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Home to Fire Island review by Emma


Remembering Miles


The Clint Folsom erotic gay murder mystery series.

Habu reports that he enjoyed writing this series. His premise was a no-holds-barred treatment of an unabashedly promiscuous, laid-back, “good-guy” homicide cop with movie-star looks .


(Clint's) love of being ‘topped’ is so ingrained within his being that each sex act is with an abandon and longing that makes men ‘feel like kings’. If you weren’t a ‘sub’ before, you would wish to be one by the end of the book. Once I finished reading it, I rushed to buy the rest of the Clint Folsom series. Hot Stuff!  

From a review by Kpasa




Reviews are always great to get but now and then they are stupendous.

This is the wildest review habu has ever received

This review is written by Emma who you will find here

She knows what she likes, BDSM, dubious consent, etc in the books she reads,  and tells it like it is.


If you don't want to read all this review here is her summary


So, obviously, if you want m/m romance pass this by. If you like gay erotica, then it's a good read. If you want to admire some pretty clever writing disguised as gay erotica, then this is your book, baby.

Full review      


*grin* I see what you did there, Habu.

Home to Fire Island is actually an exploration of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory through a gay erotic bildungsroman. Clever work, man. My hat's off to you.

The imaginary, the unconscious, and the Symbolic

Danny has lost his father, and his mother fails to emotionally care enough for him, in her quest to pay rent and put food on the table. This initial home life functions as the realm of the imaginary: the closed dual relationship of mother and child. The imaginary father is literally that: with only his dog tags, Danny's father is the composite of all the constructs that he builds up in fantasy around the figure of the father

Danny's stepfather Floyd has sex with him. At first Danny convinces himself this is against his will, but when Floyd make him activly participate Danny realises that hewants sex with men, he's desperate for it. Floyd is the unconscious: the discourse of the other, which regulates desire.

While Floyd offers Danny the sex he craves, Floyd wants both the mother and the son. Danny's emptiness cannot be filled by sharing someone. The symbolic father is any agency that separates the young subject from its mother: here, Floyd, who functions to break Danny away from the mother-child dyad, and out into the world.

Danny has a book, which he reads constantly, that tells him about the gay lifestyle of casual sex, which is out there for him to find. Lacan's shorthand for the wider world was the Other - 'the big other, that is, the other of language, the Names-of-the-Father, signifiers or words [which]...are public, communal property'. Through the symbolic language of the book (comprised also of the unconscious and the imaginary), Danny engages with the Other.

The Mirror stage

Danny travels to Fire Island, where he assesses his body and wonders if men other then Floyd will desire him. Acccording to Lacan, "The mirror stage is a phenomenon to which I assign a twofold value. In the first place, it has historical value as it marks a decisive turning-point in the mental development of the child. In the second place, it typifies an essential libidinal relationship with the body image." 


Danny knows he wants . . . something, but he doesn't know what it is. Therefore he decides to experience every sexual activity he can, hoping to find it. Six on one, DP, public sex shows: Danny tries them all. Danny stands out among Fire Island rent boys for his lack of limits and endless innocence: he'll try anything, and sex is always as if for the first time. But the more Danny participates in, the less happiness he seems to get from it. He feels sad and lost that he can't find what he seeks.

The pleasure principle, according to Lacan, functions as a limit to enjoyment: it is the law that commands the subject to 'enjoy as little as possible'. At the same time the subject constantly attempts to transgress the prohibitions imposed on his enjoyment, to go beyond the pleasure principle. Yet the result of transgressing the pleasure principle, according to Lacan, is not more pleasure but pain, since there is only a certain amount of pleasure that the subject can bear. Beyond this limit, pleasure becomes pain, and this 'painful principle' is what Lacan calls jouissance.

The way the sex is written reflects this inability of all this sexual activity to assuage Danny's need. Although endless climaxes are reached, there is never any climax in the story; one sexual act melds immediately into the next sexual act, then the next, and the next.... There is no ultimate pleasure: the surfeit of pleasure becomes jouissance. Danny, or indeed we as the reader, are never satisfied; never find what he/we seeks.

