• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

RIP Little Richard, Tutti Frutti Sex Revolutionary

It was cancer, not the coronavirus, that took the life of the 87-year-old rock music pioneer known to the world as Little Richard.

But Good Golly Miss Molly, it’s still hard to lose such a blessing to our culture, especially when gifted ground-breakers like Little Richard seem to be rarer than ever.

In fact, there was nobody like Richard Wayne Penniman, the dirt-poor dishwasher who transformed himself into the self-dubbed “Architect of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Yes, his ego was big as his towering hairdo, but he deserved that honor and many more, profoundly influencing the Beatles, the Stones, Elvis, Hendrix, Bowie, Patti Smith, Prince, MJ, everybody!

Not only did he inspire future generations of rock, Little Richard was also an erotic pioneer for the Sexual Revolution and Gay Liberation. I’m no music critic, but as a sexologist, I’d like to credit him with paving the way for many people to embrace their own not-so-straight sexuality.

He called himself “omnisexual” which is pretty much the same as “pansexual,” aka bonoboesque. In other words, he liked everybody. He was married, dated women and loved it when the ladies in his audience threw their panties at him as he performed, but he was also very much into guys. An avid cuckold, he enjoyed watching his girlfriends have sex with other men (which got him busted for “lewd conduct” in Macon, Georgia). Other times, he’d just get it on with the men himself; no girlfriend necessary.

However, Little Richard was a devout Christian whose father kicked him out of the family home for being “gay,” so he struggled with his desires for men throughout his life. He often denied or proclaimed that he’d “conquered” those feelings. Then, a few years or minutes later, he’d confess that he always was and always would be attracted to men.

Interestingly, he never seemed to struggle with what we call “crossdressing”—even making it an aspect of being a successful “crossover” musician in such segregated times. He later opined that his effeminate manner made him seem less of a threat to insecure white men who gave him easier access to “whites only” venues.

Little Richard was the King and the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. His style was aggressively feminine: the bouffant pompadour, pancake makeup, mascara, powder like his beautiful mother used, lots of glitter and flamboyant fashions during a very grey-flannel-suited time when flamboyance was not “in” for any man but Liberace. Indeed, this was years before Ziggy Stardust touched Earth and decades before Sir Elton donned his sequin shades or RuPaul’s Drag Race was even warming up.

Then there was Little Richard’s first major hit, “Tutti Frutti.” Sounds sweet as candy, but what is it?

When I first heard the song, I felt he was singing about me, “Got a gal named Sue / She knows just what to do.”

Though I had no clue what to do.

A-wop-bop, a-loo-mop, a-lop-bam-boom” was, apparently, the answer, but what was that?

Years later, I learned the true meaning of the mysteriously tasty Tutti Frutti: anal sex.

The original lyrics he couldn’t record in-studio were “Tutti Frutti, good booty / If it’s tight, it’s all right / If it don’t fit, don’t force it / You can grease it, make it easy…”

So Little Richard was a sex educator too, teaching us how to make sweet backdoor love without force and with a lot of lube.

He wasn’t shy about the centrality of his libido, though he usually framed it with a disarming rhyme. When asked about rockabilly music, Little Richard didn’t miss a beat, “I don’t know about rockabilly, but I been rockin’ willy for years.”

Last but not at all least, Little Richard was a great integrator, bringing black and white people together from their strictly segregated sections of the club, sock hop or concert hall and into the aisles to dance. It was revolutionary, it was very bonobo and it’s the type of revolution we as a society need again and again and right now.

We love you, Little Richard, and we are grateful for all you have done for our sexuality, our culture and to heal the wounds of our bigotry.

Go get that Tutti Frutti Booty in Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven, Baby!

© May 9, 2020.

More articles by:

Susan Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Suzy,” is a world renowned LA sex therapist, author of The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace through Pleasure and horny housewife, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. For information and speaking engagements, call 626-461-5950. Email her at drsusanblock@gmail.com  

June 01, 2020
Joshua Frank
It’s a Class War Now Too
Richard D. Wolff
Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus
Henry Giroux
Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence
Ron Jacobs
The Second Longest War in the United States
Kanishka Chowdhury
The Return of the “Outside Agitator”
Lee Hall
“You Loot; We Shoot”
Dave Lindorff
Eruptions of Rage
Jake Johnston
An Impending Crisis: COVID-19 in Haiti, Ongoing Instability, and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations
Nick Pemberton
What is Capitalism?
Linda G. Ford
“Do Not Resuscitate”: My Experience with Hospice, Inc.
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?
Manuel García, Jr.
A Simple Model for Global Warming
Howard Lisnoff
Is the Pandemic Creating a Resurgence of Unionism? 
Frances Madeson
Federal Prisons Should Not be Death Chambers
Hayley Brown – Dean Baker
The Impact of Upward Redistribution on Social Security Solvency
Raúl Carrillo
We Need a Public Option for Banking
Kathy Kelly
Our Disaster: Why the United States Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
An Open Letter to Joe Biden on Race
Scott Owen
On Sheep, Shepherds, Wolves and Other Political Creatures
John Kendall Hawkins
All Night Jazz All The Time
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Tim Wise
Protest, Uprisings, and Race War
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
Jeff Mackler
The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
Charles Pierson
Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?
David Schultz
Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages
Andrew Levine
Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP
Ramzy Baroud
Political Ambiguity or a Doomsday Weapon: Why Abbas Abandoned Oslo
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery
Joseph Natoli
Conditions Close at Hand
N.D. Jayaprakash
No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India 
Ron Jacobs
The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos
J.P. Linstroth
Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis
Melvin Goodman
Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!
Roger Harris
Blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic on Too Many Humans:  a Critique of Overpopulation Ideology
Sonali Kolhatkar
For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis
Paul Buhle
Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?
Mike Bader
The Only Way to Save Grizzlies: Connect Their Habitats
Dave Lindorff
Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail