Sex and books: London's most erotic writers

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  • 58 HATTER 2.jpg 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

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    Sebastian Horsley

    Horsley lives in the heart of Soho, tucked behind a door that proclaims: ‘This is not a brothel. There are no prostitutes at this address.’ Inside, he has created a red velvet haven – or hell, as he prefers to term it. There is an open fire and a throne and the walls are plastered with photos of himself, Guns N’Roses (he’s a big fan) and, occasionally, his muse (he hates the word girlfriend) Rachel Garley.

    ‘Living in Soho is like an ongoing orgasm,’ Horsely enthuses. Indeed, talking about Soho is the only thing that seems to excite him as much as talking about himself. ‘God created the country, Satan created Soho. It is proof that hell is full and the damned walk the streets. It is a madhouse without walls.’ It suits Horsley perfectly, but he worries that it’s going downhill: ‘Ten years ago, on a good night here you could get your throat cut. Now there’s even a health club in Soho! Can you imagine that? It has really got worse. The air used to be clean and the sex used to be dirty, and now it’s the other way around. The only pocket of resistance is my house.’

    The problem with Horsley’s witty lines is that they’re quotations from his book. He’s the first to admit it. ‘I don’t talk, I quote. I can’t help it,’ he says. ‘It’s better to be quotable than honest.’ Although his book reads like fiction, he is adamant that everything is true – or almost everything. ‘Little stories are changed around. I say that I injected cocaine into my knob but that was actually heroin.’ Whatever you think of ‘Dandy in the Underworld’, he protests that he never wanted to be a writer anyway. ‘I am not an intellectual. An intellectual is someone who looks at a sausage and thinks of Picasso, whereas I just say “pass the mustard”.’

    Horsley’s views are extreme and often offensive (he has described Texans as ‘living proof that Indians screwed buffaloes’, and proclaimed that nearly all women are ‘astonishingly stupid’), but he’s quick to defend himself. ‘Let’s just say for the sake of argument that I am a misogynist,’ he purrs. ‘If I want to dislike women I should be allowed to. As it happens I love them. Women to me are privately worshipped and publicly disdained. I just like pissing people off. I like language and it excites me to write violently against things that I love. Everyone knows it isn’t right to go and chop women’s heads off. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to say stupid, outrageous things? If you don’t like them, you can suck my Nazi cock.’

    Unlikely though it may seem, Horsley is actually good and charming company. When asked about his sordid exploits, he replies, ‘I consider myself to be very correct and proper, an upright citizen. If you took away the drink and the drugs, I would be a policeman. Think of how many boring, blameless lives are brightened by the blazing indiscretion of me.’

    Interview: Sonya Barber. Portrait Rob Greig.


    ‘Dandy in the Underworld’ is published by Sceptre at £16.99.

    30-21
    | 20-11 | 10-1

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The problem with Horsley’s witty lines is that they’re quotations from his book. He’s the first to admit it. ‘I don’t talk, I quote. I can’t help it,’ he says. ‘It’s better to be quotable than honest.’ Although his book reads like fiction, he is adamant that everything is true – or almost everything. ‘Little stories are changed around. I say that I injected cocaine into my knob but that was actually heroin.’ Whatever you think of ‘Dandy in the Underworld’, he protests that he never wanted to be a writer anyway. ‘I am not an intellectual. An intellectual is someone who looks at a sausage and thinks of Picasso, whereas I just say “pass the mustard”.’ Horsley’s views are extreme and often offensive (he has described Texans as ‘living proof that Indians screwed buffaloes’, and proclaimed that nearly all women are ‘astonishingly stupid’), but he’s quick to defend himself. ‘Let’s just say for the sake of argument that I am a misogynist,’ he purrs. ‘If I want to dislike women I should be allowed to. As it happens I love them. Women to me are privately worshipped and publicly disdained. I just like pissing people off. I like language and it excites me to write violently against things that I love. Everyone knows it isn’t right to go and chop women’s heads off. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to say stupid, outrageous things? If you don’t like them, you can suck my Nazi cock.’ Unlikely though it may seem, Horsley is actually good and charming company. When asked about his sordid exploits, he replies, ‘I consider myself to be very correct and proper, an upright citizen. If you took away the drink and the drugs, I would be a policeman. Think of how many boring, blameless lives are brightened by the blazing indiscretion of me.’
30-21
| 20-11 | 10-1

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