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On the Down Low: A Journey Into the Lives of "Straight" Black Men Who Sleep With Men Paperback – Apr 5 2005

3.6 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (April 5 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076791399X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767913997
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,063,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

King is very straightforward about the phenomenon, called the down low, of "straight" men having sex with other men without disclosing it to the women in their lives. Having spent more than 20 years living the dual life of the down low, King is familiar with all the personal, psychological, social, and even religious implications of living on the down low and the risks this lifestyle poses to the spread of HIV and AIDS. He recalls his struggle with self-gratification, the fear of exposure, and the responsibility to his family before coming to the conclusion that he owed his family honesty. King also cites respect for black women as a motive for disclosing his secret, though the reader might question how much respect he had for 20 years. But that's part of King's point in his disclosure, that men on the down low and the black community itself, with little tolerance of homosexuality, need to be more honest and open on issues of sexuality. This is a revealing look at an important social and health issue. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

This book has folks buzzing like a tree full of cicadas.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

“There's a new book girlfriends have got to read. It's a page-turner.” —Newsday (New York)

“A wake-up call.” —Dallas Voice
“A good read.” —The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
“A revealing look at an important social health issue.” —Booklist
“King ultimately delivers a powerful and emotional story and must be lauded for having the courage to do so!” —QBR The Black Book Review

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What you do in the dark will eventually surface to the light. Mr. King has stripped the covers from underneath this double lifestyle that many of our men are living. It's scarry. It makes a woman want to become a Nun. I appreciate his honesty. It took a lot of courage for him to come forth to reveal his sins of homosexuality and infidelity. I only hope that women will take heed to his message. Unfortunately, many will not and will find themselves in a heap of trouble. It was recommended to me to read a novel called "Lust Of The Flesh," and I am so glad that I read it. It was the best novel I ever read. It was different from all of the mainstream novels that are being written today. Lust Of The Flesh is full of entertainment, page-turning excitement. The author lets you know that there are consequences to your actions, without coming off as preachy. If anyone reads this review, PLEASE READ THE NOVEL: LUST OF THE FLESH. It is necessary. Kudos to the author of Lust Of The Flesh and to Mr. King. May God continue to bless your ministries.
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Format: Hardcover
While I applaud King for thrusting the DL phenomenon into national prominence, I am concerned that the overall message of this book will cause more animosity for gay and bisexual men. The occurance of men who lead straight lives seeking sex with other men is as old as humankind. So King's book revealed very little or failed to break much ground. What really should have been the opportunity for open, positive, and honest dialogue between the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight communities was a witch hunt.I found several of the views presented here irresponsible. For example, King's attempts to provide clues as to how one can detect if a man is DL are laughable. There is absolutely no way to tell if a man is bisexual unless he admits it or you catch him in the act. Also King uses certain terms that are downright offensive and demeaning. These viewpoints are perpetuating self hatred and the continuence of homophobia. The culprit is not who one sleeps with....the real enemy is ignorance and hatred. People with attitudes like King's are the ones who are continuing the gay bashing gossiping/jokes at the water cooler and the Adam and Steve sermons from the pulpit. While I am in no way blaming King's book for these these things, I read this book with the hope that the overall message would be one of unconditional acceptance and King missed the mark.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a young mother of a young son and was disturbed to see this book in my local book store. I had just seen a Law and Order episode that was dealing with this subject. And I was telling my husband who worked as a former Health care worker how disturbed I was by the subject. He told me that it is more prominent than I know. So when I saw On the Down Low, I knew I had to pick it up and read it. Mr. King tells his story with dignity and discretion. It is a book that gives insight on sexual orientation of black men. If one looks behind skin color and sees the human struggling with his sexual identity one would see that it is not only a topic about black men but men in general. It talks about something that makes us all "Heterosexuals" somewhat uncomfortable today which is Bisexuality/Homosexuality. It is a tough subject to breech and Mr. King does it with sincerity and humility. His views that sexual orientation is divined from birth, I emphatically disagree with. But whether or not you think there is genetic predisposition or choice in each persons sexual orientation, this book gives you things to think about when choosing a partner. The main point stressed was Honesty and Communication. It is a shame that today many men are still not being honest with their spouses, loved ones and most importantly themselves. It is a difficult task facing these men regardless of the fact that we essentially lie to ourselves and others to achieve acceptance. Mr. King's words and stories stress the importance of honesty when dealing with family members and loved ones. Identity and integrity of who we are as human beings is important to have and keep for our own. Shocking and informative this book is a must read for all.
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Format: Hardcover
I read the Amazon reviews on this book and decided to give it a chance out of my own curiosity. This is the first review I ever written. When it arrive in the mail, I could wait to read it. I wasn't too surprised what I read about gay men, closet homosexuals and bisexuals because it is the norm in our society in these last days. My regret is that innocent women are falling prey to these deceitful men. That's why ladies, we need to seek the face of God first and his righteousness then all the other things (such as a husband) will be added to us.
I read in one review where the reviewer highly recommended a book called Lust Of The Flesh. I decided to go ahead and order it because the review sounded so promising and the title struck me. I cannot agree more with the reviewer. THAT WAS THE BEST NOVEL I EVER READ! I will have to agree and highly recommend this novel. You will NOT be able to put this book down. I have also written a review on this novel too.
On The Down Low reminds us, as women, that we need to be aware of men that we meet. Ladies, we need to check them out thoroughly before making a decision to be with a man. Get his social security number, his driver's license number and run a check on the man. Talk to his friends, family, coworkers, his doctor, dentist and whoever else may know something about him. Let him know that you're only covering yourself.
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