February 8, 2018: 2018, Issue 6
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‘Deviant Desires’ author Katharine Gates on Brooklyn Paper Radio

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Food for dirty thoughts: Sexual-fetish expert tantalizes with tales from her trade on BPR

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You’ll never look at baked beans the same way again.

This week’s Brooklyn Paper Radio ruined the canned legume forever thanks to an appearance by Katharine Gates, author of the seminal descent into outré mores, “Deviant Desires: Incredibly Strange Sex,” which came out about 20 years ago, but is being reissued — with new deviant behavior — by Powerhouse Books.

How deviant? How about latex? How about pony play? How about people who get aroused by covering themselves in baked beans?

“I was curious like you are,” Gates told Brooklyn Paper editor-in-chief and host Vince DiMiceli, who grilled the sexpert along with deputy editor Anthony Rotunno and Newsweek’s Gersh Kuntzman, who came out of retirement for the special broadcast. “When I was writing my book, I saw it in Splash magazine, which was a zine devoted to playing around in baked beans. I thought, ‘What the heck is going on here? Why would somebody like that?’ But you know what? It’s harmless and playful. For them, it’s not about penises and vaginas and all the old-school stuff.”

Kuntzman, a voice familiar to Brooklyn Paper Radio fans until he retired from co-hosting the borough’s leading podcast last fall, interjected. “What you call ‘old-school stuff’ is really front and center to me. I mean, penises and vaginas — these are really great things.”

“Well, for some people, to dress up as a pony and have someone ride on their back is fulfilling in a deep way that is not orgasm-dependent,” Gates said, drawing “ahhs” of understanding from the triumvirate of hosts.

Then, for something like the 50th time in the show’s history, Kuntzman reiterated that he sees god in the act of an orgasm. But Gates cautioned against orgasm-centric sexuality.

“Some of these people into these kinks aren’t in it for the orgasm,” she said. “A pony boy gets pleasure from the act of pretending to be an animal and not being ashamed of being naked and being ridden. That activity is a wonderful end in itself.”

Kuntzman, of course, probed deeper with the creator of the Kinkmap, which seeks to explain every single so-called deviant desire.

“Okay, but what about defecation?” he asked. “I’m really not into that.”

“It’s not for everyone,” Gates said. “But it’s not always about humiliation. One man wanted to serve as a beautiful woman’s toilet.”

“I had the same thing with a New Yorker editor once,” Kuntzman said.

Gates, a former Brooklyn Heights resident who appeared on the show ahead of her appearance at Dumbo’s Powerhouse Arena bookstore on Monday, said not much has changed in the world of kinky desires since her tome first debuted in 1999, but rather society has evolved around the fetishes.

“Powerhouse called me the day after Trump was elected to talk about a reissue,” Gates said. “The election showed that consent and desire were getting all mixed up and people didn’t know how to talk about all these things. Grown-ups should be able to play, and the time for that conversation has never been more apparent.”

And where better to have that discussion than on Brooklyn Paper Radio, with hosts who peppered Gates about the craziest stuff she’d ever seen — and were rewarded with a story about a man who found pleasure in being tressed up like a turkey, shoved in a large cardboard box simulating an oven, and then placed on the middle of a table.

“He envied the turkey at Thanksgiving being the center of attention, all cooked and naked there,” Gates said. “For him, it was exciting to act out that fantasy.”

DiMiceli said he could understand role play with himself as a pumpkin pie, prompting Kuntzman to offer to cover him in whipped cream.

“Too obvious,” Rotunno quipped.

The show’s commentary prompted DiMiceli to order up the first-ever twin versions of the episode, which exists in an unedited version as well as a censored cut that beeps out some of the adult-only content, such as Gates’s talk of baked beans in a non-culinary setting.

“When you said baked beans, I’m not going to say I was aroused, but my curiosity was engaged,” Kuntzman said.

And it wouldn’t be Brooklyn Paper Radio without a discussion of unrelated topics, including:

• DiMiceli’s concern about a new species of crustacean called the marbled crayfish that features females that basically breed without requiring any contribution from the male of the species.

“This is the future,” Kuntzman said. “Men are obsolete!”

• DiMiceli savaging Kuntzman on his recent career choices, which included a series of demotions at the New York Daily News and, more recently, at Newsweek.

“Why does he always get demoted?” the host asked.

“Why ask it that way, DiMiceli?” Kuntzman rejoined. “Maybe you should be asking, ‘What’s wrong with the rest of the world?’ If the world is on fire, maybe Gersh Kuntzman is the man with the firehose.”

“He’d be the first person I’d call when I need a hose,” added Rotunno.

• Kuntzman praising Brooklyn Paper’s coverage of local issues such as a new ice cream parlor in Park Slope and the death of a cyclist in Greenpoint, before quickly turning his admiration into a job pitch.

“Bring me back,” said former Brooklyn Paper editor Kuntzman, beginning a chant. “Bring me back! BRING ME BACK!”

DiMiceli suggested that would not happen.

Tune in now to hear all that and more on another great show.

Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded and podcast live every Tuesday at 4:30 pm — for your convenience — from our studio in America’s Downtown and can be found, as always, on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.

See Katharine Gates read from “Deviant Desires” at Powerhouse Arena [28 Adams Street between Front and Water streets in Dumbo, (718) 666–3049, www.powerhousearena.com]. Feb. 12 at 7 pm. Free.

Updated 2:28 pm, March 7, 2018
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