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Social Science Gay Studies


A Queer Erotic Thesaurus

by (author) Allan Peterkin

Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2003
Gay Studies, Lesbian Studies
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2003
    List Price

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Where to buy it


Erotic slang words from Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, and other English-speaking nations number well into the tens of thousands. But the history of terms used to describe the sexual activities of gays and lesbians have opposing sources: one, the discreet networks of gay men and lesbians who sought to come up with a new terminology for the pleasures of their secret lives; and the other, those who found gay sexuality repellent, and created phrases that denigrated and insulted its proponents. The result? A coded language, for better or worse, that celebrates sexuality in all its queerness.

A.D. Peterkin shows how euphemism, camp humor, rhyme, acronym, foreign language, mythology, metaphor, and secret code have all been recruited imaginatively by gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals to name what was thought to be unnamable.

About the author

Allan Peterkin is the author of One Thousand Beards and One Thousand Mustaches, and the co-author of The Bearded Gentleman. His other books include The Bald-Headed Hermit and the Artichoke and Outbursts!. His comments on facial hair have appeared in Esquire, Men's Health, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, US, and in the documentary Mansome. He is a doctor and freelance writer in Toronto.

Allan Peterkin's profile page

Editorial Reviews

It's pleasing that the last word in this hot little dictionary is "voyeur". What could be more apt for our relationship to this book . . .? We're take a peep at somebody else's way of, well, taking a peek.
-New Pages

New Pages

...Peterkin is delving even further into language that would make Roger blush in public...
-Monday Magazine

Monday Magazine

Remember being excited as a child each time a new sex-related word entered into your vocabulary? Relive that titilating experience while at the same time broadening your sexual knowledge by reading this book.
-The Link

The Link

Amusing, informative, enlightening... Ample fodder to enliven your Ph.D. thesis or resume.
-Lavender Magazine


. . . a perversely potent queer erotic thesaurus. This is a fun book, but it can also be seen as a historical document. This is the evidence of queer sexual history.
-Trade: Queer Things

Trade: Queer Things

...Peterkin's salaciously erudite Outbursts is more than a sniggering collection of slangy definitions.... It's also a work of queer historical empowerment.


...a very entertaining, well-researched little guide.
-Xtra! Magazine


Pick up Outbursts! and give your hands something constructive to do for a change.
-Dallas Voice

Dallas Voice

...clever and funny...
-Time Out London

Time Out London

Even a long review cannot do justice to this intriguing reference book.

Jean Roberta

Outbursts contextualizes both historical and contemporary terminology for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals, and offers nine full pages of terms for gay males--from "anal buccaneer" to "zebrajox"!
-My Messy Bedroom

My Messy Bedroom

...provides a source for pornographers--indeed all writers with a sense of humour--to vary their limited and predictable dialogue when it comes to the old ins and outs.
-Frontiers Magazine


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