You’re not doing that right
|ANY QUESTIONS? Keith Loukes launched his new book from Whitecap Books at Zelda’s on Nov 4.(Image by Joshua Meles)||
story by Jeremy Parkes /
Nov 11 2004
Keith Loukes might know more about the sex lives and naughty bits of Canadian queers than just about anyone.
Pesky anal warts, stubborn gag reflexes, whoring husbands. He’s heard it all before, and now, with a new book out this month, he’s telling. And if Ask Dr Keith: Candid Answers To Queer Questions is anything to go by, there are lots of things that make us go hmmm. Why is my cum is yellow and lumpy? When I use toys to practice anal sex, shit comes out, and I’m afraid I’ll shit all over my new boyfriend. What should I do? You get the picture.
It’s his first book, but Loukes isn’t new to the sex advice scene. There was a 2001 TV live phone-in show, UnderCovers, he co-hosted on Pridevision which lasted 13 episodes before being sacked by the financially beleaguered network. Next, he hosted By Appointment... With Dr Keith, short pretaped segments appearing a few times a week. From both shows, a book was born.
What makes Loukes — barely 30 and virtually fresh out of med school — qualified to give advice to queers? For one, he’s a real doctor and he’s gay. And it’s probably his wet-behind-the-ears vibe that makes people comfortable talking to him.
“I don’t fit the regular mould of what a doctor should look and act like.... I’m more approachable, more open and more inviting.” And gosh darn, so cute too: “When I started with UnderCovers, I was shy and bashful and I blushed a lot, and when I turn red, I turn very red. I wasn’t used to having people ask about the mechanics of a double dildo or what the best way to blow someone is.”
Mixing entertainment with down-home medical advice is often a precarious balance, one that can teeter dangerously close to disaster. Case in point: when a near-suicidal gay man called into the show, a producer signalled to Loukes to keep it light and happy. To Loukes’ regret, he followed the instructions.
“I only tried to make it seem not so bad to everybody who was watching. I felt shitty about that, as if I’d sacrificed my integrity to sell a good product and look good on television.”
At the commercial break, the distraught caller was shuffled to a helpline, but Loukes still felt sick to his stomach for glossing over the caller’s crisis.
“A lot of days, I’d come out of there trembling. Thank God for commercial breaks.”
Fans have already tracked him down at his day job (he’s currently at Sherbourne Health Clinic) to book an appointment with their favourite medical media darling. “Sometimes they’ll sit there with this starstruck look in their eyes. It objectifies me, and I don’t like it.”
If his fans dig the book, it may be a harder sell to other queers. Its pages are divided among beginner issues, men’s issues and women’s issues, an approach that, in the end, may be too broad to appeal to anyone. Few lesbians are tripping over themselves to learn about how to swallow a “solid 8-plus inches uncut” cock. And while tranny issues are almost nonexistent, the book focusses on a number of Queer 101 clichés best reserved for a grade eight sex ed class: “Can a person really go blind from masturbating too much?” or “Can a person change his sexual orientation?” With only 123 pages of questions to the book, it’s at the unfortunate expense of more in-depth (read: juicy) topics.
Loukes is currently in negotiations to host a slicker version of the axed show. That means we may see more books from the good doctor yet. Get your questions ready.