As wholesome as Folsom: Alexander Cheves’ kinky and brilliant memoir, My Love Is a Beast: Confessions




In his captivating memoir, famed sex columnist Alexander Cheves details his childhood as the football-playing son of evangelical Christians, growing up on a farm and doing missionary work. There are the universal queer experiences of adolescent sexual experimentation, unrequited crushes, and the fear of being exposed. But those are the calm parts of the roller coaster just before your wig hits those behind you, soars out of the park and gets flattened by a Mack truck. 

Cheves takes us on an unforgettable, hedonistic journey through Savannah, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. Kink is his passion, his livelihood (both as a writer and a sex worker), and even his religion—and it’s hard to imagine a more effective evangelist.  

While there are a lot of very descriptive sex acts in this book, the intimacy lies in the author’s unflinching, masterful storytelling. You feel you’re on the next pillow as he bares his soul and shares his profound convictions and observations. Cheves is a millennial, but demonstrates a deep understanding of the generations before him. Who they are and how they were shaped. He also recognizes the unique moment in which he finds himself, at the dawning sexual revolution after decades of fear. His is a generation that recognizes the limits of labels, as the rigid LG and to a lesser extent B are declining in relevance with the rise of the T and the flexible Q. While he only writes of having sex with men, he has had opposite sex attraction and shares his regrets about not feeling he was permitted to explore those desires. And while he immerses us in a gay man’s world, he comfortably shares anecdotes of kink scenes involving more than one gender. In many ways Cheves is of his generation, but this hardcore memoir certainly flies in the face of the sanitized mores of his contemporaries. 

Alexander Cheves by Jon Dean.

Promiscuous queer men are often portrayed of as cold, vapid and soulless, but Cheves introduces us to a brotherhood. After reading these pages, you’ll have no doubt of his love for his community, and you may see them in a new light. 

Cheves’ publisher, Unbound Edition Press, is sending him on a 10-city tour with a stop in San Francisco on September 22nd, just in time for the Folsom Street Fair. His tribe awaits his beastly embrace. 

Chris Andoe is the author of House of Villadiva and Delusions of Grandeur: A few hundred tales from the Emperor of St. Louis. 


Chris Andoe is an author and seasoned activist. After meeting John Aravosis at a Chicago “StopDrLaura.com” protest in 2000, Chris was inspired to organize his own major demonstrations in St. Louis, which drew national attention. Since then, his activism has revolved around LGBT, affordable housing, and mass transit issues. In 2011 Andoe made headlines taking on the amorphous hacker group Anonymous for publishing nude photos of a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesperson, saying “Puritanical shame-based tactics have no place in the capital of sexual liberation”, and he extensively covered San Francisco's jarring gentrification, from mass evictions to the nudity ban. Andoe was on the ground in Ferguson at the height of the unrest, recording events as they unfolded. Always in the fray, Andoe’s been interviewed by NPR, CBS, and has been quoted from CNN to The St. Louis Post Dispatch.

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