thomsen’s new essay collection Levitate the Primate: Handjobs, Internet Dating, and Other Issues for Men (Zero Books). We’ll hear stories of love and sex in New York over free beer from Six-Point Brewery
The New Inquiry is a New York City-based magazine of cultural criticism.
McNally Jackson is what we use to call a “book store”!