Entry #12: author Jordan Krall on exploring the edges of perversion.
Someone somewhere, I’m sure, would like to see the books of Peter Sotos banned for one reason or another. Though most of them are out-of-print and expensive on the secondary market, they are surprisingly easy to acquire if one has the money and internet access.
I became familiar with his books in the late ’90s when I was in high school, having purchased a collection of his work titled Total Abuse through a mail order catalog. Had I been caught with it when I brought it into class… Well, who knows what would have happened?
With all of his pornographic true crime socio-psycho-sexual-meta-rape-pseudo-pedo diatribes, Sotos manages to stay safely at a distance from any real controversy (aside from his arrest early on in his career in the ’80s for possession of illegal pornography). That being said, his work has been influential on many… mostly harsh noise/power electronics musicians who view Sotos’ nihilistic-misogynistic-pedo-death sermons as inspiration for noisy cacophonies. However, there are authors who have, no doubt, found inspiration from reading Sotos if not from content but from the delivery.
I’ll admit it. I’m an author and I’ve been influenced by Peter Sotos.
His unflinching eye and subsequent observations are overwhelmingly offensive but surprisingly honest. It is XXX-rated journalism in 1st/2nd/3rd person point-of-view. Prostitution (whores, johns, pimps, victims). Child abuse (victims, parents, media, pleasure, pain, more pleasure). Pornography (abuse, victims, power). Serial killers (victims, heroes). He doesn’t shy away from racial and sexist epithets. He doesn’t hold back from revealing things that the reader can only speculate are HIS (the author PETER SOTOS) own personal fantasies or, worse yet, experiences. It can’t only be imagination on the author’s part. It is one-part lurid true crime and eight-parts psychosexual confessional. His work encompasses the jaded, disturbed, and hypersexual psyche of someone who you would most likely not want near your children… or anyone’s children. But again, this is based on his writing and, if we are to be honest, it’s only words, right?
We have no reason to fear Mr. Sotos.
Perhaps his books are his way of curtailing his deviant desires, his form of therapy. Otherwise, he is a journalist of the inner and outer world of ultimate outsider: the pedophile, the rapist, the prostitute, the pimp, the john, the child abuser, the pornographer, the scumbag who only wants to watch… Perhaps he is one or more of these things. The reader doesn’t know. The reader probably doesn’t really want to know.
Regardless, his manifestos of porno store backroom gloryholes, his unsanitized accounts of true crime (both real and imagined), his ramblings about porn, child abuse, pain… all of it has been influential to me albeit in a substantially more moral way. Though I explore many of the same topics in my writing (most of the time with some fictional element), I will openly condemn the actions that are rightfully repugnant: child abuse, rape, racism, illegal pornography, murder. To me, these aren’t issues up for debate.
I’m sure someone somewhere has Sotos in their sights, wanting to silence such “filth” for various reasons… but that might not be a good idea. Without Sotos and his books, how else would we get a look into the mind of someone so close to the edge of true conscienceless perversion?