Ask Dr. Keith: Candid Answers to Queer Questions


136 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55285-607-0
DDC 306.76'6





Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson, Librarian Emeritus, former Assistant Director of
Libraries (University of Saskatchewan) and dramaturge (Festival de la
Dramaturgie des Prairies).


Dr. Keith Loukes and Sue Johanson both have media careers answering
real-life sex and relationship questions with up-to-date medical
accuracy, not to mention refreshing candour and humour. Although he
eschews the term “sexpert,” through his Pridevision TV program, By
Appointment ... With Dr. Keith, Loukes has become a poster boy for the
“Dear Abby” style of counselling in the GLBT community. Whereas gay
male issues tend to be the TV show’s sole focus, the book includes
chapters about lesbian sex as well. At the same time Loukes laments the
fact that he includes only a couple of questions on transgenderism and
promises more coverage “in another forum in the future.”

In a slim book format, more than 80 questions, selected and
occasionally concatenated from several callers, are given
typographically boldfaced prominence under such descriptive chapter
headings as “Ins and Outs,” “Girl Parts,” “Boy Parts,”
“Sexy and Safe,” and “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” Spotted
here and there amid the lively typographical layout are snippets of
sexual facts and lore and the occasional quiz. More seriously, there is
a succinct list of Internet sources, and the volume is well-indexed so
that one can quickly find specific references to subjects lurking within
the answers to the far-ranging questions. The presentation is welcoming;
the advice, succinct and informative.

Ask Dr. Keith differs from a number of other books generally available
on bookshelves: it is not as clinical as Goldstone’s The Ins and Outs
of Gay Sex or as oriented toward lifestyle and behavioural issues as
Silverstein and Picano’s New Joy of Gay Sex and Sisley’s lesbian
equivalent. Loukes notes that questions in a “Dear Abby” format
allow people to ask about things they would normally be shy about
discussing in person, and he adds his hope that his own book will be
“entertaining and playfully educational.” With a noteworthy positive
outlook and an engaging style, this modest TV spinoff certainly lives up
to both wishes.


Loukes, Keith., “Ask Dr. Keith: Candid Answers to Queer Questions,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 17, 2024,