Gay Books & Authors: An Interview with Tim John Peterson
Men Talk (MenTalk.org) is a series of paperbacks and e-books of quotes and first-person experiences by men. The first three books in the series Men Talk (2001), More Men Talk (2007) and Men Talk Again (2011) are available as $12.99 paperbacks from AuthorHouse.com. They were followed in quick succession by the e-books Men Talkisms (2011), Men Talk Sex (2012) and the “best of the best” Mini Series (2012). Gay Men Talk (2012), the first specifically gay volume in the series, is a compilation of all the homo-sexually related quotes from the first three books as well as a number of brand-new quotes mixed in. Topics of discussion include homo- and bisexuality, lesbians, coming out, oral sex, S&M, incest, rape, masturbation, prostitution, rimming, fisting, water sports and other sexual quirks.
Men Talk is the creation of Tim John Peterson, whose life would make an interesting book by itself.
“I grew up on the south shore of Long Island NY,” he recalls. “At age 18 I almost died in a motorcycle accident. Luckily I was drunk, so I was pretty loose when I crash-landed. Having no idea about what to do with my life, I did the Army for three years. I had a desire to help people so decided to go to college. While in school, I started seeing a therapist. I was pretty uncomfortable emotionally, mostly depressed, anxious and very confused. Counseling turned my life around. I also realized that I loved the work and decided to go back to school again to pursue a degree in mental health therapy. I worked as a therapist for years, working with kids, adults and families.”
“I started compiling material for the books in 1990 and published the first one in 2000. Just after the book came out I went home to help the family. My mom had been fighting cancer for years and the family was pretty burnt. Mom passed away 2 years later after a 6-year battle. I am currently single and living on Long Island again.”
Peterson’s goal in compiling the Men Talk series, he told SFGN, “was to put together quotes that both men and women will relate to. I also wanted the books to be real, entertaining, insightful and deep. I kept most of the quotes short, so they would be easy reads. I also attempted to make them powerful and to the point. The main three books are in no particular order. This is done to keep the reader off balance. One quote might be focused on the loss of a parent due to cancer followed by a quote about drinking urine or the meaning of life. This may not be as evident in the books that are focused on specific topic matter such as Gay Men Talk or Men Talk Sex, but it was the method I used for the three main books.”
In his introduction, Peterson relates that “the basic premise [of his books] is that a man can pick up this book and see that he is not alone with his thoughts, feelings, fears, pain and desires. A woman can read it and see what’s going on in the minds of men. They can [both] learn about thoughts and feelings that men often keep to themselves and even rarely share with other men. Not everyone loves every quote, but there is something for everyone in these books and they are guaranteed to have you laughing out loud, grossed out, pissed off, thinking deeply, touched emotionally or stimulated sexually.”
As everyone knows, it’s not hard to get men to talk about their sexual experiences. Peterson collected his books’ quotes from his own life and experiences as well as from those of “friends, family, acquaintances and clients I have spent time with. I keep a pad with me at all times in case I hear something I think I can use.” The men represented in his books “are a cross section of race, age, class and sexual orientation.” Peterson “purposely kept the quotes anonymous to keep the reader from coloring their interpretation of the quotes as well as for reasons of privacy.”
What can we conclude from reading the Men Talk series?
“That men are human. We have doubts. We have struggles with our sexuality or sexual identity. We have struggles with self acceptance and acceptance of our sexual interests or desires. We have struggles in our relationships with our parents, partners, kids and even pets. We have doubts and questions about the meaning of life and our spiritual outlooks. We feel distaste over the state of the world and how our government is run.”
Men of all sexual orientations may read Men Talk and conclude “that you are not alone with your thoughts, feelings and desires. That many, if not most men, gay straight and bi, experience and live with similar thoughts, feelings and challenges.”
Peterson is currently close to finishing a new volume in the series, Men Talk Liquids, Solids and Gases, which “will be focused on bodily functions, making it particularly intense and raw.”
Meanwhile, prospective readers can buy the print or e-book series at the MenTalk.org web site as well as on Amazon, BN.com, and Lulu. Some are even available on iTunes. “They [iTunes] recently canceled availability of many of the books due to their graphic nature but the three main books are still available and just as graphic as the ones they cancelled.”