Kinsey’s Gay Entrée 



From Chapter 8: Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research

On Wescott and Kinsey

When Kinsey came to New York, one thing that interested him was the social circle of Wescott’s friend Carl Malouf. A number of Malouf’s friends were fellow veterans of World War II, such as illustrator Tommy Sullivan and his giant bisexual find, Michael Miksche. Wheeler’s important younger lover of the fifties was an artist and poet named Ralph Pomeroy. Although Pomeroy was outside Malouf’s circle, he had a powerful impression of Miksche, who snubbed him. “I was mad for him,” he said. “He was one of the most stunning sexual people I’ve ever met.” Miksche was a star among the volunteers filmed at the Institute, as were a couple named Jack Fontaine and Raymond Ungar.

Bill Miller, the handsome model, sometimes joined the group. George Lynes also got to know Kinsey, and over the next several years gave the Institute scores of photos, some for payment, some as gifts. These were mostly male nudes but also included celebrity portraits. Another interesting connection for Kinsey was the French filmmaker François Reischenbach. A frequent visitor to New York, he had known Wescott since the 1920s in Paris, as did his brother Philippe, an art dealer. François would later win an Academy Award for his documentary work and contribute two gay-themed films to Kinsey’s archive.

Malouf remembered gay male gatherings of that era: “We lived in an age of innocence. A homosexual evening was so secret and hush-hush. Once, I remember, a bunch of us went to someone’s apartment to see slides of some boys in bathing suits diving off a pier, photos someone had taken. For that we were all tiptoeing and shushing each other up! [W. H.] Auden, sitting on the floor, looked up when Glenway came in with Tommy Sullivan and me, and he said, ‘Well, look who’s here. The vice president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.’ That night after we left Glenway said, ‘The nerve of Auden doing that!’ Because there were others there — I think Lincoln Kirstein was there. Every time I ran into Auden he was just as rude, about other things too.”

University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright 2002 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System

Tags: Books