HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 17, 1999
A GUIDE FOR YOUR LEISURE TIME
Simone Cunningham's charm and intensity are
easy to see in 'Suite 69,' her new work of erotic
W I THIS I MONE
The intensity, passion and sexual
tension of Simone Cunningham
come through in the hip new
work of this bold, lesbian poet
by KAY DAYUS
For starters, she's had over 25 lovers—not counting
the men, she spent 10 years in accounting, and she's
been a prolific writer of poetry and
prose since the age of nine.
SAnd she's only 26.
Simone A. Cunningham, a charming but deep and intense author, says
2 she has only just begun.
"Suite 69," her self-published book
of black lesbian erotica, is mostly
steamy, sometimes soft and sad, and
often angry. It's easy to see why.
In "I've fucked dicks," she writes,
"I've fucked dicks in my time/lst at
the tender age of 9/violated, mutilated by hands of black man some call
uncle cousin and step dad."
Cunningham was raped, she says
in a matter-of-fact tone, several times by male members of her family,
"I was introduced to men at an early age and I grew
to like sex with them until I went with a woman,"
"Suite 69" first saw the light of day on
Cunningham's self-designed web-site "Urbanlova
suites." It was there .she first shared her work with
others and, she writes, was welcomed.
"The sistas welcomed me with open arms. For the first
time in my life, I began to take my gift seriously," she says.
But Cunningham was only able to share her gift for
about six months before her Internet provider pulled
the site because of its content. She admits that many
people view erotica as "tasteless porn," but
Cunningham argues otherwise.
"So many women, particularly African-American
women, are oftentimes left unsatisfied after sexual
encounters. Millions of women have yet to explore their
full sexual curiosity. Women need to take time to find
out what they want in a sexual relationship," she says.
And Cunningham says that erotica can help.
>* Continued on page 20
nm S BOM TO POP CUlTIM
The founders of New York's Paper
and its dishiest columnist) are
celebrating the style bible's 15th
anniversary and its new guide to
by DAVID GOLDMAN
It was 1984. Ron and Nancy twirled merrily in the
White House, ignoring the new disease slaughtering its
way through the nation's gay male population.
Computers were high-priced and clunky and still outnumbered by typewriters in most offices.
The activation of the World Wide Web was five years
away. Busy people kept in touch using call forwarding: If
you'd fished a tiny phone from your bag and begun babbling into it on the street, you would have been clocked as
a dangerous, delusion lunatic.
And in New York, David Hershkovits and Kim Hastreiter
founded Paper, yet another flake in a fluny of funky 'zines
founded to chart the cultural cross-currents in ever-evolving
Today Paper is an extraordinary publishing success story. Not
only is it still in print after a decade and a half, it also has an international following (70,000 readers monthly) and a hugely popular web-site (650,000 page views per month). It has been
crowned "the hippest magazine on earth" by the Los Angeles
Times and "the magazine of culture information among the sens'- Continued on page 21