In this, the depiction of jouissance just as equally reflects the m/m romance fan, always looking for the next book, the next m/m emotional high. I churn through m/m novels like popcorn, man. The endless persuit of pleasure cycles over and over until the inability of each book to fulfill my lack is experienced as pain (*cough*SeanMichael*cough*).

Lacan says "Desire is neither the appetite for satisfaction nor the demand for love, but the difference that results from the subtraction of the first from the second," and adds that "desire begins to take shape in the margin in which demand becomes separated from need." Hence desire can never be satisfied.


Danny finally manages to identify and articulate what he seeks: committment, love, home - a Daddy.

The aim of psychoanalysis is to lead the analysand to uncover the truth about his or her desire, and this is possible only if that desire is articulated: until you can say what you want, you can never know what it is. Lacan wrote that "it is only once it is formulated, named in the presence of the other, that desire appears in the full sense of the term."

However, it's not a particular human being that Danny wants to be his Daddy, he just wants a Daddy, any Daddy: Danny only seeks to fill his emptiness. Desire is not a relation to an object but a relation to a lack. 

The Real

Danny gets a glimpse of the Real when the first man he thinks will be his Daddy turns out to be married with kids, and frowns Danny away when he turns up to what he thinks will be his house. As he walks away he feels a loss and despair, but language fails to describe what he is experiencing. This trauma is Danny's look at the Real: when he has passed beyond the ability of symbolic order to describe it. It is this resistance to symbolization that lends the Real its traumatic quality. 

Symbolic oppositions

Danny then finds a new Daddy, and displaces the previous boy, Billy, who couldn't handle the constant sex (Daddy has three balls (I kid you not), and, going by the evidence, 

But at the same time Danny finds a home, he is also separated:

“You’ll have a room of your own...It can be private. You don’t have to let me in. We’ll have a lock ...”

Daddy tells Danny: 

"You are so sweet. It’s like I’m taking a virgin each time. Your tight channel – even after all those men. But just right. Taking all those has made you ready for me, able to take me at long stretches . . . You, innocent and tough at the same time.”

Danny is the eternal lack; always empty, always desperate to be filled. He finds the eternal phallus; always hard, always ready to fill Dany's emptiness. 

“A bull. You’re a bull”

“You need me to stop?”

“Oh, shit no. But you’re a bull. No man . . . “

. . . 

“Exhausted? You need to rest?”

“No. No, please. Fuck me to heaven.”

. . . 

“Have I used you up? Can’t take any more of me?”

“Never enough . . . never enough of you.”

“What I wanted to hear . . . here we go again”

. . . 

"Right now, again, unless you tell me to stop..."

Danny is forever in a Symbolic opposition of presence/absence, phallus/lack, together/apart, home/lost. A lack which has been honed by the search for Lacan's objet petit a: the unattainable object of desire.

Drives and desire

Daddy promises to educate Danny, to fuck him, kiss him, tell him he loves him, give him an allowance, hold him, get him a job, take him on a yacht...Lacan identifies four partial drives: the oral drive (the lips, the breast), the anal drive (the anus and the faeces), the scopic drive (the eyes and the gaze), and the invocatory drive (the ears and the voice). Daddy will attempt to satisfy all Danny's drives, moving from one to the next in a never-ending chain. Drives differ from biological needs because they can never be satisfied and do not aim at an object but rather circle perpetually around it. The true source of jouissance is the repetition of the movement of this closed circuit. Danny is now in a never-ending circling around the objet petit a.

Daddy will eternally try to satisfy every drive Danny has, but Danny's desire can never be satisfied. 

As Danny pleads to the world: 

“No charge. I just need . . . I just need . . .”


So, obviously, if you want m/m romance pass this by. If you like gay erotica, then it's a good read. If you want to admire some pretty clever writing disguised as gay erotica, then this is your book, baby.



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