NOTE: Andy Nowicki is a personal friend of mine, and this article represents my personal opinions on the merit of his work.
Western society is drenched in sex. Creepy “sex educators” teach prepubescent schoolchildren how to snap condoms onto cucumbers; videos of girls getting triple penetrated by horse-dicked men are accessible with a few keystrokes; the “right” of women to slut it up on the taxpayer’s dime is reinforced by the ruling class. The left and right push the Gospel of Sex in their own ways, the former through slut empowerment and LGBTBBQ “rights,” the latter through holy matrimony and the production of blue-eyed Aryan babies.
Nobody questions this arrangement: to moderns, sex being a Good Thing is as unquestionable as a jihadi’s faith in Allah. Who doesn’t love orgasms and fucking and good, non-judgmental fun? If you don’t like sex, you’re a freak, a weirdo who should probably be exiled to a basement somewhere so you can’t rain on the fluid-swapping parade.
Andy Nowicki’s novels and short stories seem paradoxical on the surface. His subject is sex: his characters often find themselves in grotesque sexual situations, and his prose style is erotically charged. But only a self-mortifying masochist would describe Nowicki’s writing as arousing. He spins tales of depressed middle-aged adulteresses, sexually frustrated spree shooters, and other dregs of our sexualized society.
Nowicki’s canon stands out because he stands against the deification of sex. While he doesn’t identify as “anti-sex,” telling me in an interview that being “anti-sex” doesn’t make much sense, his work probes the oft-ignored dark side of man’s carnal desires. While Nowicki is best known through his various scrapes with the manosphere (in his capacity as Alternative Right’s co-editor), “red pill” folks will find his novels and stories to be poignant and thought-provoking.
Nowicki’s most recent release, Collette’s Dream Man, is a wonderful display of both his worldview and his storytelling talent. Originally included as part of his erotic short story collection This Malignant Mirage, Collette’s Dream Man stands on its own as a complete work and a good introduction to his world.
Losers And Lovers
Collette’s Dream Man reads like something by Michel Houellebecq, if Houellebecq decided to enter the priesthood. The title character is an attractive, virginal teenager at a Catholic high school, whose dreams are invaded every night by a mysterious man who has telepathic trysts with her:
No, she decided—the corporeal alter-ego of her dream lover must of necessity be an older man, with elegant tastes and a trained, discerning, courtly manner: in short, a gentleman, one whose adolescent bestial stirrings had long ago been tamed, to the point where he now knew to approach a lady with polite airs prior to seducing her… These boys she’d known had no sense whatsoever of the very concept of seduction, much less an erudite awareness of the craft and art of such an essential pastime; the terrible need which held them hostage, perpetually demanding immediate attention, was far too pressing to admit of any delay to the consummation they devoutly craved.
I can’t reveal much more without spoiling the plot (Collette’s Dream Man is only about 40 pages), but Collette’s nocturnal affair leads her to seek out actual sex with the man she believes to be her secret dream lover. Not only does she end up being dead wrong, the true identity of her dream man shakes her to her core:
When he first began attending Benedictine as a freshman, his ghastly physical presence and ominous demeanor convinced most of his classmates to leave him alone. However, a few of the crueler ones—for cruelty is hardly the exclusive province of the fairer sex during one’s teen years, despite the attention given to the depredation of “mean girls” these days—saw fit to mock and tease him extensively, calling him names like “Dr. Burnsides” and “Eye-sore,” and pelting him with ketchup-laden french fries on several occasions, insisting all the while that he was a “human french fry,” then chortling mercilessly as he slunk away with the seeming meekness of a lamb.
Nowicki’s prose, while a little overwrought at times in the book, drives his theme home: sex, for better or worse, is the central corrupting influence of human existence. In his view, sex encourages mindless cruelty, relentless stupidity and public shame. Our mutual friend (and my Takimag colleague) Ann Sterzinger categorizes him as a horror writer, with sex serving as Cthulhu, consuming everyone in its wake.
Nowicki’s motif of sex as corrosive goes all the way back to his earliest works. For example, his 2011 novella The Columbine Pilgrim is about a bullied nerd who shoots up his high school reunion as revenge for his teenaged torment:
But I did no such thing. Instead, I saw myself shake, in fact, tremble with fear and embarrassment. And on this day, of all days, Patti seemed in a particularly frisky and sadistic mood, and uninclined to leave anything to anyone’s imagination. She grabbed my neck, put her face close to mine, practically within kissing range, and her tone changed to one of frank disgust.
“Have you got an erection, Tony?” she spat. “Who do you think you are, anyway? You really think I find you hot or something? You want to fuck me? Listen, you pathetic retard… YOU WILL NEVER FUCK ME. NEVER!”
While Nowicki’s fixations and stories—therapists sleeping with their patients, self-mortifying virginal nerds, and teenage girls who are just a bit more worldly than their male peers—could easily devolve into obnoxious bathos, he deftly avoids falling into traps that would fell lesser writers. Nowicki has a remarkable amount of empathy, able to wring humanity out of even the greatest monsters in his books.
Le Petite Mort
By this point, I imagine the average Return of Kings reader has thrown up his arms in disgust: “Why are you PRAISING this dickless Nowicki guy? He sounds like a loser who can’t get laid!”
For starters, talent is talent regardless of the politics, sex life or personal hygiene of the man (or woman) who has it. The reason why mainstream literature has vanished into a black hole is precisely because the publishing industry promotes writers based not on talent but on how many warm SJW fuzzies their vomitous novels induce. I disagree with Nowicki half the time, but I can see past those disagreements to acknowledge the depth and poignancy of his fiction.
Secondly, if you have anything resembling a soul, you’ll admit that Nowicki has a point.
Despite his disagreements with the ‘sphere, Nowicki’s arguments about the corrosiveness of sex are ones most men can relate to. I realized this after reading his memoir/manifesto, Confessions of a Would-Be Wanker, over the summer. Sex is what drives men in the manosphere to remake themselves along “red pill” lines, to lift, learn game, and explore foreign lands in search of pussy. It rules us, and most of us aren’t even aware of it.
While I personally find Nowicki’s defeatism to be repellent, I can understand the logic behind his stoic philosophy of “wanking.” Sex corrupts just as thoroughly as power does, and it’s understandable why some men would want to retreat from it altogether, even if doing so is impossible. Nowicki himself is married and has children, showing that even he couldn’t live up to the lofty path of the wanker.
In the end, it’s talent uber alles for me. Whatever you may think of Andy Nowicki’s life philosophy, there’s no denying his skill at crafting twisted, bleak but intriguing stories. If you’re curious about his work, Collette’s Dream Man is the perfect place to start.
Read More: Let Women Think You’re Their Dream Man