The Pleasuring of Men

Clifford Browder

In New York City in the late 1860s, Tom Vaughan, a respectably raised young man, chooses to become a male prostitute servicing the city’s affluent elite, then falls in love with Walter Whiting, a renowned scholar and lecturer who proves to be his most difficult client. Having long wrestled with feelings of shame and guilt. Whiting, a married man, at first resents Tom’s easy acceptance of his own sexuality. Their story unfolds in the clandestine and precarious gay underworld of the time, which is creatively but vividly created. Through a series of encounters–some exhilarating, some painful, some mysterious—Tom matures, until an unexpected act of violence provokes a final resolution.

"The Pleasuring of Men is the coming-of-age story of Tom Vaughan, a gay man living in New York City in the nineteenth century. It’s his coming out story, the tale of his sexual blossoming as Tom works as a prostitute for an escort service thinly disguised as a messenger company called Young America. In the process, Tom learns about himself, his body, and humanity. The novel is deftly drawn with rich descriptions, a rhythmic balance of action, dialogue, and exposition, and a nicely understated plot. The Pleasuring of Men is both engaging and provocative.” —Sean Moran"


Clifford Browder

Clifford Browder is a writer and retired freelance editor living in New York City. His poetry has appeared in Heliotrope, The Main Street Rag, Runes, Snake Nation Review, The Bitter Oleander, nycBigCityLit.com, and elsewhere. Excerpts from his long novel Metropolis have been published in New York Stories, Quarter After Eight, and Third Coast. He is also author of two published biographies and a critical study of the French Surrealist poet André Breton.