The Cure for Sodomy

In the Cure for Sodomy ($15.95/249 pages/ISBN: 978-1-60381-432-4), Ken Shakin weaves together history and gossip to tell the tale of the Sodomite. From oversexed altar boy to electroshock crucifixion, a ravenous youth is cut short by the cure for sodomy … once upon a time, a crime against the state. 

The Cure for Sodomy

Cure For Sodomy


The Cure for Sodomy is a blistering novel about passion and liberation—with a decidedly bad attitude.

One day on the unforgiving streets of New York City, you pass by an old man. A homeless bum, reliving the earthquake in his mind. A victim of electroshock therapy, he claims. The cure. For sodomy. In a moment of small compassion, you invite him for a coffee. He begins to tell you his story. How he cruised through life, dancing the night away. And suddenly you realize he could be you.

Buy it on Kindle or other ebook versions on Smashwords.

Ken Shakin, author of the acclaimed Love Sucks (1997), walks the thin line between journalism and fiction. His books search for the poetry in the most vulgar aspects of everyday existence and push the boundaries of taste, starting with the title, e.g., Grandma Gets Laid (2008). The Cure for Sodomy, originally published by Haworth Press in 2006, blends fact and fiction in a novel about unending desire and the lust for release in a restrictive world. Based on the medical reports of homosexuals given electroshock therapy, the central narrative takes the author on an eye-opening trip and intersects with his own struggle to survive. Two lives intertwine for a short cup of coffee and a long conversation, revealing a funny, absurd, tragic story dedicated to the perverse nature of the human spirit.

The novel covers some rather uncomfortable chapters of American history. Until 1967, anyone arrested for the crime of sodomy was eligible for a variety of state-sanctioned torture masquerading as “treatment.” Homosexuals were drugged, electrocuted, castrated, and lobotomized— sometimes forcibly, sometimes willingly. Until recently it was illegal for two people of the same gender to merely dance together. Underground clubs were routinely raided by undercover police in drag. Fast-forward to the twenty-first century and dancing is still against the law—without a license. What is free expression in the age of terrorism? What happened to liberation, gay or otherwise? Ken Shakin’s thoughtful and outrageous style brings the bizarre to life in an unforgettable New York story of crippled souls trying desperately to free themselves from earthly bondage, then as now.

Ken Shakin has been called the most flippant man in fiction. His irreverent books stain the shelves of the public library, including the highly acclaimed Love Sucks (1997), Grandma Gets Laid (2008), and most recently Thrillerotica (2010). is home to his unique genre, “calculated to send a shiver down even the most desensitized spine” (Omnilit). The New York native is a graduate of the Juilliard School, with a degree in piano. He lives in Berlin.

“Shakin is a wonderful stylist. His way with words is amazing …  No one reading this novel can possibly put it down.”

J. Peter Bergman, EDGE Entertainment

“Investigative journalism meets erotica …  social studies for a hardcore age.”

Edgar Dylar, The Movie Times

An excerpt:

The old man wheezes as I picture smelling the warmth of my savior’s manhood. Like it was yesterday. Last night. And the night before. And too many nights to remember, saviors all of them. But if I had to think back to the very first one…

Ugh. That was some tacky guy who picked me up in a tacky bar in the early eighties. I wasn’t the least bit attracted to him but figured that since I would never be able to have my beloved best friend, in the meantime I better do it with the first three-legged monster to come along just to get it over with and finally before I hit voting age lose my precious virginity. As though there’s anything to lose. All I lost was a good night’s sleep while gaining some itchy new friends, a whole population of microscopic lovers. If I learned a lesson from the ordeal, it was that without sexual attraction sex is rather like banging your head against the wall. The wall doesn’t move and you end up with a bad headache.

The old man remembers the moment of truth as similarly awkward but charged with a deific attraction that turned pain into pleasure, rape into an expression of love and devotion. A century later and he too remembers the act like it was only yesterday. Above all he remembers the very first time as a boy he sucked a man’s cock.

A religious act. After Mass the young priest once again leads the altar boy into his study and carefully helps him off with his chastity belt. As usual, the instant the muzzled organ is given room to breathe, it takes a healthy breath. The treble pipe blows a quick fanfare worthy of a preludial rite. In expectation of that deep sonorous pedal point when the cup is raised and the spirit evoked.

Now for the fugue. This time the dedicated teacher has another lesson in mind. The lost boy looks for guidance. So the shepherd pulls out his staff. He holds it over his little lamb, exhorting him. Kiss it, he says. Kiss it, son.

Not such a strange request coming from a Holy Father. When the Pope stands over his flock they kneel before his aged loins. When he holds out his ringed finger, dutifully they kiss it. When a young priest holds out his awesome scepter, what choice does an altar boy have but to submit to the power and the glory.

As in any holy communion the boy simply leans forward to offer his lips, short enough that he hardly needs to get down on his knees. He inhales his savior’s manhood. The smell draws him in. His mouth parts, softly panting. Before he can kiss it he feels a strong hand on the back of his neck. The shepherd pulls the little lamb to his staff. Put it in your mouth, he whispers.

The boy opens his mouth wider. As his mouth is filled the smell of sodomy envelopes his consciousness.

The man is equally overwhelmed by the moment. This may be a first time for him too, at least with a little lamb, because suddenly the pastoral shepherd is transformed into mad wolf. Suck it, my boy, suck it, he commands breathing down his neck.

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