How to Become a Virgin
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First published in 1991 and now available in paperback, a second volume of autobiography in which Quentin Crisp, arguably England's best known homosexual, recalls his outrageous exploits and his encounters, both hostile and tender.
Quentin Crisp uw Become a v· p. ~ a sequel to The Naked Civil-.,..... ,. . ~ FON TANA Also available The Naked Civil Servant Quentin Crisp How to Become a Virgin FONTANAPAPERBACKS First published by Fontana Paperbacks I 98 I Second impression June I98I Third impression November 1983 Copyright© Quentin Crisp I98I Made and printed in Great Britain by William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd, Glasgow CONDITIONS OF SALE This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of
My friend judged them to be from boys no more than twelve-years-old. And why do I not have my name removed from the telephone book? I gave up being a model in the art schools in June of '78 so I can no longer claim that the telephone represents money but the answer was never as simple as that. The first objection to becoming 'ex-directory' is that it looks as though you think you are somebody. The second reason for not doing so is that it would be ages before the gesture took effect. It would be
housewives replied, 'Oh, you know - actorish, effeminate, inclined to wear bright colours.' (Now they would merely say 'someone like Quentin'.) If, on the other hand, they had already admitted to knowing a homosexual man and were asked what he was like, they usually answered, 'Just like everyone else.' Superficially the present fashion among gay men for normalizing their clothes and their mannerisms is a relief to the rest of the world. Socially it makes dealing with them less embarrassing but,
with wide glass doors, a few marble steps and a long enquiry desk. Now there was an opening no wider than the front door of an ordinary house. When this was unlocked I saw almost immediately behind it another door. In. between the two there was just room for me, my escort and the janitor. If we had shot him, the second door would not have been opened. Except that the small space was not filled with water, it was like the Davis device of a submarine. I realized then how great was the city's terror
quiet life. When threatened, my wish is to disengage myself- so that not even a fragment of my life resides in someone else's. Therefore, when anyone presents me with human problems, I have 41 ·'no similar experience to offer in exchange. If any of my unknown correspondents has felt deflated by this, I here ask forgiveness. It would be heartless to say that I enjoy hearing about the misfortunes of others but it is true that I profit by becoming acquainted with them. It brings me a little nearer