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Preston, John (1945-1994)  
page: 1  2  

Despite the success he achieved as a mainstream writer, Preston felt that Mr. Benson cast a long shadow over his career, though he believed that the shadow was largely beneficial. One of his mentors, publisher Michael Denneny, encouraged him to return regularly to writing and publishing pornography. "It'll keep you honest," he reportedly told Preston.

Preston did continue to write tales of sexual Mastery and slavery, including Entertainment for a Master (1986), The Love of a Master (1987), and In Search of a Master (1989), along with other modes of genre fiction; and he edited the successful Flesh and the Word (1992, 1993, 1995) series of gay erotic fiction anthologies. He also wrote non-fiction guides to scanning personal ads (Classified Affairs: A Gay Man's Guide to the Personals, 1984), procuring the services of male prostitutes (Hustling: A Gentleman's Guide to the Fine Art of Homosexual Prostitution, 1994), and practicing safer sex (Safe Sex: The Ultimate Erotic Guide, with Glenn Swann, 1986).

A personal triumph for Preston was making the acquaintance and cultivating the friendship of Samuel Steward (aka Phil Andros), whose gay pulp fiction had captivated Preston as a younger man.

Having published more than twenty-five books as author or editor in a span of little more than ten years, Preston succumbed to an AIDS-related illness at his home in Portland, Maine, on April 28, 1994.

Matthew D. Johnson

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literature >> Overview:  AIDS Literature

In the twenty years since its first appearance in the West, AIDS has been the subject of a large body of literature, most of it written by gay men and much of it designed to expose readers as closely as possible to the emergency of the epidemic and the suffering of affected individuals.

literature >> Overview:  Autobiography, Gay Male

In its first century of existence, gay male autobiography has become increasingly more open, frank, and unapologetic.

literature >> Overview:  Erotica and Pornography

Erotic and pornographic works have been written in many cultures since ancient times and recently have flourished with the relaxation of censorship.

literature >> Overview:  Humor

Like other minority groups, gay men and lesbians have had to develop both a particular sense of humor among themselves in order to make their marginal social status endurable and also a defensive awareness toward the rest of the world in order to disarm their adversaries with laughter.

literature >> Overview:  Journalism and Publishing

The gay and lesbian press is of prime importance in sustaining a frequently embattled minority and has been crucial in the development of a national mass movement for gay rights.

social sciences >> Overview:  Leather Culture

"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.

literature >> Overview:  Sadomasochistic Literature

Sadomasochistic literature, one of the most controversial forms of lesbian and gay writing, confronts such issues as domination, submission, uniformity, and humiliation and poses a constant challenge to them.

literature >> Califia, Patrick

Controversial for defending sadomasochism and pornography, gender outlaw and sexual anarchist Patrick Califia, who recently underwent gender reassignment, is widely admired as a defender of individual freedom.

literature >> Nava, Michael

Mystery writer Michael Nava has increasingly been recognized as an important novelist whose mature work transcends the limited expectations of a popular and highly specialized genre.

literature >> Nestle, Joan

Through her writing, teaching, editing, and activism, Joan Nestle has devoted her life to promoting awareness of glbtq culture and advancing glbtq equality.

literature >> Reed, Paul

By writing the earliest novel to respond directly to AIDS and subsequently producing innovative journal and sex writing, American author Paul Reed made several significant contributions to glbtq literature.

literature >> Saylor, Steven

Now best known for his highly successful mystery novels set in ancient Rome, Steven Saylor began his writing career by publishing erotica under the pen-name Aaron Travis.


Antoniou, Laura, ed. Looking for Mr. Preston: Interviews, Essays, and Personal Reminiscences of John Preston. New York: Masquerade, 1995.

Califia, Pat. "The Limits of the S/M relationship, Or Mr. Benson Doesn't Live Here Anymore." Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice. Mark Thompson, ed. Boston: Alyson, 1991. 221-232.

"John Preston." The Knitting Circle: Literature--John Preston.

Preston, John. My Life as a Pornographer and Other Indecent Acts. New York: Masquerade, 1993.


    Citation Information
    Author: Johnson, Matthew D.  
    Entry Title: Preston, John  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated December 26, 2005  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  


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