[Mark Ewert – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]
Mark Ewert’s colorful sexual revelations – “He lost his virginity to Allen Ginsberg and maintained an eight-year relationship with William Burroughs” – hit the internets this weekend with a vengeance – courtesy this article, in vocative, but further flamed and considerably amplified by this provocative header – “Allen Ginsberg Teaches You How To Give A Blowjob” – on that gossip-site par excellence, Gawker. The paragraph excerpted, and the justification for that lead, a direct quote from Ewert, runs as follows:
“Basically he blew me; that was a big part of it. And he was really good at it. He did this thing where he had his hand and his mouth working at the same time, and he’d take time out to explain to me what he was doing. He was like, ‘See, you do this with your hand so that way your partner’s penis is always being touched, and when your mouth is off it, your hand is there and it keeps it warm and it keeps the sensation constant, and that shows real consideration to your partner.’ It’s very Allen that he’s always peppering anything he’s saying with little tutorials. But I was totally down for that—it was what I’d signed up for. I wanted the tutorial, I wanted to understand how the fucking world worked. I wanted somebody to help me and mentor me.”
Ewert goes on to single out Allen as being, far from predatory, an extremely thoughtful and considerate lover:
“Allen I could really talk to. I feel like I had some of the most real conversations with him than I’ve had with anyone in my life, really. Allen, I definitely had a deeper relationship with..” – this, in contrast to the more cold and clinical “calcified persona” of Burroughs.
“Sleeping with Ginsberg and Burroughs concurrently”, the author writes,“Ewert felt he had arrived. He didn’t consider himself a groupie, citing a kinship he felt with both, as well as a precocious intellect that allowed him to hold his own in conversation. The fact he was eighteen and sleeping with a sixty-three-year-old and seventy-five-year-old was beside the point; Ginsberg was a skilled lover, and sex he had with both men became only more intimate and loving as things progressed.”
Bedroom secrets and bedroom tittle-tattle. We wouldn’t normally be particularly alarmed (“Candor disarms paranoia”) except that the reporting and the twist given in these reports makes for some troubling memes, false assumptions and flat-out errors – “Ginsberg had his way with Ewert and then passed him on to his friend Burroughs, whom Ginsberg decided could use a good lay”, is Gawker’s less-than-stellar (and less-than-accurate) description of Ewert’s self-proclaimed pursuit of both men.
We at The Allen Ginsberg Project are just a tad concerned lest demonization or vain glory take the place of poetic truth or proper understanding.