Allen Ginsberg’s openness about his homosexuality didn’t just make him controversial, it made him politically significant during the second half of the 20th century. And his infamous “Please Master” is Exhibit A of just how open he could be.
This ode to BDSM certainly opened my eyes when I accidentally discovered it in middle school while doing research at my small-town public library. As I began to read it, I didn’t even realize it was about gay relationship until, upon closer inspection, I discovered there were actually two sets of balls in play, since at the tender, narcissistic age of 14 in the deep 80s, I probably wasn’t even aware there were alternatives to heterosexuality. Not only did I learn that day that gay sex was a real thing, I learned that it could be super dirty and full of love. (Fortunately, I had the good sense not to share it with my 8th grade English class.)
Here’s the Beat King reading the poem in full. The first few barely safe-for-work lines are below — and it only gets more intense from there.
please master can I kneel at your feet
please master can I loosen your blue pants
please master can I gaze at your golden haired belly
please master can I have your thighs bare to my eyes
please master can I take off my clothes below your chair
please master can I can I kiss your ankles and soul
please master can I touch lips to your hard muscle hairless thigh
please master can I lay my ear pressed to your stomach
please master can I wrap my arms around your white ass
please master can I lick your groin gurled with blond soft fur…